Chapter 9: Trials and Tribulations
Ash sat on a couch, waiting for his Pokémon to heal. At last the Emergency Room doors opened, and Nurse Joy stepped out, Chansey following close behind with
his Pokeballs, Pikachu situated on top the stretcher.
"Your Pokémon are back to full health, Ash."
"Thanks, Nurse Joy."
"Of course! Good luck on your journey."
As Another person stepped up to heal their team, Ash made his way over to the phones. After dialing, the screen buzzed for a minute before Professor Oak came into view.
"Ah, Ash, did you complete my errand."
"I sure did. Professor Kukui gave the egg to one of his assistants to look after. Has mom told you about my new journey?"
"She sure has. Let me guess, you need one of your old Pokémon? Very well, you know the rules. Just put one of your Pokémon on the transfer machine."
"Actually, I only have 3 Pokémon right now."
Ilima and Lillie sat on a bench outside the Pokémon center, waiting for Ash to finish his business.
"He sure is taking a while. I hope everything is alright."
"Don't worry, Lillie. I'm sure its nothing big. Maybe they're just busy today."
Their wait was soon finished when the doors opened and Ash walked out, a confident smirk on his face.
"Ash! Are your Pokémon all healed up."
"Yep. Sorry I took so long, but I had to bring in some reinforcements."
Ash brought out a Pokeball and opened it, revealing his fighting type bug Pokémon.
"Ilima, Lillie, meet Heracross. I caught him during my travels in Johto."
Pikachu jumped off of Ash's shoulder and ran over to his old friend, who was equally as happy.
"Interesting. I must ask though, why bring him over now? I would have thought you would catch another new Pokémon for my trial."
Ash laughed before responding.
"Well, yes, that is normally what I would've done. But this time around, I've decided to save room on my team for my old Pokémon as well. See, I've been to so many regions that I haven't been able to spend much time with my Pokémon back home. So this time I've decided to rotate Pokémon I catch here with my Pokémon back at Professor Oak's lab to give them more time to shine. And since you use Normal Type Pokémon normally, Ilima, I figured they would play
a big part in your trial, so Heracross seemed like the best choice."
Ilima smiled at Ash's explanation.
"A wise decision indeed, but you'll need more than a type advantage to beat my trial. If we're all ready, shall we be on our way? Verdant Cavern is just up ahead."
"Oh, um, well if everyone else is ready than so am I!"
"Excellent. Then lets be on our way
True to Ilima's words, they reached Verdant Cavern in 10 minutes. It was a small but expansive caves, with small burrows scattered throughout. Small bursts of sunlight streamed in through cracks in the celling.
"Man, this place is gorgeous."
"It feels so...tranquil but at the same time I get this odd feeling of being watched."
Ilima smiled, nodding before turning to the vast cavern.
"I agree, which is the reason why I chose this place as my trial site. Now, for the rules."
As Ilima said that, a Yungoos scurried past them, dashing into its burrow out of sight.
"Ah, perfect timing. My trial is simple: find the Normalium Z Crystal hidden in this cave. These Yungoos and Gumshoos are very territorial, and love taking any objects they can get their paws on. You may find it in any of their burrows, but be warned. They will fight for anything they think is rightly theirs. Also, you may not capture
any Pokémon here or leave until the trial is finished. Are you ready to begin?"
Ilima turned to Lillie
"Since you don't have any Pokémon besides Nebby, and he's not much of a battler, I must ask that you wait outside. We wont be long."
Lillie nodded, turning to leave.
"Good luck Ash!"
Once Lillie was safely outside, Ilima turned back to Ash.
"Yes, good luck Ash. Let the trial of Ilima begin!"
Ash nodded before scanning the area for any crystals. Deciding to search one of the burrows, he only found a Yungoos who was none to happy to have its sleep interrupted.
"Woah, not good! Go, Heracross!"
"Heracross, use Megahorn!"
