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  1. #406
    Hive Monarch Rediamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Finally got caught up with this. That took far longer than I expected it to.

    Just going to start by echoing the whole 'pay more attention to grammar' thing. It got better, for a while, but it slid downhill a bit in recent chapters. On a related note, in the last chapter you oscillated between calling Chigon a male or withholding any reference of its gender. The Generation One Gender Neutral schtick really only works if you keep it gender neutral. Otherwise it just seems strange.

    This story has a very anime-esque feel. Not necessarily a Pokemon Anime-esque feel, but it genuinely feels like a faithful adaptation of an anime with the common tropes, setup, and some of the writing. Because of that I can forgive your use of deadpanning, but another word really bothers me. 'Sagely.' I generally apply this to older men and monks giving deep, philosophical advice. It pops up all the time in this story referring to teenagers and teachers talking about battling, superficial relationship details, and caring for eggs. The rarity of the adverb and its connotations really don't mesh well with its intended use. I would find another adverb or just go without one in those cases.

    And now that general grammar rant is over, onto actual substance!

    Once again, I view this story as an anime adaptation and will review it as such. Because of this I can ignore the prevalence of tropes that would be very questionable in other stories such as the prevalence of deadpanning, random tournament arc buildups, overpowered enemies of the week that do crazy things no one pays much attention too. *cough*BlackKnightsDestroyAMajorCityWithTheHelpOfLegendaryPokemonAndTheIncidentIsSeldomSpokenOfAfter wards*cough* Sorry. Long coughing fit there.

    I also didn't read the first story, so I wasn't really that impressed with characterization early on to be honest. We have the Powerful Loner Friend, the Shy Booksmart Nerd, the Perverted Lancer, a generic hot anime teacher, and no one else is really important except for Reggie for most of the story. Even Reggie's Underwhelming Chosen One role is hardly unique given... early anime Ash.

    That's not to say that characterization stays generic. Fin has some alluded depths and becomes more of a steady lancer as time goes on. Anime teacher is minor enough it doesn't matter and is getting more development now. Darren... is still the same but I think that's the point of his character. Miko actually became important in this story and is notable for being a Primary Harem Love Interest who can fight and takes romance stuff into her own hands. Valerie is similarly reasonably developed for a supporting character. And at one point you really start to deconstruct the loser hero hard, which was a nice twist and actually started character development for Reggie which was nice.

    And then we get to Kevin Samuels.

    I will forgive any characterization gripes I have about this story because of that guy. I called him Jay in my inner monologue, because he really struck me as an evil Gatsby. Which was fantastic. Especially at the end when he went from smug competitor to total, complete, gutsy monster of a manipulative villain. Just... I love that character. I really do.


    So if that's characterization and storytelling out of the way, onto the plot itself.

    To be totally honest, even if you never told me this was a sequel and claimed that all of the events referenced are some grand backstory that you slowly explained as the narrative wove on I would automatically think of this story as the middle of a trilogy. There isn't really an overarching plot, which is kind of acceptable because it really is a slice of life anime, but then at the end it starts to build up to another event. The Memento Mori happen, but they're kind of there in a "here's a big bad lurking in the shadows while the heroes train to face him... IN THE NEXT STORY!" The Enforcers are there, but that's a pretty petty obstacle for a group heading from an apparently near omnicidal maniac with ancient powertech into a powerful league of assassins and criminals. So... it's kind of an entire breather story that facilitates a sweep from one story into another one, which is a typical problem with middle installments in trilogies.

    To be fair to you, the plot you do have was handled very well. The romance arc in particular was nice and led into Evil Gatsby's part of the Enforcer's arc well. There just really wasn't any sort of a compelling background story guiding things along, except one that was apparently mostly just sequel setup.



    In short, there were definitely parts of the story that I thought were admirable. I will always remember and cherish Evil Gatsby, and as the Bug Gym Leader on Smogon's ASB I appreciate the Genesect love. Characterization got better and the plot is certainly not bad, especially given the unfortunate position as part two of three+ it finds itself in. But from having not read the original I thought that starting characterization was pretty reliant on archetypes and the plot as a whole was kind of aimless and meandering.

    So... I guess I would say the early story was above average. The middle and later story are distinctly good.

    And that's all I really have to say about that. Add me to the notification list, please.

  2. #407
    .______. Elysia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    I did it. I did it.
    I'm not going to tell you how long I spent reading this, because then you're going to hate me for taking a year to actually get around to reading this. but I might have actually started a few hours ago and why did I just say that

    So. You mentioned that you wanted me to drop a giant bomb of a review on a fic of yours at some point. Let's go.

    Seconding fucking everyone with the proofreading note. Comma rules are archaic and irritating, and I don't expect you to get all of them, but there were a lot of simple word switches or times you accidentally typed lik ethis and messe dup thes pacing, and that's something you can fix really easily. Spelling typos, a lot of pronoun issues, and there was one reviewer who kept pointing out the abuse of the word "colored" and wordiness, and I'll agree with that. What kind of irritated me the most, though, was when reviewers would point out non-subjective typographic errors that you never fixed (the one that comes to mind was the part where you replaced "said" with "friend" regarding something with Zephyr in chapter thirty-something, so the sentence came out as {"Something something something," the girl friend}, which got pointed out at least twice already). The point is, when people take the effort to point out typos, you should probably take the effort to correct them--there were some early reviews in particular that dropped some really good lessons on comma usage and whatnot that, sadly, seemed to go ignored.

    Don't be that one person who doesn't even bother fixing the typos that other people point out for him. It makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. ._.
    (That being said, I'll gladly beta chapters or something if you need it)

    Continuing on in the stylistic way, your prose is kind of simple. There's a lot of repetitiveness there, but I see marked improvement from the earlier chapters--I'm not entirely sure how to review this fic seeing as some of the earliest un-updated chapters were posted back in 2011, so things have obviously changed since then. Your writing definitely evolved from the earlier chapters, and the grammatical errors and wordiness did go down with time, which is great. It's probably a lot, but if you could go back and edit your earlier chapters, it would definitely make for an easier read for people starting from the beginning--the last thing you want to do is keep people from reading a great ending because your beginning still has the fingerprints of your younger years all over it.

    And on a final note for style, you do a lot of telling. People are going to hit you with the "show, don't tell" mallet over and and over again (and over and over and over and goddamn over again), but it's really important. I think we had this debate at some point in TWW, but the central argument is that people in real life don't have little signs over their heads saying "I feel sad" and "I am happy," so when you resort to that in writing, it's kind of unrealistic, I guess? (At least, that's my take on the argument). As it stands, though, your characters feel kind of... flat, I guess? There's a lot of "wow I'm so upset because [motive x]" (and these motives are often really good--I'll get to that when I start on Reggie), but it's like a bunch of little cardboard people talking about why they're angry and giving every single motivation that they could ever have to be sad/angry/[emotion y]. We don't, however, get to feel that upset alongside with them because, while you do a good job of explaining why they're sad/whatever, there's never really a sense that they're actually upset here.

    I mentioned this with Pav; perhaps I enjoy having things spelled out for me, but the low points didn't feel quite so low as much as "HI I'M THE NARRATOR AND I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THAT THIS IS A SUCKY TIME FOR REGGIE LET ME HIT YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH IT DO YOU FEEL BAD NOW." There was a lot of heavy-handed moping around, and a lot of people telling us that they were moping around, but the actual moping itself felt... flat, again, I guess. I'm running out of adjectives while telling you to describe things better, and that's pretty damn stupid of me, but anyway. The characters don't feel upset, per se, but more like you've decided that they should feel upset, but the actual emotion gets lost in the "HEY ARE YOU AWARE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE SAD" yet.

    I'm being very confusing in this vein, so I'm going to stop repeating myself. If what I just said didn't make sense, ask me and I'll try to elaborate in a more clear manner when I'm not frantically racing my laptop battery to finish.

    Some awkward phrasing here and there. A couple of re-reading/proof-reading runs would do wonders.

    This story really shines when you get to the plot, though. Stylistically, yes, holes; we aren't all perfect. However, you managed to grab my attention long enough for me to read this entire thing in one sitting, and that's either a testament to my boredness awesome for you. I jumped right into this without having read Dragon's Roar on your suggestion, so it's entirely likely that I missed some key elements from the previous installment, but here goes.

    I admit, I was terribly nervous when we first got introduced to Chigon. A magical, special, draconic, super-evolution, one-of-a-kind Fakemon going to your main character, with the plot centering on how magically special this super-evolution one-of-a-kind Fakemon is? Good lord, I almost wanted to kill it with fire at the very start (and it's a good thing I didn't). The idea of giving your protagonist such an intense ball of specialness (not only is he a magical Fakemon in a world where no one else has Fakemons, not only did he come from a fucking meteor and insta-bond to Reggie, not only can he evolve into anything he wants and manages to pick cool forms when he needs to, not only does everyone want him, not only is he specially and only attached to Reggie...) is kind of a concept that you want to approach with an enormous stick, because holy hell does my special snowflake radar start ringing here.

    That being said, you handled it very well. Chigon is treated realistically and is not a magical problem-solver. Reggie gets in serious shit for having a super mcspecial dragonface Fakemon from space, and I guess it's handled about as well as a special snowflake MacGuffin can be? Having Reggie go into a manic-depressive rage and turning his back on Chigon was a nice (albeit tragic; although this development probably could've used a good deal more emotion; see three or five paragraphs up) subversion of the special snowflake trope, and it kind of deconstructed what special snowflake owners have, I guess?

    I might've probably missed a lot of chemistry by not reading Dragon's Roar, but I had issues shipping Miko and Reggie as strongly as the narration seemed to want to ship them. I think a lot of this was because I missed the early parts of their relationship and Miko honestly didn't play that big of a role here (that being said, it really would've been nice to see a more two-sided thing than "Reggie: I MUST WIN DA GIRL BUT I IS SUCH A COWARD"/"Miko: WOW I SHALL SUPPORT MY DARLING HUBBY GOD FORBID I ACTUALLY TELL HIM I LIKE HIM AND GO OUT WITH ANOTHER GUY INSTEAD;" the whole thing sort of placed Miko as a prize for Reggie that he had to win back from teh other guyz!, which really isn't how I like seeing characters treated, I guess?).

    The deconstruction of the mcspecial plot was interesting to read, especially since I had no experience with Dragon's Roar and didn't get to see Reggie's rise, so to speak. That being said, I kind of walked into thirty-odd chapters of "woe is me I'm such a failure unlike last time," which didn't seem like a good idea to me at first but proved to be surprisingly entertaining. It was really refreshing to see the stereotypical boy hero going through a ton of shit, although at some point I did get tired of his moping and wanted him to just grow the fuck up and do something already (and, on that note, the lack of emotion from ten or whatever paragraphs up that I mentioned made me feel like you were setting up this depression of Reggie's to make way for his subsequent rise to badassery, which is already starting to happen) (and on that note on top of that other note, I have no idea what Shadow Reggie is but I still approve of that intervention/grow the fuck up speech, along with Darren's conversation). A lot of the fic alternated between Reggie being depressed and people yelling at him for it, and while that kind of got old after a while, it was also surprisingly cathartic to see you so thoroughly explore the less-noble aspects of his character.

    The overall pacing of this story felt kind of off--the introduction of Victini/Genesect/Memento Mori/Black Knights (do I smell a Code Geass reference? <3) was cool, and then we kind of went back to playground fights and high school drama and omg Miko won't kiss me did I mention that there's this shadowy organization that kidnapped a gym leader, hospitalized a friend of mine, tried to steal my super special snowflake Pokemon, and burned down a fucking city BUT MIKO, MAN. Juggling the development of your villains with that of your characters is always difficult, and you definitely did a good job of setting up MM as pretty terrifying (REMEMBER YOU WILL DIE, BITCHES. THE NAME WAS SUPER CHEESY BUT I THINK IT WORKED), but it kind of doesn't fit along with the academy subplot that you've got going. Like, when Azure (whom I assume got development during Dragon's Roar) gets shot and nearly dies, Reggie's upset for nearly half a chapter, and then the whole thing sort of falls away into a plot hole and we don't see it again (although I have no doubt that Azure, newest member of Rogue Academy, will show up during the next tournament arc).

    Like. These fuckers resurrected/captured two legendaries and nearly razed a town (which was so ridiculous but at the same time so fucking badass). That is some heavy stuff to deal with in your early teens chapters, and it was action-packed and heavy and there was some serious badassery, but the conflict suddenly dropped several levels and we had a bunch of back-to-back, markedly not-as-threatening, relatively simple clashes over school pride with some schoolyard bullies. It's kind of akin to reading, like, Harry Potter out of order, and having the clashes with the Death Eaters and Voldemort and the entire wizarding community is trying to hunt down Undesirable Number One, and then in the next book we poof back to Book Five and a large portion of the plot is just "wow this new teacher is kind of a bitch." Compared to the sheer action that we just saw, this new part feels fairly underwhelming, I guess?
    THEY RAZED A FUCKING TOWN

    Also, minor thing, but Principal Brendan is kind of a dick if he really set up this whole let's-have-third-year-students-bully-the-fuck-out-of-kids-in-torn-uniforms system just to see who should compete in the next prestigious tournament. Like. This is bordering on Dumbledore logic (aka let's put all of the maybe-evil students in the house that is definitely-evil and then get surprised that they all turn evil!; let's ban students from entering the Forbidden Forest because it's dangerous EXCEPT DURING DETENTION DON'T BREAK THE RULES HAHA MOFOS).

    You juggle the vast amount of characters that you have really, really well. People have already said this, but this story kind of paces like an anime--there are some nice light filler episodes, lots of OVER THE TOP HAMMY DIALOGUE THAT SHOULD BE SHOUTED BUT DOES WORK PRETTY WELL, the typical cast of characters, some gentle humor during the darker spots, and overall a very episodic/arc-based feel. That was really cool, and despite a lot of the stylistic flaws that I raged about earlier, the plot carried things really, really well. I don't even know particularly why, so it's kind of had to compliment you, but I felt pretty attached/curious about what was going to happen next. There was a mix of suspense and humor, but the story doesn't exactly take itself too seriously (ninety percent of the time, at least).

