Ash's Ultra Journey @darkknight55
Give Up the Ghost

Chapter 38: Give Up The Ghost

At Dusk, Ash and Acerola headed for Akala Cemetery for his trial. Ilima and Lillie stayed behind to watch the children at Acerola's insistence and their complaining. They calmed down after Ash agreed to leave Lycanroc behind for them to play with, allowing the two of them to leave without trouble.

Night fell as they reached the entrance, fog hanging low like an ominous curtain. A Noctowl hooted in the distance, causing Ash to jump to Acerola's amusement.

"If that scares you, you might as well turn back now. You'll never make it through to the end if you can't keep it together."

"Hey, I'm not scared! It just surprised me, that's all."

"Uh uh, suuuuure. Hold up."

Ash stopped as Acerola stepped forward, gesturing to the wrought iron steel gates guarding the graves within.

"Your trial is simple: spend one night in the cemetery alone."

"Really, that's it? Done."

Ash moved to go in, only to be held back.

"You don't really think its that simple, do you? Inside lie restless ghosts who don't take kindly to the living intruding on their slumber."

Ash gulped nervously, causing Acerola to chuckle.

"Oh, they won't harm you. Not physically, at least. But they do like to play nasty tricks on those whom they think are up to no good."

Feeling a bit more at ease, Ash took the backpack Acerola offered to him.

"This has everything you'll need to survive the night: Food, Pokemon food, water, sleeping bag, flashlight, etc. If at any time you want to stop, just yell and I'll come get you. Good luck, Ash."

Taking a nervous gulp, Ash stepped inside, the gates creaking shut behind him.

An hour had passed, and so far Ash and Pikachu were doing alright. Ash had set up a campfire using some sticks and a lighter from the backpack, allowing him and Pikachu to keep warm.

"This isn't too bad, right buddy?"

"Pika!"

Just then, a soft giggling was heard. Ash whipped his head around to see a little girl, bouncing a ball as she walked off into the mist.

"Hey, come back! Come on Pikachu, lets go get her!"

"Pika!"

The two gave chase, taking a flashlight to find their way. But even that was just barely enough to see where they were going, and they only had the laughter to know which direction to go. Finally Ash had to stop, doubled over trying to catch his breath as the voice came again.

"You're here..."

"Huh? Who said that?"

"I'm trapped... and I'm lonely..."

"Its alright, you don't need to be scared anymore. Just come on out."

"So very lonely... won't you join me?"

As the voice faded out, the fog lifted slightly to reveal a tombstone. As Ash approached it, he read it to himself.

Here Lies Ash Satoshi Ketchum.

Buried Alive.

"Huh? I'm not-"

Suddenly, two disembodied white hands emerged from the ground, grabbing his ankles and throwing him to the ground, causing him to grunt in annoyance.

"Hey, get off!"

After several kicks and punchs, the hands flew off, dissipating when they hit the ground. Pikachu ran up to Ash, worried.

"I'm alright buddy, but we better get back to our camp...site?"

Ash looked around, only to see the fog rolling back in as his flashlight died.

"Aw man, this sucks!"

Just then he felt tapping at his shoulder.

"Not now, Pikachu! Now lets see, we ran from the North... or was it East? No, that can't be it..."

"Pika?"

"I said not now!"

Now Pikachu was tugging at his pants leg,desperate to get his attention.

"Alright, fine, but this better be-"

Ash turned around to see an ominous purple cloud behind him, yellow eyes glowing from within.

"Begone...intruders..."

"Trying to scare me, are ya? Go, Incineroar!"

With a mighty "Roar!" Ash's fire type burst out, swiping its paws at its opponent fiercely.

"Begone...intruders!"

The ghost flung itself at Incineroar, only to be slapped back by Darkest Lariat, its disguise dissipating to reveal a Mismagius, unhurt but ready to battle.

"You still want some? Incineroar, use Crunch!"

Incineroar powered through Mismagius's Shadow ball, sending it back at her with a swipe before biting down hard on her, the two attacks combining to knock her out. Defeated, the Mismagius gave Ash a spiteful glare before slinking back into the shadows. Ash collapsed, sighing in relief.

"Ah man, I don't know if I can get back to sleep after that.'

"Hmm, not bad."

Ash turned to see an older gentleman standing a few feet away, hands in his pockets.

"Who are you."

"Name's Nanu. Acerola asked me to keep an eye on her trial goers, make sure the ghosts don't go too far, stuff like that. Come on, I'll show you back to your campsite."

Without another word, Nanu turned around and walked away, Ash following close behind. After another few minutes, Ash found them back at his campsite as the sun rose overhead.

"Thanks, Mr. Nanu..."

Ash turned around, having overtaken the man, only to not see him anywhere.

"Huh? But where did-"

"Oh Ash, looks like you made it!"

Ash turned around to see Acerola running up to him.

"Congratulations! I hope you didn't have too much trouble."

Ash considered mentioning being attacked, but decided against it. After all, she had warned him that the ghosts loved to play tricks.

"No, not too much."

"Well, as I promised, the Ghostinium Z is yours."

Ash grinned broadly as he held the light purple crystal in his hand.

"Alright! I got a Ghostinium Z!"

"Pika Pi!"

Acerola smiled, happy to see another challenger pass her test.

"Come on, lets go show everyone."

The two turned and walked away. Unbeknownst to them, lurking in the shadows was a Mismagius, glaring at Ash before slinking back into the graveyard.

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