The Yungoos ran at Heracross, only to be struck by his glowing horn. With a mighty grunt, the rodent was flipped into the air before crashing back down, out cold.
Seeing that the coast was clear, Ash stuck his hand into the opening...
Only to come up empty, no crystal inside.
"Dang it. Come on, Heracross. Its got to be around here somewhere."
This continued for several minutes. Ash scoured every inch of the room and battled every Yungoos or Gumshoos that came their way. Yet there was still no sign of a Normalium Z anywhere. Ash scanned the room once more before seeing a large opening in the back wall.
"Maybe its in the room back here."
Making his way up the ramp, Ash walked through the back wall and into a large clearing. In the middle was a pedestal, where a small Z crystal sat.
"That must be it! Lets go!"
Despite Pikachu's best efforts to dissuade him, Ash dashed over to the pedestal and snatched the crystal, smirking triumphantly.
"Alright, trial complete!"
"Pika, Pika Pika!"
"Huh? What's wrong, Pikachu!"
Ash turned around to see a towering Pokémon, larger than he had ever seen.
"Zzzzt, Gumshoos, The Stakeout Pokémon, and the evolved form of Yungoos. When it finds a trace of its prey, it patiently stakes out its location...but it's always snoozing by nightfall!"
The giant Pokémon snarled, but Ash held firm."
"Heracross, lets go! Use Megahorn!"
Heracross leapt forward, jabbing its horn into the Gumshoo's stomach. Hardly deterred, the giant used take down, forcing Heracross back.
"Counter, Heracross, then Arm Thrust!"
Recovering quickly, Heracross returned the attack quickly, once more jamming its horn at its with more force, causing the giant to roar in pain before Heracross began punching
Before Heracross could finish it off, a Yungoos came running to help, scratching at its leg.
"Hey, keep out! Heracross, Low Kick!"
With a swift kick, Heracross sent the Yungoos flying. Enraged that its ally was dismissed so quickly, Gumshoos took advantage of the distraction and attacked with Hyper Fang,
pushing Heracross back in pain. Gumshoos then began to charge him.
"Wait for it Heracross...wait for it...wait for it...alright, Focus Punch, now!"
Heracross ducked under the charging giant before dealing a swift punch to its gut, causing the Pokémon to roar in pain before collapsing, unable to go on any farther.
"Great job, Heracross. Return!"
As Ash returned his Pokémon, the Gumshoos slowly began to rise up. It nodded to Ash in acknowledgment before ducking back into the shadows to heal. Not wanting anything
else to jump out and attack him, Ash snatched the crystal, smiling before striking his victory pose.
"Alright, I just got a Normalium Z!"
"Well done, Ash!"
Ash turned to find Ilima and Lillie walking towards him.
"I saw everything, and I must say I am impressed. It usually takes a trainer a few tries to beat the Totem Pokémon."
"You see Ash, Totem Pokémon are super powerful Pokémon chosen and trained by us Trial Captains to act as the final boss of our trials. Anyone can beat a trainer, but to be able
to beat a gigantic and powerful Pokémon is a true sign that you've trained them well."
"Great job, Ash!"
"Now watch closely as I show you the proper way to unleash its power."
Ilima took four steps back, striking his arms in a Z shape before returning them to normal.
"And that's it. Once you've struck that pose, anyone of your Pokémon that knows a normal type move can upgrade it to a powerful normal type Z-move."
The trio made their way out of the cave and out onto route 3.
"If we take this route we'll make it to Iki Town in no time. There you'll face the Grand Trial of Melemelee Island, Ash."
"Sweet, lets get a move on!"
And with a confident stride, Ash and co made their way back to where their journey began, ready to tackle whatever came their way.
A/N: And the first trial is done! Sorry I didn't cover it in full, but since it would've pretty much been the same thing three times over, I decided not to bore you with the details. How'd you guys like Heracrosse's return? Don't worry, he won't be the only one making a return, but he will be with the crew for at least the next two chapters. Next time our heroes have an interesting trip back to Iki Town. See you next time!