    I felt some similarities to some things I've already seen at some point--the stew-training-teamwork chapter reminded me of that bell test in Naruto; the Black Knights are kind of like Code Geass (in name only, but squeee anyway), as well as the quiet girl in the wheelchair Nunnally?; I've been spoiled that the seven deadly sins are an element of the FMA villains. These aren't bad, per se, and it was kind of cool to see just how anime-like your story actually is (seriously, I'm really impressed by how your plot turned out), but do try to avoid major copyright infringement, lel.

    ANYWAY.

    I WROTE YOU A BLOCK OF MOSTLY-NEGATIVE STUFF. THAT DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE MOSTLY-NEGATIVE FEELINGS FOR THIS STORY.

    Have a cookie for the good aspects of this story; there were a ton. Your characters were interesting, your chapters definitely improved, and you have the makings of an epic plot. I'm excited to read this; I'm excited that I did read this. You started kind of slowly, and it was mostly just character trope after character trope (token pure guy hero, token lancer best friend, token bad boy rival, token love interest, token timid girl, token dickish rich guy, token hyper girl), but when the story got started, it actually got started. The early characterization was pretty flat, but you fleshed it out well with time, and you have the makings of a good story that I hope you won't just force into the final part of the trilogy.

    Anyway. Really good work so far. Don't forget to proofread. ._. Eat a cookie.

  3. #408
    .______. Elysia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Double-posting so I can drop another post-Awards review.

    Just gonna start off by putting this here:
    “See, this is why I say you should try new things…hmmm. [...] Tell you what, taste it, if you don’t like it you can leave and you don’t have to tell me anything at all…deal?”

    Darren scratched his chin in thought. While it was true that he didn’t like the idea of eating it if it was able to get him out of the situation then it was plausible. “You know I could just lie and say that I didn’t like it right?”

    “I trust you.”

    Darren stared at the bowl in front of him [...] and they slid into his mouth. It was warm and soft, yet it was also wet at the same time; he tried to block the flavor, knowing that if he let himself go he wouldn’t be able to put on his façade.
    Fifty Shades of Flaze yup yup

    So, Reggie.

    Deepness: I'm lead to understand that a lot more development happened between Dragon's Roar and this, and I think it shows. Reggie goes through his fair share of dilemmas and crises and omg am i doing it right moments, although he does have the basic mold of a, uh, anime-esque action hero (I tried to think of a concise word for that and failed). He's kind of brash and headstrong most of the time, with his two traits as being brave and being the story's bitch, but these lines are tempered by some moments of self-realization and backstory that give him a more fleshed- out character.

    Original-ness Eh. Nearly every character in this story can be boxed nearly into an archetype (which, in all honesty, actually feels almost okay in this style of story, but it kind of ruins originality). Reggie is no exception--he's the typical nice-guy hero, a bit noble and a jack-of-all-trades. I gave some more points than I normally would here for the deconstruction of this type of hero that Reggie gets throughout the story. He's all chivalrous and crushes on The Girl and has a MegaSpecialDragonMagic and is kind of rash and more heart-based than head-based, but the story does give him a lot of shit for being an idiot and focuses on the flaws that such a person might have. Particularly interesting to me was when other characters openly pointed out Reggie's flaws (and were not portrayed as particularly jackass/wrong about it). Sadly, the story itself doesn't quite delve into this as deeply as the characters do, and while there's a lot of potential for subversion of the typical heartfelt hero, it doesn't quite carry through to the plot except for the constantly getting shit on aspect.

    Entertainment: I'm not too keen on archetypes; furthermore, most of the plot so far is just a line of bad stuff happening to Reggie and Reggie being (understandably) depressed. That being said, he has his funny/brave/badass/awesome/heartfelt/whatever else constitutes entertaining moments, although they were sometimes quite far between. Also, as mentioned before, most of the plot is about how Reggie keeps losing, which, while nice subversion, does get kind of grating and doesn't particularly seem to serve a point.

    Plottiness: He drives the plot, naturally; I actually found it really, really cool that the side characters got so fully developed and contribute to the plot on their own. However, this does take some of the glory out of Reggie's spotlight, and there are a couple of subplots/arcs that could or do function just fine without Reggie. At the same time, there's a bunch of stuff that's well out of Reggie's control, so he's actually not entirely the center here. Still, I personally enjoyed the fact that this wasn't the Reggie show starring Reggie (especially because then it would only just be Reggie always losing), and the side characters were pretty well-developed and entertaining, and even more so in context with Reggie so yay.

    Overall Thoughts/Concrit Maybe?:

    On a surface level, he does carry the stereotypical action hero traits, which kind of detracts from his originality and paints him as a mix of every single Shonen anime lead ever (the training weights ala Rock Lee don't help). That being said, there's a genuine attempt to deconstruct this kind of hero, and several characters point out flaws in Reggie's logic and personality. However, the subversion never really goes much further than having someone suggest it--one example would be when one character suggested that Reggie purposefully doesn't solve his own problems because he enjoys the attention, which is a great suggestion and really original and cool and an aspect I would love to see explored. However, Reggie just thinks "gee what if he's right" and then moves on, and there's no sign before or after that Reggie actually has this character flaw (well, there are some signs, but there are equally many suggestions against).

    I appreciated the idea behind Reggie--I keep dropping the word deconstruction (and you so not know what it means; inconceivable!), but I think this is a fascinating attempt at trying to deconstruct the brash hero trope. However, while the idea is really good, the execution falls short in some places, and Reggie ends up just playing the trope in spades (which isn't necessarily bad, but it does make him feel a little trite after some time).

    We talked about a lot of this already, heh. Sorry for the redundancy. :x
    Last edited by Elysia; 26th July 2014 at 12:50 AM.

  4. #409
    Hive Monarch Rediamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Elysia... wow. I need to unread that.

    Anyway, onto actual review. I refer to you in the third person a lot because I'm too lazy to change things. Sorry. And also keep in mind that the review I gave earlier is more complete and representative of my thoughts as I would prefer to give them on the story as a whole. But here are mine on Reggie.

    Depth:

    Yes, he's sort of a stereotypical hero, which more or less matches the anime-esque style of the work he's in so it kind of fits. However, he almost outgrows it at points. He is forced to seriously confront his shortcomings at points in one of the more memorable plot lines of the work and grows because of it. He gets a backstory at some point that's more compelling than his character would suggest. Yet, he can never really escape his rather bland base. I don't really connect with him like I would a very well-written character. In this judging period he was really demoted to a minor character as well. It's hard to show much character when you only have four or five short scenes that focus primarily on others.

    Originality:

    Relatively poor boy drafted into academy he probably shouldn't be in but somehow does well with gains set of friends who stick with him and a similarly powerful girlfriend. Antagonists much more powerful, wealthy trainer and narrowly wins engagements. Has a fakemon dragon-type. I think I've seen this before. The deconstruction elements in the middle are nice. It would be hard to call very much at all about Reggie truly original, especially in the posted chapters. But it's not as blatantly unoriginal as my description above made it sound and Flaze spins it well into more or less his own character.

    Entertainment Value:

    He's not terribly original or funny, sure, but Flaze has a way of making Reggie's more minor struggles significant in their own right. The way he goes about making Valentine's Day gifts and fighting evil Gatsby form surprisingly compelling narratives and it has been well-established that he doesn't have immunity to defeat in-story, making every obstacle that much more interesting. He covers most of the emotional spectrum, though, and manages to keep it interesting. While Reggie really never made me think or feel or laugh deeply, he's hardly boring.

    Plot:

    Reggie shares the spotlight a lot and I could imagine (most) arcs going on without him. In fact, he's kind of one of the less plot-relevant characters, really, as most key events in the story are instigated by either a villain (Kevin, Black Knights) or one of his friends. When he does instigate, usually someone else on his side (Fin, Darren) is doing the heavy lifting. Even his one big arc is instigated more by Kevin's challenge and arrogance combined with Miko's actions more than Reggie's own decisions. The heavy emphasis on side-characters and plots also diminish Reggie's dominance over the plot. Out of the two chapters posted in this judging period, too, Reggie was barely featured. The first was Darren-centric, the second dealt with Reggie's team but really focused more on Chigon and Eevee than Reggie himself. By protagonist standards, that's hardly dominating the plot.

    General:

    With all that said, it's rather unfair to judge Reggie solely by those categories. He works just because Flaze knows what he's doing and uses Reggie to do what needs done. At some point steps were deliberately taken to turn Reggie from a walking stereotype into a more explored, if not quite developed, character. He wins, he loses, and his struggles big and small are meant to be engaging and occupy the reader, even if he didn't quite instigate them. Maybe it's because he didn't instigate them and doesn't control them that he's so compelling. Where most similar characters would end up with unusual dominance over their school and plots, Reggie is sort of along for the ride, dealing with things as they come... like you would expect from a mostly ordinary and weak trainer in a school of legends. While he may also not be the most interesting character in the story, he functions more as the core that holds the cast together than a dominant star to overshadow them. Reggie isn't terribly great on paper, but in practice I think he is executed well.

    Constructive Criticism:

    I understand that this is a work about to end with plans for a sequel. As such, most of the things I write here are meant as a "next time around, maybe..." type of deal. My other problem is that in some cases things that would improve a character might be hard to write in without worsening or radically changing the story, especially for a character that shares the spotlight as much as Reggie does. So take everything here with a grain of salt.

    I would really like to see a return to the situations that forced Reggie to change and adapt. Most of his later struggles in the story didn't really force him to evolve as a person or explore the core of his character nearly as much as Kevin's challenge did. You did a really good job of playing with the archetype that Reggie is based around and retained some of the lessons from it, but then Reggie just went back to being a somewhat more developed version of his archetype. Keep forcing more and more depth and development and you might get him to become separable from his base and create more interesting struggles from a psychological perspective, all of which will help his character in the future.

  5. #410
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    I'm not going to point out grammar or punctuation errors because this is an older fic and I assume other readers have taken care of it already.
    I like some of the details you put in this fic. The interaction between older characters and teenage characters is not one I see often in pokemon fics. I like that you have Stacy say she's young even though she's 28; too often people who are young as 20 complain about being old.
    A few comments: Prologue 1 functions more as a first chapter but I'll see what prologue two brings. Nice detail about Brendan from gen 3 being the champion. Not sure how he went from a teacher to a principal, though, unless you're defying real-world rules. Pretty sure you need prior administration experience to be a principal. Lol at Stacy considering putting a milotic in a tank. Not sure I fully believe the idea that Stacy is happy the day after she's almost raped. It would seem to be almost traumatic to anyone else, but I do like the realism you put into her background and I'll be interested to see how she handles it.
    A few questions: What makes Chigon separate from other fossil-type ancient pokemon? Why are some of the teachers wearing inappropriate clothes? Haha.

  6. #411
    Stray Dog Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    @Beth Pavell; @AetherX; @Tophat Dragoneye; @System Error; @Warrior of Fire; @Instrutilus; @Soulmaster; @Rediamond; @Elysia; @Midorikawa;

    ....*walks in awkwardly* so....I heard ORAS came out...pretty nice right? I mean I'm sure ORAS had just been announced a few weeks before I posted my last chapter so it was a huge shock...

    So I'm embarassed xD; I think this is the longest time I've gone without posting a chapter, the funniest thing is that chapter 43 has actually been done for like 3 months now (at least all written and such) but I wanted to have a few chapters as back up in case anything happened so I actually have this one and the two chapters after it done (again, written. One of them is going through beta right now)

    Intro:



    Okay next are the comments I've got and their proper responses.



    It took me a whole hour to write that! and as last minute thing I've changed references to Angelo's french accent to Kalosia since the last time I referred to his accent was before XY was in the minds of even Nintendo. Also as a little extra tip my version of the Orange Island is actually supposed to be this fic's version of latin american countries like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and so on...it most likely won't get more than mentions.

    Anyways, on to the chapter and Happy ORAS everybody!

    Chapter 43: The Enforcers Last Day

    Tyson and Reggie stood opposite to each other at their usual training grounds. The grass between them whistled with the soft wind that blew through the air as they both surveyed the other. “So…are you ready for this, rookie?” Tyson asked with a grin, his hand lowering slowly towards his pokeball belt as if he were a cowboy about to grasp his gun.

    “I’ll try,” Reggie replied honestly. He seemed less sure of what he was doing when compared to Tyson but still went to grab his own pokeballs.

    “Chigon chi chi gon chi gon!” Reggie was brought out of his trance as he turned to look at Chigon and Eevee who were both cheering not too far behind. He just smiled and waved at them before turning back to Tyson nervously, not wanting to make the senior mad for the delay.

    “Okay. Let’s start this off Jolteon!” Tyson commanded as he grabbed one of the pokeballs strapped to his belt and proceeded to release his Jolteon out onto the field of grass.

    “Let’s test out our progress Azumarill!” Reggie called out before releasing his Azumarill, who proceeded to stare down the electric type and stick its ears out.

    “Oh, looks like it has some guts huh? I can’t wait to see what you guys created,” Tyson pointed out ecstatically, scratching his chin slightly. “Jolteon use Pin Missile!”

    Jolteon wasted no time to go into the attack as its fur spiked up, becoming so sharp that Reggie could see the light from the sun gleam on the edges. It then released a barrage of spike-like hairs down on Azumarill, who stood on the defensive.

    “Dodge it quickly Azumarill!”

    “Thunderbolt!” Tyson countered. Once Azumarill was completely safe from the needles Jolteon followed the attack up by launching a large bolt of electricity at the water type.

    Reggie gritted his teeth when he saw this, his eyes looking at the attack and then focusing on Azumarill as it waited for its next command. “Let’s start this then! Bubble Guard Formation!” Reggie yelled out and threw his hand forward, as rush of adrenaline washing through his body as he did so.

    There was a slight gleam in Tyson’s eyes as he heard this, causing the senior to just stand back in order to see what Azumarill did.

    The water type didn’t waver once it saw the approaching thunder; instead it pushed its chest out before it began to fire a barrage of bubbles at rapid speed. The bubbles came out quickly and stacked against each other, not only allowing them to block the electricity like a shield but to also stop Jolteon from seeing Azumarill.

    “Skip Tail!” Reggie yelled out.

    Before Jolteon could react a blue blur flew out from the field of bubbles in front of it, the light of the sun shining down on it, causing it to create a shadow that completely blinded Jolteon.

