Pokemon: Legendary Adventures (The Journey Begins) @flyg0n
Where the Hearthome Lies

Here is chapter 8! Koa has finally connected with Tyrunt. He now makes his way to Hearthome to challenge Fantina.

On a side note, I'm glad everyone liked Dragon Tamer Cade! He's a side character I made up on a whim. And yes, he will show up again.

Also, it was the reviewer AnyaFire who got the reference in the last chapter. It was meant to be a sort-of reference to How to Train Your Dragon. But instead of a dramatic hand to snout touch, it was a slight twist, lol. A bit obscure, but it is one of my favorite movies, so I couldn't resist.

With that said, on to the story!

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

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

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

The landscape of Route 208 rushed by as Koa zipped along on his bike. After a satisfying rest the previous day, he left late in the morning. By bike, Route 208 took less than a half a day to cross. Which meant by tonight, he could be in Hearthome, sleeping on a real bed in the Pokemon Center. The thought alone was like music to his aching muscles. And his sticky, dirt-covered body. He tried to shower as best he could on the road, using whatever rivers and lakes he passed, but that only did so much. At a Pokemon Center, he could wash his clothes, buy real food, and have a real bed.

A few hours later, as the sun sank into the horizon, he arrived at the gates of the great city of Hearthome. After showing his ID to the guard, he entered the city. He slowed down, enjoying the city as he cruised through. Hearthome was a fairly large city but had a pleasant atmosphere. It lacked the metropolitan feel of Jubilife and didn't feel as full as Eterna. Plenty of families roamed the streets, walking or running errands with their children, and lots of young kids ran about, followed by their Pokemon. Not long after entering, he spotted the two main attractions - Amity Square, and the Contest Hall. Both brought plenty of trainers from all areas, wishing to just enjoy a stroll or show off their Pokemon.

As he continued towards the Pokemon Center, he was struck by how large the city was. It rivaled even Jubilife in acres, he guessed, though much of it was spread across quaint neighborhoods with moderately sized homes. He really liked Hearthome, he decided. The people seemed friendly as well. Many had waved to him as he pedaled by, and he waved back. A few minutes later, he arrived at the Pokemon Center.

Only a couple of trainers were in line ahead of him, so he didn't have to wait long to get a room key from the resident Nurse Joy. He handed his Pokemon off for a quick checkup, then headed up to his room. As soon as he entered, the comfy bed seemed to call his name, but he resisted the urge to take a running leap into it. First, a shower, then sleep.

Koa emerged from the shower feeling delightfully fresh and clean. As he dried his hair, he sent out his fully recovered Pokemon. The Nurse had given them a clean bill of health, even complimenting him on his Joltik, who she said was a wonderful example of its species, and sported a particularly large electric pouch.

Echo screeched happily and settled on Koa's shoulders, then settled on the headboard of the bed. Hazard ended up scuttling over to Rascal, who lay dozing on the floor.

The thought of Tyrunt's nickname still brought a smile to his face. Rascal. Fitting and amusing, he'd decided. Apparently she agreed, because she accepted the name eagerly.

Hazard had worked his way into the ruff around her neck and settled in comfortably. Koa sighed happily at the sight, glad to see that she was finally fitting in.

His attention shifted back to the bed in the middle of the room. Tossing aside his towel, he leaped into it, reveling in the feeling of the comfy sheet and plush mattress. Within moments, he fell asleep.

xXx

The next morning he ended up sleeping in again, much to his chagrin. He made a mental vow to get back to his routine of waking up early and going for a jog.

"Alright guys, listen up." He'd gathered all his pokemon in his room after a hearty breakfast. "Today we challenge Fantina. She uses Ghost types, and she's pretty tough. But I think we can take her." The thought of challenging another gym excited him more than he expected. When he'd first began his journey, he'd simply wanted to explore the world, and the gyms were a mere side thought. Now, however, he found he genuinely enjoyed them. The thrill of the battles, matchings wits against his opponent and proving his Pokemon's strength. Plus, they were an excellent way to help his team become stronger.

