Chapter 27

Tournament Arc X

Ash and Cilan were at the sauna, relaxing after the former's well-performed victory.

"Pikachu sure did its all," Ash muttered, "No wonder it battled like a champion."

"That's right," replied Cilan, "That battle was a well-tasted one, since the compatibility between Pokemon and Trainer worked out completely."

"I'll do my best in the next rounds!"

"This is perfect! No wonder it's still a perfect time to relax!" Stephan exclaimed as he, Cameron, Brendan, and Kyon entered the sauna as well.

"I'll try to make sure I make a lot of sweat!" added Cameron.

"Oh, it's Ash!"

"It's Stephan, Cameron, Kyon, and Brendan!"

Stephan patted Ash in the back twice.

"Congratulations, Ash! You did it!" he said.

"Uh, thanks."

"I was impressed in that battle!" Cameron added, "Did you think of a new strategy that you just set up? I want to know how you let Pikachu pull that one off."

"Uh, thank you, both of you, but it feels a lot stuffy."

"But this is a sauna after all!" Stephan responded, "I wanna have a pure time!"

Cameron added, "And everyone's a noble mind."

As usual, Kyon had a deadpan look on his face.

Stephan said to Kyon, "Oh, I also just wanted to congratulate your friend too, for moving on to the next round."

"Thanks," Kyon mumbled.

Cameron said, "No wonder Ash's Pikachu really is something."

A few minutes later, the four then dried themselves up. They even had a taste of bottles of Moomoo Milk.

"This milk tastes real good," Kyon remarked after he took a sip, "I wonder where it comes from."

"It's also tasting real good when it's ice cold," added Stephan, taking a drink from a certain orange bottle that he just grabbed.

"Where did you get that?" Kyon asked Stephan.

The latter replied, "I started drinking Morning Rescue after watching the eighth episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica."

"Hey, Stephan! And speaking of the eighth episode, did you know that Sayaka just turned into a-"

Before Cameron could continue, his mouth was being covered by Stephan.

"What was that for?"

"Cameron, that is supposed to be a spoiler!"

"Uh, sorry about that," Cameron replied, rubbing his nape.

Kyon dropped his sweat and thought, "Wow, Stephan and Cameron seem to like deconstructed magical girl shows. I wonder if they can handle the depression."

That was when a noise was heard from the hot bathing area nearby, prompting the four to go there.

When they entered, they saw Pikachu and Riolu already out of the spring.

Ash noticed Oshawott, floating in the water and apparently knocked unconscious.

"What just happened to you, Oshawott?"

The following day. . . . .

The stadium started sparking off some fireworks as the fire in the flame cauldron continued lighting up.

O'Martian narrated, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Vertress City Unova League main event is about to commence! In the first round, Trainers will use 2 Pokemon, and substitutions are allowed. And so, we will reveal on the big screen our first round match-ups!"

The screen showed cards of several Trainers, two of them being Haruhi and Ash as they were being shuffled, eventually revealing the match-ups.

"And our first match in the first round will be Cameron vs. Bianca!"

The audience throughout the stadium cheered as Cameron and Bianca positioned themselves in the arena.

"It's going to be a battle between two friends," Ash thought.

Kyon added, "I don't know who am I going to cheer for."

"Me too," Stephan said.

Kyon thought to himself, "For some reason, Brendan wasn't with me when I went here."

Cilan remarked, "I'm very curious on how things will ever turn out."

Iris added, "I can't wait!"

"Riolu, let's win this," Cameron said, "But the question is, which Pokemon shall I start with?"

He then pulled his headband and released it back.

"Alright, I got it!"

The referee announced, "Let the battle begin!"

"Samurott, let's go!"

Cameron sent out a Samurott.

"Okay, Escavalier, come on out!"

Bianca, on the other hand, summoned an Escavalier.

Kyon asked Ash, "I wonder what was that Pokemon Bianca just used."

Stephan replied, "It's called an Escavalier."

"Escava-what?"

"Escavalier." Stephan replied, "Ash, scan over your Pokedex for Kyon."

"Sure, why not?"

Ash scanned his Pokedex at Bianca's Escavalier, and it said, "Escavalier, the Cavalry Pokemon, and the evolved form of Karrablast. Escavalier's body is as hard as steel, but they actually come from shell coverings of Shelmet."

O'Martian narrated, "Cameron's choice is Samurott, and Bianca has selected Escavalier."

"Samurott, use Hydro Cannon!"

"Dodge it right away!"

Escavalier avoided Samurott's attack.

"Use Iron Defense!"

Escavalier coated itself in shiny silver.

"Use Hydro Cannon again!"

"Dodge it again!"

Escavalier once again got away from Samurott's attack.

"Iron Defense!"

Kyon thought, "What was that attack Bianca's Escavalier just used?"

Yuki replied, "Iron Defense is a Steel-type move that increases a Pokemon's Defense up to 50%."

"You mean it sharply raises defense power?"

"Yes."

O'Martian narrated, "Using Iron Defense consecutively would definitely raise Escavalier's defense power."

While the battle was going on, Brendan was outside, heading for the arena.

But before he could enter though, he noticed a certain Trainer in a jet black jacket with orange-tipped sleeves along with his Emboar and Heatmor not far from a nearby wall.

"Enough of the past! Apparently, no one in here already knows about that," the Trainer said.

The Trainer, along with his Emboar and Heatmor, thrusted out their right hands.

"I call myself the Fire Warrior Master! Prepare to get engulfed by the flames of the Fire Warriors, and be begone!"

He then clenched his fist, exclaiming to himself, "It's already gone as long as I live!"

