...Guess I've reached lucky number 7 in terms of the number of chapters I've written.

I'm rather amazed at myself.

This chapter will display my battle-writing skills.

You, the reader, shall be the judge.

Without further ado, I present to you all, Chapter 7.

Seishiro had been unconscious for an indefinite amount of time. That much he was certain. Other than that lone thought, his mind was completely blank. He could not remember the series of events that led him into this state of unconsciousness. Though the black-haired boy tried to reminisce those events, he could only recall a blurry image of a black fox-like Pokemon.

"Did it save me...or did it cause me to surrender to the darkness of sleep?" Seishiro thought tiredly.

Deciding that moping about that single question was not the best option available, the boy lifted his eyelids, expecting to be embraced by the gift of vision. Sadly, he found that he was completely enshrouded in darkness. There was not a single thing visible. Whether it was the blue sky, the white clouds, the green trees or even the solid ground, all of them were absent from his line of sight. Panic filled Seishiro's heart for a moment but that negative emotion was eventually erased. The sapphire-eyed boy knew that panicking would not solve his current predicament. Taking a deep breath, Seishiro slowly stood up and dusted himself before double-checking his surroundings.

Darkness still occupied his line of sight. He sighed. He was hoping that his eyes were deceiving him but that hope was misplaced. His eyes had always shown nothing but the truth. He had forgotten that simple fact in his brief moment of panic. Still, Seishiro was slightly unnerved with being surrounded by nothing except darkness. Darkness was a double-edged sword after all. It can be a great ally but a dangerous friend as well.

On cue, a speck of light entered Seishiro's field of vision as if it detected his plight. The black-haired boy squinted his eyes at the source of light. It was the Evil Legacy. Suspicion clouded Seishiro's thoughts upon his discovery. It was all coming back to him now. He remembered that it was the purple crystal that caused him to experience a high degree of pain which contributed to him entering the realm of unconsciousness. He abruptly turned around and started to distance himself from the crystal. However, he immediately halted in his movements. The odd sensation which he had experienced at the museum had made an encore appearance within his heart. Seishiro once again felt the crystal calling to him but not as forceful or ominous like the previous time. Reluctantly, the sapphire-eyed boy raised his hand towards the crystal, tempting it towards him. Said crystal obliged by floating slowly towards the boy and finally fitting into the palm of his hand.

Exactly like the first time, dark energy flowed from the crystal into Seishiro until it flashed out of existence. Foreign from the first experience, Seishiro did not experience any pain. Instead, he felt somewhat at peace with himself. It was like a separate part of him had just come home. His moment of peace was short-lived when the dark energy started to materialize into a unique object on his back. The dark light soon faded, allowing Seishiro a view of the object when he glanced over his shoulder. There was only one word that can be used to describe the object on his back; hellish. The middle part of the object was designed to resemble Giratina's head in Origin Forme. Two black 'arms', that were shaped like a Scyther's except thinner, spawned from the 'head', one on each side. Upon closer inspection, Seishiro noticed that the 'arms' were actually carrying a substantial amount of dangerous-looking swords that resembled long and thin spikes. The only other thing that Seishiro noted was that the hellish-looking object felt like a backpack.

The black-haired boy was once again left perplexed at his sudden acquisition of the backpack-like apparatus. On cue, an ominous voice echoed throughout the darkness.

"Hehehe, it seems that you have taken interest in my gift, boy," the voice chuckled mockingly. "Under normal circumstances, I could really care less about the Chosen Ones. They make me sick. Always championing the Light and ostracizing the Darkness. I would have killed them if it weren't for my... 'Father'. But you, boy, are a breath of fresh air to me. You, unlike the rest of those useless Chosen Ones, embrace the Darkness. Though I would much prefer someone who also forsakes the Light, I suppose you would do just fine."

If Seishiro was unnerved by the booming voice, he did not show it. Instead, he curtly suggested to the voice, "Instead of heaping praise upon me for accepting the Darkness, would you just explain to me the functions of this apparatus, O Great Guardian of the Reverse World?"

"My, my, such a disrespectful boy," the voice observed threateningly. "Heh, Ho-Oh has indeed chosen well. Regarding the object on your back, I manufactured it using my own dark aura. I christened it 'Lucifer'. Seeing as you are still standing, I suppose it has taken a liking to you. If not, then it would've shattered your soul. As if to support its creator's claim, Lucifer flashed with a purple glow. The voice continued, "This weapon is capable of spawning a countless number of spectral swords to hover around it. These swords can be rearranged, thrown or wielded, and will explode either after a short duration or at your command. Also, so long as you do not forsake Lucifer, it shall grant you the ability to manipulate the shadows in your surroundings to your advantage even if you are not using the weapon."

It took awhile for the information to set in, but Seishiro understood it eventually. He then curiously withdrew a sword from Lucifer's right arm and thoroughly inspected it. The pommel and guard were absent from the sword's hilt meaning that the he was expected to be, at the very least, a competent swordsman to avoid injuring himself. Besides that, both the grip and blade were black in colour. Seishiro was sort of confused on how he was going to make the sword hover and he was very sure that Giratina would remain tight-lipped until he could solve this problem on his own. Sensing as Giratina would not be leaving, Seishiro sat down and thought.

It took some time but Seishiro finally came up with a solution. Nodding to himself, Seishiro stood up and withdrew two swords from his hellish 'backpack'. He then twirled them with his index fingers before pulling his fingers back, causing the swords to spin into the air. Next, the boy snapped his fingers. Seishiro's plan worked as the swords suddenly stopped spinning and froze. Purple auras then enclosed both of the swords and they dropped slightly to hover above and flank Seishiro at the same time.

Giratina's voice once again chuckled ominously. "That's a unique way of handling that weapon. Seeing as I am not a patient soul, let's just skip all the basics and head straight for the advanced trials."

The darkness surrounding Seishiro gradually lifted. It was like droplets of colour were drizzling onto a blank canvas. Before long, the darkness that enshrouded Seishiro was gone and replaced by a scenery of green, blue, white and brown. Seishiro was back in the clearing from before and again he was surrounded by the white-garbed men. This time however, their Pokemon were absent and they had short blades attached on their wrists. Seishiro sighed. He knew what he had to do to pass this trial.

The sapphire-eyed boy wordlessly withdrew a sword and analyzed his targets. Since he was not that experienced in close-range combat, he visualized the men in white as archery targets with multiple bulls-eyes. Seishiro's targets made the first move just as he had expected. A target approached him mindlessly and swung the blade directly at Seishiro's head. The boy swiftly dodged the attack and impaled his sword into the target's heart. Without wasting a second, Seishiro darted forward, intent on finishing the fake skirmish on his own terms. Seishiro's foes did their best to draw blood from the boy. Some stabbed at his abdomen while others focused on slashing his legs. Unfortunately for them, Seishiro anticipated each of their attacks as he blocked and parried them with his spectral swords before stabbing said swords into their vital organs.

Only five targets remained. These targets seem to possess some strategy as they came at Seishiro from different directions. Thinking of ending this trial with a bang, Seishiro leaped into the air and withdrew five spectral swords. The black-haired boy channeled some of his dark aura into the swords, giving them a purple glow. He then tossed them into the air before executing a roundhouse kick, hitting the swords and sending one sword flying at each of the remaining targets. Said targets obviously were not expecting Seishiro to execute such a complicated manoeuvre and were impaled onto the trees. The black-haired boy was not done yet. As he landed on the ground, he straighten himself before snapping his fingers. On cue, the swords that he had impaled into the men in white detonated, completely obliterating every cell in their bodies.

