The author's note is at the end of the fic for those of you who would like to read it.

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon.


As the newcomer tried to get his slight sputtering under control, Ash took that as an opportunity to give him a look over.

The boy, he could say was at most a year or two younger than himself. He was dressed in a manner that suited traveling, his grey cargo pants and the sneakers showing that he was at least accustomed to traveling as a trainer. He wore a purple colored sweat shirt over a black undershirt that matched the color of his hair.

The person's eyes narrowed as they looked at him and Ash recognized the way that they focused on him. Ash could feel the derision in this newcomer's face. How, for some reason, he thought that he was above him. He had seen that look on Gary's face several times and how that look hadn't changed until he had defeated the now Pokémon Researcher.

"And what do you mean by that?" the newcomer inquired, his cold, apathetic voice grating on Ash's nerves, not that he showed it.

"I don't know if anybody has informed you this," Ash sighed before giving the yet unnamed trainer a serious look, "But stalking is considered an offense. We-Daisy and I that is- knew that you were following us since we left Route 220. And now, you ask something of me without showing the common courtesy of even giving your name. Sorry if I don't sound too… affable."

"Wow Ash," Daisy exclaimed with a mirthful grin on, not paying attention to the trainer at the door. "Affable? I wasn't aware that you knew such big words."

"Oh my God can you just be cool? Once? Please? Just once? Can you just once be cool? Once? Please?" Despite the petulant sounding protest, the only change in Daisy's face was the widening of the smile, eliciting another sigh from the young trainer as he slumped his shoulder in defeat. "Here I thought you were supposed to be on my side."

He then turned his attention towards the newcomer and was not surprised to find that the trainer was barely able to keep his eyebrows from twitching. Deciding that he had had his fill of hazing, he turned back towards the person.

"Sorry about that," Ash commented although he did not look even the least bit apologetic. "Anyhow, I think it will be better if we introduce ourselves. My name is Ash Ketchum and my cohort over here is Daisy Oak. Now, could you kindly tell me who you are and why you were stalking the two of us ever since we left Route 220?"

As the rest of the people present in the room openly gaped at the seriousness in Ash's voice, the person present on the door shook his head.

"First of all my name is Paul," he spoke, his voice carrying a cold baritone that looked as though it suited him perfectly. "Secondly, I would like to apologize if you thought that I was stalking you as that was not my intention." Ash could feel half-hearted nature of the apology and sighed inwardly as he gained a suspicion the kind of person he was.

"But my question still remains. I think it is very unlikely that a trainer who looks at most a couple of years older than me can defeat someone like Brandon." Paul continued, unaware of the thoughts going through Ash's head.

"So, you are saying that I was lying just a few moments ago?" Daisy interjected her voice so still that it scared even the Professor who standing behind her.

"Um…no." Paul replied with nervousness that he tried to hide under pretense of false bravado. "I was just saying that he can simply go along saying things like that and people will more than likely believe him. But I still don't believe that he could have defeated Brandon."

"And why do you think that I am lying?" Ash asked, now getting angry due to the insinuation of him being a liar. He had won those matches through sincere hard work and the help of his friends and here was a trainer who had the gall to say that he was lying.

"Because I have seen Brandon fight." Paul reasoned dismissively, "And from the small fight that you had with the Starly, you don't seem competent enough to defeat someone of his caliber. Even now, your fight with this new trainer showed how weak the Starly must be if it took so long to defeat the Piplup. And a person who doesn't capture a strong Pokémon from the get go cannot defeat someone like him."

Having already met people like these, he knew the best way to deal with them. And while it may be in contradiction to what he would usually do- challenge them for a Pokémon battle at the top of his lungs- he had gotten better at controlling himself.

"Believe what you want." Ash waved him off deciding not to get bothered by this upstart's words. "I know I have won the Battle Frontier and have the evidence to prove so. What you think of me and my Pokémon does not interest me at all. The only thing that matters to me right now is the fact that no matter what happens, no matter what hurdles I have to cross, I will be the one to win this year's Lily in the Valley Conference."

"Please." Paul scoffed, "as if some loud mouth like you can win the Sinnoh League. You are just someone who likes to brag without the skill to back it up. If anything, I doubt that you will be able to get past the second round and not even that if you face me first."

"Oh yeah." Ash growled, an action that was copied by Pikachu, while Aipom and Daisy glared at the person who was going on antagonizing their companion. "Care to back those words up?"

"Are you sure?" Paul seemed skeptical as he folded his arms while leaning against the door. "Do you like to be humiliated in front of your girlfriend?"

"I don't think there is any kind of humiliation in defeat." Ash replied, getting another scoff from Paul. "But I know someone like you will not see it like that. You know that you want to battle me as well, so can we please stop procrastinating dialogue and get on with it?"

"Your funeral then," Paul shrugged as he entered the lawn and took the space that was not so long ago occupied by Dawn whereas Ash retook his position.


"Professor?" Dawn began softly once she saw the two people take their position. She had been by the dialogue between the two trainers and having been around Ash for just a while, albeit for a very short while, she was surprised with the manner in which the entire thing had taken place. "What just happened?"

"It's something that you will see once you start your journey Dawn," Rowan replied as the duo made their way to the sidelines. "Many a times when trainers accomplish a lot in the in journeys, they start letting their success get over their heads. And while I know that Paul is a very accomplished trainer, he is underestimating Ash and I have observed that it never ends well for those who underestimating their opponents. Even when you were fighting Ash I saw that he never underestimated you and that I can easily say is the mark of a great trainer."

She was about to further question the Professor when Ash's voice rang through the makeshift battlefield.


"How do you want to go through with this?" he asked, his eyes not leaving the purple haired trainer.

"Four on four with no switching? The person with maximum wins is declared the winner." Paul replied, not at all intimidated by Ash.

"Sure." Ash answered in reply before he gave Daisy Starly's Pokéball and switched it with another one.

"The following match is between Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town and Paul of…" Daisy began as she retook her place after giving Ash the Pokéball that he wanted.

"Veilstone City."

"Veilstone City. This will be a four on four battle with no substitutions allowed. Both competitors please send out your first Pokémon."

"Go Pokéball!" both the trainers shouted, the thrown Pokéballs releasing their respective Pokémon.

Paul's chosen Pokémon was a bipedal Pokémon resembling a chimpanzee. Its fur was primarily a shade of orange, though its face, outer ears, underbelly, hands, and feet were light yellow. Its rear had a small, round, red patch that was obscured by flames. Its ears were larger in comparison to its head size and red inside along with two pointed teeth in its upper jaw. It had red markings nearly surrounding its eyes, a swirl-like symbol on its chest, and five fingers on its hands with three toes on its feet. Finally it had a swirly crest of hair on its head.

Not recognizing the Pokémon, he scanned it with his Pokédex.

Chimchar, the Chimp Pokémon. Its fiery rear end is fueled by gas made in its belly. Even rain can't extinguish the fire.

"Chim!" The Chimchar appeared with a determined look on his face, the fire on his tail burning brightly.


Meanwhile, Dawn scanned Ash's Pokémon, having not recognized it either.

Quilava, the Volcano Pokémon. Quilava is the evolved form of Cyndaquil. Quilava keeps its foes at bay with the intensity of its flames and gusts of superheated air. This Pokémon applies its outstanding nimbleness to dodge attacks even while scorching the foe with flames.

"Quilava!" The volcano Pokémon too appeared with an excited shout of his name, flames alit on its back and the top of his head. The four months of training had helped Cyndaquil reach his threshold of strength and had led to its evolution not too later after that. The evolution had helped the shy Pokémon get out of his shell.

"It is going to be an interesting battle," Rowan commented, his attention thoroughly fixed on the battlefield.

"How can you say Professor?" Dawn asked, the Professor's words titillating her.

"Firstly, both Quilava and Chimchar are Fire-types so no one has a specific advantage over the other. And secondly, Fire-Type moves are generally rather ineffective against Fire-Types, so with just this battle we can see how both of them have raised their respective Pokémon and how well they can utilize their moves all the while it will show if the trainers had the forethought of training their Pokémon in something other than their own element."

Her attention was once again diverted back to the field as Daisy was the person to speak this time.


"Are both the trainers ready?" Daisy questioned the trainers, getting identical nods as reply. "Then begin!"

"Ember!" Paul was the one to begin the proceedings by issuing the command for the weak Fire-type attack. Nearly a dozen fiery embers flew across the field at Quilava at a moderate speed, the number of flames indicating the proficiency that the Chimp Pokémon had with that particular attack.