Brendan went away stealthily, managing not to be seen from the Trainer's sight.

On the way to the bleachers, the battle between Bianca and Cameron was about to finish, with both having only one Pokemon remaining.

"Flamethrower, go!"

Bianca's Emboar spouted a Flamethrower from its mouth.

"Dodge it quick!"

Cameron's Riolu avoided Emboar's attack.

"Use Copycat!"

"Copycat?"

"Kyon, if you're wondering what's Copycat, try to look closely at Riolu and see what it's doing," Brendan said as he showed up at the bleachers, sitting next to Kyon.

Riolu became surrounded in a red aura of light, recalling how Bianca's Emboar used its Flamethrower. Its eyes then twinkled, using Flamethrower to retaliate at Emboar, much to the surprise of the audience.

O'Martian narrated, "Now that's a very surprising countermeasure."

Ash and Stephan were also astonished.

"Did Riolu just use Flamethrower?" the latter thought.

"I think Riolu was using Copycat to mimic Emboar's Flamethrower," Haruhi replied.

At the same time, Mikuru muttered, "But how?"

Cilan replied to Mikuru, "Copycat is a move that enables a Pokemon to use the opponent's last move."

"So that explains why Riolu was mimicking Emboar's last attack," Kyon concluded, "I wonder if Cameron could make more surprises besides that."

"Oh, you forgot to bring this," the latter said, pulling out a certain scrapbook with lots of sticker decorations.

"No, not that scrapbook again. Please, I wouldn't want people to find out that I've gotten eighth grade syndrome again," Kyon muttered, sighing and palming his face.

"Finish it off with Vacuum Wave!"

"Now that gave me another surprise," Kyon said.

Riolu waved both of its arms, forming blue trails of energy that surrounded it. It then jumped, crossing both of its arms as it fired the trails of energy, forming a shockwave that caused an explosion as it hit Emboar.

"Riolu's Vacuum Wave lands a direct hit on Emboar!" O'Martian narrated.

Iris, Kyon, Haruhi, Mikuru, and Ash had uncertain looks on their faces as the smoke cleared.

Emboar was knocked out.

"Emboar is unable to battle. Riolu wins, and the winner of this match is Cameron!" the referee announced.

The audience cheered for joy as the battle had come to a conclusion.

After recalling Emboar, Bianca sobbed, mumbling as she sunk to the ground, "Why did I end up having to lose? Gyabo. . . . . . . ."

In the other side of the battlefield, Cameron jumped for joy with his Riolu.

"We did it! We have won!" he chanted as Bianca exclaimed in response, "You may have won this time, but I'm not going to lose next time!"

Kyon, having a glad look on his face, remarked, "Bianca would've been this close to winning, if not for the fact that Riolu had been turning the tables for so long."

"Nevertheless, it was still a great battle by any other means," Cilan added.

Stephan said to Haruhi, "Riolu must've been trained very well."

In the arena, one of the next battles was between Haruhi and a Trainer named Misaki as the two summoned Zangoose and Chandelure, respectively.

Misaki was down to one Pokemon remaining, while Haruhi still had two Pokemon.

Cameron, now back on the bleachers, said, "Something tells me that the eyepatch worn by Haruhi's opponent makes her a lot like Misaki Mei."

Bianca added, "But she looks more like Rikka Takanashi to me, although she placed her eyepatch on her right eye instead of the left one."

Kyon replied, "You two have been probably watching too much anime."

"But that's how we can describe her!" Bianca and Cameron both yelled, catching the attention of the other people in the bleachers.

"Zangoose, Shadow Claw!"

Haruhi's Zangoose hit Misaki's Chandelure with the Ghost-type move, knocking it out.

"Chandelure is unable to battle. Zangoose wins, and the winner goes to Haruhi," the referee announced.

Kyon asked Itsuki, "Koizumi, can you tell me if something bad really happens should Haruhi end up losing the tournament?"

"The chances of closed space incidents to happen are very low as of this time."

"Something tells me that maybe things will go wrong real soon," Kyon thought.

The next few matches later, Ash is battling a random Trainer and her Darumaka.

Kyon said, "So Ash's opponent is named Haruka Nogizaka. Stephan, would it be true that she is secretly a closet geek?"

"It's not that she would be from one of those certain anime I just watched though!" Stephan responded, "And speaking of that show, do you watch it too?"

The latter became unnerved and his face blushed red, replying, "Uh, it's not that I would be watching a lot of it as much as you do though, Stephan."

"Scraggy, use Hi Jump Kick!"

Scraggy landed a solid hit on Haruka's Darumaka, knocking the latter away.

"Scraggy makes another move with a solidly hit Hi Jump Kick!" O'Martian announced.

"Get up, Darumaka!" Haruka exclaimed.

Just when Darumaka was about to get up, it was intimidated by Scraggy's Leer.

"Alright. Finish it off with Headbutt!"

Scraggy knocked Darumaka unconscious with a Headbutt.

"Darumaka is unable to battle. Scraggy wins, and the victor is Ash!" the referee announced. Ash eventually proceeded to the quarterfinals.

"Alright, Scraggy!" Ash shouted out.

The rest of the battles have ended with Virgil, Sasaki, and Stephan winning.

O'Martian narrated, "Those were great spectacular battles! The winning Trainers have displayed both offense and defense with their Pokemon, giving them a spot in the third round."

"Ash, Stephan, Cameron, and Haruhi have gotten into tiptop form, as what I have to conclude," Iris said.

Cilan added, "Virgil and his training regimen makes it very obvious as well."

"And now, the match-ups of the Top 16 round will be revealed!" O'Martian announced, "Folks, look to the scoreboard!"