Leaving the bike inside his bag, he opted to walk to the gym and enjoy the sights. He ambled down the streets, greeting passerby and stopping to pet the occasional pokemon. Echo was fast asleep in his ball, and he kept Rascal inside as well since he still didn't know how well she would behave around people. Hazard, however, made himself a nest in his hair settled down for the ride.

After a short walk, he arrived at the doors to the gym. Just as he was about to open the door, he saw a sign taped on the front.

Hearthome gym temporarily closed. Koa scowled. "Closed? How could a gym be closed?" he mused out loud.

"Were you looking to challenge the gym?"

Koa turned to see a young woman in an elegant dress standing a few feet away. "Yeah, Do you know why it's closed?"

She nodded. "Every year, Fantina goes on a trip to train and prepare her Pokemon for contests. She only just left, so she won't be back for a couple weeks."

"A couple weeks?" Koa blanched. The woman merely shrugged sympathetically. That was forever! He wanted to challenge Fantina now! He'd been thinking about it ever since he left Mt. Coronet. "Oh well... thanks for the warning." She nodded and continued on her way.

Disappointed, Koa returned to the Pokemon Center. He was sitting in his room, contemplating his next move when his Poketch vibrated. He looked down at the screen

'Incoming Call from Rowan'

Koa hurriedly hit the answer button. "Hey Professor Rowan."

"Hmmm. Hello Koa. What town are you in, by chance?"

"Uh... Hearthome, why?" he replied.

"Perfect. I suspected you might be in the area by now. I suppose you did not hear that Callahan is doing a conference there tomorrow."

"What?!" Koa yelped. He was certain if he'd been holding a phone, he would have dropped it. Callahan was a famous researcher of legendaries, who hailed from the Johto region. He was also Koa's personal hero. He'd watched plenty of his talks and lessons on the internet but never had the chance to see one in person.

"I took the trouble of procuring a ticket for you. Simply give them your name at the entrance," Rowan said.

"Sick! Thanks so much, Professor Rowan!"

"You're welcome. I also suspect that the Hearthome gym is closed by now."

Koa nodded, frowning. "Yeah. I think I just missed her. Crossing Mt. Coronet took longer than I thought."

"In that case, you may consider traveling to Pastoria after the conference. Crasher Wake will be a challenge, but I believe you can handle it. The Great Marsh is also an excellent place to meet rare or powerful pokemon."

"That sounds good, actually," Koa said, after a moment's thought. He'd heard Gyarados could be caught there. Catching one outright would be much easier than trying to raise a Magikarp. It might be harder to train since they were tempermental, but he was sure he would manage.

"If you do go, make sure to call me on the PC videophone. I would like to see your Pokemon. Roark told me he revived your fossil."

Koa nodded eagerly before remembering Rowan couldn't see him, only hear him. "Yeah. It's a female Tyrunt. She's awesome!"

"Yes well, be sure to check-in. And call Blake too, if you have the chance. I'm sure he would love to see your team."

"Ok," Koa mumbled. He didn't want to admit that he and Blake hadn't parted on the best of terms. He realized he'd never shown Blake any of his pokemon. Well, he'd take care of that later. Koa hung up, then jumped for joy, bouncing on the bed. He was finally going to see Callahan in person! A few moments later, he sat down. Right now, he had a free day to spend in Hearthome, and he planned to enjoy it. And first on his list was Amity Square.

Amity Square had been built not long after Hearthome became a city. It had been created during a time when the rules surrounding Pokemon being allowed outside Pokeballs were more strict. Originally, only Pokemon deemed 'cute' were allowed entry. After a few years, the rules regarding 'cute' were expanded, then eventually wiped out altogether. Now the park served as a place where all kinds of trainers and Pokemon could gather. Only two rules remained - no catching any wild pokemon that wandered in, and no battling. The area was the perfect escape.

Koa checked in with the receptionist, then entered the park. The bulk of Amity Square consisted of a massive swath of grass and trees bordering a small lake. Bridges on either side of the park connected to a small island in the center, and in the distance, he could spot sandy hills and small stone huts. Everything was beautifully maintained, and many exotic plants dotted the grounds.

