Chapter Two: Underestimation

Notes: Thank you all for reviewing, and I'm glad you like the story so far. Rocky will appear from time to time in the story, as he did in the first one, and Emerald is the character Alan made up, so all his Pokemon and such are Alan's creations, not mine. He, like Rocky, will probably be around from time to time. The story mainly follows Crystal.

The battle between Rocky and Emerald was just something I thought up when I noticed some people liked the Rocky/Crystal in the story. Although I don't intend on turning this into a romance, I thought it would be funny if Rocky got the wrong impression and got jealous. Also, I haven't actually seen the Pryce battle, but only read summaries of it. So things will be a tiny bit different.



Chapter Two: Underestimation

Crystal ran through the snowy streets, the chilly wind blowing through her face. Whatever Rocky and Emerald wanted to do, they could settle it by themselves, anyway. She needed to get to that gym, before someone else did.

"Come on, Vulpix!" Crystal panted, bending down and scooping the pink-furred Pokemon up into her arms and running with her, Vulpix's cold and wet fur pressing into her shirt. "Almost there..."

After several minutes of running, Crystal and Vulpix stumbled into a snowy field, what looked like a large, ice-skating rink placed in the center. Blinking curiously, Crystal stepped forward, some of her novice fear coming back.

"Ice," she murmured, looking around. "I'll bet this trainer uses ice Pokemon."

Crystal set Vulpix down on the ground, who promptly shook snow out of her fur and yawned, curling up near Crystal's feet.

"Ice are like water, right?" she asked out loud, putting a finger to her chin. "So Raichu would be the best bet, of course."

On cue, Raichu popped out of his Pokemon ball, grinning.

"Rai-Raichu!" he declared boldly, flexing his stubby little arms, as if to say, "Yes, choose me and you've got a guarrunteed victory!"

Crystal smiled, looking around again. It was cold and lonely around here. Not like the warmth that fire Pokemon gave off when they were nearby.

"And if you fail, then we've always got Houndour for backup," Crystal added, Raichu's smirk falling off his face instantly.

"RAI-RAI!" he cried angrily, shaking his head back and forth, as if to say, "Absolutely not!!"

Raichu and Houndour had always gotten along rather shakily. Whether it was electrifying one or biting the other's tail, it hadn't been a very smooth friendship.

"Come on, Raichu!" Crystal sighed, bending down. "I said IF, meaning you probably won't fail."

Vulpix narrowed her eyes at Crystal's back.

"Vul pix," Vulpix muttered, getting comfortable again and snuggling up in the snow. "Vul..."

Crystal sweatdropped, feeling more and more unprepared by the second.

"Vulpix, I know you're not fighting this one, but you still need to be awake!" she cried, nudging the pink Pokemon.

"Yes, being awake might be a good thing," Came an older man's voice, and Crystal, Raichu, and Vulpix all looked up to see a man walking toward them, smiling.

At his side, a large, brown-furred Pokemon of some sort was trotting along, looking happy.

"Let me guess," The older man asked, raising an eyebrow. "You're here for a gym battle?"

Crystal smiled nervously, nodding.

"Um, yeah," she muttered, walking toward the ice-skating rink. "Are you the gym leader?" she asked, feeling a little stupid.

The man nodded, pulling out a Pokemon ball and throwing it up in the air once before catching it.

"Pryce," he replied simply. "Yep, that's me," he muttered, reaching one end of the ice-skating rink. "Now you stand down at the other end and we'll use this rink for our arena during the battle. I do one on one matches with two different Pokemon. You can trade in and out with the two until they're knocked out, but I'll stick with my choice until the end."

Crystal nodded, looking down at Vulpix and Raichu.

"I'll definitely start with Raichu now," she thought, looking out at the ice-covered arena. "If I chose Vulpix, the result would be the same as when we were out on that ice-covered lake yesterday. Her body heat would melt the arena in no time at all."

"Ready?" Pryce asked, tossing out the Pokemon ball he had been holding. "Go, Dewgong!" he called, releasing the white, seal-like Pokemon with its glittering horn.

It slammed down on the ice, but didn't break it, and instead smiled and looked rather happy with being on top of the slippery ice. Crystal narrowed her eyes.

"Okay Raichu," she declared, smiling. "Go show that Dewgong what you're made of!" she yelled, Raichu racing out onto the arena.

"Rai!" Raichu declared, glaring as his cheeks sparked.

"Begin!" Pryce declared, Raichu sending an enormous amount of thunder toward Dewgong, who put all her weight forward and slid right under it, crashing into Raichu and sending him off course, slipping and sliding on the arena.