The results were eventually revealed on the screen. Some of the matchups were Stephan vs. Ash, Cameron and a random Pokemon Trainer named Megurine, Virgil and an unnamed teacher whose face was completely covered by his suitcase, Haruhi and Haruhi Fujioka, and lastly, Sasaki's next opponent is named Switch.

"From all those Trainers out there who participated in the Unova League, the other Haruhi has managed to move on to the same round as Suzumiya," Kyon said.

Brendan added, "It's become pretty clear that Haruhi gets paired up with people who tend to get compared with her more often."

"And to think that it was all because some wizard did it, right?" Kyon thought.

Haruhi Fujioka noticed on the screen and gasped. She then said, "Looks like I'll have to face off against another Haruhi once again."

"I can't wait to battle you!" Haruhi exclaimed to her.

O'Martian announced, "The excitement begins tomorrow morning, so start resting up and prepare for another dose of red-hot battling action!"

Iris's Axew started to become very hyped.

In the hallway, Iris, Kyon, Brendan, Mikuru, Yuki, Itsuki, and Cilan were walking along with a crowd of people.

"The battle between two Haruhis is going to get interesting," Iris said, "And also, Ash and Stephan will make things interesting as well."

Cilan added, "The third round is going to become 3-on-3 matches. Ash and Stephan know each other a lot, so it can be hard for both of them to select the Pokemon that they're going to use. And also, both Haruhis would be doing the same too for their next match together."

Mikuru thought and said to Cilan, "Hmmm. Let's see, judging from their previous battle together in the Junior Cup, I think Mr. . . . .uh, I mean, Miss Fujioka has just used a Magmortar. Wasn't that right, Kyon?"

"Well, Cilan did mention earlier that the next battles are going to be 3-on-3 Pokemon battles, therefore it would be expected that she would use two other Pokemon if she were to use Magmortar again," Kyon said.

Bianca suddenly screamed.

"And to think that you may have seen a Ghost-type Pokemon," said Iris, turning around to Bianca.

"I almost forgot to remind myself that Casteliacones are going to be on sale today!" the latter muttered.

Brendan and Iris replied in unison, "But excuse me, this isn't Castelia City."

"Actually, a lot of shops coming from other places in the Unova region have set up just to add flavor to the Unova League," Cilan explained.

"But the limited sale from those shops also ends today, therefore, I don't want to miss the opportunity to buy a Casteliacone!" Bianca exclaimed, pointing her finger upward.

She then approached Kyon and asked, "Hey, Kyon, do you want to try a Casteliacone too? I'll also give one to Mikuru and the three other friends of yours from the SOS Brigade if you do."

"Uh, I'll pass."

Mikuru said, "But I wanna buy some-"

"I'll be going off then to buy some ice cream! Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!" Bianca exclaimed, drowning Mikuru's speech.

"Miss Asahina, did you say something?"

"Uh, Kyon, I actually want to try out some Casteliacones and find out what they taste like."

Itsuki added, "I also want to look forward to trying it too."

Kyon palmed his face. At the same time Cilan said, "She is driven to try them out, alright. I just can't blame her."

Iris said to Kyon, "Why don't we go check out the shops and try out some Casteliacones at the same time later."

Iris's Axew, who was in its Trainer's long hair for a while, noticed a floating red balloon pass by.

Meanwhile:

Haruhi Suzumiya and Haruhi Fujioka confronted with each other in a corridor.

"Your first name may also be Haruhi, but look out, because I'm the one who wins it!" the former exclaimed.

"I'm smarter, therefore I'm not holding back," the latter replied.

"And may the best Haruhi win," Suzumiya said as she and Fujioka did a high-five.

"So, catch ya later, Haruhi," the latter said as she left.

Stephan and Ash are also on the same pathway.

"And may the best Trainer win too," Stephan said to Ash.

"I already got those words of yours," he added.

Cameron suddenly appeared along with his Riolu, showing off his knapsack.

"Everything's all packed and ready to go! I'm going to become the first to enter the best spot!"

"Uh, Cameron. Are you going to head off somewhere?" Ash asked.

Haruhi continued, "The Unova League is just nowhere but here, and you're also competing in the third round, aren't you?"

"Haruhi, you're probably clueless, because tonight's the night when the fireworks come out!" Cameron exclaimed.

"Fireworks?" Ash and Haruhi muttered in unison.

"Oh, yeah! Tonight's going to be filled with flashy fireworks as a celebration for the tournament itself, and because of that, I'm going to look for the best spot to watch them."

He then rushed away with his Riolu, adding, "We'll catch ya later!"

Suzumiya said, "You know, it actually sounds cool to watch the fireworks at nighttime, right, Ash?"

"You bet, Haruhi!"

"Fireworks is indeed cool, but I like the sauna better," Stephan replied, "So I guess I must head off now and make some strategy sweat. See you later, Ash and Haruhi!"

"Right, see you tomorrow!" Ash and Haruhi both replied, waving their hands.

"Ash, you did very well! I hope you too can make it in the third round," Iris said as she, Cilan, Kyon, Brendan, Itsuki, Yuki, and Mikuru showed up right behind Ash.

"Hey, thanks!" Ash replied.

Kyon added, "And you too, Haruhi. You did the same too."

"Didn't you watch me battle the whole time, did you?"

"Well, I did, but-"

In the midst of the conversation, Ash's Pikachu sensed that something went wrong.

"What's up, Pikachu?"

The Mouse Pokemon pointed at Iris's hair.

"I wonder where's your Axew?" Ash asked, causing Iris to notice that her Axew wasn't clinging in her hair.

"Huh?"

