The soft and serene hum of birds echoed through the air. There was a subtle scent of bread being baked, most likely emerging from the local bakery down below. Rays of light shun through the cracks of the leaves – creating beautiful shadow patterns. And just as he thought everything was peaceful, there came a knock on the door.
"Barney, it's time to wake up!"
Groaning as he got up, Barney sat at the foot of his bed and glanced at the clock.
"But it's only seven…"
The young adolescent got off his bed and headed over to the closet – rummaging through and grabbing out his normal attire and stuffed a few more in his bag. This was just enough to keep him clean through his journey. Oh that's right, it was the day he was going to travel Hoenn.
. . . . . .
"I love you, promise me you'll be safe! And if you ever need anything don't hesitate to call us."
"Remember, what's the first rule of training, son?"
"Always treat your Pokemon like you treat yourself. I know everything, dad."
"Good then. Have fun and call in frequently, your mother and I would love to hear from you."
Barney gave his parents each a long and meaningful hug before leaving – it was the last one he would give for quite a while.
Barney's first stop on his journey would be the local gym. Fortree City Gym Leader, Winona, was the one who personally trained him. They both share a mutual love for flying types.
He reached the gym and walked up the flight of stairs, all the way to the roof. It was an endless flight of stairs - at one point he thought that it wouldn't lead anywhere. But his thoughts were proven wrong as he finished his tough and tiring climb. It was more than a thousand steps, or so Barney thought. It sure felt like it. After those flight of stairs came a single glass door that revealed a large battling ground filled with trees and shrubs. It was a grassland, paradise to a bird.
"Barney! I was wondering whether you could get hear any later." Winona revealed herself to be perching high on a branch of a tree - the tallest tree up there. Jumping from branch to branch, she eventually got to the bottom.
"I would've been even later if it wasn't for mother."
Winona chuckled, and then gestured for him to walk over. She occupied herself with her vibrant colored hair - using a hairband to tie it up into a very long ponytail. The ends of her hair gazed the surface of the ground - merely touching it. After finishing with her hair, she put on her normal head gear that looked like a pilot's helmet. It had goggles strapped on.
"Are you ready?"
Barney replied with a soft nod, anticipating the moment he had been waiting for his whole life. Winona reached down to her waist and pulled off two red and white balls - they were shrunk so both of them could easily be on one hand. But they immediately changed size with a push of a button. Winona tossed one of them over to Barney.
Barney easily caught it, sports may not be one of his hobbies but anyone could easily catch a ball that size. He gazed at the beauty of it, the beauty that within that ball contained something extraordinary. But he quickly noticed the other ball that Winona had. It wasn't one of her ones, he thought. With a perplexed look on his face, Barney pointed to the extra one.
"Who's that one for?"
Winona grinned at the teen and gestured towards the stairs.
"She should be here soon."
And just as Winona finished her sentence, another teen about the same age as Barney, appeared through the door. She had magnificent locks of blonde hair which flowed majestically over her shoulders. It was shorter than Winona's, but still long so it went down to her waist. She wore what an average teen would, a simple shirt followed by a short skirt, and to compliment that there was a flower in her hair. It was a flower Barney did not recognize, it resembled a rose of some sort but it wasn't. The female strolled her way over to the two - trying to look her best.
"Aurelia! Glad you could make it!"
"Hey, Winona!" Winona tossed the other ball over to her. She hadn't really paid any attention to the other teen standing next to her, but when she did her heart couldn't help but skipped a beat. Barney couldn't keep his eyes off of her, the longer he stared the more difficult it was to stop. But he had to, otherwise it would be awfully weird. The two teens were gazing at each other, which led to Winona raising an eyebrow. It was easy to assess the situation, Winona thought.
"Barney, this is Aurelia. Aurelia, this is Barney."
Barney flashed a gentle but charming smile towards her way. Aurelia was mesmerized by his smile, it was just so soothing. Aurelia was shifting her gaze between his lips and eyes for a good ten seconds before returning the long awaited response - a smile.
"Right, in your hands is a Pokemon, which you can call your starter. Why not let them out to see what they are?" Winona knew exactly what they were. She carefully chose them as they fit the trainer's personality and battle style. She hoped she didn't accidentally switch the two balls. It was interesting if she did, but at the same time it could be troublesome.
Aurelia was first to go. Apart from the eager smile on her face, she was also trying to impress Barney whether she knew it or not. With the ball in her hand, she press the center of it which made it enlarge into an even bigger version of it. Her heart pumped faster, she was eager to see what Winona picked for her. Throwing the red and white ball into the air, it soon released Aurelia's first Pokemon.
It was a light blue bird, sky blue even. It had two feathers sticking out of its head, which made it look like antlers to some. Its tail was about the same length as the two feathers, but it was thin. It had two small but deadly talons. To finish it off, it had white puffs of clouds as wings. It was a wonder how it could even fly with those.
"A Swablu!" Aurelia couldn't help but let out a soft squeal. The blue bird, now revealed to be Swablu, gently glided her way over to Aurelia - landing gently on her head. Aurelia was amazed at how gentle this soft blue fluff of a bird was. Raising her hand over her head, she gave Swablu a few gentle rubs on the head. Aurelia turned over to face the other teen, who like her, had the same eager expression on his face.
