It was a rather peaceful day in the Johto region. The sky was clear, Pokemon cries filled the air, and three people were walking down the road to Silver town.

The first was a young boy of about eleven years. His raven black hair was partly hidden beneath his pokemon league expo hat, and his hands were covered by fingerless green gloves. He was wearing an open blue vest with white sleeves under which a black shirt could be seen. His pants were common blue jeans, and his backpack was green. Most notably, however, was the Pikachu who was currently traveling on his shoulder.

The second was a girl with orange hair which was tied into a side ponytail. She was wearing a sleeveless yellow shirt, along with a pair of turquoise shorts. She was wearing red suspenders and carrying a red bag behind her back. Finally, she held a small egg-shaped Pokemon in her arms.

The third was a teen with tan skin and spiky brown hair. He was wearing a green vest on top of an orange shirt, along with a pair of brown pants, and he was carrying a large blue backpack. His most distinctive feature, however, was his eyes, which were squinting to the point that they seemed to be permanently closed.

The raven-haired boy seemed to be extremely excited about something. As he walked, he pumped his fist as a huge grin formed on his face.

"We're so close to Silver Town now!" he said as he turned to his Pikachu. "Can you believe it, buddy?"


"Jeez, Ash," said the girl. "You should save some of that energy for the League."

"Come on, Misty," Ash said with a bit of a laugh. "When have I ever run out of energy?"

"He's got a point," the older boy said. "Ash is always fired up and ready to go. I'm sure he'll do great in the league."

Misty groaned, and Ash grinned.

"Thanks, Brock."

As the three friends walked, they suddenly noticed something strange up ahead. There was a large group of people waiting at a large gate, many of whom seemed to be murmuring between themselves. Curious about what was happening, the trio began to hurry up a bit to reach the gate.

"Excuse me," Ash said as he reached the group. "Can anyone explain why everyone is gathered here?"

A man turned around to face the newcomers in surprise. "You mean you don't know? Any minute now they're going to carry out the Johto League Silver Conference torch!"

The trio gasped excitedly at the news.

"You mean they torch is going to come out of here?" Ash asked with a huge grin.

"Yeah. You guys are right in front of the gate to the Ho-oh Shrine, where the journey to take the torch of the Silver Conference begins!"

"Wow!" Ash said in amazement. "Now that's something I don't want to miss!"

He turned to his friends with his fist pumped.

"What do you say we stay here for a while and see the torch?" he asked.

"Pika-Pika!" Pikachu said in agreement.

"That sounds like a great idea!" said Brock.

"I agree!" said Misty. "That torch must be amazing to look at! Don't you think so too, Togepi?"

"Togie-togie!" the Pokemon in her arms replied.

"Awesome!" said Ash. "I can't wait for them to bring out that torch!"

Unfortunately for the raven-haired boy, waiting was one thing he would have to do. Several minutes passed, and there was no sign of the torch or any runners. Several of the people in front were starting to grumble, and the trio was starting to get a little impatient.

"Come on!" Ash groaned. "I want to see the torch!"

"Do you think something happened?" Misty asked.

"I hope not," said Brock. "But I'm starting to think it's likely."

Then, to everyone's surprise, the doors began to open. For a brief moment they hoped that the torch would finally be brought out, but their hopes were dashed when one of the attendants came out and began to speak.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but… due to some unforeseen circumstances it will be just a bit longer before the torch actually arrives!"

Immediately, everyone began to complain. Ash groaned and looked downwards… only to see Togepi running off into the gate, with Pikachu chasing right after it.

"Wait! Come back here!" the attendant yelled as he began to chase the runaway Pokemon. Ash and his friends quickly followed, running straight past the gates. The man soon reached the two Pokemon and opened his arms to block them from getting any farther.

"Not so fast! You're not allowed here!"

Fortunately, Ash and Misty arrived just in time to prevent any further misunderstandings.

"We're sorry, sir!" Ash said quickly.

