Pokemon: Legendary Adventures (The Journey Begins) @flyg0n
A Strategy for Success

I almost forgot to post this, lol. I've been on a big playing this super awesome game called Nexomon, which is a genuinely great pokemon-esque monster catching RPG. Anyway, there's an important A/N at the end of this chapter. Thank you! :D

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, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Howl

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

By the time Koa made his way back to Solaceon Town, everything was quiet. The sun had set, and the moon had begun to rise. A still peacefulness hung in the air, occasionally punctuated by the distance chirp of a Kricketot or far off cry of some unknown pokemon. Echo clung to his shoulders, but was still, perhaps reveling in the unusual peace. He slowed his pace to an amble, taking a moment to enjoy the scenery and the pleasant evening. Solaceon Town was quiet, peaceful. No street lights or lamps, or tall buildings with brightly lit windows.

It occurred to him that almost since he'd begun his journey, he'd simply been going. Always doing something, his mind always focused on the next goal. His one intentional day off had been disturbed by the appearance of Entei - something which he still thought about constantly - but since then, he'd been even more focused. Not that he thought of that as a bad thing he supposed. But for just this moment, he was happy to be at peace. Alone with his thoughts, his only company Echo perched quietly on his shoulders, and Hazard nestled in his hair.

Koa took a long deep breath. He let his thoughts wander, considering a variety of topics. He thought back to his days living in Canalave, preparing to become a trainer and his time researching legendaries. He was sure something didn't add up about the two Entei, but then he also knew there wasn't anything he could do for now, except train and grow stronger. He would train harder, until he had the kind of power to fight a legendary. It would take a long time, but he would do it. Perhaps he'd been focusing too much on strategy... If he'd been stronger, maybe he'd be able to stand more of a chance. Perhaps he would need to focus more on power.

His thoughts turned to Blake. He'd have to give his cousin a call when he got back to the Pokemon Center. Blake would be elated to know his Houndour had evolved. Maybe he could call Professor Rowan as well. Perhaps he had an answer about Rascal by now.

The sight of the familiar red roofed building caused him to hasten his pace slightly. A few minutes later, he found his way to the videophone screens. The room was quiet, and he had the area to himself as he dialed Blake's number.

Blake's familiar face appeared on the screen a couple seconds later. His cousin smiled. "Hey there Little K!"

Koa resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Hey Blake," he replied, smiling.

Blake's face turned grave for a moment. "I heard about what happened in Hearthome. Were you nearby when it happened?"

Koa nodded hesitantly. "I was in Amity Square, actually," he mumbled.

Blake's eyes widened and he opened his mouth as if to make a harsh comment, then paused. "You're ok, right?" He asked finally.

Koa held back a sigh of relief. He'd almost expected his cousin to freak out. "Yeah, I'm good. Better than good, actually," he added, grinning. Selecting Anubis' pokeball, he pressed it, releasing the houndoom. At the sight of Blake, he gave a happy bark, jumping up on the desk and nosing the screen.

"Anubis evolved?" Blake gasped. "Amazing! I know houndour species usually evolve fairly quickly but this is quite incredible! You've raised him well."

Koa grinned proudly, basking in the praise. "He knows Flamethrower and Dark Pulse now too," he added. He stroked Anubis short fur as he spoke, making sure to scratch just between his horns, which he seemed to like.

"Good. And how about the rest of your team?"

"They're doing great," Koa said excitedly. If there was one thing he loved as much as legendaries, it was his team, he realized. "Echo and Hazard are really strong. Echo learned Air Slash."

Blake grinned and his hand twitched, as if he were about to reach out. Koa was sure that if he'd been physically standing in front of Blake, his cousin would have ruffled his hair. He smiled inwardly in amusement.

"So what else is new?"

For the next couple hours, Koa filled in his cousin on everything that happened. His success in training, investigating the ruins, the people he'd met, and his egg.

"Hey Blake, before you go, can I ask something?"

"Of course."

"Do you know what makes a Golbat evolve?"

"Hmmm... Well, let's see. Usually, pokemon evolve through training and battle, as I'm sure you are aware. But Crobat, I'm not sure about. From what I remember, they can't naturally be found in the wild. Some Golbat have been recorded evolving during battle. And others in times of great need. So I would guess it has something to do with the trainer element."

"But is there some kind of specific trigger? An environment thing, or stone or some kind of move he needs to know?"

Blake frowned, considering, before shaking his head. The specific trigger itself isn't known, at least as far as I'm aware. Just keep training and battling with him."

Koa nodded thoughtfully, mulling over his cousin's words. "Ok, thanks." He grinned, then waved at the camera. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Little K."

Rolling his eyes, Koa hung up, then glanced at the clock. It was getting late, but not too late. Rowan would still be awake, he knew. He dialed the number and waited.

A minute later, Professor Rowan's familiar face appeared on screen. "Ah, Koa. I was wondering when you would call back."

"So do you have an answer then?" he asked eagerly.

A faint smile graced Rowan's face, though it was barely visible under his white mustache. "I do."

Koa leaned closer to the screen. He could feel one of Rowan's mini lectures coming on, but he was eager for it.

Rowan nodded to himself as he stroked his beard, then began. "Egg moves are a fascinating field of study. You see, there are many techniques a Pokemon can learn 'naturally' as it grows. For example, your Houndour - pardon me, Houndoom now - eventually learned Flamethrower, correct?"

Koa nodded.

