Sorry it took so long, but like I said, I needed to completely rewrite this one and the next. I also kinda forgot about writing for about two months. Whoops. Anyway, life has finally settled down now that I am comfortable with my new major (Yay Physics!).

Originally, I had two of the battles fully written out. When editing them, I realized that was not a good idea. Then I decided to make this chapter all about stuff that happens in between the battles. That was a no go because that would mean the next chapter would have been a sort of highlight reel of sorts, and I did not want one full chapter just on that. Then I came up with this idea. In italics are the battles, or small clips of them, and the rest are the goings on outside of battling. Made things easier for me, and it fit my style of writing battles better. Next chapter will be much like this one.

Now, a refresher of what has happened: Ash's yearlong training trip has come to an end. He has caught many new Pokémon and got himself a girlfriend in Misty. Team Rocket is searching for Mewtwo and is working on other little projects that might help in Giovanni's quest to take over the world. He has received a few notes from a mystery man and a Lucario and has no idea who he is. When arriving at the Indigo Plateau, many old friends come to watch, and three are here to compete. Hopefully things will turnout better this time around.

Ch25 tournament fun

Charizard flew behind the opposing Sandslash, catching it by surprise after an intense Flamethrower. He started to spin as he ascended, trying to make his opponent too dizzy to retaliate. Once he reached the optimum height, he began to circle the sky and prepare for the final drop. He, then, began his descent, quickly picking up speed as he went and pulling up right before reaching one of the rock mounds in order to release the dizzy Sandslash.


Ash walked away from the Rock Field quite happy with his battle. It reminded him of his first battle at the Plateau in that he only used one Pokémon, Charizard. He hoped that this time around would be different from the first. As he walked out of the stadium with Misty, Brock, Lucy, Lucario, and Pikachu and made their way to the Grass Field to watch Tyson's battle, he began to notice some different things that were not there the first time around. For starters, there were video boards positioned near the entrances to each field that displayed the results of the day's matches as well as live coverage of the battle taking place. As they continued walking, they saw more video boards that were showing highlights of the finished battles. There also seemed to be more vendors than last time.

"This place definitely doesn't look like it did the last time we were here," Ash said as he watched a clip of a battle between a Poliwirl and a Quagsire on the Water Field.

"Since the last time you competed here, yes. All this could have been here when we were here last. We were just too worried about Lucario to really pay attention."

"Plus if you stayed in Kanto for more than a week between journeys, you would have learned that this was done not long after we returned from Sinnoh," Brock said.

"Well that one's not entirely my fault. Professor Oak kinda gave us short notice about his trip to Unova, and he needed us to let him know if we were coming or not."

"Yes, but you still could've told him that you wanted to stay in Kanto for a little while before you set off on a new adventure. Plus, I would have liked to see you before you left. We could have been together much sooner."

"I don't think so, Misty. Knowing us, we probably would have kept denying it and stayed just friends. Besides, haven't we said that the past is the past? The only thing that matters is the now, right?" he asked as he wrapped his arm around her.

"I hate it when you're right," she said with a frown.

"It has to happen every once in a while," he said with a laugh.

They continued talking and met up with the rest of the group to walk to the Grass Field. Once there, the video board showed that Tyson had just lost his second Pokémon and was getting ready to send out his last one against his opponent's Persian. The trainer had brown hair that curled up on the left side of his head and hazel eyes. His attire looked similar to what Ash used to wear during his first few journeys. The only differences were that his jacket was green with red sleeves and white lining and his hat, which was being wrung in his hands, was a more recent design, darker and the expo symbol shown in the sunlight.

They went inside to see if Ritchie and Harrison were there and found them standing near the back of the stadium. They all joined them and decided that they could stand for the last round. Ash, Brock, and May were not at all surprised that Meowth was being unforgiving in his attacks. Some grudges take years to get over. It was because of this ferocious barrage of attacks that Persian could not make a move to defend itself. With one final Iron Tail, Meowth was declared the winner. Unlike last time Ash saw Tyson's Meowth battle a Persian, he stood where he landed and would not look at his foe, demonstrating some restraint.

