Chapter 1

"Meowth!" yelled Tyson, "Pikachu!" screamed Ash, "Iron tail!" they called together.

Piiiiiiiiiiiika!

Meowwwwwwwwwth!

BANG!

As the two attacks connected, a huge cloud of smoke covered the arena as both attacks found their mark.

Once the dust cleared, both pokemon were lying motionless, causing Ash and Tyson to call out encouragement to their pokemon, urging them to get up. Slowly, both rose to their hind legs. "Pi...pi..." as Pikachu panted heavily.

"Meow...th" panted Meowth with equal exhaustion.

Slowly, as if time was standing still to all those in the stadium, Pikachu began to fall forwards. "Pikachu" yelled his trainer. Through the mist of exhaustion that was covering the electric mouse's eyes, Pikachu heard his master and began to summon all the electricity in his body, while staring down his opponent, who by this stage had fallen forwards onto one knee and a front paw.

"PIKACHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!" echoed through the stadium thousands of volts of electrical energy flew through the air before finding it's target who was too exhausted to protect itself. "Meowth!" The call from the pokemon's master fell upon fainted ears and the Meowth fell forwards and lay in the dust, unable to battle.

"Meowth is unable to battle, Pikachu is the winner! The victory goes to the green trainer, Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town!" called the referee of the match to the screaming crowd.

"You did it Pikachu!" laughed the 16 year old boy as he ran to pick up his victorious buddy before hugging him tightly.

"You did a great job Meowth, take a rest, and don't worry, we'll beat him next time" said the older trainer to his pokemon as he lay in his arms glaring at the young man with his pikachu that had dared to beat him. "Meowth, return" said his master's voice before he was pulled back into his pokeball in a red light.

"Well done Ash, that was a truly fantastic battle" said Tyson to the victor of the match, "but don't get too cocky, we'll be there to beat you one day"

"I wouldn't be so sure about that" repied Ash taking the hand that Tyson had put forward moments before in a warm hand shake.

BAM! "Looks like Team Rocket's blasting of agaiaiaiain!" DING!

"Hey Ash, Ash!!" The boy turned to see his four friends running forward from the stands to greet him.

"Hey guys, did you just here something?" he looked around for what had sounded a familiar noise, but he couldn't immediately place its origin.

"No..." Brock looked a little worried before adding, "That was a great battle Ash. Kinda makes me wish I was competing!"

"I just can't wait til I'm a trainer" said Max as he crouched down with compressed enthusiasm.

"That was just fantastic Ash" screamed May, smiling sweetly.

"Hmm, that might have been a good battle Ash, but I'm sure I would have taken down Tyson's pokemon much quicker and better than you did" Challenged Ash's more recent friend, Morrison.

"Oh yeah, and how would you have done that? You couldn't even get past me!" taunted Ash.

"Yeah, but chill out, you've still got a long way before reaching the final" said Brock, attempting to be the voice of reason.

"Ha ha, whatever Brock, I'm going to head over to the Pokemon Centre to admit Pikachu and the others, I think they need a bit of restoration and refreshing before tomorrow" laughed Ash while turing towards the exit. "I'll meet up with you guys later, I've just got to make a call"

Ring Ring...Ring Ring..."Hello" said a female voice into the speaker.

"Hey mum, can you put the video screen on?"

"Oh hello sweetie, just hang on a sec" Ping, the screen in front of Ash came to life to reveal the image of his mother, smiling sweetly at him, looking the same as she always does. "I just saw your match on the television, you battled beautifully! How's Pikachu?"

"OH he's fine mum, just resting with Nurse Joy. I just wanted to say hi and check that you were ok cos I know I haven't called recently" replied her son whlie reaching up to scratch the back of his head, looking embarassed.

"That's ok sweetie, I know you've got other things on your mind." Buzzzzzzzz "Oh, I'm sorry honey, I'm going to have to go, I was just making some cookies and I don't want them to burn!"

"Of course mum. Oh after the tournament I'll be coming back to Pallet. I don't know who will be with me as I don't know what the others have planned to do. Just thought I'd warn you before I forget as you may have between two and five mouths to feed!"

