Hello, everyone.

Man, this chapter was a challenge. Lucky for you that somehow it ended up stretching on and on. So it is nice and long(for me.)

Ash announced, "I'm sure you want to tell me everything, and I want to know what happened since I've been gone. However do you think I could get something to eat first?"

May seemed surprised, but nodded. Ash quickly walked into the pokemon center kitchen. He stopped and looked around. Giselle somehow disappeared already. It was funny, it felt awkward not having her around after the latest events they went through together. He shook it off as he took a plate. After loading it up with eggs, biscuits, and bacon before sitting at a table. Before he even finished chewing the first bite, May and everyone else was at the table waiting for him.

Ash chuckled. Since when did his opinion matter so much? Ash gestured with his hands and said, "So what is going on, May?"

May immediately started explaining quickly, "After you disappeared, we went back to the pokemon center. You didn't return that night, but the matches were posted. Harley and me, and Solidad and Bob. We both won this morning. So far the four coordinators left are Solidad, Robert, Drew, and me. The matches are Solidad vs. Robert, and Me vs. Drew."

Ash slowly swallowed before pointing out, "So it looks like Solidad got the more difficult match up." People seemed surprised by this, so he explained, "I think you guys are overestimating Drew. He's good, but so are you May. There is no reason for you to be nervous. Just prepare as much as possible and do your best in the match up. I would place a my bet on you to win."

May looked nervous and asked, "Really, you think so?"

Ash nodded. He turned to Solidad and commented, "I won't be much help for you, unfortunately, Solidad. I'm a battler not a coordinator. I still wish you luck against Robert."

Solidad smiled and nodded before claiming, "I'm rather excited. It has been a long time since I've been the underdog heading into a match. I forgot what it feels like. It's fun."

May looked at Solidad in shock before exclaiming, "You can't be serious, Solidad. I feel like I'm about to faint any second." May turned around in a panic before looking at Ash with puppy dog eyes and begging, "Ash, will you please help me choose my pokemon for my match with Drew?"

Ash thought for a moment before nodding. Immediately he tried to speak, "Just let me finish eati-ahh." May had immediately started dragging Ash away from the table. Ash reached helplessly towards his barely touched meal before sighing in defeat.

Thirty minutes later

May was scrolling through a list of her pokemon on the computer before claiming, "I'm thinking about using Blaziken and Glaceon. They are probably two of my strongest pokemon."

Ash frowned for a moment before asking, "Don't you think that Drew would be expecting you to use them? They are two of your favorite pokemon. He would probably have a strategy prepared against that team."

May turned to Ash before asking, "So what should we do?"

Ash suggested, "Why don't we look at his pokemon first?"

May nodded before looking at the computer. Several minutes later, the window changed to a profile of Drew. May quickly started to explain, "Roserade is still his partner and most used pokemon. However, I would say that his Flygon and Absol are his most powerful battlers. Those two would be my guess for what he'd use."

Ash quickly pointed out, "However those two are the pokemon you defeated at the Kanto Grand Festival."

May nodded before suggesting, "So maybe he would use his Roserade, and Masquerain. Masquerain would cover his Roserade if I used Blaziken, and that would be a very balanced team."

Ash thought for a moment before explaining, "That won't work. Drew could do that, but there are many other teams he could do. Attempting to correctly predict what pokemon he will use is like a needle in a hay stack."

May looked at Ash adoringly before asking, "So what should I do?"

Ash continued calmly, "Instead of picking your pokemon based on what he might do, create it so that it doesn't matter what he does, you are still prepared."

May thought for a moment before asking, "What do you mean?"

Ash scrolled through Drew's profile before stating, "Drew has no fighting types. He also hasn't added too many pokemon since coming to Johto. How about a normal type combination. Normal types have the ability to use many elemental attacks, and they only have a weakness to fighting type attacks. That is what I'd suggest."

May asked, "A team of normal types."

Ash nodded before taking the mouse and going back to May's profile. After a second of looking after her pokemon he informed her, "I remember your Skitty knew Blizzard. That would really help if Drew used Roserade or Flygon. Munchlax or Clefairy would have to fill the second spot. You know them better than I do. Which would team with Skitty better?"

May thought for a moment before claiming, "Munchlax is really tired after teaming with Dugtrio against Harley. So I'd say Clefairy might be the smarter choice."

Ash nodded before questioning, "What attacks does Clefairy know?"

May smiled before telling him, "Psychic, Water Pulse, Metronome, Calm Mind, Shadow Ball, and Gravity. I've also been trying to teach her Light Screen and Meteor Mash, but I've been having some trouble with that."

Ash stood before nodding and claiming, "That is a very good move set, but Meteor Mash and Light Screen would definitely help. How about I help you? Let's just go to the back and practice."

May seemed excited and yelled, "Cool, let's go."

Ash chuckled at May's enthusiasm before standing. He asked, "Do you have both Skitty and Clefairy in your party. It might help if we train them together. You might think of some combinations."

May slapped her head as she realized, "I'm going to go talk to my dad. Skitty is at his gym." She then ran out of the room quickly.

