Ray through the Dark

The crowd screams and shouts, everyone is cheering the contestants. The final round is about to round up and the winner seems already decided. However, the loosing opponent still stands and collects energy for a final move. "Fircand, just a bit longer... You can do it." She asks of her Pokémon. In this moment the crowd settles down, heart beating awaiting the next move. The commentators know what it will be already and they are way too excited to commentate normally while at the same time easily drift into other stuff. Squeezing their microphones they commentate way too loud.

"Oooooooh, that will be a Fire Wall attack. If it can pull of this attack and encage her opponent in it, it will give a lot of points and even could end this battle." "U r totally r8 with that. Once caught your pretty much unable to move even an inch without taking a burn which is especially dangerous if u'r a type that's weak against fire like this Kammillel. It's also a free ticket for attacks as long as it lasts." "Of course this seems desperate Matt but this is the Contest Empress we are talking about. She's in the business since more than 5 years already. There were many more dangerous situations in this time than this. It often was a disadvantage for her but in the end she always won. One of her best moves always is like she can change from contest appeal to battle style to weaken the opponent a bit and then change back to contest performance and haul in massive points to win. This won her more than one Grand Festival and always surprises the opponent."

"Only few she faced could fend of this and they all were hour-one-rivals to her but the only noticeable rival remaining now would be Drew and this charming guy seems busier with his late girlfriend now than with contests. Now no one can stop her ongoing victories."

"Well you seem to forgot this one Pokémon cloth designer and Pokémodel trainer that sometimes still participates in contest but the chance they face against each other are very slim. On another note, I taught Drew and she are a couple since day one. Who can be the girl Drew is together with else?"

"My Frank, where did you hear that BS rumor. Drew always was known to be a bit of a player but his new girl, some Dragon trainer from Unova really keeps his line short. But, I heard another rumor from a less trustworthy source that the empress has her eyes set on a big time league shot from Kanto she knows from her beginnings but whatever. Let's focus more on the actual show down on the stage. Our small talk, dilly-dallying already missed some action. I can only see a downed Fircand and the remaining of a Glitter Leaf, the strongest and most beautiful so far known grass type attack."

"Wait; did I just hear you say 'we have missed her specialty with plant Pokémon?' This attack is like a twirling prettiness of spring blossoms, one of the most awesome, super beautiful natural wonders ever… This makes me sad…"

"Well, I won't repeat it but yeah." He puckers the face with small tears. The crowd now is even wilder. They all cheer on and have mixed reaction. On one side they all are really happy for this end of the battle but on the other hand, close to crying because they don't want this record breaking match to end.

The Fircand is out.

"Good work my dear. Now sleep a bit it was very intense fighting her. Her voice waves a bit due sadness but she smiles for happiness and her long and different length cut mint green hair cover her teary smile. She lost but she is happy for this match she could participate in with the most famous coordinator of this time.

Getting back their ground our commentators send some final words. "Look at this. Mika is paralyzed by her disappointment of this loss but Contest Empress May leaves her site of the field to give her the hand." That's true sportsmanship or sportswomanship in this case, cheering up your opponent after a loss." The voice of Frank is prideful in this. "Te only way a good coordinator ends a match. Let's shut commentary and join the cheers of the audience. Matt Masters signing out." "You're absolutely right but one thing before cutting off. Your information from before makes me too nosy. I wanna know about the empress' love relations now. By chance I'll ask her on the after show party. This makes a world shaking story and after all, I'm also working as an article writer you know. This will become a mega seller. Good bye fans."

