Ash's Ultra Journey @darkknight55
Two and a Half Oaks

Chapter 31: Two and a Half Oaks

While he waited for his Pokémon to heal at the Pokémon Center, Ash decided to call Professor Oak to check in on things back home. After a short minute of ringing, Oak picked up the phone, clearly disheveled and annoyed.

"Um Professor, are you…"

"Muk."

Ash didn't need to hear anymore. He knew all to well how affectionate his Muk could be.

"But enough about my troubles. How is your vacation going? Did you deliver the egg to Professor Kukui?"

"I sure did, and guess what? It hatched into an Alolan Vulpix!"

"Did it now? Well what do you know. So, your mother tells me your taking on the Island Trial Challenge. How is that going?"

"Great! I'm halfway through! We just reached Malie City this morning, and I just beat The Kantonian Gym!"

"Oh, did you? Well, congratulations!"

It was then that Professor Oak remembered something.

"Oh, if you're in Malie City you should meet my cousin Samson. He's a Professor too, studying regional forms of Pokémon. He's always willing to talk to visitors about his research."

"Ready? Sweet!"

"He lives on the edge of the city, just a block away from the library. I'll call ahead to let him know you're on your way."

Ash Ketchum to the service desk, please. Your Pokémon are all healed and ready to go. Repeat, Ash Ketchum to the service Desk, please. Your Pokémon are all healed up.

"Oh, I've got to go, Professor. Catch you later!"

"Wait Ash, there's something else you-"

But Ash hung up, too excited to listen.

After picking up his Pokémon from Nurse Joy, Ash and Ilima left to go find Samson Oak's house. True to Professor Oak's word, his house was just on the outskirts of town. Ash walked up to the door and rang the doorbell.

"Coming!"

After a minute, the door swung open to reveal the good professor. To Ash's shock, he looked very similar to his cousin. In fact, if it wasn't for the dark skin and head full of white hair, one might think Professor Oak had retired to Alola.

"Alola! What brings you two to my humble abode?"

"Alola, I'm Ash, and this is Ilima."

"Pikachu!"

"Oh, and I can't forget about Pikachu, now can I?"

Samson's grin spread even farther.

"Ah, my cousin just called to tell me you were on the way! Please, come in, come in!"

Samson ushered the two of them in, Ash and Ilima gazing around the house. The two were surprised to find it looked like a typical house, no equipment or Pokémon to be seen.

"Um, Professor, not to be rude but this doesn't look like a laboratory. How do you conduct your research?"

Samson laughed heartedly.

"Well, no use in cluttering up my house with fancy gadgets that I don't need anyway. Come on, let me show you to my study area."

The Professor led them to his backyard, where they saw Alolan forms as far as the eye could see, from ice type Sandshrew and Sandslash to Dark type Meowths and Persians. A small number of assistants were scattered about, from checking the voltage of a Golem to trying to water an Exeggutor. Among them Ash found a familiar face grooming a Persian.

"Hey Gary, is that you?"

Gary looked up to see Ash walking over.

"Well, if it isn't Ashy Boy. Gramps told me you were in Alola, but I didn't expect to see you."

The two of them shook hands as Samson and Ilima walked over to them.

"You two know each other."

"Sure do. Gary and I have known each other since we were kids back in Pallet Town. We even started our journeys on the same day."

"Yeah, and you were always playing catch up to me, weren't you Ashy?"

"Hey, who was it that beat you in the Silver Conference?"

"Who was it that beat you in every other battle?"

"Well at least I made it to the Indigo Stadium, Mr. Top 32!"

"Yeah, only to lose because Charizard would rather take a nap, Mr. Pokémon Master."

Ilima and Samson laughed as the two bickered like they were still little kids.

"Now now, you two, you both have accomplished great things, but leave the arguing like children at the preschool."

Realizing how petty their fight was, the two of them calmed down.

"He's right. Anyway, what brings you to Alola, Gary?"

"Well, I've almost got my certificate, but I need some apprenticeship hours under a certified Professor. Gramps had enough aides as it is, but his cousin was more than willing to let me help out."

"Hey, anything for family, even if they are a cousin twice removed!"

After discussing more about their recent escapades, Ash decided to talk to the Professor about his Rockruff.

"Hey Professor, I was wondering if you could look at one of my Pokémon for me. He's been acting up recently, and I'm not sure how to handle him."

"Certainly, Ash. Let's take a look."

Ash released his Rockruff, who gave an indignant huff. While he wasn't as violent as before, he was still acting out. Samson Oak bent down, gently stroking Rockruff's fur in a way so that it won't attack him.

"Oooh, a Rockruff. You have a very unique kind of Pokemon here, Ash. I wonder what he'll evolve into."

"He evolves into a Lycanroc, doesn't he?"

Samson chuckled lightly.

"Yes, but you see Rockruff is a unique kind of Pokemon. As you are aware, most Pokemon evolve into only one Pokemon, but some have different option available, branch evolutions I like to call them. For example, Gloom can either evolve into a Vileplume or a Bellossom, depending on if you give it a Leaf Stone or a Sun Stone. But there is an even smaller branch of Pokémon that can evolve into different variations of the same Pokémon. They're so rare that you could go your whole life without seeing one."