    “Use Swift!” Tyson finally reacted, deciding that he had to start attacking once more before Reggie took the lead. Jolteon followed the command before it jumped up into the air and spun around, firing a barrage of glowing stars at the falling figure of Azumarill.

    “Protect Ball!”

    Azumarill wheeled around, its tail sticking out as a small green sphere of energy developed around it. With the help of this small barrier Azumarill was able to block the stars and send them flying away effectively as it landed in front of Jolteon.

    “Now use Mega Punch!” Azumarill charged at Jolteon, its body moving swiftly through the grasp as it held its fist back and then proceeded to slam it forward on the electric type’s jaw. Jolteon in turn let out a loud groan before being sent rolling back towards its trainer.

    “Wow,” Tyson stood agape as he saw his Jolteon get up, only for him to switch back to Reggie and his panting Azumarill. “You worked out quite a few combos there kid,” he smirked at this before gently patting his Jolteon’s head and proceeding to walk towards Reggie. “I am honestly impressed, though I guess going at this for two months has to have paid off in some way.”

    Reggie couldn’t help but look away from Tyson once he heard the compliment, his face developing a blush of embarrassment as he heard the compliment. “It was nothing. I mean, you said combos were my thing so I just wrote down anything that came to mind.”

    “Good; don’t stop doing that,” Tyson nodded his head and patted Reggie’s shoulder with a proud smile on his face. “Hell, now that you have that Eevee you finally have a way to solve your lack of an electric or grass type, I’d go for a Jolteon myself, though you already saw why.”

    Reggie turned to Eevee, who was now running towards him before it looked at Tyson’s Jolteon and smirking. “Now, now, down boy,” Reggie chuckled at the Eevee’s spunkiness. “Sorry, he’s a bit of a loose cannon, I don’t think he’ll be able to wait until he gets to have his first battle.”

    “…you keep saying he…”

    Reggie raised an eyebrow at this before glancing at Eevee once more. “Is it not a he?” it seemed like he hadn’t thought on checking things before as he scratched his chin in thought. Reggie then proceeded to take out his Academy Dex, pointing the smartphone-like device at Eevee as the screen lit up.

    The screen then proceeded to show all the data it had gathered on Eevee, such as its status or gender, the latter of which made Reggie’s eyes open in disbelief. “It’s female…I thought she was male because of her personality.”

    “Kind of sexist on your part,” Tyson put his hands on his hips before walking over to Reggie and looking at the Academy Dex. “Oh, it’s at level 5 already, you’ve been raising it right.”

    “I never understood the level thing to be honest,” Reggie pointed out as he scratched the back of his head.

    “I’ll explain it to you another day…” Tyson paused for a moment before nonchalantly fishing out his own Academy Dex and turning it on. “I on the other hand better get going. Keith ordered us all to help out with some last minute paperwork and such,” he sighed with annoyance as he pocketed the device.

    “Oh right. Today is the last day before you guys have to start preparing for your college exams isn’t it?” Reggie asked curiously. “It’s kind of sad to think you guys are going to be gone, I mean I know we had our issues but it was fun in the end.”

    “Hey, don’t get all sentimental with me!” Tyson exclaimed, poking at Reggie with his index finger. “I’m still around for a month or so more and we’re still going to be training; oh and I still get to wear this badass uniform,” he smirked as he raised his jacket’s neck.

    “I’m surprised you’re taking the examination considering you want to be a Battler and all that.”

    “I do plan on joining the Pro League, but I think a couple of more years of studying would work, I’ll need a backup plan and such,” Tyson shrugged. “I’ll still train my ass off and if I get bored I’ll just drop out and take the examination to join the Pro League.” He then stared at Reggie for a moment, noticing the boy’s slightly uncomfortable expression. “You should think about that too considering your brother was one of the first people to be accepted into the Pro League.”

    “Yeah…”

    “Anyways; I gotta go, you finish up with your own self training and I’ll see you tomorrow,” Tyson said before patting Reggie’s shoulder and walking off.

    ***

    Everything was quiet in the Enforcer’s meeting room. Quiet and at the same time boring, at least in Keith’s mind.

    He wasn’t used to getting bored of doing work, mostly because he was the type of person that liked to do work and saw it as a way to keep himself busy. And yet he couldn’t help but feel uninspired as he typed on the laptop in front of him.

    He turned his eye towards Alexa who was to his right reading a book. She seemed to have noticed him looking as she instantly raised her head. “Oh sorry boss, I mean, I’ll help you out right away.”

    “Nah it is okay Lex. It is good for you get some time to relax since it’s our last day and all,” Keith replied and started typing once more in an attempt to focus back on his work. “I am disappointed that only the two of us are here so far though.”

    “Well Tyson said he didn’t want to put off Reggie’s training for the day so he should be back soon,” Alexa pointed out while adjusting her reading glasses. “Zephyr said she was finishing up some homework and would be here soon…as for Angelo…”

    “He’s off at the mural he fought against Allison in isn’t he?” Keith asked with a raised eyebrow, which was then followed by a long sigh. “Ever since the Club Battle Royale he’s been painting there a lot.”

    “Well you know, he started that in his first year and I guess he wanted to finish it before graduating,” Alexa pointed out, her tone becoming a bit sharper and defensive after the subject of Angelo was brought up. She seemed to realize this and quickly put her hand over her mouth. “I’m sorry bos-“

    “Don’t call me boss, we’re childhood friends. Besides, you used to call me Keith before we were called out during our first year,” Keith explained, a calm expression on his face as he leaned back on his chair and looked at Alexa. She had always been loyal to him since the Enforcers were created, working as his right hand woman no matter what, but he felt that maybe she was treating him with too much professionalism. “You and Angelo get along pretty well considering how you were during our first year.”

    “Well he’s come a long way really,” Alexa replied, a slight blush forming on her face as she turned back to her book. “He’s no longer that kid that used to spray paint everything he considered boring, he can still be a bit of an asshole and that Kalosian accent is silly but I think it’s just his way of trying to show maturity.”

    “…I can agree that the accent is silly,” Keith grinned slightly. “You know, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you have a thing for Angelo here,” he pointed out, his usual calm expression staying in his face but his eyes gleaming with curiosity and slight mischief.

    Alexa stared at Keith for a moment, her eyes still focused on her book as she held it a bit tighter. “I can’t say I’m not interested,” she pointed out and closed her book. “It’s true the two of us don’t normally get along, but I like his persistence and he’s pretty nice when he’s not being an idiot. That being said; I’m still not too sure about what it is.”

    Keith didn’t say anything; instead he just sighed and sat back upright. His eyes went back to their usual emotionless expression as he closed the laptop. “Well that’s too bad for me I guess,” he stated with a shrug, not paying attention to Alexa as she turned to him and gasped. “I’m not saying I’m in love with you or something, though you are the type of person I would rather be with,” Keith replied with a slight smile. “But we’ve been together for most of our lives and you’re someone I appreciate a lot. On that note Angelo still annoys me, so I’m going to have a lot of sleepless nights making sure he doesn’t do something stupid.”

    Alexa let out a slight giggle, surprising Keith due to it being something he had rarely seen in his life. “I didn’t think you’d be the overprotective type,” she then looked at him. “It’s too bad we won’t get to see each other next year though.”

    Keith nodded his head. He was aiming to become an International Police agent much like his cousin. Due to this he had to attend a special university created for training future agents, so he would be training on his own and without any of his friends.

    Regardless, he didn’t feel sad; rather he was glad that he was finally able to start the path towards his dream. Alas, he also felt perturbed by the fact that he wouldn’t be able to see the people he had developed such close bonds with. “Anyways,” he stated in a more stern tone. “Since he’s so late and you like him so much, how about you go get him yourself.”

    “Oh. Sure,” Alexa nodded her head quickly before standing up. She turned back to Keith. “Thanks for being so understanding Keith.”

    “Just go,” Keith replied with a bored expression as he motioned for her to leave the room. “Now, time to finish these recommendations.”

    ***

    Alexa had made her way to the murals not too far away from the castle. This was the place where Angelo and Allison had faced off during the CPR. However, while only the four inner walls had been painted back in February now the outer walls had been painted as well, with the exception of the one wall she saw Angelo standing in front of.

    She looked at him as he sprayed the wall, green and violet fumes coming out. He held one can in each hand and his eyes seemed immersed in his work. He was also wearing a paint mask and a pair of goggles so as to cover his eyes from the fumes, something that surprised Alexa since he usually didn’t take so many safety measures.

    She quickly glanced at the wall. Only the upper half of the wall had been painted thus far, showing a Toxicroak wearing a black beanie and sticking out a peace sign while standing over a green background. The general style in which it was painted was pretty amusing to Alexa, inciting a small chuckle.

    “Looks pretty good,” Alexa finally called out, causing Angelo to turn towards her, lowering the paint mask.

    “Bonjour mademoiselle,” he pointed out with a gentle bow and smile at Alexa. “What brings you to this particular part of the academy?”

    “Angelo, please stop it with the Kalosian accent already,” Alexa sighed, still remembering what Keith had said about hating his accent before. Angelo seemed to take offence to this though as he put his hands on his hips.

    “Well excuse me for trying to be a little more creative,” he replied with annoyance before adjusting his beret.

    “You’re not Kalosian though, and honestly you’re plenty good without having to pretend that accent,” Alexa replied honestly as she stared at the wall. Angelo just smiled at her with pride as he put the spray cans down. “And well, you’ve grown a lot.”

    “Hey, at least I wasn’t a delinquent like Tyson,” Angelo scuffed and crossed his arms in refute. “Thanks for the compliment though…I hope the guys at Lumiose ‘s Academy of Art see it that way too, I’m considering using this as my sample. Just take a few pictures and send it to them.”

    “I’m sure they’ll like it,” Alexa said, raising her head and staring at the wall once more with an expression of longing. “It hadn’t hit me till now. But these three years really have been eventful for us.”

    “Sure have.”

    “Kind of makes you miss the people you’ve met doesn’t it?” Alexa asked, remembering what she had told Keith about her interest in Angelo. Staring at him now she found herself wondering exactly what it was. The two always argued but at the same time she thought of him as a really close friend and someone she could have fun with.

    “Not really, I mean it’s not like there’s anything to miss.”

    “…Wait what?” Alexa asked in shock. She had actually expected him to say something more emotional, especially since she herself wasn’t one to say things like that. Yet, he still held the same expression he had when he wasn’t painting, bored and completely uninterested.

    “Well it’s high school. It’s not like the people we meet or what we do here really will influence…I guess some things will influence but the people not so much,” Angelo replied with a nonchalant tone before going back to work, not even batting an eyelid towards Alexa.

    Alexa furrowed her eyebrow. She threw her left leg forward and kicked Angelo’s back with enough strength to push the teenager forward. Angelo let out a yelp and began waving his arms desperately in an attempt to keep his position. It was all futile though as his face collided with the ground followed by a loud grunt.

    Angelo pushed himself back up as quickly as he fell. He wheeled around, his teeth gritting as he stared at Alexa. “Okay, what the hell was that for?” he asked with seething rage.

    “That’s for being a jerk,” Alexa replied dryly. “I can understand what you mean, but that doesn’t mean you have to disregard everything we’ve been through.”

    “Oh yeah? Well then why don’t you tell me what good all of these things we’ve been through will do?” Angelo countered, no longer hiding his apathy. “Today’s our last day as Enforcers and once we graduate we’re just going to fall out of contact.”

    Angelo turned around and let out a long sigh in an attempt to get rid of his frustration. Alexa on the other hand wasn’t feeling any better; instead she just dug into Angelo’s back with her eyes.

    “Keith sent me to tell you that you should head for the meeting room,” her voice sounded formal yet cold at the same time, almost as if she was just trying to get a chore done. “Don’t cause any more trouble,” she said dryly began walking off.

    ***

    The Enforcers had finally gathered in the meeting room, each of them glancing at each other as they tried to keep their eyes on their work.

    Even Keith-who was usually the one that worked the hardest-wasn’t able to focus on his work. Instead he seemed a bit worried by the tension that had fallen over Angelo and Alexa, who didn’t even bother addressing each other. “This isn’t awkward at all,” Keith thought to himself.

    A knock on the door cut off the silent atmosphere over them, making Keith immediately put his pen down and stand up. “I’ll get that,” he said with a slight smile on his face as he began walking towards the door.

    Once he opened the door Keith stepped aside to reveal Matthew-who dressed in the Pizza Element uniform-who walked in nervously as he held onto the pizza he was carrying. “Um, sorry if I’m interrupting something,” she said with a slight tremble on his voice. “One of you ordered a pepperoni and olive pizza so I was just delivering it.”

    “Oh, that was me,” Keith raised his hand innocently as he grabbed the pizza from Matthew. He immediately glanced towards the others, a smile crossing his face when he looked at their eyes transfixed on the pizza he was holding.

    “I figured since it’s our last day and none of us have had lunch we could share this,’ he suggested before walking around the table and placing the box down gently.

    “I’m all up for pizza, but why did you order your favorite if it was for all of us?” Angelo inquired bitterly as he pointed at the pizza box.

    “Don’t be such a hardass Angelo,” Tyson spat. His hand immediately went for the box and slid it open to reveal the contents it held. “Plus, Matthew went through the trouble of delivering it right?” he laughed heartily before smiling at Matthew, causing a slight blush to form on the boy’s face.

    “Tyson leave him alone,” Alexa scolded, though she maintained her serious expression.

    “Aww, we’re about to graduate and you still don’t let me have my fun,” Tyson groaned as he grabbed a slice and turned away from Alexa.

    Keith led Matthew out of the room before closing the door behind him and walking around the Enforcer’s table. He stared at each of them once more and cursed at the fact that his initial plan of tempting them with pizza hadn’t helped in clearing the tension, though at least Tyson seemed like he was relaxed enough.

    “So. Today is our last day as you all know,” Keith stated solemnly as the others all turned to look at him. “Once the year ends Tyson, Alexa, Angelo and I will each be going our separate ways and Zephyr will be taking over as the Enforcers leader during her third year,” He glanced over at Zephyr, who seemed to be fidgeting slightly in her wheelchair as she looked back at Keith. “Is there anything you wish to say?”