"Use Swift to counter the embers and then cover the field with Smokescreen!" Ash commanded in reply.

Quilava did not waste another moment as multitude of stars raced towards Chimchar as the two attacks collided against each other, the collision creating a small cloud of smoke. The smoke-cloud had barely been formed when one side of the field was covered by another cloud of smoke, one that was pitch black, blocking the entire view for Paul, who narrowed his eyes in annoyance.

"Use Ember across the entire field." He commanded, using the smoke to hide the trajectory of the attack.

Chimchar once again let loose several small embers strewed across the entire field hoping to get his opponent and hopefully get the first strike, the last attack having been effectively countered.

Paul waited in anticipation as Chimchar finished its salvo, the lack of any kind of sound from the Smokescreen indicating that the attack had missed his opponent's Pokémon, something that made him want to furrow his eyebrows in annoyance.

Meanwhile, Ash smirked as Quilava acted just as they had practiced many a times in Pallet Town. Even though the smoke was blinding his view of Quilava, he knew that his not-so-shy Pokémon was in the correct position and therefore decided to get on the offensive.

"Eruption!" he commanded, his tone belying his zeal at the outcome of one of the most powerful Fire-type attacks.

"Get out of there!" Paul barked in reply, having an idea as to where the attack was going to come from. Chimchar tried to sense the telltale signs for the attack, his type giving him an advantage in identifying Fire attacks, yet failed when he couldn't sense anything and hence decided to simply jump into the air with the hope that the attack would pass beneath him as all Fire-type attacks usually do.

"Not up, you damn Pokémon!" Paul cursed loudly as he saw his Pokémon's folly. He did not get any chance to rectify that mistake as the ground underneath Chimchar suddenly burst upwards, a column of scorching fire shooting afterwards towards an airborne Chimchar.

"Char!" Chimchar cried out in pain as the strong fire-type attack struck the Pokémon. Now, usually a fire-type attack would not have affected the Pokémon that much. However, Eruption carried with it a large amount of rocks and debris that was the main cause of the pain.

The force of the attack caused Chimchar to shoot up several meters into the sky, before the force of gravity acted upon the Chimp Pokémon and caused him to descend towards the ground before crashing with a loud thud.

"Get back up, you waste of space!" Paul shouted at the small Pokémon, getting Ash to divert his attention at said trainer. He could see the way Paul was glowering at the Pokémon, who much to his surprise, was slowly getting back on his feet. Despite its determination Ash could see that the last attack had struck hard and the Pokémon was standing up, barely though it may be. There were several areas on his body that had been burned by the attack while there were severe bruises caused by the wreckage that had followed in its wake.

"Finish him off with Wild Charge." Ash commanded, his attention now focused on his opponent. He wanted to see how the trainer would respond to that. He was getting very bad feelings about this particular trainer, feelings that reminded him of several people that he had met across his journeys.

Surrounding himself in electricity, Quilava dashed towards the injured Chimchar fully intending to finish the short match when suddenly a torrent of fire engulfed his body. Ash was startled by this sudden attack, the surprise abating as he saw the Pokémon himself.

Chimchar's eyes had gained a reddish tint to them while the small ember on his tail had turned into a roaring inferno, while a spiral of fire was being emitted from his mouth. He could see that even Paul was surprised by this for a brief second, but was immediately replaced by the confident sneer that he had seen before. It quickly dawned upon him what had happened. Having studied extensively for the past four months, he immediately grasped the fact that the small Pokémon had the ability Blaze that had activated as it was near defeat. The ability giving the Pokémon an extra boost to his fire-type attacks. This also meant that he would need only one good strike to really finish this battle.

"Inferno!" Ash shouted and in the next moment spiraling beam of bluish-purple fire shot through the Flamethrower, overpowering the attack in a way that widened the eyes of everyone present in the vicinity. Paul barely had any time to utter another command when the fire engulfed the small Pokémon, Chimchar crying out in pain as the intensity of the fire and the secondary effect of the attack took place and inflicted a severe burn on the Sinnoh starter.

Paul gritted his teeth as the stream of fire was finally brought to a halt, only to reveal what he had already guessed. Chimchar was out, swirls having taken the place of his eyes. He turned his eyes towards the dissipating cloud of dust, one that had kicked up when the Flamethrower had struck hoping -futile though it may be- that the attack had at least caused some damage to his opponent's Pokémon.

His eyes widened as the smoke finally dissipated to reveal Quilava who looked as though he had hardly taken any damage, the only sign showing that he had participated in a battle being the dirt on his body from the Dig that he had used in the battle.

"Chimchar is unable to battle." Daisy's declaration ran across the clearing. "The first round goes to Ash Ketchum and his Quilava. Trainers please send out your next Pokémon."


"What just happened?" Dawn uttered, her eyes wide with astonishment at the one-sided battle. "How is Quilava without any damage? The Flamethrower struck him, didn't it? I didn't see Quilava dodge the attack."

Rowan gazed at the field in contemplation, before realization dawned upon him.

"So that's how it is…" he uttered in his usual, serious baritone.

"What is it Professor?" Dawn asked, a small amount of impatience making way in her speech.

"You should learn to be a little more patient Dawn," Rowan commented, getting a flustered sorry from the rookie trainer. "As a trainer you will need it in your journey. Nevertheless, what I meant by my previous statement, and this is merely a conjecture on my part, was that Quilava most probably has the ability Flash Fire that makes it not only immune to fire-type attacks, but also increases the power of its own attacks twofold. Add on the fact, Inferno, while being not a very reliable attack, is assured to burn the Pokémon it strikes. The increased power of the attack and the secondary effect were more than enough to take down Chimchar, who was already on his last legs."

"But…how?" Dawn asked, doing an excellent impression of a fish outside water. Shaking her head in disbelief, she took several breaths to get herself under control. "He finished the match in just four attacks." 'And this is the person I fought not five minutes ago,' the latter part spoken to herself.

"Actually, it was five moves," Rowan corrected Dawn. "He used the Smokescreen as a cover so that Quilava could use Dig."

Dawn thought about the entire battle and realized the truth behind the Professor's words. She remembered the Smokescreen, but just like everyone else Quilava's movements were hidden from view. The next thing she remembered was the shout of Eruption followed by the attack. The attack that came from beneath the ground. She tried to recall when Ash had given the command. Only…she couldn't.

"But… he never gave the command for Dig!" she almost exclaimed.

"Ah, now you see the capability of a trainer that has won something like the Battle Frontier." Rowan commented, before continuing. "You will find very few trainers who are connected to their Pokémon to such a level that many a times a vocal command is unnecessary. Just a slight hint, no matter how small, can spur the Pokémon into action. To see someone of Ash's age achieve something like that is simply remarkable." By the end of the small explanation, Rowan's voice had lost some of its usual severe tenor and had gained a small amount of admiration in it.

"Yes…remarkable," the blue-haired girl mumbled, astonishment visible on her face. Yes, she had studied a lot about Pokémon and had seen many battles and contests, her mothers' being predominant, but seeing something happen on tape and seeing something of such high level with your own eyes was on a whole different level.


"Great job bud. Now take a rest." Ash gave a soft smile as Quilava gave a shout of happiness and made his way to stand behind Daisy. He then turned his attention towards his opponent who simply took out his Pokéball and recalled Chimchar.

"Pathetic," Paul spat vehemently, as he glared at the Pokéball, loud enough that everyone present in the clearing was able to hear him clearly.

Ash bristled as he got another proof regarding the kind of trainer that he was facing. He did not have to look towards his partner to know that even he was disgruntled by the kind of behavior he was showing, the sound of sparks emanating from his cheeks were indicators enough.

"You want to shut him up, bud?" he asked, getting a growl in reply from his starter.

"Then you're up Pikachu."

"Pi Pika Chu!"

"Go Pokéball!" Paul's voice came out at that precise moment as he threw his Pokéball, a yellow Pokémon emerging from it.

Its round body had black colored stripes on it, with arms comparatively bulky in comparison to the body, two black stripes on each arm along with three claws in place of fingers and black colored legs with rounded, toeless feet. It had two horns on top of his head with holes in them, making them resemble the prongs of a plug com, complete with holes in their sides. Finally, it had a black lightning bolt marking on its chest, two rows of stripes near the marking with the pattern continuing around its lower back.


Dawn scanned the new Pokémon with her Pokédex.