"...I guess that was an adequate performance," Giratina's voice commented half-heartedly. "I shall leave Lucifer in your capable hands but know this, you have only scratched the surface of what that weapon is truly capable of. Farewell."

With Giratina's voice gradually fading, Seishiro dismissed Lucifer and closed his eyes in relief.

Once Seishiro opened his eyes again, he could tell that he had regained consciousness. Though the scenery that greeted his sights was the same, it felt alive as wind caressed his face and chirps of Pidgey stimulated his sense of hearing. The extras of the scenery included a bonfire, a tent and a reddening sky. He searched through his memories and concluded that the Zoroark must have brought him to this spot. Judging from the state of the campsite, Seishiro also came to the conclusion that the Illusory Fox Pokemon most likely belonged to a Trainer. Speaking of the Zoroark, it was nowhere in sight, much to Seishiro's relief. Unfortunately, his relief was short-lived as he felt something brush again his back.

Steeling himself, Seishiro closed his eyes and slowly turned around. When he lifted eyelids, the first thing greeted his sights were silver eyes. Said eyes belonged to the Zoroark which happened to be too close for Seishiro's comfort. Sapphire orbs stared into silver ones while silver orbs stared into sapphire ones. Silence befell the entire campsite. Unfortunately, all things must come to an end as the Zoroark's tongue darted out and licked Seishiro's face from chin to forehead. The owner of the sapphire orbs obviously was not expecting this rather... 'affectionate' gesture from such a bloodthirsty Pokemon as he fell flat on his bottom and wiped away the saliva on his face with great disgust.

"Hmph, I guess Xander really does have a soft spot for you, kid," a voice drawled.

Still flat on his bottom, Seishiro twisted the upper section of his body to the source of the voice. The 'source' turned out to be a man, given his physique, and he was garbed in black. Other than this two facts, Seishiro could not get a clear description of the man since he was facing away from him and staring into the bonfire.

Seishiro kind of knew that the man was the Zoroark's Trainer given the fact that he had referred to the Zoroark by a name. Instead, Seishiro asked with a respectful tone, "How long have I been unconscious, sir?"

The stranger, without glancing back at Seishiro, answered, "A week."

"A-A week?" Seishiro repeated the stranger's answer in disbelief.

"When Xander brought you here," the black-garbed man started with his elaboration, "you were suffering from a minor case of internal bleeding. I pretty much had to cut you open to stop the bleeding and stitch you back up."

Seishiro promptly examined his body. Sure enough, most of his chest were covered up with bandages. Strangely, the boy found himself admiring the man's handiwork. The bandages were expertly wrapped around his body. He could tell as his breathing and body movements were not affected in any way. Seishiro would even go so far as to think that the man's bandaging skill was better than his. He became slightly confused as he could not understand the reason on why he was heaping praise upon this stranger. Though the stranger did indeed save him, a simple 'thank you' would have suffice in Seishiro's opinion. Yet, the black-haired boy felt oddly comfortable around this man.

"If you are worried about the scars, then you shouldn't," the man stated in a bored tone. "Your bandages can be removed within an hour and I guarantee you that you shall find no scars marring your soft and smooth body."

A faint blush found its way across Seishiro's cheeks when the man mentioned that his body was soft and smooth. His hand automatically moved to check whether his Pokemon were still in their Pokeballs. When his hand felt around the belts encircling his waist, he discovered that they were not there. A sense of panic engulfed Seishiro.

"There is little cause for worry. Your Pokemon are safe," the man assured Seishiro. He then jerked his head a little to the left and said, "They're over there."

Seishiro gaze followed the direction in which the man jerked his head and lo and behold, his Pokemon came into his sights. Noctis, Levitas and Solvo were under a tree, apparently sleeping. However, Seishiro noticed through his keen observation skills that their bodies were slightly marred with bruises. He abruptly turned his attention to the man in black and was about to question him about the condition of his Pokemon until the man cut him off.

"I did not beat or abuse them in any way," he denied as if he knew that Seishiro was going to ask that question. "While you were out of commission, I took the liberty of supervising their training to keep them in shape. I've gotta admit, you have an adequate team. They performed every exercise I ordered them to without question. I was kind of surprised that your Umbreon was able to keep up with some members of my team, albeit for a short while, but I guess that's understandable given the fact that he is your team's pillar of support."

Seishiro smiled faintly. He was glad that the man before him was willing to train his Pokemon. From what Seishiro heard, the man said that Noctis was the only one to be able to keep up with some members of his team for a short time. Seishiro knew that Noctis always gave it his all during training but if the man's words were truthful, then the man was more than likely a supremely powerful Trainer.

"Um...," Seishiro began, indecisive about whether to thank the man or ask him about his Trainer status, "thank you for training my Pokemon. I am very grateful. He then shyly asked, "May... I know who it is that I am speaking to?"

The man stayed silent, probably contemplating about whether or not to reveal his name to Seishiro. After some time, he turned around to face Seishiro.

The sapphire-eyed boy finally got a clear view of the man who saved his life. He had jet-black hair that was both spiky and messy but somewhat cool, at least in Seishiro's opinion. He appeared to be suffering from heterochromia as his left iris was moss green in colour and his right was sapphire. The man's attire was not black but midnight-blue. His clothing consisted of an unzipped high collar shirt with no sleeves, standard slacks and boots with a cloth covering his left arm and leg. Besides that, he donned on a shiny silver shoulder guard on his right shoulder and his chest was covered by two straps, held in place by a badge that represented Zoroark.

The man's mismatched eyes gazed at Seishiro with such intensity that the boy actually cringed in slight fear.

"Subaru... Subaru Kuranosuke."

Subaru's words were indeed truthful as Seishiro found that no scars marred his body upon removing the bandages. Seishiro was again thankful to Subaru but the boy felt so embarrassed when Subaru was the one who removed them. Seishiro still could not fathom the reason why he felt so... shy and giddy around the man who actually was younger than Seishiro had earlier perceived. Subaru told Seishiro that he was only seventeen-years-old while Seishiro thought that the spiky-haired teen was about thirty. Seishiro remained tight-lipped for the next two hours which he spent training his Pokemon while acquainting with Subaru's which consisted of Xander, a Salamence, a shiny Charizard, a Floatzel, an Ivysaur and a Staraptor. The seventeen-year-old's Pokemon were initially wary of Seishiro but they warmed up to him, sort of. Xander and the Salamence, which Seishiro found out was named 'Fuji', even gave Seishiro some advice on how to better train his trio of Pokemon.

It was about 5 o'clock in the evening when both Seishiro and Subaru were standing in front of the entrance of Pewter City. Seishiro turned around to face the taller and older teen and bowed slightly. "I am very grateful for all that you have done for us," he thanked Subaru. "I sincerely hope that our paths may cross again."

Subaru chuckled as he ruffled Seishiro hair. "You're a very interesting kid, Seishiro," Subaru commented. "Even my Pokemon enjoy your presence. I am sure that if fate allows it, then we shall meet again. Though, you should really try to be more spontaneous. Even if you are shouldered with a heavy burden, it is okay to unwind from time to time. Don't keep your emotions all bottled up. Instead, let them run free."