Echo immediately hopped off his back and began to flutter about, investigating everything. Koa could feel Hazard on top of his head, quivering with excitement at all the new sights and sounds. Rascal walked beside him, surprisingly calmly, though the gleam in her eyes told him she was excited to be here as well. For the next several minutes, Koa ambled along slowly, taking in the sights. It was nice to slow down for a bit and properly enjoy his pokemon's company. Eventually, he worked his way to an area near the back of the park. There he discovered that someone had left behind a large inflatable ball.

A few minutes later, he found himself engaged in an impromptu game of Aipom in the Middle, with Rascal and Hazard ending up as the Aipoms. The challenge amped up when Hazard opted to ride on Rascal's head, jumping off to try and net the ball. They had been playing for several minutes when a young boy approached.

"Hey there!" he called.

Koa let his attention drift from the ball, and Rascal leaped up. Hazard fired a swift burst of webbing, nabbing the ball. Koa scowled at Rascal, who looked very smug. "Cheat," He hissed playfully. He turned to face the boy. He wore a dark shirt and green pants and bandana. His light skin shone with a faint sheen of sweat.

"You found my ball!" The boy said, elatedly. "I left it here yesterday when I was playing with my Clefairy."

Koa glanced behind the boy to see a cautious Clefairy peeking from behind its trainers legs.

"Oh sorry, I didn't know it belonged to anyone," Koa said, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.

"It's fine. I'm glad someone else is enjoying it. My name is Wyatt, by the way." He grinned widely and held out his hand.

"Koamaru. But call me Koa," he replied, shaking Wyatt's hand.

"You have some impressive pokemon. Mind if I see?"

Koa shrugged. "Sure. Hazard is my Joltik, and Echo is my Golbat. Just be careful with Rascal. She can be moody."

Wyatt nodded and walked slowly over to his pokemon, who had stopped playing and were watching curiously.

"My my... what a strong looking Golbat." At that, Echo screeched and hopped over to Wyatt. He patted Golbat, then held out his hand to Joltik. After a moment, Joltik scurried over. Wyatt stroked him gently, then turned to Rascal. He didn't approach her or hold out his hand to her. Instead, he crouched down, watching her carefully. "Don't worry, I won't pet you. I just want to see you. I haven't seen many Kalos pokemon before. You're quite beautiful, aren't you?"

Rascal rumbled approvingly, giving him her best dignified smile. Koa was beginning to understand why they were known as the Royal Heir pokemon. Although she had been more like a Royal pain in the Mudbray. "You seem like you know Pokemon really well," Koa said.

Wyatt stood up and nodded. "I'm a breeder, actually. I specialize in caring for and raising Pokemon. And yours are in excellent shape. Particularly your Golbat. He's the strongest I've seen in a long time."

"Thanks," Koa said, grinning. "We've been through a lot."

"Same with Clefairy and I," Wyatt said, gesturing to his pokemon, who stood a few feet away, watching intently. "I've had her since I was little." Clefairy walked over to Koa, staring up at him. She tapped his foot twice, then returned to Wyatt's side. "That's her way of saying hello. She's quiet, but she likes you. Normally she only says hello if she approves of someone."

"Cool," Koa said, watching her. It was rare to see Clefairy, who were originally native to the Kanto region. For many years, they'd only lived in Mt. Moon, though recently they had cropped up in other regions as well.

"You know, I hate to interrupt your game already. Mind if I join?" Wyatt asked. Clefairy hopped up and down excitedly.

Koa grinned. "Only if you got game."

A dangerous gleam entered Wyatt's eyes. "Oh trust me, I've probably got more than you can handle."

For the next few hours, Koa found himself playing with Wyatt and his Clefairy. Wyatt was more skilled than he expected, and both him and his Pokemon enjoyed the workout. Finally, they both flopped onto the grass, sides heaving and matching smiles on their faces.

"You're not bad," Wyatt said.

"And you don't suck as much as I expected," Koa replied, smirking.

"Ha ha." Wyatt stretched, then stood up. "I have to head back to the Poffin House for a class. You should join me. Any aspiring Pokemon Trainer should make poffins for their Pokemon at least once."

Koa glanced over at his pokemon, who were all happy but worn out. "You guys hungry?" They all gave cries of agreement simultaneously. He turned back to Wyatt. "Well I guess that decides it."

xXx

An hour later, Koa found himself standing over a pot of simmering water, staring at it nervously.