    Zephyr put her arms on the wheelchair’s arm rest, closing her eyes as she took in a deep breath and moved her head back. She seemed to really be pondering what she was going to tell them but at the same time seemed a bit hesitant.

    “Well, I had a lot of fun with all of you this past three years. I was never a very talkative person, rather I take pride in the fact that I’m the type of person that focuses more on paying attention rather than talking,” Zephyr spoke gently and with a low voice. “Knowing that all of you will be pursuing each of your dreams is something that makes me happy but...” she looked down at her arms as she gently clenched the arm rest. “It’s sad that you’re all leaving, I mean I know you all have to leave but at the same time I feel kind of lonely thinking about it and I feel…I feel that if it wasn’t for my own luck I could go with you too,” her voice started to break slightly as her hands clenched harder onto the arm rest.

    Keith felt a certain sense of pity for Zephyr as he saw her trying to hold back her tears. He was sure that Zephyr must’ve felt really bad for not being able to graduate at the same time as them even though they had all started together. Part of him did want to walk over to her and comfort her, but he knew that he couldn’t do it at the moment.

    The silence that had fallen over Zephyr’s speech was immediately broken by a long sigh from Angelo, who leaned back and put his hand against his forehead. “And here I thought I’d be able to get away with just graduating and not caring about all of this so that I wouldn’t feel sad when I did forget about you guys,” he pointed out with a frown before looking at each of them.

    “I’ve never been one for shows of emotion, I feel that an artist should express himself in his art,” he spoke with great inspiration and vigor as he lowered his hand to his chest. “But alas; if it wasn’t for the fact I met you guys I probably wouldn’t have put my skills to good use anyway. I still love graffiti but there’s something about being a formal artist and being able to work on all types of art styles that just…well it makes me feel at home,” he stated, now ditching his fake Kalosian accent.

    Alexa smiled gently, her cold expression finally breaking as she listened to Angelo and saw him hide his face away from her. “I can agree with what Angelo is trying to say, I think we all learned a lot from our experiences here. Also I’m glad that you finally accepted you’re not from Kalos,” she said with a slight snicker.

    “Damn it, I can’t even have my pizza in peace,” Tyson groaned audibly and lowered the slice he had been eating. He leaned back against his chair and crossed his arms. “Well, I guess since everyone is speaking their hearts out I might as well say my part,” he sighed. “Unlike all of you I wasn’t actually called out by Principal Charles Goodwin two years ago during the bullying fiasco, rather I was one of the people causing trouble myself. I have to admit that if it wasn’t for stern face over there,” his eyes glanced at Keith for a moment before smiling at him and turning away. “Well if it wasn’t for him then I probably would still be a no good delinquent with no goals or dreams or anything to achieve on my own. I always thought becoming a pro battler would be a dumb idea but it doesn’t seem so impossible now.”

    “Wow Tyson. I didn’t think you had it in you,” Alexa chuckled.

    “Oh shut up you,” Tyson groaned.

    Keith put his hands on the table, making the rest of the group face him once more as he scanned each of them. He was glad that they had finally spoken what they felt, but now it was his turn to say what he had in mind. “Like I said before, we’re all going to be parting starting today, I mean even I’m sad. As you all know Alexa and I have been friends since we were kids and I trust that she’ll accomplish great things at Lumiose University.”

    Keith then turned to Tyson with a grin. “I hope that you don’t cause any trouble though, it’s true you’ll be training to be a professional but that doesn’t mean you can just ditch your studies and fall back into old habits. I wouldn’t want to have to go and relive what happened during our first year,” Keith replied as he and Tyson stared at each other with vigor.

    “Angelo, I know you’ll be accepted into Lumiose Academy of Art, and I expect to see a piece of yours in one of their art museums in a few years or else I’ll be very disappointed,” Angelo didn’t say anything at this, instead he just scoffed and turned away. “But at the same time I don’t think that what you said about falling out of contact is something you should just accept, I mean you and Alexa will be living in the same city, so at least stay in contact with her,” at this both Angelo and Alexa looked at each other with slightly amused smiles on their faces.

    Keith finally turned towards Zephyr, who now seemed to have gathered herself a bit more and was waiting for him to address her. “Your condition isn’t something you can help Zephyr, but maybe it’s good that you’re staying behind,” a sympathetic smile crossed his face before he kept talking. “You’re the hardest worker here…next to me at least, so I feel proud to leave you in charge of the Enforcers. Besides, you’d have to deal with…a certain group of people next year that will really need someone that can lead them and teach them some responsibility,” He walked slowly towards her before reaching out for her chin and lifting her head. “So keep your chin high Zephyr and do me proud,” his smile extended as a small blush crossed Zephyr’s face.

    “Yes sir,” Zephyr nodded her head shyly.

    “Call me Keith, you might as well since we’re no longer be part of the Enforcers!” Keith exclaimed before letting out a laugh.

    The room immediately went silent, leaving his laugh to be the only thing that filled the room. Once he stopped laughing Keith looked down at his comrades-who each stood bewildered- with a confused expression on his face. “What is it?”

    “Holy shit he laughed…holy shit, it’s a sign of the apocalypse…holy crap,” Tyson muttered in shock before being whacked on the arm by Alexa.

    “I’m not some big emotionless block you know!” Keith called out with a glare before sighing. “But anyways, let’s take the world by storm!” Keith yelled.

    “Yes sir!”

    “Can we eat now?” Tyson asked in annoyance.

    “Yes you can eat now,” Keith nodded his head. “Also since you’re all the Prefects of your own dorm remember to submit your candidates for next year’s Prefects to the principal.”

    ***

    Pizza Element was bustling with people as usual, classes had just let off not too long before and as thus students were just passing the time enjoying the rest of the day.

    Kevin Samuels was sitting in one of the tables along with a group of students from multiple dorms, they were all laughing as he leaned against his seat and smiled. “But really I loved you in Battle Quest film, it was the best,” a girl said as she smiled at him while sipping from her milkshake.

    “It was nothing really, I mean there was this one point where we had to shoot in Viridian Forest, we actually camped the night there, I wasn’t too used for it but you’ve got to do some things for the sake of the crew and all,” Kevin replied calmly as he crossed his arms, smiling as his eyes stared at the girl before turning towards the others.

    “You know we were wondering if you could help us out, since the year is ending soon we were thinking of maybe holding an end of the year party,” one of the guys in the group stated. His tone sounded as if he was trying his best to sound sincere but Kevin was able to see through it. In fact his eyes were able to see that every one of them was just there for their own interest, something that he had picked up while growing up.

    He didn’t show it though-he never did- instead he just scratched his chin and gave his best composed and sly smile. “I’ll see what I can do, it’s plausible though,” he replied before standing up from his seat. “For now I must leave you, I have to finish up some homework,” he stated as he pocketed his hands, saying his respective goodbyes to the guys and giving his best charming smiles to the girls before walking off.

    He didn’t care about any of them or anyone for that matter. While people had already left the events of the CBR behind he knew that people were still just flocking around him out of interest, and yet part of him felt slightly annoyed when he remembered how Reggie had helped him out the day after their challenge. It was embarrassing for him to have to be helped by someone that he saw as less than him like that.

    He walked out of Pizza Element with his hands in his jacket’s pocket. He stopped not too long after walking out though as he felt the hairs of the back of his neck stand up slightly and his ear perk up. He instantly pulled his hands out of his pockets before turning around. “And just who the hell are you?”

    He stared at the teenager standing in front of him. He was wearing a black short sleeveless leather jacket with a punk rock design along with a pair of black combat pants. He had dark skin and toned biceps that could be seen due to the short sleeves. He had long brown hair that went down his neck and spiked up slightly, though he was wearing a black hat over his hair. Lastly the final thing Kevin noticed was his amber eyes that gleamed with a certain mischievousness and dubiousness.

    “Just someone with a business proposal,” Noah snickered as he extended his hand to Kevin.


    To Be Continued…

    End of Chapter 43
    Next Chapter: The Pride of a Charizard Flame

  7. #412
    Less cute in person Beth Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Well, you already know some of my opinions since I beta'd it

    Technical Accuracy/Style
    I've probably said this before, but sharper technical accuracy does wonders for a chapter. I think you caught all the errors, so now it's down to picky stuff which are more style issues than technical issues. The scene breaks were paced fairly well in what could otherwise be a long-winded narrative

    Story
    You can see the winding down of some aspects of the story here, which makes sense. Reggie's arc feels like it's moving towards completion now with his intelligent - and more importantly, confident battling. Now that the whole story is moving towards the conclusion I'd expect the plot hook at the end of this to really last the length of the last arc.

    Characters
    The villains turn into protagonists, of sorts. The Enforcers were more antagonists than villains, I suppose, but moving them into a more neutral role makes sense since they are students, after all. I suppose some of their interactions come across as a bit superficial, which is another one of those problems from juggling such a large cast of characters.

    Final Thoughts
    Keep the momentum going! It tends to be easy to slow down and let delays get longer the longer you take between chapters to post
    The Long Walk
    For Joshua Cook, it's a long walk away from his dull life to the Pokémon League. But does he really want to be the very best? A coming-of-age story of adventure, friendship and growing up in the world of Pokémon.


    Pavell's Scribbledegook Week XXII - Atlas: Strange Shires and Silly Villages

  8. #413
    - ; [the one and only] diamondpearl876's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    chapters 2-3

    “Fuck you.” Fin chuckled slightly at the look of Reggie’s expression after he walked over to the table. He was wearing a short sleeved white shirt with a heat that had a pizza symbol on it along with a pair of black jeans. “You know, you guys aren’t the only customers I’m tending to,” he frowned.
    Lol, cute interaction between Reggie and his friends.
    “I can still stop you though.” Inwardly, Reggie groaned to himself. He knew that he couldn’t really follow his word; he was really out of practice after spending three months without sparring with anyone.
    I assume Reggie can handle himself physically as well as with pokemon?
    “All right, let’s start off with this. Donphan use Hyper Beam!” Donphan nodded its head before it began charging an orange colored beam on the tip of its mouth.
    That's a strong move to start out with. Guess Reggie must be serious about this.

  9. #414
    Stray Dog Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    @Beth Pavell; @AetherX; @Tophat Dragoneye; @System Error; @Warrior of Fire; @Instrutilus; @Soulmaster; @Rediamond; @Elysia; @Midorikawa;

    All right time for chapter 44 now! Only 5 more chapters after this so hopefully I can keep this momentum up and end the fic at the end of the year like I had originally planned (I wish I could do it on a laptop though ;-;)

    This chapter and the chapter after that will be a bit different. Actually no, rather they're chapters that are long time coming since they focus on a character that I've sadly neglected in the past. Enjoy.

    Chapter 44: Will of the Charizard Flame Part 1

    “Tests are coming up! Why do tests always have to come so fast?” Fin whined loudly, rubbing his hands all over his hair as both he and Reggie made their way through the Food Fair-Elemental Academy’s cafeteria.

    They made their way through the crowd of hungry students, only to witness it becoming thicker as they walked. “You’re the one that only studies enough to get a passing grade. Of course when finals roll around you end up having to suffer for it,” Reggie groaned, not really liking Fin’s whining or the fact there were so many people.

    “Should you really be talking when you’ve got Biology to worry about?” Fin narrowed his eyes, a grin crossing his face when he saw Reggie squirm at the reminder.

    “I can pass it,” Reggie replied weakly, though he didn’t sound confident. “Working, training, and holding a relationship while studying is tougher than I thought,” he sighed.

    “I’m gonna tell Miko you said she’s too much for you to handle,” Fin snickered playfully.

    “I never said that! Stop it!”

    “I don’t know, that’s what I heard. Though I might’ve heard something different if you buy me breakfast,” he whistled innocently as the two moved through what remained of the crowd.

    They were now standing in front of a small curved bistro-like restaurant. It had two glass doors on either side, coupled with red walls around it along with two orange roofs made out of marble, which fell over the entrances. The place had the words “Elemental Bistro” over them, though Reggie wasn’t sure if it could be considered a proper bistro. The two doors were separated by a curved glass wall that gave a clear view of what happened on the other side, in this case being a cheering crowd of students.

    “Well, well, well. Looks like there’s a show going on,” Fin pointed out in amazement as he and Reggie began to walk towards the doors.

    “What do you think is going on?” Reggie asked curiously. He stared at the bistro in thought. It was one of the places that belonged to the school and it had opened not too long ago, word was going around that they had the best sandwiches in the whole school.

    “Oh. It’s meatball and cheese sub day,” Fin stated simply, though this just confused Reggie even more. “You don’t come here much huh? Basically there’s this sub that they only sell once a month, it makes everyone go crazy so there tend to be some arguments.”

    “First of all I don’t think an actual bistro would sell meatball subs. Second of all, you’re telling me that people are fighting over a sandwich?” Reggie asked with disbelief.

    “A good sandwich,” Fin corrected.

    The two were finally able to make their way through the crowd cautiously. They stared at the center of the restaurant where the crowd had opened up.

    Standing on a blue and orange granite floor were Allison and her Skarmory, who had both assumed fighting stances.

    Opposite to them was a face that Reggie had almost forgotten. It was Sax, the same trainer that he and Matthew had teamed up against back at the beginning of the year. He now had a military cut and wore his Houndoom Dark uniform with the sleeves ripped off so that his muscled arms were visible.

    Flying in front of him was a Ninjask, its wings buzzing rapidly as it glared at its opponent.

    “Of course it’d be Allison,” Reggie frowned as he stared at the girl. He knew that Allison was out of control but didn’t think it’d be to that extent.

    Allison heard him and in turn snapped out of her trance long enough to wave at Reggie and Fin. “Hey guys!” she said cheerfully.

    “Allison, why are you having a battle in a public place? You could get suspended you know?” Reggie pointed out.

    “We’re battling to see who gets the last meatball sub,” Allison nodded her head with determination.

    “So…let me get this straight, you’re risking suspension over a sandwich?” Reggie asked with a dumbfounded expression.

    “A good sandwich,” both Fin and Allison corrected him this time, making him let out a groan in annoyance.

    Reggie’s eyes turned towards Sax-who seemed to be ignoring him-as he glared at Allison while a group of students from different dorms cheered him on from behind.

    “All right Ninjask, I’m getting hungry so go for a Double Team and Fury Swipes!” Sax commanded. The small cicada-like Pokémon flew forward as after images of itself began to materialize around it and surround Skarmory.