Iris's Axew was in a pathway crowded with people, looking for the floating red balloon that it just noticed earlier. It crammed itself when it became filled with more people.

Unfortunately, the red balloon was nowhere in Axew's sight, much to the Tusk Pokemon's chagrin.

It then heard some people chanting out "Alright, let's go!"

The voices came from a group of people in party hats who were cosplaying as Alita, Ezreal, Fran Madaraki, the FFF, Kuroko Tetsuya, Melon, and Guts.

Some of them were also dressed up as Flonne and a Prinny, Hiei and Botan, Marth, Cures Sunny and Peace, Yuno in her school uniform, Travis Touchdown, Subaru Konoe in her butler outfit, the Renmei Communicator, Rex Salazar, Fai D. Flourite, Mahoro Ando, Kurisu Makise, Gilgamesh, and Koko Hekmatyar.

The children, on the other hand, were dressed up as Nyanko-sensei, Endou Mamoru, Dejiko, Yaiba Kurogane, Nano Shinonome, and Dipper and Mabel Pines.

They were the supporters of Russet, one of the Pokemon Trainers who participated in the Unova League. He was dressed up as Ogami Rei.

". . . . . I can't believe that Russet has managed to hit the third round! This is the first time that a Pokemon Trainer from our town has managed to get even further so far in the Unova League. And so, I hereby decree that from now on, today will be now known as Russet Day!" said Russet's father, who was dressed up as Mechazawa, "And also, we all decided to do some cosplay as a part of the celebration."

"Thanks," said Russet.

"I have been cheering my heart out for all the Pokemon Trainers coming from our town for a long time, and now that Russet has gone even further, I'm so proud of him. . . . " Russet's father continued, eventually sobbing.

In the midst of the conversation, Iris's Axew decided to follow Russet's supporters. That was when it was noticed by an old woman who was dressed up as Hanako Ohtani.

"So, do you wanna celebrate with us? That's wonderful, and how sweet, darling."

The old woman tied a ribbon on Axew's neck and even placed a party hat on its head.

". . . . . To all the members of our fan club, it's time to give Russet a victory party he'll never forget! Let's party!" Russet's father exclaimed.

"Yeah!" the rest of the group chanted. The bunch of people then went rushing off.

"Come on and let's go!" said the old woman, dragging Axew along.

Ash, Brendan, Iris, Cilan, Haruhi, Yuki, Kyon, Itsuki, and Mikuru rushed out to the lobby to look for Iris's Axew.

"That's strange. Where's Axew?" Iris asked, complaining.

"Did it go back to the dorms?" asked Kyon.

"Axew? Going there all alone? It wouldn't happen."

In the midst of the search, Virgil and his Eevee showed up behind Ash and Kyon.

"Hey, Kyon, is there something wrong?"

"Oh, it's Virgil."

Meanwhile, Russet's family and friends rushed off to the stalls.

"It's a party, and we can't have one without any food!" exclaimed Russet's father, "This won't be our last party!"

Axew was still being dragged along until it eventually let go of itself, feeling dizzy in the middle of the pathway.

It then stopped to take a rest at a neaby booth.

Dela Mochimazui approached Axew and asked it, "Boy, you must be hungry."

He then flew off to Tamako and said, "It appears that you have a Pokemon customer, young girl."

Tamako noticed Axew sitting down next to their kiosk.

"Hello there," she said, giving Axew a rice cake, "Welcome to our booth, best known in the Unova region as Tamaya. Try our newest Oran Berry-flavored rice cakes. It will make you feel better."

Axew proceeded to take a bite.

Meanwhile, Ash, Iris, Brendan, Cilan, Virgil, and all the five members of the SOS Brigade were in a control room, noticing at all the wall-mounted surveillance TV screens.

Virgil said, "If we can check the footage from the surveillance cameras, we can be able to look for any clues."

"And by the way, Haruhi. Thanks for pointing it out," he continued, turning his face to Haruhi.

"Why thank you," replied the latter.

"It doesn't make sense that Axew would simply disappear," Ash said.

"And to think that it might have gone Stealth Momoko on you, Iris," Brendan added.

Iris replied, "But that doesn't make sense either."

Kyon thought, "Something tells me that this is going to be a mystery that we are all going to solve."

"And there's only one person who is perfect for the job, and that's me!" Cilan added, proceeding to don a deerstalker hat and magnifying glass.

"Don't forget me too!" exclaimed Haruhi.

"Huh?"

"You see, one person isn't enough to solve mysteries. Besides, Sherlock has had Watson as his partner, you know," replied Haruhi, "After all, the SOS Brigade aims to solve the mysteries of this world!"

"Can you two keep it down? I can't concentrate!" Iris replied to both Haruhi and Cilan, much to the latter's dismay.

"Yes, maam. . . . . . ," the latter frowned and muttered, crouching away and covering his ears.

"I can't hear anything, I can't hear anything, I can't hear anything. . . . "

"Cilan, stop going all Mio Akiyama on us and concentrate on the situation," Haruhi said, "After all, you are a Detective Connoisseur."

The security personnel rewound a surveillance video, prompting the nine to notice a group of people rushing by (who happen to be Russet and his supporting family and friends).

"Hold on. Play it one more time," Iris said, requesting one of the personnel to playback the video.

She eventually noticed a Pokemon being dragged along by the bunch of people.

"It's Axew!"

"If that is your Axew, it's pretty clear that it might be with them for now," Kyon said to Iris.

"They're apparently heading for the center of the city," Virgil said.

"Let's go, Iris," Ash said.

"Right!"

"Hey, Kyon, let's join along with them too," Haruhi said.