After the battle, Tyson met up with everyone else to see how the other battles went. Both Ritchie and Harrison won their opening battles fairly easily. They did not stay together long. Each trainer wanted to get a little training in before they ate lunch, so they all went their separate ways.

Ash, Misty, and company made their way back to their cabins and found Anabel waiting for them to begin Espeon's training.


Venusaur stood battered as he faced off against a Pinsir. It was able to land many blows against him, but Venusaur was not going to go down without a fight. Once given the mental command from Ash, he launched Petal Dance. The Pinsir just stood in place and let the petals hit it. Once the attack ended, it was ordered to use Guillotine. It charged forward and attached to Venusaur's front right leg. It then lifted Venusaur slowly into the air, as if about to throw him, but folded under the weight of its opponent. Once the dust settled, both Pokémon were unconscious.


Match two was more difficult than the first, but that was to be expected. Ash had been in countless tournaments before, so it did not faze him when he lost his first Pokémon of the tournament. Venusaur stood strong but eventually succumbed to the opposing trainer's Pinsir. Ash chose Butterfree to battle the opponent's Xatu and ended up winning the match. This battle was later in the day and allowed everyone to watch Ritchie's, Harrison's, and Tyson's battles, all of which were won by them.

After taking his Pokémon to the Pokémon Center and leaving Lucario there so that Nurse Joy could give him a more thorough exam before his first battle, he told everyone good night. It was almost midnight, and everyone was sound asleep. Well, most everybody.

"This is why you shouldn't battle this late in the day. You probably won't be able to fall asleep until morning," Misty said as she watched Ash pace the room. She was sitting on the bed with Pikachu curled up at the foot of the bed.

"You know once I get going, nothing can stop me. At least tomorrow's battle is a little earlier than today's." He stopped and stood in front of the window and looked out. It was a fairly starlit night with no traces of clouds. Ash kept staring while his body twitched.

"Will you take it easy? It looks like you're about to explode."

Ash turned his head and gave her a smile before pacing the room again. Misty just sighed and let Marill out of her Poké Ball so that she could have someone to talk to that was not on the verge of exploding.

After a while, Ash stopped pacing a turned to face Misty, who by this point looked half asleep with Marill wrapped in her arms. He walked over to her and gave her light nudge.

"Hey, you want to take a walk with me?"

"You do realize I am about ready to fall asleep?" she asked with one eye slightly opened.

"Yeah, but I need to do something and walking alone just doesn't seem like fun."

"Why not take your Pokémon with you. I'm sure you would want to talk with them before the match tomorrow."

"They know what I'm going to say. I don't think they need to hear it one more time. Everyone is ready. I asked you because we haven't really been able to talk much since we got here. I'm either training or hanging out with our friends."

"We've only been here three days, Ash. Once the tournament is over, we'll have plenty of time to talk, just the two of us."

"Just face it Mist, we both know how this is going to end," he said with a sly smile.

"It was worth a shot." She got up and put Marill back into her Poké Ball. She followed him out of the cabin, making sure not to disturb Brock and Lucy as they left. She did not dare ask where their walk would take them because she knew he would not tell her. Sometimes it was because he wanted to surprise her and other times he truly did not know where he wanted to go, but they always enjoyed the time together.

As they walked, they began talking about his battles and what to expect for his next one. Of course, he was not going to tell her who he was going to use during the battle and enjoyed watching her struggle to think for once. He trusted her to keep his choices a secret, but he enjoyed watching her react to some of his more outlandish choices. That got them all the way to the lake, and they stood there watching the moon's reflection.

After a brief silence, he pulled out one of his Poké Balls and released Lapras.

"How about a moonlit cruse around the lake before we turn back?"

"Do you think you could sit still for that long?" she asked with a smirk.

"Very funny. It won't take long," he said as he held out a hand to help her climb on. Once they were settled, he told Lapras "Just a few times around and end right back here."