Elekid, the Electric Pokémon.Elekid stores electricity in its body. If it touches metal and accidentally discharges all its built-up electricity, this Pokémon begins swinging its arms in circles to recharge itself.

"What the Pokédex hasn't informed," Rowan interjected, catching Dawn's attention, "you is that Elekid is a native of the Johto region and is considered among the more powerful of pre-evolved electric types across the regions. They evolve into Electabuzz and eventually into Electivire who are powerful electric types if trained properly."


Back on the field, Ash and Pikachu focused their attention on their opponent. The self-satisfied smirk on the Pokémon's face and the way he crossed its arms across its chest spoke either of arrogance or utter self-confidence.

"This one is going to be tough," Ash muttered, just loud enough that his partner could reply with a subtle nod.

And Pikachu agreed with his friend. Unlike the Chimchar, who seemed to be lacking in self-confidence and was most probably a recent acquisition, this one looked as though he had faced the heat of battle and was accustomed to fighting. Being one of the most experienced in the group, Pikachu could feel that Elekid packed power belying his stature and while it was not anywhere close to what he had, it was still commendable.

"Are both trainers ready?" Daisy asked, once again getting a couple of nods from the trainers. "Then begin!"

"Thunderbolt!" Ash commanded his starter, Pikachu responding by letting forth a loud shout of his name as a yellow bolt of concentrated electricity burst forth form his body and travelled across the field. Ash narrowed his eyes in suspicion when Paul did not give his Pokémon any command to evade the attack.

His suspicion turned into surprise when Elekid started rotating his arms as the attack reached near the Pokémon, that surprise turning into shock when the attack struck true without causing any visible damage.

"Swift!" Paul commanded his Pokémon taking advantage of the momentary shock on his opponent's face. Nearly a dozen star-shaped projectiles formed in front of the Electric Pokémon and flew towards Pikachu at a tremendous speed, each of the projectile taking a different route as though they had a mind of their own.

"Use agility to evade them!" Ash replied, having gotten out of the shock at having his precious attack having no effect. He decided to ponder on this as Pikachu skillfully evaded each of the projectile in an impressive display of speed induced acrobatics. He had seen the Thunderbolt strike the Pokémon, yet the attack instead of doing any kind of damage had fizzled. His eyes narrowed in realization as he understood what had happened.


And just on time as Elekid let forth an earsplitting scream that made everyone cover their ears from discomfort.


Ash's eyes widened as Elekid once again rotated his arms and let forth a bellow of its name as a lightning bolt larger than the one Pikachu had previously created shot towards the Mouse Pokémon and was upon him in an instant, the Pokémon still disoriented from the previous Screech.

"Charge through it Pikachu!" Ash shouted at his Pokémon. Showing complete faith in his friend, Pikachu opened his eyes and ran straight into the Thunder, his teeth clenching from pain as the attack struck through. The attack harmed him but he had bet hit by attacks far more powerful than these and could therefore endure more of such.

As the agility powered Pikachu ran straight through the attack, Ash saw that the power behind the attack had diminished corroborating his theory. Seeing that Pikachu had covered quite a lot of ground between Elekid and himself, Ash enacted his plan.

"Volt Tackle!"

Paul watched as Pikachu burst through the Thunderbolt at speeds that few would have thought that the small Pokémon was capable of before it was engulfed in a field of electricity, the element creating a dome shaped structure in front of the Mouse Pokémon as it left behind a trail of itself.

Even the others present were looking at the attack with awe, Dawn having not seen an attack like this before whereas Rowan could count the number of occasions having seen it on a single hand and even then that had been in the hands of trainers far more experienced than the person fighting in front of him.

"Protect!" Rather than getting affected by the attack Paul countered, and Elekid followed the command by producing a bluish-green dome of energy in front of him.

And just in the nick of time as Pikachu collided with the dome, his face scrunching up in determination as he used the momentum of the attack and pushed with his might hoping to break the energy barrier. Meanwhile, Elekid grunted in exertion as his face lost the previous haughty expression which was now replaced by one of utter focus as he tried his best to keep the shield up.

Even that proved to be a nearly unsurmountable task as the power behind the Volt Tackle pushed him back several paces, nearly making him lose his concentration. But in the end the small Pokémon persevered and the shield held against the attack

"Feint!" Ash commanded, once he saw that the attack was not going to penetrate the shield. Pikachu's paws glowed brightly as he punched through the near impenetrable shield and shattered it in the next instant before it closed in on Elekid.

"Block it with Brick Break!" Paul countered immediately. Elekid's arm gained a similar glow as it intercepted the attack mid-strike and Paul was surprised, though he hid it well, when Brick Break did not plough through the normal-type attack despite having a type advantage over it. Although the fact that Pikachu was visibly straining from japing up the attack was a good sign that it wasn't a complete stalemate.

"Iron Tail!" Ash continued on the offensive once he saw that Pikachu most probably could not have held the attack for much long. Pikachu, demonstrating his experience, let go of Feint and without missing a beat used his tail to jump into the air which not a fraction of second later gained a metallic sheen to it. The side effect of this particular action was Elekid stumbling forward due to the sudden lack of any kind of resistance from his opposition.

He did not get any time to regain his balance when Pikachu descended upon the Pokémon, and with a twirl struck Elekid with the Iron Tail attack, the force of the attack sending the Electric Pokémon several feet towards Ash's side of the makeshift battlefield.

"Get up Elekid!" Paul shouted as his Pokémon who was steadily getting back to his feet.

"Pikachu, Agility and once more Volt Tackle!" Ash commanded. Once again Pikachu felt his body lighten up before he dashed towards Elekid, chanting his name as the Mouse Pokémon was once again engulfed in the electric dome.

"Protect again!" Paul ordered the Pokémon who had barely gotten up from the previous attack, hoping that the defensive attack would form once again. As he got back to his feet, Elekid tried to muster up enough concentration to create the barrier to stop the incoming attack.

He had barely formed a luminescent shield like structure when Pikachu struck true. The hastily created shield had stopped the attack for barely a fraction of a second before it cracked under the pressure of the assault before completely shattering as Pikachu collided with Elekid.

"KID!" Elekid shouted as pain coursed through his body even as the momentum of the attack made him sail even further towards Ash. The trainer was surprised though when he saw the Pokémon once again get back up even if it was barely.

"Iron Tail Pikachu, let's end this!" Ash commanded. He had not even finished his command when Pikachu dashed towards Elekid before jumping up into the air just before reaching the Pokémon. His tail once again gained the metallic sheen as it descended upon the Electric Pokémon.

"Brick Break, deflect it!" Paul ordered his Pokémon, desperation visible in his shout. Gritting his teeth Elekid cocked his arm back even as it started shining brightly. The hand shot forward and stopped the Iron Tail mid-strike as once again the two Pokémon tried to overpower each other with their attacks.

"Power-Up Punch from your other arm!" Paul added not waiting another second, much to the surprise of everyone present. Ash did not have any time when Elekid struck Pikachu, the vulnerable position too close for him to dodge. Pikachu cried out in pain even as the weak fighting-type attack struck his abdomen, missing the slight reddish glow that ran through Elekid's body.

"Get out of there Pikachu!" Ash, however, had seen the secondary effect of the Power-Up Punch take place and reacted as quickly as possible. Before Pikachu could cancel his attack and get away from Elekid, the Pokémon once again struck with his left arm, the force of the attack greater than the one that had struck not one moment ago. That one punch was followed by another and then another until Elekid had struck Pikachu half a dozen times, the power increasing every second punch.

The pain made the Mouse Pokémon lose his concentration making the metallic glow on his tail fizzle away. Unfortunately for him, Elekid had not let go of his Brick Break, which took advantage of any lack of resistance plowed through and struck Pikachu.

The previous Screech had already made the Mouse Pokémon more vulnerable to physical attacks. On top of that, the increase in attacking power that Elekid had gained from the Power-Up Punch had added onto the Brick Break. The result of that was Pikachu being skipped across the field like a flung stone, tumbling end over end even as he tried to gain a foothold to prevent the action.

"Thunderbolt, don't let it get up!" Paul continued on with the assault, wanting to press on the advantage now that he had gained some momentum. Elekid immediately followed the command as he rotated his arms to generate the right amount of power for his attack.

"Use Iron Tail to stop yourself and follow it up with Dig!" Ash countered, even as he was inwardly bristling in anger as Paul referred to his partner as 'it'.