"They're just really excited," Misty explained.

"That's all right," the man said as he gave them an understanding smile. "Just be more careful, please."

Ash opened his mouth to speak, but he was stopped when he heard a pair of voices shouting. He then looked up to see a pair of trainers running down the steps to the shrine.

"What's happening?!" the attendant asked in surprise.

"How are we supposed to train with a dangerous Pokemon on the loose?!" asked the first trainer, who was carrying a poliwhirl on his back.

"I can't believe we have to put out pokemon in such danger right before the Silver Conference!" added the second trainer, who was cradling a bunch of Pokeballs.

"We're going to the Pokemon Center!" the first one said as he ran off. The second one nodded, and quickly followed. The attendant groaned as he watched them go.

"Two more trainers down…"

"Are they participating in the Silver Conference too?" Ash asked idly.

"Oh, yes!" the attendant said as his face lit up. "You're entering too?"

"Um, yeah," Ash said in confusion.

"Perfect!" the attendant said. I'd like to ask a favor of you!"

Ash tilted his head in confusion.

"Uh, sure. What kind of favor?"

The attendant grinned. "I've been asking dozens of trainers for help, but they've all ended up running away just like those two!"

The trio gasped in shock, as did their Pokemon.

"W-why did they do that?" Ash asked nervously.

"What's scary enough to do that?" Brock said as a drop of sweat rolled down his brow.

"I don't know, but it sounds like fun!"

Everyone blinked in surprise at the newest voice. They turned around and were surprised to see a boy who looked slightly older than Ash. He was wearing a blue jacket with a white strip right down the middle, as well as plain blue pants. He was also wearing a red hat on his head, along with a pair of sunglasses. He had black hair that was longer than average for a boy, and he had a large blue and black bag slung around his shoulder. Finally, he was accompanied by an eager-looking Rhyhorn.

"If you need help getting rid of some big, scary pokemon, then you can count me in!"

"Well, that would be great," the attendant said. "But I don't think I recognize you."

"Well, allow me to introduce myself," the trainer said as he raised his hand. "My name is Calem. I'm a trainer from Aquacorde Town in the Kalos region!"

Ash blinked in surprise.

"Kalos region?"

"That's really far away!" said Brock. "You'd have to travel by plane or boat to get there!"

"Yeah you do," shrugged Calem. "Still worth the trip, though. Kalos is a really beautiful region!"

For a moment, Ash didn't answer. The word Kalos was ringing a bell, but he had no idea why.

"So, would you mind introducing yourselves?" Calem asked.

"Oh," Ash said as he was snapped out of his thoughts. "My name's Ash Ketchum. I'm from Pallet Town in the Kanto Region!"

"I'm Misty!"

"I'm Brock!"

Calem gave the group a friendly smile. "It's great to meet you all!"

"It's great to meet you too, Calem!" Ash said happily.

"Why can't you get to the flame?" asked Calem.

The group had been taken to the room where the torch was being held. A group of runners were sitting around it, clearly ready to start the journey. The only thing that was missing was the sacred flame of Ho-oh to light the torch.

"You see," the attendant explained, "the shrine is named after the ancient legend of Ho-oh. Long ago, here was a fierce battle fought in this land. Many pokemon fought as well, and many of them fell in battle. Then, it is said that the legendary Pokemon Ho-oh appeared."

"Ho-oh," Ash said quietly, remembering the phoenix-like pokemon he'd seen on his first day as a trainer.

"Ho-oh unleashed its Sacred Fire, burning all human weapons to the ground and ending the conflict. When the battle finally ended, the land was left completely barren. But from the ashes of Ho-oh's Sacred Fire, new life was born. The land was rejuvenated, and the people put their differences aside to bring peace. A single flame was recovered, which was then preserved and dubbed the Sacred Flame. It has been preserved for generations, and it is the flame that is used to light the torch of the Johto League Silver Conference!"