Lapras started with a nice even pace and stayed fairly close to the shoreline. Every once in a while, Ash would ask him to stop so that he could show Misty different star formations that could be seen as Pokémon. Occasionally, she would ask for his Pokédex so that she could get a better idea of what he was trying to show her. After a few laps around, they changed their positions so that Ash was leaning up against Lapras' neck and Misty rested in his arms.

"Do you think we should be heading back?"

"Maybe once more around. I am enjoying this too much to call it a night just yet," he said with a yawn.

"Looks like somebody finally settled down."

"Looks like it."

"Just don't fall asleep on me. It's difficult enough to wake you. Just imagine how hard it would be for me to carry your sleeping body all the way back to the cabin."

"You won't have to worry about that. Just take Tauros out and have him carry me back if you have to. But you look just as tired as I do, so I don't know if we will ever get to that point."

Misty did not say anything in reply. Instead, she proved him right by snuggling closer to his chest. Once they were on the last turn, Ash asked, "You ready to head back?"

He did not get a reply. He looked down and saw that she was sound asleep. He smiled and rubbed her shoulder gently. He then turned his head to Lapras and whispered to him to rest here for the night. There were no complaints from him and immediately drifted off to sleep. Ash stayed awake for a few minutes more staring up at the sky. Just before he was about to drift off into dreamland, he saw Mewtwo sweep across the sky.


The day started like most any other. Brock was the first to wake and went to get the Pokémon's breakfast ready. Lucy soon followed and was the one to greet Professor Oak, Delia, and Lucario, who they picked up on their way over to their cabin, at the door.

"How are you feeling this morning, Lucario?" Brock asked as he handed him a bowl with his specially made Pokémon food.

Just as good as any other day. I don't see why Ash continually frets over my health when it's obvious that I'm completely healed.

"You should know by now that's how he is. He cares for everyone and wants to make sure you are strong enough to handle a battle. And don't say you've been in many since your accident. What you do in training is nothing like what you will expect in an actual battle."

"I think it was a wise decision on his part. If he truly wants to win this tournament, he needs all of his Pokémon at full strength, and you're no exception. Speaking of him, don't you think we should wake him up so he can get something to eat before his battle?" Professor Oak asked.

"I would, but I don't want to open the door and see something I probably shouldn't," Brock said.

"I know my son wouldn't be doing what I think you're suggesting, Brock, but if it makes you feel better, I'll go in and check on them," Delia said as she got up from her seat.

She made her way to his bedroom door and knocked. After hearing no response, she slowly eased open the door. Much to her surprise, the only one in the room was Pikachu, and he was still asleep.

"Brock! Are you sure he slept here last night?"

"Of course he did. Is he not there?"

"No. The only one in here is Pikachu. Where do you think he could have gone?"

"Don't worry, Delia. I'm sure they couldn't have gotten far. He wouldn't want to miss his battle today. He might have just gotten up early to work with his team for today."

I can go out and look for them. He can't hide from me.

"Let's wait until after we eat. I'm sure he will show up eventually."


Sitting in the middle of the lake, Lapras stirred slightly and woke up feeling the sun's rays progressively heating up his back save for the spots that were covered by his two passengers. He shook himself awake and stretched his neck. After a few minutes, he shot a Water Gun straight up in the air in an attempt to wash himself.

As the water droplets began to fall and hit Ash and Misty, they began to stir. Ash was the first to wake and notice what was going on. "Hey, you mind waiting for us to get off before you start washing yourself?"

Lapras immediately stopped and craned his neck back to give Ash a cheeky little smile. They both laughed, waking up Misty in the process.

"What's so funny? Why are we still out on the lake?"

"Nothing, Mist. I thought it would be nice to sleep under the stars last night, so when I noticed you were out, I told Lapras to take a rest."

"You could miss your battle because of this."

"Don't worry about that. It's in the afternoon, and it couldn't be any later than ten."

"Just making sure you're still keeping focused on the tournament. We should probably be getting back to the cabin. Brock and Pikachu are probably worried about us."

"True, the only one I'm worried about is Lucy. I don't want that stare again."