May approaches Mika. "Good work Mika. You're not much older than I was when I first participated in a Grand Festival and I had a hard time. I lost pretty soon but you stood better than I on your first time here. You really got it. I'm sure you'll be better soon and will win your first Grand Festival, most likely sooner than I did. Before that though, you need more confidence. The little moment you doubted it will work was enough for me to react. Your Fircand felt your doubt and doubted as well. Thanks to that I could shift just enough to slip through. From this point on, your trap couldn't work anymore and I could land the deciding blow from the blind spot while erasing your attack." Cheering she comes closer and offers her hand. "Good work, I had fun battling you." May smiles friendly, it is a smile no one can resist long. After some hesitation Mika grabs it. "Thank you, I really learned much today." Her tears stopped and her smile dominates. "Now let's go to the podium and later meet on the honoring party. While Mika beams and walks with May the clapping and rooting from the tribune gets louder every step. Together they climb the podium and the public's elation reaches its peak. Just as you think it won't go higher May stands on the space for the winner and the decibel of the audiences root seems to double, especially after May congratulated Mika again.

Now atop the podium flowers, glitter and confetti rain upon May. Although she should be happy she rather seems tired but not tired in an exhaustion way. Her smiling face is a fake smile. Close by her true feelings get visible. Passion and life are missing. Even if her face is now colored from the battle heat it is a pale palette. Then the announcer approaches her. "Some last words or advice for all your fans and coordinators you play the inspiration for?" She is not in the mood to say much but she also knows something big is expected of her. It's always like that if you're a famous. "How can I say something encouraging if I myself feel like standing at a cliff over dark waters…? But I must. It's expected from me…" everyone is quieter now. They wait for her words and even the instruments in the back tuned down. All is looking at her but her head is slightly hanging. The crowd starts to become restless. Never forget your dreams and have good friends helping you on the way. Only then you can truly improve to reach the top." Everyone is clapping now but it was bitter for May to say it. Her professionalism kept her true thoughts good covered but in her heart she's crying.

She doesn't stand long on the pedestal and leaves at the first chance. She has not much time to change but the people are waiting. She's not looking forward to it and mumbles dull. "Do I really have to? I don't want to go to these hypocrites. Always doing friendly but in truth are ice cold and only after the sparkle of someone else. Always thinking to keep their mask of someone above all and that's it natural to be around idols and such. They don't know real friendship." Just after saying she fast decides for a fitting dress. It's a dark red one with some emerald green decorations. The shoulders are free but though it sits rather tight it covers the body just fine. Below just on the lower edge of the shin some glittering Beautifly's dance. As a necklace she wears a medallion. It's of the kind that allows to lie something in it. She always wears it although she mostly keeps it under her clothes, right where the heart is. It's a golden one with a Sapphire in the middle. Around the gem is a band of flowers engraved which leaves end exactly on the middle of the sides. Her long hair is open now and her earrings are like small diamonds hanging down. She's not wearing much make up and it truly looks gorgeous. Now as shoes she takes some black ones with pearls on it then heads for the hall were the party is.

People are all talking and as she comes she gets many looks. Some are admiring and others are jealous. However, especially the males look after her with big eyes. One could think they just saw a goddess or something close to it. Their look tells they want to flirt with her but none really has the guts to approach her this way.

Those she passes whisper all of a sudden. "Look at her; she really deserves the title of empress." "Looking like that with so few make up. I could never…" "I wonder if the rumor is true and she's still single. I'd like to be her boyfriend…" "Not just you. Me as well, most men here would die for it." "If you're so eager then why not ask her out?" "Have you tried it?" "As if she would take note of any of us. No one of us would probably meet her expectations but stars like her are always up above all." Two older women and not too attractive, throughout covered with gold and gems are loud enough to not just let their neighbors know what they think. "At least she decided for a half proper dress and appears a bit fitting and not like a slut." "Pfft, with a body like that there is probably no cloth that doesn't let her look like a slut that just goes for the streets…" Some of the surrounding people who heard it evil glare at the two; especially the men but most others show a light nod in agreement. "They are right though it is not very appropriate to be that loud about something like that in our community.