Ash chuckled once again before walking out of the room. He might as well switch some of his pokemon around too. According to rumor, Cynthia was arriving tomorrow. His pokemon needed a rest.

Within minutes he was in front of the camera phone. However, he was surprised to see Tracey answer the phone. He was sure he dialed the right number. Ash spoke quickly, "Hey, Tracey. Where is Professor Oak? Good to see you by the way, Tracey."

Tracey smiled and nodded before informing him, "Professor Oak is gone for a while, but you'll see why in a little while. What is it you need?"

Ash frowned before claiming, "I don't like the situation, but I don't have time. I just want to switch some of my pokemon around."

After a few minutes, Ash walked back out of the pokemon center with several new pokemon. He found May watching as her pokemon played. Her Blaziken was leaning against a tree calmly, her Munchlax was looking for food, her Ledian was flying in the air, and her Glaceon, Clefairy, and Skitty were all playing in front of her.

May saw Ash and stood up before asking, "Should we start now?"

Ash nodded before saying, "Let's work on Light Screen first. It would protect both of your pokemon in the match, so it is higher priority than Meteor Mash." Ash left out the convenient fact that he didn't have any idea how to teach Meteor Mash.

May nodded before asking, "So how is it that we are going to teach Clefairy Light Screen. I've been trying, but it always breaks under an attack."

Ash looked at her as he explained, "Simple. We have Clefairy do it over and over again. See, it obviously knows how to form the attack, but the attack isn't powerful enough to block the attacks. A Light Screen is formed from the power of a pokemon. By having Clefairy repeatedly use Light Screen, its power and endurance shall increase, and thus so will the Light Screen."

May nodded, but still seemed doubtful. She asked, "But we can't push Clefairy too much today. If she gets injured, I wouldn't be able to use her in the battle tomorrow."

Ash smiled before claiming calmly, "I already got this planned. Just tell Clefairy to use Light Screen on herself."

May seemed uncertain, but called over Clefairy. The tiny normal type hopped over. May crouched down and informed it gently, "Ash is going to help you learn Light Screen. I need you to try your hardest, okay?" After Clefairy nodded, May continued, "Use Light Screen."

Clefairy hopped back away from May before stopping. Clefairy closed its eyes as it tried to concentrate. Finally it opened its eyes and lifted its arms as it gave a cry. A yellow box appeared around Clefairy before going transparent.

May turned to look at Ash. Ash pulled out a poke ball. He lobbed it right in front of him. The ball opened. Ash ordered quickly, "Spiritomb, use Shadow Ball on Clefairy."

Spiritomb appeared to immediate fire a black orb at the shocked Clefairy. Clefairy attempted to run out of fear, but couldn't dodge the attack. The Shadow Ball collided with the Light Screen, but the Shadow Ball was barely slowed before it shattered the defensive screen. Luckily though, the Shadow Ball basically disintegrated on contact with Clefairy.

Ash turned to May before explaining, "Since Clefairy is a normal type, Shadow Ball won't effect it. Also in a while, Clefairy should practice using Light Screen on other pokemon. For that, I've got plenty of ground types to work with Pikachu, dark and psychic types, and I've also got Nidorina and Skarmory for poison and steel."

May smiled before saying in an awed voice, "Wow, you really got all this ready."

Ash nodded before claiming, "I had taught Pikachu Light Screen before my match with Volkner. I needed to figure out ways to practice the move without hurting my pokemon too much." Ash looked at the slightly deterred Clefairy. Maybe he shouldn't have made such a frightening demonstration for the pokemon. Ash smiled before looking at Pikachu. He then asked, "Pikachu, do you think you can demonstrate to Clefairy how a proper Light Screen is done?"

Pikachu nodded before running across the ground towards Clefairy. Pikachu stopped and started to motion and speak to Clefairy, who listened intensely. May looked at Ash before asking again, "What do you mean, Ash?"

Ash grinned in anticipation before calling, "Ready, Pikachu?" Pikachu shook a fist in the air in excitement. Ash nodded before ordering, "Pikachu, use Light Screen, and use Shadow Ball on Pikachu, Spiritomb."

Pikachu's eyes narrowed for a moment before a yellow shield appeared, encasing Pikachu in a box. Spiritomb immediately formed the dark orb in front of it before launching it with a fierce cry. The Shadow Ball headed straight towards Pikachu, who faced it without apprehension. The attack connected with the Light Screen. The Light Screen didn't bend under the attack, and the Shadow Ball exploded, forcing Pikachu back slightly. The Light Screen disappeared showing Pikachu grinning. Pikachu turned to Clefairy who ran up squeaking in excitement. Pikachu scratched his head in embarrassment.

Ash turned to May and told her, "The best thing we can do is simply have Clefairy do it over and over again. Once it will hold around Clefairy, we'll have her try to cast it on some of my pokemon."

May nodded before turning back to Clefairy for the continuation of their training.

One hour later

Ash was watching in amusement as the pokemon played. Ash had released quite a few of his pokemon, who had helped test Cleary's Light Screen. After twenty minutes of practice, Clefairy's Light Screen was powerful enough to hold under Spiritomb's Shadow Ball. Then Ash had released many of his pokemon to have Clefairy use Light Screen on to protect them from other attacks. However, that had soon dissolved into a game. Pikachu and Clefairy were using Light Screen on a pokemon, and then other pokemon attempted to break it with their attacks. It was now just an out of control game, but it was practice nonetheless. The last twelve of Clefairy's Light Screens had held against the attacks of Gible, Torterra, Skarmory, and Spiritomb.