Seishiro heard Subaru's advice and transferred it deep within his mind. The sapphire-eyed boy promised himself to at least try to follow Subaru's advice but his mind was focused on a more important matter. Seishiro moved his head against Subaru's palm, wanting more of the enigma's touch. Again, Seishiro felt stumped. He usually did not act like this, especially to a stranger, but his heart was telling him that he should. He never felt this sense of 'attachment' to anyone since his grandfather... passed away. That sudden thought sent a tear trickling down his cheek.

Subaru noticed the tear and heard the sniffs coming from Seishiro. With a sigh, Subaru wiped away the tear and gently caressed Seishiro's hair, offering soothing words of comfort. Sooner than later, Seishiro quieten down and looked up at Subaru through puffy eyes. Subaru smiled faintly at him as he placed a clothed and oval-shaped object onto Seishiro's arms.

"Think of it as a good luck charm," Subaru warmly suggested.

Composing himself, Seishiro slowly removed the cloth to reveal the object hidden beneath it. It was a Pokemon Egg. However, it was unlike any Egg Seishiro had seen. The Egg was black and electric blue in colour, comparable to the appearance of a flame with a high oxygen supply which leads to a more complete combustion process, with white jagged stripes forming the latitudes of the Egg. Seishiro looked up to thank Subaru but the seventeen-year-old enigma had mysteriously vanished.

Seishiro sighed sadly. The sapphire-eyed boy truly felt as if he was conversing with his grandfather but he knew that Subaru could never replace the departed old man. Still, he wanted to enjoy that feeling of... attachment again and he knew deep within his heart that he will meet Subaru again. Draping the cloth back over the Egg, he wrapped his arms around it and walked back into Pewter City.

Far away from Seishiro's location, in a secret base, two people were watching a large holographic image of Seishiro entering Pewter City. One was seating behind a wide table while the other was standing right behind the former.

"Master, shall we intercept the boy?" the figure that was standing asked.

"...No," the figure's master decided. "It is still too early for us to deem him a threat to our goals. For now though, keep a close eye on him."

The figure bowed to his master and said, "Understood." He then exited the room, leaving his master alone.

The man's grey eyes gazed intently at Seishiro's holographic image. "Will you be the one... that shall help me realize my dream?" he wondered.

Seishiro now stood in front of the Pewter City Gym. It was a 100% stone building set apart from the rest of the city. The stones were not polished but instead were cracked and rough, presumably to give the Gym a rugged appearance. Since Seishiro felt that his battle with the Gym Leader was very delayed so he did not bother to comment on the Gym's, in his opinion, distasteful appearance. Just as he was about to push the door leading into the Gym, it opened by itself and a person walked out.

The black-haired boy could tell that the person standing before him was not the Gym Leader simply because he did not look the part, at least the part of the Pewter City Gym Leader. The individual had platinum-coloured eyes and silver hair which parted slightly on the left side of his head with the bangs spiked upwards. He wore a short-sleeved, ghost white jacket with a silver stripe going along his shoulders to the ends of his sleeves. The jacket's collar was rather high and was ash grey, as were the ends of the sleeves and the bottom hem of the jacket. There was a black kanji symbol, which carried the meaning 'salvation in light', prominently displayed on the left breast of his jacket. He also appeared to be donning a black undershirt, as well as black pants and white sneakers with what appeared to be a blackish trim on the bottom.

"I am sorry," the individual suddenly apologized to Seishiro. "The Gym Leader said that I would be his last challenger for the day so I am afraid that you would have to stop by tomorrow."

Seishiro just sighed exasperatedly at being delayed once again and walked away from the silver-haired boy without uttering a simple 'thank you' for giving him that notification.

"Why don't you just have a battle with me?" the platinum-eyed boy called out to Seishiro.

Seishiro stopped in his tracks. "Why?"

"I would just like to gauge the strength of my opponent whom I'm sure to face in the Kanto League," the stranger answered.

Glancing over his shoulder with a bored air, Seishiro stated, "You make it seem that the both of us are sure to obtain the seven badges necessary for qualifying for the Kanto League."

"Of course," the no-name boy confirmed confidently. "A Trainer must have the necessary confidence together with strong Pokemon in order to succeed in his or her career."

"...Not interested," Seishiro deadpanned as he started to once again distance himself from the silver-haired boy.

"That's a let down," the platinum-eyed boy drawled. "I always had the impression that beings of darkness always revel in the heat of battle."

Seishiro halted in his movements. He then slowly turned around to face the silver-haired boy and gazed at him with such intensity that his eyes flashed crimson red.

"I am sure that you can see it as well right," the boy asked as the colour of his irises turned turquoise. "I can see your aura as you can see mine."

The stranger was indeed right as Seishiro saw the figure before him encompassed in a pure white aura. Inversely, through the stranger's eyes, he saw that Seishiro was emitting an ominous black aura.

"My name is Terence Horatio," the turquoise-eyed boy introduced himself. "You?"

"...Seishiro Syuusuke."

Terence nodded at Seishiro. "Let us regard this meeting between us as pure coincidence," he suggested.

Seishiro offered Terence one of his trademark smirks. "My Grandfather said this, 'There is no such thing as coincidence, only fate'."

Terence in turn smirked at Seishiro. "So very true," he agreed.

Both boys immediately hovered their hands over their Pokeballs, eager to best the other in battle.

High above Spear Pillar, in the Hall of Origins, a certain Alpha Pokemon opened his eyes in realization.

"Hmmm..., their fateful encounter happened sooner than I had expected," Arceus mused. "Nevertheless, it shall be interesting to see which element triumphs over the other."

Arceus then closed his eyes, contemplating about a certain mismatched-eyed individual.

"Revelar su soberano(1), Cielo!" Terence exclaimed.

"Fio unus per vestri mos(2), Solvo," Seishiro announced at the same time.

Both boys lobbed their Pokeballs into the air after giving out their respective battle cries. The dual-coloured capsules then burst open to reveal two Normal/Flying-type Pokemon. One of them was a Pidgey while the other one was, like Solvo, a bird Pokemon but of a different species. It had a grey-coloured body while the lower half of its wings as well as its head were black. It had black eyes with white pupils and a thin orange beak with the tip of it painted black. If memory served Seishiro correct, it was a Pokemon native to the Sinnoh region.

"Starly, the Starling Pokemon," Dexter's voice beeped out. "Because they are weak individually, they form groups. However, they bicker if the group grows too big."

That information was practically useless in Seishiro's opinion. Dexter must have sensed its owner's irritation as it deftly scanned the Starly and displayed the Dual-type's stats on its screen.

Seishiro wordlessly read the Starly's stats as he observed, "A High-level Gym Leader Pokemon, huh?" He then pocketed his Pokedex before muttering, "He is on a higher level when compared with Solvo's. Hmm...I guess we could make it work. Beggars can't be choosers after all."

"Cielo, use Quick Attack," Terence ordered calmly.

The Starly practically rocketed towards Solvo at a blinding speed with a white streak trailing behind it upon hearing his Trainer's command.

"Dodge it and use Gust," Seishiro commanded Solvo.

The Tiny Bird Pokemon flew to the side, narrowly avoiding the 'bullet' which was Cielo. Solvo then stretched out her wings and began flapping them at a high velocity. As a result, a miniature tornado was released towards her opponent, Cielo.

