Pokémon: Adventures of Sun and Moon
Chapter 11: Pursuit of Strength
The sun slowly hung over the horizon. Lillie in a nightgown was awake and was standing outside her balcony of the Tide Song Hotel. She watched the sunrise over the ocean. "That's really beautiful."
"Pew!" Nebby was right at her feet, she picked him up and allowed him to watch the sunrise with her.
"It's majestic, isn't it?" They both saw Rockruff getting up and he was walking to the front door to leave the room. Lillie turned around and noticed him. "Oh, you have to leave huh?" Rockruff gave a subtle nod. He kept their interaction short as he ran out of the room to his next destination. Lillie looked down at Nebby. "We should get going too, Nebby… I guess I'll just have to find her myself, luckily I know just where to look."
While Lillie up and out of bed at the Tide Song Hotel, Sun lay awake in his, he could barely get to sleep after what happened the night before. It was his second time in a row losing to Hau, and while he held nothing against him, the loss resulted in a lowering of his confidence. And to top it off, Litten was not impressed which only turned the lowering of his own confidence into a downward spiral. Grubbin was also lacking wins lately too, and he thought it would only be a matter of time before Grubbin gets tired of Sun as well.
He didn't think that his adventure in Alola would have been this difficult, so he didn't feel like getting up. Sun looked and saw Litten's Pokéball. It only seemed to remind him of how angry Litten seemed to be. His eyes then looked to his Z-Ring. "Why did Tapu Koko choose me?" he thought back to when he rescued Nebby. He knew for certain it was for him rescuing Nebby from the Spearow and he didn't even have a Pokémon to fight them off with. But just for that bravery alone? Was that all that was required to get Tapu Koko's attention? Sun didn't feel like he was anything special, just a kid from Kanto. He wasn't as positive as Hau or as skilled and charismatic as Moon, even Eclipse had her moments of brilliance. Moon always teased him about being an outsider and he was starting to believe that he was an outsider among his friends. Each one of them had something that made them unique. But what was unique about him other than the fact he's from a different region? "Ugh… is this really how it's going to be the whole time. First I nearly drown and now this!"
He heard a knock on his door that interrupted his thoughts. "Sun, I was told to get you…" He could hear that it was Eclipse. He rolled himself out of his bed and tiredly stood up to his feet.
"R-Right… I'm coming."
"You don't sound… well… is everything alright?" As aloof as Eclipse was most of the time, she could hear that Sun didn't sound like his usual enthusiastic self.
Sun threw open the door and was already dressed in his clothes and backpack. Eclipse quickly noticed that his mood was slightly off, that and he was missing his cap. "I'm fine," Sun said in response to her question.
Lacking the proper social protocol for calling out what she perceived to be a lie, she simply went along with him for the time being and wordlessly followed him to the foyer of the Pokémon Center.
Hau, Moon, and Rotom were in the middle of the Pokémon Centre, they looked ready to leave. Hau was in high spirits after seeing the evolution of his Pichu the day before, and winning over Sun helped matters too. He was feeding Rowlet a berry he picked the day before. "Sorry about not letting you battle yesterday, I promise, you'll be first next time!" Rowlet looked at Hau, tilted his head and continued to peck at the berry while making bird sounds.
"I found Sun," Eclipse announced.
Sun walked down the stairs looking slightly glum. "Yo Sun, what's up with you?" Moon said. "You seem down."
He immediately perked up and defensively held his hands up. "Oh n-no haha, I'm fine. I swear."
"You sound ingenuous. You're laughing nervously." Eclipse noted, trying to logically point out the flaws in his statement.
"No I'm not!" he argued.
"…" Eclipse only blankly looked at Sun, he got the impression that Eclipse didn't believe him. Though he couldn't tell, she gave everyone that blank stare. Her stomach growled slightly, though she kept her gaze on Sun like she was trying to peer into his soul or something…
"Uh, Eclipse… shouldn't you eat something?"
She softened her gaze and looked away to Moon and Hau. "Yes, I suppose I should."
The doors of the Pokémon Center opened; they all saw that it was Mallow who had entered. She also appeared to have a guest with her; a small purple Pokémon was being held in her arms. It looked like a fruit with four leaves on her head, with a single green stem shooting from her head, it had beady yellow eyes and there was a white skirt above her two legs.
Mallow noticed the four and greeted them. "Hey all, Mallow here!"
"Oh, Mal. I forgot you were here, how'd the delivery go?" Moon asked.
"It was great, so you are the ones that will be taking the island challenge, huh?"
"You bet," Moon said showing Mallow her Z-Ring. "So you're going to head back to the Lush Jungle?"
Mallow winked. "Yep. I'm off to look for ingredients. I'm off the make my Mallow Special!"
"Mallow Special?" Eclipse asked, sounding interested. "Care to explain?"
"Haha, I'm a cook silly. And the Mallow Special is my signature dish, but the ingredients can only be found in the Lush Jungle."
"I want some."
Mallow giggled. "You may have some once it's done. Oh, that reminds me," she looked to the sleeping fruit-like Pokémon in her arms. "I'd like to introduce you all to Bouncee."
Rotom hovered close to the sleeping 'Bouncee'. "Oh yeah! A new Pokémon to discover!" he took a picture and scanned it.
['Bounsweet the Fruit Pokémon, although it's too sugary for human consumption, Bounsweet's sweat can be watered down into a juice with just the right amount of sweetness.']
"Uh, I'm not sure if drinking sweat from a Pokémon is something I would do?" Sun said.
"Don't knock it till ya try it, Outsider," Moon said while she was relaxing on a chair.
"Hold on…?" Rotom started. "Why call it Bouncee if its name is Bounzzzweet?" he asked while scratching the side of his outer casing.