Ash chuckled again. May was watching Clefairy in concern. Ash saw a small movement. Clefairy seemed to stop for a moment, and look around. At the same time, Skitty looked over from its spot sleeping next to Blaziken. Both pokemon started hopping towards a tree. May started stuttering in a panic as the pokemon attempted to work their way through the bunch of romping pokemon. Skitty almost got flattened by Torterra, lucky Torterra saw the tiny pokemon running and managed to move its leg before it was too late.

The two pokemon got through the pokemon at the same time, and both went as fast as possible to the base of a tree. May went around the pokemon to check her two pokemon in concern. Ash stood up to see better.

May turned around and yelled, "They started digging. I think there is something buried here."

Ash's eyes narrowed before standing and walking over. He stood looking down at the base of the tree. It looked like Skarmory's Flash Cannon had hit the area several minutes ago. Ash had a feeling what it was under the soil. Ash looked to his side and called, "Gible, can you come over here?" May looked at Gible before asking, "Why is Gible here, Ash?"

Ash gave her a knowing look before asking, "What item are both Skitty and Clefairy able to sense, even if it is buried under ground?" May still looked confused. Ash looked at Gible before ordering, "Use Dig." After Gible disappeared Ash waited only a second before Gible jumped back out of the hole. Ash snatched the glowing stone away from Gible before Clefairy and Skitty jumped at it. Ash then announced, "The answer is a Moon Stone. Skarmory's Flash Cannon must have cleared away enough dirt to allow your pokemon to sense it."

May looked at the stone in his hands with awe before saying, "I get it. Both Clefairy and Skitty evolve from a Moon Stone, so they felt it was there." Ash nodded, and May suddenly grinned before exclaiming gleefully, "Yay, Skitty and Clefairy get to evolve."

Ash frowned awkwardly and scratched his head as he tried to explain. Finally he told her awkwardly, "Actually…no." May looked at Ash in confusion. Ash continued in a pained voice, "A Moon Stone of this size is only powerful enough for one evolution…So the proper phrase is Clefairy or Skitty get to evolve."

May froze as she realized. Ash looked down to see Skitty and Clefairy were now glaring at each other. Moon Stone's weren't common. After they were used, they released an energy before disappearing. Then several years later, a new Moon Stone is formed from that energy. Someone must have evolved one of their pokemon near here several years ago. There weren't many chances to evolve a pokemon that needs a Moon Stone. Which ever pokemon didn't get to evolve might not get the chance for several more years.

Skitty and Clefairy looked like they were about to break into a fight any moment. May looked at Ash pleadingly before asking, "What do I do?"

Ash shrugged before claiming, "Why should I know?" Ash then looked down before announcing, "It looks like these two are going to solve it themselves."

May looked down to see Skitty attempt to use Tackle on Clefairy, but the attack was foiled when Clefairy used Psychic to stop Skitty in midair. Skitty was then thrown away. Skitty slid on the ground before jumping to its feet and using Blizzard. Ash and May jumped out of the way, but Clefairy used its newly learned Light Screen to blunt the attack.

May turned to her Blaziken and was obviously about to order it to break up the fight, but Ash called over, "No, don't break up the fight." May looked at him in confusion, so Ash continued, "Let them battle. Winner gets to evolve. If you chose one to evolve, the other one would feel betrayed and angry. That pokemon might not want to battle the next day. This way at least, one earns the Moon Stone and the other wouldn't be able to complain."

May thought for a second. She didn't seem happy about it, but Ash knew she would accept it. Finally she yelled, "Fine, but if one is about to get hurt then I stop it."

Ash smiled before turning back to the match. Clefairy was once again attempting to use Psychic to pick up Skitty again. Skitty was struggling to break free, but it wasn't working. Finally Skitty swung its hands, and Ash flinched in pain. Clefairy also stopped the Psychic attack, dropping Skitty back to the floor. The pain also stopped. Ash wondered for a second before he saw May's Ledian. Skitty must have used Assist which turned into Ledian's Supersonic. Ash turned to see that Skitty had jumped forward to use Double-Slap on Clefairy. After a few hits, Clefairy was thrown back. Skitty attempted another Tackle, but Clefairy once again used Psychic to throw Skitty away. Clefairy then closed its eyes, and blue waves started coming off it. Calm Mind. Skitty gave a cry before starting to once again use Assist. Out of the paw, came a fierce red beam. Blaziken's Overheat. Clefairy immediately formed a blue orb before launching it at the Overheat. The boosted Water Pulse and the Overheat connected to create a large about of steam which covered the field for a second. The two attacks had cancelled each other out.

The two pokemon now started to run towards each other. Skitty jumped forward for another Tackle, and Clefairy threw a glowing hand forward. The Meteor Mash and Tackle collided, but the Meteor Mash immediately failed, and the Tackle connected. Clefairy flew back, but immediately jumped up again to continue the battle.