Pikachu's tail once more gained the metallic sheen to them before he stabbed it into the ground in order to balance himself just before the bolt of lightning struck closed in on him. Not a second later the attack struck, kicking up dust that covered the area near Pikachu.

Elekid poured even more energy into the attack, wanting to be sure that the attack had struck true. After keeping it up for a few more seconds, he finally let go even as he waited in for any additional command from his trainer.

"Be focused Elekid, Pikachu is most likely underground. Try to feel him out." Paul commanded, having seen the Pokémon ground itself using Iron Tail, something he found was a good use of the attack. Giving an imperceptible nod, Elekid closed his eyes and focused his attention towards the ground, trying to feel the vibrations from the ground created by Pikachu's movement.

That however proved to be another mistake on Elekid's part when Pikachu burst through the field not few feet in front of him not a second later. Elekid's eyes widened in reflex letting some of the dust enter his eyes obscuring his eyesight.

"Pikachu," Ash smirked as his tone once again regained the calmness and composure that he had before the beginning of the particular match. "Finish him off. Return!"

Had Elekid been able to see properly, he would have balked at the smirk that adorned Pikachu's face. As it was, the only one who was unable to do so apart from the Electric Pokémon was his trainer, who was at that moment looking at Pikachu's back.

"Block from front!" Paul commanded, gritting his teeth at the small advantage that his opponent's Pokémon had gained. Inwardly, he had scoffed when he had heard his opponent give the command. 'As though the weak attack can finish Elekid off,' he thought.

Elekid had barely crossed his arms to block the attack when Pikachu barreled into him, the force of the attack not only breaking the block but also pushing the electric-type several feet back. Even then he was unprepared when Pikachu barreled into him again and again and again until the number of strikes became nearly impossible to count. The area around the Pokémon was covered in the ensuing dust that kicked up, blocking the view of everyone present.

The dust cloud started settling down as the people, the trainers in particular and the remaining in general, waited with a dying breath for the result of the last attack as anticipation grew enough that it would have been possible to cut through with a knife.

Movement from the nearly diminished dust caught their attention as Pikachu walked out and once again faced towards the trainer, his body riddled with bruises and the mild electric burn that singed his yellow body. What made Paul narrow his eyes was the smirk that the Mouse Pokémon had on his face.

He cursed inwardly when he saw an identical smile adorn his opponent's face and the reason for that became visible to him when the dust finally settled not a few seconds later. Elekid was down, with bruises all across his body and a swirl in place of his eyes.

"Elekid is unable to battle. The winner of this round is Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu." Daisy's voice rang through the clearing.

Victorious, Pikachu ran towards his trainer and jumped towards him, letting Ash break the jump by picking him up in a quick hug.

"Great job bud." Ash congratulated his Pokémon enthusiastically. "Now why don't you go and rest beside Professor Rowan." Settling him down, he then rummaged through his backpack and took out a Hyper Potion. "And take this as well. Ask Professor if he could apply it on you. Think you can manage that bud?"

"Pi Pika Chu!" Pikachu replied with a smile and a thumbs up before he took the Hyper Potion and ran towards the group standing outside the makeshift field. Ash smiled before turning around and once again facing his opponent, his smile widening at the squeal from Dawn – he knew this was about to happen, no matter how powerful Pikachu became he would still be one of the more 'cute' Pokémon even if his partner vehemently denied being called cute.


A few moments ago

"Wow," Dawn exclaimed as the match ended. "That was one powerful move."

"A move that you will rarely see trainers use," Rowan commented, his attention fixed on the trainer-Pokémon pair.

"Why?" Dawn asked, befuddlement evident in her voice. "If the attack is so powerful, shouldn't more trainers use it?"

"Return," the Professor began in a tone which Dawn had labelled as his teaching voice, "is one of the moves that has a wide range of damage that it can cause. Its power depends not on the inherent power that Pokémon possess but on the bond between trainer and Pokémon. The stronger the bond between the pair, the more the Pokémon gains energy for the attack. If, for example, you had taught Piplup this move when you first met him I doubt it would have resulted in more than one hit and that too would have been not too strong. And it is for this reason that trainers tend to avoid teaching their Pokémon this move."

"Most of them, while having a strong bond with their Pokémon, don't have a bond strong enough that it may deem useful for battle. That is why only those who have had their Pokémon with them for years tend to teach their Pokémon this move and even then it is rare among them. Similar is the case for Coordinators. If your bond is extremely strong with your Pokémon, it will result in numerous hits that impresses the judges immensely."

"But I could barely count the number of times that Pikachu struck Elekid so that must mean…" Dawn trailed off, her eyes wide-something she noticed was happening a lot today.

"That the bond between Pikachu and Ash is extremely strong and nigh unbreakable," Rowan finished her sentence when he saw Pikachu run towards them, the Hyper Potion in his mouth. "Congratulations on the victory Pikachu. That was a good match."

Pikachu sat up on his hind limbs while he presented the Hyper Potion to the Pokémon Professor.

"You want me to heal you with this?" Rowan asked rhetorically even as he took the Potion.

"Pikachu!" the Mouse Pokémon nodded bashfully, rubbing the back of his neck subconsciously. Seeing the small Pokémon act in such comportment was way too much for Dawn, who in the next second squealed at the apparent cuteness of the act and grabbed the Pokémon in a tight hug mindful of the injuries that he had sustained.

Surprised by the sudden hug Pikachu tried to escape before the similitude of the situation dawned upon him and he let out a sigh. Apparently this young trainer thought of him as cute just like a large number of females that he had met while traveling with his partner. He just knew that he was going to be ribbed by Ash and the rest of the friends when they found out about this. This was perhaps the one thing he despised about not evolving. He wasn't supposed to be cute. He was supposed to be powerful and a badass who had faced numerous Legendries.

Though the way the pretty girl was hugging him was an experience that he enjoyed as well. Don't judge him. Just because he is a Pokémon didn't mean that he cannot enjoy being a male. He therefore simply relaxed into the hug while the Professor restored his health.

He was still slightly miffed that Quilava was lounging near Daisy though, having grown to like the Researcher in the time that she had spent with the team.


"Will the trainers please bring out their next Pokémon?" Daisy instructed the two trainers, even as Paul recalled Elekid without uttering another word and enlarged his next Pokéball. The action was copied by Ash who, rather than taunt his opponent simply decided to carry on with the proceedings.

The Pokéballs once again erupted as the Pokémon materialized in a white flash of light.

Ash's Pokémon was a quadruped, bovine Pokémon. Covered in light brown fur with a thick, darker brown mane around the neck, it had a rounded muzzle with a dark brown nose, and three gray bumps running vertically down its forehead. A pair of curved, gray horns grew from atop its head while each of its three black tails had a tuft of fur on the end, and finally there was a single gray hoof on each foot.

Paul's Pokémon was a bipedal, weasel like Pokémon with a pale gray body and several feathery areas. It had a bright red crown and collar made of wide feathers, and a single, thinner feather on each ear. The thickness and the length of the feather on its ear signifying that it was a male. It had two tail feathers and three claws on each paw with a yellow, oval marking in the center of its forehead. Its eyes were red with three eyelashes, and finally it had four fangs protruding from its upper jaw.

Seeing that no one among them was going to scan the Pokémon, Dawn decided to scan the both of them, having not seen the two before. She first pointed her Pokédex towards Paul's Pokémon.

Weavile, the Sharp Claw Pokémon. Weavile is the evolved form of Sneasel. Weavile live in cold regions, forming groups of four or five that hunt prey with impressive coordination.

Apparently that was the extent of information that her Pokédex was going to provide her. She then pointed it towards Ash's Pokémon.

Tauros, the Wild Bull Pokémon. This Pokémon is not satisfied unless it is rampaging at all times. If there is no opponent for Tauros to battle, it will charge at thick trees and knock them down to calm itself.

Dawn's attention was once again diverted towards the field when Tauros gave a loud and fierce moo followed by an aggressive stomp of his feet, his gaze never leaving Weavile's. Dawn was actually surprised when she saw Weavile almost take a step back, as though he was intimidated. She mentally smacked herself when she remembered about the ability Intimidate, one that she had read was fairly common among Pokémon. She diverted her attention back towards Daisy when she heard her give the command to begin the match.

"Swords Dance!" Paul ordered his Pokémon immediately after the battle began. Weavile's claws glowed purple while simultaneously growing longer. He then swung them around as his body glowed red for a moment before subsiding.

"Slash!" Paul added without a forethought. Ash's eyes widened in surprise when he saw the Pokémon dash towards Tauros at a speed that he had rarely seen from the species, the Pokémon's claws extending by several inches and gaining a purplish hue.