"Duh, it's a nickname silly. Just like how Olivia used to call Moon 'Moon Pie'" Mallow casually revealed.
This forced a chuckle from Sun. "M-Moon-pie?!"
"MALLOW!" Moon angrily roared as she jumped up from her seat to face the green haired girl. "What did I tell you about using that name in public!?"
Mallow giggled to herself. "Hehe, sorry about that…"
"Haha, oh I am so using that from now on," Sun said. "Thanks for the ammunition, Mallow."
"I hear you utter that name, and I'll skin you alive!" Moon threatened.
Sun continued laughing and Moon only continued to throw more insults and threats at him. Eclipse watched the two of them. "He needed this I suppose." Hau heard this and turned his attention to Eclipse.
"What are you talking about?" Hau asked.
"Sun was in a sad mood today, I am glad that this levity was provided."
"Oh…" Hau then looked down as he remembered why Sun was in this mood in the first place. He managed to beat Sun the night before, and it even caused Litten to dislike Sun. Hau felt responsible for Sun's down mood, but he didn't know how to make the situation better, or how to bring it up.
"Not you too…" Eclipse said.
"Hehe, what are you talking about Eclipse?"
"I can see it, you're sad too."
Hau nervously laughed, in a similar manner to Sun earlier. "W-why would you say that?"
"I can sense it… in a way… I think…?" Eclipse said. Though she looked to have confused herself.
After Moon's threats and insults, Sun looked at Litten's Pokéball. "I can't keep being down on myself, Litten and I have to get stronger."
Moon still glared at him because of the nickname teasing. "You want something?"
"Uh… what do you say to a little battle?"
"Heh, you want payback for when I beat you? Okay, you're on, Outsider!"
Mallow smiled. "Hehe, cool, so I finally get to see how good the trainer from Kanto is."
Moon had her eyes closed. "Trust me, he ain't much. You'll see after I beat him. Alright, let's throw down already!"
They walked outside and waiting for them on the beaten path was a large canine-like Pokémon with grey and dark blue fur. His face was dark brown and he had long cream plumes that stretched to the ground. There was a three tipped crest on the top of his head, and below that was his black nose. It looked to be sniffing the ground.
"Whoa!" both Sun and Eclipse gasped as they had never seen that Pokémon before.
"Haha, yezzz!" Rotom yelled. "Another Pokémon to zz-scan!" he took a picture of the large Pokémon and it then appeared on Rotom's display.
['Stoutland the Big-Hearted Pokémon and the final evolved form of Lillipup, with this wise Pokémon, there could be no concern that it would ever attack people. Some parents even trust it to babysit.']
Moon smiled and she pulled out her Luxury Ball. "You're gonna wanna see this!" the ball bounced off the ground, opened up, and Lillipup had gotten up from his sleep and saw the big canine. Stoutland looked down and he let out a grumble as he looked down at his smaller compatriot. Lillipup whimpered and retreated back. "It's okay, Lillipup," Moon said with a slight laugh. "He won't hurt you." Deciding to trust her trainer, Lillipup closed in and the larger Pokémon had nuzzled Lillipup with his snout.
"Aww!" Mallow cooed. "That's sweet, I didn't know you caught a Lillipup, Moon."
"Uh… well, you know… the little guy wouldn't leave me alone, he kinda left me no choice." Moon replied while nervously scratching the back of her head. They all watched as Lillipup was playfully running around the Stoutland.
"Whoa, he looks so cool," Sun commented.
"You'd think that," Mallow said. "But his fur gets so easily ruffled so I have to brush it for more than an hour…" she said this while a tired sweatdrop fell from the side of her face. They all then saw Eclipse rubbing the neck of Stoutland while muttering 'Who's a good boy?' "Uh is she okay?" Mallow asked with a concerned tone.
"Her? Oh yeah, don't worry about her, she'd just weird." Moon said. "But we like her anyways." She then looked on at Sun. "But ignoring that, don't we have to battle Sun?"
Sun quickly took out Litten's Pokéball. "Okay, I know Moon won't hold back. So it's the perfect Battle for me and Litten."
"Right, I'm ready."
Mallow then smiled. "Looks like I get to see the new kid battle… hey, Moon wouldn't this technically be the first fight between you and your boyfriend?"
Black ellipsis dots were hovering over both Sun and Moon and the two of them blushed. "It's not like that!" Moon exclaimed.
"Yeah, quit messing around Mallow…" Sun said.
Mallow then quickly grabbed Sun's hands in a romantic manner. The moment amplified by a sparkly pink backdrop. "So that means you are available?"
Sun was blushing as he didn't know how to respond to Mallow's advances. "Um… uh…"
"Sure he is if you don't include Lillie…" they all heard from Eclipse who by that time was rubbing the head of Mallow's Stoutland.
"Lillie?" Mallow pondered, she quickly remembered who she was. "Oh you mean the pale girl with the big hat?" she asked raising her hands above her head to mentally illustrate Lillie's white sun hat. "So you like her then?"
"C-can we stop talking about her. Lillie and I just met!" Sun stuttered.
Moon then smirked while standing next to Mallow. "And yet you invited her to your house. Not really strangers if you ask me."
Sun opened his mouth to object but his flushed expression prevented him from speaking because he would have no idea what to say. He felt Eclipse's hand on his shoulder in a soothing manner. "It's okay to have feelings for someone. I won't judge you."
"But I will!" Moon said with a hearty laugh.
"But there aren't any feelings!" he continued, he needed to find a way to get them off his back about Lillie, they just became friends, it was much too soon to be thinking about those feelings… right?
"Who are you trying to convince, me, Moon, or yourself?"