The former palmed his face and said, "What I find it difficult looking for Axew though is when it goes away from them."

Bianca was sitting at a bench near the stalls, licking a Casteliacone.

"Casteliacones are the best. They rule!"

She suddenly noticed Iris's Axew walking along in the pathway.

"Oh, it's Axew. Good to see you."

Just before Axew could reach Bianca though, it was carried away by the rushing Russet and his supporters.

"Huh?"

Russet's father exclaimed, "We've got treats straight from the Driftveil Market. Let's go eat 'em all!"

"Yeah!"

"Parties for the party god! Treats for the treat throne!" chanted Russet and his supporters.

Axew was dizzy, being crammed beside two of Russet's supporters as the group rushed away. On the other hand, Bianca was puzzled.

Dela Mochimazui perched on top of the booth, staring below.

Meanwhile. . . .

Cameron and his Riolu have finished setting up a tent near the lake.

"Alright, that should do it, Riolu. Now bring on the fireworks!"

"Fireworks? Let's go watch some fireworks too!"

Russet and his supporters suddenly rushed by, inadvertently destroying Cameron's tent. Iris's Axew was still being crammed between two of Russet's supporters.

"Why so serious?" Cameron exclaimed, much to his and his Riolu's surprise.

In the stalls. . . . . .

Ash, Haruhi, Cilan, Brendan, Kyon, Mikuru, Itsuki, Virgil, Yuki, and Iris are still in search for the latter's Axew.

"Axew, where are you?"

"It's too crowded," said Kyon.

"Ash!"

While searching, Virgil, Ash, and Kyon heard a familiar voice from afar. It was Bianca, with two Casteliacones on both hands.

"I got you some Casteliacones!" she exclaimed.

However, she stepped on a softdrink can, causing her to trip and redirect herself past Kyon, knocking him out to a nearby fountain.

"Kyon, are you alright?" asked Ash and Cilan.

"Wouldn't you be careful before you bump into me the next time we meet?" the deadpan Kyon muttered, already soaking wet.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. . . . . " Bianca replied repeatedly, bowing down to Kyon several times.

Seconds later. . . . .

"Axew's lost? That's so awful," said Bianca.

Iris asked, "So please, can you tell us where did Axew go? I'm begging you!"

"Hmmm. Let's see. . . . . I wonder if it went to my left or to my right. . . . . . "

Dela Mochimazui showed up from the air, perching down on top of Bianca's beret.

"It's Dela Mochimazui," Brendan said.

"Dela?" Virgil and Iris both asked, "And who's that Pokemon?"

"Now's not the time to explain," Kyon replied, later facing Dela, "By the way, Dela, why did you have to show up at a time like this?"

"You see, young man. If this little girl's looking for her Axew, I do remember that there was one wearing a ribbon and a party hat who stopped by just to try some of Tamako's Oran Berry rice cakes. Was that it?"

"Yes, that's it! So tell me, where is my Axew?"

"It must have went over to my right."

"I'm coming, Axew!" Iris said, but before she could run, she asked, "By the way, do you have a name? I heard Brendan say that your name is Dela."

"Yes. The name's Dela Mochimazui, and more properly speaking, I'm a Togekiss," Dela replied, bowing down before Iris.

"Thanks for telling us, Dela!" added Ash as he and Cilan followed after Iris.

"Uh, wait a minute, I'm coming with you!" Bianca said, her feet jogging back and forth.

"Uh. . . . . uh. . . . . . My Casteliacone!. . . . . . . Perhaps I should give it to your Eevee, Virgil!"

Virgil was handed over a Casteliacone from Bianca.

Dela flew away, catching up to Ash and the others.

"Virgil, can we look for Axew too?" Kyon asked.

"Sure, why not?"

"Then that means,

"Emolga, come on out!"

Iris summoned an Emolga.

Ash's Oshawott suddenly popped out of its Poke Ball.

"Oshawott, you're helping out too?"

Oshawott agreed, beating his scalchop.

"Scraggy, help us out!"

Ash summoned his Scraggy.

Along with their Pokemon, Ash and Iris went to search for Axew along with Cilan.

Dela also managed to catch up after them.

Meanwhile. . . .

"Here's to our hometown hero Russet's next victory in the Unova League. And now, let's do a 3-3-7 clap-along. Ready!"

While Russet and his supporters clapped along that late afternoon, the old woman gave Iris's Axew a bowl full of Pokemon food.

The latter suddenly noticed a Pokemon Trainer giving Pokemon food to her Lillipup.

"Lillipup, does it taste good?"

Lillipup smiled happily, indicating that it liked it.

Axew suddenly became worried, reminding it of its Trainer, Iris.

In a sidewalk, Ash's Pikachu and Scraggy ask a Stoutland for help.

Oshawott, on the other hand, went off to an alley while four wild Trubbish were eating some apples on a box.

One of the Trubbish spotted Oshawott coming near them, prompting all of them to hide in some scraps.

The latter noticed the box of apples in front of it, proceeding to eat all of them.

Back at the sidewalk, Pikachu and Scraggy both fail to ask the Stoutland for help, as it seemed to refuse.

Iris's Emolga showed up along with Dela Mochimazui and a Swoobat.

"Swoobat and I also happen to know where your friend Axew is," Dela said to Pikachu and Scraggy, much to the latter's surprise.

In the meantime, Oshawott stuffed itself after eating all the apples on the box.

It then left the alley after Pikachu called it out.

A shopkeeper noticed Oshawott come out from the alley, getting reprimanded by Pikachu as they prepare to leave along with Emolga, Scraggy, and Dela.