Ash was fully engrossed in the battle, and didn't notice a momentary trembling at his hip. May saw a small flash and looked up. Suddenly she yelled, "Ash, look out."

Ash looked up at her in confusion right before something jumped at his side. Ash fell over with a surprised grunt before looking around. A light blue creature was jumping all over him in excitement. Suddenly he was forced to close his eyes as a bright light formed right in front of him. He also felt a heavy weight developing on his stomach. Ash instinctively rolled away.

Ash stood up slowly before turning around. He immediately jumped away from the giant pokemon in front of him. Ash blinked several times in confusion. A Nidoqueen was standing in front of him. Ash's brain felt like it was over loading for a few seconds before Ash realized. He reached down to his belt and felt one of the poke balls hanging over.

Ash looked up nervously before asking, "Are you my pokemon?" Nidoqueen lifted her arms before giving an happy roar, which was basically a confirmation to Ash's questions.

Ash blinked in shock as he chuckled in confusion. He was pulled out of this state when Skitty and Clefairy came running over. The two pokemon started yelling at the newly evolved Nidoqueen. Nidoqueen looked confused now. Ash figured that the spirited Nidoqueen hadn't even thought about anything before using the stone to evolve.

May ran over and exclaimed in a disappointing voice, "Awww, we don't have another stone. Now neither gets to evolve."

Ash quickly claimed, "I did not think this was going to happen. I forgot that Nidorina was still in her poke ball, and that she would probably sense the Moon Stone as well." May look slightly pissed, so Ash continued, "And now your pokemon are mad at Nidoqueen. This way they will be able to battle together tomorrow."

May still didn't look satisfied, but Ash was saved by several people making an entrance. A voice yelled, "What is going on out here?"

Ash looked to see some of the group walking over. Brock, Max, Lyra, and Khoury were all walking over. Solidad must be preparing for her own match, and Ash didn't even guess where Giselle was. Harley had left after being eliminated.

Ash watched as they stopped in front of Ash and May, with their pokemon. Lyra spoke quickly, "Wow, when did you have a Nidoqueen, Ash? We have fun for a few days, and we miss everything."

Ash shrugged before claiming, "I actually just caught it a little while ago. It was a Nidoran. I just remember how powerful Gary's Nidoqueen was, and I decided to capture it. I didn't quite expect it to evolve twice though before I really had a chance to train with it. It's almost a stranger right now." He looked at the Nidoqueen with a blank look. Nidoqueen looked back in a slightly confused manner, it wasn't sure whether it had done something wrong. Everyone looked at Ash, wondering what he was going to do. Finally Ash tightened his hands and grinned before yelling, "This is so cool. Alright then, I guess I got to work with her now. You ready for some training, Nidoqueen?" Nidoqueen gave an eager roar.

Ash's excitement was interrupted by Max questioning in confusion, "What do you mean, Ash? Why work with Nidoqueen now?"

Ash turned to Max before explaining in a rushed voice, "I've been catching so many pokemon lately that I've been forgetting to bond with them. I've been so obsessed with getting stronger the last few days that I completely forgot about becoming friends with my pokemon. If I only concentrate on power, I'm like Paul. I need to remember that becoming friends with my pokemon is the most important part of being a trainer. In fact, I should transfer more of my newer pokemon over also. Sorry guys for sending you back so soon, but I need to do this." He then returned all of his pokemon.

Ash prepared to run into the pokemon center, but was once again interrupted by May, who yelled, "Ash, you can't leave. I need your help to perfect Clefairy's Meteor Mash. I've been trying for weeks, but I just can't get it alone."

Ash stopped and put his chin in his hands before muttering, "She's right. I promised, but I honestly don't have an idea on how to teach Meteor Mash."

Brock now suggested, "It might help to have a pokemon that could show Meteor Mash properly to Clefairy."

May looked at Brock before informing him, "Thought of that too, but only Clefairy, Metagross, and Metang are able to learn Meteor Mash. I just haven't found anyone who could show Meteor Mash to Clefairy."

This stopped as everyone tried to think of a way. Ash chuckled before claiming, "I think I know someone who could help. An old friend, and she could come here within three seconds if she is free." Everyone looked at him trying to figure out what he meant. Ash chuckled before looking at Brock, May, and Max before exclaiming, "Anabel. She has a Metagross, and she could use Teleport to come here instantaneously."

Lyra and Khoury looked left out of the picture. Lyra asked May, "Who is Anabel?"

May turned to her before telling her, "Anabel is one of the Kanto Frontier Brains. We met her when Ash was taking on the Kanto Battle Frontier. Her and Ash really became good friends. She specializes in psychic types." May turned to Ash before asking in a voice that sounded slightly pissed to Ash, "Do you even know her number, Ash?"

Ash shook his head before saying, "No, but I still have Scott's number and he'll probably be able to give me Anabel's number. I'll go do it, and see if Anabel minds coming. Then I'll transfer my pokemon." Ash immediately ran off in his earlier excitement.

May looked like she wanted to protest, but stopped. She let out a sigh before turning to talk to Lyra again.

