The four Champions in the Commentary box sipped their drinks. Even they needed some refreshments after commentating on a battle of the intensity as the Sinnoh League final. Their throats sure needed a break. Professional commentators themselves would find it difficult to keep going at that rate. The Champions had tried their best to bring the battle to the people around the world as best they could; not that a match of this significance needed something more.
"Of the four Pokemon that Tobias has used today, three of them are Legendary," Lance said as he placed the empty cup of tea on the table. "It's difficult enough to catch one of such Pokemon and he's managed to get three,"
"He could still have more, who knows." Alder said with a bite of his sandwich in his mouth.
Wallace nodded. "It's amazing enough if someone is able to come across so many Legendary Pokemon," he sighed, his fingers laced. "Managing to catch them," he paused and glanced at Tobias sitting on a chair on the battlefield. "how did he manage that?"
"It's not that difficult if he went looking for them," Cynthia interrupted and gained the attention of her three fellow Champions. She blinked at the surprise shown by the three men before she waved a hand. "It still would've been a challenge to catch them, but just think about it."
Cynthia's words had the three men in the room lost in thought. A Legendary capture remained very rare but had they put their mind to it, they knew that it wouldn't be impossible for them to get their hands on a few Legendary Pokemon. It would be tough; first locating them and then managing to seal them in their Pokeballs. However, they could confidently say that it wouldn't be out of the reach of trainers of their caliber.
Of course, they would never try that. Better than anyone else in the Pokemon world, these Pokemon Masters knew that the status of a Pokemon didn't decide its strength. There was much more to it than that. Some of their Pokemon would have no trouble in taking on a strong Legendary Pokemon and coming out victorious.
Meanwhile, everyone in the stadium dispersed, rushing to the food stalls to get themselves ready for what was to come. The anticipation around the arena was vibrant. The final of a Pokemon League would have them excited enough already, but from their knowledge, they would be witnessing some battles between Legendary Pokemon. The younger audience simply didn't leave their seat. They were too busy admiring the battle and the trainers of such Pokemon, that hunger wasn't something that troubled them.
Dawn, Brock along with Barry and Pikachu too, made their way outside to have a quick snack.
Professor Oak though, didn't get to have that luxury. His exploits in the field of Pokemon science was well known and so was he. There were quite a few people who'd approached him as soon as the break in the battle started. Most of them were either trainers, or researchers, or journalists. And being the kind of person Professor Samuel Oak was, he couldn't just say no to their question.
This happened quite often with him whenever he traveled around at densely populated places. He was used to it. And he'd already told Brock to bring him something to eat, aware that 15 minutes wouldn't be enough time to answer the doubts these people who'd surrounded him.
Perched up on the chair that'd been provided by the officials, Ash gazed into the sky, ventured in thought. He had 3 Pokemon left while Tobias had 4. Although Tobias' Darkrai had fought against Infernape, it didn't look too fazed and the last Dream Eater to finish that round surely healed it, even if by a little bit. He had three Pokemon left, and the only Pokemon he hadn't used was his last one.
Although Charizard and Heatran were still fresh, it didn't change the fact that Tobias could now have a plan in mind. He still had 2 Pokemon that he hadn't revealed yet. And Ash had no idea what they could be. It would be too naïve of him to predict anything at the particular moment.
It was almost time for the match to resume. He grabbed one of the drinks on the table placed beside of him and took a sip. He would be the one going first in this round. That meant that Tobias even had the advantage of knowing the Pokemon he'd be using and he could consider his options. That gave Tobias a huge advantage in a battle he already was ahead in.
Ash was determined though. He had to get such negativity out of his head. His remaining three Pokemo were anything but ordinary and thus, such things meant little.
As the announcement ran through the arena that the battle was about to start, people swarmed in and stuck to their seats. Everything in readiness, including the two finalists, the referee raised his hands and shouted for the battle to begin.
A Pokeball was tossed up by either trainer; Ash's Pokemon revealing itself a few moments before Tobias'. Ash's Heatran roared, his fiery body emitting smoke. On Tobias' side though, a Pokemon which Ash had never come across before materialized. It was a three-headed, draconic Pokemon with blue body which also had purple stripes. It had six thin, black wings that ended on its back. The two heads on the side flung about while the bigger, dark blue head in the middle set its black eyes on its opponent.
Ash raised his eyebrows at the Pokemon Tobias had chosen. It wasn't a Pokemon from the regions he'd visited thus far, that much was for certain. Just at that moment, Ash remembered something; that Professor Oak had updated his Pokedex when he'd arrived. He could recall that the Professor said something about the addition of Pokemon from the Unova region – a region that the old man wanted Ash to visit next.
Ash grabbed his Pokedex from his pocket and pointed it towards the Pokemon which he failed to identify.
"Hydreigon the Brutal Pokemon. The heads on Hydreigon's arms do not have brains. Ittravels te skies on its and anything that moves in its paths seems like a foe to it, triggering its rage."
