Pokemon: Legendary Adventures (The Journey Begins) @flyg0n
Don't Gabite Off More than You Can Chew

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Echo (Male Golbat) {Ability: Inner Focus} - Confuse Ray, Poison Fang, Crunch, Wing Attack

Hazard (Male Joltik){Ability: Compound eyes} - Bug Bite, Electroweb, String Shot, Giga Drain

Rascal (Female Tyrunt) {Ability: Strong Jaw} - Dragon Tail, Ancient Power, Stomp, Crunch

Anubis (Male Houndoom) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Flamethrower, Bite, Thunder Fang, Howl

Scrapper (Male Breloom) {Ability: Effect Spore} - Seed Bomb, Mach Punch, Stun Spore, Giga Drain

The next morning, he awoke feeling surprisingly refreshed. He briefly glanced at his Poketch. 10am. His body still ached slightly, and he had to wear the brace on his wrist for another couple days, but sleeping in had done wonders. He let out a yawn and stretched, pushing away the last traces of drowsiness. There, at the foot of his bed, Scrapper stood, his stubby arms crossed and a fierce frown on his face.

"Good morning to you too." He swung his legs off the bed and stood up. As he started his usual routine, he double checked his bag, ensuring he had everything packed. He'd spent nearly a week in Hearthome, and he was more than ready to get back on the road again. And judging by how Scrapper was watching him, the Breloom was equally eager to get back to training. Less than a half-hour later, he left the Pokemon Center and was making his way through town. His pokeballs were arrayed on his belt, everyone safely tucked inside, though he was looking forward to releasing them once he got back on the road.

He saw a few families out and about, and a few children as well, although there was still a tension present. At least Hearthome seemed to be recovering, he reflected. As he passed near one of the entrances to Amity Square, he noted the closed sign and yellow caution tape across the entrance. His mind flashed back to Entei again. It had been so strange...

Shaking himself, he turned his eyes on the road ahead. A crowd of people gathered around an electronic store caught his attention. He paused. A news broadcast was playing on one of the display TV's.

"-an attack took place at Amity Square. According to reports, a large fire-type Pokemon is thought to be responsible for the attack. Large portions of the park were damaged in the attack. However, experts believe that the park will be reopened by the end of the month. The greatest question still remains - what really caused the attack? Initial reports suggest a rogue Arcanine may be responsible for the attacks. Investigators are currently looking into the situation, and we will continue to deliver the latest updates. This is Holly Holloway with Sinnoh News -"

Koa continued on, tuning out reporter's closing remarks. Well, that was a relief. He guessed he'd been the only person to catch a clear glimpse of Entei at the park then. Or rather, the Thing that Looked like Entei. He was still mulling over the appearance of two Entei's. Did the beasts somehow have evil twins? Or was one a fake? And if it was a fake, how was it so powerful? Or there really could be multiple.

Soon, he approached the East Gate of Hearthome. After checking in with the guard, he continued through and onto Route 209. Once past the gates, he took a deep breath, inhaling the familiar scent of wilderness - earthy scents mingling with fresh greenery. The soft sounds of rustling grass tickled his ears and in the distance, Pidgey and Starly chased each other through the skies. The odd Taillow soared overhead, easily identifiable by their unique tails.

Koa sighed happily, then released Echo from his pokeball. The Golbat greeted him with his customary shriek before taking to the skies. He watched him flutter about for a few seconds, then set his attention on the road ahead. The first part of Route 209 angled east through a field, then ended in a few bridges spanning some streams. Given that the first section wasn't very long, he was sure he could make it through by the time night fell. According to his map, there was also a fairly well known honey tree just as Route 209 shifted north, and he figured it was the perfect spot to make camp.

For the next couple hours, he traveled in amiable silence, alone save for his Pokemon. Eventually, he spied the first of the bridges that spanned the small streams on the southernmost section of Route 209. A few trees hung over the bank of the stream. It would be the perfect spot for lunch, he decided. And after lunch, training.

xXx

"Alright everyone, time to train."

He was met with varying cries of eagerness, though Scrapper's shout was by far the loudest. He'd already done his usual exercises with his team - a warm-up, then some simple tasks, like trading attacks and honing their dodging. Now he wanted to move on to something else - move training.

He hadn't been able to accomplish everything he wanted during his last training session before he battled Fantina. Rounding out Scrappers moveset was first on his to-do list. Sky Uppercut would be an excellent addition, although anything after that would probably require a TM. He'd checked out the rest of Breloom's moves it could naturally learn, and nothing else really appealed to him. Anubis also couldn't learn much, given that Dark Pulse would require a TM. That just left Echo - he'd given it a great deal of thought, and he decided against teaching him Acrobatics. Instead, he hoped to turn Wing Attack into Air Slash. Between Crunch and Poison Fang, Echo already had good short range attacks. Air Slash would give him a much needed long range attack. At least, that was his plan for now. Once he reached Veilstone and bought some TM's, he wanted to switch up Echo's moveset again.