"However, there are also special techniques they can't learn on their own, such as Dark Pulse. These can be learned through intense tutoring, or with a simple TM. Egg moves, however, are different. Sometimes, when the Pokemon's parents know a technique, this can be passed down through genetics. Once again, I will refer to your Houndour as an example. His mother was a Luxray, you see. Her knowledge of Thunder Fang was passed down through genetics to Houndoom. With most Pokemon, this is fairly simple. If the parent knows a technique, then the child may be able to." Rowan stroked his beard briefly. "Fossil Pokemon are a bit different, however. During the restoration process, certain latent genes are activated. Hence, a pokemon restored directly from a fossil will have the potential to learn any move, theoretically."

Koa's eyes lit up and he grinned widely. "That's awesome!" he said.

Rowan held up his hand. "That said, it will not be easy for her. It will not come naturally to her, nor is there a TM for that move. Your best bet is to find someone who is an expert in dragon-types."

Koa nodded, barely listening at that point. That was all he needed to know. Tyrunt had a chance of learning a technique like Ice Fang. "Thank you, Professor Rowan!"

"Hm... You're welcome, Koa. I trust you will keep me updated if you are successful. My colleagues will be very interested to know the results of your training."

"I will," Koa said. "I gotta go, Professor!" With a wave, he hung up the phone and pumped his fist in the air. This was beyond perfect. He glanced at the clock again. 10:29pm. Perhaps he could squeeze in a quick training session...

xXx

Koa tapped his foot impatiently and glanced at his watch again. 5:50pm. He knew he'd technically arrived too early for his battle with Avis, but he was excited. He'd been training last night and much of the morning and he couldn't wait to test his new skills against Avis. Anubis had mastered Dark Pulse, and Echo had only gotten better and better with Air Slash. His only annoyance was that he hadn't been able to make any progress with Ice Fang. Not that he expected to. Rascal had a long way to go before she would be able to utilize the technique. But the knowledge that she could was enough for him. He'd keep trying until she got it.

He focused his mind on his upcoming battle. He planned to win. He was still annoyed by his loss to Cade, but he wouldn't lose again. He'd worked hard on improving his pokemons power.

"Geez, how long have you been here?" Avis' voice chirped from beside him.

Koa glanced over. She stood a couple feet away, hands on her hips. She wore her usual outfit, leggings with a trenchcoat, and her cap. "Finally!" He started for the training field. "I think I've been waiting for hours."

Avis followed. "That's on you for being here so early," she stated.

"So you came late because you were afraid to lose?" Koa replied, grinning wryly and stopping by the field.

"We'll see." Avis said. "How about a three on three, no substitutions, except for when one pokemon faints?"

"Sounds good to me," Koa said as he took up his place on the opposite side of the battlefield from Avis and grinned at her. "Ready?"

"Oh yeah," Avis declared. As she spoke, she took a pokeball from her own belt.

Koa grinned and selected a pokeball of his own. He knew exactly who he wanted to start the battle with.

"Go Anubis!" he tossed out the pokeball, and Houndoom emerged in a burst of light. He howled, eager for battle.

Almost simultaneously, Noctowl emerged on Avis' side of the field with a loud hoot.

For a brief moment, he stared across the field evaluating his opponent. Avis stared back, her gaze calm and even. "Howl," Koa commanded. As Houndoom howled, he briefly contemplated his next move. His best bet was to get in a couple good hits with Thunder Fang. But he also wanted to test Dark Pulse and Flamethrower -

"Echoed Voice!" Noctowl opened his beak and emitted an earsplitting cry. A burst of sound waves crashed into Houndoom, making him flinch.

He had to focus. "Flamethrower!" he snapped. Anubis let loose a stream of flames from his jaws, striking Noctowl hard. Koa's eyes widened in surprise. Anubis was stronger than he realized since his evolution. His attacks were more focused and accurate, and his response times and speed even better. Might as well keep the pressure up. "Dark Pulse!"

"Dodge," Avis cried.

Anubis opened his jaws and summoned a swirling beam of shadowy energy. Noctowl barely had time to swoop out of the way.

"Echoed Voice again," Avis called.

Koa grimaced. He knew exactly what her strategy was. Echoed voice, when used in succession, steadily increased in power. Its effects could be devastating if the user had enough time. "Dark Pulse, one more time," Koa said.

As Noctowl paused and opened his beak, delivering another focused soundwave, Anubis leaped into the air, allowing the attack to pass underneath him, then fired a blast of dark energy at Noctowl. Noctowl tried to dodge, but the beam caught his wings, sending him spiraling.

There was his opening. "Thunder Fang," Koa said. Anubis darted across the field towards the stunned Noctowl, faster than he ever had as a Houndour. His jaws became cloaked in electricity and he leaped through the air at Noctowl.

Avis eyes went wide. "Echoed Voice!" At the last second, Noctowl righted himself, opened his beak, and let loose an ear-splitting cry. Soundwaves struck Anubis, causing him to falter. He fell, caught himself, then leaped upwards again. This time, he caught Noctowl in his grasp, shocking him. Noctowl screeched as he was thrown aside, tumbling through the air.

"Flamethrower!" Anubis landed and shot a stream of fire from his jaws. Noctowl never had a chance to catch himself and dodge. The flames crashed into him. He screeched and crashed to the ground with a loud thud.

Koa grinned. Noctowl was unconscious.