"Use Stone Edge to stop it!" Ash commanded, knowing that the empowered Pokémon could seriously hurt Tauros. Stomping his front legs, Tauros let out a bellow as two white rings of energy surrounded the Pokémon, intersecting each other in front of his face. Not a second later, the rings shined brightly before turning into chunks of gray stones that surrounded Tauros. Tauros' eyes glowed with a brownish tint before the floating rocks shot towards the incoming Weavile.

In a show of acrobatics that surprised everyone except his trainer, Weavile dodged each rock that shot at him. He ducked under two of the projectile rocks before jumping over two more without losing any of his previous speed. Within a few seconds, and far too soon for Ash, Weavile was upon Tauros.

"Horn Attack, don't let him hit you Tauros!" Ash called out.

Tauros once again gave a loud bellow before he ran towards the incoming Weavile, his head ducked low as his horns shined brightly, and gained several inches as the attack took effect.

"Now Double Team!" Ash added and suddenly, in place of one Tauros there were now more than a dozen rampaging towards the Weavile like a berserk herd. Ash was almost certain that the attack would hit and was therefore surprised when Paul gave the next command.

"Feint Attack!" Weavile, who by now had almost reached the oncoming herd, suddenly vanished from both the trainers' sight and before Ash even got the chance to yell out a command, struck the real Tauros in the herd from his side. The Slash attack, already powered up by Swords Dance, was further enhanced by the Feint Attack made Tauros cry out in pain. This in turn led to the dispelling of the images that Tauros had created from Double Team.

"Payback!" Ash immediately went on the attack. Tauros, who had been pushed a few feet away by the previous attack, righted himself before launching at Weavile, his eyes having gained a purplish hue.

The abruptness of the attack and the lack of distance between the two Pokémon made it nearly impossible for Weavile to get out of the way as Tauros barreled into him. Despite not having gained momentum, the force that Tauros generated from the attack was enough that it sent Weavile barreling towards its trainer.

Ash knew that the Dark-type attack had not affected Weavile as much as he wanted, and this was proven to be true when the Pokémon stopped himself by ramming his claw into the ground to break the momentum and balance himself. Ash was surprised though when he saw that Weavile had minimal damage, something which irked him not that he was going to show it.

"Ice Shard!"

Ash cursed himself for his brief lapse in attention as Weavile, once again showing how well he had been trained, took no time to surround himself with multiple shards of ice. Not even a second had passed when his body gained a faint outline and the suspended shards shot towards Tauros.

"Stone Edge! Destroy them!" Ash countered, knowing that while Tauros was fast, he was only so in a straight line and hence was not agile enough to dodge them all. Once again charged up, Tauros was about to send the suspended stones hurling towards Weavile when the said Pokémon's attack struck Tauros.

Out of the nearly dozen Ice Shards only five or six had struck Tauros, the normally weak attack having been boosted by the Swords Dance, when Tauros retaliated with his attack. The stone shards shot towards the remaining ice shards destroying them before continuing towards Weavile.

"Earthquake!" Ash added before Paul could command his Pokémon. Tauros, not missing a beat, raised his front legs before bringing them down hard. Everyone present near the field felt the tremors of the attack as they struggled to not fall over. Weavile himself was trying in vain to gain back his balance even as the aftershock of the attack rushed towards him.

Paul narrowed his eyes when he saw that the aftershock had overtaken the Stone Edge.

"Jump over the Stone Edge!" he retaliated once he realized what his opponent was trying to do. Weavile jumped high into the air, and just in time as the aftershock reached where it was previously standing. This was immediately followed by the stone shards that collided with the ground.

"Tauros, Giga Impact!" Paul's attention was snapped towards Tauros as soon as the command was given. Giving a loud bellow, Tauros was immediately surrounded by an orange sphere of energy. That orange soon faded and turned into a purple aura surrounded by orange streaks of energy that spiraled around it.

Giving another bellow, Tauros now rushed towards Weavile who was now descending towards the ground.

"Ice Beam! Freeze its path!" Still midair, Weavile brought his arms in front of his body creating a bluish orb of energy. Light blue beams shot towards the incoming Tauros before striking the ground just ahead of him and freezing it. The force from the attack was enough that Weavile was pushed back into the air before it landed in front of his trainer as the attack finally dissipated.

"Jump on the ice!" Ash shouted in blind panic. He truly hated attacks like these and while he had fought and won in several ice fields, he had done so with his more experienced Pokémon or with those who had a genuine advantage over ice. His Tauros in general, and this one in particular, were still unused to fighting on such terrains.

Still encased in the energy from Giga Impact, Tauros barely had time to follow his trainer's command when he reached the newly frozen part of field. The momentum that he had gained from the run-up made him run straight into the ice field, the energy dome from Giga Impact shattering the ice. He was about to follow Ash's order when the frozen terrain took hold and he slipped, his energy encased body skidding uncontrollably across the icy field, this having the side-effect of dissipating the Giga Impact.

"Swords Dance once more and follow it up with Brick Break!" Paul commanded as soon as the Giga Impact had dissipated, starting the recharge period for the attack. As a result, Tauros could do nothing but watch as Weavile waved his arms around as his claws once again elongated and gained a purplish sheen. Weavile then jumped towards Tauros, one of his elongated claws shining brightly.

"Use Iron Tail to block the attack!" Ash countered as soon as he realized that the recharge period was over. Tauros, who still had his eyes on an airborne Weavile, swung his tails at the inbound Pokémon as the metallic sheen over the three tails showed a successful attack.

"Metal Claw from the other hand! Block it!" Paul's command rang through the clearing, taking everyone by surprise. Weavile's unused hand gained a similar metallic sheen to them as the attack collided with the Iron Tail and Ash watched with a small amount of awe at the way Weavile's attack stuck at the stalemate. He was alarmed when he realized that Weavile still held the Brick Break on its other hand. He was further alarmed when he saw the claw elongated even further, signifying an increase in the attacking power.

"Deflect and carry on with Brick Break!" Paul commanded in a much more calm and controlled manner. Weavile, still in a deadlock with Tauros, pushed further into the attack and deflected it. Moving forward on the ice in a manner that showed his ease with the terrain, he then clocked his arm back before striking the Wild Bull Pokémon with the empowered attack.

"Tauros!" Ash shouted in worry as his Pokémon let forth a bellow of pain as it was shot across the field, before eventually coming to a stop a few feet in front of his trainer.

"You alright bud?" he asked once he saw his Pokémon slowly get back up and shake off the attack. He was not surprised when Tauros gave a loud moo before shaking his head and then glaring back at Weavile. He knew that Tauros, his Tauros especially, were a proud race and would not back down from a challenge until they either win or lose. He could, however, see that the previous attack had caused way more damage than it should have.

The power that Weavile had enhanced with the two Swords Dance had been further amplified by the Metal Claw, he realized. And now he knew that he was in a big bind. The field was still encased with ice meaning that he would not be able to utilize Tauros' main strength, which is his rampaging power. Moreover, from the way Weavile was able to deflect his Iron Tail with a simple Metal Claw meant that he had the advantage in raw power, something he didn't think was going to happen with Tauros before this particular match.

He knew that his options were very limited. He had just the one long range attack, something that he decided he was going to rectify for his entire herd. And while he did have another strategy that could help turn the tides in this match, he was unwilling to use it so quickly and that too in a match that was not too important in the larger turn of events.

A few seconds had passed in introspection when he realized that Weavile had not attacked Tauros further. He turned his gaze towards his opponents', only to find that god-be-damned smirk that made him want to punch the asshole's face. And yes, he would categorize this person as an asshole.

He had met many arrogant people throughout his travels yet he could easily say that none of them could pull off the condescending look that the person standing opposite of him was wearing on his face. And that was simply on the basis that he knew that he had Ash trapped and instead of carrying on with his offensive was waiting for Ash to simply forfeit.

"I think it would be best if we forfeited Tauros," Ash commented, getting a surprised and hurt look from his Pokémon. He immediately continued on to rectify that, "Don't worry bud, it is not that I am unsure that we can win it. I know we can but feel that it is unnecessary to bring out our trump for a simple battle like this. You know that I am not doubting your skills but I think it would be better if we didn't continue with this match. You alright with that?"

Tauros still looked a bit conflicted, his pride wanting him to continue with the battle and squash the opponent who had dared to attack him, but he knew that his trainer had better control of his instincts and knew how to utilize his skills.