"Scrapper, you're up first." Koa took out his Pokedex and scanned quickly through the information on Sky Uppercut. Unlike other striking moves like Mach Punch, it wasn't just about throwing an uppercut. The user had to let energy suffuse their whole body, while still focusing energy into their fist. Then they had to use that power to leap upwards, even higher than they normally could, and deliver the punch. Of course, that was how the move could be used against flying types. Against a grounded foe, it would be a little simpler - Scrapper had to focus everything into his fist basically punch up through his opponent. Complex, but not terribly hard for a fighting type, especially after his past training with Kitto. The trainer and his Hitmonchan had really done wonders with Scrapper.

"So I think you can throw a punch well enough. We'll start by working on your jumping." He intended to set aside Stun Spore - useful as it had been, he wanted to capitalize on Scrapper's attacking. Besides, his Effect Spore ability would still give him an edge.

Scrapper's face grew serious, and he nodded. Koa glanced towards a tree not far off the path. A low branch jutting from the trunk made for the perfect training tool. With Scrapper at his side, he walked over to the tree. The branch reached a solid three feet above his head. "Let's start by working on your jump, okay buddy?"

With another grim nod, Scrapper squatted down and lunged upwards, Koa doing the same. Scrapper, of course, easily cleared the low branch and soared several feet higher than it. To his chagrin, Koa couldn't even graze his own target.

"Well, I guess you're better at this than me, huh?" Koa grumbled jokingly. After selecting a much higher target for Scrapper to practice on, he resumed the exercise.

For the next several minutes, he continued until he could barely stand. Scrapper continued well after Koa was forced to take a break. Eventually, the Breloom flopped onto the ground beside him, panting. The results were evident, however. Koa had finally succeeded in being able to just graze the lowest branch, while Scrapper could leap high enough to nearly clear the tree - a height of at least twenty feet.

"Alright, buddy, last step," Koa said wearily. "Just channel energy into your fist and swing upwards."

Scrapper turned to stare up at the highest point of the tree. Crying out defiantly he charged forwards then leaped upwards, his fist glowing light blue. He practically flew through the air smashing the highest branch of the tree and shattering it easily. A smirk spread across Koa's face as Scrapper landed and grinned. The move would be a nasty surprise for any airborne foes. With the airborne part of it mastered, using it on a grounded foe would be simple.

Koa glanced down at his Poketch and sighed. Training had taken longer than he expected. Air Slash would have to wait until tonight. He wanted to reach the honey tree soon, and nightfall would be here before long.

Returning his Pokemon, save for Echo, who seemed content to ride on his shoulders, and Hazard, who as usual had made himself a little nest in his hair, he continued onwards.

He hadn't been walking for long when a shadow passed over him and he glanced up. A massive Staraptor soared overhead. Koa's eyes widened and he briefly. Staraptor were somewhat uncommon in the wild. A closer look revealed a rider perched on its back. The Staraptor circled him once, then glided into a smooth landing a few feet away.

"Hello!" The rider called.

Koa instantly recognized the rider and Staraptor. "Hey Avis," he called.

She swung off Staraptors back and returned it before facing him. "Koa! What's up? Did you hear about that crazy attack at Amity Square?"

Koa shuddered at the memory, flashes of fire and shadows of a massive beast filling his mind. "I was there," he muttered.

"Oh," Avis said. "So was it really Entei, like the rumors say?" She asked, matter-of-factly.

Koa shrugged. "I don't think so." He decided against mentioning the two Entei's. He wanted to look into it more first. "And I thought they were blaming it on a rogue Arcanine. Where did you hear about an Entei?"

"I'm an investigator, remember? The Arcanine story is what the news is saying. But Entei was sighted in the area the day before, right? So, giant fire, giant fire type pokemon. It's not a huge stretch."

"You've got a point," Koa admitted. He averted his eyes, reluctant to say any more. But if she had figured that out, no doubt others might soon make the connection. Then again, it couldn't be helped, he supposed.

"Hmm..." Avis tapped her chin, staring at him briefly before shrugging. "Well, there's not much that anyone can do right now. So where are you headed?"

"Solaceon, then Celestic. And after that, Veilstone for my next badge."

"Mind if I tag along a bit? I'm planning on heading over to Veilstone as well."

Koa shrugged. "Sure." Some company would be fine, he supposed, considering Avis was decent company.

"Great!" Avis said. With a grin, she started down the path. Koa followed her, and they walked in amiable silence. Before long, they had crossed the final bridge and onto the northern section of 209. He'd hardly stepped off the bridge before Echo launched off his shoulder with an ecstatic shriek. He flew into the dusk, disappearing in the direction of a grove of trees.

Avis watched him fly off, then cocked her head. "What's up with your Golbat?"

Koa chuckled and shook his head. "He's kinda obsessed with honey. There's a honey tree nearby where I was planning on making camp, so knowing him he's there already. And knowing him, I'm sure it'll be impossible to drag him off of it."