The group stared in awe. They had never heard the legend before, but it was amazing to think that the mighty Ho-oh's flame was used in the torch.

"Wow!" said Brock. "So that's why this place is called the Ho-oh shrine!"

"That's such an amazing story!" said Misty. "So full of love and mystery!"


Ash grinned. "So you need that flame to light the torch, right?"

The group stood in front of the stone steps that led up to the shrine. The attendant explained that the Sacred Flame was kept within the shrine, but that a wild Sneasel had recently moved into the forest around the shrine, and was not to keen on allowing others into its territory.

"A Sneasel, huh?" Ash said as he opened up his Pokedex.

"Sneasel, The Sharp Claw Pokemon," the Pokedex said. "Sneasel can extend or retract its claws instantly during attack."

"That's awesome!"

Ash turned in surprise towards Calem, who had pumped his fist in excitement.

"I've been meaning to catch myself a Sneasel for some time now. This will be the perfect chance to do that!"

"Good luck with that," the attendant said. "That Sneasel is extremely aggressive and territorial. Anyone who goes near it gets attacked! Lots of trainers have tried, but there have only been more and more injuries! And to top it off, that Sneasel has been joined by a Machop and Machoke!"

"Wow," said Misty. "No wonder they've been able to take down so many trainers!"

"That's right," said the attendant. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't dangerous. Everyone who's gone up to get the flame has come back badly beaten!"

"Well, you don't have to worry!" Ash said. "I'll come back with that flame no matter what!"


"And I'll catch that Sneasel!" said Calem.

"I'll help too!" said Misty.

"You can count on us!" said Brock.

"Wow!" the attendant said in awe. "Thank you! That would be such a big help!"

"So, how are we going to deal with that Sneasel?" Misty asked.

Ash turned to look at her. They were almost at the top, and it was only natural that they were starting to feel a bit apprehensive.

"I'm not sure," Calem said, "but I do know that my team is ready for anything!"

"So is mine!" Ash said enthusiastically. "We'll get that flame no matter what!"

As they reached the top of the steps, Ash ran up excitedly. Before he could go any farther, however, he was very nearly slammed by a blue arm.

"Whoa!" Ash yelled as he began to fall backwards. Fortunately, his friends were there to catch him before he could go any further.

"Hey!" he yelled. "What gives?!"

Standing before him were two blue muscular Pokemon: Machop and Machoke.

"That's right!" Brock said. "The Attendant warned us that those two had joined up with Sneasel!"

"Brock! Hold Togepi!" Misty said as she passed her Togepi to Brock. She then reached out for one of her Pokeballs and flung it out.

"Go! Corsola!"

The ball opened, revealing a pink, lumpy pokemon.

"Corsola! Spike Cannon!"

Corsola began to fire a barrage of spikes at Machoke, who lifted its arms up in defense.

"You go too, Rhyhorn!" yelled Calem as he threw a Pokeball. "Take Down!"

Rhyhorn roared as it was released and charged, slamming into Machop.

"Ash!" Calem yelled. "Get the flame while they're distracted!"

Ash nodded, and ran off towards the shrine. He quickly reached it, and opened the doors, revealing a large Torch shaped like Ho-oh, upon which rested a blazing flame.

"We did it, Pikachu!" he said happily. "The Sacred Flame!"


Before Ash could celebrate, however, he was attacked by a large claw. He was forced to take a few steps back, when a small black pokemon with large claws landed in front of him.

"Sneasel!" he yelled.

"Sneasel! Sneasel!" the pokemon replied, as if taunting him.

"Totodile!" Ash called as he flung a Pokeball. "I choose you!"

The ball opened to reveal a jolly crocodilian pokemon. However, the moment that Sneasel attempted to slash it with its claws, the smile on Totodile's face vanished and was replaced by a determined glare.

"Totodile! You can dance later! Right now, you need to help me take down this troublemaker!"

Totodile nodded, and Sneasel smirked as it flexed its claws.