Eclipse's question really did give Sun something to think about, but he didn't want to give it any further thought, because whatever he said, it would only make Eclipse want to 'help' him. And Moon would take any teasing ammunition she could get.
He was still holding Litten's Pokéball and, he looked to Moon. "Can we just battle already?"
Moon had her wrist on her hip and chuckled. "Fine, but don't cry when I beat you. You can cry to Lillie instead." She looked to Lillipup who was rubbing up against the leg of Stoutland. "Hey, Lillpup!" the Pokémon barked in response. "Wanna go?" Lillipup happily barked and ran back to Moon. The puppy Pokémon looked at Sun, getting ready to battle.
"Right, here we go Litten!" he threw out Litten's Pokéball and it landed on the ground and it opened, but after the capsule opened, it was revealed to be empty. They were all surprised and shocked. This revelation could really only mean one thing. Litten had gotten out of his Pokéball and run away.
"Where is Litten?" Eclipse asked.
"I don't understand?" Mallow said. "Why would your Pokémon up and leave like that?"
Sun though looked down and immediately knew why he ran away. "Because of me… I haven't been good enough for him."
Moon made a fist and she picked up Litten's Pokéball. "We'll find him!" she put Litten's open Pokéball in front of Stoutland's nose. "Okay Stoutland, I need you to find the Pokémon that was in this Pokéball."
Stoutland sniffed the Pokéball before he turned his nose up to air in order to catch the scent. "Good idea Moon. Stoutland's nose will find Litten in no time." Mallow said.
"How come?" Eclipse questioned.
The green haired girl winked. "See Stoutland have very good noses, people of Alola use then to sniff out lost items and people and Pokémon." Stoutland tilted his head nose North.
"Alright, Stoutland says we'll find him at the Paniola Ranch."
Even after hearing the news Sun didn't look as thrilled as he should be. Moon stopped to his side. "We'll find him and we'll sort everything out, but Litten isn't going to come back to you if you're all mopey like this!"
"She is right." Eclipse said. "A Pokémon like Litten won't respond well to a trainer who has lost faith in his own ability."
Sun looked up and back to the empty Pokéball that Moon was holding. "O-okay, for now… let's find him." Suddenly Mallow's Bounsweet had woken up and she had seen the group of new people in front of her.
"s-swwweet…" she whimpered.
"Oh man, poor Bouncee is awake," Mallow said. She gave Bouncee a berry and she ate it and she stopped panicking. "C'mon guys, we gotta go, the better!" she jumped on the seat-saddle that was on top of Stoutland and she held her hand out to Sun. "Well, wanna lift?"
"U-um… no thanks… I think I'll just walk…"
Mallow did feel disappointed when Sun rejected her offer. She let out a sigh in defeat. "Fine, but you're missing out."
"May I ride with you?" Eclipse asked.
"Of course, get up here… Eclipse… right?"
"Uh huh." Eclipse said while struggling to get onto the saddle.
"Alright, we're heading to Paniola Ranch; luckily I know the place, and maybe some of the farmers and Pokémon Breeders might have seen him."
"Worth a shot!" Moon threw out her Ride Pokémon. Tauros and he let out a heavy moo before he stuck his hooves into the ground.
Mallow was surprised to see Tarous. "Moon, you have a Ride Pokémon?"
"You bet, now how about a race! Tarous vs Stoutland!" Moon said, getting onto Tarous while holding the panting Lillipup.
Rotom got excited. "Oh yeah, bzzt! A race!"
"The winner… let's see…" Moon pondered. "Eh whatever, loser owes the winner… a favor."
"You're on Moon-Pie!" Mallow teased while sticking her tongue out.
"Pfft whatever, Marshmallow!"
"Oh come on!" Mallow cried. "That's name's embarrassing!"
"Don't dish it out if you can't take it," Moon said. "Now let's go Tauros!" Tauros huffed and he sped down the long path.
"Hey! That's cheating!" she looked down to Eclipse and handed her Bouncee, who had fallen asleep again. "You hold onto her, kay."
"Uh huh." Eclipse said with a nod.
"Let's go, boy!" Stoutland chased after Moon and Tauros while still keeping the scent in his nose.
This left Sun and Hau along, staring forward. "Those two sure are competitive huh?" Hau said. "But let's go we can't let them get too far ahead."
"R-right." The two chased after the three who had left them earlier.
Close to the Paniola Ranch, Litten was growling at a Yungoose, they appeared to be fighting over a Sitrus Berry that was on the ground by a tree.
The Yungoose charged at Litten, trying to tackle him but Litten had veered slightly to the side and bit down on Yungoose's tail with his mouth on fire. He swung Yungoose into the tree. Right when Yungoose recovered, he was hit by an Ember. Then Litten rushed at him and slashed past him with Scratch.
The Yungoose had swirls replacing its eyes and Litten went to enjoy his spoils. He lay down on his stomach and started chewing on the berry.
"That was an impressive showing." Litten looked up and saw a boy who was probably as pale as Lillie, he had sharp emerald green eyes with pale blonde hair. He had six bangs all going to the right side of his face, covering his right eye. He wore a black hoodie with a zipped open, tear-like mark on the center, which was revealed to be red underneath. He had a pack that hung on the left side of his body and had black pants with cuts and tears in them. His feet were covered by red sneakers with black laces.
Litten showed caution and growled at the boy. But there was an odd-looking Pokémon standing next to him. It was mainly black with two metallic looking, claws as its forelegs. It's rear paws looked normal and there were purple scales on his flanks, and the front of its rear paws. There was a fin-like tail on its backside. There was a white mane going up to its face. However, its face was covered by a bronze mask with moss green accents. All that could be seen from the mask was the grey eyes of the Pokémon.