    Ninjask then proceeded to circle around Skarmory and slash the flying type with its wings, its clones flying fast and swiftly so as to leave as much damage as they possibly could.

    “Iron Defense!” Allison commanded.

    Skarmory didn’t move from its spot, instead it just stood there as it was scratched, though the slashes didn’t seem to be doing anything.

    “Ugh. Use X-Scissor!” Sax screamed out at the top of his lungs as two of the Ninjasks swung downward in order to slash at Skarmory.

    “Air Cutter,” Skarmory nodded its head before spreading its wings wide, blowing a powerful gust of wind all around the place. The wind was strong enough to push the crowd back and it carried a sharpness that cut through both Ninjask and its clones while also cutting its surroundings.

    “This is why this is stupid!” Reggie yelled through the wind. He was worried even more now about the type of trouble they could get into for property damage, especially after seeing a juice machine get sliced in two.

    Thankfully it seemed like that was all he damage that would be taken as Ninjask fell to the floor with a loud thud.

    Everyone-even the scared workers-stared in awe and surprise as they looked at Ninjask’s defeated body. “That was fast,” Fin replied slowly before letting out a laugh.

    This caused a chain effect with the other students, who started laughing in turn while Sax returned his Ninjask in embarrassment and gritted his teeth. “Yay I got a meatball sub!” Allison yelled triumphantly while sticking her index and middle out to make a victory sign.

    “What the hell is going on here!?” The students jumped in surprise as they saw Stacy pushing herself through the crowd. She was panting and her hair was in a mess, no doubt from trying to get through the crowd. “What the hell do you kids think this is? Some kind of fighting ring or something!”

    “We were trying to decide who got to take the last meatball sub. I won,” Allison replied, her tone sounding slightly annoyed at the fact that Stacy had interrupted her victorious moment.

    “So you caused property damage and got yourself a suspension over a sandwich!?”

    “…A good sandwich,” Reggie muttered silently towards Stacy.

    “I don’t care if it was good or bad!” Stacy exclaimed, infuriated.

    “Tsk tsk, it’s as if you don’t understand the severity of the situation Reggie,” Fin scolded with a faux stern tone, earning himself a glare from Reggie.

    “Anyways, you’re both going to the principal’s office after class so he can decide your punishment,” Stacy stated with a sigh as she began to rub her forehead.

    “But she’s the one that challenged me!” Sax protested as he pointed at Allison with disdain. “If she had just let me had the damn sub there wouldn’t have been any problems.”

    “I don’t care who started it, no one was willing to end it. Besides, I can’t really trust someone that has already gotten his own share of trouble before,” Stacy countered, her expression becoming sterner.

    Sax didn’t reply, instead he groaned loudly and pocketed his hands. “Fine, forget it. Not like I have anything to lose anyways,” he said bitterly before beginning to walk out, his friends in tow.

    “So wait…” Allison said before pausing and looking at Stacy. “Do I still get the sub?” she asked curiously.

    “No!" Stacy exclaimed sternly. "I'm going to keep it because I didn't have my breakfast."

    “Actually, how come you just got here?” Fin asked curiously as he turned to a fidgeting Stacy.

    “Um…” Stacy started nervously. “I was in Breakfast Palace on the other side, they have a one day sale for a bacon and mushroom omelet today,” she replied as she turned away from the two students in embarrassment. “I mean I couldn’t waste that chance now could I? It was useless though cause it sold out,” she sulked.

    She got no reply, causing her to groan. “Fine whatever. Everyone leave! There’s nothing to see here plus you have classes!” she yelled at the crowd, managing to quickly disperse it. “I’m the one that’s going to have to report this to the principal.”

    ***

    Reggie and Fin finally arrived at Strategy Class-getting Freed’s immediate attention-and sat down. Reggie let out a groan as he sat down next to Miko. “Something up?” his girlfriend asked curiously.

    “Allison almost destroyed a restaurant today…over a sandwich,” Reggie replied, disgruntled.

    “Yeah! It was awesome!” Fin let out a laugh, only to be motioned to keep quiet by Freed.

    As soon as Freed turned towards the board he was interrupted by a knock on the door. “Pardon my intrusion sir,” came Tyson’s voice as he stood on the doorway. “I actually needed to talk to one of your students.”

    “Well I was about to start class but, what is it?” Freed inquired, gesturing for Tyson to walk in.
    Reggie raised his head up. He figured Tyson was there to talk about him, but wasn’t sure what it could be about. “I came here to talk to the person that’ll be taking my place as Prefect of the Charizard Flame dorm.”

    Reggie’s eyes opened wide when he heard this. The Prefects were considered to be the “best” students in each dorm, usually people who excelled at a specific field that the dorm was associated with. All Prefects in turn had to help take care of the dorm as well as its students and worked alongside the teacher acting as the Dorm Head. In general they were seemed as the mediators between the student body and the Head.

    This made Reggie feel nervous though. If Tyson really wanted to make him the next Prefect then he wouldn’t know what to say. For one he didn’t think he was right for the job, though he knew there wouldn’t be any arguing with Tyson.

    “Um…Tyson. I’m glad you’re considering me but I don’t think I should be taken into account for the job,” Reggie rubbed his head shyly.

    Tyson scoffed at this before stifling a laugh. “What? I’m not even talking to you shorty!” he exclaimed, causing Reggie to blush in embarrassment. “Damn. I didn’t think you had such a huge ego, wow.”

    “W-well who is it then!?” Reggie exclaimed as he heard Fin and Miko stifling their laughter.

    “Well…her,” Tyson said simply as he walked up to Miko’s seat and pointed down at her with his index finger.

    Miko composed herself immediately as she turned towards Tyson in surprise. “Me?” She pointed at herself, still shocked.

    “Yeah you,” Tyson said, stepping back. “Miko Sekai, I want you to be my successor for the role of Prefect!”

    The whole room went quiet as everyone’s gaze turned to a now flustered Miko. She looked at Fin and Reggie nervously. “Why me though?”

    “Well you have some of the best grades in the dorm and everyone in the dorm knows you, you also get along well with students from other dorms, and you work pretty hard for your classes and the Media Club,” Tyson listed-his arms crossing as he did so-before smiling at Miko.

    “Of course it wouldn’t be fun to hand it over just like that,” he smirked, causing Miko to become uneasy at what he might have in mind. “I challenge you to a battle tomorrow, we’ll fight using 3 Pokémon and if you can take down even one of mine I’ll let you have the title.”

    Miko shook her head at Tyson as she tried to process everything he had been saying. “I’m not even that strong! Besides, don’t I get a say in this?”

    Tyson raised an eyebrow at this before scratching his chin. “Well I don’t really have anyone else…” he muttered silently, earning himself a frown from Reggie.

    “Then let’s do this. If you are up for the challenge then just show up at the stadium tomorrow, if you don’t then I’ll understand,” Tyson shrugged, turning towards Freed and bowing. “I apologize for taking so much of your time, please proceed,” he said before walking to the door.

    “Wait!” Miko exclaimed. “Why me though?”

    Tyson seemed to really think about his answer for this, only for a smirk to cross his face. “I’ll tell you tomorrow,” he said before walking away.

    ***

    “Anyways, we’ll get rid of the detention notice for now since I understand you just got caught in the heat of the moment. However, your battling privileges will be revoked for the next two weeks; you should also consider this as another strike for you Sax.”

    Allison and Sax stood in front of Brendan’s desk, with Stacy standing next to Allison and watching over the two as they listened to Brendan’s verdict.

    Allison and Stacy gasped at the principal’s decision. “With all due respect sir, I think that that punishment is way too light, I mean think of all the damage they caused.”

    Allison herself wasn’t happy with his decision, though it was mostly because she wouldn’t be able to battle for a while.

    “I think it makes sense, it’s not like detention’s really going to accomplish much of anything with these two,” Brendan pointed out with a slightly bored expression, as he motioned Allison and Sax to leave the room.

    Stacy pursed her lips as she turned to glare at Brendan, completely forgetting she was standing in front of her boss.

    Brendan didn’t mind it though, instead he let out a playful chuckle. “Guess you aren’t happy with my choice still, huh miss Lewis?” he asked curiously. “Do you know of the PPL?”

    “PPL?” Stacy raised an eyebrow as she crossed her arms.

    “Property Protection Law. It was a law passed down back in the 60s when competitive battling was just starting, back then things were pretty rowdy so this law was passed in order to protect home and business owners’ properties,” Brendan explained with an orderly tone. “If a trainer causes any property damage he or she must pay and/or work to compensate. I’m not surprised you don’t know it considering it pretty much became commonplace to not destroy anything without asking why.”

    “…Has anyone ever told you that you talk an awful lot, principal?” Stacy pointed out dryly, ensuing a laugh from the 30 year old. “Plus how did you even know that?”

    “My dad was a gym leader, they are required to learn all the rules, laws and regulations for trainers; I just kind of took curiosity in it,” Brendan replied fondly as a nostalgic smile crossed his face. “Anyways, we can’t have the students paying or working for the damage so I think this is a good way to deal with it for now; how about holding a meeting at the end of the month to see how we can deal with this for next year?”

    “Yeah, I think that would be best,” Stacy answered formally before turning around and walking out of his office, though she still didn’t seem content with the way things had worked out.

    ***

    Miko slouched down on her couch, letting out a long and loud sigh as her body adjusted to its new position.

    Classes were finally over and she and Reggie had decided to go back to her room-even skipping club activities-in order to talk about Tyson’s proposal.

    Reggie just stood at the doorway nervously. Not being used to being in another person’s, much less his girlfriend’s room, left him with no idea what to do.

    “Reggie you’ve seen me naked, I think you can sit down on my sofa,” Miko deadpanned as Reggie slowly sat himself on the sofa next to her couch. “Anyway. Do you think it would be too rude not to go tomorrow? I kind of want to, just so I can decline properly.”

    Reggie scratched the back of his neck in thought as he tried to make out everything that had happened, slightly irritating Miko due to how long he took. “To be honest, while I think that Tyson’s proposal was sudden, I can kind of agree with why he would pick you.”

    “What?” Miko asked in shock. “You’re kidding right? I’m not some super powerful trainer like he is…I don’t have that Will of the Charizard Flame he always mentions,” Miko replied dismissively while waving her hands around. “I mean, it’s not like people even respect me that much.”

    “When I met Tyson he said that I lacked the traits of someone from the Charizard Flame dorm. At first I didn’t exactly get what he meant. I thought it was about battling like you are implying, but after thinking about it a bit I arrived at a conclusion,” Reggie explained, not exactly sure how he could even begin to explain what was on his mind. “I think what he speaks of is more about being brave and always trying to do your best for yourself and for others without giving up,” Reggie explained with a more serious expression as he looked at Miko. He didn’t know if what he was saying would sink in but if there was something he was sure of, it was that Miko had the traits he had mentioned.

    “Reggie. Earth to Reggie,” Miko clicked her fingers in front of him, causing him to be blink twice as he stepped out of his trance. “So are you saying that I have all of that?”

    “Well, you might not be a strong battler by these school’s terms, but you did hold your ground against both Darren last year, and Alexa this year,” Reggie stated with a confident smile.

    “You also became the lead reporter for the newspaper, and later Media club. You have some of the best grades in the school and are liked by everyone here,” at this Miko turned away, a slight blush on her face. “And well you kind of made Darren work with you, and even in situations where it’s hard for you to win, you never give up. So yes, I do think you have what defines that will.”

    Miko turned away from Reggie once he finished, seeming a bit less adamant about the idea but still holding her unsure expression. She was amazed by his words though. The fact that Reggie was able to say all those things about her so spontaneously was enough to make a slight smile cross her face. “I’m nothing special though,” Miko frowned and clenched her fists lightly.

    She took in a deep breath before letting out a sigh. “I’ve never had this kind of pressure put on me before. All my life I was always just…an average person really.”

    “Listen Miko. I can’t promise that Tyson can be beaten, but I think you should at least give it a try! If you were given the chance then it’s obviously for a reason,” he pointed out, standing up from the sofa.

    “You know you insisting doesn’t help right?” Miko groaned, rolling her eyes at Reggie.

    Reggie walked over to her and grabbed her right hand gently, making her face him once more. “I’m not really strong myself but if you want we can train together. It’s only a day but if we train all day I’m sure we can make some progress.”

    Miko didn’t know what to reply to that. On one end she understood Reggie’s point a little more and that maybe he was right about her taking that chance. Yet there was something inside her that pulled her back, the fact that even if he helped her, it wouldn’t be enough to win.

    “I’m really thankful that you’re helping me out Reggie, I am,” Miko replied slowly as she moved Reggie’s hand away slowly. “But…well I still don’t know, okay?” she frowned slightly before standing up. “If you want just send me a text or file on Tyson’s Pokémon, but I really feel like this is a choice I have to make on my own.”

    Reggie looked down at the floor, realizing that he had been pushing Miko a little too much. “Right, well then just tell me what you decide okay?” He replied before making the best earnest smile he could muster. He then walked over to the sofa and picked up his backpack before walking to the door slowly.

    “…you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for Miko,” he stated as he turned away from Miko and walked out of her room.

    ***

    Miko rolled on her bed impatiently, wrapping herself in her blanket in an attempt to find slumber.

    She stared at the roof in thought. Her eyes were filled with unease as she was forced to deal with her inevitable fate.

    She needed to make a choice, whether to fight or not, even if it meant suffering through a painful defeat. Her hands clenched the bed sheets underneath her body tightly as she grimaced in frustration.

    If only she was as strong as Darren or Fin or Marie then maybe she would have a shot, but she wasn’t. She was just average, and no matter what anyone said, she couldn’t see herself in any other way.

    So what if she was a reporter? It was for a school club, anybody could do that. And it’s not like she knew everyone in the school or anything of the sort, her name had just spread around, a person they knew yet couldn’t say anything special about.

    But the thing that annoyed her most was the fact she kept being called smart or courageous. She wasn’t smart for free, she had to study a lot in order to get her grades, yet it was as if people were just forgetting that in order to justify their statement.

    Courage was the last straw for her. It’s true that she had done a lot of things other would’ve avoided, but it never worked; she always needed to be bailed out or had luck on her side.