"I don't think we have to worry about that too much. I think Brock's softened her a little. Remember when we introduced her to Ritchie? She didn't glare me down like she used to."

"Well they have been dating for over a year. He has to have rubbed off on her at some point," he said as he directed Lapras to return to the shore.

"True, I'm just waiting for me to rub off on you."

"You will be waiting awhile then."

Once they reached shore, he returned Lapras to his Poké Ball and made their way to the cabin. As soon as Ash opened the door, they were greeted with a Thunderbolt.

"Morning to you to, Pikachu," Ash said from his position on the ground.

"Where were you two this morning? You had me worried," Delia said as she walked over to the door with a somewhat displeased look on her face.

"We just went for a walk last night and spent the night out on the lake. That isn't a crime now, is it?" he asked as he helped Misty to her feet and brushed himself off.

"No, but next time, leave a note or something."

"We'll try that next time."

"You two are lucky I made enough food for the two of you. It might not be all that warm, but at least it's something," Brock said as he placed two plates on the table.

"You couldn't have warmed it up for us?" Misty asked.

"Consider this your punishment for last night," Lucy said with a smirk.


Blastoise shot out of the water and slammed into the opponent's Seaking. He stood on the platform and waited for the ref to make the call. Once the call was made, both Pokémon were returned. The choices surprised everyone, Ash with Heracross and the opponent with an Umbreon. Heracross led off with Focus Punch but missed as the Umbreon leapt to another platform. Heracross was then hit in the back with a Shadow Ball. Heracross landed in the water and managed to pull himself out and shook himself dry. Umbreon then unleashed Dark Pulse, but Heracross managed to fly away before he could be hit. He then flew around to try and prepare for Fury Attack. The opposing trainer called for Protect, but was surprised when Heracross showed no signs of slowing. Instead, he switched attacks a few feet away from the green barrier and landed a Brick Break that sent Umbreon into the water.


"Face it sir, Mewtwo won't give up its position. The odds of this thing actually existing are slim as it is. Maybe we should refocus our resources elsewhere. There is more known about the locations of the other Legendries than there is about a creature that supposedly was created by you."

The boardroom was silent for quite some time. Everyone but the man who spoke up tried to avert their eyes away from Giovanni. They knew what happened when someone critiques the orders of the boss. When neither one made a sound or a move, everyone started to bring their gaze back up to the head of the boardroom table. Giovanni was simply sitting in his seat with a scowl on his face and his hand resting on his faithful Persian.

It was not much longer before the silence was broken by his laughter. It was the kind of laugh that made everyone even more nervous than before. Once he was done, he stood up and walked to the man's seat. He stood right behind the man and could see the sweat begin to form on his slightly balding head.

"Do you question my plans? Or is it your lack of faith that makes you doubt our success? I have personally made sure every little detail was correct, and you should know very well that I never chase fairytales. That being said, you may have a point. Mewtwo, yes it does exist, won't willingly show itself unless we force it out. We've tried capturing the clones, but it doesn't appear that it wants to help them. Based on what little information we do have, it would be foolish to proceed with its capture until we have more data. I will make that your job," he said as he leaned forward so that his face was right next to the sweaty man. "This way, you will have your proof that it exists."

"Yes sir," he managed to say amazingly without stuttering.

Giovanni then stood straight up and began circling the table. "Good, now, as for our other projects, we will begin relocating most of the agents searching for Mewtwo to other areas that may provide us with a Legendary Pokémon. Our scientists will continue their work on the cloning project. From what I have heard, we are nearly ready to begin testing. Now, if any of you still have doubts, I want to know now. We don't need anyone who isn't willing to give everything to this organization. If you are unwilling, stand and leave. My secretary will lead you out." As he finished, he stopped walking and stood with his back facing the rest of the room.

Everyone knew what would happen if they did as he said. There was no way around it. They were used to swallowing their doubts and blindly following orders. This was no different from some of the other outlandish ideas he had in the past, but the reward would be greater if they stayed. Everyone was thinking these things and made up their minds to stay.