"If you want to continue, we can do so Tauros," Ash interjected his thoughts. "If you want to fight more, we will do so and I can promise you we can still win this."

And that was enough for Tauros to make a decision. He knew that they would win if he continued but was it worth using their trump? No, it wasn't.

Turning his head towards Ash, he shook it indicating that he would forfeit the battle no matter how much his pride demanded that he continue.

"Don't worry bud," Ash smiled at his Pokémon, happy to see that he had come along so far that he could let go of his pride so easily. He then turned towards Daisy, who was looking towards Ash in incredulity. "I would like to forfeit this battle."

"Due to a forfeit, the winner of this round is Paul and his Weavile." With the final declaration, Tauros trudged towards Ash who ran his hand through the Wild Bull Pokémon's fur.

"You did great out there Tauros, especially seeing that it is your first battle don't you think?" Ash consoled his Pokémon, getting a sad nod from him. "Now don't be like that bud. You know we won't win every battle we come across but that doesn't mean that we cannot learn from this. We have found many things that we can improve upon and I know that I will implement the changes on the entire herd. We're just lucky that this happened in a minor battle like this instead of somewhere important. Don't you think so?"

"MOO!" Tauros nodded energetically, finally seeing his trainer's point of view. Ash smiled in return, happy that his Pokémon was not going to sulk over a simple defeat. Giving him a once over, he rummaged through his backpack and took out a Super Potion before placing it in Tauros' mouth.

"Why don't you go to Professor and ask him to heal you?" he directed the Pokémon towards the Professor. Tauros was about to run in that direction at his usual rampaging speed when Ash continued. "And go slowly. The girl with him is a new trainer and I don't want you to scare her."

Nodding in reply Tauros ambled towards the duo even as Ash turned back towards his opponents, who was looking at him once again in a cool, detached manner. He had already called back Weavile without another word and was waiting for Ash to get back in the match.


"Professor?" Dawn once again turned towards Rowan, not comprehending why Ash would forfeit even though his Tauros had taken very few hits.

"The Tauros species, as their body suggests, is known for their imposing attacking power. They usually just annihilate their opponent with that strength. In this battle however, Tauros was up against Weavile, who despite his stature is nearly as strong as Tauros. On top of that Paul augmented his Weavile's attacking power by using Dance which given an immense boost to that attacking power. The result of that was visible when Weavile's Metal Claw, which is one of the weaker Steel-type attacks, was able to stop Iron Tail, one of the stronger Steel-type attacks. On top of that, I don't know whether you noticed or not, the Metal Claw increased the already increased the attacking power even further."

"As a result Ash was now facing a Pokémon that was significantly stronger than his Tauros, something that I think has rarely happened with him. Another thing that caused Ash to be at a disadvantage was the fact that the terrain on Paul's end is frozen. And while it seems that Ash has taken such things into consideration and trained his Pokémon, Tauros looked like he was not too comfortable with it. And since most of Tauros' attacks require contact, he would have to either go to Weavile or bring him towards his end, something that Paul would have prevented no matter what happened."

"So Ash forfeited," Dawn muttered finally realizing how deep the match had gone, "because he knew that his chances of winning were quite less and therefore did not want to cause any more harm to his Pokémon."

'That and much more,' Rowan added mentally. Throughout the battle, he had a slight suspicion, not that he was going to reveal them. It was smart of both the boys, but that was expected of the both of them. In the future, Dawn may reach their level and then would see what he was suspecting, but that was way into the future. Now, he was going to focus on the final battle as he knew that this was going to be the best show that these two talented trainers were going to put.

He held back a smile when he saw a rather disgruntled Tauros run towards them in what would have been a trod in Oak's Ranch but was just a step short of a full on rampage for anyone else. He did let a ghost of a smile form on his face when Dawn stepped back with a frightened squeal as Tauros reached the duo and placed the Super Potion at the feet of the Pokémon Professor, a slight inquisitive look on his face.

Rowan chuckled as he picked the spray and applied it over the visible wounds and bruises on the Pokémon's body, getting no reaction from the Pokémon. Having expected that from the prideful Pokémon, he continued with his treatment. Once he was sure that he had healed all the visible and the few invisible ones, he gave the Pokémon a small nod.

Tauros took a couple of steps and gave an appreciative nod once he realized that all of his wounds had been healed properly, before he turned his attention towards Pikachu, who was now being held in a bear grip as Dawn tried to take comfort from his presence. Somehow extricating himself from the hold he took a couple of gulps of air before positioning himself on the girl's shoulder and started talking to the Wild Bull Pokémon, the topic of the conversation eluding everyone present.


A thick feeling of excitement and anticipation hung in the air as both the trainers present on the field fiddled with a shrunken Pokéball on their hands, ready to release the power of the creatures that were held within. Daisy's voice once again ran through the clearing, breaking the aforementioned feeling.

"Will both the trainers send out their final Pokémon?"

"Go Pidgeot/Go Pokéballs!" both the trainers called out concurrently, although everyone was surprised when Ash called out the name of the Pokémon rather than keep it a secret, something which he had done for the previous battles, except for the one time he called Pikachu.

Paul's chosen Pokémon was a bulky, quadruped Pokémon with a large shell covering its back. There was a single, oak -like tree and three triangular, stony extensions resembling mountain peaks on the top of the shell and a patch of brown, resembling soil, next to the tree. A white rim surrounded the shell, and formed a diamond- shaped continuation on the front. The Pokémon's body appears sectioned, with the upper half being green and the lower half brown. Its mouth was jagged and at the end of its snout is a dark brown beak. Its lower jaw was green with two large spikes protruding from its cheeks. Its small, red eyes are encircled by a black ring while its legs were thick, having four toes each, which appeared as if they were actually jagged stones.

Pidgeot, on the other hand, was an avian Pokémon with large wings, sharp talons, and a short, hooked beak. Its
glossy plumage was mostly brown with cream-colored underparts and flight feathers. Its head was decorated with a crest that was nearly as long as its body. The center feathers of its crest were yellow, while the outer feathers were red, its fanlike tail feathers bearing the same color. Its beak and legs were pink with three forward-facing toes and one backward facing toe on each foot. Finally there was an angular black marking behind each of its eyes.

Not knowing about the new Pokémon, Ash turned his Pokédex towards it.

Torterra, the Continent Pokémon. Torterra is the final evolved form of Turtwig. Small Pokémon occasionally gather on its unmoving back to begin building their nests.


Meanwhile, Dawn was scanning Pidgeot, having not seen the Kanto and Johto native before.

Pidgeot, the Bird Pokémon. Pidgeot is the final evolved form of Pidgey. This Pokémon has a dazzling plumage of beautifully glossy feathers. Many Trainers are captivated by the striking beauty of the feathers on its head, compelling them to choose Pidgeot as their Pokémon. It spreads its gorgeous wings widely to intimidate enemies. It races through the skies at Mach 2 speed.

"Both the Pokémon are fine examples of their species," Rowan commented offhandedly, getting an excited nod from the girl standing beside him. Even she could see the strength rolling off the two Pokémon, Pidgeot with its majestic beauty while Torterra stood large, firm mien easily justifying its name as the Continent Pokémon.

"The impressive length of Pidgeot's crest along with her unusually tall body show an impressive growth," he continued, unheeding of his company. "Nice plumage and wide wingspan shows constant flying. All in all, a brilliant Pokémon. It also seems that Paul has been busy with the training of his Pokémon. Torterra is larger than the last time I saw him. The tree on his back is larger and the rocks much more defined. Both of them, in my opinion, are excellent Pokémon I think this battle will be the most interesting one."

"Pika chu!" the Mouse Pokémon exclaimed from his position, the affronted look on his face getting an amused smile on the Professor.

"You know what I mean Pikachu," Rowan reasoned with the Pokémon. "The first two battles were highly in the favor of Ash. Power-wise he had easily beaten both Chimchar and Elekid. Whereas the next battle was one of strategy and outmaneuvering one another, especially given the fact that Ash used one of his Tauros which I can guess he has rarely used before. This battle has Pokémon that are not only powerful but have enough experience to use that strength efficiently."

Dawn nodded distractedly, her gaze completely focused on the two Pokémon standing, airborne in the case of Pidgeot, in front of her. It was as she stood so close to them that she understood the difference between watching powerful Pokémon on television and seeing them in person. It showed how much she had to grow and how much she had to work if she wanted to reach their level and surpass them.