Finally she takes a seat a bit offside. She sure heard some of the comments, especially bad ones. She just looks away. May stares at the wall and waits for it to end finally. "Just like that. They either hate you or love and admire you. In truth though first comes more often but they do all friendly when facing you, congratulate you, spend time with you and talk like you were their best friend. All just to keep their public mask up and pretend to be the nice people everyone likes and looks up to. Looking at them I feel like I'm stuck in a dark, cold room with no way out. I wish for a guiding light to get me out of here." May staring offside and through the crowd a young man, completely in a white suit and with sky blue hair, sparkling wet from all the hair gel he used walks towards her. She doesn't notice him in her thoughts and is surprised as he speaks to her.

"Good evening dear goddess." He winks and takes her hand for a hand kiss. This sudden act caused May to flinch and slightly hits him while drawing back her hand. As she realizes it she apologizes deeply. "I'm sorry, I'm really sorry you startle me." The lad is not mad at her. "I don't mind it. I shouldn't have approached you so sudden without warning. My name is Bernárd and how is the name of this wonderful person?" This nice approach and the sound of his voice, soft and hearty draws a smile on her face. "My name is May, nice to meet you Bernárd." He read her eyes and knows something is up. "You seem to breed about something maybe I can help in your trouble." "Nah, I was just thinking about the feast and the people here. They all are highly renowned people and I feel a bit out of place." May becomes gloomy again. "If you ask me they are on the wrong festivity. Just by looking at you I can tell that you can be sorted above them. This venomous snake's just keep a mask up but in the end, every man or woman of the streets has more honesty on than them. Even a poison type worm Pokémon is better than them…" Bernárd has pity and anger in his voice. A relieved shining smile comes to May. She seems to have met someone nice in this poison pool, maybe someone she can have an honest friendship with. Some small talk and chit-chatting later the evening doesn't seem as horrible to her anymore.

Not that long after Frank finds her talking to Bernárd. They seem to have fun and to be very close. Originally he was planning on asking May directly about the truth behind but this sight answers the question for him. He assumes this is the guy his partner was talking about. Of course a good reporter won't let such a chance slip and decides to "observe" them from hiding.

"Well May, I'm getting kind of sick of this party and this false faces. I'll go for a walk, want to join me?" He asks her bored and yawning. She hesitates a bit if she really should follow a person she just met out in the night. Since he seems to be a good man she accepts although she doesn't have her Pokémons at hand right now because the rest in the Pokécenter. "Maybe he can be the ray of light… she thinks as they start walking. He surely charmed her.

They leave the room and although they not holding hands or anything that would imply a close relation between them a few heads look up nosy. Three other men seem to be especially interest but they keep sitting calm. Frank of course follows them unsuspicious.

Outsides a light breeze blows. The fresh wind lifts May's hair and the shining moonlight let her look even better now. A good number of man and lads would melt seeing this; even Frank who is already married seems to be moved. Bernárd though keeps cool. "Fresh air isn't it nice. The hot air blowing off from these snobs really stinks." May quietly agrees with a nod. "Let's walk a bit. I know a nice path with many night blooming flowers on it." "Sure, lead on" She fully trusts him already. She's really risking it here.

Sometime later they reach a garden with many flowers and flower tunnels in it. They bloom in neon colors like it was Las Vegas or such. They're not as bright as a normal neon sign but still bright enough to make it unnecessary to have lights on in good lightened nights. During the walks Bernárd takes a red one secretly and presents it May. This one makes her starting to fall for him. After this they continue the walk a bit more and as the leave the garden Bernárd says his good bye for now. "This was a real nice evening. I hope we can repeat it sometime but now I have to go. There is much stuff coming to me tomorrow but I'd like to invite you for dinner tomorrow. We'll meet at the Garden Grotto. It's a bit in the city but they actually own this garden. How about meeting there at eight?" Friendly with a smile he offers the date. "Sure I would appreciate it but I must warn you, when it comes to food I tend to become another person." May gives out a slight laugher at the beginning of this sentence. "Well, can't imagine it to be bad but I'm curious. Until tomorrow." He leaves with a broad smile.

May sit down to cool off a bit. She already anticipates the evening. Frank also leaves now. "Damn it, nothing to work with yet… or at least not enough. But I know where they date so just wait… This story is as hot as a fired up Magmortar." Our commentator is all fired up.