Avis scowled, clearly disappointed. "Not bad, I'll give you that," she said, returning Noctowl.

"Thanks," he said with a smirk. "Good job, Anubis," he added, gazing proudly at his friend. Until now, he hadn't realized how strong Anubis had gotten since evolving. With the addition of Dark Pulse and Flamethrower, he realized that Anubis possessed a powerful moveset. Anubis snorted a puff of smoke and grinned. "So who's next?" Koa demanded.

Avis grinned, her confidence returning. "Come out, Glameow!" She tossed out a pokeball, released a gray-furred feline with a spring-like tail. Glameow was one pokemon he felt he knew fairly well, since it was Sinnoh native. Aside from TM's, he was pretty sure they couldn't learn anything too dangerous to Anubis. No reason not to keep his Houndoom out. "Think you're ready?" she called.

"Give it your best shot!" Koa snapped back.

"In that case, I'll go first," Avis said. "Glameow, Hone Claws." Glameow smirked and extended its claws, scraping them against one another in a blur.

Well, if that's how she wanted to play it... "Anubis, Howl."

As Glameow sharpened its claws, Anubis howled, energy coursing through him. It wasn't the most exciting beginning to a battle, Koa supposed, but it was crucial. "Flamethrower," Koa said.

"Dodge!"

As Anubis blasted the stream of fire at Glameow, she leaped gracefully to the right, dodging the flames. "Now, Slash!" She darted forwards, right up to Anubis. She reared up, her claws glowing and lengthening to twice their normal size.

"Dodge!" Koa called frantically. Anubis tried to leap back, but wasn't quite fast enough. Glameow slashed him across the face, eliciting a yelp of pain and surprise. Koa scowled. Glameow was faster than he expected. "Thunder Fang!" Anubis lunged forwards, catching Glameow by the scruff and shaking her, electricity crackling across her body.

"Slash," Avis said calmly.

Squirming free of Anubis' grip, she landed nimbly on her feet, then lashed out with her claws, catching him in a flurry of blows.

"Flamethrower," Koa snapped. Anubis reared back and let loose a jet of flame straight into Glameow's face, sending her flying backwards. Unsurprisingly, she managed to land on her feet. She hissed, glaring furiously at Anubis before shaking a layer of soot from her fur.

Koa frowned in thought. Clearly her Glameow excelled at close quarters combat. Keeping her at a distance would put her at a disadvantage. "Dark Pulse."

Anubis opened his jaws and blasted a swirling beam of dark energy at Glameow.

"Deflect with Slash!" Glameow charged forwards, her claws unsheathed. She slashed wildly at the Dark Pulse, managing to deflect most of it as she charged forwards.

"Flamethrower."

As Anubis once again shot a jet of flames at his opponent, Avis made her move.

"Dodge and use Play Rough!" Glameow skirted the Flamethrower, though she got herself grazed in the process. Darting across the field, she lunged at Anubis, and in a flurry, began striking him with glowing pink paws.

Anubis yelped from the attack. "Thunder Fang!" Koa called quickly. Recovering, Anubis sank his electricity cloaked jaws into Glameow. The attack tossed her backward a few feet, but she landed and yowled defiantly, tired but not spent.

"Slash! Finish this!" Avis called. In a blur, Glameow leaped forward, claws extended. She swiped at Anubis in a single, clean motion. Anubis staggered from the blow, then collapsed, unconscious. Koa stared, dumbfounded. Anubis had been weakened, yes, but he hadn't thought that he was hurt that badly. Unless... He scowled as he returned Anubis. Slash was one of a special category of moves that had a very high chance of getting what was known as a 'critical hit'. Striking in just the right manner to deal massive damage in a single blow. "Not bad!" he called.

"My Glameow's pretty tough, right?"

Koa nodded. He had to say, he was surprised by Glameow. Still, she wouldn't last long. She'd already taken a fair amount of damage during the battle. And he knew exactly who could finish her off. He selected his second pokeball and released its inhabitant. Scrapper burst onto the field, immediately throwing a few practice jabs and dancing about the field. Avis shrugged. "Your loss. Glameow, Slash." Glameow charged across the field, claw raised.

"Block it," Koa said confidently. Scrapper threw up his arms in an 'x' shape, deflecting the worst of the blow. Glameow lunged backwards, staying just out of range. She began to prowl around Scrapper, sizing him up. Koa waited patiently.

"Slash!" Avis called again.

Koa remained silent. Scrapper danced backwards, the attack just grazing him. Suddenly, tiny sparks shot across Glameow's fur and she flinched, her whole body seizing up. A devious grin spread over Koa's face. Effect Spore had kicked in, just as he hoped. And it appeared that it had paralyzed Glameow.

"Mach Punch." In a blur, Scrapper threw out his fist, too fast for Koa to track. The punch collided with the stuned Glameow, sending her skipping across the ground. In a daze, she pushed herself to her feet, flinching again from the paralysis. Across the field, Avis gritted her teeth and scowled. Koa couldn't help but grin smugly.

"Seed Bomb." Scrapper tilted his head upwards and launched a glowing green orb across the field, directly at Glameow. She tried to leap sideways out of the way, but her movement was slowed. The attack crashed on top of her, kicking up a cloud of dust, which quickly cleared. To Koa's surprise, Glameow was still standing.

"Try Slash!" Avis shouted, an edge of frustration creeping into her voice. Glameow shook her head, then numbly darted across the field. She lashed out with her claws, managing to catch Scrapper in the chest and make him stagger briefly.