Avis snorted. "You sure have a weird Golbat."

Koa simply rolled his eyes. Despite her directness, he knew by now she didn't mean it with any cruelty. Besides, she was right. His Golbat was weird.

A few minutes later, they had reached the small grove of trees, with the honey tree in the center. As he suspected, Echo was already clinging to the tree, his jaws wrapped around the trunk as he licked up some honey. After a moment, he flopped onto the ground, looking quite sad.

"Not much honey, huh?" he asked. Echo made a noise like a whine, his wings drooping. He was actually pouting. "I'll buy you some in Solaceon, ok?" Or two he thought. No reason not to keep a few extra jars around for his first friend. He patted Echo sympathetically, then began to set up camp.

In a few minutes, he had everything set up - tent, sleeping bag, and the incubator with the egg sitting beside his bag. Avis had a tent of her own, and a rather nice one at that. It was big, almost unnecessarily so. He privately wondered if it was a girl thing. Kitto's tent was quite small in comparison. Perhaps it was just Avis though. He settled for a simple meal of a sandwich he'd bought, while Avis built a small fire and began cooking. She offered him some, but he turned it down. There would be plenty of time on the much longer north-south stretch of 209 to cook a nice meal. Right now, he had only one thing on his mind. Training.

As she continued cooking, he released the rest of his team to eat and stretch their legs. After Echo had (as usual), devoured his in only a few bites, he nodded to the Golbat. "Okay Echo, it's time to work on you."

Echo squeaked curiously and hopped over to stand at Koa's feet. "We're going to learn Air Slash tonight." At the mention of the rather advanced flying-type technique, he shrieked eagerly and hopped up and down. Koa silently wished he possessed Echo's enthusiasm. It wasn't that he wasn't excited to train, but until now, Echo's moves primarily relied on physical prowess. He didn't know much about how to really help him learn a special attack. Confuse Ray hardly counted either, given that it was more of a status move than attack. Well, when in doubt, research.

He flipped open his Pokedex and opened a page on Air Slash. In theory, the attack was simple. It involved gathering up flying type energy in the user's wings. The user would then flap its wings and direct the energy towards its target. What really intrigued him was that apparently, with sufficient mastery of the attack, the user could actually shape the energy into different forms.

"What move are you trying to teach him?"

Koa jumped in surprise at the sound of Avis's voice coming from behind him. Composing himself, he said, "Air Slash. I really want him to have a good distance attack."

"Want help?" she offered.

He looked at her quizzically, then remembered - her Noctowl had used the technique in the tag battle they'd had some weeks ago. "That would be sick!" he said. A Pokemon tutoring another Pokemon was almost always the fastest method for learning an attack. There were a few exceptions, of course, but overall, it could shorten the training period from days or hours to maybe an hour or two.

"Alright Noctowl, come on out!" Avis tossed out a pokeball, releasing Noctowl. It hooted in greeting, and Avis patted it on the head. It cooed appreciatively before turning its sharp gaze on Echo.

"Noctowl, this is Echo. Think you can teach him how to use Air Slash?" Noctowl stared unblinkingly at the Golbat, clearly sizing him up. It hooted and gestured with one wing at Echo, then looked at Avis. Her eyes widened slightly. "Are you sure?" Noctowl hotted again and nodded sagely, before turning its burning gaze back on Echo, who glared back with equal ferocity.

"What's he saying?" He paused, giving Avis a questioning look.

"He says he wants to battle Echo first."

Koa sized up Noctowl thoughtfully. The Noctowl had shown excellent prowess during the tag battle against the rangers. But Koa felt confident. He'd trained a lot since then, and Echo was much, much stronger. "We accept."

Echo shrieked and rose into the air, glaring down at Noctowl, who regarded him coolly. With a flap of its wings, Noctowl rose into the air. Avis grinned excitedly as she got into position. "You ready?" she called.

Koa jogged backward a few feet. "Ready to win!" he retorted. Echo shrieked in agreement. Noctowl remained silent, his red gaze unreadable.

"Your move," Avis taunted.

Koa stared evenly back at her, evaluating her and Noctowl. "Echo, Wing Attack."

At nearly the same time, Avis gave her command. "Peck."

Echo darted through the air, both wings alight with energy. Noctowl's beak took on a white glow, lengthening slightly, then he launched himself through the air towards his opponent.

Echo tried to twist in the air and dodge, but in an impressive aerial display, Noctowl turned midair and pecked Echo hard. He tumbled through the air a few feet but quickly caught himself.

"Confuse Ray," Koa called. Echo blasted out the golden orbs, striking Noctowl easily - at this range, it was virtually impossible to dodge.

Noctowl let out a hoot of distress and hovered in the air, in a daze. Avis grimaced.

"Hang in there, Noctowl. Echoed Voice!"

To Koa's surprise, Noctowl managed to fight through the confusion, open his beak, and let out an agonizingly loud call. The soundwaves blasted over Echo, pushing him backward. Koa winced. Even from here, the noise was almost deafeningly loud. "Wing Attack!" he shouted.