Terence did not panic as he simply said, "Tailwind."

Like Solvo, Cielo stretched his grey-coloured wings and began flapping them vigorously. However, Cielo did not launch the miniature tornado, which formed due to his earlier actions, at Solvo. Instead, the Starly cocooned himself within it and thereby shielding him from Solvo's miniature tornado when it struck his. When the tornadoes subsided, Cielo was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, the Starling Pokemon reappeared behind Solvo with a swish sound. On a side note, its right wing was glowing white.

Seishiro's eyes widened a small fraction as he called out, "Behind you, Solvo. On your right!"

Seishiro's warning came a tad too late as Solvo was struck on the right side of her neck with a Wing Attack. The force of the attack sent the Pidgey hurtling towards the ground. Thankfully, her training with Subaru did wonders for her reaction time as she spread her wings and glided safely onto the ground before taking to the skies once again.

The black-haired Trainer let out a sigh of relief before he queried Terence, "That move your Starly just pulled off, it was a variant of a Flash Step, wasn't it?"

Terence simply nodded. He then added, "I have given it the term... Viento (3)."

"Mmm... I see," Seishiro mumbled. "Then use Quick Attack, Solvo."

Seishiro's Pidgey gave out a chirp as she sped towards Cielo with a white streak trailing behind her. As she neared to ram into Cielo, the Starly disappeared with a barely audible swish. This time however, Seishiro was expecting that move.

"Solvo, scan the perimeter for your target," Seishiro ordered.

The Tiny Bird Pokemon's black pupils contracted as everything around her slowed down. Her green eyes darted left and right, scanning the sky for Cielo. Finally, she caught sight of a black blur about forty degrees to her left. Solvo gave Seishiro a flap of her wings to signal to the black-haired boy that she had found her target.

Seishiro nodded. "Assimilate Aerial Ace into your Quick Attack and strike your target head-on," he commanded.

Solvo immediately flew higher into the sky before rocketing towards Cielo's assumed position with her wings tucked and her body surrounded by white streaks. As she did not cancel her Quick Attack, the Aerial Ace was faster than a normal one. Her eyes did not fail her as Cielo reappeared right where she wanted him to. Since the Starling Pokemon was not expecting his opponent to be able to read his movements, the Starly was rammed full force by Solvo, enough to send him spiraling towards the ground.

"Recover and counter with Swift," Terence called out to Cielo.

Cielo managed to stop his descent before he crossed his wings across his chest and swung them outwards. On cue, a substantial amount of yellow stars were released, following the arc of his prior wing swings. The yellow stars were akin to heat seeking missiles as they locked onto their target, which in this scenario was Solvo, and struck her mercilessly. When the stream of stars finally ended, Solvo looked a little worse for wear with multiple bruises marring her body but still managed to maintain her altitude. Cielo too was not spared any injury as he rubbed his abdomen with a pained look etched across his face. Frankly, the Starly would not be surprised if he woke up the next day with a hernia.

"Let us not prolong this battle any further," Seishiro suggested. "Both of them look ready to faint."

Terence wordlessly nodded. "Cielo, end it with Twister!" he exclaimed.

"Solvo, combat your opponent with a Twister of your own," Seishiro commanded in sync with Terence.

Both combatants fully spread their wings and began flapping them at a speed rivaling that of a Yanmega's. Blades of grass were swaying back and forth and pebbles were launched into the air as the atmosphere suddenly became extremely windy. The blades of wind that both Solvo and Cielo were generating finally shaped into tornadoes and were released towards the other dual Normal/Flying-type Pokemon. The two powerful twisters struck each other, causing an explosion that engulfed both Cielo and Solvo. Moments past and the black smoke still lingered in the air. Finally, both Cielo and Solvo reappeared from the cloud of smoke. However, the dual Normal/Flying-types were far from okay as they were plumeting towards the ground. Luckily, Cielo managed to stop his rapid descent and compose himself. The Starling Pokemon noticed that his opponent was still at gravity's mercy and immediately darted towards her. Just before Solvo's prone form could come into contact with the solid ground, Cielo caught her body with his feet and gently set her down onto the ground before flying back to his Trainer.

"It would seem that round one goes to us," Terence observed.

Seishiro did not show any response to Terence's obvious remark as the black-haired boy wordlessly returned Solvo into her Pokeball.

Terence mirrored Seishiro's action and returned Cielo into his Pokeball as well.

"Levitas, let's go," Seishiro called, sending out his Pikachu.

"Trueno, I require your assistance," Terence stated calmly.

The Pokemon that Terence released resembled a small and young lion. Its iris and pupil were both yellow in colour and it had a blck mane around its face. It also had blue and black fur besides two yellow rings around each of its front legs.

"Luxio, the Spark Pokemon," Dexter analyzed. "By touching friends with its front paws, Luxio is able to communicate with the sparks it emits."

Seishiro tapped his chin several times, thinking of a strategy to outwit another Pokemon that was on a higher level compared to his. Terence was benign enough to let Seishiro be occupied with his thoughts. Since he called the first attack during the last battle, Terence felt that it was only natural to let Seishiro have the first call in this next one.

While both the Trainers were silent, their Pokemon were not.

"Hiya, name's Levitas," the Pikachu introduced himself. "Nice to met'cha, Trueno."

"My, oh my, do we have a hyper one here ladies and gentleman," Trueno announced mockingly.

Levitas' left eye twitch at that mocking remark. He snapped, "Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"

The Spark Pokemon gave out a full-hearted laugh, secretly delighted that he had got the reaction he had wanted from his currently ticked off opponent. "Slow down, slow down, kid. I'm just messing with ya. Can't you take a joke?

Levitas crossed his arms and turned his head to the side. The Pikachu huffed, "Well, your sense of humour is not really that good."

"Everybody's a critic these days," Trueno mumbled. "You gotta loosen up, kid. You're still young. You're not ready for the serious stuff yet. Just spend the next five years of your life just going with the flow. Do you get what I'm saying here?"

"I'd rather have Noctis slash me again than listen to a Luxio with a weird sense of humour," Levitas said dryly. The Pikachu then said with a smile, "However, I shouldn't be too distrustful of such a weirdo like you so I guess I can try laughing a bit more."

The Spark Pokemon grinned at Levitas. "That's the spirit, kid," he remarked joyfully. He lifted his right forepaw and placed it on his chest before he introduced himself, "Name's Trueno. You got it memorized?"

Levitas tilted his head in confusion before the Electric-type mouthed, "Uhh..., I guess."

"Very, very good," Trueno mused. "Now that we've acquainted with one another-" The Spark Pokemon abruptly tensed his muscles, causing blue sparks to shoot out and surround his body. The Luxio smirked at Levitas as he finished, "-let's shock till we drop."

Levitas stared at Trueno through half-lidded eyes. "You really need to work on your puns because that was just horrible," he commented exasperatedly as he shifted into his battle stance.

"Levitas, start out with Thunderbolt," Seishiro commanded.

Levitas inhaled slowly as his body began emitting yellow sparks. He then crossed his arms and tensed his muscles as the sparks became more frequent and brighter. With a determined cry, the Mouse Pokemon released a powerful bolt of yellow electricity at Trueno. Trueno did not seem intimidated by the oncoming attack as the Spark Pokemon simply stood his ground. The Thunderbolt struck Trueno but he did not seem affected in any way. In fact, it was as if he absorbing the attack.