"Mach Punch!" Scrapper's fist glowed a bright white and jabbed Glameow. The strike instantly KO'd her, and she slumped to the ground, unconscious. Avis returned her and whispered something to her pokeball before putting it away.

"Well you got me there," she grumbled. "I totally forgot that Breloom can have Effect Spore." She retrieved her final pokeball. "But you might not be able to deal with my last pokemon that easily." With a dramatic flourish, she tossed her final pokeball, revealing her Staraptor. The large avian flared its wings and shrieked before landing on the ground, eyeing its opponent haughtily.

Koa grimaced inwardly. He'd been expecting to see her Staraptor at some point. Scrapper would be at a severe disadvantage against it, of course. Any flying-type move would deal devastating damage. He doubted his pokemon could survive more than one, maybe two hits. Still, he had to try. Not that he had much choice anyway.

"First move is all yours." Avis said.

"Scrapper, use Mach Punch!" Scrapper gave a curt nod. His fist glowed white and he blurred across the field, slamming his fist into Staraptor before it could react. It shrieked and caught itself, taking to the skies. Both Avis and Koa stared, wide eyed. Scrapper's attack speed was incredible. Koa was sure it was faster than the average Mach Punch. Kitto's training must have paid off.

Avis quickly composed herself. "Alright Staraptor, let's start with Quick Attack!" Staraptor pumped its wings once and rose into the air. Then it shot forwards in a blur, leaving a streak of white light as it charged at Scrapper.

"Block!" Koa called. Scrapper barely had time to throw his hands up. Staraptor crashed into him, causing him to slide backward. "Giga Drain." Koa said. Perhaps he could at least give Scrapper a fighting chance. Scrapper dug his claws into Staraptor, his eyes glowing green. Matching tendrils of green energy drifted from Staraptor to Scrapper, healing some of his smaller cuts and bruises.

"Shake it off and use Fly." Staraptor kicked Scrapper off and shot into the sky, so high Koa instantly lost track. He mentally cursed. Fly was much like Dig. It allowed the user to soar high into the sky, high enough to vanish from sight. They would then dive down at incredible speeds and strike their opponent. It was a tricky technique, because an aerial foe could strike unexpectedly. Koa stared up at the sky for a moment, his mind reeling. He couldn't afford Scrapper to get hit by such a powerful super-effective technique, but he didn't know where Staraptor would strike from either. He didn't want to lose again. He had to think of something, fast-

An angry cry from Scrapper jolted him out of his thoughts and he looked down to see the Breloom glaring at him. "Scrapper, what is it?" Scrapper jabbed his fist upward and gave Koa a pointed look.

Koa mentally smacked himself. In all his thinking, he utterly forgot about the most obvious move. Sky Uppercut. "Alright, Scrapper, do it!"

Scrapper did a little bounce, and his fist began to glow. He stared upwards, his eyes darting about. Then his gaze seemed to lock onto something only he could see. The glow traveled through his fist and down to his legs. With a loud cry, he bent his legs and launched himself into the air like a rocket, fist aimed straight up.

Up in the sky, he could just make out a small gray spot. Scrapper shot up to it, and he heard two simultaneous cries of pain. Then something began to fall. Koa watched with apprehension. Was that -

Scrapper hurtled down from the sky, flailing wildly in the air. "Focus Scrapper!" Koa screamed. At the last moment before impact, Scrapper managed to right himself midair and collect his legs underneath him. He smashed into the ground, cratering it and bracing himself with one claw. A gray blur tumbled out of the sky. Staraptor righted itself a fair distance above the ground, and shrieked angrily at Scrapper.

Koa peered at him carefully. Scrapper seemed to have at least gotten in a good hit, even if he lost control on his descent. Still, he'd done well considering it was his first time really utilizing Sky Uppercut like that in battle.

"Brave Bird."

Koa balked. No. If that hit, it would be over, his pokemon was too weak to handle a hit like that-

His brief moment of panic cost him. Cloaked in a flaming blue aura, Staraptor shot across the field and slammed into Scrapper, sending him tumbling across the ground. Blue sparks danced across Staraptor's form as the recoil kicked in.

"No, Scrapper!" He started to take out Scrapper's pokeball. Suddenly Scrapper moved. He shifted, pushing himself to his feet, his arms trembling. Koa watched in astonishment as slowly, steadily, Scrapper pushed himself to his feet. Finally, he stood fully upright, panting with exertion but somehow, miraculously, still standing.

Scrapper cast a glance over his shoulder at his trainer, and gave a sharp nod. "You can still fight?" Koa asked hesitantly. Scrapper nodded fiercely before facing Staraptor again. Koa stared at his Breloom for a moment longer, still in shock. Then he quickly shook himself out of his stupor. Now wasn't the time. Right now, he needed to focus for Scrapper's sake. He could still win this.

"Mach Punch!" Scrapper blasted across the field and sprang nimbly into the air. His fist glowed and he socked Staraptor in the side of the face, then landed and danced backwards. Koa grinned. He understood now. Perhaps by utilizing Scrapper's nimble movements, they could stay in the fight long enough to finish it.

"Quick Attack," Avis called.

"Mach Punch," Koa snapped at nearly the same time.