However, that was for the future. Now, she could not wait to see these two fight each other.


"Daisy?" Ash diverted his attention and turned towards the impromptu referee, "do you think you could release Starly for this match?" Seeing her cocked eyebrow, he elaborated, "I want him to see the match and get a proper feel of how our future matches can be."

"Do you have any objections with that Paul?" Daisy asked his opponent, getting no visible reaction from the purple-haired trainer. Ash didn't think he had met someone with this kind of control over his/her emotions, and he meant that in a poor fashion. The way his emotions fluctuated from arrogance to aloofness to visibly nothing made him think whether the person standing in front of him was bipolar or something like that.

"It is agreeable." His opponent replied after a minute of deliberation, something which seemed to annoy even Daisy, who Ash knew was not that easy to aggravate.

Remembering which Pokéball carried the Pokémon, she released Starly who appeared with a shrill chirp before landing in front of her, looking in a confused manner. His attention then turned towards Pidgeot and his eyes visibly widened as he recognized the leader of a flock, not that he was going to act all demure in front of her. He had been a free bird before and despite being bound to a trainer now he was not going to get out of that habit. He did understand the power that she held and would obey her until he grew strong enough.

He gave a shrill cry, one that sounded very much like a challenge to Ash, and received an amused reply from the hovering Pokémon. He looked like he was going to reply but was stopped by his trainer's voice.

"You can challenge her after the match Starly." Ash spoke out loud, catching Starly's attention, a wide smile on his face. He was happy to see Starly already forming a bond with Pidgeot, even if it was of friendly rivalry. He could guess the reason for this, now that he had studied about the different types of Pokémon.

From what the Pokédex had informed him, Starly travelled in a flock, similar to Pidgey. And just like the flocks of Pidgey which were usually led by a Pidgeotto, occasionally a Pidgeot, the flock of Starly must be led by an evolved member of their species. Starly, from the small amount of time that he had observed, was a defiant Pokémon and would easily recognize one flock leader and would want to show that he was, or could become, better than Pidgeot. Nevertheless, he knew that he could use this as an opportunity to help Starly grow further.

"Starly," he began, annexing the small Pokémon's attention. "I want you to just stand back and observe this match and you can see how I like to fight with Flying-type Pokémon. Later on you can tell me if you'd like to learn some of the things that Pidgeot can do."

He had barely finished the statement before he was interrupted by an excited trill from Starly, who looked at him with a steely resolve.

"Good." Ash continued, happy with his thoughts being confirmed. This happiness was broken when his opponent decided to speak.

"Goes on to show what I thought about you was true." Paul scoffed. "You have to ask your Pokémon what it wants to learn instead of commanding it. Not like that would have helped this pathetic Starly."

"You know," Ash said after taking a few moments to calm himself down and not think about breaking his opponent's nose. "You really should think before you speak. If you think that Starly cannot become strong by my methods, then keep those thoughts to yourself. You say that Starly is pathetic. Then I promise you that the next time you see Starly, he will be among my strongest Pokémon."

"As if," Paul once again scoffed. "Now can we get started or do you want to continue this doleful exchange with your Pokémon?"

"Can you give the signal Daisy?" he asked the researcher, the frigidity in his voice making her shiver as she tried, and failed, to educe any memory of having seen him this angry before.

"Are both the trainers ready?" she inquired for the one last time, getting a nod from both the trainers. "Then begin!"

"Pidgeot, Tailwind into Aerial Ace!" Ash was the first to let out his command.

"Obstruct it with Stone Edge! Spread it out" Paul countered.

With a few flaps of her wings, Pidgeot rose higher into the sky. Once she was up several feet, she rotated mid-air after a particularly powerful push of her wings before shooting towards Torterra at a speed that surprised everyone present in the clearing, a white trail trailing at her rare.

In the meantime, Torterra had not been sitting indolently. Gathering energy far faster than Tauros, he surrounded himself with nearly two dozen suspended shards of rock which then shot towards the inbound projectile that was Pidgeot.

"Dodge those you can and crush the remaining with Steel Wing!" Ash replied, once he saw how widespread the attack was. He knew that he was taking a huge gamble with this strike, but was confident enough that his Pokémon would pull it off.

Not showing any surprise at the sudden command, Pidgeot concentrated for a few moments before her wings gained a metallic sheen to them. And just in time as several of the rock projectiles reached her. She, however, did not seem fazed for even a moment as she moved seamlessly through the field of rock shards. The ones that reached close enough were obliterated by her Steel Wing.

Seeing his attack not even faze the Flying-type, Paul decided to change strategy.

"Stone Edge once more! Surround yourself with it! Don't let the bird hit you!" He commanded. Torterra immediately responded by once more creating several shards of stone in front of him. But rather than making the shards fly towards the Pokémon, he simply let them float around him acting as a floating minefield.

Ash, although surprised by the skill required to control so many shards at once, was still alacritous enough to respond.

"Keep Steel Wing up and start rotating!"

In a display of skill that took everyone by surprise, Pidgeot tucked her wings inwardly and started rotating in a manner customarily akin to a Fearow using a Drill Peck or Drill Run. The movement increased the already high speed of the Pokémon's descent and she had already reached the outermost ring of rock projectiles that surrounded Torterra.

Something which Paul seemed to have anticipated. What he hadn't anticipated was the rotating Steel Wing to obliterate any rock shard that came too close to the Pokémon. It even looked like that the Pokémon was able to minimize the number of hits that it was taking by maneuvering through the minefield.

Then suddenly, Pidgeot vanished out of everybody's sight before a white blur struck Torterra from his side, the strength behind the attack pushing the Continent Pokémon several steps back despite his large frame. Torterra let out a bellow of pain as the Flying-type attack struck the Pokémon, dealing a massive amount of damage.

"Giga Drain!" Paul decided to make use of the Pidgeot's position and issued his command. Torterra, not paying attention to his pain, immediately followed his command. The stones on his back glowed before green colored barbs shot from them towards the retreating Pokémon.

"Use Agility to get out of there!" Ash immediately replied, not wanting Pidgeot to get struck by the attack. Even now he could see that the minefield was hindering Pidgeot in retreating immediately and wanted her to get out of there as quickly as possible.

Not even a second later, Pidgeot's body gained a subtle glow as she felt herself getting lighter. This in turn gave her even more control of her body letting her get through the minefield. Even then, without the protection provided by the Steel Wing a few of the shards did graze her by, getting her to let lose a short yet sharp cry of pain.

"Leaf Storm! Don't let it get away!" Paul commanded once he saw her get past the Rock Shard minefield. He knew that this attack would destroy the floating rocks but thought it to be worth getting a hit. He could always recreate it if he wanted. Right now he wanted to get some quick shots at the Bird Pokémon, who he knew was one of the fastest Pokémon across the regions whereas his Torterra…was not.

The leaves on the tree present on Torterra's back started glowing a faint green before a cyclone of wind and razor-sharp leaves shot towards Pidgeot, obliterating the Rock Shards in between, just like Paul knew would happen. Torterra had anticipated the flight path for Pidgeot in such a manner that the attack would go on to hit the Flying-type.

"Turn around and use Air Slash! And keep at it!" Ash countered, realizing the strategy that Paul was applying, one which he knew was common yet effective with a Pokémon with a constitution like that of Torterra.

Following his command, Pidgeot turned around mid-flight, her wings glowing a light blue. She waved them repeatedly, saw like energy blades emerging each time she flapped them. Each blade clashed with the incoming barrage of wind and leaves, destroying several of them before being trounced by the still incoming attack.

"Sunny Day and follow it up with Synthesis!" Paul commanded with a scowl once he saw Torterra's attack get slowly yet steadily get pushed back.

The tree on Torterra's back once more started glowing brightly before a beam of light was launched into the sky. Not a scant second later, the effect of the attack took place and the area got bathed in light to such an extent that most of them present had to shield their eyes from it. The attack had barely finished when Torterra's body got surrounded by light sparkles while his body started glowing, healing the minor bruises that had formed from the Aerial Ace much faster than Ash had anticipated. The sudden lack of the Leaf Storm however let several of the saw like wind blades to go on and strike right on Torterra, who let forth a grimace even as the wounds started to heal.

"No you won't." Ash retorted promptly. "Pidgeot, Hurricane!"

Letting forth a loud shout of her name Pidgeot flapped her wings, which had once again gained a bluish glow. A burst of wind shot towards Torterra, picking up a gigantic amount of dust as it closed in on the Continent Pokémon.