"So it really is a Pokemon from the Unova region," Ash mumbled to himself, his eyes fixated at the Pokedex's information about Hydreigon. The Pokedex went back inside his pocket as he shifted his gaze to Hydreigon and Tobias. "You like to catch people off guard, don't you, Tobias?" Ash grinned, his tone containing a bit of smugness.
"Indeed I do," Tobias smirked from across the field. "You've had quite a few surprises up your sleeve as well, my friend."
Ash shook his head, bemusedly. Tobias knew how to unsettle his opponents, he noted once again. His eyes turned serious the next moment. "Heatran, Lava Plume!"
Heatran's body glowed a dark shade of orange as the surface bneath him began to heat up. He let out a howl and slammed its front legs on the ground, causing a tremor to evoke. Flames along with smoke burst out through the battlefield and headed towards Hydreigon. The target of the attack however, simply flapped its wings and swayed out of the way. Heatran sent some more flames towards his foe, making sure to surround it this time. But again, the Dragon and Dark-type Pokemon evaded it, and even though Heatran aimed the flames upwards where Hydreigon had flown to, the attack only left a couple of small burns before Hydreigon dodged again.
Tobias smiled, his eyes on his Hydreigon. "Your Pokemon might be Legendary, Ash" he turned his eyes at his final opponent in the Sinnoh League. "However, my Hydreigon has already battled a few Legendary Pokemon and won." He chuckled, his hands flicking the strands of his long, black hair that rested over his eyes. "Hydreigon is after all, my first Pokemon."
Ash's eyebrows furrowed. "Your first Pokemon is that Hydreigon!" he shouted. His eyes lifted themselves and observed the Hydreigon with even more interest than before. Tobias was quite a mysterious person, but Ash had never thought about a Pokemon that Tobias could've started with. He clenched his fists. This battle would just be tougher now. He was against a Pokemon which had not only defeated Legendary Pokemon, but also helped its trainer capture quite a few.
Ash eyed the battlefield in search of a way to make sure Heatran's attacks landed on their target. This normal ground battlefield wasn't to Heatran's advantage. He had to turn it into something that Heatran was more accustomed to. That's when the thought struck Ash. "Heatran, hold your Lava Plume underground!" he grinned. "Turn this into your home!"
Heatran turned his head towards Ash for a moment but howled out in agreement not long after. He'd understood exactly what Ash wanted him to do. His body again glowed orange as he charged the flames underground. The tremors this time were much more severe and powerful than the one he'd caused when he used the same attack earlier.
Tobias watched the move play out, naturally interested in what Ash had in mind. He didn't make a move; he had an idea of what Ash was about to do but he decided to wait. A change on the state of the battlefield wouldn't hinder Hydreigon in any way.
As the flames underground intensified, the surface started to glow. The temperatures rose as Heatran roared again and slammed his feet on the ground. The flames that'd been accumulating beneath shot out at different points on the field. This wasn't the Lava Plume that he'd used earlier. It didn't have the intent of hitting its opponent. Instead, large chunks of the earth had mounted from the areas that the lava had come out from. The battlefield was turned into one red hot rocky field.
Ash's eyes lit up at the success of his plan. This was much like the place where he'd captured Heatran at Stark Mountain. Those rocky mounts would not just make for good defense, but also would help Heatran have much better maneuverability.
Tobias put his hands in his pockets and let a light smile play on his features. "That's impressive, Ash," he pointed his hand towards Heatran and commanded. "Hydreigon, use Dark Pulse!" On his command, Hydreigon let out a loud roar as a purplish-black orb formed between the jaws of its middle head.
"Heatran, take cover!" Ash called out, clenching his fists.
Hydreigon launched chains of dark energy through the orb that it had formed while Heatran hid himself behind one of the large rocks that he'd formed. The Dark Pulse collided into the rock, dust covering the area of impact.
A few nervy moments awaited Ash. He let out a sigh and grinned when the sight of his Heatran without any wounds emerged out of the smoke. However, he couldn't help but feel a bit fearful of the Hydreigon that Tobias possessed. The rock that Heatran used as shield was totally melted away, not a trace of it left.
"Jump on those rocks and use Flash Cannon!" Ash shouted.
"Dark Pulse again." Tobias said calmly.
Heatran leapt up from one rock to another and closed the distance between himself and his opponent. Once close enough, he collected white particles inside his maw and fired it. Hydreigon too let out its Dark Pulse. There was a stalemate when the two attacks met, seemingly displaying that the two were equal in terms of power.
"Now Tri Attack!" Tobias ordered as soon as attacks before had canceled the other out.
"Take cover!" Ash countered hastily.
Three orbs of different colors formed inside the three heads of Hydreigon. The combination of ice, fire and electric elements formed a triangle. Just as Hydreigon was about to fire it though, Heatran hid himself behind one of the rocks again. The dragon smartly held its attack and flew to the other side of the rock. With Heatran now in view, Hydreigon let the Tri Attack burst towards its foe.