The two pokemon shot across the field towards each other in a blur of motion. Fist collided with beak and an explosion of energy surged outwards, knocking the two combatants apart. Breloom faced Staraptor down, his gaze still determined. His breath came in short gasps and Koa knew that despite his spirit, he really was near the end of his rope. "Don't give in, Scrapper. We got this! Use Seed Bomb."

Breloom reared his head back, then fired a barrage of smaller seeds at Staraptor. Koa was caught off guard by the attack. He'd never seen Scrapper use Seed Bomb like that before. The barrage of seeds slammed into Staraptor and knocked it back.

"Brave Bird!" Avis called. Staraptor shrieked, its body becoming cloaked in blue energy. It shot through the air towards Scrapper.

"Dodge!" Koa called. Scrapper tried to leap out of the way, but his exhaustion slowed him too much. Brave Bird slammed into him, knocking him to the ground with enough force to create a small crater. When the dust cleared, Scrapper lay, splayed on the ground, unconscious. Koa returned him and smiled at the pokeball. "You fought hard, Scrapper. Thanks." He tucked the pokeball away and selected his final pokemon.

"Go, Echo!" There was no one better to finish the fight with, as far as he was concerned. Echo emerged and shrieked at Staraptor, who glared back. Koa glanced across the battlefield at Staraptor. It had taken a fair amount of recoil damage, as well as the hits Scrapper had gotten in. It was at its limit, for sure. Judging by the determined look on Avis's face, she knew it too.

"Crunch." Koa said. Golbat flew at Staraptor, jaws glowing. Staraptor took off, but its movements were slowed by exhaustion. Echo caught up and snapped his jaws down on Staraptor's wing. It shrieked and pulled free. "Crunch, one more time!" Koa called. Echo nodded and flew after Staraptor again. The panicked bird was on the run now, nearly spent. Echo began to gain on Staraptor, who was furiously flapping its wings as it dipped and weaved through the sky.

"Let's try one last attack!" Avis cried. "Close Combat!" Staraptor whirled on Echo, talons extended. Echo practically crashed into it. In a flurry of motion, Staraptor began battering him, slashing him mercilessly with its talons. With a final strike, it launched Echo backwards.

"Air Slash!" Echo stopped himself midair and hurled blades of energy at Staraptor. The collided, knocking it out of the sky. It crashed to the ground, then lay still. Koa grinned widely.

"Nice, Echo!" Echo screeched happily and looped through the air.

Avis scowled, then brightened. "That wasn't bad, I guess. I'm impressed."

"Thanks," Koa replied, smirking proudly. Of course, he'd been quite sure he'd win. Echo perched himself on his shoulders, and Koa stroked him.

Avis returned Staraptor, tucking the pokeball away. She eyed him for a long moment before speaking. "You sure you're ready for the Veilstone gym? I hear Maylene is a tough leader."

Koa resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Echo is probably strong enough to take down at least two of her pokemon! Plus I've got Scrapper and Hazard. I doubt she'll be any more of a problem then Fantina."

The look in Avis eyes was doubtful. "No offense, but are you sure? You seemed... distracted during our battle. You fought differently."

A flicker of irritation burned inside his chest. "You sound like you're bitter because you lost. Would you prefer I beat you even sooner than I did?"

"No. Don't be ridiculous. I don't like losing. But I can tell when something is off. You seem like you changed your approach. Like you weren't strategizing or something."

"What would you know?!" Koa protested. He scowled slightly. "We've only traveled together for like, not even two weeks total."

She regarded him evenly. "It's my job to be good at noticing things."

"Yeah well, maybe try noticing how to stay out of my business," he retorted. He immediately regretted the words. However annoyed he was, he didn't want to be rude. It was like Roark all over again. She'd been kind and friendly to him, and helpful.

"Maybe I am wrong. But you should think about what I said," Avis replied simply. She didn't sound hurt or offended, to his surprise. If anything, she simply sounded... confused. Like she didn't understand why he was so mad. "And I'm sorry if it seemed like I was accusing you. But I can't just say nothing if it feels like somethings not right."

Koa nodded, though he didn't really agree. "Sorry, I wasn't trying to snap at you." He decided to leave it at that. Sure, it hadn't been his most strategic or well thought out battle. But he'd still won the battle, and his pokemon were strong. That was enough.

Avis shot him a curious, evaluating look. "Well, at any rate, I'm gonna get something to eat. Are we gonna set out tomorrow?"

Koa nodded. "Yeah, might as well."

"See you in the morning then," she declared with a grin. She waved, then headed for the pokemon center entrance.

With a sigh, Koa decided to turn in for the night. He was pretty satisfied with his progress training for the time being. Besides, there was always tomorrow.

xXx

That night, Koa lay wide awake in his room at the pokemon center. For the past hour, he'd tried everything he knew to get to sleep. He was beginning to wish he had a psychic type who knew Hypnosis. His mind kept traveling back to his battle with Avis. Ever since his loss to Cade, he'd felt off. He'd felt it again during his battle with Avis. And he had to admit, he hadn't given it as much thought as he had his gym battles. But she was wrong. He had still used some strategies. He'd utilized Scrapper's Effect Spore. And you also froze up in the middle of the battle. He quickly pushed the offending thought away. Perhaps his problem was thinking too hard. Maybe it was simply time to give up on strategy and focus on strength. With pokemon like Rascal on his team, he had the power he needed.