Pokemon Center

Ash waited as the phone rang. Soon a picture appeared to show a chubby and jolly looking man wearing a flower shirt and sunglasses. Scott looked at the phone before saying in a wispy voice, "Why if it isn't Ash. What is the reason for the call, Ash?"

Ash smiled and replied, "Hey, Scott. I just needed some help from you?"

Scott claimed, "Sure. As long as I'm able, I'll help."

Ash nodded before asking, "Is there any way that you can tell me Anabel's phone number? I need to give her a call."

Scott let out a devious grin before questioning, "Why would you need to talk to Anabel, Ash? It couldn't be that you are going to confess."

Ash quickly said in an exasperated voice, "No, definitely not. I just need to ask her if she can help a friend of mine with a problem. "

Scott kept the devious grin on his face as he looked away and said in a sarcastic voice, "Sure, whatever you say."

Ash frowned before snapping in a slightly impatient voice, "Are you going to give me the number or not, Scott?"

Scott chuckled before saying, "Sure." A minute later after Ash had memorized the number, Scott asked, "Is it true that you are the Kanto representative for the Johto Grand Festival award ceremony?"

Ash looked at Scott before asking, "How did you know that? Mr. Goodshow just asked me yesterday."

Scott shrugged before claiming, "It is my job to know everything that is going on in the pokemon world. I'm the best at it too." Scott paused before quickly teasing, "Don't give Anabel a hickey. I have the Battle Frontier reputation to think about." Before Ash could say anything, Scott turned the phone off on his end.

Ash frowned before calling the number Scott gave him. The phone rang a few times before someone on the other side. Ash immediately spoke, "Hello, Anabel. Remember me?"

Anabel blinked as she looked in the screen. Finally she asked tentatively, "Is that you Ash?"

Ash laughed before replying, "Good to see you haven't forgotten about me, Anabel."

Anabel seemed slightly in shock as she replied blankly, "Well, you are the only person to date to have used a normal type against my Metagross." Anabel seemed to snap out of her shock. She shook her head before exclaiming in an eager voice, "Wow, good to see you again, Ash. How have you been?"

Ash shrugged before replying, "Training. Things usual trainers do. You?"

Anabel also shrugged before claiming, "Same. Been battling the challengers to the Battle Tower, just like before." Anabel looked into the screen before asking, "What's the reason for the call, Ash? We haven't seen each other in close to a year."

Ash scratched his head before saying, "I hate to ask this, but…I need a favor."

Anabel raised her eyebrows as she repeated, "A favor?"

Ash nodded slowly before continuing, "I know I don't have a right to ask you, but I can't really think of anyone else who could help. Do you think you can help me?"

Anabel smirked in amusement before commenting, "Matters what the favor is."

Ash asked, "You remember May, she was with me when I challenged the Battle Tower?" Anabel nodded, so Ash continued, "Well she is competing in the Johto Grand Festival, and has a match tomorrow. The only problem is that the Clefairy she plans on using is having major troubles learning Meteor Mash, and none of us have any idea on how to teach it. Then I remembered you, and I was thinking that…"

Anabel interrupted to finish his sentence, "You were thinking that I would be able to help, considering my Metagross knows Meteor Mash. MY Alakazam would also be able to Teleport me there, so it wouldn't be quite as inconvenient as asking someone else."

Ash smiled awkwardly before commenting, "Yep…that." Anabel waited calmly, so Ash asked, "Will you help?"

Anabel closed her eyes and started to overemphasize her thinking. She placed her chin in her hands as she nodded her head. Finally she said simply, "Sure. Why not."

Ash sat up in excitement as he asked, "Really? You'll come?"

Anabel nodded before claiming, "Yeah. I have been watching the Johto Grand Festival on TV at my house, so it would be nice to go watch the rest in person. Also, challengers to the Battle Tower are rare right before the regional leagues go on, so overall I've been rather bored lately. It might be fun to go to Goldenrod."

Ash exclaimed, "Great, you really don't know how much we appreciate this Anabel. So when will you be here?"

Anabel quickly told him, "Unfortunately Scott told me that a challenger will be arriving shortly. I'll be there right after the match. So maybe one or two hours."

Ash smiled before saying, "Thank you, Anabel. We really appreciate it."

Anabel smiled before replying, "Sure thing. See you in a little while."

Ash turned off the phone before walking back outside. He popped his head to see everyone gathered together talking. He yelled over, "Anabel will be here in an hour or two. I'm going to go switch some of my pokemon."


Ash laughed as some more of his pokemon jumped on him. A lot of Ash's newer pokemon seemed to still be young, and seemed to be excited about being with him. Ash chuckled before saying, "Okay okay, can you please get off me." The pokemon pile jumped off him, and ran away to play another game.

Ash sat up to watch the pokemon play once again. Some of the older and more serious pokemon, Scyther, Pupitar, Haunter, Nidoqueen, Pinsir, and Gallade(Ash decided to continue keeping Gardevoir a secret), were practicing moves by the trees. While most of the other pokemon seemed to be playing some game of tag. The pokemon currently in that game were Pikachu, Eevee, Duskull, Yanma, Tyrogue, Elekid, Magby, and Swablu. The only exception jumped on Ash's back.