"Relax, I don't plan on hurting you, but I can see it in your eyes." He said. "You desire power." Gladion had pulled out a black, yellow and white Ultra Ball. "I seek power, enough of it to achieve my goals, and you could help me." Litten then calmed his stance, he noticed the bigger Pokémon looking down at him, and Litten could tell that it wanted to battle him. "I see… It seems Null sees that power in you too."
Litten bent his legs and was getting ready to battle against Null and he growled at the larger Pokémon.
Lurking from the bushes, was the green-eyed Rockruff and he looked to be watching both Litten and Null very intently.
Waiting at the end of the brown path was Moon on top of Tarous, she had returned her Lillipup to his Pokéball. She watched Mallow's Stoutland running to her with Rotom lagging behind. Once Mallow and Stoutland reached the finish, Mallow had puffed her cheeks angrily as she was slightly red in the face. Eclipse had her usual expression as she held Bouncee.
Moon gave her a triumphant smirk. "Oh I'm sorry; I didn't know there were rules against starting before your opponent."
"She does have a point." Eclipse said.
"See, even Eclipse agrees with me!"
Rotom had shrugged. "Zzzhe's got you there Mallow…"
She gave a sigh. "Fine, what favor do I owe you?"
"Hmm…" Moon gave it some thought but she knew it would be a wasted opportunity if she used it now when she didn't have anything on her mind that she wanted Mallow to do. "Nope, I'm gonna save it."
"Grrr, you're just like Lana. No wonder you two are so close!"
"Oh come on, you know you love me, Mallow." Moon mocked.
Hau and Sun eventually caught up. "Hey! What did we miss? Who won!?" Hau excitedly asked
"Haha, who do you think?" Moon said leaping off Tauros. "Me!" though she noticed that Sun's mood hadn't improved. Her excited tone took on a more concerned one. "Hey, let's try asking around. I'm sure someone out here has seen Litten."
"Alright, I'll help I'll ask that nice lady over there!" Hau said. Eclipse followed him, giving Bounsweet back to Mallow.
Moon pulled out her silver, ride Pokéball and returned Tarous."In the meantime, we should follow this big guy's scent," Moon said patting Stoutland. She then walked over to Sun and decided to take a more honest approach. "And you! Stop moping around, can't you see you're bumming out Hau!" she angrily said.
"H-huh, what are you talking about?"
"I know that Hau beat you last night, and although he's tried to hide it, he's been blaming himself for what happened."
Sun was at a loss, he never for one moment thought to blame Hau for everything that happened. "I didn't know."
"Alright look, I'm gonna level with you here, Litten's a competitive Pokémon and I mean real competitive. So he hates to lose. Unless you're ready to deal with that, then this is going to happen again." She paused and saw Sun had no response, so she continued. "Also, he doesn't hate you; he's just mad, mad at you and mad at himself. So he's probably out there, trying to get stronger himself."
This did bring Sun's mood up slightly, he still blamed himself for Litten leaving but he knew he had to find him and make things right. "R-right… thanks…" suddenly Bouncee had leaped out of Mallow's arms and jumped towards Sun and instinctively he caught the fruit Pokémon. She was bouncing slightly on his arms.
Mallow giggled at the sight. "Hehe, looks like Bouncee likes you!"
"It's not zz-surprising!" Rotom said. "Sun here is likable bzzzt!"
"I surely agree!" Mallow said, giving Sun a wink.
Litten at the same time was still fighting Null, he had bruises and dust all over his body. He was covered in a red aura. His ability Blaze activated and he launched an Ember that looked like a more powerful ball of fire and it crashed into Null and the masked Pokémon's eyes fashioned a glare to the little fire cat.
Null sprinted to Litten and attempted to use Tackle but missed as Litten leaped out of the way. Litten's mouth was filled with fire and he leaped right towards Null.
Null's claws were covered in a red, flaming aura and he swiped his claw across Litten in the air and the feline was hit hard and he crashed into a tree. Null looked like he wanted to finish the job but the boy held his arm in front of Null. "That's enough Null." He was surprised when he saw Litten trying to get back up, but he was in so much pain after taking the Crush Claw. Even so, he refused to stay down. The boy pulled out a Super Potion and he sprayed Litten's wounds. "I've seen enough, you've got a lot a fighting spirit, I'll give you that." he saw a small cottage close to the Paniola Ranch. "We should go in there, hopefully, they will be able to fully take care of your wounds." He entered the ranch with him holding Litten, and Null was walking next to him.
"Oh, how can I help you?" the farmer girl asked from behind the counter.
"Do you have any berries, I found this Pokémon and it's hurt." He said referring to Litten.
"Oh mah gosh!" She looked to go through the back. "I have a few Oran berries if it'll help." She placed them on the counter.
He walked forward and took them. "Thank you."
"You seem like a mighty fine trainer, in fact." She pulled out what looked to be an incubator for a Pokémon egg. "You see me and my pa, are breeders, and a trainer left this egg behind cause she couldn't take care of it. Seein' as you look like a strong trainer, would you like ta-"
"Not interested." The boy said. "Raising a Pokémon from an egg is a time-consuming process, and that is time I do not have. Keep your silly egg; I have neither the time nor the patience. All that matters is that me and my Pokémon Null get stronger."
The door behind them opened and walking into the cottage were Hau and Eclipse. "-I mean, maybe if I held back in that battle, maybe we wouldn't be in-" he then noticed the boy holding Litten. "Hey! That's Litten! We found him!"
"Nya…?" Litten meowed
"I knew I had a good feeling about this place…" Eclipse said.
"Are you this Pokémon's trainer?" the boy asked looking at Hau.