Koa sat up briefly, peering around the dark room and looking at his team. They were arrayed around the room, snoozing peacefully. Echo hung from the ceiling fan - he noticed the Golbat seemed to have quite the penchant for the devices, and always chose to perch on one if possible. Anubis was curled up at the foot of the bed, paws tucked under his chin, looking rather adorable. Scrapper lay splayed on the other bed in the room. Every now and then, his arms would twitch or his leg would kick out. Koa wondered if Breloom loved fighting so much he would do it in his dreams. His gaze settled on Hazard and Rascal. Hazard had recently taken to nestling in the ruff around Rascal's neck. The two had developed a strong friendship.

As he watched, Hazard's eyes flickered open. They glistened in the dark, and he blinked at Koa, then tilted his head, chittering curiously.

"I was just thinking about the battle," Koa whispered. "You know, I think now that we're getting stronger, we don't need to use strategy and stuff so much."

Hazard's eyes narrowed slightly.

"Don't give me that look," Koa protested softly. "I barely had to strategize today to beat Avis. We just gotta keep getting strong. Then, once we're super strong, we can fight legendaries. So I think maybe that's what we should work on."

At that comment, Hazard's eyes narrowed further. A look of doubt crept into his blue eyes.

Koa felt a tickle of doubt in the back of his own mind, and pushed it away. If he'd had more power when he fought Cade, he could have won. Or maybe if you hadn't gotten hit with that last dig attack. He shut the thought out as soon as it crossed his mind. He gave Hazard a reassuring smile "Trust me. I know what I'm talking about."

Hazard eyed him for a few moments more, then retreated back to his spot and went to sleep.

Koa lay back down and stared at the ceiling. "I know what I'm doing," he whispered to himself. "I just need to get stronger."

xXx

"So how come your Glameow is so strong?" Koa asked Avis as they trudged up one of the many hills dotting the early section of Route 210. The sun had just risen a couple hours ago and they were making their way through the early stretches of the route, across hilly fields. "I mean, she hasn't even evolved yet."

Avis chuckled. "Oh that? You didn't notice, did you?"

"Notice what?" Koa asked, perplexed.

Avis reached inside her jacket, retrieving a pokeball. She released Glameow, who purred and rubbed affectionately against her trainer's leg. Avis gently scooped her up and stepped closer to Koa. "Take a closer look around her neck."

Koa peered closer. A thin cord looped around her neck and a small, round stone hung from it. He'd seen that kind of stone before -

"Oh! That's an Everstone. So Glameow doesn't want to evolve?"

Glameow purred louder and nodded her head.

Avis leaned forward to whisper "-I think she hates the idea of becoming a Purugly. She thinks they're ugly. I told her I'd love her no matter what, but she insists."

Koa laughed at that. It was amusing to think that a pokemon simply didn't like the look of their evolved form.

Avis shifted, allowing Glameow to clamber onto her shoulder and drape herself around Avis' neck. She started down a hill. "Anyways, Glameow was also my first pokemon. She was a gift from my parents when I turned 8, and then when I was old enough to become a proper trainer, I decided to take her with me."

Ah. So that explained it. Glameow was her starter. "That's pretty cool," Koa mused. "So you've had her for... six years?" he asked.

A dangerous look crossed her face. "Hey! Don't you know it's rude to mention a lady's age?" She snickered, then gave a dismissive wave of her hand. "Joking. Never understood why people get offended about that. And yeah, you're right. Six years. I'm fourteen."

They walked in silence for a few more minutes. "So what does an investigator do anyway?" he asked curiously. He'd heard a bit about the International Police since it first started in Sinnoh as the Sinnoh National Police before expanding, plus she had explained a bit about the organization last time they had traveled together. But the title 'Independent Investigator was something he hadn't heard before.

"Oh, well it's simple. As an independent investigator, we basically keep an eye on anything suspicious going on around the region, gather information, and report back to local police, usually."

Koa's eyes widened. "So wait, you still get to investigate crimes for real? And catch criminals?"

"Ha! No." Avis said flatly. "Independent Investigators 'technically' aren't supposed to do the 'catching criminals' part. But between you and me, if I see something, I'm gonna do something. Ya know?"

"Exactly!" Koa agreed emphatically. He recalled his chase after the member of Team Blackout who had stolen Clefairy. The police had reprimanded him about his 'reckless actions', but he would do it all over again. He could respect drive and dedication to actually do something. "Someone's gotta do something!"

"See, you get it," Avis said. "Honestly, sometimes people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them about joining the International Police."

Koa nodded. "I know what you mean," he growled. A particular incident flashed to the forefront of his mind, back during his days working at the local pokemart. He had off-handedly told one of his coworkers that he wanted to find and battle a legendary. His coworker had laughed at him, then asked if it was a joke. After that, he decided it wasn't worth telling people about that, much less his most private dream - catching a legendary. That was one dream he doubted he'd tell anyone about. At least not until he succeeded. And when - not if - that day came, he doubted he'd be able to resist rubbing it in people's faces, just a little. "Is your investigation why you're heading to Veilstone?"

Avis paused and glanced at him, then kept walking. "Yes..." she said slowly. "I'll tell you a little, but you better keep your mouth shut and not say anything. Got it?"

Koa nodded, his curiosity growing.

"Okay, here's the deal. Team Blackout has been operating across Sinnoh. At first, they only did petty thefts, but clearly that wasn't enough money in that, because they started poaching pokemon and stealing wild pokemon. As far as I can tell, every town has been hit. And recently there was a big blackout in Sunnyshore. But so far, Veilstone has been quiet. I think they might be using Veilstone as a base. And..." she frowned, as if contemplating a thought.

