Chapter 94: Friends Till the End
"Swellow, I choose you!"
"Swellow vs Trumbeak, begin!"
"Trumbeak, hit him with a Rock Blast!"
"Use Aerial Ace to dodge, Swellow!"
Swellow was swift, briskly avoiding all of the stones Trumbeak launched at him before ramming his opponent in the gut, sending Trumbeak reeling around in an attempt to stay aloft.
"Air Slash, Swellow!"
"Fly through it and hit him with Steel Wing!"
Although it was difficult, Trumbeak flew right up the current and slashed Swellow with its steel coated wing, sending Swellow tumbling towards the ground, giving it just enough time to straighten out before hitting the hard ground.
"Alright Swellow, enough fooling around! Brave Bird!"
"You too, Trumbeak!"
The two flying types surrounded themselves in energy then flew right at each other, hitting each other as they passed. For a moment, everything was still...
Until Swellow fell out of the air, hitting the ground hard as it lost consciousness.
"Swellow is unable to battle! The round goes to Trumbeak!"
"Alright, way to go Trumbeak!"
Suddenly, Trumbeak began glowing and growing, much to Ash's surprise. Once the glowing had stopped, a proud Toucannon stood where Trumbeak once stood.
"Alright, Trumbeak evolved!"
Just then, Ash's rotomdex flew out of his Pocket, making sure to take plenty of pictures before spouting off its data.
"Zzzt, new entry acquired! Toucannon, the Cannon Pokemon, and the final evolved form of Pikipek. Its beak heats up to two hundred degrees, and its peck can inflict a serious burn."
"Congratulations Ash, but this battle is far from over! Go, Manectric!"
"Manectric vs Toucannon, begin!"
"Manectric, hit him with Thunder Wave!"
Faster than Ash could utter a command, Manetric shot out a small bolt of lightning, paralyzing Toucannon.
"You're not playing around, are you Max?"
"You asked for my best, and I intend to give it to you! Now hit him with Discharge!"
"Well we're not giving up yet! Use Double Team!"
Manectric howled, letting loose a torrent of electricity that jolted around the battlefield. Toucannon created an army of duplicates, but each one was destroyed as quickly as it appeared.
"Toucannon, try to avoid the electricity and Drill Peck!"
Despite the pain, Toucannon dodged the bolts as quickly as it could, managing to avoid most before landing a hard peck right on Manectric's head. The electricity was strong, however, and Toucannon was starting to feel worn out, but he had to keep going.
"Peck, Toucannon, and keep at it!"
"Thunder Fang, and don't stop!"
Manectric, in spite of the constant beak assaults on his head, clenched his teeth down hard on Toucannon's wing, sending bolts of electricity through its body as their onslaughts continued. But at last, the pain was too much, and Toucannon fell over unconscious.
"Toucannon is unable to battle, the round goes to Manectric!"
With the scored tied up, Ash began to feel his blood pumping. Max was giving him a hard fight, and he was loving every minute of it.
"You've really grown up, Max. Lycanroc, I choose you!"
"Lycanroc vs Manectric, begin!"
"Manectric, use Wild Charge!"
"Impede him with Stone Edge, Lycanroc!"
Manetric began racing across the battlefield, wild bolts of energy forming around its body. Lycanroc, not one to take a hit head on, stomped the ground, creating large pillars of rock that rose up in its path. Manectric managed to dodge all but one, which shot up from beneath him, though he quickly landed on his feet.
"Lycanroc, use Rock Tomb!"
Lycanroc howled, creating walls of rock to entomb Manectric. The electric type hound tried to break free, but the rock held strong.
"Now Lycanroc, use Accelrock!"
Lycanroc howled proudly, charging headfirst right into the entombed Manectric, breaking it free of its prison but also sending it flying. When it landed, it was down for the count.
"Manectric is unable to battle! The round goes to Lycanroc!"
Max wearily returned Manectric to its Pokeball, sweat running down his face. He was down to his last Pokemon, compared to Ash's two. If he was going to win, he had to be smart about it.
"We can still do this. Go, Gardevoir!"
"Gardevoir vs Lycanroc, begin!"