Ash rubbed the head of Vulpix before commenting, "Why don't you go and join the others, Vulpix?" Vulpix simply shook her head before climbing up to his shoulder. Ash chuckled again. It seems that Vulpix is slightly spoiled. As he thought about it, he also realized that the only time he'd seen Vulpix really work was when she battled. Ash finally continued, "Okay. I get it. No work unrelated to battling, right?" Vulpix nodded.

Ash continued to rub Vulpix's head as he watched the pokemon. He noticed when Pikachu and Eevee detached themselves from the game to run up over to Ash. Eevee didn't stop, and jumped on Ash to claim his other shoulder. Pikachu stopped though and looked at Vulpix. Vulpix gave Pikachu a calm look. Pikachu scratched his head awkwardly before walking over to sit down next to Ash. Ash was surprised, but ignored it mainly.

The peaceful moments were interrupted without any warning, literally. Ash just felt a heavy weight drop onto his back. Eevee, Vulpix, and Pikachu all jumped away. Ash felt his forehead smack into the ground before the weight bounced off.

Ash rolled over with a groan. He opened his eyes to see Anabel standing over him. He asked in a groggy voice, "What happened?"

Anabel pulled Ash into a sitting position before explaining, "I'm so sorry, Ash. I told Alakazam to teleport right on top of you. I didn't realize he would literally teleport me on top of you."

Ash tried to stand up. He wobbled, but finally managed to regain his feet. He swayed in dizziness before looking at Anabel. Finally he muttered, "That was an unnecessary entrance."

Anabel muttered softly, "Sorry."

Ash held up a hand before claiming, "It's fine. No blood, no foul. Thanks for coming, Anabel."

Anabel replied happily, "It is no problem. It's basically a vacation for me." She put her hands over her head before looking at all the trees around and asking, "So where is this Clefairy that needs help learning Meteor Mash?"

Ash returned his pokemon before informing her, "I was just relaxing with some of my pokemon. The pokemon center is just a couple minutes away." Vulpix dodged the beam from her poke ball. Ash frowned before shrugging and continuing, "Okay, Vulpix. You can ride with Pikachu and Eevee. Anabel, I'll take you to the pokemon center."

Anabel nodded, and the two started walking. Eevee and Vulpix were on Ash's shoulder as Pikachu took the mature role and opted to walk alongside Ash and Anabel. Anabel looked at the pokemon riding on Ash's shoulders before asking, "When did you get those pokemon?"

Ash rubbed both pokemon's head before replying, "Just recently. I've been catching more pokemon recently."

Before Anabel could ask anything else, the two emerged from the trees to see the battlefields of the pokemon center. Ash looked around for a moment as he searched for everyone. Finally he saw everyone talking on some nearby benches. He walked over. May saw him first. She stood up and exclaimed, "Ash. Anabel."

Ash raised a hand before saying, "Hey."

Anabel smiled before saying, "Hello. Nice to see you three again(May, Max, and Brock), and nice to meet you two(Lyra and Khoury)."

After some introductions and small talk, Anabel asked, "So you have a Clefairy that is having trouble with Meteor Mash, May?"

May nodded before saying, "Yeah, we've just been unable to make it work. Thank you for coming to help."

Anabel smiled again before claiming, "It is no problem. This way, I get to watch the Grand Festival in person. I'm sure my Metagross will be able to help your Clefairy in no time at all. I've heard that for a Clefairy to learn Meteor Mash takes quite a bit of expertise."

May nodded in fascination. Seemed Anabel was surprisingly knowledgable on this situation. May finally asked, "Thanks. Do you think we should start now?"

Anabel now exclaimed mysteriously, "Not quite yet." May was confused.

Ash scratched his head before asking, "What do you mean, Anabel?"

Anabel grinned before asking, "You didn't think that I was coming here only for this, did you? I'm glad to help May, but I also have some personal investments here." Anabel turned to Ash before claiming, "Me and you are going to battle."

Ash blinked in shock before repeating, "We are going to battle?"

Anabel nodded before explaining, "You defeated me in our last battle. You even used a Tauros against my Metagross. You are the only person to not use a fire type, and you even managed to beat Metagross. I know you've gotten stronger, and I want to test myself against you. So I want to have a battle before I start helping May."

Ash chuckled awkwardly before giving in. He said, "Okay. I'll battle you."

A minute later Ash found himself on the opposite side of the battlefield from Anabel. He watched as Anabel pulled out a poke ball. She announced, "This is time for some revenge. Go, my friend!" Out of the poke ball came Anabel's giant Metagross. The intimidating pokemon let out a fierce growl.

Ash thought for a few moments before pulling out a poke ball. He was interrupted though when Vulpix jumped beside him. Ash looked down to see that Vulpix wanted to battle. Ash was pleasantly surprised, and even considered using Vulpix. However, his logical side won the battle. Ash bent down before putting his hand on Vulpix and saying, "I'm happy that you want to battle, but this isn't a battle you can win. Even with a type advantage, Metagross would be too powerful. I'll make sure to give you another battle just as exciting though. I promise." Vulpix looked disappointed, but followed his orders.