"And?"

"More electric type pokemon have been going missing lately too," she said.

"Maybe they need new pokemon?" Koa said.

"Could be," she said. "Either way, I'm going to try and find out."

They reached the top of another hill and Koa paused to take in his surroundings. A short grassy field stretched before them before giving way to Route 210's most well-known feature. Dark, waist high grass, thick as the fur on a Snorlax. From his place, Koa could see that the grass covered the land for quite a distance. Barely visible paths could just be made out, winding their way through the foliage. The spot had garnered a small amount of local fame, as a popular hiding spot for young trainers to leap out and startle unsuspecting travelers and often, battle them.

"Look," Avis said. "You can see the Cafe Cabin from here." She pointed off in the distance.

Koa followed her gesture, peering beyond the grass. He could just make out the roof of a pink building, situated in a field. He guessed it was about an hour's walk away. "What's the Cafe Cabin?" he asked. He was sure he'd read about it at some point, but he couldn't really remember what it was.

"It's this cabin where they sell MooMoo Milk. In fact, it's the only place in all of Sinnoh where you can get it! It's a Johto dish, so it's rare in regions outside of Kanto and Johto. Its so good! They even have ice cream too."

"Sick!," Koa exclaimed. "I gotta get some for Echo!" He knew without a doubt that Echo would love the ice cream. Perhaps the rest of his pokemon might enjoy the treat as well. Of course, what fun was a reward without a little training first?

"Mind if we stop? I'm gonna work more on Rascal's training. I want to try out Ice Fang again."

"Hmm..." Avis mused. "How about I train with you? Then, when we get close to the cafe, we can have a battle. Winner pays," she added.

Koa smirked. "You're on."

xXx

A short time later, he exited the Cafe Cabin, holding an armful of food. He scowled as he set his food down on one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the field. Rascal wore a matching scowl. Avis set down her food across from him, a proud smirk plastered across her face. "You know you only won because I wanted to practice Ice Fang, right?"

Rascal snorted in agreement.

"A win is a win," she said. Glameow sprang off her shoulders and onto the table, her nose turned up in the air and a satisfied look on her face. "Besides, that's your fault for trying a move you knew Tyrunt couldn't use."

Koa frowned at her. He wanted desperately to say something, but a part of him knew she had a point. He'd lost their quick battle because he'd asked Rascal to use Ice Fang. He knew full well she hadn't mastered it yet. Though honestly, in the moment, he'd hoped that the battle would have helped bring out some extra strength. Whatever. He'd just have to be stronger next time. Setting the thoughts aside, he released the rest of his pokemon.

In addition to having to pay for Avis' meal, he'd bought each of his pokemon a special dish inspired by the infamous Johto pokemon, Miltank. Until now, he'd had no idea they had so many MooMoo Milk based dishes. For Echo, of course, he'd gotten the ice cream. He decided on a spicy-sweet pastry for Hazard, at the recommendation of one of the workers. After some deliberation, he settled on a large cake for the rest of his pokemon.

One by one, his pokemon emerged. Their eyes lit up at the sight of the delicious treats that lay before them. "Dig in everyone!" Koa said enthusiastically. He watched happily as his pokemon dug into their treats. Echo licked up his entire bowl of ice cream in one bite. Suddenly, his eyes widened and he froze up, a faint squeak of pain escaping his jaws. His body trembled and he frantically pawed at his mouth with his wings. Koa laughed. "Got brain freeze, buddy?" he said, still chuckling.

Scrapper made a churring noise and pointed at Echo, then laughed again. Echo shot him a reproachful glare and fluttered into the air, settling himself on Koa's shoulders. Koa reached up and scratched behind his ears. "You poor thing," he said, mock playfully. As their pokemon returned to their meals, he turned to Avis. "So are you going to head to Veilstone now? Route 215 leads straight there."

Avis nodded. "Yeah. I can't wait any longer." Her gaze hardened slightly and a faint frown pulled at the corners of her mouth. Glameow glanced up from her meal to eye her trainer.

"Why are you so determined to catch Team Blackout?" Koa asked cautiously.

She shot him a scorching glare. "They're pokemon thieves, I told you."

"I know that, but... I was just wondering if there was a specific reason you wanted to go after them."

"Nothing I'm telling you about," Avis replied. "Rule one of being an investigator is keeping secrets! You never know who might be listening or who you can trust. I never reveal anything about my investigations to anyone other than my pokemon."

Koa hid a frown. That wasn't what he meant, but he was pretty sure she knew that. He wondered if it had anything to do with Team Blackout. Maybe she had a particular reason she wanted to go after them. Or they had stolen one of her own pokemon? Of course, he supposed it could be almost anything. For a moment, he contemplated accompanying Avis. After what happened last time, he wouldn't mind having another go at Team Blackout. Then he dismissed the thought. He was much more interested in Celestic Town and learning more about legendaries. It occurred to him he still hadn't decided what legendary he would pursue first, once he was strong enough.

"So you're still headed to Celestic Town, right?" Avis asked, jarring him from his thoughts.

"Well actually, I want to try and find someone called Grandma Wilma first. They say she lives in the canyons at the very north of Route 210. I'm hoping she can help teach Rascal Ice Fang."

Just then, one of the waitresses approached. "Pardon, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but did I hear that you will be traveling north?" she asked.

Koa glanced up at her in surprise. "Yeah. Why?"