"Dew!" Dewgong cried, smiling as she rammed Raichu with her horn.

"Raichu!" Crystal cried as the yellow mouse slid across the arena, trying to get back to his feet. "This is impossible!" Crystal thought, her eyes wide. "Dewgong is supposed to be weak to electricity, right?"

Pryce smiled.

"I know what you're thinking," he called over to Crystal, who looked up, feeling very nervous now. "Dewgong's type is particularly susceptible to electric shock, but I've been training her for so long that on this ice field, she just treats electric Pokemon like any other opponent's, hitting them hard and fast."

Crystal gritted her teeth, Raichu slipping as he stood back up, only to be taken down again by the incredibly fast Dewgong.

"Now, finish him with Ice Beam!" Pryce yelled, Dewgong sending a sharp stream of white and blue colors toward Raichu, hitting him square in the chest and sending him flying backwards and into the snow outside the arena, lighting sheeted in ice.

"Raichu!" Crystal cried, trying to run over to him but slipping and falling on the ice, slamming into it. "Ouch..." she muttered, feeling her face grow red with hurt and embarrassment. "Raichu, return!" she called, standing up and recalling the mouse Pokemon with her Pokeball.

Pryce smiled.

"Good work, Dewgong," he complimented his Pokemon, who looked flattered.

Crystal walked back over to the sidelines, stiff and cold.

"Okay, now I can only use one Pokemon to defeat BOTH of Pryce's," she murmured, looking down at her Pokemon balls. "Houndour might be a good choice...Charmander can't take the cold, Vulpix, you're still tired from last night..."

Crystal's eyes wandered over to her last Pokemon ball.

"Flareon!" she cried, tossing the ball out to the icy rink. "Go!"

The ball popped open and the fiery Pokemon leapt out, glaring at the Dewgong as her tail whipped back and forth in the cold wind.

"Take down!" Pryce yelled, Dewgong sliding forward toward Flareon, who leapt out of the way and blew a powerful flamethrower toward Dewgong, who was still sliding and unable to dodge.

"Bulls eye!" Crystal declared with a smile, her eyes starting to fill with a little hope. "Now, use tackle attack!"

Flareon leapt forward, skidding on the ice and slamming into Dewgong, who was still stunned and charred from the flames. Dewgong slid backwards onto the thinning ice, fumbling.

"Finish it off with an ember attack!" Crystal declared, her blue eyes sparkling like the icicles that hung down from the tree limbs.

Flareon nodded.

"Flareon!" she yelled, her eyes glowing white as she send a raging red fire attack toward Dewgong, hitting the sea Pokemon head-on and knocking it out in an instant, also melting up some of the ice on that side of the rink.

Pryce's eyes widened, a little surprised that Flareon had so easily taken Dewgong down on an ice field.

"Dewgong, return," Pryce muttered, recalling the seal and stuffing the Pokemon ball back into his pocket. "Well, I see you're a better trainer than I gave you credit for, after your first showing with that Raichu."

Crystal's cheeks stung from both the remark and the cold, but ignored them both.

"Flareon, this next match decides it all!" she called out to the Eevee-evolution. "Come on, I know you can do it!"

"Vul-vulpix!" Vulpix barked, hopping up and down in the snow, her brown eyes wide and bright as she watched on.

Flareon crouched down, her eyes on the shaggy Pokemon beside Pryce, which was now moving in toward the ice arena.

"I choose Piloswine for my final Pokemon!" Pryce declared, looking calmly out at the two Pokemon as his Piloswine approached Flareon on the ice turf.

Crystal raised an eyebrow, looking confused.

"What's a...Piloswine...?" she muttered, turning around and digging into her backpack for her Pokedex. "Okay!"

She held the Pokedex out toward the shaggy, brown Pokemon, the scanner picking up on it.

"Piloswine, an ice Pokemon," It read out in its digital voice. "The evolved form of Swinub."

Pryce smiled fondly down at the shaggy Pokemon, as if he were particularly proud of it.

"Piloswine and I go way back," he said with a sigh. "Yeah...and I trust Piloswine will do his best! Takedown, Piloswine!" he cried, the Pokemon darting forward and bashing into Flareon, who flipped over in the air and landed with a thud on the ice, luckily still on her feet.

"That was close!" Crystal cried, her blue eyes wide. "Use you quick attack!" she yelled, Flareon trying to dart forward, but easily losing her footing on the slick ice and skidding to the corner.

"Vulpix!" Vulpix yelped, barking out at Flareon, as if yelling support to her fellow teammate. "Vul, Vul-pix!"