"Totodile!" Ash called. "Water Gun!"

The jolly blue pokemon let forth a stream of water, only for Sneasel to jump out of the way. It then landed in front of Totodile and hit it with a Slash attack. Totodile stumbled backwards in pain, but quickly got back up.

"Totodile! Use Water Gun again!" Ash called. The big jaw Pokemon let out another blast of water, only for Sneasel to get out of the way again.


Totodile opened its mouth, but before it could launch a single attack, Sneasel rushed up to it and smacked it with a clenched fist, causing Totodile to fly backwards.

"Totodile!" Ash yelled in shock.

Meanwhile, behind him, Calem's Rhyhorn had just beaten the Machop with a powerful Headbutt attack, and Misty's Corsola had defeated Machoke with a strong Tackle. Having defeated the two fighting-type Pokemon, they quickly ran off to help Ash. They were shocked when they saw Totodile panting heavily as Sneasel launched a Shadow Ball attack towards them.

"Ash!" Misty yelled.

"Look out!" yelled Brock.

Calem, on the other hand, quickly grabbed one of his Pokeballs and tossed it.

"Chesnaught! Help them!"

Totodile yelled out in pain as it was struck by Sneasel's Shadow Ball. Ash gasped as the big jaw Pokemon slammed into him, throwing him into the air. The two yelled as wind rushed past them, only for it to suddenly stop as they were caught by something.

"Ash!" Misty yelled.

"Are you okay?" said Brock.

Ash nodded, and looked up at whatever had caught them. He then saw a large, bulky pokemon with a big shell on its back. It was mostly beige, with plenty of green around the edges and arms. It had a white beard on its face, and spikes all over its body.

"Wow," he said in amazement. "Thanks."

"Chesnaught," the Pokemon replied as it set Ash and Totodile down. It then glared at the Sneasel, who grinned and flexed its claws.

"It's time to end this!" Calem said, full of determination. "Chesnaught! Seed Bomb!"

Chesnaught yelled as it unleashed a barrage of seeds. As they hit the floor they exploded, damaging anything around them. Unfortunately, Sneasel was too fast to get hit by any of the seeds.

"Wow! That Sneasel's fast!" said Brock.

"Mud Shot!" Calem ordered.

Chesnaught shot out a stream of mud at Sneasel. However, the sharp claw Pokemon moved out of the way and then ran up to the larger Pokemon. Its fist then began to glow as it was covered with ice, and it slammed it into Chesnaught, causing it to cry out in pain.

"Chesnaught!" Calem yelled.

Sneasel wasn't done yet; it charged up a number of sharp shards made of ice and flung them at Chesnaught. The spiny armor Pokemon groaned in pain as it was pushed backwards. It fell on one knee, gasping for breath.

"Oh no!" Misty yelled.

"I can't believe it!" Calem said as he watched his faithful partner in pain. "That Sneasel is way stronger than I was expecting!"

The sharp claw Pokemon smirked and lifted its claws, flexing them tauntingly. Calem gritted his teeth, and then looked back towards his injured Pokemon.

"Maybe I wasn't ready for this," he said with worry. "Maybe we should go back and-"


Calem, Misty, and Brock all looked towards Ash in surprise. Even though everyone else had been worried about Chesnaught, Ash seemed to be determined as ever.

"We can't give up when we've come this far!" he said. "Calem! You can still beat that Sneasel! You just have to believe in your Pokemon! Don't give up until it's over!"

At this moment, Calem blinked in surprise. He hadn't expected Ash to use that phrase. The only other person who did was…

No matter. Ash was right. He couldn't give up now. They needed to get that flame!

He glanced at his Chesnaught. Amazingly, it had gotten back to its feet and was now looking back at its trainer with a determined look. It had taken plenty of hits, yes, but it was a bulky Pokemon. It would take much more than a couple of super-effective hits to take it down.