Echo gave the barest nod of acknowledgment, then dipped downwards, just outside the cones of sound, and flew upwards towards Noctowl, wings glowing.

"Air Slash!" Avis called. Noctowl shut his beak and his wings began to glow. Then, without warning, he began striking himself repeatedly with his own wings. Koa grinned. There was something extremely satisfying about seeing confusion do its work. A moment later, Echo was upon Noctowl, battering him with Wing Attack.

"Knock it away with Extrasensory." There was a brief delay as Noctowl struggled to fight away another bout of confusion. Then his eyes glowed bright blue. A wave of energy materialized and slammed Echo backward.

Koa scowled and mentally reprimanded himself. If only he'd used Poison Fang instead. He'd underestimated Noctowl's strength - he was nothing like some of the weaker Pokemon Echo had faced. Those had gone down after a few self-inflicted injuries. He'd have to think smarter than that from now on if he wanted to win against stronger foes. But if he hurried, there was still time to correct his error.

In an instant, he called his attack. "Poison Fang!"

Echo flew forwards, his fangs already glowing a deadly purple.

"Dodge!" Avis called, her voice going up a notch in worry. At the last second, Noctowl managed to dodge. Echo shot past, twisted around, and sank his fangs into Noctowl's wing. Noctowl hooted in pain and flapped about erratically, desperately trying to shake off his opponent.

"Extrasensory!" Regaining his composure, Noctowl blasted Echo off his wing with a wave of psychic energy. Echo was thrown to the ground but managed to land. He glared up at Noctowl, who appeared to have been jolted out of his confused state, but had been badly poisoned. Echo panted slightly, and Koa could tell he was wearing out. Noctowl was a tough foe.

Koa couldn't help but grin anyway. At least now the battle had a timer.

"Air Slash," Avis called. Noctowl rose into the air, his wings glowing light blue, then swept his wings downwards, sending dual blades of wind shooting at Echo.

"Dodge!" Koa shouted quickly. Echo lunged sideways, narrowly dodged the attack. The energy crashed into the ground, kicking up dust.

"Up in the air, Echo!" From his spot still on the ground, Echo was vulnerable and Avis knew it. Echo began to flutter up into the air, only for Noctowl to hurl another Air Slash at him.

Echo twisted sideways, the second attack passing by him an inch away.

Noctowl shreed angrily then flinched, as the poison took its toll.

"Wing Attack." Koa was confident one more strike could end the battle. Echo lunged through the air.

"Echoed Voice, keep it away." Noctowl flinched briefly, struggling to muster up the strength. He was clearly on his last leg. He opened his beak and let out a powerful blast of sound at Echo.

Echo flew into it head-on, wings glowing and eyes narrowed defiantly.

Koa grimaced, a flutter of nervousness growing in him. It was down to a battle of wills and strength.

Echo pressed forward, making steady headway, despite taking a beating.

Then Noctowl's cry was cut short. He went limp in the air and plummeted straight to the ground. He crashed into the soft earth, kicking up dirt and grass. Echo let out a triumphant shriek before falling to the ground, panting with exertion. Koa took a quick look at Noctowl. He was definitely down for the count. The toxic poison had done him in. Grinning, Koa raced across the field, dropping to his knees beside Echo, who gave him a weary but happy shree. "That was incredible! And now you get to learn Air Slash."

He glanced up to see Avis return Noctowl, looking annoyed. "That was impressive," she said finally, crossing the battlefield to him. "I can't say I'm happy about losing, but it was a good fight all the same. Your Golbat is very strong."

Koa nodded. "Thanks. So Noctowl will teach him Air Slash?"

"Yes. Just give me a moment to give him some berries, and then we'll start training."

A few minutes later, after both Noctowl and Golbat had recovered thanks to some handy Super Potions and berries, they stood in a clearing some distance away from their camp. Finally, it was time for training.

Noctowl fluttered into the air and hooted something to Echo, who then took flight. Noctowl raised his wings and they began to glow light blue. He glanced over at Echo, who was keenly observing everything and gave him a nod. Wind began to swirl around Noctowl, coalescing in front of his wings. With a mighty flap, he shot a blade of glowing energy across the clearing and into a boulder, easily cracking it. He landed and hooted encouragingly to Echo.

Echo narrowed his eyes and turned his gaze upon the same boulder. His wings began to glow with the white light of Wing Attack. With a shriek, he flapped his wings. Nothing happened, save for the faintest gust of wind, no more than he usually generated from flapping his wings. Echo scowled. He flapped his wings again, resulting in much the same effect.

Noctowl gave a cry of annoyance, then demonstrated the move again. Once more, Echo attempted to replicate it, with no success. Koa frowned. This was looking like it would be harder than he thought. With a sigh, he sat down to watch.