Flareon cringed, getting back up to see Piloswine charging toward her again. The fire Pokemon leapt into the air, smashing down on Piloswine's back, causing it to look around strangely.

"Pilo...swine?" It muttered, flailing around frantically, trying to pinpoint the Pokemon that was now perched on its back.

Crystal smiled.

"Okay, use a bite attack then!" she yelled out, Flareon digging her teeth into Piloswine's back.

"Shake it off, Piloswine!" Pryce called out, Piloswine giving another mighty shake and flinging the red Pokemon off, where she skidded on the ice once more, panting.

Crystal narrowed her eyes, feeling her heart beat quickly in her chest. This was the time when timing was of the essence. One missed move and it was all over.

"Flareon, try a flame thrower!" Crystal yelled, Flareon's mouth glowing orange and a bright orange stream of flames bursting from her mouth and at Piloswine, who slid out of the way and began to charge at her once more.

Pryce smirked.

"Finish with a tackle!" he called out encouragingly to Piloswine.

Vulpix hopped up and down in the snow, gazing out at Flareon.

"Vulpix!" she yelled.

"Flareon, use your flamethrower on the ice!!" Crystal yelled, squeezing her eyes shut, hoping the last-ditch attempt would work.

There was a brilliant flash of yellow, white, and red as Flareon turned her flamethrower down at the ice in front of where Piloswine was charging, creating a gaping hole in the ice in the middle of the charging path. Piloswine put his feet down in an attempt to stop, but the ice made it impossible and only caused him to slide forward and right into the hole.

With a loud splash, cold water sprung up from the hole as Piloswine went down. Pryce's eyes widened as he hurriedly pulled out his Poke ball and recalled the shaggy Pokemon before it went down too deep. Flareon cringed at the cold water that had splashed on her, but Crystal smiled, running out to her.

"Great job!" she cried, Vulpix slipping and sliding behind her as Flareon looked up. "I knew you could do it for us!"

Vulpix nodded with a smile.

"Vul!" she agreed, for once showing interest in another Pokemon's battle.

Flareon beamed, proud to show off. She, like Raichu, enjoyed showing off how great she was, although she was far less vain. Raichu's ego took up more than three Poke balls worth, one of the reason's Houndour didn't appreciate the little electric mouse.

"Well," Pryce said with a sigh, standing up and looking down at his Pokemon ball. "I'd say that was a match well fought, on both of our parts."

Crystal smiled shyly and stood up, nearly slipping on the ice again.

"Whoa!" she cried, teetering and regaining her balance. "Thanks..." she muttered, blushing and rubbing the back of her neck.

Pryce smiled, holding out a silver and gray badge.

"I guess you've earned this," he said, holding it out to her, the badge gleaming in the dim sunlight. "The Glacier Badge."

Crystal couldn't help but break into a grin as she took the badge from the man's hand and held it up in front of her. Finally, her seventh Pokemon badge for the Johto Region. Only one more...she thought to herself with a smile.

"Vulpix!" Vulpix yipped, nudging Crystal's leg. "Vul!"

Crystal chuckled, bending down and holding the badge out to Vulpix.

"See? A Glacier badge!" she smiled, feeling as if her happiness would lift her up and carry her away.

Pryce smiled, looking down at Vulpix and Flareon.

"I'll admit, you have some pretty well-trained Pokemon there," he said wisely, narrowing his eyes. "But I think your knowledge of Pokemon types is what your weakness is."

Crystal looked up at him, her eyes widened.

"What do you mean?" she asked, standing up again, careful not to slip.

"I mean that if you learned more about which types did well against others, your strong relationship with your Pokemon and their strength in battle would be a lot tougher when pitted against the Pokemon they do best against," he explained, looking down at his Poke balls again. "You thought since ice was like water that my Pokemon would be weak to electricity, but you saw how that one turned out. The true weakness was fire, which ended up winning you the battle, although only by chance did you choose a fire Pokemon."

Crystal turned a bit red again, recalling Flareon.

"Yeah, I guess I was wrong about that one," she muttered, feeling stupid.

Pryce turned to walk away.

"Just take that advice, and I think you'll become a force to be reckoned with," he called, walking back toward a building in the distance. "Good luck on your journey."

Vulpix nuzzled her leg.

Crystal nodded, feeling a bit of her inflated happiness leave. Just when the road up ahead had seemed so close...it turned out that it was further than she had expected.
End of Chapter Two

Review, please, and come back soon for Chapter Three. Thanks for reading.