Chapter 3: Shironas apperance

Soon after, the battle combatants get revealed and Shinji is in the same qualification group like Satoshi. Remembering his last full battle with Shinji he gets the shivering. Yet, he does not know who will be his first enemy. Still showing his shock he does not realize the commotion behind him until a familiar voice speaks to him. It was Shirona. "So you will be in the same group as Shinji, quiet a test you have to pass here. I know all about your last battle and you really got destroyed, however very impressive you stood up after this again. I know many trainers who had forfeited their carrier after such a fight and shattering loss"

"Shirona!!!" "Awesome, awesome, awesome, the champion stands right next to me, I never knew you know each other Satoshi, how the hell did a slowpoke like you get this honor, I'm so jealous right now. Champion Shirona it is an honor to meet you…" In this moment he besets Shirona horrible.

"Yeah (O_o), thanks, would you please… let go of me now? *sweating*" ". . . right, back to training. . ." "Oh boy, Jun sometimes is really strange" Hikari sighs. Shirona is now free to speak with Satoshi again.

Then Satoshi tells Shirona that Hikari helped him much to get up again and after this Shirona smiles while a slight trace of blush flashes in Hikari face. This is the exact moment Shirona looks at Hikari for a blink. "Is that so? I see." She states curious.

"Anyway, I'm here to congratulate you that you will have the honor to open the league with your match." After Shirona ends, Nozomi and then the others, one after another, compliment him for this honor. Satoshi instead gets cold feet for getting such a burden loaded on his shoulders, at least this is what he thinks right now. In addition he has to fight none other than Shinji in this more or less, depending on the viewer major double battle.

"Shinji… is… my enemy…?" Sudden an awful silence falls upon him and he lowers his head. The others now show some concern for Satoshi. Shirona as well notices this. "You know Satoshi, you are chosen for participation in the opening ceremony because I suggested the jury it. Each time a league begins the champion in this Region gets asked for suggestions for the opening and I choose you.

Whoever will be the first opponent of him or her gets decided through a random lot though."

"Why me" he shouting asks. "You really love your Pokémon, you have lots of experience and you are one of the best trainers I ever met. You also participated in several Tournaments in other regions so far which makes you the best choice I could make." These encouraging words from Shirona somehow help him to calm down. He starts to ready himself mentally for this match ahead.

Soon the evening covers the land. The wind blows gentle and the sky is clear. Our tired heroes already lie in their beds. Hikari though remembers the letter from this noon and steps on the balcony to enjoy the night while reading.

"… sent me this letter?! What can this possible mean?" … "Really?! But this would mean…" Her face shows a mix between joy and pain after reading this. "It would be a great chance but at the other hand I don't want to…" Then she falls in a 'worlds away' state. Even the sudden blow of the evening wind unnoticed passes.

Satoshi who just can't sleep because of the league opening battle against Shinji stares the ceiling, wondering which Pokes he should sent into the fight.

"Clear night air may help me thinking, I should step out on the balcony." Looking through the window to see the sickle moon he sees Hikari standing outside and a gentle wind makes some of her strands of hair whipping.

"Huh, why is she up now I wonder. Well, I just ask her."

He quietly steps outside to don't wake the others and stands besides Hikari who is lost in thought it seems and didn't notice him. "Hey Hikari, why are you out here at this hour?" It takes a little until she reacts and she reacts slightly shocked. "Oh Satoshi." She falls back in silence. Satoshi realizes she has a letter in her hands, uncommon soon.

"Oh you read the letter, may I ask who sent it and what is written in?" "Nothing interesting, really." "So, thought it is something that troubles you." And then he finished. Hikari appears slight disappointed in this evening light now.

"And why are you out Satoshi?" "Well, you know the fight tomorrow will be against Shinji and I don't know which Pokémon I should use. In our last match he really showed me off." "Well, if you ask me I would bet he will use powerhouses though he me underestimate you now, you should make good use of this. … "Heh, you're probably right. Normally it is Takeshi who gives advice in such issues." She smiles during this. Then Satoshi continues. "Yeah, I should have thought to ask him but yet I asked you and you are right. However, I must come up with a strategy myself but this advice helps a lot." "Glad I could help you."

After hearing talk outside Takeshi and Kôhei wake up and sights the scenery Kôhei cry's silent since they just look like a couple and Takeshi smiles big time before they go back to sleep. Satoshi went back into the room and Hikari turns her head towards Satoshi for a moment and then stares at the shining garden with different kind of pretty trees and plants but with a lowered head. Some leafs and petals dance around her head and not long after she as well head back in the bed but in opposition of Satoshi and the others it takes little more time until she is too tired to worry about the content in the letter any more.

And so the opening festivities begin in the late morning. Walking towards the big center stadium which later will be the participation field for the final round our friends are joyous to get first class sits in this festivitives, well besides Satoshi who is kind of nervous.

"Man, I still can't believe Satoshi may open the league and with a match against the strong Shinji. It is me who deserves this. However, you will be crushed anyway therefore I let this slip." Then Nozomi comments, "This isn't exactly the helping a friend should offer Jun. You should rather hope Satoshi wins this." "Yeah whatever, but could you please hurry now? The main issue here is that you are to slow and I won't be too late to miss one of Shinji's fights." Naoshi is not used to Juns personality yet. "He does not realize that the fight won't start until both partners are in position and ready." Takeshi explains to Naoshi, "Well, that is the way Jun works, you get used to it if you meet him more often." "I see."