Terence smirked as he ordered, "Show them a real Thunderbolt, Trueno."

Said Spark Pokemon spread out his legs and crouched low to the ground as he began charging up his attack. Like Levitas, yellow sparks emitted from his body. Unlike Levitas, three bolts of yellow electricity were shot instead of one. Levitas grew wide-eyed but luckily did not panic. The Pikachu bent his knees, leapt backwards and threw his body back as the bolts of electricity harmlessly passed by him. He then strecthed out his arms and his paws came into contact with the ground, allowing Levitas to spin his body back into a crouching position. Though Levitas avoided the attack, they were now heading straight towards Seishiro. Strangely, the boy had a bored expression on his face as if he knew that he would not be struck by the attack. His confidence was awarded as the three bolts of pure energy passed by inches from his face and struck the ground behind him.

"I guess Electric-type moves are out of the equation," Seishiro thought deductively. "It would seem that I might have to depend on Levitas' speed and agility to win but his stamina, though greatly improved, is still not at the level where he can sustain fast-paced combat for long periods of time. I have to end this battle quickly."

Seishiro told Levitas, "Make full use of your strength. Use Quick Attack."

Heeding his Trainer's call, Levitas dropped down on all fours and sped towards his opponent with a white streak trailing behind him. The sheer velocity of the attack was evident as Levitas got within five feet of Trueno in just five seconds.

"Night Slash, Trueno," Terence ordered in retaliation.

The Luxio deftly raised a paw which claws grew longer and glowed light blue before swinging it down upon his oncoming target.

Before Trueno could hit his mark, Seishiro swiftly issued an order. "Double Team, Levitas."

Instead of hitting Levitas, Trueno only found air as Levitas abruptly vanished with a static 'buzz'. The Pikachu then reappeared above the Luxio with a new attack in standby mode; Iron Tail. With a grunt, Levitas swung his glowing tail and connected with Trueno's right cheek, sending the Spark Pokemon tumbling to the side.

"Retaliate with Spark, Trueno," Terence called out.

On cue, Trueno's body was bathed in light blue sparks of electricity. Using his hind legs as springs, the Spark Pokemon launched himself forwards as his body became completely surrounded by light blue electricity and slammed right into Levitas, sending the Mouse Pokemon flying and skidding backwards.

Just as Levitas stopped his backward momentum, the Pikachu gave out a cry as yellow sparks that were not his surrounded his body, signifying that he was paralyzed. Terence noticed this and ordered, "Finish him with Thunderbolt."

Again, Trueno let loose three bolts of pure energy towards the paralyzed Pikachu. Levitas grew wide-eyed as the bolts were heading towards him. The Pikachu knew that he could evade them but in his state of paralysis, it would be impossible.

Seishiro visibly frowned. "Levitas, shake that sense of helplessness out of your head," Seishiro chided him as if he read Levitas' thoughts. "Overcome the pain and use Light Screen."

Mustering up all his willpower, Levitas fought his paralysis and held out his paws. Taking a deep breath, he calmly channeled his aura to his paws and slowly dispersed it into the air in front of him. The aura particles connected with each other, forming a transparent yellow screen. Just a second later, the Thunderbolt struck Levitas' Light Screen. Though the power of the Thunderbolt was halved, it still took Levitas a great deal of mental strength to maintain the Light Screen. Suddenly, a crack appeared on the transparent screen.

"Keep up the pressure, Trueno," Terence told the Luxio. "The Light Screen will shatter soon enough."

"Prove your opponents wrong and maintain that Light Screen, Levitas," Seishiro called out with conviction.

Trueno immediately increased the power of his Thunderbolt while Levitas exerted his mind to the very limit. Levitas was pushed back about three feet as the power of the Thunderbolt was magnified but the Pikachu still managed to maintain the Light Screen though more cracks had appeared on it. A full minute passed and neither side was willing to give up the face-off. Finally, the stream of pure energy from Trueno was broken as he looked slightly taxed from his unfruitful effort. A second later, the Light Screen abruptly shattered as Levitas dropped to his knees, beads of sweat running down his forehead. The Pikachu was fine physically but not mentally. Since he was not a Psychic-type, conjuring up and maintaining a Light Screen was a challenge.

"Looks like we've been pushed into a corner," Seishiro observed silently. "Levitas still has more than enough stamina but his exhausted mind will affect his performance. Electric-type attacks are out of the question as Trueno will only absorb them." The black-haired boy paused when an idea struck him. "...Absorb. That's it. Levitas, fire off your strongest Thunderbolt!"

Levitas turned his neck and glanced at Seishiro with confusion, wondering whether his Trainer had gone crazy. His assumption was erased when he saw the glint in Seishiro's eyes. Exchanging mental nods with Seishiro, Levitas turned around to face Trueno and began to charge up. His whole body began to tremble as he struggled to contain the stored up energy. Finally, Levitas released all control and let loose a single but extremely powerful bolt of lightning towards Trueno. The attack struck the Spark Pokemon and like the last time, it was being absorbed by Trueno who winced slightly at the sheer force of the attack.

"Are you sure that you should be doing that?" Terence questioned Seishiro. "You know fully well that Trueno can absorb Electric-based attacks."

Seishiro nonchalantly flipped his hair before he countered, "My Grandfather said this, 'With the greatest strategy, comes the greatest risk'. Do it now, Levitas."

Terence was slightly confused with Seishiro's quoting of his grandfather. When the silver-haired boy saw Levitas disappear and reappear in front of Trueno, he had finally understood what Seishiro meant by 'the greatest risk'. He called out, "Look out, Trueno!"

It was too late. Levitas gripped Trueno's black mane with his left paw and started to channel the energy that Trueno gained from the absorbed Thunderbolt back into his body and flowed it into his right arm. Said arm began to crackle with great intensity and subsequently took on a bright yellow sheen. With a determined cry, Levitas pulled back his arm and thrust it forwards, connecting with Trueno's forehead. The amount of force behind that punch must have been equivalent to a wrecking ball as the Spark Pokemon was sent flying back and slammed into the outer wall of the Gym, making several cracks appear around the region where he was slammed into. The Luxio then slid down onto the ground, unconscious and unmoving.

"I guess this means that round two goes to us," Seishiro cheekily remarked.

Terence gave the black-haired boy a half-hearted glare before returning the unconscious Luxio back into his Pokeball. Seishiro was not far behind as he too returned Levitas back into his Pokeball, offering the Pikachu words of praise in the process.

Terence had already unclipped his last Pokeball from his belt. Just as he was about to lob it into the air, a voice stopped him.

"All right, that's enough!" the voice announced sternly.

Both Trainers turned to the source of the voice. Said voice belonged to a dark-skinned boy no older than themselves. He had spiky black hair and squinty eyes. His attire consisted of an orange shirt under a green jacket, brown jeans and white sneakers. He had his arms crossed and was regarding Seishiro and Terence with an unamused expression.

"If you guys want to battle, then you should not do it in front of the Gym," the dark-skinned boy scolded them. He examined the small crater on the exterior of the Gym before he stated, "Normally, I would ask you to pay for this collateral damage but I suppose I could let you go this time. I would very much appreciate it if you two would leave."

Terence sighed as he clipped the Pokeball that he was holding back onto his belt. He then turned around and walked towards his new rival. He halted in his movements with only five feet seperating them.