Thanks to Noctowl's guidance, it didn't take long for Echo to change his Wing Attack into blades of flying-type energy. Unfortunately, he had yet to make it past that - he could form up the blades of wind, but when he attempted to launch them, they would either disperse instantly or fade after just a few feet. After that, Echo's progress slowed significantly. Noctowl eventually took a spot on the sidelines, watching with his unblinking eyes.

"Alright Echo, thats good for now," he called. Echo seemed to only be growing more frustrated from his failures, not learning from them. Echo landed for the first time in the past few hours, and sank to the ground exhausted. He gave a soft shriek, his eyes downcast. Koa knelt next to him, gently scratching his head. "We'll get it soon. Take a rest for a bit, and we'll try tomorrow."

Echo made a grumbling noise but reluctantly nodded.

Koa returned to camp, retrieving a few berries from his bag for Echo. For the first time since he'd know him, Echo didn't devour the Pecha and Oran berries on sight. He simply chewed them glumly.

"Sorry. I wish I knew why your Golbat was having so much trouble. I guess it just takes some Pokemon more time," Avis said, sitting in front of her own tent.

Koa nodded but remained silent, his eyes fixed on Echo.

"Well, I'll be turning in for the night, I suppose. Good luck with training though. I'm sure he'll get it soon."

He watched her disappear into her tent, then turned his gaze back to Echo. The Golbat had fluttered up to a low hanging tree branch on the honey tree, and hung upside down, his wings wrapped around his body. His eyes just barely peeked out from over his wings.

Well, he might as well turn in for now. It was late, and he still had a lot of ground to cover before Solaceon. "Goodnight, Echo," he said quietly. Taking one last look at his friend, he retreated inside his tent.

xXx

At some point in the night, he found himself awake, staring up at the roof of his tent. He yawned, then glanced at his Poketch - 1am. He blinked and frowned. What had woken him? From somewhere outside he heard a faint whooshing noise. The noise faded for a few seconds, then returned. Perplexed, Koa climbed out of his sleeping bag and stepped outside his tent.

Outside, all appeared quiet, save for the usual nighttime noises - Kricketot mostly. The whooshing noise came again, and Koa glanced towards it. A good distance away, Echo hovered in the air, an intense look of concentration on his face. As Koa watched, Echo's wings glowed and he once again began to summon the familiar blades of energy. He flapped his wings, but the energy simply dispersed in a harmless gust of wind. So that was the noise he'd heard.

"Hey Echo," he called out softly. The Golbat fluttered down to land in front of him and made a despairing shree. "Have you been out here all night?" Koa asked worriedly. He gazed down at Echo. After a moment, Echo nodded his head.

Koa frowned. He guessed Echo was more upset than he realized. "You really want to master this move, huh?"

Echo nodded again.

A sudden rush of determination filled Koa. "In that case, we're gonna master the move tonight!" he shouted. He quickly covered his mouth and glanced over at Avis' tent. Fortunately, it seemed she had not woken.

Echo made a quiet shree of delight, hopping from one foot to the other.

Koa grinned at him. "Okay, let me see you do it again."

Echo nodded and sprang into the air. Once more his wings glowed. Air swirled around his body. Then he flapped his wings forward. A powerful gust of wind flew a few feet before fading into nothing.

"Hmm..." Koa stared at the move thoughtfully. There had to be more, some reason why Echo couldn't get the move right. Something Noctowl did unconsciously that he hadn't been able to tell Echo about. "Again," he said firmly. As Echo performed the technique, he watched it, trying to compare it to his hazy recollection of seeing Noctowl use the tactic. For the next almost half an hour, Echo performed the technique and Koa scrutinized it. And then it struck him.

"I've got it!" he whispered, loud as he could get without waking anyone. A wild grin spread across his face. "Echo, don't just flap your wings. Try thinking of it like gathering energy in your wings, then throwing them!" It was so simple, he couldn't believe he hadn't thought of it sooner, though he supposed Echo was unused to manifesting the kind of energy a special attack required.

Echo's eyes widened in understanding. For what Koa hoped was the final time, he rose into the air, his wings glowing with the usual energy. This time, however, he paused briefly, winds gathering around him, then threw his wings forwards. This time, blades of energy flew from his wings, arcing erratically through the air several yards before smashing into the branch of a nearby tree, rattling the leaves.

Koa threw his fist in the air and shouted a very soft, "yeah!".

Echo emitted a series of happy squeaks, fluttering and looping through the air in a victory dance, then dropped down on Koa's shoulders, excitedly wrapping his wings around his trainers head and body.

His squeaks sounded right next to Koa's ear, almost deafeningly, but he didn't care. The move had been sloppy, but Echo had done it. He'd performed Air Slash!

xXx

When his Poketch alarm went off the next morning - or rather, later that same morning - he almost smashed it in annoyance. It had been well past 3am by the time he'd turned in for the night. Yet he'd never been happier to stay up so late. Echo had successfully mastered Air Slash. It wasn't quite perfect, and he was far from wielding the kind of control an expert would, but the attack was solid, and he could aim it excellently.

