Ash's Ultra Journey @darkknight55
Family Matters

Chapter 44: Family Matters

"Your mother?!"

Gladion and Lillie nodded, Lillie ducking her head in shame.

"Yes, our mother. She and our father founded the foundation, and for a time we were happy. But after our father disappeared, she became fully absorbed into her work, leaving Gladion and I to grow up practically without parents."

"Then we found out what exactly her research entailed. It all revolved around the Ultra Beasts and Ultra Wormholes and harnessing their power. It was then I realized I couldn't stay here a minute longer, and so I ran. But now, seeing Team Rocket invading my home, I don't even know what to think."

Lillie began to tear up.

"Gladion, when you left, I felt so scared. You were the only family I had left, and one day you were just gone. Just like father, and just like mother."

Gladion put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Lillie, but I had to act fast to get Null out of there. If I could go back and time and do things differently, I would."

"Ah, how sickening."

Everyone turned to find Faba sneering at them, juggling a Pokeball in his hand.

"Looks like the Rattatas have escaped their cage. Guess i'll have to send you back myself!"

He reached his hand to his communicator, but before he could call for backup Gladion rushed up and decked him before turning to the others.

"You go on ahead, I'll take care of him!"

"But Gladion-"

"GO!"

"Not if I- UGH!"

A quick knee to where the sun doesn't shine silenced Faba, sending him to the floor in pain and giving the others a chance to run. Barely able to stand, Faba snarled in fury.

"You'll pay for that, brat boy!"

He tried to punch him, but Gladion easily dodge before dealing a swift kick to Faba's head, sending him reeling.

"If you were half as smart as you say you are, you'd stay down. If you want to take me down, you'll have to do so in a Pokemon battle."

Faba laughed, despite his pain.

"You think you have what it takes to take me on? My age alone makes me superior."

"Wrong. In a Pokemon battle, it doesn't matter who you are. Both trainers are equal, its how they train their Pokemon that decides the outcome."

"Cute, but wrong. Still, if you wish to suffer a humiliating defeat, I see no reason not to oblige you."

After making ample space, the two prepared for battle.

"Go, Sneasel!"

"Snease!"

The Dark and Ice Type swiped its claws at Faba, ready to fight. Faba sneered.

"You're going to regret not sending out Type:Null. Go, Hariyama!"

The massive fighting type punched the air, doing its best to intimidate its opponents. Gladion growled in frustration.

"Regretting your choice now? Go ahead and switch, I don't mind. Either way, I'll still win."

"No. I need to become strong without solely relying on Null."

"Fine, have it your way. Use Focus Punch!"

"Dig, Sneasel."

Before Hariyama could reach him, Sneasel dug underground, confusing his opponent as it tried to figure out where his opponent would strike next.

"Now!"

The ground underneat Hariyama gave way as Sneasel sprung out, sending Hariyama into the air. He recovered quickly, however, and landed on the ground without problem.

"A good tactic, I'll admit, but it'll take more than that to win. Use Seismic Toss, Hariyama!"

"Dig, and keep it up."

Despite Hariyama's best attempts, Sneasel used its smaller body to its advantage, easily digging back into the ground each time before popping up again like a game of whack a Diglett. Hariyama reached into a recently dug hole, trying to grab its foe. This gave Gladion the chance he needed.

"Icy wind."

Before Hariyama knew it, his hand was encased in a block of ice, preventing his escape.

"Now use Psycho Cut."

Leaping out from behind, Sneasel unleashed waves of Psychic energy on the helpless Hariyama, who could only feebly swat at them in an attempt to fight back.

"Hariyama, use Arm Thrust!

Hariyama used his one good arm to deal a hard backhand to Sneasel, dealing massive damage to him, making Faba smirk confidently. But Gladion wasn't worried.

"Counter."

Faba's eyes went wide as Sneasel recovered, smirked before striking back twice as hard, knocking Hariyama down and out for the count to Faba's shock.

"No, that's not possible! You must have cheated!"

"I don't need to cheat when you're just that weak."

"Why you-"

A quick kick to the stomach was enough to shut Faba up, knocking him out cold. Satisfied, Gladion dug through his pockets until he pulled out a key card.

"This will come in handy later."

With that, he tied Faba up in a corner of the room before walking off to catch up with the group.

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