"Thanx sweetie, and congratulations again on your victory, I just hope you're remembering to change you you-kn-"

"Yeahthanxmum,greattotalktoyoutoo,seeyalaterby e!" blurted Ash in a rush before his mother could finish the dreaded sentence. "phew..." he breathed a sigh of relief before "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" he fell from his chair onto the ground as a small, yellow blur flew into him from the side.

"I'm sorry about your Pikachu, I'd just finished getting him better when he took off. I think he wants to celebrate with you." Said a sweet apologetic voice from above.

"It's ok, I should have known he wouldn't have stayed with you for long" chuckled Ash. "Well, Pikachu, how are you feeling about tomorrow?"

"Piiiiika!" said the pokemon while grinning mischievously and flexing his arms, giving off the same air of confidence as his trainer.

"C'mon buddy, lets find the others and get some lunch! Thanks Nurse Joy, I'll be round later for the others!" called Ash as he ran out of the pokemon centre.

"Oh I wish I could be there with him..." mused a young woman watching the end of the match on a sofa far far away from the Ever Grande Stadium.

"Azu, Azuril" (so let's go!) replied the little pokemon on her lap, waving her arms in the air.

"I don't think it's as simple as that" giggled the young lady, "For starters, how would we get there, who would take care of the pokemon here, who would take challengers...there is no way we could go!"

"Azuu" said the pokemon as all excitement faded from her features.

"But don't worry, we'll have fun here without them, come on, I'll race you to the pool!" called her owner from over her shoulder as she ran from the room.

"Azuril!!" trilled the pokemon as she followed by bouncing on her tail towards the pool.

"This is just great Brock" said Ash through his mouthful of food.

"Yeah, it's brilliant, I can't believe you get to eat this sort of food everyday!" agreed Morrison "Bet I can eat more stew than you" he challenged Ash.

"I'll still be eating when you're on the ground, clutching your stomach unable to move from making a challenge you can't make" retorted Ash, throwing more stew onto his plate.

"Oh yeah, we'll see about that" said Morrison as he piled more food onto his plate. The two trainers soon disappeared from view as the piles of food grew taller and taller.

"Oh boy" said Max as he, May, Brock, Tyson and Pikachu sweat dropped.

"Who is Ash up against tomorrow?" asked May of her brother.

"Hang on...ah" replied Max as his pokenav found the required information. "He's against a trainer called David, wow, he's used pokemon that vary from a Growlithe to a Gyarados. This guy is good, Ash has got a real fight on his hands tomorrow."

"You're right, we can't even predict what pokemon he may use for tomorrow. A good strategy in a contest such as this" Added Brock, peering over Max's sholder.

"I don't know why you guys are worrying, Ash's going to beat them all, aren't you" stated Morrison through his bulging mouth of food.

"Yep, tomorrow will be a piece of cake, right pikachu"

"Pika!"

"Just one more round and Ash will be stepping into the arena" Misty told her baby pokemon.

"Azu, azurill" chimed the pokemon on her lap.

"Psi, psiy Psyduck"(Can we watch too?)

Turning to look at the doorway, Misty was confronted by Psyduck, Politoed, Starmie and Staryu. "Of course you can, come on in guys."

"Poli, politoed poli-pol" (But Gyarados and the others also want to watch)

"Well, I don't think Gyarados will fit in here...plus Goldeen needs to stay in the water...How about we move the TV into the pool and then everyone can watch!"

"Hiya, Ha!"

"Psyduck"

"poli-politoed!"

"Well, I think you all agree with me there, lets hurry before his match starts." Carefully, Misty took the television off it's hooks on the wall "Gah, it's heavy, politoed, grab the other end!" The pokemon leapt forward to help his mistress with the flat screen TV before it fell to the floor. "Thanx Politoed!" Beamed Misty. Between herself and Politoed, with the other pokemon directing them and keeping psyduck out of the way, the television was mounted on the wall of the water arena.

"And now, ladies and gentlemen, the second of our semi-finals of the Ever Grande Festival is about to begin, where we will see who will join Samantha in the final. Will it be David from Cherrygrove City, or will it be Ash from Pallet Town?" Blared the TV to Misty and her pokemon who quickly settled down for what was going to be a tough contest. "And for the first terrain, our contestants will be battling on an ice field. Which pokemon will these tough trainers choose first?"