    She put her hands to her head in frustration as she thought back to the events of the year before. She had tried to help and in the end was taken control of by the enemy. She had hurt the others and she couldn’t do anything about it; it really showed her how weak she truly was.

    At that point the blanket stop being of help. Instead she began to feel unnecessarily hot and constrained. She groaned and began to kick at the blanket in order to take it off of herself.

    She sat up on her bed as her eyes shifted from the roof to the floor. Seeing that she wasn’t about to fall asleep Miko decided to get up, brushing her hair aside. “Maybe I should take a walk.”

    Miko felt strange walking outside on her own. The light of the stars shone down on her, and she could feel the cold night wind blow against her face as she walked through the empty grounds around the Charizard Flame dorm. It was really hard to tell that summer was approaching with such a chilly wind. “At least this way I can clear my head a little,” she said softly as she stared at the trees in thought.

    “A little late for a walk isn’t it?” Miko wheeled around in shock, her fists clenching and raising quickly as she turned to face a black silhouette not too far away, who just jumped in surprise. “Oh shit.”

    It took her a few seconds to detail his appearance before recognizing the shadow as Tyson. “I was just gonna say hi, you can calm down,” he replied defensively, holding his hands up and allowing Miko to see the brown paper bag he was holding, as well as some of the wet grease spots that were being shown thanks to the light posts around the area.

    “Lots of weirdoes in this school, sorry,” Miko sighed as she lowered her fists. “And I was just out for a night walk. It helps clear my head I guess.”

    “To be honest you can’t just judge everyone as having an ulterior motive for being here if you’re wearing just a jacket and pajamas,” Tyson commented as he lowered his arms.

    Miko looked down at her red uniform jacket where her hands were safely pocketed away from the cold, only to open it slightly and come into view with her white top and pajama pants. “I forgot for a second,” she muttered in embarrassment before looking at Tyson. He was wearing a stuffed red winter coat over a simple white shirt and blue jeans. “Why are you all dressed though?”

    “Well excuse me for wanting to look presentable,” Tyson groaned, though this time it was his turn to seem embarrassed. “Anyways, I didn’t think you knew how to fight.”

    “My brother taught me a bit of boxing,” Miko replied as she lowered her fists.

    “Huh?” Tyson replied curiously. “If you knew that then why didn’t you train Reggie before?” He asked while putting his hands on his waist. “Do you not trust your boyfriend or something,” he said with a playful grin.

    Miko turned away from Tyson, her face flustered. “I trust him…I just didn’t think it was worth saying it; not like I’m particularly good it’s just something I do on my own from time to time.” She stated with pursed lips before turning back to Tyson. “So what are you doing here? Rather you’re the reason I’m here in the first place, challenging me to a battle and all.”

    “You really know how to sting,” Tyson grimaced before raising the brown bag he was holding. “I wanted to bring you a midnight snack.”

    “Hm?” Miko asked as Tyson pulled out something from the bag. It was a single fried pastry the side of his hand, and one that made Miko open her eyes in surprise.

    “These are those Empanadas right? I heard they’re very popular in the Orange Islands, to the point of becoming a thing in Kanto and Johto,” Tyson explained as he took out a napkin from the bag and wrapped it around the Empanada.

    “Yeah but how did you get those?” Miko asked as she grabbed the fried pastry.

    “I have my ways,” Tyson laughed. “My dad likes to travel around; some mid-life crisis thing of his. Anyways, he sent me these through his Swellow the other day.”

    After that Tyson and Miko both decided to sit down on a bench nearby in order to eat their fried pastries. Miko herself wasn’t too sure about eating so late at night, she had always been thought to be against that idea for some reason, even if her stomach told her not to worry about it.

    As she took a bite out of the Empanada, she felt a hot wave run through her body, causing her to gasp when she felt the heat beginning to affect her tongue. She looked down at the hole that had been left in the Empanada as hot smashed potatoes and cheese oozed out. “I hate it when it’s too hot.”

    Tyson just laughed before taking a bite out of his, not really minding the heat. “So, I assume that you came here because you were worried about our battle tomorrow?”

    “You really don’t make it easy on me do you? But yes, I’ve been raking my head all day trying to deal with that particular problem,” Miko replied bitterly before taking another bite.

    “Well that’s part of the job I think. You mentioned a brother do you happen to have anymore siblings?” Tyson inquired.

    “I have three others, an older and younger sister and a younger brother,” Miko answered, thinking it was strange that Tyson suddenly took interest in how many siblings she had.

    “It frustrates you doesn’t it?” Tyson stated bluntly, making Miko jump back as she burned her mouth with the potatoes due to the shock from his question.

    “Please tell me Reggie didn’t send you?” Miko asked nervously. Reggie was the only one she had told about her family so it was a shock that Tyson seemed to be acting as if he already knew.

    “No of course not, I just saw you here and you seemed stuck in thought,” Tyson pointed out. “You can tell me what bothers you if you want, it’s part of my job as a Prefect after all.”

    “It does frustrate me,” Miko replied hesitantly. “I mean ever since I was a little kid I never really stood out on my own. My youngest siblings Milo and Misa obviously get more attention from being the youngest, but Misa can play the piano really well too,” she explained, her fist clenching slightly on the Empanada.

    “I don’t really mind the younger ones too much though, I mean I was more mature when they were born and there’s no helping it since they’re younger, but my older brother and sister are different,” at this her voice became slightly louder, and she seemed to adopt a straighter and more comfortable posture. “My older sister Mina is smart, beautiful, and she’s great a sports. I always admired her when I was a kid because she always seemed to attract everyone to her,” she chuckled softly, her voice cracking a bit. “Even some of my friends or the boys I liked at school always preferred her.”

    “It was the same for my brother Micah, he always got along better with my dad and he’s great with Pokémon, and battle, and is very self-sufficient. He’s a nice person too and always has your back. He even competed in some Pokémon Leagues.”

    “That’s why I think it got to a point where I was afraid of even introducing my family to others, it sounds really selfish I know, but it was annoying that people never bothered to really look at me,” she spoke with frustration as her grip on the empanada tightened, causing some of the potatoes to get on her hand and scald it a little. She didn’t mind though. Instead she bared the pain for a few seconds as she cleaned it off.

    Tyson took another bite out of his fried pastry as she did this, thinking about what she had been saying carefully.

    “So that’s why you decided to come to the academy?” he responded casually. “Basically you wanted to run away from that.”

    “What? No I-“

    “It’s okay. I mean if you want to run away from your family for the sake of not having them ruin your life then I understand. That being said, I still see it as running away,” He looked back at Miko, his face devoid of emotion.

    “Ugh!” that is not my point here!” Miko yelled in frustration. “My point is that I’m not good enough, being picked to participate in this battle is just going to cause trouble for me, I’m just going embarrass myself and show everyone that I wasn’t even worth the effort!”

    “Really? Cause to me you were.”

    Miko stopped when she heard this, her eyes staring at Tyson firmly as the third year sighed. “Miko, do you know why I picked you?”

    “Cause of some bullshit about being smart and courageous and stuff…I’m not really,” Miko answered in annoyance. “I have to work really hard for what I do, and there’s no point in having courage if you can’t really accomplish anything.”

    “You misunderstood me,” Tyson chuckled. “From the very beginning it wasn’t about that. I mean I did say I’ll tell you tomorrow but since you seem so frustrated I’ll tell you,” he pointed out slyly. “You work hard, that’s my point,” he stretched his hand out and patted her shoulder lightly while smiling. “You work hard to get good grades, you always try your best at what you do, even if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to do it. I noticed that much at least.”

    “That’s what I mean by having the Will of a Charizard Flame. To work your damnest even if it means failing, but still getting back up when you do; to always stand tall and inspire others to move forward even if you won’t be able to do the same. To have a heart like an unwavering flame,” his voice sounded inspired and in turn it made Miko feel more at ease. She still didn’t believe in entirely what he said, but at the same time she felt more reassured. “Listen, just showing up tomorrow will be enough to show people how brave you really are. You still don’t have to but…if you really want to stand out then you have to take the first step.”

    Miko looked down at the grass once more, finally feeling both the soreness from the scald and a few tears that had run down her face during her outburst.

    All her life she had wanted to show others that she was there and it had worked, yet she was scared of trying to go further, of trying to prove to herself that she could do more. “Thanks Tyson,” she muttered.

    “Hey no problem!” Tyson exclaimed with a laugh as he stood up. “Anything for my future successor.”

    “You talk as if I’m gonna win,” Miko pointed out while wiping her eyes.

    “I’m not gonna just let you but I do believe in you,” Tyson said as he pocketed his hands. “Anyways, I hope to see you tomorrow.”

    ***

    The next morning was an oddly eventful one for Elemental Academy. Cheers and screams filled the sky as Elemental Academy’s battle stadium was filled to the brink by the students waiting for the battle between Miko and Tyson.

    Tyson stood on his side of the battlefield, his eyes looking downward at his watch as he waited for Miko to appear. “I wonder where she is,” he muttered to himself as he looked around the arena in search of Reggie and his group.

    He took notice of Fin, Valerie, Claudia, Marie, and Jack, but was surprised to see that Reggie was also missing, though it was a revelation that made him grin. “Maybe I shouldn’t count her out just yet,”

    At least that was how he felt until he saw Reggie and Chigon sitting among his friends, causing him to turn towards the entrance of the stadium and realize that Miko still hadn’t arrived.

    ***

    “What the hell are you doing here!?” Fin exclaimed as soon as he saw Reggie sitting down, making the teenager stare at him in confusion.

    “What do you mean?” Reggie asked.

    “We were waiting for you and Miko!” Valerie yelled. “We thought you guys were together.”

    “Wait. Miko isn’t here yet?” Reggie gasped in realization as he looked down at the field.

    “No she’s not. Where the fuck where you?” Fin asked, dumbfounded.

    “I lost time making breakfast for the Pokémon,” Reggie replied guiltily. “Anyways I was with Miko yesterday in the afternoon but…” he paused for a moment, a somber expression crossing his face as he remembered what happened the day before.

    “What happened?” Valerie asked, worried.

    “Well-“

    At that moment the stadium was filled with applause as the crowed turned to look at the right side of the entrance.

    Miko stood just outside the hall that led into the right side of the stadium, her face looking ahead as her long hair waved around with each step.
    Tyson grinned as he looked at her as well as the small bags she had under her eyes and the glove she wore on her left hand. He felt something peak inside of himself as if something was being awakened just from looking at Miko. A smirk crossed his face as he clenched his fist with determination.

    “I like that look,” he replied with a smirk.

    “Good,” Miko said, a grin crossing her face. “Because this is the face of the person that’ll dethrone you.”

    To be continued…
    End of chapter 44
    Next time: Will of the Charizard Flame Part2

  10. #415
    Less cute in person Beth Pavell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    It's difficult to know what else to say, having already beta'd this chapter. The changes from the version I saw work out for the better. I think you're better at focusing on characters than you give yourself credit for - in this chapter the Miko focus works out quite well, and there's some decent conflict between the way that others see her and the way she sees herself. It's amusing actually - all these students are at an elite academy, but they have a habit of forgetting that fact.

    I still think you have the potential to write better couples than I will
    The Long Walk
    For Joshua Cook, it's a long walk away from his dull life to the Pokémon League. But does he really want to be the very best? A coming-of-age story of adventure, friendship and growing up in the world of Pokémon.


    Pavell's Scribbledegook Week XXII - Atlas: Strange Shires and Silly Villages

  11. #416
    Captain of Tao Midorikawa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Apparently I forgot to review chapter 43 though you know most of my thoughts from my Betaing. I of course still felt nothing tear jerking for the enforcers particularly since we didn't have enough to love them before, but you definitely tortured me with shipping :p

    More importantly is 44. It was nice to see Miko develop, and everything was expected in a good way. You know I kept thinking the same things as the characters in this chapter, and their personalities were really clear in it too, save for Miko who was suffering from the disease called development. Also Tyson x Miko :p

    And totally can't wait to see Ghostface ;)

  12. #417
    Hive Monarch Rediamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Hi. So now that I'm current with Storm Island and the fic that I actually sort of beta, onto this thing that I've been neglecting.

    First, grammar mistakes for both chapters:

    "she said with a slight tremble on his voice"
    "that was all he damage"
    "she's great a sports"

    Other than that, still less Reggie-centric chapters, but I did notice the obligatory "let's actually make Kevin awards eligible" scene in 43.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the Enforcers arc. While it did give some development, I wonder how important that actually is. Only one will presumably be lasting into Year Three, and only Tyson has further plot significance. I'm not saying that developing side characters is bad, and it helped thematically draw the story to a close, but I'm also not sure how useful the chapter is given that it was just adding in a love arc and a little development just to send off all the characters involved. I suppose that as a means of framing The Enforcers as a group that could potentially be sympathized with, and even allied with and succeeded, it served its purpose.

    But for all the hype that's been built around him, Tyson losing with a type disadvantage was kind of anticlimactic, even if he was more observing than battling. Reggie's come far, but I find it hard to see him having come that far that he can go from a decidedly average hero to beating a future pro battler with a type disadvantage in two months. It also somewhat diminished Tyson's threat right before he is meant to be a major, nigh-impossible antagonist. Just pointing out some broader consequences.

    I found the Miko-centric chapter much more interesting as a whole. She's gone though most of the story as the generic, somewhat more intelligent than average but otherwise wholly standard girlfriend/love interest. It was actually kind of surprising seeing even the most basic revelations about her backstory actually being new to me and other people who haven't read Dragon's Roar (probably most of your readership now). I liked it. It helped develop her as an independent character capable of operating without, and sometimes even surpassing, her boyfriend. It was a nice touch and I think you should keep it up in Year Three, especially since as the actual girlfriend of the protagonist she will presumably be a little more in the limelight.

    Looking forward to what will presumably be the final battle of the story. Best of luck closing everything.

    Also, will the scene in 43 mean that Kevin is sticking around for Year Three, or is he departing with the rest of the enforcers?

  13. #418
    Stray Dog Flaze's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    @Beth Pavell; @AetherX; @Tophat Dragoneye; @System Error; @Warrior of Fire; @Instrutilus; @Soulmaster; @Rediamond; @Elysia; @Midorikawa;



    Chapter 45: Will of a Charizard Flame Part 2



    The sound of the thundering crowd filled Miko’s ears, but she kept her eyes set on Tyson. She was determined, yet at the same time felt nervous, something that wasn't resolved by the fact that she was being watched.

