Chapter 1: The Champion
Chapter 2: All Alone
Chapter 3: The Tournament Begins
Chapter 4: A Worthy Successor?
Chapter 5: It Runs in the Family!
Chapter 6: End of an Era
Chapter 7: Blood Feud
Chapter 8: Sootopolis
Chapter 9: The Order
Chapter 10: Pokémon Master?
Chapter 11: Initiate Johnson
A concussive impact shook the stadium, every row, down to the spectators very teeth. Yet this just urged them on more, making them cheer louder, coming on in waves as the excitement spread throughout the crowd. In the arena, the two pokémon battled on, dealing heavy blows.
A frown crossed the young trainer's face, distorting his features. He knew he couldn't slip up here, not now, not in the final. He had not come this far to be defeated now. He quickly assessed the situation. Direct attacks weren't working, so it was time for something different.
“Sandslash!” the Trainer called out, somehow audible over the monstrous crowd. “Use Dig!”
Instantly, the diminutive Ground-type leapt into the air, showing its muscled, mousey physique and lethal, gleaming claws. It plummeted to the earth, claws first, and disappeared in a pillar of dust as it impacted, leaving nothing but a mound of dirt behind.
A column of flame ripped through the dust, forcing the trainer to shield his eyes. The dust was simply blasted out of the way by the intensity of the heat. Following up its attack, a raging Houndoom appeared, snarling angrily. Its barbed black tail whipped back and forth in frustration, its eyes darting back and forth, looking for its prey.
The Trainer simply smiled. Typical Houndoom, all bark, no bite. Sandslash had suffered little damage from the last attacks, whereas Houndoom was beginning to show signs of weariness.
Still, the Trainer needed to know more, and he knew what he had to do. He softly closed his eyes, and slowed his breathing down to a crawl, entering a trance-like state. Though his eyes were closed, he could still “see”, more clearly than he could with his eyes open. Two swirls of energy were presented to him, one just below the other. One was a mixture of reds and oranges, two hues locked in an eternal, violent dance, flying around rapidly and randomly. The other, just below the red one, was a light tan, spinning calmly, pulsating slightly.
He locked onto the calmer aura and felt his Sandslash in the centre of it, waiting for the order from its trainer. In this state, not only could he feel Sandslash, its emotions, its wounds, its location. For that moment, he was Sandslash.
Slowly, through the mental link, he pushed his thought into Sandslash, relaying silent orders. He opened his eyes, steadying himself. Whilst entering this state was undeniably useful, it was exhausting. He was forced to take deep breaths as he tried to steady himself, battling a sudden wave of fatigue. Looking back to the battlefield, Houndoom was now beginning to lose control, unsettled by the lack of appearance of its opponent.
An explosion went off underneath Houndoom, throwing it and a large amount of gravel across the arena. Sandslash appeared, leaping into the air. Houndoom jumped back to its feet, and bellowed out a challenge to the still airborne Sandslash. Sandslash hit the ground rolling straight towards Houndoom.
Fire attacks bounced uselessly off the rolling pokémon, its thick hide impervious to the incoming flames, forcing Houndoom to back up. Again, Sandslash disappeared underground. This time however, it did not linger. Seconds later, it burrowed up from underneath Houndoom, landing two quick, heavy blows to the fire types hind legs.
Houndoom roared out in pain, its crippled legs unable to sustain its weight. Sandslash remained motionless, it's large, once gleaming claws, now stained crimson. Droplets of blood fell like raindrops, leaving spots near each pokémon's feet.
The crowd roared at the strategy. In one move, the young challenger had taken out one of the champions most renowned battlers.
Sandslash retook a ready stance, prepared to pounce if necessary. The ground type observed its opponent. Houndoom was two injured to stand, and the match officials ruled it unable to battle.
The crowd roared even louder, Five pokémon down, one to go. This annoyed the challenging trainer, did these people like seeing pokémon injured in this way? It gave him no joy to have caused such damage, even though he knew Houndoom would be fine. Still, what could he expect? He knew this would happen when he entered the tournament, yet he had his reasons. If the crowd wanted violence, they came to the right place.
The Trainer calmed himself, and Sandslash rolled over to him. He hugged his small pokémon, proud that his companion was victorious and relatively unharmed.
His eyes darted up, looking at the champion. As he has been the whole match, he wore a thick black cape, shrouding himself in darkness and mystery. Wordlessly, the Champion recalled the now incapacitated Houndoom and without a pause, summoned his final pokémon.
A light appeared, forming into a smooth, sinuous shape. A large sea serpent appeared, coloured light cream. The crowd collectively gasped at the beauty of the new appearance, yet the challenger remained silent.
A Milotic. This could be a problem. No need for Sandslash anymore.
Reaching to his waist, he swiftly recalled Sandslash to its pokéball with a solitary red beam of light, and then began to think of his options.
All six of the trainers pokémon were ready, but there was one he had been saving, one who would end this match in a heartbeat.
Looking up at the beautiful Milotic, he almost felt sorry for it. This was his most powerful pokémon, and few in the world could hope to stand up to it. Expanding the pokéball, he closed his eyes, knowing he was but seconds away from becoming grand champion.
With a flash of light, and whoosh of sound, the pokémon appeared.
The crowd looked on, waiting to see what pokémon the so-far flawless challenger had brought out to face the champion's mighty Milotic. If they were expecting a giant of a pokémon, they were going to be disappointed.
The pokémon appeared, it's fur pure white, with a large black scythe on its head. The crowd remained silent, for once. Evidently, they had expected something a bit more... dramatic, not an Absol. This did not concern the Trainer though, he knew what could be done with this, his most lethal pokémon.
The two pokémon stood, motionless, eyeing each other up, like they were in some old Western movie, waiting to see who would strike first. Over the speakers, the announcer told the crowd the names and types of both pokémon on the field.
Milotic broke first, screaming out a high pitched roar; it began snaking toward Absol, moving quickly as to avoid and possible counter-attacks. Absol remained still, calmly waiting for a command.
The Trainer barked out his order: “Absol, now! Use Night Slash!”
At the last second, Absol leapt out of the way of the flailing Milotic, leaving the water type to smash its tail into the ground, raising nothing but dust. Absol came pounding in, its claws glowing with a deep purple. Quickly, it landed three quick gouges in Milotic's smooth frame, causing the pokémon to cry out in pain. As rapidly as the attacks had landed, Absol had leapt back out of range, again, motionless.
Milotic raised itself up to its full height and drew it's head back in clear preparation for a water attack. The trainer remained calm, not at all worried, knowing exactly how to handle it.
Milotic released its attack, sending a torrent of sapphire water at the much smaller Absol, and the Trainer gave out his order.
“Absol, Psycho Cut! Right through that Hydro Pump!”
Pulling its head back, Absol's black scythe released a light purple blast with a flick of its neck. The attack was so powerful that it split the oncoming hydro pump in two, dividing it like the seas as the clearly much more powerful attack hurtled toward the shocked Milotic.
The water flew harmlessly past either side of Absol, yet Milotic was not so lucky. The challengers pokémon's attack had caused devastating damage to it, as it had landed head on. Milotic fell to the floor in a heap.
The crowd gasped. Was that it? How had some unknown kid manage to defeat the Grand Champion with apparent ease. On the field, the ref began a count out, but everyone knew what had happened. That pokémon wasn't getting up. Absol walked back to its trainer and sat by his side, and received a warming ruffle on its head.
The count finished, and the so-called “Grand Champion” again recalled his pokémon without a word and left the arena, never showing anyone his face.
That day, the unknown challenger became Grand Champion. And that was the day everything began to change.