The Stubborn Entrant
Last night’s rainfall made the ground soft and muddy, which made it good for tracking. The forest’s canopy was thick, causing only a dim amount of light to shine through. However, there was a small brightly lit grove where I saw my prey.
The small orange chimp was waddling back and forth from a nearby berry bush to a quaint little pile he had made from the bulbous green fruit. Today might have just been a normal day for him, but it’ll end with his capture.
I crept around the trees surrounding the clearing. Making sure to avoid any stray leaves or branches, I drew closer and closer to my target. To my dismay, though, my loose green and black kimono shirt snagged on a branch, snapping it and revealing my location.
I quickly ducked behind a tree, trying to avoid Chimchar’s incoming gaze. I tried to control my breathing, but after a minute, I peered around to see Chimchar still gathering the berries, taking a bite out of one, checking its ripeness. He hadn’t noticed me, so I continued ducking through the brush to get to the tree right next to the Tanga Berry bush that the Fire-type Pokémon had been picking. My outfit didn’t give any more trouble, but I had to pull my long lime-green hair back into a pony tail as I readied myself for battle.
“Dibs!” someone yelled.
I saw a figure rushed out of the woods, surprising both me and Chimchar. It was a young boy maybe about eleven-years-old with a karate gi, yellow belt and headband around his messy black hair. He leapt towards Chimchar crying out like stereotypical anime fighter. The kid extended his leg and kicked Chimchar right in the face, causing the fire-chimp to fall back onto his pile of berries, covering the surrounding mud in a green ooze.
“Damn kids,” I muttered to myself as I walked out from behind the tree. “Hey! Didn’t you see me getting ready to attack him?”
Chimchar started to fight back with flurry of Scratch attacks and kicks. The kid dodged a few but was struck by some strong slashes, which cut along his clothes and arms. The boy just continued on despite his bleeding arm.
“Stupid girl, it’s a competition! You snooze, you lose!” He laughed and picked up a wad of mud, throwing it towards Chimchar’s face.
The furry chimpanzee Pokémon jumped back a few feet, dodging the attack, and released a column of fire at the boy, setting his gi ablaze. He screamed as he plopped down on the ground, starting to roll. He let out a cry as his body was surrounded by a layer of mud, which was probably seeping into his open wounds.
That’s what you get, I thought as I left to find another entry.
The terrain wasn’t that different than mountains around my home town of Rustboro City back in Hoenn. There was a lot of forested area neared the lower regions of the mountain range that surrounded three-fourths of this previously undiscovered island, but as you went higher, the green was replaced by dead-brown dirt and eventually white peaks.
As I passed through the array of trees and bushes, I started to see more trainers duking it out with a number of Fighting-type or other Pokémon that were related to Fighting-types, like Chimchar. There was a Machop striking the ground as a man in yellow jumped out of the way. I also saw a girl surrounded in a purple aura flailing around as she was lifted by a Medicham’s Confusion attack. The competition had just started, and everyone else seemed to have better luck than me.
I was invited to join the first ever “Festival for Fighting” by Brawly, the Dewford Gym Leader. I had defeated him and his Gym Trainers rather easily with just my Breloom, so he must have recognized my strength. I was lucky too, because you could only participate if you were invited by an Official of the National Pokémon Committee. Though, when I heard that it was taking place Unova Region, I hoped to see more of the far away country.
The festival, or FFF, was held on an island far-south of the Unova region and coordinated by the two Fighting-type specialists that made it to the ranks of the Elite Four in their respective regions, Bruno from Kanto and Marshall from Unova.
Hundreds of Fighting-type enthusiasts from across the Pokémon nation were invited, and I decided that I was going to beat them all. I wasn’t much of a Fighting-Type; I had preferred Grass-types, as they always visited my mom’s garden year round. I grew to learn a lot about nature and berries from them, and I use those skills to help me track and take care of my Pokémon during our adventures.
For instance, I knew that the Chimchar would have strong physical strength by the way his tail flickered slightly brighter due to the Tanga Berries he was gathering. The Berries were Spicy, which helped to increase a Pokémon’s Attack, and also Sour, which helped with Defense. Also, the impressions his feet made were soft, meaning his steps were quick.