"Well you see, it's Psyduck hatching season right now. Whenever that happens, all the Psyduck in the area get very temperamental. Poor dears think people will try and steal their eggs, and tend to attack travelers." She chuckled to herself and shook her head. "So just be careful if you travel that way."

"Thanks," Koa said neutrally. He didn't think a bunch of random Psyduck would be a challenge, but he was thankful for the warning anyway. She left, and Koa turned back to face Avis.

An odd look shone in her eyes. "On second thought, do you mind if I accompany you for just a bit?"

Koa narrowed his eyes. "Why?"

"Truthfully, I'm worried about the Psyduck. Pokemon eggs are a rare commodity and highly valued. I want to check on them before I head to Veilstone."

"Sure, I don't mind," Koa said. He reflexively glanced at his backpack, where his own egg lay safely tucked away. Even now, through the unzipped top compartment, he could see the egg shake slightly. He hated the mere thought of someone stealing something as precious as an egg. He turned his attention to his pokemon. They had all finished their meals and were playing with each other. Hazard seemed to have started up a game of tag, and was driving Scrapper nuts, dodging under his legs every few seconds, causing the Breloom to stumble. As he watched, Hazard ducked under Scrapper once again, then leaped onto the back of Rascal, causing her spin fruitlessly in circles, trying to snap at the tiny pokemon.

He watched them play for several more minutes until they had tired each other out. "Alright everyone, ready to go?" they gave cries of agreement, and Koa stood up. He returned his pokemon, save for Echo, who seemed to prefer staying outside his pokeball. Avis stood as well and returned her own pokemon. They left a generous tip for the waitress, then set out down Route 210.

As they walked, Koa decided to carry his egg in his arms, so he could watch it closer. It shook more often now, about once every couple hours. He was sure it would hatch very soon, perhaps in a day or two. Excitement filled him at the thought of the new addition to his team. "What kind of pokemon do you think is inside?" he asked Echo, who clung to his shoulders. "Maybe a Ralts? Or Taillow?" he mused, listing two pokemon who he recalled being native to Hoenn. "Or even a Bagon!" he exclaimed. Echo chittered. "Hey don't laugh," Koa grumbled. He adjusted the incubator so he could peer at the egg. It trembled slightly, and he smiled at it. "Well, whatever you are, I'll make sure you get super strong," he whispered.

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, Dark Pulse, Thunder Fang, Howl

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

And that concludes chapter 17. Koa battled Avis, and came out on top. Thanks to his recent success, he's convinced he has a new 'strategy'. But will it turn out the way he hopes?

I hope everyone has enjoyed.

However, I have some good news and some bad news. I'll begin with the bad. I am putting Legendary Adventures on a temporary hiatus for one month. As some of you may know, I am writing two pokemon stories, this one and my stress relief project, Flames of Victory. Recently however, Flames of Victory has been getting in the way of Legendary. Juggling two writing projects and trying to keep both going is proving to be too much, especially with work and real life.

Flames of Victory is also negatively affecting my writing quality for Legendary, and I really really want to keep Legendary good. So I'm doing the hiatus for one month so I can finish Flames of Victory and only have to focus on one thing at a time.

Now, for the good news. This will absolutely NOT be an indefinite hiatus. Chapter 18 is nearly done. So No matter what happens, I will guarantee update this story at the end of September, no question about it. So you don't have to worry about anything unexpected happening and the delay lasting longer.

If all goes well, I will finish my other story in September and return to Legendary's usual schedule after that.

With the important part of out the way, I will address a couple stuff from reviews, and as always, thank you greatly everyone for reviewing, it really motivates me.

James 95: I had thought about catching a Spiritomb tbh, which would have been cool, but I didn't feel like it quite fit the story. I've always seen Spirittomb as more of an unusual 'rare' sort of pokemon, so there's probably only one or two, which Cynthia already has one.
As for a favorite side quest? Well, my memory of some of the previous games is pretty shoddy, but two come to mind. I loved helping the alolan vulpix in Sun and Moon. And there's a sidequest in the new Sword and Shield DLC where you have to find Diglett. I enjoyed that one, and the reward from it.

And finally, as you can see, I have teased the appearance of the infamous Psyduck. I hope my version of events will be a bit more exciting than the game or tv show however. ;)

I think that concludes everything!

1. The Plan 7766 0 0 2. The Unplanned 5148 0 0 3. Rocky Road to Success 7322 0 0 4. Every Roserade has its Thorns 5998 0 0 5. Rematch and Revival 5995 0 0 6. Unstoppable, Immovable 7204 0 0 7. Looking Onward and Inward 7028 0 0 8. Where the Hearthome Lies 6360 0 0 9. The Hound of the Hour 8685 0 0 10. From Marsh to Shining Marsh 7979 0 0 11. Mach Power 8486 0 0 12. You've Got to be 'Kitto'ing Me! 6841 0 0 13. Getting Ghosted 7569 0 0 14. Cal-Amity Square 5932 0 0 15. Don't Gabite Off More than You Can Chew 7183 0 0 16. Enter the Unown 8641 0 0 17. A Strategy for Success 7673 0 0 18. Getting Your Psyduck in a Row 6302 0 0 19. Breaking the Ice Fang 7787 0 0 20. An Electrifying Encounter 8282 0 0 21. KOa'd 8668 0 0 22. Blackout 11062 0 0 23. Heart's Fire 9950 0 0