"All right, Sneasel," he said, turning back to the small black pokemon that had been such a headache for so many trainers. "Come and get it!"


Sneasel growled at the annoying human and its big pokemon. So they wanted to fight? Fine. It would give them a fight.

Immediately, it ran towards the spiny armor Pokemon with a clenched fist. As before, the fist quickly became covered in ice. But this time, Calem and Chesnaught were ready.

"Chesnaught!" Calem yelled. "Spiky Shield!"

The spiny armor pressed its arms together. As they did, they expanded out into a circle, creating a protective barrier. Then, just as Sneasel was about to hit, sharp spikes expanded out from it. The sharp claw Pokemon's eyes widened as it saw the danger, but it was too late to stop.

"Sneaseeel!" it yelled out in pain as it slammed into the sharp shield. It then landed on the ground, wincing as its attack faded away.

"Now use Drain Punch!"

Chesnaught's arm glowed as it slammed into Sneasel, causing it to fly backwards. As it did, balls of light flowed out of it and towards its opponent, healing the damage that it had sustained.

"Finish it with Seed Bomb!"

Chesnaught roared as it unleashed one final barrage of explosive seeds, which landed all around Sneasel. The sharp claw Pokemon cried out in pain as it was pounded by explosions. Satisfied with this, Calem reached out for a spare Pokeball.

"Let's end this once and for all!" he yelled. "Go Pokeball!"

The Sneasel was too exhausted to fight back, and it offered no resistance as it was sucked into the ball. For a few seconds, the group watched as the ball shook. Then, the ball gave a ding sound as it let out a spark of light, indicating that it had been captured. The group then cheered, and Calem ran up to the Pokeball.

"I did it!" he said happily as he picked up the pokeball. "I caught that Sneasel!"

"Yeah!" said Ash. "I told you that you'd win!"

"And now you guys can get the flame!" Brock added.

Ash nodded, before he turned to Calem.

"Hey, Calem? Why don't you get the flame? After all, you're the one who defeated that Sneasel."

Calem blinked in surprise, before he smiled.

"Really? Gee, thanks, Ash!"

He then marched up to the shrine and opened the door. As he did, Ash turned to look at Chesnaught.

"Wow," he said. In the heat of the battle, he hadn't been able to take in the Pokemon, but he now realized that he'd never seen anything like it before. Curious, he took out his Pokedex and pointed it at Chesnaught.

"No data available," the machine said.

"No data available?" Ash said in surprise.

"Pikaaa?" said Pikachu, mirroring its trainer.

"Wow, it's not every day that you meet a Pokemon that the Pokedex can't identify," said Misty.

"It must be from the Kalos region," Brock explained. "That's Calem's home region, isn't it?"

"Chesnaught!" the Pokemon replied, as if to confirm that thought.

"That's right! In fact, Chesnaught was my very first Pokemon!"

The trio looked back to the shrine, and saw Calem walking out. In his hand he carried a small torch with a brilliant fire taken from the Sacred Flame.

"Wow!" Ash said in amazement. "The Kalos region must have all sorts of awesome Pokemon!"

"It sure does," said Calem. "You should come visit sometime!"

Ash nodded. The Kalos region sounded like an interesting place to train. He knew he could find all sorts of amazing Pokemon there.

Although… there was still that weird feeling he had when he first heard about Kalos. Why did he feel as if he'd heard it somewhere? Had someone he knew before gone there once? When and why?

Well, there would be time to dwell on that later. Right now, they should get the flame down to the runners.

Ash, Misty, Brock, and Calem looked in awe as the runners held up the torch. After all the unfortunate delays due to Sneasel, they were finally ready to go to the Silver Conference.

"I really must thank you all for your help," the attendant from before said happily. "If it weren't for you, we'd never have been able to light the torch! But now the Sacred Flame is safe, and the torch is ready to go!"

"Yeah," Ash said mareepishly. "But it was really Calem who did everything, so you should really thank him, not me."