Back at the lake where Russet and his supporters were still on their picnic, the old woman went by Russet's side, cheering him on. Russet's father was also cheering on, waving two flags on both hands.

"Do your best tomorrow, dear!"

"I'll do my best. Thank you," replied Russet.

The old woman suddenly noticed that Axew finished eating the Pokemon food given to it and left off.

"I just wondered where did Axew go," she said.

Axew apparently went off to the forest to look for Iris. Exhausted from running, it took a stop at a nearby tree.

At the same time, a wild Garbodor came back with a bunch of balloons on one hand, noticing that the Trubbish became upset after realizing that Ash's Oshawott ate up all the apples intended for them.

The surprised Garbodor ended up releasing all the balloons away in response.

At the lake, Cameron and his Riolu were close to rebuilding up their tent.

"At last, everything's back in tiptop shape, right Riolu?"

"Oh look, it's that hat!" Iris exclaimed, much to Cameron's astonishment.

She then proceeded to grab the party hat on top of Cameron's tent, destroying it at the same time.

"What are you doing?" Cameron ranted.

"Do you see this, Cilan?"

Cilan used his magnifying glass at the party hat that Iris grabbed and concluded, "I think that's the hat that Axew was wearing!"

"Why did you have to ruin my tent?" Cameron asked, yelling at Iris.

"But before that, can you tell me where's my Axew? You saw it, right?"

"I do remember that there were some people in party hats rushing past me, destroying my tent," Cameron thought, "They probably went to my right."

"Thanks, let's go!" Iris said.

"I'll see ya tomorrow!" Ash added, catching up to Iris and Cilan as the three rushed off.

"I'm in despair!" Cameron exclaimed, "My tent's wrecked up again, so I'm in despair!"

He then sobbed as his Riolu tried to sympathize with him.

Somewhere in the forest, Iris's Axew started to cry for getting lost.

Fortunately, Pikachu, Emolga, Scraggy, Oshawott, and Dela Mochimazui the Togekiss came to find it.

"Is this the Axew that its master was looking for the whole time?" Dela asked to Pikachu.

It nodded, indicating as if it said yes.

Axew then gave Pikachu a warm embrace while the angry Trubbish and Garbodor from earlier showed up behind them, apparently seeking revenge in response to Oshawott eating up the apples intended for the Trubbish.

Bianca, Virgil, Brendan, and the five members of the SOS Brigade were on a sidewalk, also looking for Iris's Axew.

"Can't we just put this up for tomorrow, Haruhi? It's about to get dark real soon," Kyon said, complaining.

"But we can't stop until we find Axew for Iris!" Haruhi yelled, "You better keep all the complaining for yourself!"

"This will definitely take a while before Iris's Axew is found," thought Kyon.

"This looks to me that Haruhi is quite the determiner in this case," Itsuki added.

Kyon asked, suggesting, "I'd rather wish for Axew to be found rather than to leave us looking for it."

The group noticed the shopkeeper from earlier saying, "That's odd. Now where have they gone off to?"

Virgil asked, "Maam, is there something wrong?"

The shopkeeper replied, "There used to be four Trubbish living in here, and suddenly, they're all gone."

"Four Trubbish?" Kyon muttered, "Who are those Pokemon?"

"Here. I'll show you," Brendan replied, pulling out his Pokedex.

After a push in the buttons, the Pokedex said, "Trubbish, the Trash Bag Pokemon. Trubbish prefer to live in unsanitary places and is said to be born from a fusion of trash and industrial waste."

"Those Pokemon appear to be walking trash bags and yet someone takes care of them?"

"Don't take it as an insult to the Trubbish," Bianca said to Kyon.

Haruhi asked the shopkeeper, "About the Trubbish. Do they live in this alleyway?"

"Yes, but not just them. A Garbodor also lives with them too. They're probably gone because of an Oshawott who probably ate up all of their food."

"Oshawott?"

"Not just an Oshawott did I just see, but I also noticed a Pikachu, a Scraggy, an Emolga, and a Togekiss run past by, and I'm sure they're all up to something."

"Haruhi, Ash owns a Pikachu, right?" Kyon asked.

Haruhi replied, "Well, that's very obvious Ash owns one, since Pikachu aren't native in Unova. . . . . which means, we're finally close to telling where they are right now!"

The eight nodded at each other, eventually heading for the direction told by the shopkeeper.

Pikachu, Emolga, Axew, Oshawott, Scraggy, and Dela Mochimazui were still in the forest, being chased after the angry Trubbish and Garbodor.

"I'm wondering if anyone of you has offended the fellow Trubbish and Garbodor," said Dela.

The wild Garbodor used Gunk Shot, almost hitting the group.

Pikachu attempted to ask them why they were doing so.

Dela said to the Trubbish and Garbodor, interpreting, "Pikachu just said that they haven't done anything to offend you."

Unable to accept the pleas of Pikachu, the wild Garbodor used Toxic on it and Dela.

Fortunately, Dela used Protect to block the attack, later returning the favor by using Attract on the wild Garbodor. Unfortunately, it seemed to have no effect.

"If it didn't work, it must be a male Garbodor."

Pikachu, Oshawott, and Scraggy were all stunned.

The Pokemon found themselves at a cliff with an abyss beneath them, leaving them all surrounded by the Trubbish and Garbodor to the dismay of Pikachu, Scraggy, and Oshawott.

Now at the forest, Virgil, Brendan, Bianca, Haruhi, Kyon, Mikuru, Itsuki, and Yuki noticed a piece of cloth on the ground.

"I wonder what was that thing on the ground," Itsuki said, picking up the gold-colored ribbon.

Kyon convinced Haruhi, "Didn't Axew wear something besides a party hat?"