A grimace appeared on Ash's face when the Tri Attack struck Heatran head on. Even though it shouldn't have hurt Heatran too much because of his resistance to Normal-type moves, Ash could tell that it had done much more damage than Ash could've anticipated. Again, this was a sign of how powerful Hydreigon was.
"I must confess I'm surprised that your Heatran was able to match my Hydreigon's Dark Pulse," Tobias said. "You just haven't caught some weak Legendary Pokemon like I first thought."
"Weak Legendary Pokemon?" Ash scowled in disgust. He gritted his teeth, utterly annoyed at what his opponent thought of him. The arrogance of the man was enraging to him. "I wouldn't have reached the final if any of my Pokemon were weak!"
Tobias shrugged, ignoring Ash's words and instead looking at the two Pokemon roar at each other. "Dragon Pulse."
There wasn't any time for Ash to be mad at a guy who didn't respect him. He put those feelings aside and brought his mind back to the battle. "Heatran, behind the rocks again!"
Tobias chuckled. "Haven't you figured out that it wouldn't work?"
Ash didn't respond to Tobias' taunt. He just hoped Heatran understood what he wanted him to do. "Magma Storm!"
Again, as Heatran took cover behind one of the rocks, Hydreigon flew over behind the rock where Heatran had hidden himself. However, it stopped itself from firing its attack. That was because Heatran wasn't there.
Ash smirked, as the magma-like flames struck Hydreigon from behind its back. That's where Heatran had gone. He'd hoped that Heatran would understand that he wanted him to hide behind one rock and sneakily move to another without anyone else noticing from the other side. And that's exactly what Heatran did. The mobility provided by the rocky terrain that Heatran was used to made it possible.
Tobias wore a look of astonishment as he looked at his first Pokemon quail in pain. He inwardly admitted that once again, he'd underestimated Ash and his Pokemon. The overconfidence that he assumed after he'd let out his starter Pokemon after such a long time was the culprit.
"I hope you liked that, Tobias," Ash grinned excitedly. He realized that this was his chance while Hydreigon was still shaken up from the last attack. "Flash Cannon!"
Heatran opened its jaws wide open and launched the Steel-type move from the same position from where he'd attacked last. Tobias called for Hydreigon to dodge but the Pokemon was still quivering when the realization came that the Flash Cannon was heading its way. Hydreigon cried out in anguish, its attempt to evade the attack failing due to the distance being so small.
It let out a cry as when the Flash Cannon hit it, but it was aware enough to retreat towards its trainer's side this time.
Even though the two attacks had hit Hydreigon head on, Tobias didn't panic. "You caught me off guard again, Ash," The robed trainer admitted, shaking his head in disbelief. Not once but twice he'd fallen to his own overconfidence already in this final match. He knew he couldn't let it happen again. It could prove costly for him if he did.
Ash shrugged off Tobias' comments. He wasn't about to be taken in by the words that he used. He had to concentrate on his battle now.
"Alright then, Hydreigon," Tobias stood straight, his eyes looking right at Ash. "Dark Pulse!"
Ash instantly countered. "Flamethrower!"
Hydreigon jerked its middle head back and let loose the energy beam condensed with dark aura. At the same time, Heatran opened his maw and fired a Flamethrower in response. The two attacks met in mid-air, and caused an explosion. Again, their attacks had canceled each other out. Neither of the two were about to accept defeat.
Suddenly though, Hydreigon, without any command from its trainer, gushed towards its opponent and fired another Dark Pulse. Before Heatran ever had the time to make its move or even get to brace himself, the pulsating chains of dark energy crashed into his body.
Ash scorned. "Now Ancient Power!"
Heatran somehow recovered and got back his footing on one of the mounts, calling forth large boulders that surrounded his body. A second later, the boulders zoomed at Hydreigon at a speed that even a Pokemon as fast as itself wasn't able to do anything but shiver in agony. It retreated back shakily, the wounds on its body evident that the attack had been effective.
Both Pokemon breathed heavily as they stared into each other's eyes.
"Hydreigon, now let's end this," Tobias smirked. "Earth Power!"
As those words rung through Ash's ears, his eyes widened. A Ground-type move was Heatran's biggest weakness. "Jump on the rocks, Heatran!" He cried out in fear, arms spread wide.
A deafening howl was followed by a shining light that covered Hydreigon's body. The battlefield began to shake, cracks opening up underneath and brownish glow appearing inside the cracks. Heatran perilously leapt from boulder to boulder in his attempt to survive, evading a few close shaves with the erupting ground around him. He wasn't able to continue that for long. He lost his footing once one of the eruptions grazed him and after that, many more boomed on his body.
Ash clenched his fists. "Heatran," he mumbled under his breath as his unconscious Pokemon laid on the ground.
The referee raised the green flag towards Tobias. "Heatran is unable to battle!"
The declaration was met with a huge roar from the crowd. Another Legendary Pokemon battled in front of them and another one was defeated. This was just how good this match was. And their expectations had risen higher because of what was to come. The two finalists both had a Darkrai. One which had completely and utterly dominated the Lily of the Valley Conference and one who had mystery surrounding it.