Torterra cried out in pain as the attack struck not a scant second later even as Pidgeot kept flapping her wings sending in burst after burst of the powerful wind eventually covering the entire area around Torterra. She only stopped once she realized that she was unable to see her target anymore, her experience forcing her to be on guard and wait for the cloud of dust to clear, something which Ash was more than happy to do.

"Solar Beam!"

Ash was therefore not surprised when a white beam of energy shot through the smoke not a second after the command was given, knowing that Sunny Day decreased the time required for forming the attack as well as increasing the power behind it.

"You know what to do Pidgeot." Ash replied calmly confusing everyone. With another shout of her name Pidgeot flew straight towards the incoming beam of light and was upon it not a scant second later. Then, much to the surprise of the spectators just as she was about to strike the beam heads on, she deviated from her path before she started revolving around the Solar Beam even as she made her way forward. In the meantime, the Solar Beam had cleared the dust cloud away, revealing Torterra who had several gashes across his body from Hurricane.

Struck speechless at the unorthodox evasive maneuver, Paul had little time to realize that Pidgeot had halved the distance between herself and Torterra and was closing in at an alarming pace. He was broken out of his surprise when Ash gave his next command.

"Brave Bird! Let's finish him!" Ash commanded swiftly, a command that was followed not a second later as Pidgeot pulled her wings closer to her body, the body then bursting into flames. The flames also had the side-effect of disrupting the Solar Beam.

"Frenzy Plant! Stop it!" Paul countered as he gritted his teeth. He could not believe how badly this match had gone for him. He had thought that he would win even though he had a type disadvantage. But now, now there was a chance that he would be not only defeated but humiliated as well. And that too from someone that reminded him of his brother.

Letting forth a loud bellow, Torterra raised his front limbs as his body gained a green aura of power before slamming them on the ground. Giant roots with spikes on them erupted in front of him before launching towards the incoming Pidgeot, who by now had spread her wings and was encased in blue flames.

"Got you." Ash smiled widely towards Paul before once more commanding Pidgeot. "Stop the attack Pidgeot and fly high into the air! Then finish him off with Sky Attack!"

Showing her skill in flying, Pidgeot stopped mid-air despite her momentum before shooting up into the in the blink of an eye, evading any roots that closed in on her, although the backlash from the attack made her wince inwardly, not that she was going to show it. She climber higher, forcing everyone to squint their eyes from the bright sunlight.

She stopped abruptly before performing a loop to turn around, her wings spread out wide as she collected the energy required for the attack. A few seconds later she nosedived, her wings now tucked closed towards her body and her focus completely on Torterra.

"Come on, come on, come on!" Paul kept muttering, his attention fixed on Torterra from the moment the attack had been ordered.

Having almost covered the distance between Torterra and herself, Pidgeot spread her wings out after which she was immediately surrounded by a white aura that left a trail as she sped straight towards her target. Just as she was about to strike Torterra head on, Paul's voice rang through the field.

"Solar Beam! Point blank!"

Showing that he had already recovered from using Frenzy Plant, Torterra shot the yellow beam from his mouth which struck the Bird Pokémon head on before either the Pokémon or trainer could get a chance to react. Pidgeot let a screech as pain coursed through her body before she collided with Torterra, her resolve not allowing her to let go of the attack.

Torterra himself let out a bellow as Pidgeot charged through the Solar Beam and struck him head on, the super effective attack dealing a massive amount of damage.

"Pidgeot!" Ash shouted in trepidation as a dust cloud surrounded the two Pokémon. His worry increased further when Pidgeot did not immediately emerge from the dust cloud. Both the trainers had their eyes fixed at the dust cloud, waiting for their respective Pokémon to appear. Even the spectators were watching with a baited breath, waiting for the dust to settle down.

They did not have to wait a few more seconds before a screech was heard not a second after which Pidgeot shot from the cloud, her body doing vertical rolls one after another until she reached a good ten feet above the ground at which point she extended her wings to stop her momentum.

"Pidgeot!" Ash exclaimed in happiness once he saw his Pokémon. That happiness soon turned into worry when he saw the various burns caused due to the last minute Solar Beam.

"You alright there girl?" he asked the Flying-type. "Think you can continue?"

"Pidgeot!" his Pokémon replied in a positive trill, even as she kept flapping her wings.

"Good, then blow the dust away will you?" he asked, hoping that he wouldn't have to continue. He didn't think that Pidgeot could take more of Torterra's attack especially if his opponent decided to attack physically. He could easily surmise that Torterra would be a disaster to fight if he started using his strength. He was also secretly thanking that most of the powerful Grass-type attacks were special attacks rather than physical attacks.

As Pidgeot flapped her wings to dissipate the dust, there was once again tension thick enough in the air that it could be cut through with a knife.

As the wind dissipated, the silhouette of the Continent Pokémon started becoming visible to the trainers. Much to the surprise of Ash and the spectators he appeared to be still standing. Unnoticed to everyone, Paul unclenched his fists as his worry dissipated along with the smoke.

Ash mentally commended the Pokémon for still standing. He knew that despite her constitution Pidgeot struck hard and he had seen the results of her attacks when he had trained with her in the Corral. Despite the few number of attacks, he knew that the attacks had struck hard. And for the Continent Pokémon to still stand after taking her most powerful attack meant that he truly was one nicely trained Pokémon.

Torterra, meanwhile, was glaring at Pidgeot in defiance, with Pidgeot narrowing her eyes back in reply. Ash could already see the rivalry forming between these two and he knew that this kind of rivalry would go on until one of them had truly bested the other.

Both Ash and Paul were about to give their next command when Torterra grunted before his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he crashed forward, the force generated from the crash enough to misbalance everyone present. In the place of his eyes were swirls that signified one thing across the seven regions.

"Torterra is unable to battle. The winner of this round is Ash and Pidgeot and with the final score of three to one the winner of this match is Ash of Pallet Town." Daisy announced to the still stunned crowd, which was immediately followed by huge shouts of happiness from all of Ash's Pokémon, Dawn and even a nod from Professor Rowan.

Ash, conversely, was unfazed by this and simply ran towards Pidgeot who by now had descended to the ground and was taking very deep breaths, trying to stave off the damage caused to her. She barely had any time before she was engulfed by her trainer in a deep hug.

"Great job Pidgeot." Ash mumbled before detaching from the hug and giving her a huge smile. "You were brilliant out there. Even after all the practice that we had, I still thought that we would be unable to battle the way we used to. Guess those thoughts were for naught, weren't they?"

As a reply, Pidgeot simply rubbed her head against Ash's chest, happy that they had been able to complement each other just like the old days.

"Pika Pi!"

Pikachu's voice caught their attention, letting them see not only Pikachu but also Tauros and Quilava running towards them, the rest of the entourage following behind at a sedate pace. Ash, however, simply turned towards his opponent with the hope to commend him for a good fight. He was therefore surprised and additionally not too surprised when he saw Paul making his way to the exit, having already recalled Torterra.

"I guess we will meet another time." He told no one in particular before turning back to greet the people who were making their way towards him. He knew that he had made a rival who would stop at nothing to defeat him. It wasn't like it was going to matter to him. He had come to win the Sinnoh league and he wouldn't be sidetracked by things like these.

Now was time to celebrate his first victory in the Sinnoh Region.

I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone for the lack of updates, replies to any of the reviews and the PMs. Rather than give you all an excuse for this, I would like to simply inform you all that I will try to keep up with my updates as much as possible and see that they do not take too long and still be of good quality.

Another notice that I would like to state is that I have decided to abandon my Naruto fic, mostly due to the fact that I now do not find my story to be any different from numerous fics present in this website. Should I come across any challenge that I find is original enough and has my attention, I will write it. There are numerous super powered Naruto fics on this website and I don't want my fic to be just one among them.

So, as of today I am only going to concentrate on this fic. Which means quicker updates!

I would sincerely like to apologize to anyone who has either followed/favorite that fic.

Anyhow, this was the fight that everyone was waiting for. Tell me how you guys found this and whether it was to your expectations. Another thing that I would like to say is that from the next chapter onwards I will not describe any Pokémon, be it Ash's or anyone else's, simply because of the fact that I find that to be redundant. A writer cannot simply describe a Pokémon. The reader either knows how the Pokémon looks or they go and search the web for the Pokémon.

So, there you have it. The new chapter along with a good/bad news.

Hope you guys enjoyed it.

Keep reviewing!

Ja Ne!