With a groan, he shut off the alarm and sat up. According to his watch, it was 8am. Not bad, he supposed. He awoke to find Avis waking as well, looking enviably well-rested. She waved to him, then set about breaking down her part of the camp. He grinned to himself as he began breaking down his tent and putting his things away. Echo hung upside down from a branch of the honey tree, fast asleep. Koa quietly took out his black and gold ball and returned him. He had more than earned a long rest in the comfort of his pokeball.

Avis strode up to once her camp had been broken down. "So, did you want to practice more before we head out?"

Koa grinned at her. "Echo and I mastered it last night," he declared proudly.

"Whoa! That's great," Avis said. She slung her backpack over her shoulders. "In that case, are you ready to head out?"

Koa nodded, then set out for the main path. Avis followed him. As he walked contemplated using his bike - it would cut the almost week-long trip to Solaceon down by at least a couple days. In fact, he was sure if he used his bike he could be in Solaceon in two days, tops. Of course, that left less time for training and letting his team out for exercise. Or perhaps he could try both. His Pokemon were all strong and fit. They could handle being outside their pokeballs while he biked. If they wanted to, of course.

They hadn't been traveling for long when a familiar voice sounded somewhere to Koa's left. "Gabite, Dragon Rush!"

He stopped and glanced towards the call. A rather familiar caped figure stood in the midst of a field, commanding a Gabite. As he watched, the Gabite began to charge up an aura of blue light around its body. It lunged across the field, though before it had gone far, the blue light shattered and vanished, leaving behind what looked like nothing more than a Tackle attack.

"I'll be right back," Koa said. He turned and ran across the field towards the boy. "Cade!" he called.

Cade paused and turned, then gave a quick wave. He turned back towards Gabite. "Dragon Rush, one more time." Gabite grunted and nodded. The blue aura began to surround its body. It started to charge, but Cade held up his hand. "Wait. Concentrate," he said firmly.

Koa picked a spot a few feet behind Cade, well out of the way, and watched curiously.

Gabite growled, but nodded, remaining still. The blue aura became more distinct, almost appearing like a dragon itself.

"Now!" Cade cried.

In a blur of speed, it shot across the field at a large boulder. This time, the aura remained intact as it charged. A moment later, it crashed into the boulder, shattering it into a hundred tiny pebbles and sending up an explosion of dirt. Koa's eyes widened. "Sick," he murmured. Dragon Rush was a very powerful dragon-type move, and difficult to master. It was a testament to Cade's skill with Dragon-types.

Gabite cheered loudly, then trotted back to Cade. Cade scratched affectionately under its chin. "Excellent work, my friend." He stood up and faced Koa.

"Hello, Koamaru. It is good to see you again. How is your Tyrunt?"

Koa grinned. "She's great! We've really bonded, thanks to your suggestion." He fondly remembered the night he'd spent on the mountaintop with her.

Cade returned the smile. "That is good to hear. And how goes your pursuit of badges?"

Koa took his badge case out of his pocket. "Four so far. I'm on my way to Veilstone for my fifth." He glanced at the Gabite. "Did you evolve Gible?"

Cade nodded. "Indeed. Just a few days ago, actually. I would have evolved her sooner, but I desired her to master the basics of Dragon Rush first."

"Sick! Hey, how about you battle Rascal - my Tyrunt - again? I'm sure she'd love a rematch after last time."

"How about it, Gabite?" Cade asked, glancing at his Pokemon. Gabite growled eagerly, its eyes flashing. Cade chuckled softly. "I believe my Gabite agrees. Let us battle."

The words had hardly left Cade's mouth before Koa tossed out Rascal's pokeball. She emerged with a loud roar, then glared across the field at her opponent. Unlike last time, when she'd been slightly taller than Gible, she now had to look up slightly to meet his gaze. For several seconds, the two glared at each other, locked in a contest of wills. Koa picked a spot a good distance away. Rascal snorted and glared one final time at Gible, then stalked across the field to stand in front of Koa.

"One on one?" Cade called.

"Sounds good. And, just to make things more interesting, how about a little bet?"

Cade cocked his head curiously. Koa continued. "10,000poke to the winner." It was a generous sum, and Koa was sure he would feel it if he lost, but he was also sure he wouldn't lose.

Cade gave a small nod in acceptance. "That is acceptable. Shall I have the first move? Or would you care for the honors?"

"Be my guest," Koa said, gesturing grandly.

"Gabite, Slash." The claws on Gabite's forearms glowed white and lengthened twice their size. With a snarl, it charged across the field towards Rascal.

"Show them your jaw strength! Counter with Crunch!" Rascal grinned, her jaws shimmering with dark energy. A moment later, Gabite slashed towards Rascal's head. She twisted to the side, then sank her jaws into Gabite. Gabite roared angrily, then brought its other claw down on Tyrunt's head.

Koa winced as the blow knocked Rascal off, though not without leaving Gabite looking bruised.

"Dig!" Cade snapped. Faster than Koa could blink, Gabite dove into the ground.

