Kukui sat on the porch with his wife, both keeping their eyes open for the arrival of Ash. Alongside them, Ash's pokemon sat with them, also waiting.
The group had called off the search when the school day had pretty much ended, which was now several hours ago.
Cynthia had left a half hour before, needing sleep from the jet lag of flying from half-way around the world the day before.
He sighed, taking a sip of his coffee. However, a loud thud coming from the loft where Ash usually slept caused him to spill it, sending it all over his lap, causing him to hiss in pain.
Ignoring it, he and Burnet, followed by all of Ash's pokemon, rushed inside, only to find the Kantonian fast asleep on his mattress.
Rotom, who was currently hovering above the raven-haired trainer, looked up, and began yelling in his shrilly voice.
"Ash just suddenly appeared! I was charging and in sleep mode, and when I woke up, he was just here!"
Kukui frowned, wildly confused. A light breeze brought his attention to the open window, which led to the roof.
He quickly made his way to the window and looked out, not seeing anything out of the ordinary. He frowned and closed the window, before turning back to his student.
Burnet, who had also entered the loft, was looking at a pokeball resting on the desk that Rotom's charger sat on.
"Elios, who's pokemon is this?"
Kukui looked at the strange pokeball resting on the desk, frowning. "Uh...I'm not sure. I've never even seen a pokeball like this before."
Burnet continued looking at it, before glancing up at Rotom. "Can you scan it?"
The sentient pokedex attempted to scan it, but his screen came up blank.
Kukui sighed, making his way back down the ladder. "I guess we can ask Ash about it tomorrow."
The next morning
Kukui made his way to the kitchen, hoping to catch Ash before the Kantonian left the house to train. When he entered the room however, Burnet was alone, frying eggs on the stove.
She glanced up as he entered, and frowned. "He left right as I got up. He said that he'd meet you at the school."
Kukui frowned. Ash usually walked to school with him, and considering the previous day's events, Kukui was even more curious as to what his newest student was doing.
Shrugging, he grabbed a cup of coffee from the coffee maker and made his breakfast. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something splash in the ocean a good distance away from the beach, but his mind dismissed it as just being a sharpedo, and paid no attention to it.
Pikachu's eyes rolled as he watched his trainer and the pokemon his trainer was riding on dive back into the water. Adjusting himself on his perch on the professor's roof, he chuckled.
Lillie looked out the balcony, frowning. Ash had texted her that he would be late, but he hadn't said just how late he would be, and she was getting worried.
A pained grunt drew her attention away from her phone. She glanced up, and was surprised to see said raven-haired trainer climbing in through the balcony that connected to the school's roof.
Pikachu chuckled as everyone in the classroom, including Kukui and Cynthia watching his trainer climb in.
The Kantonian looked up, and upon seeing everyone staring at him, paused.
Cynthia frowned, looking at her apprentice. She had a nagging suspicion that he was on the roof for the same reason that he had disappeared the day before, but decided not to question it for now.
Her attention was then brought to the trainer's belt, which now had a pokeball that hadn't been there the day before, never mind the fact that she didn't even recognize the model. She mentally made a note to ask him about it later in the day.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the bell, signifying the beginning of the school day.
Glancing around the room, she smiled, before looking at Kukui, who nodded to her.
"Ok, class! Cynthia has agreed to help explain how leagues usually work, so please pay attention!"
The six students nodded, each looking at the champion and waiting for her to begin.
Lillie looked up from her notes, sighing. Leagues were complicated.
"And now, I will be showing you some league videos!"
Lillie looked at the Sinnohan Champion, intrigued. Watching other leagues would definitely help her figure some things out.
She watched as Cynthia turned on the projector, revealing what was on her laptop screen.
She was on Poketube, with several videos listed. The blonde champion clicked on one, which was from seven years before.
Lillie looked over at her Kantonian classmate as he groaned, confused.
Before she could question it, she heard a voice that sounded vaguely familiar.
Looking back at the screen, she saw something that surprised her.
The Kantonian just groaned again, putting his head on his desk and covering it with his arms, while Pikachu and Pidgeot chuckled, and the rest of his pokemon just looked very confused.
Pikachu chuckled, seeing his old water-type teammate face off against Richie's butterfree.
Pidgeot, who was sitting beside her trainer's desk, looked over at the electric-type.
"How's he been doing?"
Pikachu shrugged. "I haven't seen him in a while. I think he's still with the Squirtle Squad."
The flying type nodded, looking back at the video. "Those were the days." She said nostalgically. Pikachu nodded in agreement.
Several minutes later:
Lillie looked over at her raven-haired classmate in surprise. She could not have imagined that he would ever have a pokemon that didn't listen to him on that scale, seeing as most pokemon she had seen the Kantonian encounter seemed to love him.
Her classmates seemed to be on the same wavelength, looking at their newest classmate, as well as Kukui. PIkachu, Pidgeot, and Cynthia just seemed to be enjoying the moment, while Ash just kept his head on the desk, underneath his arms.
Lana and Kiawe in particular seemed especially interested, seeing as Ash had used both a squirtle and charizard.
Once they had properly processed what had happened, Sophocles, Kiawe, Mallow and Lana all spoke up at once, asking their raven-haired classmate several questions.