"Now, select the berries you wish to use for your Poffins. Remember, Pecha berries are sweet, Cheri berries are spicy, Chesto is dry, Rawst is bitter, and Aspear is sour."

Apparently, Wyatt was the one teaching the class. There were only a couple of other trainers present. Several specialized cooking pots had been set up on tables around the rooms, and already had gently simmering water going. Wyatt's Clefairy stood on a table at the front of the class, watching attentively.

Koa listened best as he could, though he couldn't help but feel nervous. Blake usually did the cooking at home, and on the road he ate pre-cooked meals. After some thought, he decided to go with the Pecha berries. He wanted to give Echo an extra treat, and he knew the Golbat liked sweets. He put the specified amount of berries in the pot, then stopped. On whim, he tossed in a few Cheri berries. Hazard would like that.

"Now, stir the berries slowly. You have to be careful not to spill it at this stage." Clefairy began to tap her foot in a steady rhythm, wagging her finger back and forth in time. Wyatt walked around the room, giving instruction to the other two trainers present. "Slow down just a bit," he advised as he passed Koa.

After a few seconds, the mixture began to thicken. "Now," Wyatt said, "the mixture is thicker, so you can begin to mix faster." Clefairy sped up her count slightly. A few moments later, Wyatt spoke again. "The mixture is in its final stages. Mix it very fast-"

A loud pop echoed through the room and everything went dark. One of the trainers cried out in surprise. Koa's hair stood on end and a strange crackle filled the air.

"Everyone, stay calm-"

Clefairy cried out in distress suddenly, then her voice was cut off. Koa whirled towards the noise, but he couldn't see anything. The entire room was pitch black.

"Clefairy?" Wyatt called, fear filling his voice.

"Chimchar, come out!" Someone shouted. A moment later, there was a flash of white light and a Chimchar appeared, lighting the room with the glow of its tail. Koa could just make out the anxious faces of the other trainers, as well as Wyatt's face. Suddenly, the lights flickered back on. Koa looked around. Two of the bulbs looked shattered, and an acrid burning scent began to fill the air. Koa scowled. The Poffins. Black smoke began to drift from the cooking pots as the mixtures burned.

"Clefairy!" Wyatt wailed. "Someone stole Clefairy!"

Koa snapped to attention. Without a second thought, he sprinted out the door. Rage burned inside him. This sounded like the work of Team Blackout. Power outage? The crackle in the air? It was all too familiar. They'd already stolen from Rowan. No way would he let them take Wyatt's Clefairy. He quickly released Echo and Hazard as he glanced up and down the street. They were fairly empty, with only a few passerby, far in the distance.

"Echo, take Hazard. Someone just stole Wyatt's Cleafiry, and I think they used an Electric-type. We have to find them!"

Echo and Hazard nodded, wearing identical angry glares. They'd both enjoyed the Fairy-types company, and were none too happy to hear what happened. Echo fluttered into the air, his eyes closed. Hazard perched on his head, every hair on his body standing on end. Koa knew all electric types could sense other electric-types, to an extent. He could only hope that the two of them could track down the criminal before it was too late. A loud shriek from Echo told him all he needed to know. He'd found his prey.

Koa glanced up just in time to see Echo take off. He followed Echo as he zigzagged through Hearthome at a speed that shocked even Koa. Once, he nearly lost sight of Echo, but quickly caught up. Soon, they entered the neighborhood district. Echo led him past several houses, to one at the end of a block.

From the outside, it appeared abandoned. Shutters covered the windows, and weeds poked from the slightly overgrown lawn. The paint was beginning to peel in a couple of places and vines and started to take over the sides of the house. Echo landed on the porch, his normally cheerful face twisted in rage.

Koa slowly walked up the path. As soon as he approached the house, he felt a faint static tingle spread over his arms. This definitely felt like the place. He edged up to the door, pressing his ear against it. He heard a man grunting, then an angry curse.

"Hold still you stupid Clefairy. If you get damaged I won't get any money for ya."