"Jump!" Koa shouted. Tyrunt leaped into the air just as Gabite erupted from beneath her.

Cade didn't hesitate. "Dragon Rush!"

"Dragon Tail!" Koa snapped.

Gabite's body glowed and a blue aura wreathed its body. A shimmering green glow enveloped Tyrunt's tail. As Gabite shot upwards towards Rascal, she spun midair and angled her tail straight at her approaching opponent.

Both dragon-type moves collided, sending waves of energy crackling outwards. For a tense few seconds, both Pokemon hung in the air, locked in a battle of wills. Then gravity reared its head. Energy exploded from the two Pokemon, and Gabite was sent crashing to the ground, while Rascal was launched into the air before arcing to the ground. At the last moment, she caught herself, cratering the ground slightly as she landed on her feet. Koa glanced towards Gabite, who'd managed to stick the landing, though it had briefly dropped to one knee. It stood up and growled, a gesture that Rascal returned.

"Impressive indeed," Cade called. "Now, Dual Chop." A green glow enveloped Gabite's arms. Koa recognized it as a dragon-type technique. Definitely not something he wanted Rascal to get hit by.

"Ancient Power!" A silver sphere materialized in front of Rascal's jaws and she fired it at Gabite.

"Charge in!" Koa called. She raced after the boulder. Gabite raised its claws in an 'x' shape and charged straight through Ancient Power. The boulder shattered, revealing Tyrunt a half foot behind it.

"Dragon Tail!"

Gabite's arm smashed into Rascal's snout, making her stagger. She recovered quickly and stepped forward, then spun and swung her tail around, clipping Gabite and sending him sliding backwards.

"Quick, Crunch!" She lunged across the field and leaped upwards, sinking her teeth into Gabite's head.

"Get it off with Dragon Rush!"

Koa eyes widened. The blue aura expanded from Gabite's form, sending Rascal flying. She hit the ground hard and slid a few feet. "Rascal?" he called. Slowly, she stood up, a defiant gleam in her eyes. Gabite glared back at her, its chest heaving with exhaustion, tired though not defeated. Koa glanced at Rascal. Dirt covered her hide along with a few faint scrapes - she was nearing the end of her strength. One more hit could end the fight. Maybe...

"Ancient Power," he called. A low growl built up in Rascal's throat and she gathered her energy and formed a large silver sphere. With a roar, she shot it across the battlefield.

"Dodge with Dig," Cade said.

Perfect. "Jump up!"

Rascal leaped into the air again. However, instead of emerging from directly underneath Rascal, Gabite emerged from behind. Cade's voice echoed calmly across the battlefield."Slash."

For the first time Koa could recall, he blanked. The split second of hesitation cost him.

Gabite brought down its glowing claw on top of Rascal's head, sending her hurtling to the ground. She smashed into the floor, cratering it and kicking up dust, dirt, and grass. But the debris wasn't enough to block him from the truth - Rascal had lost. She lay, splayed out in the dirt, eyes shut and body limp. Gabite landed neatly next to her and roared in triumph.

A strange, gnawing feeling bubbled in the pit of Koa's stomach as he returned Rascal. Unconsciously, he gripped her pokeball tighter. He'd been so sure he could win this time. He'd come so far with her, since the first time he'd fought Cade. And that battle had hardly been a real fight. It had simply been training. He tucked the fossil ball back onto his belt and sighed. Perhaps if he hadn't assumed how Gabite would use Dig...He pushed the thoughts away. With a heavy heart, he looked up at Cade, who was praising his Gabite, scratching under her chin and murmuring to her.

"Good job," he said, striding over to him. As much as it frustrated him to say, it was true too. Cade had fought excellently, and his Gabite was strong.

"You performed excellently as well," Cade said, smiling genuinely. "I am glad to see the progress you made with Tyrunt."

Koa bit back his brewing anger. Cade had been nothing but helpful and didn't deserve any anger. It would be unfair to him. "Thanks." His gaze hardened slightly. "We'll beat you next time though," he said, his voice bristling with determination.

Cade smiled and nodded. "We shall see. No strength is absolute, I always say. You may beat me, but I may beat you again. So what are your plans from here?"

"After I pass through Solaceon, I want to head over to Celestic Town first, then Veilstone," Koa replied.

"Ah, an excellent choice. I am sure you will find the ruins there fascinating. If you are up for the challenge, you might also consider visiting Grandma Wilma."

"Who?"

Cade chuckled before continuing. "She is not anyone's actual Grandma, however, she is an elder highly experienced in Dragon-type Pokemon. She is also one of the few people in Sinnoh who could teach your Tyrunt Draco Meteor."

Koa's eyes widened. Draco Meteor was often heralded as the strongest of all Dragon-type moves, but as nearly impossible to learn. It required the aid of an experienced tutor since no Pokemon could learn it naturally or even through TM. It had to be taught or passed down through genetics. "Where can I find her?" he asked eagerly.