"Well, yes, and it must be the one that Axew was wearing just earlier," the latter replied.

Virgil added, "Then that means, Iris's Axew is located somewhere down here."

They all suddenly heard an explosion, as well as some screams coming from some Pokemon.

Suddenly, Ash, Cilan, and Iris showed up from one junction, also looking for the latter's Axew.

"Hey, it's Ash!" Mikuru said.

"And it's them," Kyon added in response, obviously referring to Ash, Iris, and Cilan.

"Did you guys hear something?" Iris asked.

Haruhi replied, "Could that be your Axew?"

Pikachu, Scraggy, Axew, Emolga, and Dela the Togekiss became surrounded by Garbodor and the Trubbish.

Pikachu and Oshawott try to reason out to Garbodor.

Dela interpreted, referring to the two, "They're asking why have you and the Trubbish started attacking them."

When Garbodor and the Trubbish made their response, Dela interpreted, replying to Pikachu, "One of you must've stolen some food from those wild Trubbish, and that would probably be you, Oshawott."

Oshawott was astounded, much to the dismay of Pikachu and Emolga.

It tried to apologize to the Trubbish, but Garbodor ignores it, preparing a Gunk Shot.

Oshawott managed to deflect the attack with its scalchop, only for it to get knocked away by the Trubbish's Sludge Bomb.

Fortunately, Ash, Haruhi, and the rest of the gang arrived at the scene.

Iris said, "Hey, it looks like they're all here!"

Pikachu, Scraggy, Emolga, Oshawott, Axew, and Dela were all glad.

"Dela, why were you with them too?" Brendan asked.

"I was also trying to look for Miss Iris's Axew."

The outraged Garbodor fired another Toxic, knocking all the Pokemon down to the cliff.

"Espeon, use Psychic!"

Virgil summoned Espeon as it used the attack to levitate Pikachu, Emolga, Oshawott, and Axew.

Unfortunately, Psychic was unable to lift Scraggy.

"Oh no! Scraggy!" Ash exclaimed.

Just before Scraggy was about to get soaked into the water, Dela flew downward, eventually rescuing Scraggy to safety as well by hopping it on its back.

"It's pretty clear that your Oshawott must've eaten up all the fruit that was in the box, that's why the Trubbish and Garbodor are all angry," Haruhi and Virgil both said to Ash.

"Oshawott, is that true?"

Feeling shameful of itself, Oshawott was forced to admit to Ash.

The latter then tried to defend Oshawott and said to Garbodor, "Oshawott has to admit it, it feels bad about this. Not just Oshawott, but we all do."

Garbodor, still unable to accept any pleas, prepared a Gunk Shot, while the Trubbish attacked using Sludge Bomb.

"Yanmega, use Air Slash!"

"Umbreon, Shadow Ball!"

Haruhi and Virgil summoned Yanmega, and Umbreon, respectively as the two Pokemon did their attacks, intercepting Garbodor's Gunk Shot.

On the other hand, Dela stopped the Sludge Bomb with Protect.

Virgil said, "Garbodor, would you please calm down?"

"Oshawott didn't mean to steal all of your fruit," Mikuru added.

"In that case, listen to this!"

Virgil brought out a Soothe Bell that emitted a sound that eventually calmed the Trubbish and Garbodor.

"I wonder what was that thing that Virgil just used," Kyon said, wondering curiously.

"A Soothe Bell," Yuki relied, "It is used to increase data for Pokemon friendship."

"Does it calm down any Pokemon? "

"Yes."

"Oh, wow. A Soothe Bell! No wonder it really works!" Bianca exclaimed, gazing at Virgil's Soothe Bell.

Cilan added, "I wouldn't expect a little from a Pokemon Rescue Squad member like you, Virgil."

Ash, Kyon, and Dela Mochimazui sighed with relief.

"You know, Virgil, that was great work out there," Kyon remarked.

"But of course, this would never have been possible without Haruhi's help," the former replied.

Back at the alleyway in Vertress City that evening, Ash, Kyon, Iris, and Cilan carried altogether a large wooden platter full of Pokemon food.

"There you go. Dig in, and eat as much as you want," said both Haruhi and Ash to Garbodor and the Trubbish.

Oshawott handed over a platter of Pokemon food to the Trubbish, secretly taking a piece.

However, just before Oshawott could do so, it was slapped by Dela, saying, "It's rude to be taking what isn't yours."

Kyon went to one of the Trubbish and said, "Cilan made those food just for you and Garbodor. Do you like it?"

Trubbish smiled, much to Kyon's surprise.

"It appears that this Trubbish likes you," Mikuru said.

"It did?"

"I think Mikuru's right, Kyon," Haruhi said.

"Uh, thanks for the compliment, you two."

Suddenly, colorful fireworks lit up the night sky as Bianca and Virgil gazed outside the alleyway.

"Kyon, I think the fireworks are starting," Itsuki said, prodding him, "Should we go watch?"

"Fireworks are quite interesting," Haruhi said, "It totally reminds me of the summer festival. Let's go watch them, Kyon!"

The five members of the SOS Brigade went out of the alleyway, gazing.

"They're so pretty," Bianca said, describing the fireworks themselves.

In the lake, Cameron and his Riolu were relaxing outside their already finished tent, also gazing at the fireworks.

"My gosh, it's full of fireworks!" Cameron said, "I conclude that the Unova League is super awesome, and I just can't wait for tomorrow!"

Meanwhile, Stephan had just finished his relaxation at the sauna, drinking a bottle of Morning Rescue.

"Nothing beats the joys of a great relaxation at a sauna," Stephan said to himself, eventually noticing the fireworks at a nearby window, "Oh yeah, I forgot to remind myself of the fireworks. Check it out!"