A deep scowl etched itself on Koa's face and he took a step back. He withdrew Tyrunt's pokeball and pressed the button. She emerged, looking about in confusion. "The man inside this house kidnapped Wyatt's Clefairy." His voice shook with anger, and it took all his strength to keep his tone low, so the thief wouldn't hear. "He tried to steal her, and he stole from another friend of mine. We're going to stop it."

A malicious grin spread across Rascal's face. "Just wait one moment," he ordered. Rascal looked annoyed at having to wait one moment more but obediently sat down. Koa switched on his Poketch and turned to the Phone App. He dialed in a quick anonymous call to the local police, explained that he'd seen a poacher hiding in the neighborhood, then hung up. He had no plans of waiting for them.

"Hazard, Echo, behind me. Tear down the door, Rascal," he snapped. Grinning with delight, she charged the door. In seconds, she had gotten enough grip to wrench the door straight from its hinges. She hurled it aside as if it were no more than a twig, and roared. The sound shook the entire house.

Koa sprinted inside, Echo and Hazard close behind. The thief stood several feet away from the door, his eyes wide and his entire body trembling. A tiny, cramped cage at his feet contained a terrified looking Clefairy. The man himself wore a dark jacket and long black pants. Smudges of dark face paint covered his cheeks and forehead. Looking closely, Koa guessed he couldn't be more than a year or two over twenty.

"Oh, you're just a kid," the man spoke, his voice gravelly but smug. Koa let out a primal yell and charged the man. His eyes widened and he fumbled for a pokeball, releasing a Zebstrika.

Eerily, he was reminded of the man who ran him off the bridge when he first left Canalave. Could it be the same one? Either way, he didn't care. Team Blackout would pay. Pay for stealing from Rowan, and for trying to steal Clefairy. And for ruining his Poffins. Koa stopped short, glaring at the Zebstrika.

Rascal hurtled herself across the room, smashing the shocked Zebstrika out of the way. They began to exchange blows, but Koa paid them no mind. He was fairly confident Rascal could handle herself. "Back her up," he shouted. He trusted his other two pokemon to understand what he meant. Then he leaped at the man, catching him by surprise and tackling him to the ground.

"What in the name of Arceus are you doing, kid? This is a pokemon battle!"

Koa growled, pinning the man as best he could. "I don't care about your stupid Pokemon. They're not the ones who stole Clefairy!" He punched the man in the face. The man was stunned, but only for a moment. With a mighty heave, he hurled Koa across the room. Koa landed hard but quickly got up. The man raised his fists and started to advance on him.

Behind him, Koa could hear his pokemon still fighting. He risked a quick glance back. Rascal had backed Zebstrika into a corner with Ancient Power, and Echo had evidently caught it with his Poison Fang. Hazard clung expertly to its back, sucking its electricity. Koa couldn't help but grin. They were fighting excellently.

He turned back around just in time to see the man throw a punch. Koa wildly threw up his hand to block. The punch hit his arm, sending a jolt of pain through it. He grimaced, then jabbed at the man's gut, making him stagger. The man shoved him hard. Koa stumbled and fell backward, landing on his back, hard. The man was upon him in a second, his fist raised.

A sudden flash of blue fur shot across Koa's vision and an ear-splitting shriek filled the room. The man cried out in pain and scrambled backwards, a furious Golbat chomping on his head. Echo released the man a second later, and Koa pounced on the opportunity. Standing up, he stumbled over to the man, who lay stunned. He kicked him in the side as hard as he could.

"That's for trying to steal Clefairy." He kicked him again, making the man grunt. "That's for running me off the road." He kicked him one last time, throwing all his rage into the blow. The man yelped. "That's for stealing from Professor Rowan! Pass the message on to the rest of your stupid crew. If I ever see one of them, I'll fight them myself." He spat on the man, then turned away. After a split second hesitation, he turned back around again and kicked him, though not quite as hard. "And that's for ruining my poffins."

Koa glared down at him, then stalked away. He told his pokemon to keep an eye on the criminal, then freed Clefairy from the cage. He'd hardly finished opening it before she hopped over to him and nuzzled his leg, then tapped his foot three times. Smiling, he patted her head three times in return. This evidently made her very happy, and she bounced up and down, making happy cries. Picking her up, he brought her outside and sat on the porch steps.