    "What's wrong? Was that quip all you had!?" Tyson exclaimed from the other side of the battlefield, pulling Miko's attention away from the crowd.

    "No, I'd just prefer it if my Pokémon did the talking," Miko replied, mustering the best menacing glare she could.

    Tyson laughed at this as he pulled out a pokéball from his belt. "I like that. It proves I made a wise choice in picking you," he said proudly.

    "Let's just get started," Miko replied, rubbing her eye a bit as she noticed the referee that stepped into the middle of the field.

    "We will now start the battle between Miko Sekai, and Tyson Emmerson. The battle will be a three on three with the special rule that if Miko beats one of her opponent's Pokémon, she will win!" The referee announced, garnering the attention from the crowd.

    He pulled out a red and green flag before quickly raising it up. "Begin!"

    Tyson whipped his arm back swiftly before throwing a Heavy Ball down on the field, revealing his Ursaring who let out a roar upon being sent out.

    "An Ursaring," Miko muttered. She only knew of three of Tyson's five Pokémon; however this revelation actually made her smirk as she moved her gloved left hand back and grasped her own Pokéball. "Go Combusken!" Miko yelled as she sent her Combusken out onto the field.

    The fire type assumed a fighting stance as soon as it was sent out before looking at its trainer. "Bulk up and go for a Double Kick!"

    Combusken stretched its arms and spread its legs out, flexing them and causing its muscles to bulge slightly. It then moved its arms back and proceeded to leap forward, its body moving at lightning speed towards the giant bear.

    Combusken jumped up and threw its legs forward just as he was about to collide with Ursaring

    Ursaring dodged the kick by stepping to its right, and predicted Combusken's next kick, taking its chance to grab the fire type's leg before throwing him back.

    "Sky Uppercut!" Miko wasted no time in commanding as Combusken bounced off the floor on one leg and jumped forward, spinning around in front of the shocked bear before whipping its left arm upwards at Ursaring's head.

    "Dodge and use Hammer Arm!" Tyson called out as Ursaring stepped back and raised its head, successfully avoiding the attack. It didn't end there though, for Ursaring pulled its arm back before throwing it forward against Combusken, successfully slamming it in its face, and sending it flying back.

    "Flamethrower!" Combusken wasn't completely shaken off as it spun around in mid air and proceeded to fire a jet of spinning flames square into Ursaring's face, causing the Pokémon to move back as Combusken landed in front of its trainer.

    "Are you okay Combusken?" Miko asked, getting a thumbs up from Combusken in return. She pulled her Academy Dex out and pointed it at Ursaring, getting the smartphone-like device to light up and show a page with all of the species data as well as the Pokémon’s level. "48 and you're only a 38 yourself," she gritted her teeth. She didn't quite understand how levels worked enough to rule her situation by them, but she knew that in that specific battle they would be a hint on how she would have to perform.

    She shook her head and slapped her cheeks lightly before staring at Tyson. "I wonder why he hasn't pulled Ursaring out. Anyways, we still have an advantage so go for a Rock Slide!"

    Combusken let out a "qawww" before pushing forward and sliding on the ground, triggering a barrage of rocks that began to fire off from the ground towards Ursaring.

    The large Pokémon reacted quickly, punching and smacking the rocks away as they came. Fortunately for Miko it wasn't able to see Combusken sneaking in through the rocks. "Hit it low!" Combusken squawked loudly as it span around, trying its best to sweep Ursaring.

    However, just as Miko was about to celebrate the successful kick she noticed Combusken bouncing off of Ursaring and stepping back. "What?"

    "Hyper Beam!" Tyson countered, signaling Ursaring to fire a powerful red beam of energy down at Combusken, sending the Pokémon rolling back on the floor, lifting a cloud of dust.

    "How did it take the Low Sweep so easily?" Miko asked, dumbfounded by the current course of events.

    "Tsk tsk," Tyson shook his finger before grinning. "It's true that with an advantage you would make a lot of damage. However you forgot to take a few things into account," he pointed towards his Ursaring. "My Ursaring is a full grown one, well trained and weighing in at an average of 316 pounds, his whole body and legs are covered in layers of fat and muscle which make him really resistant."

    He then raised his finger and pointed at Combusken. "Combusken are fast and they have considerable leg strength that can go up against a well trained martial artist, but even then they would need to be really well trained," he smirked, "Even if your Pokémon was trained for competitive battling his legs would still be too weak to break through Ursaring."

    The ten level difference finally dawned on Miko after hearing this, causing her to clench Combusken's pokéball tightly. She had to figure out a way to take down at least one of Tyson's Pokémon even through the difference in skill and experience, but how would she be able to do it if she couldn't even properly hurt his Pokémon?

    "Return Ursaring!" Tyson yelled as he pointed at Ursaring with its pokéball, and retreated the Pokémon. "I'll make this real easy for you," Tyson said slyly as he sent his Milotic out onto the field.

    Miko knew that Tyson was just sizing her up, sending out Pokémon he knew she could counter with just to see if she could give him a good show. Her mind instantly went to Pichu when she looked at Milotic, and at the same time she felt that sending the electric type out would be a mistake due to the vast difference in ability and experience.

    "If Pichu gets hit even once, and at most twice he'll be out, regardless of advantage," Miko said quietly to herself as she grabbed one of her pokéballs. She quickly returned Combusken before unhooking the pokéball she had been holding and throwing it onto the field.

    "Go Absol!" Miko yelled. She immediately took out her Academy Dex, a smile going through her face when she saw Absol standing at level forty. She then turned towards Milotic and reluctantly pointed at her with the Dex.

    Miko's smile vanished instantly; instead she stared at the screen in shock and fear. "You shouldn't have done that," Tyson replied somberly.

    "Level 60? What the hell!?" Miko yelled in frustration.

    "And I'll tell you this. Infernape will be my third Pokémon and he's a level 55," Tyson stated, "Think you can win?"

    Miko felt he heart sink with every passing second as she jogged through each of her Pokémon. There was no way for her to be able to win; the difference was way too high.

    "...wait...I almost forgot about that," Miko gasped, displaying a sheepish smile. "All right Absol! Just like we practiced!" She yelled out as Absol stood forward and let out a loud and melodic chime, which resonated throughout the field before assuming a fighting stance.

    Tyson noticed Milotic grimacing a bit but paid no mind as it regained its composure. "Maybe an Echoed Voice? Though it wasn't really strong," he shrugged before turning back to Absol. "Okay, let's play on the defensive with a Light Screen," he commanded as Milotic covered itself with a sheet of sparkling light.

    "Absol, go for a Pursuit!" Absol charged forward, gathering speed as it moved swiftly over the ground towards Milotic.

    "Ice Beam, don't let it get close." Milotic moved its body back before firing a blast of icy wind down on Absol. The Pokémon saw this and proceeded to jump aside, doing its best to flip over and avoid the ice beams as it jumped at Milotic.

    "Aqua Ring!"

    "Now Thunderbolt!"

    Milotic gasped at this, knowing that if it wasn't able to stop Absol it would take a lot of damage from it. It spun around quickly and fired a ring of water from its body and towards the white wolf-like Pokémon.

    Absol was sent flying back by the ring but it wasn't taken aback. Instead it landed and slid on the ground before letting out a roar and firing a powerful bolt of lightning out of its horn. Neither Milotic or Tyson were able to react fast enough as the bolt collided with the water type's body, causing it to wail loudly as sparks coursed through its body.

    "Spot on!" Miko cheered once she saw the lightning hit.

    "Recover," Tyson said simply as Milotic's body glowed in a white light that began to slowly heal its wounds. "You were saying?" Tyson grinned.

    He did however notice Milotic grimacing once more, this time to the point of it almost lowering itself to the floor. He stood there quietly for a moment as he wondered what could be wrong with the water type.

    As he thought back to the start of the battle with Absol a frown began to cross his face as he remembered Absol's initial cry. "Damn you," Tyson gritted his teeth before swiftly taking his pokéball out and returning Milotic. "That wasn't Echoed Voice! It was Perish Song!"

    Miko frowned and clenched her fists in frustration. "That's right," she said with a slight grin. "I had Absol sneak Perish Song off as a battle cry, all I needed to do was to stall for 3 minutes and Milotic would've been knocked out."

    "But that doesn't matter. If you send Milotic out again the effect will just start off again. That means I just disabled your strongest Pokémon," Miko's smile widened even more, looking like a kid who had been able to get her way.

    Tyson laughed, rubbing his hand against his forehead as he did. "Well played, I didn't expect that," he replied as he took out another pokéball. "But you failed, and I still have two more Pokémon."

    With that Tyson threw his next pokéball out, sending out his Infernape. Miko reassumed her fighting stance along with Absol, contemplating on how to deal with their new adversary.

    "All right Absol, let's bring you ba-"

    "Fire Spin!" Tyson yelled out, stopping Miko from returning Absol as Infernape spun around and sent a vortex of flame that surrounded the field, blocking the red beam of the pokéball from reaching Absol. "Now you won't be able to stop what you started."

    "Shit," Miko gritted her teeth, remembering that Perish Song also affected her own Pokémon. "Absol let's at least disable him too! Use Per-"

    "Encore!" Miko stepped back in shock as Infernape began to clap its hands rapidly, causing Absol to switch from Perish Song and fire another Thunderbolt from its horn before stepping back and grimacing.

    "Absol don't!" Miko yelled. It was too late though, Absol's Perish Song had taken its toll and the Pokémon proceeded to hit the ground, its mind shutting down completely.

    "Absol is unable to battle! The winner is Infernape!" She heard the referee call out as she covered her face from the flames.

    While she was frustrated over having Absol faint Miko was still reassured by the fact she still had two more Pokémon, and even more by the fact she could now choose another one. "Go Kirlia!" She yelled before throwing Kirlia's pokèball into the ring of flames, allowing the Pokémon to emerge with a twirl.

    "Trying to aim for the advantage again huh?" Tyson asked playfully, getting no reply.

    "All right Kirlia, just like we practiced," Miko ordered. Kirlia nodded its head in turn before spreading its arms, causing purple energy to materialize around its hands, taking the shape of small knives. She then began floating off the ground as similar blades appeared around her feet.

    "...color me interested," Tyson beamed with expectation. "Kirlia can't learn Psycho Cut so instead you use psychic energy to create blades."

    "It's something I've been working on secretly," Miko pointed out, "Kirlia, use the ballet formation!"

    "What?" Tyson raised an eyebrow in confusion.

    At that moment Kirlia raised its arms before creating multiple clones of it. The clones all surrounded Infernape before disappearing into thin air. "Infernape, use calm mind. They must be using a Double Team and Teleport combo," Tyson advised.

    A Kirlia suddenly appeared at Infernape's right and slashed down with its right arm. Infernape dodged this quickly, only to be confronted by another Kirlia who at it rapidly.

    "Submission and Incinerate!" Infernape grabbed hold of one of the Kirlia clones before throwing it against the other one, and proceeding to fire a barrage of fire balls at the two clones.

    This left its back uncovered as two more Kirlia charged from behind. Both Kirlia spun around, whipping their blades at Infernape, who tried to desperately evade and block them.

    "Psychic!" Miko yelled as both Kirlia's threw themselves onto Infernape, putting their hands together and firing a powerful wave of psychic energy that sent the monkey Pokémon flying back. Infernape slid on the ground and roared before sending a barrage of rocks at the Kirlia.

    Tyson himself could barely keep track of what was going on as he saw more Kirlia appear in front of Infernape and begin to fire a barrage of purple energy spheres at the cornered fire type. "Rock Tomb!" Tyson yelled desperately as Infernape stomped on the ground, lifting multiple stone formations that began to cover him from the barrage, though a few of the shots were still able to break through and land their marks.

    The crowd and the two trainers stood silent as they stared at the cloud of dust that had been lifted by the blasts. Miko stared at the cloud expectantly, hoping for the battle to finally come to a close.

    "Bulldoze," Tyson said in the silence.

    The next course of events passed like a flash of light to Miko. Infernape erupted from the rocks at great speed before clashing with one of the Kirlia clones, causing its body to tear apart and disintegrate instantly.

    It didn't stop there though for the Pokémon proceeded to fire out a large torrent of flames that engulfed the whole field and incinerated anything it came across, even causing the front row of the stadium and the ref to duck.

    "Future Sight!" Miko yelled desperately as the remaining Kirlia clones all put their hands together and were surrounded by a pink hue.

    It was of no use though. Before Kirlia could finish its attack it was hit by the jet of flames, causing the remaining clones to vanish and for it to fall to the floor.

    "Kirlia use protect quickly!" Miko screamed desperately, tears running down her face as concern for her Pokémon filled her body. "Don't let him get to you!"

    "Brick Break!"

    Infernape jumped forward with a loud and deafening roar as it slammed the still forming blue barrier to pieces, causing the small psychic type to gasp when it came face to face with an enraged and fire covered Infernape.

    Infernape looked down at Kirlia with rage filled eyes, casting fear and terror into the Kirlia. It then moved its left claw back before surrounding it with black energy and swiftly slashing upwards, making Kirlia let out a shrill scream of agony as the black energy slashed through its body and made it fly back against the wall of the stadium.

    Miko and the crowd stood agape, their faces remaining on the roaring Infernape as they finished processing the events that had just transpired. She lowered her head and sniffled a bit before turning around to return her Kirlia.

    "K-Kirlia is unable to b-battle," the announcer stuttered, staying farther away from the field. "Infernape wins!"

    "One more Miko," Tyson pointed out with a serious tone. "I told you I wasn't just going to let you win."

    Miko panted slowly, grasping Combusken's pokéball. She needed to pull a miracle if she was to win with only one Pokémon left.

    That's when he realized something that hadn't dawned on her. Originally she didn't want to participate in the battle; even now she was still reluctant on whether it was worth it. Yet she felt different now that's she was standing on the field, she really wanted to win, she wanted to proof herself that she could manage something even Reggie or Fin hadn't. She wanted to win.