Anabel called over, "Going to choose anytime soon, Ash?"

Ash ignored her jab and pulled out the poke ball. He threw it as he yelled, "Show them your will, Nidoqueen." The large Drill pokemon landed on the battlefield with a thud. Nidoqueen gave a roar before exchanging a glare with Metagross.

Anabel immediately yelled in a whiny voice, "Really, a poison type. What is up with you?"

Ash shrugged before grinning and saying in a voice full of confidence, "Don't judge a book by its cover. It's what you don't know that is important."

Anabel shrugged before preparing to battle. On the sidelines, Lyra asked, "Why is Anabel talking about Ash's choice. I know that poison types are at a huge disadvantage against steel and psychic types, but isn't Nidoqueen also ground types. That would mean that Nidoqueen will also have some super effective moves against Metagross."

Max now pointed out, "Normally, but not Metagross. Look." Max was pointing at Metagross. Lyra and Khoury followed his gaze to see Metagross pulled in its legs and start floating. They immediately understood, and watched as the battle started.

Anabel started the battle by yelling, "Show them how strong you are, Metagross. Use Meteor Mash." Metagross gave a cry before shooting forward as it swung one of its legs.

Ash countered calmly, "Intercept with ThunderPunch." Nidoqueen jumped forward and pulled a sparking fist backwards. Nidoqueen threw the punch forward with a roar. Metagross also used its attack. The attacks connected. The two pokemon struggled before the erupting explosion pushed them apart. Nidoqueen seemed to have gotten the worst of the power struggle.

Max commented quickly, "It looks like Metagross has the power advantage."

Lyra quickly pointed out though, "It doesn't look like Ash is worried though."

Ash kept his cool and calmly ordered, "Use your Tail to jump, and use Double Kick." Nidoqueen was soon flying through the air and heading towards the top of Metagross.

Anabel also kept her head though, and quickly yelled, "Use Agility to dodge." Metagross pulled its legs in closer before moving to the side quickly. It easily evaded Nidoqueen, who landed on the ground. Anabel took advantage and continued, "Quick, use Bullet Punch." Metagross turned on its side and started spinning like a wheel towards Nidoqueen.

Ash knew that Nidoqueen didn't have time to intercept the Bullet Punch, and no where close to enough time to dodge. So Ash ordered, "Take it head on, Nidoqueen."

Nidoqueen crossed her arms before waiting for the impact. Almost immediately the glowing red legs of Metagross connected. Nidoqueen struggled against the attack for a moment before being overpowered. Nidoqueen was sent sliding back across the ground extremely quick. Right towards Ash. Nidoqueen, seeing this, dug her claws into the ground while sliding back. Nidoqueen ripped a line in the ground before finally coming to a stop right in front of Ash. Ash jumped several feet away.

After Ash was a safe distance away, Anabel continued her advantage. "Metagross, finish this up with Hyper Beam.." Metagross launched the orange beam at Nidoqueen.

Ash quickly countered, "You use Hyper Beam too." Nidoqueen shot an identical attack at Metagross. The two attack connected and struggled for dominance. This time though the two pokemon were equal. Finally the two powerful attacks caused a large explosion.

Ash now realized his mistake. He was far enough from the two pokemon to not be in any immediate danger, but he was too close to the explosion. He wasn't heavy enough to remain standing. Ash was launched through the air backwards towards the trees. Ash looked over his shoulder to see he was heading towards a tree. Ash reached out an arm to try to blunt the impact, but then he saw it happen. A blue light formed in his hands. As soon as the light blue light connected with the tree, Ash stopped without any pain. Ash looked at his palm. A single word flashed through his head. Aura.

Ash snapped out of it when he realized the battle was still going on. He looked up to see that no one had noticed him being launched back. He looked at the field to see Metagross heading towards Nidoqueen with a Zen Headbutt. That would be devastating to Nidoqueen.

Ash yelled urgently, "Dodge it." Nidoqueen ducked and Metagross was stuck above Nidoqueen. Ash saw his chance. He immediately ordered, "Use Fire Punch, Nidoqueen." Nidoqueen gave a roar before smashing a flaming fist into the underside of Metagross. Metagross gave a cry as it was launched backwards. Metagross smashed into the ground near Anabel.

Anabel yelled in shock, "What? Fire Punch!"

Ash shrugged before saying with a smirk, "Didn't I tell you that it was what you didn't notice that is important?"

Anabel frowned before saying, "I guess that I shouldn't underestimate you." Metagross started floating again. Anabel continued, "Then let's go. Metagross, use Meteor Mash." Metagross started heading towards Nidoqueen.

Ash countered, "Counter with Fire Punch." The two attacks connected. The two pokemon fought before both being launched back by the explosion. Nidoqueen seemed to have done better this time in the power struggle.

Anabel yelled quickly, "Hammer Arm."

Ash grinned. He had figured she'd try another physical attack. This time though, Nidoqueen had time to counter. Ash ordered, "Dodge and Fire Punch." Nidoqueen leaned back to dodge the Hammer Arm before throwing the Fire Punch right in Metagross' face. Metagross let out a pained growl as it was thrown back through the air.