"That is probably how Tobias managed to catch his Legendary Pokemon!" Wallace shrieked from the commentary box.
"That Hydreigon sure is something!" Alder exclaimed. "I have battled a few Hydreigon myself but that's clearly been trained well."
"Hydreigon are strong Pokemon by nature," Lance said. Tobias' Hydreigon intrigued him, he had to admit. "But if someone trains theirs as well as Tobias has, the strength that comes with it shouldn't be surprising." This was the Dragon Master inside him speaking. He could never ignore a Dragon-type Pokemon. Not least one with such tremendous abilities.
"Both Pokemon put up a great fight," Cynthia added to the views of his colleagues. "The battle could've gone either way."
Ash raised Heatran Pokeball and the Lava Dome Pokemon was sucked inside. "Have a good rest, my friend." He said as he unclipped the remaining two Pokeballs from his belt and intently stared at them. "It's just the two of you now."
Meanwhile, Tobias too recalled his Hydreigon and removed a different Pokeball.
The two tossed their Pokeballs up in the air and their next choices materialized. The two chose Pokemon flapped their wings and took to the air. Charizard roared as his sharp eyes glared at his opponent, Zapdos, who stared right back, sparks crackling around its wings.
"Flamethrower!" Ash yelled.
Charizard fired the red-oragne flames that could burn anything in its path at his opponent. Zapdos flew through the skies, dodging the attack once and then again, when Charizard changed the path of the Flamethrower.
"Thunderbolt!" Tobias called.
"Tear through it with Dragon Claw!" Ash countered.
Zapdos finally stopped moving around and settled itself as its body engulfed itself in bolts of electricity. As the sparks flew towards Charizard, the orange dragon's claws enlarged and draconic energy surrounded them. He sliced right through the Electric-type move with his claws as the Thunderbolt that was cut in two zipped through the air before dissipating.
Charizard then flew towards Zapdos, his claws still containing dragon energy. As he neared and attempted to slash his foe, Zapdos slipped past him. Charizard though wasn't about to lose in the air to another flier. He straightened his wings and gave chase to the Thunder Pokemon who cut through the winds and flew upwards.
While in the skies, the two exchanged their elemental attacks, attacking and defending at the same time. Charizard finally managed to strike with his Dragon Claw, albeit just being able to clip some of Zapdos' feathers with his attack.
Ash noted that Zapdos was very fast. His Charizard was one of his fastest Pokemon and in the air, there weren't many Pokemon he'd fought against that could match the speed of the Fire Dragon. Zapdos, however, could. However, a battle like this would only make Charizard more determined.
"Get close and use Wing Attack!" Tobias shouted, making sure that his Pokemon that flew in the air heard him.
"Use your own Wing Attack!" Ash yelled a moment later.
Zapdos swiftly turned itself around and its wings shone a tinge of silver. Charizard extended his wings which glowed just like Zapdos' as both the Flying-type converged towards one another. The two pair of wings met and pushed the other back. In the next clash of wings however, Charizard's clearly superior physical strength came to the fore as Zapdos was sent crashing towards the ground.
Ash grinned as he ordered his next move. "Flamethrower quickly!"
Charizard too, descended and in a few moments caught up to the falling Zapdos. Just a few meters away from his foe, Charizard let his flames loose. Zapdos cried in anguish as burns appeared throughout its body before it crashed into the ground.
Tobias gritted his teeth in frustration. How could it be that Charizard was stronger than Zapdos. Zapdos clearly had a type advantage and yet it was Charizard who'd dominated this battle. He couldn't help but wonder if Charizard was actually [i]much[/i] stronger than his Zapdos. "Get up, Zapdos!" He cried out to his Pokemon that could barely just stand up. "Rain Dance!"
Zapdos picked itself up from the dust and trilled, its beak pointed towards the sky. In a matter of moments, dark clouds hovered around the sky that had sun shining through. Droplets of rain fell on the ground and soon, it began to come down harder.
Even though Zapdos was worn out, this wasn't good for Charizard. He could smell exactly what Tobias was about to do. And if he let Tobias succeed, it wouldn't be too good for him and his Charizard. "Finish it with Dragon Claw!" Ash called desperately.
"It will end but not the way you want it to Ash!" Tobias pursed his lips at the tone Ash used. "Thunder!"
Ignoring the rain, Charizard readied his Dragon Claw and gushed at Zapdos. The Legendary Pokemon flapped its wings and got back. Then, it sent out a call to the clouds that it had summoned. And just as Charizard was about to slash it with his Dragon Claw, a huge bolt of electricity fell upon him. A huge cracking sound was made when the Thunder struck Charizard.
In one attack, Zapdos had taken revenge of all the hits that it suffered earlier. It had achieved victory. Or so it and Tobias thought.
"That shouldn't be possible!" Tobias screamed, flabbergasted at the sight he saw.