Still at the other side of the lake, Russet and his supporters were also gazing at the fireworks.

Russet's father said, shedding some tears and pointing his finger out at the fireworks in the sky, "So far, in all of the years that I spent as the president of this fan club, I have never been in shock and awe by those fireworks. Russet, I want to see you shine so bright like those fireworks tomorrow and never fail to brighten up our joy."

"Thanks," Russet replied, "I promise, I will."

Ash, Iris, Brendan, Cilan, Bianca, Virgil, Haruhi, Kyon, Mikuru, Yuki, and Itsuki went to the lake to watch a clearer view of the fireworks.

At the same time, the old woman who befriended Axew earlier noticed it right on Iris's arms.

Iris said to her Axew, "No wandering off from now on. After all, it's dangerous to go alone, right Axew?"

Axew nodded and said its name, smiling, as Iris replied, "It's a good thing you were still alright."

The old woman smiled, realizing that Axew already reunited with its Trainer.

Tamako, Dela, Ouji Mochizou, and their other friends were also gazing at the fireworks.

Ash, Iris, Cilan, Brendan, and the five members of the SOS Brigade eventually returned to the living quarters.

While Ash was having a chat with Professor Juniper, Brendan, Kyon, and Itsuki went to their assigned room.

Brendan asked Kyon, "You still got a problem knowing more about my identity?"

"Uh, well. . . ., I-"

"My explanation about quantum physics may be a bit wrong, so if you want to know more about them, why don't you go watch Noein?"

"Noein? Haruhi probably watched that anime years ago," Kyon said, "But what is it about?"

"It's all about a girl in the present timeline being targeted by two entities from two warring alternate dimensions from the future. One of them rather tries to protect her, while the other attempts to use her just to simply put an end to the universe," Brendan explained, "The reason why the girl is being sought after is because it so happens that she is an important artifact that determines which one of the two dimensions will become reality."

"You definitely spoiled the last part of your sentence."

"At least the whole thing gives you an idea of quantum physics and how the many-worlds interpretation works."

To be continued. . . . .

On the next chapter:

When Haruhi moves on to the quarterfinals, Sasaki is set to be her next opponent. Unfortunately, for the former, the latter turns out to be a formidable opponent whose main strategy is to switch out to a Pokemon that has a type advantage. Will Haruhi be able to get to defeat Sasaki and move on to the next round? Find out in the next chapter of The Best Wishes of Haruhi Suzumiya!


Chapter/Author's notes:

* Stephan and Cameron respectively mention the lines "I wanna have a pure time" and "Everyone's a noble mind", a reference to the opening theme of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.

* Stephan apparently stated that he started drinking Morning Rescue by watching the eighth episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

* "All your Pokemon are belong to me" is taken straight from Zero Wing.

* Shamus's Fire Warrior Master persona brings to mind Yuuta Togashi's Dark Flame Master persona in Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai. It helps that Yuuta and Shamus have in common in terms of both being voiced by Jun Fukuyama (although in the latter's case, that's very subtle). And also, Bianca thinks that one of Haruhi's opponents looks more like Rikka.

* When Bianca loses to Cameron, she mutters "gyabo", just like a certain character in Nodame Cantabile.

* Haruhi's third round opponent is implied to resemble Misaki Mei from Another.

* Apparently, Ash's third round opponent is named Haruka Nogizaka, leading to Kyon making an obligatory reference to Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu.

* Cameron's third round opponent is named after a Vocaloid.

* Virgil's third round opponent being a teacher who covers his face with his suitcase is probably a reference to Kamiomi Tsukuyomi from Sasami-san Ganbaranai. (The symbol in the middle is missing due to certain limitations.)

* Haruhi's next opponent in the third round is once again, a certain character from Ouran High School Host Club who shares the same first name as her.

* One of the Trainers who also moved on in the third round apparently goes under the name of Switch, a reference to the character of the same name in Sket Dance.

* Russet and his supporters are dressed as characters from Gunnm, League of Legends, Franken Fran, Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts, Kuroko no Basuke, Akikan!, Berserk, Disgaea, Yu Yu Hakusho, Fire Emblem, Smile Pretty Cure, Hidamari Sketch, No More Heroes, Mayo Chiki!, Haibane Renmei, Generator Rex, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Mahoromatic, Steins;Gate, The Tower of Druaga, Jormungand, Natsume's Book of Friends, Inazuma Eleven, Di Gi Charat, Yaiba, Nichijou, Gravity Falls, Cromartie High School, Code:Breaker, and Persona 4.

* One of Russet's supporters frequently quotes references to the Sengoku Basara video game series.

* Apparently, Brendan refers to Saki while thinking that Iris's Axew underwent Stealth Momoko mode.

* After Iris berates Cilan for disturbing her while looking for her Axew, the latter crouches and covers his ears, just like Mio Akiyama of K-On!.

* After buying food from the stalls, Russet and his supporters chant a line that references Warhammer 40,000.

* Cameron quotes "Why so serious?", a well known line from The Dark Knight.

* In response to his tent getting destroyed for the second time, this time by Iris, Cameron quotes Nozomu Itoshiki's catchphrase in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.

* When Cameron and his Riolu both gaze at the fireworks, his quote is a reference to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

* The chapter ends with Brendan explaining the whole plot of Noein.


A/N: This has been a long while since this chapter has been posted. I cite writer's block as one obvious reason for this, and in fact, I'm not able to think up of an ending.

Oh, and did you know that this chapter is posted on Halloween? Yes, that's right. Happy Halloween to anybody reading this!