    "Okay Combusken. I'm sorry if you'll end up hurt but..." Miko spoke to the pokéball gently as she held it in her hand. "Hold out for me, I'll let you rest and take a vacation afterwards," she whispered before raising her head and throwing the pokéball onto the now flame-less field.

    As soon as the pokéball hit the floor the whole field became surrounded by a bright light. This made both Tyson and Miko step back in shock, a few tears even escaping Miko’s eyes as the light began to regain shape, standing taller than Miko herself.

    Standing where Combusken should've been was a Blaziken. Its arms raised and put against its sides as it stared at Infernape with bloodshot eyes. Its now red feathers waved around along with its wing-shaped hair.

    "No way," Miko muttered in shock and awe as her Blaziken smiled back at her. “You evolved! I didn’t think that would actually happen to me!” she yelled out in shock and excitement as she dried the tears that had rolled down her eyes.

    "Oooh, this is an interesting turn of events. Too bad it's the same typing as Infernape and they both specialize in speed and power," Tyson declared while scratching his chin. "It isn't looking good, if only Perish Song had worked before you might've had a chance."

    "How can you be so nice at one moment and a total asshole the next?" Miko asked while glaring at Tyson.

    "It's fun," Tyson shrugged before grinning. "Plus it makes my opponents try their best, makes them strive more. Just like how you are now."

    "You really want me to beat you huh?" Miko countered.

    "No, I want you to try your hardest. I want you to show everyone how far hard work and perseverance can get you!" Tyson yelled, throwing his arm out and clenching it. "The kind of show that even those snobs who act big because they are talented can give...like a certain uptight bastard sitting in the stands."

    "Hey!" Miko heard Keith yell from among the crowd.

    "Okay then, as a token of my appreciation I won't switch Infernape out," Tyson snickered. "Instead I want you to give me a good last round."

    "Blaze Kick!" Blaziken jumped forward, surrounding its legs with flames and throwing a kick at Infernape.

    "Dodge and counter with Fire Punch!" Infernape spun around, throwing its right fist forward as it collided with Blaziken, sending both Pokémon sliding back, though Blaziken seemed to have taken most of the brunt.

    "Flame Thrower!" Both fire Pokémon let out a roar before firing a jet of flames at each other. The two torrents collided and dispersed as both Pokémon charged at each other once more.

    "Aerial Ace!"

    Once more both Pokémon attacked each other simultaneously, with Blaziken spinning around and cutting through the air with its leg while Infernape did the same with its fist.

    This time Blaziken was quicker though and was able to land its kick just in time, slashing upwards before spinning around once more. "Double Kick!" Miko screamed at the top of her lungs. Blaziken threw its right leg forward and slammed it against Infernape’s gut, only to spin around once more, landing another blow on its chin with a back kick, lifting the Pokémon up into the sky.

    "Acrobatics," Tyson commanded as Infernape grabbed a hold of and crawled down Blaziken's leg, spinning around as it went.

    Infernape then jumped forward and pushed Blaziken back with a punch to its jaw, causing the Pokémon to Spit out blood and step back

    Both Pokémon and trainers looked at each other, panting as the toll from the battle began to catch up with them. “Close Combat!” they yelled in unison.

    It was at that moment where all semblance of strategy or thought vanished from the battlefield. Miko and Tyson let out command after command without care as both Pokémon punched, kick, head-butted, and used any special attack they could to get the best of the other. It had turned into a battle to see who would fall first, and neither was willing to back down.

    "Flare Blitz!" Both Miko and Tyson screamed at the top of their lungs, both aiming to finally finish the battle.

    Blaziken and Infernape let out ear shattering roars. Flames erupted from Infernape's head, and Blaziken's arms and legs, as their bodies became completely coated by blue colored flames.

    The two menacing flame covered silhouettes stared at each other before leaping forward.

    They both ran at each other as fast as they could, the heat they emanated causing everyone in the crowd and field to sweat as the two Pokémon slammed against each other, fire against fire as the clash lifted multiple waves of heat and air pressure.

    Miko and Tyson covered their faces from the fire as both Pokémon pushed each other back, carrying their trainers will, and their own dignity as fighters with them.

    Finally the clash gave way to a large explosion that caused the field to erupt into a large cloud of smoke and pieces of rubble that were sent all around as the trainers tried to stay on their feet.

    Miko felt pressure weigh down on her more and more as she waited for the smoke to clear. Now that she had finally come so far she couldn't afford to lose, not with Reggie and the rest of her friends supporting her from behind.

    Infernape and Blaziken stood in the center of the dissipating smoke, their bodies battered and bloodied as they stared at each other, challenging one another to fall first.

    And then amongst the silence Infernape's body teetered.

    Tyson and Miko both opened their eyes in shock, their hearts sinking and rising respectively as Infernape finally fell to its knees and then proceeded to fall to the floor.

    It all happened in an instant. In that one moment when Infernape fell to the floor the crowd erupted in a thunderous cheer as Miko retreated the practically fainted Blaziken.

    The cheers from the crowd filled Miko's ears as she felt all of the pressure that had been on her released at once.

    She couldn't believe the fact she had actually done it, that even with the difference in level she had been able to defeat someone like Tyson. Of course the fact that it took so much work to beat just one of his Pokémon also dawned on her, but at that point she was just happy to have made it.

    "Good work Miko," Miko felt Tyson's hand on her shoulder, turning towards him she noticed the proud smile on his face. "You showed me I was right in picking you. I'll be happy to have you as my successor." He said proudly and retreated his hand. “No one can say you are just average any more either.”

    Miko was about to reply before stepping back, feeling her body wobble slightly. She turned towards the stands just in time to see Reggie and the others jump down onto the field as her body gave out and her mind fell into a deep slumber.

    ***

    Miko opened her eyes slowly, or at least tried to open them. It was a strange feeling when you had to use everything you had just to open your eyes.

    She moved her head back a bit, feeling the soft pillow that held and cushioned her head.

    She looked up at the clear white roof that stood over here before finally facing down at her sheet covered body.

    It was then when she saw Reggie, his head buried among the sheets next to her as a light snoring could be heard.

    Upon further detail of her surroundings, Miko realized that the two were surrounded by a blue curtain presumably separating them from the rest of the room. "Hospital Wing huh," she said weakly before feeling Reggie's head rustle next to her.

    "Miko?" Reggie drowsily spoke, scratching his eye to try and shake the slumber from it. "Are you awake?"

    "No. You are having a dream and I'm about to have my way with you in this hospital bed," Miko said slyly while trying to stifle a laugh.

    "Wait really!?” Reggie exclaimed in shock, shaking his drowsiness off instantly.

    "No you idiot," Miko finally let out her laughter as she saw Reggie pout and lean back against his seat. She grabbed this chance to sit herself up and face him properly. "I guess I couldn't hold out till the end. What a buzz kill."

    "Are you kidding? I'm surprised you even managed to make it through the battle. The nurse said you were completely exhausted," Reggie pointed out sternly.

    "Yeah...I might've stayed up training for a while last night, it’s how I came up with the psychic sword and Perish Song tricks," Miko chuckled innocently.

    "I'm still shocked you came though," Reggie crossed his arms and moved forward slightly. "What changed your mind?"

    "Well...let's just say someone we know isn't as bad as we thought," Miko nodded her head, before looking down at her sheets in thought. "So I really won huh?"

    "Yeah, it was amazing how you managed to actually take down Tyson's Infernape, though Kirlia also did a really good job. Oh and that Perish Song strategy was awesome!" His voice sounded like that of an ecstatic child, something that helped in making Miko at ease. "You were really amazing; I mean if your Pokémon were stronger you probably could stand head to toe with him."

    That line made everything sink for her. She had done her best to try and defeat Tyson but that meant that she could do more than even that if she applied herself. "Huh...maybe," she muttered with a grin. "All right then! I'll do my best to train from now on; I can't let Tyson down after all now that I'm a Prefect."

    "And I'll help you out," Reggie nodded his head reassuringly. "It's the least I can do."

    "Thanks."

    "No problem," Reggie chuckled. He glanced down at her left hand for a moment, noticing the scald mark that was on it. “By the way, are you going to remove that scar?”

    “This?” Miko asked as she raised her hand. “No,” she smiled softly. “I’m going to keep it as a reminder of this challenge,” she pointed out with a proud smile.

    “How did you get it anyways?”

    After hearing this question Miko finally remembered the empanadas from the night before, realizing that it would probably make her look dumber if she told Reggie how she got it. “That…that doesn’t matter right now,” she chuckled nervously.

    "Anyways. Rest up for a few more minutes, we'll go and meet the others for your celebration dinner later."

    ***

    Rafael sat silently in his room inside the Pikachu Thunder dorm. The only light in the room came from his laptop as he typed away, his eyes fully focused on the screen.

    He put his right hand into his pocket and fished out a cell phone before beginning to dial a number, putting the phone to his ear.

    "Hello?" He said once he heard of the other line picking up. "I just got the signal, it starts in four days," he said in a low voice. "I'll make sure to hold out until them."

    ***

    Off the coast of Academy Island, amongst the many smaller islands surrounding it was Kin Island. This island had been used as a battlefield the year before and was famous for the worn down temple it enclosed, a temple detailing the secrets of the ancient Dragonic Archipelago.

    Noah walked through the dark temple slowly, using only a torch to light his way through as a black Weavile walked next to him. "Memento Mori did the honor of leaving you as a guardian to this place. You did a good job till last year when you allowed a bunch of snotty brats to just go right up and kick your ass. Then there was that Zivok bastard and his group," Noah replied bitterly, ensuing a nervous whine from the Weavile.

    "But that doesn't matter, we don't need this thing any more," Noah chucked deviously before taking out a black pokéball and throwing it into the dark. "In four days we'll finally be able to carry out the plan,"

    And so the now quiet Academy Island awoke once more as the sounds of explosions rang loud and clear from the depths of Kin Island.


    End of Chapter 45
    Next Time: Sin Part 1: Resentment

    Okay, next time it's the start of the seriously serious final arc of this fic! finally xD I don't think I can get it out byt he end of the year sadly unless I post two chapters one week which...I find unlikely sadly.

    Also I really loved writing out Miko's chapters, it's funny since I had neglected her for so long but mainly I was having trouble thinking of what to do for her in the long run. The battle for prefecture was even originally going to be between Reggie and Tyson but I decided that Miko was probably a lot ebtter for the job, plus giving her a chance to battle Tyson would allow me to make use of her feelings of inferiority towards the others.

    In general I think making her the new prefect was probably the best choice since now I have a lot of things I want to do with her and am planning on giving her a lot more attention and struggles to deal with for the third installment.

  14. #419
    Type 4 Chi-To Best Tank Barfing Ogres's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Finally, after 2 weeks I've finished this sucker.

    Technical Aspects:
    In the beginning, there are spelling errors and grammatical mistakes frequent enough to be of note, but not such that the flow of the early chapters is broken. As the fic progresses, those become more and more infrequent to the point that they become for all intents and purposes a non-issue. I would suggest going back and touching those up when you have a chance. One other thing I noticed is that some of the chapters are of a different color which I'm not entirely sure if it's intentional.

    Plot:
    I did not come over from Dragon's Roar (which I will read "Soon TM"), so all those references went over my head. That being said, it is really nice that reading it is not required to make sense of what is written here. I like how the fic is set up in the style of an anime with the arc system you have running. It breaks up the action quite nicely with a "filler" arc in between a set of "action" arcs. The Enforcers arc is my personal favorite because even though they may or may not be returning, it sets up their characters nicely for the inevitable confrontation and makes them seem more human shall I say.

    Characters:
    With so many different characters, its a wonder how you have managed to give them all individual personalities. Even when I don't remember who somebody is (I'm looking at you Jack), I can identify them as different just by the way they speak and their thoughts on what is happening. Brendan as the Principal is awesome, and there is a 391 hour playtime on my Emerald version to prove it. He comes off as being a little arrogant, which again establishes him as being human in the same way most of us are. Reggie, Miko, and Darren I feel have the most personality of everyone you have stuffed in here. Reggie's turn around seemed a little sudden I will admit, but it was also needed to give him at least a little more flavor so to speak.

    Overall:
    I believe that this fic serves to be a "written anime" suffice to say, and that its pacing and characters are the main strong points. World building is something that could be improved upon, but it is not quite as needed as it might be in other fics. Again, touching up on the early chapters would help them look better in comparison to the later chapters.
    Origin: The Rising

    While the forces of the Zann Consortium and Silri's Red Storm fight the deadliest shadow war in the known galaxy, Origin, the solar system that gave rise to humanity is locked in a massive power struggle between the Grineer, the Corpus, the Infested, the Tenno, and other various groups. But the Void, a place of mystery since its discovery by the ancient Orokin holds secrets of its own, including a pocket of space and time we have come to know as the world of Pokémon.

  15. #420
    Hive Monarch Rediamond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon Academy Year II: Second Year Rhapsody

    Hi. So, grammar first.

    In the first paragraph "wasn't resolved by" the crowds seems like really odd wording. "Wasn't helped by" is more typical.
    "Spit out blood" is capitalized mid-sentence. Spit should be lower-case.

    Other than that, it was an interesting battle, although a few things seemed odd. Mid-battle evolution from a Pokemon who hasn't been foreshadowed to be close to evolving is always a little odd to me. I also found that, even without using any strategy at all and explicitly spamming the same moves as her opponent, a newly evolved Blaziken (early 30s in level, if games are at all relevant) manages to beat an Infernape. It's a little hard to swallow that even with some prior help that didn't seem to do any major damage, a weaker Pokemon beat a stronger Pokemon without the help of a grand strategy. The synchronized attacks also did you a little bit of a disservice since a mid-battle evolution sets up either a curbstomp, a last minute recovery, or an epic beatdown to me. That really did none of them, since the battle itself was more "and then they hit each other with the same attacks until one exploded." In short, I think you could've helped yourself a lot by focusing more on the last matchup.

    And I had totally forgotten that the scald burn happened, since as a reader it wasn't set up as too major or important. I know I don't get scars from trying to eat hot food, anyway...

    Beyond that, good job getting through in three awards categories. That will probably prevent me from doing a proper blog on this until the awards cycle is over since I've already got my last pre-awards slot reserved for something else, but best of luck in that process and I'll try to get around to reviewing things thing on my blog eventually.

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