There were wounds and cuts all around his body. There was blood that could be seen dripping on the ground, mixing with the rain water. However, Charizard still maintained his shape. It'd just been hit with a super-effective attack from a Legendary Pokemon but that wasn't enough to take him down. Sure, his wings had taken damage and his legs barely stood straight. Yet, he wouldn't allow himself to fall.
Ash bit his lower lip as he saw the condition that Charizard was in. He inwardly smiled though. He was proud to have a Pokemon like that. "Now Charizard, Seismic Toss!"
Charizard didn't move nearly as fast as he'd done previously. But he somehow caught a hold of Zapdos and took to the skies. It had been a long while since he'd used that move.
At that point Tobias snapped out of his thoughts. "Zapdos, Thunder!"
Zapdos tried its best to get out of Charizard's grasp but unable to do so, it used its strongest attack again. And with the rain still coming down, albeit much lightly than before, the Thunder still had almost unmissable accuracy. As the Electric-type attack struck him again, Charizard roared in agony, tightening his grip on Zapdos. But he didn't let it faze him enough. He circled in the sky, catching Zapdos in a daze and then finally, at great velocity, he let his body fall.
As everyone watched with bathed breaths, Charizard and Zapdos came closer and close to the ground. A few moments before they reached the earth though, Charizard slammed Zapdos down on the ground. By the time Charizard landed his feet on the ground, there was a clear victor. With wounds and burns throughout its body, Zapdos quivered on the ground and eventually, stopped moving.
The referee waited for a few more seconds to make sure his judgement wasn't hasty. "Zapdos is unable to battle. Charizard wins!"
Ash took a long breath at the announcement of Charizard's victory. That was far too intense a battle for him to feel comfortable. The fact that Charizard had hung in there after taking damage from Zapdos' Thunder made Ash feel proud. The determination Charizard displayed made him realize once again how much his Pokemon – not only Charizard but all of them – cared about his dream.
Tobias let out a sigh as he raised Zapdos' Pokeball and called it back inside. He appeared in thought for a bit, but soon made his decision, and removed a Pokeball from his pocket.
Ash took his hat off and passed a hand through his messy, raven hair. "Can you continue, Charizard?" he asked his first Fire-type Pokemon, his eyes narrowed. Charizard didn't look in particularly good shape with the damage he'd taken, but Ash knew that Charizard wouldn't want to rest at a moment like this. Not when it was the final of a Pokemon League tournament.
And of course, Charizard wasn't one to back down. He simply turned his head a little towards his trainer and roared mildly. He wasn't about to give into fatigue.
Ash smiled wryly and nodded. "It's up to you then, Charizard!" he said, trying to keep his enthusiasm up.
As the referee nodded and signaled for the battle to begin, Tobias revealed the Pokemon he'd chosen. It was his starter again. A small break wasn't enough for Hydreigon to recover, of course and it still appeared worn out by its battle against Heatran.
The eyes of the two dragons met, and they both let out roars. They acknowledged the fact that the battle could go either way as well. No one knew their physical conditions better than them and they were aware that one good attack could mean the end of their battle.
And so did the trainers of the two dragons.
"Dragon Pulse!" Ash decided to test Hydreigon with a long range attack first.
Tobias didn't think differently. "Use your own Dragon Pulse!"
As commanded, both the dragons, who flew just above the surface, opened their maws and launched their draconic powers at one another. The Dragon pulses met causing an explosion and canceling each other out. It was quite evident that the power of these were far weaker than what they showed earlier in the match.
"Charizard, Dragon Claw!" Ash yelled as soon as the earlier attack had finished.
"Get back," Tobias called as he eyed Charizard come close to his starter with its enlarged claws. "Now use Tri Attack!"
The three heads of Hydreigon launched the combination of elemental powers at the incoming Charizard. Charizard was ready to smash it. Right then however, the wounds of the earlier battle emerged. The Fire and Flying-type felt a stinging pain in his right wing, as his Dragon Claw failed to cut through Tri Attack like he'd intended. The Tri Attack smacked Charizard on the chest, as he crashed into the boundaries of the battlefield.
"Charizard!" Ash screamed worriedly for his Pokemon. He turned to look at the boundary where Charizard had gone crashing to. Charizard still tried his best to stand up. His body appeared to be trembling as his knees gave in. But he tried to get up still.
That was all he could take though. It was over for him in this match. He fell down face-first on the ground.
The referee again raised the flag towards Tobias. "Charizard is unable to continue. Hydreigon wins!"
Ash winced as he recalled Charizard into his Pokeball. He made an error. He should've called back Charizard. He let himself be drowned in battle. There was no way Charizard could've gone on for much longer after the battle with Zapdos and he knew that. He still convinced himself that it was the right choice to let Charizard fight on. And now, he regretted it after having witnessed the pain that Charizard went through in the final few moments of that round.
"You've raised Charizard really well, Ash," Tobias complimented with a broad smile. "The fact that it defeated my Zapdos despite being at a type disadvantage is proof."