Now that he was outside, his adrenaline drained away. He thought about what he'd done. Sprinting like a mad man after a criminal who he had no idea if they were dangerous, then confronting and fighting said criminal. Blake probably wouldn't approve. But he didn't regret it. Sure, it had been incredibly risky, but he'd saved Clefairy. And the man would be sore for a while, but he knew none of his blows would deal serious damage. He hoped, however, that the idiot would think twice before trying to steal someone else's pokemon.

Koa shuddered at the idea. If someone tried that with Echo... pushing away the thought, he saw the flashing lights of the police bike pull around the corner. He heaved a sigh of relief. This would all be over soon.

xXx

Soon turned out to be an overstatement. It took more time to explain everything to the police than he expected. They took the criminal away, promising that he would be tried for his crimes. Then he had to go down to the station and give a second statement, then get his pokemon a checkup, just in case. When all was said and done, it was nearing evening.

Koa was anxious to get back to Wyatt. He couldn't only imagine the panic he was going through and confusion. After all, the day had gone from teaching a Poffin class to seeing Koa sprint out the door after his stolen Clefairy.

He found Wyatt at the Pokemon Center. As soon as he stepped through the doors, Clefairy hopped out of his arms and raced over to Wyatt. Wyatt's eyes went wide when he saw her, and he dropped to his knees and embraced her. Koa smiled fondly at the sight. His eyes watered slightly, and he blinked a few times. Clefairy was safe.

After a long moment, Wyatt finally stood up, holding Clefairy close to his chest. He walked over to Koa and stood in front of him. His eyes shimmered with tears of gratitude. "The officer told me what you did... how you saved her. Thank you, Koa. I don't think I could ever repay you."

Koa shook his head. "You don't have to. I'm just happy I got there in time." Wyatt nodded, too choked up to say anything else. "I am curious though. When I found her, she tapped my foot three times. What does that mean?"

Wyatt raised his eyebrows. "That's... really surprising. It's her way of calling someone a good friend."

At that, Koa's eyes really started to water. Dang it. He wouldn't cry, not now. It was hard to believe the cautious little Clefairy from the park considered him a friend.

"Oh... Well..." he coughed awkwardly. "I'm just glad she's back where she belongs."

Wyatt remained silent for a moment, then his eyes lit up. "Wait here I'll be right back!" Then he turned and sprinted out the door. Koa stared after him. He couldn't fathom where the young boy had gone. Or when he'd be back. But he assumed it was clearly important to him, so he supposed he'd just have to wait. With a shrug, he selected a seat in the lobby of the Pokemon Center, and waited.

Around thirty minutes later Wyatt returned, breathless, carrying a strange case in his hands. It was cylindrical shaped, with a metal top and bottom. Grinning proudly, he handed it to Koa. Koa gaped at it. He'd seen similar cases before. They were egg incubators. Inside lay a pale blue egg with white spots. A small pokeball was set into the base.

"I... I can't take this," he protested, backing away.

"Please. This is the only way for me to thank you. As a breeder, an egg is my most sacred possession. Please accept it." Koa stared nervously into Wyatt's eyes. It was hard to refuse a plea like that. But an Egg was not part of the Plan. And also, he hadn't planned for an egg. At all. Sure, with the rise of incubators, they were much easier to raise, but the thought still made him a bit nervous.

"Okay. Thanks. A lot. I really appreciate it." And he did. A pokemon given as a gift, or even an egg, was not something to take lightly. Whatever Pokemon hatched from it, he would treasure forever. "Do you know what- Never mind, actually. I don't want to know."

Wyatt smiled at that. "I know you'll take good care of it. Thank you again. And Clefairy said thank you too."

Koa bid him farewell, then looked down at the incubator and whistled. A real egg... Rowan had been right. Journeys were full of surprises.

xXx

The next morning, Koa sat inside the Contest Hall, heart beating with excitement. Being the largest venue in the city, it had been chosen for Callahan's conference. And the turnout was huge. On either side of him, all the way to the end of the row, people were packed into the hall. From what he could see, there were people from all over Sinnoh, and beyond. He was a little surprised to see so many other people interested in legendaries. Although Callahan being practically a celebrity in Johto probably had something to do with it as well.