"Regain control, Metagross." Metagross somehow managed to keep in the air. Anabel quickly ordered in a frustrated voice, "Come on, Metagross. We need to finish this. Use Psychic."

Metagross let out a growl and a multicolored wave start spreading from it. Ash realized that there was going to be no way for Nidoqueen to dodge, so he said, "Just take it, Nidoqueen."

Nidoqueen waited for the attack to connect. As soon as the wave hit Nidoqueen, she let out a pained growl. Nidoqueen fought against the attack, but couldn't break free.

Ash saw as Metagross lowered slightly. Ash called to Nidoqueen, "Come on, Nidoqueen. I know you can do it. Put everything you got into it." His encouragement seemed to reach Nidoqueen, who continued her struggle. Ash could feel that Nidoqueen was slowly being damaged and running out of energy, but Ash kept his eyes on Metagross. Metagross continued to drift lower and lower as it kept expending more energy to keep up the Psychic attack. Finally Ash saw Metagross touch the ground. Ash immediately yelled, "Now! Use Earth Power."

Nidoqueen's eyes snapped open, and Nidoqueen slammed a foot into the ground. A large crack opened underneath Metagross, to bathe the underside of the pokemon in a bright light. Metagross let out an agonized roar from the attack, and the Psychic attack immediately was broken. Now Metagross was in agony from the Earth Power.

Max asked in astonishment, "Why is that Earth Power so damaging to Metagross?"

Brock now said, "Maybe because it is a ground type attack. Because of its levitation ability, Metagross has probably never been hit by a ground type, so it is extra sensitive. Also, Earth Power is a special attack. Metagross has a high defensive ability, so Fire Punch was dulled. However, this Earth Power isn't."

Anabel was desperate. Metagross couldn't take anymore of this. She had to end this Earth Power attack, but Metagross was in too much pain to levitate itself again. Anabel finally yelled, "Shadow Ball." Metagross shot the dark orb, to connect with Nidoqueen. The Earth Power ended to give Metagross some recovery time.

Ash decided to press the advantage, and ordered, "Use Fire Punch." Nidoqueen started to run forward.

Anabel called desperately, "Use Shadow Ball repeatedly." Metagross started launching multiple Shadow Balls at the advancing Nidoqueen.

Ash quickly commanded, "Use Fire Punch on all of them as you advance." Nidoqueen started to use her fists to smack down all the Shadow Balls with Fire Punch. Nidoqueen finally reached Metagross and swung the attack forward to connect with a still forming Shadow Ball. The two attack exploded against each other.

The dust cleared to show both pokemon still in it though. Both looked very weakened by the prolonged battle, though, and both trainers knew it would be over soon.

"Nidoqueen/Metagross, use Hyper Beam!"

The two pokemon launched their attacks. The two pokemon fought against each other once again, but Ash saw that both attacks must be at half the power of before. This time the resulting explosion was barely enough to blow his hair around.

Ash looked at Nidoqueen. Nidoqueen was covered in bruises, and was panting heavily. She didn't have enough energy to launch any long range attacks, and it didn't look like Metagross could either.

Anabel took the first move and ordered, "Come on, Metagross. Use Bullet Punch once again." Metagross started to head towards Nidoqueen.

Ash realized Nidoqueen didn't have enough energy to dodge, so he commanded, "Come on, Nidoqueen. Take it head on." Nidoqueen crossed her arms before the attack connected. Metagross started to push Nidoqueen back, but Ash saw when Metagross ran out of energy. He immediately continued, "Grab it and use Body Slam." Nidoqueen roared and used both her arms to grab Metagross' leg. Nidoqueen then turned around and leaned forward to throw the giant pokemon right over her shoulder in a tremendous display of power. Metagross slammed into the ground, and actually got stuck in the ground. Ash now yelled victoriously, "Now, Fire Punch."

Nidoqueen slammed the flaming fist into the underside of Metagross. Metagross let out a small growl as smoke covered the two. It cleared to show Metagross unconscious on the ground.

Ash ran up to Nidoqueen and said, "Great job, Nidoqueen. I'm proud of you."

Anabel returned Metagross and congratulated it before exclaiming, "I never thought I would see the day when Metagross lost to a poison type. Oh well. I guess that we still have much to learn. Congratulations Ash. May, I can help you as soon as Nurse Joy looks at Metagross." She then walked off.

Everyone gathered around Ash as he returned Nidoqueen. He didn't really pay attention though. He looked at his hand as he remembered what had happened. He had used aura. Ash groaned as he wondered whether he would ever have a normal day.

Okay, hoped you enjoyed the chapter.

I've gotten so many reviews and messages asking for Anabel. Surprisingly, I didn't plan for this. Practically this entire chapter was an idea from nowhere. I couldn't think of a way to introduce her, and almost gave up. Somehow my brain made a connection between Clefairy and a storyline to include her. Happened in like a millisecond. Hope you enjoyed it.

Small mention of aura. That will become more and more important.

Next I'll probably update Tournament of Dominance again. Then Destruction of One's Heart.

Also, I decided to put Working Hoenn with Skill on hold. Just currently I have three stories going on, a week for each update, that means almost a month between each story update. Sorry.

Thanks for reading.