"It would seem that we have to postpone this little skirmish," Terence said. "I have got to admit, you are proving to be an interesting antithesis. The situation is no different between our Pokemon. I'm sure that fate has willed us to cross paths in the future."

Seishiro casually swept a hand through his hair as he stated, "My Grandfather said this, 'If you wish for it to be so, luck will always be on your side'."

A small smile crept onto Terence's face. "I suppose that's better than nothing."

With that said, the silver-haired enigma walked past his black-haired counterpart. When their shoulders brushed against each other, Seishiro felt something unlock deep within his heart. The sapphire-eyed boy gazed at the platinum-eyed boy from the corner of his eye who in turn gazed at Seishiro the same way. This confirmed Seishiro's suspicion that Terence must have experienced the same feeling. However, both boys chose not to utter a syllable to one another as they could already tell just by looking at the other's eyes. Flashing a faint smirk at Seishiro, Terence continued on his way and left the premises of the Gym.

Just as Seishiro was about to do the same, Brock called out, "You're here for a Gym battle, right? I still have some free time so I think I can afford at least one more Gym battle before retiring for the day."

"Unfortunately, two of my Pokemon are tired from the earlier battle with Terence," Seishiro told Brock apologetically. "Thank you for the offer but I think I will wait until next morning for our battle."

Brock had all but shed his serious expression and adopted a kinder and carefree one. "It is no problem," Brock assured Seishiro. "There is an instant recovery machine in the Gym so your Pokemon should be fully fit with just one use. Also, I have some homemade medicine if they are still feeling lethargic."

Seishiro massaged his temple as he considered Brock's offer. "Hmm..., perhaps I might have to reevaluate my opinion on humanity," Seishiro mused. Deciding that it could do him no harm, the sapphire-eyed boy accepted the squinty-eyed Gym Leader's offer.

Brock smiled. "Great. Follow me," he said.

And followed him Seishiro did.

After healing his Pokemon, Brock treated Seishiro and his Pokemon to some refreshments. It was nothing fancy, just some fruits and energy drinks which Brock made himself. The energy drinks were pretty good in Seishiro's opinion. Levitas and Solvo became completely reenergized after just a single sip of their drinks. Seishiro was about to compliment Brock but decided against it at the last second. He still could not let go of his sense of pride but at the very least he acted decently in front of the Gym Leader.

The Gym Leader and the challenger now stood on opposite ends of a rock field. The field was not all that challenging in Seishiro's opinion. There were some stalagmite-shaped rocks protruding from the surface of the field, though each one was spread out randomly and quite a distance from one another like the particles in a gaseous state. Besides that, the surface of the field was generally uneven but not so much that it can become a manipulated variable in battle. It was to be expected since the Pewter City Gym was technically the first Gym that a budding Pokemon Trainer would have to conquer.

"This is a two-on-two Pokemon battle for the Boulder Badge," a boy who looked like a younger version of Brock began as he stood on a raised platform on the side of the field, holding a green and red flag in each hand. "Only the challenger is allowed substitutions. The battle will continue until one team of Pokemon is rendered unable to battle. Are both sides ready?"

"Ready!" Brock exclaimed firmly.

Seishiro decided on a more subtle approach as he simply nodded.

"Then let the match commence!" the referee announced as he brought down both flags to his sides.

Brock swiftly withdrew a Pokeball when his brother had given them the green light. "I choose you, Geodude."

The Pokemon that was released from Brock's Pokeball resembled a grey boulder. It had bulging rocky eyebrows, brown irises and muscular five-fingered arms.

"Geodude, the Rock Pokemon," Dexter beeped. "Geodude is often found on mountain roads with half of its body buried in the ground so it can observe mountain travelers."

Seishiro took his time to decide on who should be Geodude's opponent. He finally decided on Solvo as he wordlessly released the Tiny Bird Pokemon.

Brock raised an eyebrow at Seishiro's choice of Pokemon. "Are you this is wise?" Brock questioned the sapphire-eyed boy. "You surely know that Flying-types are weak against Rock-types."

"Type advantages do not mean a thing to me," Seishiro responded. "Besides, I think that Solvo has a little redemption in mind, wouldn't you say so, Solvo?"

The Pidgey quickly took into the air and gave out a chirp of determination in response. Her thoughts were exactly what Seishiro claimed were to be. Solvo could tell that Seishiro was a tad bit disappointed that she lost to Cielo, even if the Starly was on a higher battle level. Now, Seishiro was giving her chance to prove to him that capturing her was not a mistake. A victory in a battle where she had a type disadvantage would surely cast aside the doubt in Seishiro's mind.

Brock shrugged. "Admirable... but that doesn't mean we'll go easy on you," he cautioned.

"If you did, then you are not a good Gym Leader then," Seishiro deadpanned.

Brock sweatdropped and scratched his head sheepishly. "Hehe..., you got me on that one," Brock commended. He then quickly shed his kind persona and put on his game face as he ordered, "Start out with Rock Throw, Geodude."

Geodude deftly started to punch the ground with each punch launching small rocks into the air around it as a result. Satisfied with the first phase of its attack, Geodude crossed its arms around its and started spinning wildly. The wind pressure generated from Geodude's spin caused the small rocks to be shot towards Solvo.

"Evade them," Seishiro retaliated calmly.

Solvo displayed that she was a master of her element despite being only in the first stage of her evolution as he skillfully rode the wind and evaded all the hard projectiles aimed at her. There were a few close calls but luckily for Seishiro, none of them found their mark.

"Hmm..., use Rock Throw again but with increased intensity this time," Brock called out.

Geodude once again punched the ground but with greater force as if it were beating mortar full of chillies into paste. As it did the first time, Geodude spun wildly to launch the substantial amount of rocks formed from its 'beating' of the ground towards its opponent.

Seishiro noticed there were more rocks this time around so he told Solvo, "Repeat the earlier strategy but use miniaturized versions of Gust if the rocks get too close for comfort."

Solvo quickly got to dodging the rocks but as Seishiro predicted, she could not avoid all of them. She was spared any damage though as she sporadically flapped her wings to release miniaturized versions of mini twisters to knock the rocks back towards the rock field where they belonged. Once she got out of the frying pan, she took a couple of deep breaths and turned to face her opponent who happened to have blended into the surroundings. The Tiny Bird Pokemon scanned the surrounding area for Geodude but even with her keen vision, Geodude camouflaging ability was better.

"Surprise that Pidgey with Rollout!" Brock yelled.

Geodude rocketed out of the ground behind Solvo, curled up into a ball and rolled towards her with incredible speed and power.

"Dodge it, Solvo," Seishiro ordered.

The Pidgey flew to the side to avoid the rolling Rock Pokemon but it managed to graze her left wing. Her left eye twitched a little once the pain that came after a connected attack set in.

"Quick, use Rock Throw, Geodude," Brock commanded.

Geodude uncurled itself to reveal that it was holding a medium-sized rock. Without a second thought, the Rock Pokemon threw the rock at Solvo with both hands, therefore doubling the force behind the attack.

"Redirect that rock with Gust," Seishiro called out.

Solvo quickly flapped her wings at a fast pace and sent a miniature twister towards the rock. On paper, a big rock should have no trouble in breaking through strong wind. However, that was only simulation which was different from a reality. In a real battle, anything can happen. With her determination sky high, Solvo increased the intensity of the twister and successfully sent the rock rolling back towards Geodude.