"Now introducing Callahan of the Johto region!" A tall, well-built gentleman strode onto the stage. He wore a long dark blue coat with a collar that reached higher than his chin. His well-styled mahogany hair shone in the stage lighting, and his stance communicated the picture of poise and intelligence. Koa leaped to his feet and began clapping, as did the entire stadium.

He smiled amiably, waving his hands, soaking in the praise. Once the applause died down and everyone sat down, Callahan spoke. "Hellooo Sinnoh region!" He called. "For years, many have pursued the greatest mysteries of the Pokemon world - Legendary pokemon!" The crowd murmured excitedly. "There is so much we still don't know about them. Yet there is much we do know. Today, I have come to tell you about one of the Johto region's greatest legends."

Koa sat forward in his chair. Canalave library contained a great deal of Sinnoh myths, but not as much about other regions. Instead, he'd had to do extensive research through books and articles he'd found on his own. There were essentially two great birds - Ho-Oh and Lugia. Then there were the 'legendary beasts', a trio of canine-like Pokemon. He had plenty of theories of his own, but his real interest lay in Callahan's theories about them, however.

"I will begin with the Tale of the Brass Tower. Many years ago, there stood two great towers. They were known as the Brass Tower and the Bell Tower. During a time of terrible war between people, the Brass Tower caught fire."

The crowd collectively gasped, while Koa simply watched Callahan, enraptured.

Callahan gazed around at the crowd, who were completely invested in his story. After a suitable dramatic pause, he continued. "According to legend, the tower burned for three days. In that time, three pokemon lost their lives in the fire."

Koa swallowed, curiosity and sadness filling him. He felt bad for the three pokemon, but curious as well. What sort of pokemon were they? And how had the fire started?

"A sudden downpour put out the flames, but the damage had been done. The three pokemon were gone. It was then that the great phoenix, Ho-Oh, left his perch at the Bell Tower to appear before the burned remains of Brass Tower." Callahan turned to a screen behind him, gesturing to an image of a burned down tower. Judging by the base of the structure, it had once been an impressive monument.

"Using its power, Ho-Oh revived the three pokemon and granted them new forms. I believe these forms embody the three events that occurred at the tower. The lightning that struck it, the fire that raged, and the rain that put it out."

Incredible! Koa mused over the revelation. Ho-Oh really had the power to revive fallen Pokemon?

"But many of you already know these legends. There are countless books describing this event. I, however, have another theory. Could the origin of the legendary birds of the beasts somehow be connected? And how do the elements fire, ice and lightning relate to one another?" Callahan gave another dramatic pause, letting his words simmer. "There is still so much we don't know. For example, how did the fire truly begin? And is it true that the great guardian of the seas, Lugia, once resided at the Brass Tower? It is my greatest dream to one day meet these legendary 'beasts' and understand the secrets they hold. Now, I would like to discuss a bit more about the potential role legendaries play in our world..."

Callahan continued his speech for another hour, and Koa listened raptly the entire time. The discussion soon turned to Sinnoh's own legendaries, discussing the role of legendaries as guardians, and deities. Finally, to his disappointment, Callahan bid the crowd farewell. He was met with a standing ovation as he left the stage. Koa leaned back in his chair, realizing he'd been sitting on the edge the entire time. Callahan's speech had left him thinking. Could it really be possible to catch a legendary, such as Suicune or Raikou? No doubt, to even have a chance, he'd have to be much, much stronger. There was one thing he knew about legendaries, they were some of the most powerful Pokemon in existence. They could even stand up to a powerhouse like Cynthia. Which meant he needed to keep catching pokemon and building his team. And training.

Deep in thought, he made his way back to the Pokemon Center. He had one more night before he would be asked to leave. Technically, he could stay as long as he needed, but Pokemon Center's tried to limit how many consecutive days a trainer stayed in a room, so that they always had a new room for a traveling trainer. Just as he was about to head to his room, Nurse Joy called out to him.

"Koamaru Averon?"

Koa paused, glancing towards the desk. "Yeah?"