It took several minutes for Kukui to regain control of the class, attempting to talk over four of his students, while Lillie, Cynthia, and the pokemon just watched in amusement.
Once he had finally regained control of the class, he looked at his students.
"Now, why don't we ask Ash one question at a time? Lana, you're first."
The bluenette nodded, before looking at the Kantonian, her eyes sparkling.
"Can we meet your squirtle?"
Kiawe nodded. "And your charizard?"
Ash chuckled nervously. "Uh...no. Squirtle's part of the Squirtle Squad in Kanto, and Charizard's training in Johto."
Both trainers sighed in disappointment, causing Ash to scatch the back of his head in embarrassment.
Mallow looked at Ash curiously. "Did you ever get your charizard to listen to you?"
The boy nodded. "Yea. He's one of my strongest pokemon now."
Sphococles then spoke up. "Do you think you would have won if you hadn't used charizard?"
Ash frowned, before shrugging. "I don't know. My opponent was one of my rivals, and I might have beaten him, or I might have lost. I have no idea."
The blonde nodded, before frowning. "Why did you dissapear yesterday?"
Lillie watched the Kantonian's face closely.
Said face was now focusing on an empty spot in the room, frowning.
He stayed like this for several seconds, before nodding.
"Uh...I'll tell you later."
Lillie narrowed her eyes, wondering why he seemed so nervous. However, Cynthia had pulled up a new video, and she filed her wonders about the trainer's behavior away.
Glancing back at Ash, who now seemed much more happy, she frowned.
"Did you do well in this league?"
The boy nodded. "You'll see, but yea. Charizard listened to me, and I did pretty well."
Lillie nodded, focusing back on Cynthia as the champion began speaking.
"This is Ash's Johto League. He improved a lot from his Kanto league, and I think that you'll see that."
Said trainer then frowned. "I won the Orange Islands' league…"
The Sinnohan looked at the frowning Kantonian. "You did, but it's not an official league. We won't be showing you winning the battle frontier for the same reason."
The Kantonian nodded, but Kukui looked up in interest at his friend's words.
"He won the Battle Frontier?"
Cynthia nodded, and Ash smiled. "Yea. Brandon and Scott even offered me a position as a Frontier Brain."
Kukui's eyes widened. How had this never come up before? He frowned. "Wait, then why do you still travel?"
Ash frowned, looking confused. Cynthia chuckled. "Elio, he declined the position."
Kukui sat down, shocked. Lillie frowned.
"What's a Battle Frontier?"
Ash grinned. "It's a thing that lets you battle really strong trainers! I defeated it after I did the Hoenn league."
Lillie nodded. Cynthia grinned.
"Mind you, being offered a position as a frontier brain is pretty much the equivalent to being offered the position of an elite four member."
Lillie looked at her classmate, who was now rubbing his pidgeot, in shock.
Kiawe, seeming to feel the same as Lillie, spoke. "Ash, how long ago was this?"
The boy looked up. "Uh...like, three I think." He paused, before nodding. "Yea, cause it was right after my fourteenth birthday."
Lillie distinctly heard her teacher fall off of his chair at this, and honestly, she couldn't blame him. Heck, when she had been fourteen, she had been living in her family's mansion, deathly afraid of pokemon, comfortably drinking tea. She had yet to meet any of her friends, as she had joined the class only a year before the Kantonian.
And what had he been doing? Essentially being offered a job that was equivalent to an elite four member.
She frowned, realizing something. "Ash, if you were so powerful, why have you not won a league? I mean, you were offered that position, so you must have been very strong…"
Ash shrugged. "Mostly cause I stopped using my old teams. In Johto, I captured new pokemon, but I still used some of my older ones, like Charizard and Bulbasaur. I also used them to beat the Battle Frontier. But during my Hoenn travels, and after, I started completely relying on regional teams, with Pikachu being my only older pokemon I used."
Kukui, who had seemed to recover, frowned. "So you basically used beginner teams with a single better pokemon every league?"
Cynthia nodded. "He's doing, or was doing, the same here. Before I came, I'm going to guess that he never called upon his older pokemon?"
The professor and class nodded. They hadn't even met any older members of Ash's team until they had visited Kanto.
Mallow frowned. "Why did you always train new teams for leagues? Wouldn't it have been better if you just used your older teams?"
Ash shrugged. "Maybe, but if I had, I never would have met so many of my pokemon. Some of my strongest are more recent. I might not have Greninja if I did that."
Mallow nodded, still looking slightly confused, but seemed to accept this answer.
Kukui frowned at Ash's revelation. He had hoped that the Kantonian would use his older pokemon in the league. He looked at the raven-haired trainer. "But you will use your older pokemon in the Alola league, right?"
Ash shrugged. "I don't know yet. I'm thinking about using some of my older pokemon to train Lycanroc, Litten, and Rowlet, but I haven't decided if I'll actually use my older pokemon in the league."
Cynthia chuckled. "Don't worry, you'll have time to decide. For now, let's watch you in Johto."
Well, there's chapter 3.
I know this is shorter than usual, but this week was fairly stressful, so I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked. Due to this, both this story and ToD will be receiving updates every other friday now, as opposed to weekly like I'm doing right now.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed, and I'll see you next chapter.