"All I can say is she lives at the very northernmost point of Route 210. Though you'll only find her if you truly seek her. She will not tutor those who are faint of heart."

Nodding slowly, Koa pondered the thought. He wasn't sure if he really wanted Rascal to learn Draco Meteor. As ridiculously powerful as the move was, it still had its drawbacks - it severely drained the special attack power of the Pokemon who used it. Either way though, he would try to pay her a visit. He was sure she knew more about Dragons than anyone else. If anything, she could help with training. "Thanks! I'll keep an eye out." Koa sighed inwardly as he remembered the terms of their battle. "I owe you some money now, huh?"

Cade nodded. "Indeed." He wore a wry grin and seemed quite excited at the prospect of the sum of money he would receive.

Koa pulled up an app on his Poketch and typed in the Cade's trainer information. With a few taps, the deed was done, and the money transferred to Cade's trainer account. As he checked his new balance - a paltry 7000poke and change, he grimaced inwardly. It would take some time to earn back the money he'd lost. Oh well.

"Much appreciated, Koamaru. I must be on my way now. Perhaps we may cross paths again."

Koa murmured in agreement, though his thoughts were still on the battle and his loss.

Cade returned Gabite and gave him a wave of farewell before striding away. Koa watched him go, then turned his attention to Rascal's pokeball. There was something he had to do before he got back on the road with Avis.

He tapped the button, releasing her in a flash of light. When she emerged, she immediately roared. Her eyes narrowed in anger and she roared again.

"Rascal-" he began. She snarled at him, her eyes brimming with anger, then charged away, tearing up chunks of earth as she ran about. She snatched up a large rock and crunched it between her jaws, shattering it as easy as cracking an egg. She roared again and stomped about some more, pausing only to bite through more rocks.

She was actually throwing a tantrum. Koa would have laughed if not for the fact that he sympathized with her anger. He gave her another minute of stomping about, then called her over.

"Rascal," he said, keeping his voice firm yet kind. She stopped storming around and turned to look at him, her eyes still sparking with frustration.

"Come here," he said, holding out his hand. Some of her anger seemed to deflate and she walked over to him, head hanging low. She made an apologetic rumble but stopped short of touching him. She stared sullenly at the ground, kicking it absentmindedly with one clawed foot. Koa's eyes widened at her demeanor. Was Rascal... ashamed?

Leaning forward, he rubbed her head and she pulled away slightly at his touch. Koa frowned. That confirmed it. "Rascal, I'm not upset with you," he said calmly. She continued to stare at the ground. "I'm proud of you," he continued. "You were sick! That Gabite was really strong, and you got so close to beating it! I don't know if anyone else could have done so as well as you did." Rascal looked up at him. "And we're only going to get stronger from here! We'll train, and I'll help teach you a new move, and next time, we will beat him. Got it?"

Rascal stared at him for a few seconds, then gave a silent nod. A grin returned to her maw and Koa grinned back at her. He rubbed her scaly head and scratched under her jaw as he gazed into her eyes. A silent vowed formed in his thoughts. I won't let you down.

Echo (Male Golbat) {Ability: Inner Focus} - Confuse Ray, Poison Fang, Crunch, Air Slash

Hazard (Male Joltik){Ability: Compound eyes} - Bug Bite, Electroweb, String Shot, Giga Drain

Rascal (Female Tyrunt) {Ability: Strong Jaw} - Dragon Tail, Ancient Power, Stomp, Crunch

Anubis (Male Houndoom) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Flamethrower, Bite, Thunder Fang, Howl

Scrapper (Male Breloom) {Ability: Effect Spore} - Seed Bomb, Mach Punch, Sky Uppercut, Giga Drain

Well, chapter 15 is done! I hope everyone enjoyed the battle's against Avis and Cade. It seems Rascal has found a rival in Cade's Gabite. Will she be able to beat him next time?

And there still lingers the question - what was the Entei that Koa saw?

To address some things in the reviews -

I should make point of mentioning, I don't really like a lot of the later pokemon movies, which are often convoluted or cheesy, or just dumb. Especially not a fan of the Zoroark movie (although the pokemon is cool). I won't spoil the actual plot of my story, but suffice to say, I would never dream of copying or using a movie plot blatantly. So you won't have to worry about that.

I love the world of pokemon, but some of the shows/movies don't do a great job, which is why I'm writing fanfiction.

And to the reviewer who said that comparing Crobat to Staraptor is stupid, indeed it is. That was my intention, so thank you for noting that. Koa is a flawed character with a lot to learn about being a trainer.

James95: You know, I never noticed what poor luck Koa has with fire-types, lol. He does have a lot of bad encounters with them. And it would actually be cool to have a coordinator character show up at some point. I do love me some good side characters. I have a lot of other ideas for this story further down the line, so I'll definitely consider slipping in a good coordinator. I have a LOT of respect for them and I think it'd be neat to have Koa meet a good one.

That concludes my author's note, I believe. As always, thank you for reading and reviewing! I'm glad to see people are enjoying this!

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