"There is a message for you from a Professor Rowan. He says to call him immediately."

"Uh... ok. Thanks." He headed to the video phone room, wondering what Rowan wanted to talk to him about so soon.

A few moments later, Rowan appeared on the screen. His face appeared gruff as ever, though Koa saw a pleased twinkle in his eye. "Hello, Koa. I am calling you about an urgent matter that may interest you."

"What's up?" Koa asked.

"I heard about your little fiasco with Team Blackout."

Just hearing the name made Koa feel annoyed. "Yeah. They tried to steal a Pokemon. I had to try and stop them."

"Hmmm... I understand. Normally I would advise you to be more cautious, but I fear the warning might be lost on you. However, I have excellent news for you. The police spoke to the man you apprehended, and we got back some stolen Pokemon. One of the Pokemon they recovered is the very same one Blake and I were going to give you."

As Rowan continued, Koa's eyes grew wider and wider and his jaw dropped. "You got back the Pokemon they stole from you?!" he exclaimed. "Sick!"

Rowan gave the barest hint of a smile. "I suspected you would be pleased. Would you like me to send it over?"

"Yes!" Koa shouted. His outburst earned him a few surprised or annoyed looks from the other trainers using the phones, but he ignored them. The prospect of a special Pokemon from Rowan and Blake had him too excited. What if it was a Tyrogue? Maybe a Gible! Or a Gyarados... wait those couldn't hatch from an egg. Still, the possibilities had him shaking with excitement.

"Hmm... Very well. I assume you don't already have six Pokemon?" Rowan asked. As he spoke, he stepped briefly away from the screen to retrieve something, before coming back into view holding a pokeball.

Koa shook his head. "Right now, I just have my Golbat, Joltik, and Tyrunt."

"Very good. I will have your pokemon sent over shortly. Take good care of it. Your cousin worked hard to breed it."

Still in shock, Koa nodded. He watched in anticipation as Rowan placed the pokeball in the transporter machine. It glowed with a white light, then vanished. A moment later, it appeared in front of Koa, in the transporter slot.

"Thank you Prof," he shouted. He quickly hung up, then took the pokeball. His imagination ran wild with thoughts of the kind of pokemon inside. With a wide grin, he pressed the released button. The familiar bright light coalesced into a four-legged form, then faded. For a moment, Koa didn't recognize the pokemon that stood before him. Short black fur covered its canine body, and gray bands wrapped around its ankles. Its underbelly and snout were both a dark orange in color. On its head was a distinctive gray skull-like shape.

The pokemon barked happily and wagged its stubby tail. Then it jumped on him, knocking him to the ground and licking him enthusiastically. Koa laughed and stroked its head, scratching it behind the ears. It covered him in licks again then padded around the room, sniffing everything. Koa took the opportunity to pull out his Pokedex and scan it.

Houndour, the Dark Pokemon. Houndour hunt as a coordinated pack. They communicate with each other using a variety of cries to corner their prey. This Pokémon's remarkable teamwork is unparalleled. This Houndour is male and knows the moves Ember, Howl, Bite and Thunder Fang. Its ability is Flash Fire.

Right, Houndour. They were native to Johto region, though a few were known to roam Sinnoh and other regions as well. That was why he didn't remember it at first. He was also shocked it knew Thunder Fang. Such a move could not normally be learned by wild Houndour. Rowan hadn't been joking when he said Blake worked hard on it. Koa smiled at Houndour, holding out his hand to him. Houndour sniffed his hand, then barked, his eyes sparkling with excitement. A Houndour hadn't been in his plan, but Koa didn't care.

Besides, there were still two slots left.

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

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

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

Houndour (Male) {Ability: Flash Fire} - Ember, Howl, Bite, Thunder Fang

I hope everyone enjoyed 8! Koa has filled out his team. His heroic (or reckless) actions led to saving Clefairy and getting back the pokemon he was promised oh so long ago. He also got en egg! Any guesses as to what pokemon might be inside? I am curious to see if anyone will guess right.

I have also finally built up to the once a week update schedule I planned. From now on, you can expect the update every Saturday.

As always, feedback is loved and appreciated! Special thanks to my regular reviewers, you guys keep me motivated!

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