Ash raised an eyebrow at Tobias' words. The unpredictability of his opponent's behavior was quite confusing. His attitude towards Ash swung from one extreme to another. He spewed comments towards Ash that Ash felt were insulting to him and his Pokemon, and now he was complimenting him to no end.
"Am I supposed to say thank you?" Ash questioned in jest, shaking his head a second later. He calmed himself, and readied himself. This was it. He had one Pokemon left. All his hopes of winning the Lily of the Valley Conference were down to his last Pokemon. He drew his breath and sharpened himself. The Pokeball that held his last Pokemon went in the air and out of it came out the Pokemon with whom all his hopes laid. "It's all yours, Darkrai!"
The Pitch Black Pokemon calmly and motionlessly hovered in front of Ash. But even when he did nothing, his presence was enough to send shivers down the spine of everyone present. Such was the aura that he emitted that even the air that they breathed felt heavy. It didn't matter if people in the arena were sitting outside or inside air conditioned rooms. The uneasiness was the same for everyone. It was as if time itself had stopped for everyone. Everyone except for Ash.
It wasn't unintentional. It was true that almost anyone not used to Darkrai's presence would feel a hint of restlessness, but this was something Darkrai did to make sure that everyone was made aware of his presence. At that moment, no one could do anything but notice Darkrai.
Ash realized what Darkrai attempted. This wasn't the Darkrai he'd come to know as his trainer. This was much more like the rogue Darkrai he'd first met in Alamos Town. "You should stop, Darkrai."
As soon as those words reached Darkrai, the aura that enveloped the air instantly vanished. Or at least it weakened.
Darkrai, too realized that he'd gotten caught up in his past. He was quite anxious for his time to battle. And that was what had caused him to display such unruly behavior. He turned his head to face Ash and bowed slightly. 'Forgive me, Ash.' Darkrai said telepathically, only conveying his words to Ash.
Ash smiled. He'd become used to Darkrai being the obedient Pokemon that he was.
On the other side of the battlefield, Tobias along with everyone too, had just snapped out of what even he would term a fearful experience. His scorned as he observed Darkrai, catching his breath. "What was that?!" he hollered.
'Is that the Pokemon I have to defeat for you to win, Ash?' Darkrai asked, his eyes fixing themselves on the injured Hydreigon that stood across him.
"He still has two other Pokemon and Hydreigon," Ash told his Dark-type. "You'll have to beat all three for us to win."
'Just three?' It was an attempt to crack a joke, but his monotonous tone meant that it never happened.
"One of them is Tobias' own Darkrai." Ash informed him.
The referee, who'd himself just gotten back to his senses raised the flags, obviously not wanting to look at Darkrai. "Begin!"
"Dragon Pulse!" Tobias felt uneasy. That was the reason he took the first move. Usually, he'd let his opponent show their trick first. He'd realized that Hydreigon wouldn't last much longer.
"Dodge it," Ash said calmly. He watched as Darkrai easily got out of the way of the draconic beam that was aimed at him. It almost seemed far too easy for Darkrai. "Now, use Ice Beam!"
And Darkrai did just as he was told, bringing his hands together. He then released the white, icy beam from the orb that'd materialized between his hands. The Ice-type move flurried through the air and struck the already injured Hydreigon, who couldn't get out of the way in time. It haplessly cried out, flailing its three heads around. The beam of ice froze one of the heads one its side, and it fell on the ground. It didn't look like it would be moving any time soon.
"Hydreigon is unable to continue," The referee raised the red flag towards Ash. "Darkrai wins!"
Tobias raised Hydreigon's Pokeball and the fallen beast was sucked inside. He stared at Darkrai for a few moments. Then, a broad smile covered his face. "Ash," he called. "You had three Fire-type Pokemon in your team but you have none left now." He tossed his next Pokeball up in the air. "The decision to not use your Darkrai instead of your Fire-type Pokemon will be your downfall."
To follow Tobias' words, the Pokeball opened and a Pokemon that most hadn't seen before materialized. It was an insectoid Pokemon with a purplish body which appeared to have joints, almost like a machine. Its saucer-like head had two large, red eyes and below them appeared to be white teeth. Its metallic arms ended with a single grey, pointed claw on each of them. And so did its legs. The most noticeable thing about the Pokemon though was the canon that was above its head, that was attached to its back.
Ash's lips parted, his eyebrow curved. "What's that?" he wondered. He absolutely had never seen a Pokemon quite like that.
The entire stadium seemed to be pondering the identity of the Pokemon. The murmurs just became louder as a few seconds passed. They couldn't help but think if it was another Legendary Pokemon in Tobias' possession.
"That couldn't be!" Professor Oak couldn't help but shriek. He sprung out of his seat as his wide eyes jammed on the Pokemon that had come out of Tobias' Pokeball. "The Pokemon that Juniper said she was collecting data on – Genesect."
"Genesect?" Barry tilted his head. Somehow, Professor Oak had had a more excited reaction than Barry when Genesect was unveiled.