Giovanni finally turned around, feeling that he had given them adequate time to make their decision, and smiled. "Good, now, let's get back to business."


Feraligatr lay face down on the frozen battle field defeated with the opponent's Cloyster grinning viciously at him. Once recalled, Ash waited no time in releasing his final Pokémon, Omastar. Omastar opened up with a Hydro Pump, which was blocked when Cloyster used Withdraw. The next order was for Shell Smash, which left the shell discarded to one side of the field and revealed the rest of Omastar's body to resemble an amorphous blob behind his face. To follow up, he used Stone Edge, causing a wave of sharp rocks to come crashing down onto the immobile Cloyster.


As the tournament progressed, the group began liking Ash's chances to make it to the final battle. From the way all of them were battling, it would seem that all four of them would make it to the round of sixteen. Each of them pulled out impressive victories, whether they were complete blowouts or closely contested, that were being talked about throughout the Plateau. Quickly, they were becoming the favorites to win the tournament.

The last day of preliminary rounds, however, brought the first big surprise of the tournament. Tyson, whose only major setback in the tournament was that first battle on the Grass Field, was trailing in the number count two to one with Metagross being his only one left. It fought hard to even up the count but fell to the opponent's Marowak. After the battle, everyone went to see how Tyson was handling the loss.

"Were there things I could've done differently? Of course. Doesn't mean I regret my decisions during the battle. As the saying goes, 'any given day on any given field.' This just gives the rest of you more reason to go out and win the tournament."

After Tyson put an end to any more sympathy that was likely to come from the group, they all made their way to draw the Magikarp. Once that was taken care of, the final bracket was set. Ritchie and Harrison were on one side of the bracket and would not face each other until the semifinals. Ash was on the other side, meaning he would not face either of his rivals unless one of them made it to the finals with him.

Back at the cabin, Ash had laid out different sketches that Tracey made while his team trained on the floor. He stacked the sketches of those he had already used on the couch that he was leaning against because he did not want to use the same Pokémon unless he wanted to use them in the Championship Match if he made it that far.

"Why not use Dratini? She could use some experience," Misty said as she picked up the sketch with Dratini on it.

"I don't know. She is strong, but what about some of the others. All of my evolved Eevee need experience as well. Not to mention Skarmory and Steelix."

"Plus it might not be a bad idea to use some of your Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Unova Pokémon. What do you know about your opponent?"

"She is from Kanto, a graduate of Pokémon Tech, has used only five Pokémon the entire tournament, and used her Tangela in each battle. The other Pokémon she used are Wartortle, Nidorina, Doduo, and Electabuzz."

"Hey Ash, you want to join us for…What are you doing?" Without either their notice, May, Drew, and Dawn had entered the cabin. May was the one who spoke and was surprised to see the floor covered with Tracey's sketches.

Dawn knelt down and picked up a few of the sketches and asked, "Are these all your Pokémon?"

"Yeah, Tracey drew all of these, and I'm just trying to figure out who to use tomorrow."

"Well maybe you could think better if you had food in your stomach. Come on, you haven't eaten anything since before your battle."

"Not yet. I want to make sure I pick the right ones. I don't want what happened last time I battled here to happen again."

"Don't worry about that. You are so much better than you were then. But I'm hungry, and we promised your mother that we would get you some food. So, how about you use…" May began to look around the room and picked two pictures before walking over to Misty and taking Dratini's picture. "Use these three tomorrow."

"You know nothing about my opponent, and your idea of help is to blindly select my team?"

"You can win no matter who you choose. Your strength is thinking on your feet no matter the matchups. Now let's go get food. I'm starving."

Now, odds of a speedy second update are slim. I have not worked on the next chapter yet since I made up my mind on how to do these chapters. Plus, Thanksgiving is this Thursday which means I will be home which means I will not be working on this at all. I'm also trying to figure out some other personal things that have been absorbing my mind lately. Anyway, be patient. I do intend to finish this. I have an ending somewhat figured out already, just getting there will take time, a lot of time.