"Nope, I'm Hau, and you would be?"
"None of your business, and since this Pokémon doesn't belong to you, I'll be on my way." He then was walked out of the cottage and Hau followed him. Eclipse looked at the egg and the woman behind the counter.
"Keep an eye on that egg." Eclipse followed Hau out of the cottage.
"Heeey wait up!" Hau yelled as the boy wouldn't stop, Null was still following him. "Would you just stop for a second kid."
The boy stopped. "First of all it's not 'kid', it's Gladion. Second, I shouldn't have to answer to you!"
Litten looked back after Gladion put him down. But didn't seem to care about what was going on. He knew Gladion could make him stronger, so it was then he decided to stay with him for the time being.
"Well, what about if we battle!" Hau said pulling out a Pokéball. "My Pokémon are really good, and if I beat you, you have to let Litten come back with us."
Litten hissed at Hau, he still seemed mad about his loss. He looked up to Gladion and he looked right to Hau.
"Well, it would seem that Litten would want to battle you. So be it." Null stood next Gladion and Litten stood in front him.
Eclipse looked at Litten and she grew slightly concerned. "Hau, this isn't good. I sense Litten is much angrier than before."
"Well if I can get Litten back, then I'll be able to cheer Sun up. So that doesn't matter right now."
"If you say so…"
Gladion then pointed to Hau. "What is your reason to battle?"
Hau placed his finger on his chin. "Hmm, my reason? Well, that's easy; I battle because it's fun!" he said with a sweet smile while he closed his eyes
"Fun? That's it?" Gladion asked, sounding perplexed.
"Of course, my Tutu had taught me to enjoy the company of Pokémon whether we battle or not."
"He's the Melemele Kahuna's grandson by the way," Eclipse mentioned.
Gladion gave a slight smirk. "I see. Then you would be a good opponent to test my strength against." He looked at Litten. "Litten, prove your strength to me!" Litten hissed as he waited for Hau to throw out a Pokémon. Gladion held his left wrist with his right hand, the was his assumed battle stance.
"Alright, here goes." Hau tossed out a Pokéball and his Crabrawler had come out and it was throwing punches with its claws.
"You go ahead and start." Gladion offered.
"Don't mind if I do! Crabrawler, use Bubble!" Crabrawler fired bubbles towards Litten. Litten, having seen this attack before leaped over the bubbles and before Gladion could even give the word, his claws stretched out and he raked Crabrawler.
"Excellent, I see you've taken the initiative. I like that, use Leer!" Litten landed on the ground and he glared at Crabrawler while his eye shone, lowing the defense of the fighting type crab.
"Hey Crabrawler, let's end this quickly, use Rock Smash!" Crabrawler ran on the ground and his claw was covered in whitish orange energy and Crabrawler slid towards Litten.
Gladion had a plan for this. "Litten get close and dodge his punch!" Litten did this and he ducked under the first punch, he leaped over the second punch and was glaring right at Crabrawler. "Perfect, use Fire Fang!" Litten's mouth was engulfed in flames and lines of fire spread down the sides of his mouth he bit down onto Crabrawler and he was thrown back to Hau.
"Crabrawler…" Hau worryingly called.
Litten though was speeding to the downed Pokémon. "Now use Scratch, relentlessly!" Litten continued to scratch Crabrawler over and over, he got five swipes in at Crabrawler and the Pokémon was defeated and he lay on his back.
"Very Interesting… It looks like he picked up the move Fury Swipes." Gladion thought. "He must really yearn for battle."
Hau returned Crabrawler to his Pokéball. "Wow, looks like you got to know Litten very well, Gladion," Hau said.
"Don't you care that you lost?" Gladion asked.
"I mean sure I do, but as long as we all have fun at the end of the day."
"Tch and you're the Kahuna's grandson?" he mockingly said.
"Yeah I am, and I'll show you, let's give it all we got Pikachu!" he threw out his Pikachu and she landed on her feet after jumping out from the Pokéball. She let out an excited 'Pika' and electric streaks danced around her red cheek pouches.
Gladion looked down to Litten, and Litten nodded and got in a battle stance, the back of his hairs were standing up slightly, as he was ready to go again. "Fine, then I shall oblige. Litten use Ember!" Litten blasted a small blast of fire towards Pikachu.
Hau though had a plan. "Pikachu, use Quick Attack to dodge the attack!" Pikachu then ran with a bright white light trailing her. The Ember missed and she headbutted Litten.
Litten rolled back and he growled. Pikachu was also getting into the battle as lines of electricity were surrounding her. "Quick Pikachu, use Electro Ball!" Hau called out. Pikachu generated a bright yellow ball of electrical energy at the end of her tail and a blue electric pulse surrounded it. Pikachu leaped up with the electrical ball at the end of her tail.
"Litten, get up there and use Fire Fang!" Litten leaped up to Pikachu, the electric mouse flipped in the air and her electric ball at the end of her tail was about to slam into Litten's mouth that was filled with flames.
Moon, Mallow, and Sun, along with Stoutland were walking around Paniola Ranch, trying to get any leads on Litten. His scent was all over the area, so Stoutland couldn't follow a single trail. "Sorry, I haven't seen yer, Litten." A plump farmer said. "Though a couple of other breeders around here did mention seeing a black cat fighting a bunch of wild Pokémon earlier this mornin'."
"Black cat? That was Litten!" Moon said.
"Have you heard anything since then?" Mallow asked.
"Sorry kids…" he said confirming he had no more information to share.
Stoutland was barking and they all looked up into the sky. They heard an explosion, that sounded like two Pokémon moves clashing. They looked up and saw a dark smoke cloud with electrical sparks around and two figures falling to the ground.