Brock assessed the situation calmly. "Brick Break, Geodude," he ordered.

Geodude gave out a grunt as its right hand glowed white and gave a solid karate chop to the rock. The rock unexpectedly split into perfect halves as they crashed into the ground. Geodude smiled smugly while Solvo just gave the Rock Pokemon a half-lidded glare.

"Did you train your Geodude to do that or was it pure luck?" Seishiro queried Brock.

"Well, Geodude has been a watching a lot of kung-fu movies lately but he never did manage to execute the famed move," Brock replied. "I guess it is just pure luck."

The squinty-eyed Gym Leader got a pebble in the forehead for that remark. Brock abruptly glared at Geodude which was whistling innocently.

Seishiro decided to take advantage of Brock's momentary lapse in concentration as he commanded, "Quick Attack, Solvo."

The Tiny Bird Pokemon, unimpressed by Geodude's imitation of a kung-fu move, shot towards the Rock Pokemon with white streaks trailing behind her. She had her wings tucked in to reduce air friction and as a result, the speed of the attack was doubled.

Brock snapped out of his reverie. "Dogde it, Geodude!" he screamed.

Geodude complied with its Trainer's command as he floated to the side, narrowly avoiding Solvo.

"Use Twister," Seishiro ordered.

Pidgey quickly untucked her wings and rode the wind until she was facing Geodude. The Tiny Bird Pokemon stretched out her wings and swung them around in a specific pattern; left over right and right over left. Gradually, the wind in the Gym started to pick up speed.

"Geodude, use Rock Blast to prevent Solvo from completing Twister!" Brock yelled out.

On cue, three light blue rings appeared and spun around Geodude's body. The rings then glowed white before turning into glowing white rocks. Geodude then fired the glowing white rocks at its opponent in an attempt to stop the completion of Twister. The rocks found their mark as Solvo had her attention fully focused on completing Twister. She winced in pain as the rocks struck her body, dealing super effective damage due to her being weak against Rock-type attacks. The wind's speed started to falter as she struggled to maintain her altitude.

"Solvo, ignore the pain," Seishiro told her. "I caught you for a reason, Solvo. I believe that you can become strong and overcome the hardest of trials. But first, you must show me that you have the desire and resolve. Bear the pain and use Twister!"

Though the rocks continue to hit her, she did not feel them. Seishiro's encouragement somehow managed to make her lose her sense of touch. As a result, she did not feel pain when the rocks pummeled her. Turning a blind eye to the rocks, she resumed her earlier swinging pattern. Soon, her attack was complete and with a defiant squawk, she released a full-powered Twister towards Geodude. Geodude was not expecting this and got sucked into the vortex of the tornado. The Rock Poke mon was spun around the Twister whilst getting battered by the rocks that were also caught in the tornado.

"Geodude!" Brock yelled out in concern.

The tornado gradually subsided, revealing a battered Geodude. There were some small cracks on his body, most likely caused by the collisions with the rocks in the tornado. The Rock Pokemon was also struggling to keep afloat as it was not only in pain but was extremely dizzy as well following its ordeal. Suddenly, a large figure appeared above it. Geodude could tell as a the figure casted a shadow over him. The Rock Pokemon knew that it was Solvo but also doubted that the small Pidgey could cast a big shadow. It slowly looked up and grew wide-eyed.

The figure that entered its sights was not a Pidgey. Instead, it was a large-raptor like bird. While its primary colour was brown, its plumage was much more elaborate than a Pidgey . Its head-crest was much longer than a Pidgey's and was in a reddish tone. The plumage of its tail was also quite colorful, alternating between red and yellow. Other than its ornamental plumage, its basic colouration was similar to a Pidgey, with pinkish-grey feet and black markings around its eyes. It also had powerful talons, most likely as primary hunting tools.

"Pidgeotto, the Bird Pokemon and the evolved form of Pidgey," Seishiro's Pokedex analyzed. "It is armed with sharp claws and dives from the sky to capture its prey. Unlike the more gentle Pidgey, Pidgeotto can be more dangerous. Approach with extreme caution."

"Execute Steel Wing, Solvo!" Seishiro exclaimed with vigour.

Brock could only stare and watch as Solvo, now a Pidgeotto, slammed two glowing wings on Geodude's head, sending the Rock Pokemon plummeting towards the ground and finally slammed into it, creating a small crater in the process.

The referee, who was known as Forrest, raised his green flag as he announced, "Geodude is unable to battle."

Brock returned Geodude back into its Pokeball with a sigh. "You were great out there, Geodude," he said as he gazed at the Pokeball. "Just take a nice long rest."

From the moment the referee raised the green flag, Solvo knew that she had won. Giving out a cry of victory, she glided slowly towards the ground and landed in front of her Trainer. She stayed silent as she awaited Seishiro's evaluation on her performance.

"You have exceeded my expectations," Seishiro began. "I really did not expect you to evolve so soon so I commend you on that. However, evolution will make it harder for you to gain experience so you have to triple your efforts from now on. Also, I shall be increasing the intensity of your training. Now that you're fully healed, you have to catch up with Noctis and Levitas." Noticing the crestfallened look on Solvo's face, Seishiro added, "All that aside, you proved that I was right in letting you become a member of this team. Well done."

Solvo's face immediately lit up, giving out a coo of anticipation in the process. Seishiro smiled faintly and gave her a small scratch on her forehead before returning her back into her Pokeball and clipped in back onto his belt.

Brock took a deep breath before withdrawing a Pokeball. He then exclaimed, "Graveler, I choose you!"

Graveler was comparable to a living boulder. The skin looked to be tougher than its pre-evolution form, Geodude. It had four arms; two long ones and two short ones. It also had short legs but Seishiro doubt that they would be a factor. The sapphire-eyed boy took out his Pokedex and pointed it at Graveler. Seconds later, the analysis was completed.

"Graveler, the Rock Pokemon and the evolved form of Geodude," Dexter monotoned. "They descend from mountains by tumbling down steep slopes. They are so brutal that they smash aside obstructing trees and massive boulders with thunderous tackles."

"Levitas' attacks, other than Iron Tail, would have no affect on this one," Seishiro thought logically. "He does not really have the penetrating and piercing power yet. I think Noctis would do well with a little practice."

With his thoughts set, he took out Noctis' Pokeball and whispered, "Cast a shadow, Noctis."

He then released Noctis who appeared as apathetic and stoic as ever. The Umbreon did not show any outward reaction as he found out that he was facing a Graveler.

"Noctis, close the distance with Quick Attack," Seishiro ordered, taking the initiative.

The Umbreon put his right foreleg in front of his left foreleg and his left hindleg in front of his right hindleg. Instantly, the Dark-type shot forwards with a black streak trailing behind him.

"Graveler, use Rock Tomb," Brock commanded, adopting a defensive approach.

The Rock Pokemon heeded its Trainer's call by jumping into the air and slamming back onto the ground. Suddenly, pillars of grey stone erupted from the battlefield and thereby obscuring Graveler from Noctis' view.

"Weave around them," Seishiro called out emotionlessly.

Noctis did just that as the Umbreon dodged, rolled and weaved through the pillars of stone while continuing to close the distance between himself and his opponent. Occasionally, some big rocks would randomly erupt from the ground but they provided no trouble as the Umbreon's sense of hearing was sharp following all the sound training that he went through up until this point. Soon, there were no obstacles seperating Graveler and Noctis as the Umbreon sped towards the Rock Pokemon.