Barney pushed the center of the ball - which transformed it into the same size as everyone's. He didn't care for tossing it into the air, he just pressed the button again which flipped the ball open. Within the flash of white light, another bird Pokemon appeared.
This one however, was quite different. It was dark blue in color with shades of light red on its head and white on its body. Its tail was split into two sections, which quite possibly would make it even faster as there was less air resistance. Its beak was longer than Swablu's, it looked sharper as well. The talons were bigger and sharper. But, it did look mighty cute.
"A Taillow." Taillow circled the group high up in the air. He hadn't been out of his ball in quite a long time, which was one of the reasons why Winona had decided to give him away. Taillow eventually swooped down and landed on Barney's shoulder - rubbing his head with Barney's. Barney chuckled and patted his head.
"Right, let's have a battle, shall we?" Winona stepped back and gestured for the two teens to take the very large battlefield. It left them with stunned looks on their face. They definitely didn't expect to be asked to battle this soon into getting their starters.
"I want to see you two battle, come on!" Winona climbed back onto her tree and sat on a branch - eagerly waiting for the two to begin.
Barney and Aurelia flashed each other a look before stepping back into their positions. Barney took a position near a tree where he could lean on. Aurelia on the other hand stood on the open grassland, rotating the attacks Swablu knew in her head.
"You can go first." Barney gestured for Aurelia to start, he folded his arms and anticipated the battle.
"Swablu, use growl!" Swablu jumped off Aurelia's head and flew high up into the air. It circled the air a few times before finally coming to a halt. It floated in front of Aurelia - facing the opponent. It opened its little beak and released a sweet cry. The cry echoed through the air and vibrated through Taillow. Taillow now hesitated to attack, he didn't wait to hurt something that cute. But that didn't stop Barney.
"Growl at her back, Taillow." Taillow mimicked the movements of Swablu at the start - soaring straight into the sky and dipping back down. It let out an intimidating screech which leveled Swablu. She now was hesitant to attack something so intimidating. Aurelia grit her teeth and commanded again.
"Use peck!" Swablu charged her way through the air, although the little blue bird wasn't the fastest, it could still fly pretty fast. Before Taillow knew it, Swablu's sharp beak impacted with his body. The attack sent Taillow flying back a few spaces before regaining his stance. Barney didn't look at all worried.
"Focus energy." The dark blue bird stayed where it was and stared intensely into Swablu's eyes. He concentrated. A light blue aura started to glow around his body as he concentrated - he was getting ready for his first attack.
Aurelia had a stunned look on her face as to why Barney wasn't making Taillow attack. If she hadn't know any better she would've thought he was taking it easy. She didn't want to be treated as a weak girl, but as a trainer who is capable of winning a battle.
"Use Peck again!" Swablu nodded her confirmation and repeated the attack – soaring through the air and penetrating Taillow with her beak. Taillow let out a cry before spiraling down - but he managed to regain his stance and pulled up before he hit the ground. Taillow shrugged his wings and flashed Barney a look.
"Use growl again, Taillow." A confused look appeared on Taillow's face, but he did not question the order. Taillow did his best and let out another screech, attempting to level Swablu down to his level. Aurelia was getting more aware of the situation, and she didn't like it.
"Why aren't you making Taillow attack?!"
"Strategy." Barney shrugged off that remark and grinned. Aurelia was getting more fired up, she realized what was going on.
"Peck again." Swablu circled the sky before shooting straight down for a final blow. Her beak collided with Taillow's body - sending him spiraling down and out of the sky.
Barney ran up and caught him before he hit the ground – soothing it with words. "I'm sorry about that, Taillow. You'll get a proper battle one day."
Aurelia called back Swablu with the red and white ball. She fixed her hair and walked over to Barney and nudged him. "What was that about?!"
Barney noticed the upset expression she had and immediately changed his posture. He rubbed his head and fixed his hair as well.
"I didn't feel Taillow had it in him."
"That's a load of rubbish, you let me win." Regardless of how many times Barney was declining, Aurelia knew it was true. Maybe she should be happy that he let her win, but then again, it made her look weak and vulnerable.
"I didn't, you won based on pure skill." And that right there was when Barney really regretted something he said. That remark sent shivers through Aurelia's body. She shrugged it off and turned away from the teen. It left her speechless.
Aurelia flashed Winona a look and walked over to the exit - disappearing down the stairs.
Winona got off the tree and walked over to Barney. It was easy to notice how disappointed and upset Winona was, but she tried her best to hide it. She understood why Barney did what he did.
"Barney, you know you shouldn't have done that."
"Because it made her feel weak and defenseless, she's just a good of a trainer as you are."
Barney ran out of words and responses. He called Taillow back inside his ball and placed it in his pocket - rummaging his hair in response.
"I know you did that because you liked her. I understand. But the better thing to do was to battle her for real."
Winona gave Barney a pat on the back and smiled. Barney looked at her smile, it couldn't compare to Aurelia's.
"Don't worry about it, I'm sure you'll get along someday. Good luck on your journey!" Winona gave Barney a nudge before walking down the same flight of stairs.