Mallow was the first to say something. "You think that's-?"
"I have no doubt!" Moon said, "Come on!" Taking the lead she instinctively grabbed Sun's hand which confused the boy for a moment.
Both Litten and Pikachu were panting, as both of them were giving their all. "Very impressive Litten, now use-"
They all turned to see Sun, Moon, and Mallow with them. Litten then turned his nose up when Sun looked at him after he called out to him
Gladion looked to Sun. "So you're Litten's trainer?"
Sun stepped forward. "Y-yeah, I am. I'm Sun!"
"Hmph, apparently you're not strong enough to handle this Pokémon."
"And what would you know about strength, Edgelord!" Moon mocked. Eclipse let out a muffled laugh from Moon's 'Edgelord' comment.
Gladion's left eye twitched. "Edgelord…?" he then glared at Sun. "Anyway, I've had enough of battling this… Hau. He's fighting me, just because he can have fun while doing it."
"What's wrong with that?" Hau asked.
"Nothing when you first look at it, but you're only using that as an excuse to hide your own weakness, and because of that your Pokémon get hurt in the process."
Moon shook her fist at him. "Why I oughta-!" But Sun walked in front of her.
"No one talks to my friends like that, and whether or not Litten wants to stay with me, that's his choice but, if a battle is going to shut you up, then that's exactly what I'm going to do!" he threw out his only remaining Pokémon and it was Grubbin that came out.
"Are any of you serious about battling, a bug type like Grubbin doesn't stand a chance against a fire type like Litten." Suddenly white glowing rocks rained in front of them. A figure was in the air and landed on the dirt. It's sharp rocky protrusions, the battle scars over its left eye and on his right paw and the bright emerald eyes confirmed it was Rockruff.
"Rockruff?" Sun asked. Rockruff stood in front of Sun and next to Grubbin. "You'll battle with me?"
"If you insist on making this a two on one battle… Null!" Null growled and it stood beside Litten and it prepared to fight as well.
"Sorry Hau, but I'm taking over," Sun said.
"That's okay Sun, but you better win!" Hau said. Pikachu cheered him on as well with a cheery 'Pika'
Rotom hovered in front of Rockruff, "Hey again, you're zzzertainly different from any Rockruff I've seen, mind if I take some pictures kzzt?"
"Grr Arf, Arf!" Rockruff angrily barked at Rotom, telling him to keep his distance.
Rotom cowardly hid behind Sun. "Okay, I get it, no pictures! Brrzzt, camera shy, much!"
"Thanks… for having my back…" Sun said. Rockruff looked away, indicating that he wanted to keep their relationship strictly professional. Rockruff used Howl and an orange rising aura was rising off him.
"Litten, attack Grubbin with Fire Fang!" Litten shot forward with flames leaking from his mouth. "Null, use Aerial Ace!" streaks of wind surrounded Null and he ran forward, both Litten and Null were speeding towards Grubbin.
"Grubbin, use Dig!" Grubbin immediately dug into the ground to escape and the two attacks missed as he foes went over the hole. Sun clenched his fist. "Rockruff, use Rock Throw!" Rockruff howled and when he was in the air, the rocks on his neck glowed and he shot rocks with a white glow towards Litten and Null. Litten let out a pained meow since it was super-effective.
Gladion growled and he saw that Litten was starting to get hurt. "Litten use Leer, Null use Crush Claw!" Litten glared at Rockruff, lowering his defense, while Null rushed over to Rockruff with bright red glowing claws.
Rockruff growled and he shot forward to Null with a tackle, they both collided and Rockruff landed hard on the ground.
Moon looked to Rotom. "Hey Rotom, that Pokémon, Null? What kind of Pokémon is it?"
"Leave it to me!" he flew over close to Null and took a picture before it noticed. "Bzzt got it!" his display showed Null's picture.
['Null the… uhh…']
"Hey, what's the matter with you? You got a glitch or something?"
"No, I can't find this Pokémon in my database, I have no idea what it is? The only thing I see izzzz the name 'Type: Null'."
"Type: Null…" Moon repeated to herself in a silent mutter.
"Just like the Zygarde Core." Eclipse said. "You think this 'Null' is related to this Zygarde thing?"
"Maybe…" though Moon noticed Gladion's stance and how he stood while commanding Null and Litten. "Why does he battle… like that?"
"Grubbin, come out and attack Litten!" Sun yelled. Grubbin shot out from underneath Litten and he took huge damage. "I'm sorry Litten!" Sun yelled.
"Null, squash that bug, use Crush Claw!" Gladion exclaimed. Null's claws were covered by a red energy glow.
"Grubbin, use Vicegrip!" Grubbin's mandibles moved and as he charged forward, pulses of electricity were surrounding his body. And as he got closer and close to Null, the electrical energy covered his entire body and the brightness of the electricity prevented Null from hitting him and Grubbin crashed into Null's mask.
"What!?" Gladion yelled.
"Whoa!" Sun breathed.
"Cool… sparky…" Eclipse commented.
"Alright, looks like Grubbin learned Spark," Moon said.
Grubbin landed back in front of Sun and suddenly a bright blue glow covered Grubbin, and he looked to be changing. His body getting slightly bigger and his mandibles surprisingly shrunk. He was becoming more cubed shaped. The blue glow had faded and Grubbin had a dark green exterior that had three square segments. His eyes were covered by a blue screen and where his mandibles were, there were two short yellow spikes that extended from the front square, in between them was his rectangular mouth.
"Uhh…" Hau didn't know what to think as he figured Grubbin's evolution would be much cooler.
"It looks like a bus…" Eclipse commented.
"And that'zzz my cue!" Rotom went and took a couple of pictures of the still Pokémon. "Letzz see what we got!"