It doesn't take long until they are right before the stadium. Many people stand around the street behind a barrier with security but only one woman tries to climb over it and an old man next to her expresses his indignation. Takeshi only has eyes for the girls around and Hikari is in thoughts so only Satoshi sees her in the last moment before they pass her, just to be surprised it was Hanako and next to her Ôkido. That was the reason he didn't catch her yesterday while phoning around.

"Mom, you here and Ôkido-Hakase too, awesome." "Why not, a mother should never miss big events in her son's life." Hanakos way of greeting her son is *ambitious* as ever. "Mom, this is embarrassing…" However, this blows away his nervousness. "(A mother knows how to help her son when he is uneasy about something hehe.) Now go and show this Shinji boy how to win proper. I will watch you from the first line and root with all I got."

Takeshi notices Hanako after Satoshi speaks to Ôkido. "Hanako, it is nice to meet you again." "Thanks Takeshi, I hope you took good care of him during your travels." "Of course I did but I must say he matured much lately. I hadn't too much work with him." "That is music in the ear of a mother but at the same time it is sad because each time I meet him he seems to be more and more grown up and more resemblance to his father and he made so many new friends. Just like his father when he was younger... Sometimes it is hard to be a mother." "True but sometimes he really is oblivious in some things but it was worse. Normally he does just fine." "Well, as long as you're around him I can sleep peaceful. Since you cared for so many younger sisters and brothers before you should be able manage him well. I think you are a good surrogate father for him. So keep him advised." Slight embarrassed but proud at the same time he ends the dialogue. "I sure will."

Satoshi converses with Ôkido. "Hello prof, it is a long time since we last met." "Sure is Satoshi and I must say I'm impressed. Shigero told me about your achievements and many legendary Pokémon acknowledge you. Further some of the Pokémon you caught are quiet impressive, you even have a Garchomp now. Not to forget your major part in saving Shinnouh. I can't express how proud I am of you. Honestly back then when you came to late to choose between the normal starters of Masara Town and had to choose a Pikachu which is rather hard to handle and especially for beginners I thought you won't even reach Nibi City before giving up but gladly I was wrong. You are the only one who still is a trainer and a damn good one I must say. You deserved the honor to open this league and I'm sure you will win and enter the elite league." Finally Ôkido stops talking. "Wow, thanks Hakase." More could he not say at this point. "OK now, show them what trainer from Kanto got and win this. I and your mother will root for you." Smiling and with his nervousness blown away he walks further towards the stadium.

Also in Hanada City the Gym just got shut or rather was handed to her sister for the time being, Kasumi is excited. "Oh I nearly forgot, soon the Shinnouh league will being show cast and Satoshi is on the opening ceremony. I wonder how he has matured since our last meeting; actually I want to meet him again to see how he is now. Well, after the league I may pay him a visit when he returns to Masara Town. My sister now should be able to handle the Gym for a while."

Masato in Touka City and his parents also watch exited TV to root for Satoshi from afar while Haruka watches it on a cinema screen in Kogane City. She also wants to know what is going on in Shinnouh and how good Satoshi has become . All of Satoshi previous travel comrades are excited as he is and support him from afar. They all root for him and want him to win for a change.

Then the gang ventured forward. Soon they reach the preparation cabins in the stadium. It is very nicely arranged for such a room. The bench is in cool blue and the rather dark floor piles mirrors beautiful. The few carpets are pretty and the pictures on the wall are well drawn and show some previous winner and their Pokémon. The crowed outside overboils, awaiting the entry of the trainer in the stadium. An orchestra sounds and confetti flies through the air. High above the torch runner just inflames the four peelings. One in front of the statues of Palkia and Dialga, the small flame low between them representing Giratina though few know this and the big flame high above them which symbolizes Arceus which even less people of today know the true meaning of. During this enflaming the whole stadium is in respecting silence. While Shinji cares pretty less about this festivities Satoshi and the others go along with the happiness of today.

The commentator is enthusiastic. "Now that the great flames of Shinnouhs creating gods, symbolizing great achievements and good fortune are shining let us greet the competitors for the opening. This year someone special from far away got chosen. His name is Satoshi and he origins in Masara Town of the Kantou region, pretty far travel I must say. It is very unlikely that someone from out of Shinnouh is chosen to open the league but it was the suggestion of our beloooooooved champion Shirona so he must be someone really special. Now please give another big round of applause as he enterrrrrs the areeeeeena."

Now Satoshi enters the arena and steps up to the plateau for trainers. Shirona who will be the referee in this match already waits for him to hand him over some traditional accessory. The whole audition gives another moment of silence. Now Shirona readies a small speech.

"Now we all wait for the encouraging words the champ has for our competitors."

"Welcome to you all. It is again time for the great Shinnouh league.

Fierce battles, passionate trainers and spectacular attacks, all to reach the top and get the great cup of Shinnouh. The great chance, to enter the champion league, with all the elite trainers like myself. To become the greatest trainer of Shinnoh so she or he can one day compete against me.

Whoever it will be I already am eager for that moment.

Here we will see many young new talents and so many different kinds of Pokémon. We surely will also see some Pokémon which are very rare or even not found here in Shinnouh. Let us wish all the competitors the best of luck and let's look forward to all this intensive fights." She takes a breather now.

"Enough talk; let us now start the first battle of this incredible tournament!"

Tense silence falls over the battlefield after this speech and as Satoshi readies his Pokéballs.

The ground in the arena is artificial which gives no advantage for all Pokémon though it is replaceable by mechanism. This will become interesting for later matches. For which monster do both sides decide?