Today was the FFF’s first major event that was called the Self-Willed Tournament and comprised of three parts:
It started with a three-hour long event in the morning where trainers went out into the wilderness surrounding Dumas City, a small town built specifically for this tournament by the Unova League, and capture one of the Pokémon residing there. The wilderness around the island had a high rate of Fighting-type Pokémon. Trainers were not allowed to use any of their Pokémon, but instead fight the Pokémon with their own strength. Gym Leaders patrolled the area to make sure people would follow the rules.
Trainers would then be able to train their Pokémon until sunset. So the sooner you caught a Pokémon, the sooner you would be able to start training them. It was a tradeoff though, as you might find a weak Pokémon if you just try to catch the first Pokémon you see. You would then have to train harder, but if you searched longer and found a strong Pokémon, you’d have less time to train it.
Finally, there would be a tournament held at night, where the top 32 trainers that make it past the preliminary rounds would get to compete in Xander Stadium, the giant coliseum that centered the town and that was the host of the opening ceremony battle between Bruno and Marshall.
I must have been very far into the forest, because I started to notice the amount of trainers dwindling. I was one of the trainers that decided to watch and gauge the Pokémon’s strength before blindly going into battle. But since we were given only one specially-made FFF Event Ball, it was understandable that most of the participants caught whatever they could find.
I soon found something rubbery against the bottom of my hiking boots. I lifted my foot and picked up the yellow molted skin pelt. It was odd, because the only Pokémon I knew that had skin like this was a Scraggy, but it was very uncommon to find one without this, since it carried it around like pants.
I noticed the smell of running water, which tingled my nose. The tracks in the mud seemed to lead the same way, so I followed them. Soon, I saw a small pond that was at the bottom of a trickling stream leading uphill.
Something splashed out of the water, so I hid behind a nearby rock. A yellow-masked face popped out of the pond, mouth squirting water. It had a cream-colored body with a red scaled belly. It’s had three-fingered hands and stubby feet. I was surprised, but Scraggy didn’t have a tail; the molted skin must just trail off on its own to create the illusion of one. This was the first time I had seen a Scraggy up close, let alone trouserless.
Scraggy were part Dark-type, so they weren’t that good defensively against other Fighting-types, but that could give the competition a false sense of hope. I had noticed that it was snacking on some green berries with red bulging spots along the seams. They were Liechi Berries, which were very Spicy, even more so than the Tanga Berries that Chimchar had been eating.
It was settled. I would catch and train this Scraggy to be a winner!
I looked around, but I hadn’t seen another trainer for about a mile, so I think I was safe. I stepped from behind the rock and announced my presence.
“Scraggy! I challenge-” I said until I was interrupted by the Shedding Pokémon splashing and screaming in surprise. I didn’t think I was that intimidating.
Scraggy ducked into the water. Small air bubbles started to ripple up to the surface, and about a minute before he had surfaced gasping for air. I think I knew what was wrong.
“Look. Don’t be embarrassed.” I waved and threw his yellow skin towards him.
He caught them and held them above himself as he waded behind some well-placed foliage. He jumped out of the pond so that he the plants blocked him from my sight. Wearing his skin-like pants, he walked around in front of me and smiled with his large white teeth.
“So, as I was saying, I want to challenge you.” I might stalk my prey, but I like to give them a fair shot.
He turned his head in confusion and let his mouth hang open.
I tried to explain better. “You see, I am here to battle you so that I can catch you and then train you to become number one!”
He shrugged and started to walk away.
I ran in front of him and cut him off. “Hey! You should listen to someone when they’re talking to you.”
Scraggy turned back and looked at me with dopey-eyes, blinking his large white eyes.
“There’s this competition, and we’re supposed to fight the surrounding wildlife and capture them in this.” I pulled out the FFF Event Ball, which looked like a brown-color Pokéball with “FFF” emblazoned above the activation button.