"A mid-battle evolution won't save you, use Crush Claw!" Null's Crush Claw activated again and it was going to throw its right claw on top of the Pokémon.
"Get out of there!" Sun yelled. But he didn't move and instead he took the Crush Claw and only rolled in a similar fashion to a dice. But he got right-side up and electricity surrounded his body.
"Chaaaaarrrrjabug!" the Pokémon shot forward and hit Null with a second Spark, sending it back, reeling.
"Wow… how did Grubbin take such an attack?" Sun wondered.
"I'll give you the brzt answerrrr!" Rotom said floating in front of him.
['Charjabug the Battery Pokémon, and the evolved form of Grubbin. Its stout shell provides excellent defense from attacks. It uses electricity on persistent opponents.']
"Oh wow, that's great. I'm so happy for you…" Charjabug, however, did move in response, but only let out a bug-like chirp. "Uh… okay…"
"Litten, use Ember and burn that bug!" Litten got up from the Dig he took earlier and he shot an ember towards Charjabug, but Rockruff jumped in front of the battery Pokémon and took the brunt of the attack, but it didn't hurt him.
Sun looked at his Pokémon. "Rockruff, Charjabug. Let's work together!" he took out a Normalium-Z and showed it to Rockruff. "I don't know if you know what this is… but we can use this to win the battle." Rockruff grinned at Sun as soon as he saw the Z-Crystal.
"What is that?" Gladion asked.
Sun smirked; he was starting to get shaded of his confidence back. "Why don't I just show you!" he planted the Z-Crystal in his Z-Ring. "Charjabug, use Mud Slap!" Charjabug had opened his mouth and shot a stream of mud to Null and it got in the eye holes and it seeped down the mask. "Now that Null can't see, let's finish this!"
"I really hope this works… No, I have to believe that it will!" he started performing the dance for the Z-Move after he crossed his arms. A white, aura surrounded Sun and as soon as he finished the dance the aura transferred to Rockruff. All of a sudden, the puppy Pokémon suddenly found that his one move: 'Tackle' was supercharged, and so he looked forward to Null who was still trying to get the mud out from its eyes.
"Null, you don't have to see, listen out for their attack and use Crush Claw!" its claws charged up with Red energy and it was waiting for the strike to happen.
Sun then decided to get creative. "Aha, Charjabug jump onto of Rockruff, then start charging up!" Rockruff was confused, and even more when he felt the weight of the electric bug on his back. Charjabug was generating electricity around him as if he was about to use Spark. "You two ready?"
"This is going to sound stupid, but use… Sparkling Breakneck Blitz!" Everyone was surprised at what he just said, Rockruff felt his power growing and Charjabug was generating electricity." Rockruff launched with Charjarbug on his back the white aura fusing with the electrical energy that was created by Charjabug resulting in the unique move – Sparkling Breakneck Blitz!" they both clashed with Null as soon as he used Crush Claw on them but Charjabug's high defense shielded the both of them from taking huge damage. There was a small explosion and the air was filled with bolts of electric energy. When it faded, Null was revealed to have been defeated and on the ground.
"W-what!?" Gladion yelled.
Litten was surprised when he saw Sun beat Gladion, he also thought back to when he and Sun defeated Hala and his Hariyama together and how happy he was. When Rockruff and Charjabug turned to him, he started walking slowly towards Sun.
Sun stood his ground and he watched Litten bow his head, Sun assumed that Litten was giving him an apology. He bent down to Litten's and he patted the feline's head. "It's okay…" Litten then ran into his arms and Sun hugged his starter.
Gladion returned Null to his Pokéball. "How annoying…" he muttered.
"You okay, Gladion?" Hau asked.
"Hmph… It's not like me to slip up like that…" he turned around to face the others. "I've got to keep fighting stronger opponents."
"Why?" Hau asked.
"I battle for my partner, Null, to make it stronger. Unfortunately, most of our time gets used up by doing small jobs for Team Skull."
"Oh great!" Moon said. "I had a feeling an edgy person like you would be with those numbskulls."
He glared at Moon. "And what are you? A snarky child with an attitude?"
"Child? We look the same age, Creepazoid!"
Gladion looked annoyed. "When we next meet, I'll battle you next." He announced pointing at Moon. "And I'll gladly shut up that mouth of yours."
Moon laughed "Anytime, anyplace! I'll put you down either way!" She confidently smirked at him, while Gladion gave her an annoyed glare.
Gladion started to walk away from them. "No matter who stands in my way. I will become strong, strong enough to defeat them." He muttered before he walked down South, through the straight Route 6.
"What is his problem?" Eclipse asked.
"Heck if I know…" Moon answered. She then looked at Sun. "But more importantly… You doing alright Sun?"
Sun looked back to her while he held Litten. "Yeah, I'm doing a lot better."
Moon then walked closer to him. "And… um, I have a question to ask you…?"
Sun had a slightly flushed expression. "Uh… yeah go ahead and ask…"
Moon's face twisted into a chuckle. "Sparkling Breakneck Blitz?" Moon laughed again repeating the improvised move Sun made up earlier.
Sun awkwardly chuckled. "Hehe, I uh… I wanted to call it something…"
"Maybe I'll try that, except mine will be better!"
Hau then laughed and he wrapped his arms around both Sun and Moon. "Awesome, now we're all happy! Get in here Eclipse." They all noticed that Eclipse was missing, only leaving a blinking yellow outline of her body.
"Where'd she go?" Sun asked.
"Who knows, that girl is weird," Moon remarked.
"But in a good way…" Hau said.
"Of course you'd think that."
"Um…" They all saw Eclipse holding a white and green spotted Pokémon egg. "The woman in that house was giving away this egg, so I took it."