"Future Sight, Gardevoir!"
Gardevoir concentrated deeply, ignoring growing sandstorm around her. This made Ash worry. At any moment, an attack could come out of nowhere, so he had to keep on guard.
"Get in close with Fire Fang, Lycanroc!"
"Dazzling Gleam, then Psycho Cut
Lycanroc tried to charge Gardevoir, but she blinded him with a brilliant flash of light, stopping him in his tracks as he tried to clear his vision. He regained it quickly, only to be beset by blades of psychic energy.
"Alright Lycanroc, hit her with Earth Power!"
Lycanroc concentrated, summoning waves of geothermal energy, ready to strike with full force...
Only to be hit from behind by an unseen force, Gardevoir's Future Sight attack coming true. Sadly, that was the nail in the coffin for him, and he fell over unconscious.
"Lycanroc is unable to battle! The round goes to Gardevoir!"
Ash smiled, petting Lycanroc before returning him, much to Lycanroc's content.
"Good job, boy, you did great."
He then turned to Pikachu, who had been sitting on a bench behind him.
"You ready, buddy?"
Pikachu leapt up, small sparks of electricity running along his cheeks as he smirked confidently. This was it, the final bout.
"Gardevoir vs Pikachu, begin!"
"We're not taking any chances, Ash! Gardevoir, Mega Evolve!"
Gardevoir nodded, allowing herself to be enveloped by the energy emitted from Max's keystone before reaching her mega evolution, ready for battle. Ash gulped, this was gonna be tough.
"Don't be afraid, Pikachu! Go at her with Iron Tail!"
"Psycho Cut, just like we practiced!"
Gardevoir raised her arms, and prepared her attack. But instead of sending small blades of psychic energy, she built it up in her own arms, which she used to block Pikachu's Iron Tail. Pikachu wasn't one to give up, and kept going at it with the same results until Gardevoir caught his tail with both arms, trapping him.
"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt!"
Pikachu, seeing his opponent building energy within herself, sent a small but powerful shock from his body down through his tail, but all that did was annoy Gardevoir. Enraged, she unclasped his tail before unleashing a massive shockwave, sending Pikachu flying towards the back wall.
"Pikachu, save yourself using Electro Web!"
Thinking fast, Pikachu shot out a web of electricity, bouncing off of it before any major damage could be done to him as he lowered himself to the ground. Max smiled at this.
"Good old Ash, always thinking of ways to innovate your battling techniques. But its not over yet! Gardevoir, use Zen Headbutt!"
"Volt Tackle, Pikachu!"
Nodding, the two flew at each other, each surrounded by psychic and electric energy respectively. They clashed in the middle in a dazzling display of power before being thrown back by the explosion, panting heavily.
"Alright buddy, time to end this! Gigavolt Havoc!"
"Two can play this game, Ash! Shattered Psyche!"
Gardevoir threw her hands out, telekinetically throwing Pikachu about before hurling him towards a wall. Before he hit it, Pikachu let loose a humongous burst of electricity, hitting Gardevoir head on as a massive explosion rocked the field. When the dust settled, both Pokemon were on the floor defeated, much to the referee's confusion.
"Um, both Pokemon are unable to battle! Please stay with us as our judges determine how to...huh?"
Slowly, Pikachu picked himself up, badly injured but conscious. Gardevoir, however, remained on the ground. With a nod from Hala, the referee made the call.
"Gardevoir is unable to battle! Pikachu is the winner, and the battle goes to Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town!"
"Alright buddy, you did it! Way to go!"
Despite losing, Max smiled, happy to have had such a tough fight. After returning Gardevoir, he walked over and shook Ash's hand.
"Good battle, Ash. I guess Top 8 isn't too bad..."
"Hey, don't be too hard on yourself. I only made it to the top 16 in my first League!"
Max smiled coyly at this.
"Oh? Well then, I must be a better trainer than you. I made it the top 4 in the Hoen League!"
"What? Why you-"
Max laughed as Ash chased him, being much too quick for Ash to catch him. May, who had seen the entire exchange, chuckled nervously.
"Boys will be boys, I suppose."