"Oh, come on, Ash," Calem replied. "If it hadn't been for you, I might have retreated before Chesnaught could beat Sneasel, and we would have taken a lot longer to get the flame!"

"Yeah, well, that's just what Ash does," said Misty.

Ash chuckled nervously and scratched the back of his head. The attendant nodded and turned around. One of the runners was now running through the gate, carrying the torch. The people who had gathered around cheered as he passed them, excited to finally see the Sacred Flame.

"It's finally starting!" said Ash.

"So exciting!" said Misty.

Calem just smiled as he watched the runner carry the torch off into the distance. He then turned towards Ash.

"Hey, Ash, you're going to enter the Silver Conference too, aren't you?"

"Yeah!" said Ash. "You mean you're going to enter?"

"Yep!" Calem replied. "Why don't I stick with you for a while? We can get there together!"

Ash smiled. Calem seemed like a great guy to hang around with. Not to mention, he was a powerful trainer with tons of strong Pokemon from a region he'd never seen.

"You know what? That sounds like fun!" he said enthusiastically.

"Pika-Pika!" Pikachu said in agreement.

"I like that idea!" said Brock. "You two could learn a lot from each other!"

"I know, right?" Misty said in agreement. "Not to mention, I want to hear more about Kalos!"

"Then it's settled!" said Calem. "Let's all go together!"

As he finished, he jumped up onto his Rhyhorn, taking the others by surprise.

"Okay, Rhyhorn! Let's go slow so we don't leave our new friends behind!"

Rhyhorn cried out happily, agreeing with its trainer on that point. They then began to walk at a slow pace, with Ash and his friends following close behind.

"Wow, that's so cool!" said Ash. "I didn't know you could ride a Rhyhorn like that!"

"I've heard that Rhyhorn Racing is really popular in the Kalos Region," said Brock.

"Rhyhorn Racing?" Misty asked.

"Yeah!" Calem replied. "My Aunt Grace was a master of Rhyhorn Racing! In fact, she's the one who gave me this guy!"

To emphasize his point, he patted his Rhyhorn, who grunted happily. Ash watched in fascination, intrigued by the concept of Rhyhorn Racing. It sounded really cool, and yet familiar somehow.

"So, you must know a lot about Rhyhorn Racing if your aunt was that good at it," Brock commented.

"Well, I've done some races," said Calem. "It's fun, but it's not quite my thing."

"Oh," said Misty. "That's too bad."

"It's all right," said Calem. "I'm much happier as a Pokemon Trainer."

He chuckled as he thought about his younger days riding atop a Rhyhorn at his aunt Grace's ranch. He loved the feeling of the wind going through his hair, and the Rhyhorn always loved to see him nearby. That being said, the rides had always been a bit too bumpy if they went too fast, and an angry or scared Rhyhorn was prone to tossing its rider off its back. It was clearly not something just anyone could master.

"Yeah, if you're not good at Rhyhorn Racing, then there's not much you can do," he said. "My cousin Serena knows that better than anyone."

Ash's eyes widened.

"Your… cousin Serena?" he asked nervously. Pikachu's ears twitched, but fortunately nobody else seemed to have noticed Ash's tone.

"Yeah," said Calem. "She's been living with Rhyhorn for years, and she's never really gotten the hang of riding them. Aunt Grace keeps training her in the hopes that she'll eventually become a great Rhyhorn Racer like her, but it's pretty obvious that Serena has no interest in doing so."

"Oh, poor Serena," Misty said with a sigh. "I really hope she can find something she actually likes."

"Yeah," Ash said, just barely aware of his surroundings. "Me too."

"I'm sure she will," said Calem. "It'll just take her a little longer than most people."

Ash sighed as he looked forward. When he met Calem, he hadn't been expecting this to happen. True, he'd recognized the name of the Kalos region, but he hadn't been able to understand why. The moment he'd mentioned the name Serena, however, it had immediately reminded him of someone who he thought he'd forgotten.