"Woah, that's so cool! So, what options does Rockruff have?"

Samson ushered them all into the house, where he brought out two pictures. One was of the Lycanroc they saw at Paniola Ranch, Rockruff recognizing it as its mother as his tail wagged excitedly. The other picture was vastly different, the Lycanroc being on all fours and looking more like a larger Rockruff, with lighter fur.

"You see, if your Rockruff evolves during the day, it'll evolve into the one on the right, or Midday form Lycanroc. But if he evolves at night, he'll evolve into a Midnight Form Lycanroc."

"Wow, that's so-Rockruff, no!"

Everyone turned to see Rockruff chewing up the couch they were on. It took both Ash and Ilima to pry him off.

"I'm so sorry, Professor."

"Oh, its alright Ash, I'm quite used to Pokémon making a mess of my house. It's an old couch anyway, I've been meaning to get rid of it for a while. Besides, its natural for Rockruff to act like this when they're close to evolving."

This gave Gary an idea.

"Hey Ash, why don't we see if we can get Rockruff to evolve? Maybe if he evolves, he'll calm down a bit."

"Really, you think so?"

"It's worth a shot. Come on, we can have a battle just like old times."

"Sounds good."

Ash's stomach growled, interrupting their conversation as Ash blushed with embarrassment.

"But can we have dinner first? I'm starving!"

Everyone laughed while Gary just shook his head.

"Good old Ash."

After dinner, the group made their way to a secluded part of the property. Ash and Gary stood 10 feet apart from each other, the sun beginning to set in the background. Samson stood in the middle, acting as the referee.

"Alright, this will be a one on one battle between Ash and Gary. The battle will end when either or both Pokémon are unable to battle. Are both trainers ready?"

"You bet."

"Ready to win."

"Then let the battle begin!"

"Rockruff, I choose you!"

"Umbreon, you're up!"

Samson moved off to the side so that the battle could begin. Gary's Umbreon emerged, shaking its ears to get ready for battle as it eyed his opponent carefully.

"Skull Bash, Umbreon!"

"Tackle, Rockruff!"

The two met in the middle, their skulls banging against each other, although neither one seemed to be fazed by it. They both skidded back, growling at eachother.

"Shadow Ball, Umbreon!"

"Rockruff, dodge then use Rock Slide!"

Rockruff jumped over the Shadow Ball with ease, before shooting out a barrage of stones at its foe, Umbreon not being able to jump away in time before being hit, although he recovered quickly.

"Umbreon shake it off and use Hidden Power!"

Umbreon's eyes glowed before the grass around the two rose up and struck Rockruff relentlessly, damaging him greatly.

"Don't let it get to you, Rockruff! Use Stone Edge!"

Shaking off the attacks, Rockruff slammed his paw into the ground, causing large stones to erupt out and hit Umbreon.

"Finish this off with Dark Pulse, Umbreon!"

"Use Rock Blast!"

The two attacks hit The Rocks breaking harmlessly against the waves of Dark energy. Rockruff refused to give up, and kept firing, Umbreon finally being unable to keep up and began taking hits. By the time the barrage was over, Umbreon had been knocked out.

"Umbreon is unable to battle. The winner is Ash and-huh?"

To everyone's surprise, Rockruff began to glow and evolve.

"Alright, Rockruff is evolving!"

"So, does that mean it'll evolve into Midnight form?"

"No, its not quite night yet."

"But the sun has gone down, so it's no longer daytime."

"So what will it be then?"

To everyone's surprise, the Lycanroc that emerged from the glow was neither. It was on all fours like a Midday form, but its fur was a bright orange, and the top of its head was shaped like that of a Midnight form.

"Roc Lycanroc!"

"Incredible! Your Rockruff has evolved into an all new form of Lycanroc! And since I discovered it, I get to name it! Lets see, how about half form… no, that sounds silly. I know, twilight form form… no, that doesn't quite roll of the tongue. What about…"

"How about Dusk Lycanroc? Dusk is the time of day between Sunset and night time, and that's when he evolved."

"I like it! Dusk form it is. Say, you've got a good eye for naming things, don't ya?"

Having calmed down, Lycanroc whimpered sadly, feeling bad about all of the trouble it caused. Ash bent down, gently stroking his fur.

"Hey, its alright. I know you didn't mean it; you were just getting ready to evolve. And now that you have, you're even more awesome than before."

Lycanroc smiled, letting out a content purr at his master's loving strokes. Gary smiled at the scene before walking over to them.

"Congratulations, Ash. Looks like you've got a really rare Pokémon on your hands there."

"Yeah, but you know what? Even if he had evolved into a normal Lycanroc or wanted to stay a Rockruff, I would love him all the same."

Lycanroc jumped on Ash, licking his face happily.

"Heh heh, down boy."

Everyone laughed before Samson walked over to them.

"Its too late to get going now. Why don't you two stay here for the night? I have a guest room and some sleeping bags you could use."

"Are you sure? We don't want to impose."

"Please, I insist. It's the least I could do for showing me a never before seen Pokémon, even if it was by accident."

"Well in that case, we'd be happy to!"

With that, the four of them walked into the house to get ready for bed, knowing that whatever adventures tomorrow brought they'd be ready.

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