Scraggy swiped the ball from my hand, surprising me with his quick speed. He gazed at it before he touched the button with his hand. The ball activated, surrounding the Pokémon in a red light. Scraggy was converted into energy and sucked into the ball. It shook three times and halted.
I had just caught a Scraggy…?
I picked up the ball and summoned the Scraggy from the ball. He appeared, back facing toward me, and looked around unaware of what just happened.
“Hey! I’m supposed to weaken you first. What gives?”
Scraggy waddled over to me, grabbed my hand and slapped himself with it in the side of his cream-colored chin. He fell back dramatically, closed his eyes and stuck his tongue out.
“Ggy…” he weakly cried pretending to be knocked-out.
“No, no, no. This wasn’t how it was supposed to work. I was supposed to have an epic battle that ending in me catching a strong Pokémon.”
Scraggy popped up and started crying. He sat down in the mud and started pounding his fists into the ground. I had to cover my ears, his screeching was so loud.
“Hey, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that you weren’t strong. It’s just that I can’t really determine your power unless I fight you.”
Scraggy sniffled as he settled down. He wiped his tears with his arm, but then I saw a glint in his eyes. Not a moment after, I found myself falling down on the ground. Scraggy had leaned forward on his arms, stuck out his leg and seeped at mine in quick succession.
Using my hands, I caught the wet ground and flipped with the momentum to land safely. But once I got my composure, I felt a cushioned blunt force crashing into my lower jaw. I plummeted back onto the ground, watching as Scraggy touched down next to me, his right leg shining a dark-red glow. He had just used Hi Jump Kick to knock me back.
I sat up, grinding my jaw to see if there was any major damage. It made a cracking sound, but that was just the natural sound the bones made. So, there wasn’t anything broken, but it still hurt like heck.
“So you like sneak attack, eh?” I grabbed onto his tail-like skin and swung him towards a boulder.
Scraggy was heading towards it head first, but the rock broke apart when they collided. I forgot that Scraggy’s head was supposed to be rock hard. After the dust cleared, Scraggy walked back towards me and waved his hand, palm inwards, taunting me.
He was strong, but smug about it. I swung my legs underneath him, trying to counter his speed. As I tripped him, I quickly jumped up and kicked him with the blunt side of my boots, punting him far up into the trees. Large branches broke apart and dropped down as he crashed into them. I prepared myself for another attack, anticipating when he would fall back down, but he had grabbed onto one of the stronger branches and catapulted himself back at an alarming rate.
He flexed his arms, and a ring of dark purple energy appeared around his body. He landed right in front of me, and the ring released an incredible force of energy that impacted my whole body. It felt like I was hit by my own kick as I was now flying up into the trees. I felt my back crack against a tree. I slid down, reaching for some branches to halt my fall. When I finally came to a stop, the back of my shirt and pants were ripped, large spots of pain and cuts littered my body, and my hair was full of leaves.
“Ok, you’re strong!” I yelled down at Scraggy.
Scraggy flexed each arm and kissed his muscles.
“Hey, can you help me get down? I’m not so good with heights.” I asked.
Scraggy pouted, as he saw that his fun was over, but ran up the side of the tree using his lizards like hands and rubbery feet and sat down on the branch that I was sitting on. He reached out his hand.
“Sucker!” I yelled in his face as I jumped down, grabbing onto his hand, pulling him down with me.
In the air, he didn’t have time to react as I pushed him below me. He crashed into the ground, mud flying out like a small grimy explosion as I body slammed him.
I rolled off of him and got up. “You use sneak attacks; I use sneak attacks.”
He struggled to get back up. He weakly got onto his feet and turned to me. I half-expected another attack, but he just grinned and gave me a thumbs-up.
“Scrag!” He then extended his hand to me.
I was hesitant at first, but I took and shook his small hand. He shook smiled, closing his eyes, and then fell backwards onto the mud to rest.
I took out his Pokéball and shot the red light at him, sending him back within it.
Well, it wasn’t exactly the battle that I was expecting, but I had found a strong, yet stubborn, friend.
Story Notes - Please do not read until after story.