"Oh, that's great, Eclipse!" Hau said walking to her.
"Well uh, I wanted you to have it." Eclipse said.
Hau blushed, but he smiled. "Aw, thanks! But you already gifted me with Pichu, so why don't you keep the egg?"
Eclipse held the egg tighter. "Really?"
"Then I shall treasure it." She there was also a hint of a slight smile forming on Eclipse's lips. "Thank you…"
Sun meanwhile let Litten down and he bent down to Rockruff and Charjabug. "Thanks for the help you two, I couldn't have done it without you." Though he had a question he had to ask Rockruff. "By the way Rockruff, how did you even get here?"
Rockruff was at the docks at Hau'oli City, he saw Kukui's boat being packed for the trip to the next island. He could see both Lillie and Kukui getting aboard. "U-um… are you sure this boat is seaworthy?" Lillie worriedly asked.
Kukui laughed. "Don't worry, Lillie. This girl has gotten me through even the roughest storms, she'll get us to Akala Island in no time at all."
"Okay, I'll trust you professor."
"Pew!" Nebby shook around in her bag.
"What is wrong Nebby? You can't come out now, we're about to leave…"
Rockruff looked at the bag and through the zipper; he could see Nebby's eyes looking right at him and her jitteriness made him think she wanted to interact with him. After Lillie boarded the boat, Kukui started the boat and as it left the dock, Rockruff backed up, took a run up to the edge of the dock and he leaped across to the boat.
He landed on the wood and immediately he made a noise. "What was that!?" Lillie asked sounding afraid. "I knew it, this boat is falling apart!"
"Calm down Lillie, everything is still intact." Kukui calmly said. "We'll get to Akala very soon."
Rockruff immediately ran into the cabin, and from there, we watched both Lillie and Kukui interact. "Holding on to your hat pretty tightly there, yeah?" he said with a smile.
Lillie was holding onto her hat as the wind threatened to blow it off. This was due to how fast the boat was going. "If we push the boat much harder than this, we may end up at the bottom of the ocean!"
"Pew!" Nebby tried to force herself out of the bag.
"No Nebby, it's too dangerous right now!"
The boat was getting closer to Akala island with the stowaway Rockruff on board.
"That doesn't matter, but I'm glad you showed up," Sun said. He watched Rockruff walk to the nearby bushes. "Oh well, till next time I guess…" However, he was surprised when he saw him walk out with a Pokéball in his mouth. He dropped it in front of his foot, and he nudged it closer to Sun's foot with his snout. "W-wait… are you serious?"
"Of course he is!" Moon said. "Now do it before he changes his mind. You really think he wouldn't have followed you all the way from Melemele if he didn't want to be your partner?"
Sun smiled. "Alright, here goes then." He picked up the Pokéball and Rockruff faced away from Sun with his nose pointed up. He lightly tossed the Pokéball against Rockruff and he was brought into the Pokéball after it opened and after one shake, the closed Pokéball locked. Sun picked up the Pokéball. "Hehe, welcome to the group Rockruff!" he threw it out and Rockruff came out again and he was still sitting with his nose pointed up. Litten jumped down from his shoulder and he reached out a paw to attempt to be friendly to Rockruff, but the rock type canine, only roughly barked at him, spooking the fire cat. Rockruff then pointed his paw to Sun, then to Litten.
"Maybe Rockruff is mad that Litten left you," Hau said.
Sun walked to both of them. "Come on, there is no need for that. Litten already apologized, and Rockruff I know you'll be the perfect training partner for Litten, so what do you say we all get along?" Rockruff let out what could only be described as a huff. He patted Litten on the head with his paw before he walked back to Sun's side.
"Glad that turned out alright," Mallow said. She looked at Bouncee who was awake. "Oh well, guess I gotta get back home. You better not forget about my trial huh."
"Oh no, we won't thanks for the help, Mallow." Sun thanked.
Mallow threw out her Ride Pokémon Stoutland. She climbed on him and let out a giggle. "Anything for a friend of Moon's, so since you're all doing the island challenge as one group, who's going to take on Lana's trial?"
Moon and Hau stepped forward. "You're looking at 'em. Sun's team is crushed by water and Eclipse… well…"
"Sun and I will do the next one." Eclipse said.
"Alright! Well, I'll be seeing you guys later. Good luck to all of you!" She rubbed Stoutland. "Let's go Stoutland." Stoutland huffed and he walked through Route 6 to get back to Heahea City while Mallow returned Bouncee to her Pokéball.
While they watched her leave Moon jabbed Sun's shoulder. "I think she likes you."
"Not again…" Sun groaned.
Moon smirked. "Well that doesn't matter, let's go say hi to Lana."
The four continued towards Route 5 which would take them closer to Brooklet Hill where Lana's trial was waiting.
A/N: Next chapter, Moon and Hau take on Lana's trial so the group can proceed through their island challenge. Also, we met Gladion (finally). Hope you enjoyed the update, and I'll see you guys next time.
Sun: Litten (M), Charjabug (M), Rockruff (M)
Ride Pokémon: N/A
Z-Crystals: Normal, Fighting
Moon: Popplio (F), Trumbeak (M), Lillipup (M)
Ride Pokémon: Tauros
Z-Crystals: Normal, Fighting
Hau: Rowlet (M), Pikachu (F), Crabrawler (M)
Ride Pokémon: N/A
Z-Crystals: Normal, Fighting
Eclipse: Abra (M), Misdreavus (F), Oricorio (F) [Pom-Pom Style], Unknown Egg
Ride Pokémon: N/A
Z-Crystals: Normal, Fighting
Gladion: Type: Null, ?
Ride Pokémon: N/A