"Yes," Oak said, his attention still captured by the Unovan Pokemon called Genesect. "It's said to a very rare Pokemon. It's not been too long since Gensect's existence has been discovered." Oak let his body fall back on his seat, seemingly more relaxed than he was a few seconds ago. "There was a team of renowned researchers who were looking for Genesect. There were said to be sightings but they couldn't be confirmed." He took a deep breath. "This battle right here would be a huge moment in the progress of the data we have on the species."
Dawn and Brock didn't utter a word. They were too taken in by the Pokemon that had just come out of Tobias' Pokeball and then the explanation that Professor Oak gave on it.
"So they really do exist, huh?" Alder shook his head. This was turning out to be a day of too many surprise, even for the likes of him. "There's been so much effort and money put into the research of Genesect and there was still no proof that they existed," He said, leaning back into the couch. "And now, we are witnessing it first even though all those who've spent years searching for it haven't got a clue on it."
Ash grabbed his Pokedex from his pocket and pointed it at the Pokemon that Tobias had just unveiled.
"Error! There is no data available." The Pokedex said in its mechanical tone.
"No data?!" Ash mouthed, his eyes narrowed. He looked at the unknown Pokemon with interest. "Could that be a new Pokemon? Or a Pokemon from another region?"
Ash was made to wonder that. He remembered that Professor Oak had suggested that the next region he visited to be Unova – a region far to the north of Kanto. After the Professor had arrived at the Lily of the Valley island, he'd even upgraded Ash's Pokedex and added information about the Pokemon from two new regions – Unova and Kalos. However, the Pokedex still didn't recognize the Pokemon that stood in front of Tobias.
Tobias let out a light chuckle. "By the looks of it, it doesn't seem like you know about my Pokemon." He said. "It's not your fault, it is after all a Pokemon that has been discovered not too long ago," he put his hands in his pockets, his body relaxed. "It's Genesect."
"Genesect?" Ash repeated the name that Tobias had called it.
Tobias nodded. "Yes, a Pokemon from the Unova region. That's where I'm from as well."
"You're from Unova?" Ash popped the question, an eyebrow raised.
Tobias shook his head bemusedly. He'd half figured that Ash might not have the slightest clue as to where he was from. "Why am I not surprised? That information was on my trainer page in the Sinnoh League database." He said. "You probably didn't notice that,"
Ash scratched the back of his head, slightly embarrassed. "Well," he began, a wry smile on his face. "I didn't know the database had all the information about the trainers."
The referee glanced at each of the trainers and as they nodded, he raised the two flags in his hands. "Begin!"
"Let's get this started Genesect," Tobias ordered, his hand pointed at Darkrai. "X-Scissor!"
Darkrai had stopped emitting all the energy that it did a few minutes ago, and instead had tried to hide his presence. Of course, the emergence of Genesect and the mystery surrounding the Pokemon had helped his cause. He focused his attention on Genesect who'd been just jumped in the aired and was headed towards him. Darkrai figured what Ash would want him to do, since there had been no words from the trainer.
Genesect crossed its claws, which began to emanate a yellowish energy and jetted towards its foe. As it came closer to Darkrai, the Dark-type swayed out of the way without any problems. Genesect turned around and retried the attack, but the result was the same. Suddenly though, its scissor-like claws enlarged even further.
Darkrai had been allowing Genesect to get right next to him before he evaded the attack. The surge in Genesect's attack power meant that Darkrai wasn't able to avoid the X-Scissor completely.
Ash frowned at the way Genesect had suddenly had its attack strengthened. As far as he could tell, it hadn't used any moves which would increase its attack power yet. He stormed his brain about what could have been the reason for that, but couldn't come up with a solution.
"You seem surprised, Ash," Tobias said with a broad smile. "That was my Genesect's ability," he explained. "The few people that know of Genesect and its ability call it Download. It increases Genesect's attack power."
"An ability which increased attack power," Ash mumbled, lost in thought about the times he's faced abilities as similar. He knew of a few abilities that increased the attack power of Pokemon, but he'd never heard of Download. Most of the abilities which did have such an effect also had its downsides.
At first, Ash had decided to play it safe and see what the Genesect could do. He'd figured out now that that was too dangerous. This Genesect wasn't a Pokemon he could take lightly. "Dark Pulse!"
As Darkrai released the dark energy from the palm of his hands, Tobias countered. "Cut through it with X-Scissor!"
Genesect buzzed in a tone which sounded like metals crashing against one another before it crossed its claws. Again, the X-Scissor enlarged than it would normally. Genesect whizzed as it stopped the Dark Pulse with its own attack and eventually managed to dissipate it.
"Now use Flash Cannon!" Tobias ordered. On queue. Genesect lowered its head as metal particles formed in the cannon above its head.
"Dodge it," Ash said. And Darkrai successfully managed to get out of the way of the metallic beam that Genesect fired. "Now Dark Pulse!"
Tobias grinned. "Use X-Scissor like last time!"