"Stop that Umbreon with Rock Slide," Brock ordered.

Graveler's body immediately became outlined in blue. On cue, a nearby rock also became outlined in blue and got lifted off the ground. The large rock then splitted apart into smaller pieces which were launched towards Noctis.

"Double Team and then knock those rocks back with Iron Tail," Seishiro commanded instantly.

Noctis first leaped towards the rocks without a second thought. The Moonlight Pokemon then glowed white as several copies of the Dark-type materialized. Each Umbreon's tail then glowed white as they, in perfect synchronization, swung their tails at the rocks, effectively sending them back at Graveler. As the Rock Pokemon totally was not expecting its attack to be used against it, Graveler was pummeled mercilessly and pushed back a couple of feet.

"Shadow Ball," Seishiro chained his commands.

The copies of Noctis disappeared to reveal the real Umbreon. Said Umbreon opened his maw and began to gather the aura in the air while mixing it with his own. The product of his action was a ball of swirling dark energy. Noctis then snapped his head back and launched it at the Gym Leader's Pokemon.

"Graveler, counter with Rollout!" Brock yelled.

The Graveler, like Geodude, promptly curled up into a ball and started rolling quickly towards Noctis. Though the Shadow Ball that Noctis shot earlier connected with rolling Graveler, the Rock Pokemon canceled out the Dark-type attack and continued rolling towards the Umbreon.

"Dodge it, Noctis," Seishiro ordered calmly.

Normally, dogding an incoming attack would mean rolling or weaving to the side but not in Noctis' dictionary. Instead, the Umbreon ran staright towards the giant rolling Rock Pokemon and leapt over it in the style of a high jump competitor before landing safely on his feet. Graveler kept on rolling and knocked down several of the stalagmite-shaped rocks before swerving around to once again roll towards its target.

"Hmm..., those rocks might be useful after all," Seishiro mused as he watched a stalagmite-shaped rock topple down. He then commanded, "Noctis, station yourself in front of the nearest stalagmite."

Noctis instantly understood his Trainer's plan. The Umbreon vanished in a buzz of Volatus, avoiding Graveler which was still in Rollout mode in the process. The Moonlight Pokemon then reappeared in front of a stalagmite as per Seishiro's instruction.

"I don't know what you're planning," Brock began, "but Rollout keeps getting stronger and faster with each passing moment. Sooner or later, Graveler will hit its mark. Again, use Rollout Graveler!"

Not wanting to disappoint its Trainer, Graveler rolled towards Noctis faster than it had ever before. Unfortunately for the Rock Pokemon, no matter how fast it rolled, Noctis was faster as the Umbreon jumped high into the air and avoided Graveler yet again. Also, since Graveler was rolling at an extremely high speed, the stalagmite behind Noctis did not topple down once Graveler rammed through it. Instead, it was launched into the air.

"Noctis, use the stalagmite as an arrow. Aim it near Graveler," Seishiro ordered.

"Huh?" Brock breathed.

Noctis waited until the sharp end of the stalagmite was facing away from him. The Umbreon then narrowed his eyes at his target while scanning the battlefield as well. Taking a deep breath, Noctis double kicked the base of the stalagmite which caused it to swish through the air like an arrow towards Graveler. The stalagmite struck the ground just a few inches behind the rolling Graveler, creating a crater and launching the Rock Pokemon high into the air.

"Graveler!" Brock yelled out in concern.

Graveler uncurled itself and was shocked to find that it was five feet in the air. It was immediately broken out of its reverie when Noctis appeared, with a static buzz preceding his arrival, on top of it. When the Rock Pokemon saw that Noctis' tail was glowing, it knew its fate. Graveler tried to plead with Noctis through its eyes but the Umbreon would have none of it as the Dark-type mercilessly swung his Iron Tail upon Graveler's face. The Rock Pokemon gave out a cry as it was launched downward and into the crater. An ominous thunk sounded throughout the Gym as Graveler lost conciousness.

"Graveler!" Brock yelled as he ran towards his fallen Pokemon.

Forrest, despite too worrying about Graveler's well-being, managed to maintain a professional air as he raised his green flag and announced, "Graveler is unable to battle. The winner is Noctis and the match goes to Seishiro Syuusuke."

Noctis just gazed apatheticly at his fallen opponent before using Volatus to appear in front of Seishiro. The two gazed at each other in silence.

"You okay, Graveler?" Brock asked his fallen friend.

"Grave...ler," the Rock Pokemon let off while smiling tiredly at its Trainer.

Brock smiled. "I'm glad," he started. "You put up a great fight but that's how the world works. You win some, you lose some. For now though, just take a nice long rest."

Brock recalled Graveler back into its Pokeball before standing up with a sigh. He then made his way towards Seishiro.

Speaking of Seishiro, he was still having a staring contest with Noctis. It looked as if neither was about to give in. Finally, the silence was broken.

"...No comment," Seishiro evaluated emotionlessly.

Noctis merely nodded and tapped his Pokeball on Seishiro's belt, recalling himself into it.

Seishiro looked up and noticed that Brock was standing in front of him. Seishiro was about to apologize but he was cut off when Brock laughed. The sapphire-eyed boy tilted his head in confusion. He expected Brock to be sad, not jubilant.

"Though that was one of my heaviest defeats," Brock began, "it was still very fun. I learned a lot from this match. I admit, I am not a perfect Gym Leader. I have weaknesses like any other Trainer and you took advantage of them. You made my realize that I should start taking the duties of a Gym Leader more seriously just in case I face another Trainer like you or Terence. For that, I thank you and award you the Boulder Badge."

The squinty-eyed Gym Leader then held out a badge towards Seishiro. Seishiro gazed at the badge which looked like a simple grey octagon before accepting it and putting it in his badge case. The black-haired boy then bowed his head in respect before turning around to exit the Gym. When he was just a few feet from the exit, he halted in his movements.

"I am sorry to impose," Seishiro called out over his shoulder, "but could you do me a favour?"

Brock smiled. "Sure," he confirmed. "Anything you need?"

Both Seishiro and Brock now stood just on the outskirts of Pewter City. Brock had offered Seishiro a night's rest at his place since the Sun had already set but the sapphire-eyed boy politely declined. Though Brock was a bit disappointed, he understood that Seishiro did not want to burden him since he had siblings to take care off.

"It took me awhile to find it but it seems that lady luck is smiling down upon me," Brock stated as he held out a book towards Seishiro. "Here you go."

"I appreciate it," Seishiro thanked Brock as he pocketed the book. "You shall realize your dream someday."

Brock tilted his head in confusion. "What do you mean?"

"I see you as a person who is involved in Pokemon healthcare in the future," Seishiro elaborated. "We both know that you are more suited to that field than Pokemon battling. Just stay patient and keep on believing."

Brock smiled softly and shook Seishiro's hand before walking back into the city. Seishiro just gazed at Brock's disappearing form and whispered, "Keep it up humanity. You are inching closer into my good books."

With that said, Seishiro turned away from Pewter City and disappeared into the darkness.

(1) - Reveal your sovereignity

(2) - Become one with your will

(3) - Wind

Man, I am tired.

I did not expect this chapter to get so long.

Got carried away I guess.

Try and guess what Pokemon is in the egg.

Read and review.