In his mind, he saw himself, several years younger, at Professor Oak's summer camp. He then saw a poliwag, which he'd begun to chase, but eventually lost. And then…

A little angel. Delicate honey-blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes, and the sweetest voice in the world.


Ash was snapped out of his thoughts by his partner's voice. He then looked towards his shoulders and saw Pikachu giving him a worried look. He smiled and scratched the yellow rodent's head.

"Sorry, buddy," he said. "I'm just… thinking about stuff."

Pikachu still looked worried, but did not inquire further. Satisfied with this, Ash looked forward towards the road. As he did, his thoughts went back to the girl he'd met so many years before.

It's probably just a coincidence, Ash thought to himself. There are probably a whole bunch of girls in the Kalos region named Serena… whose mothers are Rhyhorn Racers… and really don't want to ride on Rhyhorns…

Just a coincidence.

"Uuugh… why did I agree to this?!"

Meowth groaned as he walked around the shrine dressed in a Sneasel costume. He still could not believe that the other two were actually considering leaving him behind in favor of that dumb Sneasel. Sure, he wasn't as strong as a Sneasel, but he was supposed to be a member of the team! They couldn't just abandon him! Just because it was stronger, and cooler-looking, and was a dark-type…

Admittedly, being a dark-type Pokemon would be pretty cool, Meowth idly thought to himself. I wonder what I'd look like if I became a dark-type.

And the worst part was that, after all the time he'd been searching in this ridiculous oversized costume, he still hadn't come any closer to finding the dumb Sneasel. After they had originally been sent flying by its attack, they had quickly formed a plan to catch the sharp claw Pokemon. Unfortunately, after they came back, they realized that it was nowhere to be seen. And after prowling around for several hours trying to find it, Meowth was beginning to think it was an exercise in futility.

"Jessie? James? Can we go now? My paws are killing me!"

At this, his two companions, a purple-haired man and a pink-haired woman wearing identical white uniforms, emerged from behind the trees.

"Are you serious?!" Jessie yelled angrily. "We spend all this time searching for that dumb Sneasel and it's still nowhere to be found! What gives?!"

"Maybe someone else managed to catch it first," James muttered.

"That's an outrage!" Jessie yelled. "How could some stupid trainer catch our newest recruit?!"

"Yeah, well, you were gonna kick me out to make room for that dumb Sneasel," Meowth muttered. "It wasn't that much of a loss, honestly."

Jessie gritted her teeth, and was about to smack some sense into Meowth when the trio heard a pair of growls. Looking up, they saw a pair of Pokemon approaching; the Machop and Machoke who had been with the Sneasel earlier.

"What do you want?!" she yelled angrily. "Go away! We're having a bad moment here!"

The two fighting-type Pokemon did not seem happy about this. In their anger, they began to charge towards the trio with their fists glowing, causing the three to sweat nervously.

"So, I'm guessing that's not good?" Jessie asked, her voice trembling.

"Maybe we should run!" James suggested.

"Too late!" yelled Meowth.

The three were then smacked by a double Dynamic Punch attack, which sent them flying into the sky.

"Team Rocket's blasting off agaaaaaiiiinnn!" they screamed as they flew off and vanished into the distance. The two fighting-type Pokemon cheered and flexed their muscles. They may have lost their leader, but they could do just fine on their own.

"You two are perfect!"

The duo turned around in surprise at the sound of the voice. They then saw the shrine attendant gazing at them enthusiastically.

"I have a brilliant idea!" he said. "You two would be perfect to help us guard the Ho-oh Shrine! Of course, we'd make sure that you were always well-fed and cared for, so it would be great for you too!"

Machop and Machoke looked at the man in surprise. They then looked at each other and smiled. It seemed that a lot more good would come out of them losing that Sneasel.

A/N: Hello Everyone! I've had this story on my mind for a while, and I've finally gotten around to writing it down. I hope you enjoy it!