Just like it had happened before, Darkrai fired the Dark Pulse and Genesect managed to block it with its X-Scissor. A few burn marks did appear on both its claws however. Just when Tobias was about to give another command, Darkrai again fired his Dark Pulse. This time, Darkrai was much closer. He'd been getting closer all this time.
"Use X-Scissor again!" Tobias shouted at the top of his lungs. He'd finally noticed that Darkrai had decreased the distance between himself and his Genesect.
Genesect prepared for its X-Scissor once more. But that's all it managed to do. The speed of Darkrai and the smaller distance between them meant that the Peleozoic Pokemon didn't have the time to block the incoming attack as he'd successfully done previously. It buzzed in pain as it was made to land on the ground due to the power of the move that its foe had used.
"That was pretty good, Ash," Tobias said with a smile. "Now, Genesect, Bug Buzz!"
Genesect jerked its head up and a buzzing sound came out of the white teeth. The noise got louder and it was clear that it'd done its job as Darkrai flinched for a brief moment.
"So you think you can beat us with type-advantage alone?" Ash frowned. "Ice Beam!"
"Iron Head straight at it!" Tobias shouted with a grin. He was confident of pushing through the Ice Beam like Genesect had blocked the multiple Dark Pulses earlier.
Genesect pulled back its arms and legs and zipped towards Darkrai. It's head began to glow silver as it charged. Darkrai released the fizzy beam of Ice and hit Genesect. The Pokemon cried out for a moment but it didn't stop its attack. It'd suffered damage from the Ice Beam yet it broke through it and continued its charge.
Ash clenched his fists as Genesect was inches away from Darkrai. "Stop it with Psychic!"
Darkrai's eyes glowed red and just as Genesect was about to crash into him, he caught his foe in his mental grasp. The Bug-type was stopped in its tracks, only a meter away from striking its target. It struggled, attempting to heave its body around but to no avail.
"That's impossible!" Tobias howled in astonishment, his teeth gritting against one another. "There's no way Darkrai can have enough psychic power to stop my Genesect! Break out of it Genesect!" Tobias couldn't believe that his Genesect would be stopped like that with Psychic. He believed Genesect was one of his strongest Pokemon in terms of raw power.
Ash couldn't help but let a light smile cross his lips at the sight. He couldn't believe that Darkrai's mental strength was so strong. It was one thing to catch a Pokemon in Psychic for a moment or two and hit their target in that instant, which was what Psychic was used mostly. This however, was totally different. Darkrai had held Genesect in its grasp for a lot more than that. Even though Genesect evidently tried to shake the Psychic off, it couldn't.
"Give it a nice throw now," Ash said calmly.
And just as he said that, Genesect was hurled onto one of the cemented boundaries of the battlefield. There was enough force there to make a loud thud that everyone across the arena could hear, and the boundary wasn't in good shape as Genesect's body dug into it. Gensect wasn't done in yet though. It cracked through the wall and brought its body back on to the field.
Tobias sighed in relief. "Let's heat this up, X-Scissor!"
Ash let Genesect come halfway into the field before he grinned. "Put it to sleep. Dark Void!"
Darkrai instantly formed a darkish ball of aura in his hand and threw it at Genesect. The insectoid Pokemon knew what it was. It'd trained with Tobias' Darkrai enough to. However it was too close to not be hit by it. The Dark Void expanded and pulled Gensect inside as it fell into a deep slumber.
Tobias still had a move up his sleeve. "Sleep Talk!" He just hoped that Genesect could hear him.
"Finish this before it can move, Darkrai!" Ash called, his eyes narrowing. "Dream Eater!"
Genesect's body lifted itself, its eyes still closed shut. The way its body moved made it clear that it was asleep. Meanwhile, Darkrai's eyes glowed red and a shadow of its own body was created. He hushed and the shadow zoomed towards Genesect, who'd begun to charge in. As the shadow passed Genesect, it let out a loud shriek of pain. Its body fell on the ground a couple seconds later.
"Genesect is unable to battle, Darkrai wins!" The referee declared with a flag raised in Ash's direction.
"That was most impressive," Wallace said as he leaned forward on the table. "To be able to defeat its foe so effortlessly, its identical to the way Tobias' own Darkrai has done to the Pokemon in its path."
Alder nodded in agreement. "This is on a whole different level though. That Genesect was strong, I could tell."
"It's just the two Darkrai left now," Cynthia chimed in with a smile she tried to hide.
Lance had remained silent until then finally spoke. "Everyone throughout the world will be watching," he said, eyes on the battlefield where Tobias had recalled his Genesect. "A battle between two Darkrai, who would've thought?"
"It will be a treat for every Pokemon fan indeed," Wallace smiled. Like everyone else, he too was sitting in anticipation of the next bout. The final battle of the Sinnoh League.
"If what both these Darkrai have shown us their full power," Alder began, his forehead wrinkled. He gazed on the battlefield, one eye fixated at Ash and Darkrai. "then I won't be surprised if one falls short of the other."
The other Champions didn't comment. They knew exactly what Alder was referring too.
So how was the chapter?
I would've liked to finish the final in this but I wasn't able to.