A bit offside Bernárd meets up with his pals. The same three from before. "Hey Bernárd, how's your progress?" "Did she already fell for you?" "Easy, easy pal. She's the kind of girl that's easily charmed, if you know what you are doing but won't surrender as easy like that." "Fine but I won't keep the bet up forever." After that they part as well.

At the same time, far, far away by a mountain, pretty much at the opposing side of the world is something happening… A gigantic lightning strikes the ground and rips a big gab in the rock. Dust and stones fly high and block sight but behind the dust veil stands a young man with his Pikachu. "Awesome Pikachu, we are now stronger than we ever were. With so much power we easily win the upcoming world championship. I can't wait to meet all the champion again, Lance, Steven, Cynthia, Alder and all the others. This time even if someone uses legendary Pokémon again we won't lose." A big smile covers Ash's face and a never before seen determination shows up. He pats Pikachu and starts walking. "Now to find a suiting space to start flying. The wind here is too strong and the terrain too uneven. One that tries to fly here will most likely be crushed on the sharp stone walls. At best one would land in trees and die due critical wounds. We have more than half the world cross to the tournament…"

Somewhere farther down a special Pokémon slips and falls down a big cliff. Helpless laying there with pain and serious wounds it only can hope for any kind of help. It cry's and screams but its voice is not loud enough to be heard. It misses the strength for it. It only has to endure it a bit longer. Someone is coming this way but can Ash alone help it?

A while later Ash and Pikachu pass close by. The Pokémon try's to hide as good as possible but Ash notices something strange. "Pikachu, something is not right here, I have a bad feeling at the moment. It's like I sense the feelings of a hurt Pokémon." Pikachu is even more sensible to it and soon leads Ash to the little hurt fellow.

He is less surprised then shocked but acts immediately. "I knew it. There is a hurt Pokémon here though I never saw such a strange cat-like species. Guessing from the wounds it fell down this big cliff here, more like a fortune it still lives. However, I don't know what to do. I used our last medicine yesterday… Wait there was a Berry field further up. It should offer enough ingredients to make some medicine. Okay friends, come out and protect this little guy while I get some medicine." All his Pokémon at hand, 5 with Pikachu come out and take position to defend and protect.

He soon has everything ready and is back. It gets better but still seems to be in a critical condition. "Dam it; it's more serious than I though. It already is infected. If I just had a Full Restore…" Caught in his worry he doesn't notice the shadow approaching him. Then a familiar voice startles him. "Ash, here take some of mine. I'm here for a while and was watching. You acted perfectly and normally it had healed it. You seem to have learned from all your friends you traveled with in the end." He turns around and nearly falls on his butt. "To… To… Tobias? What are you doing here?" "Training as you did but let's talk later. Let's heal the Amethan first." "All right!" As soon as the Full Restore took effect the Amethan was away so fast you barley could see anything besides a black line. However a moment it stopped and looked at Ash but only Tobias could see this. "Seems it got a liking to you. It looked back a last time before hiding in the bushes. It probably will follow you a bit to check what kind of human you really are and then approaches you again, or not." He seems puzzled but also has confidence. The emergency behind they start talking relaxed. "… Really Tobias? I can't wait to measure with you again. This time I defeat all of you legendary's and win the championship." Ash is pumped up. "I wonder but you have good chances this time. Every time we met you stood longer. Last time you even managed to beat 5 before I defeated Pikachu. Anyway, if you manage to beat me this time I tell you a secret!" Ash is burning even more now. "Really? What is it? How you managed to befriend so many legendary?" Tobias smirks a bit teasing. "Win and you will learn but anyway, I'll leave you now. There are still things for me that have to be done." Soon he fly's away with Latios." Ash's eyes sparkle. "I will that's a promise to you and me." "I'm looking forward to it. Good Bye." With a waving hand he leaves.

The day dawns already in the city May stays. She had not much sleep. The walk of the last evening kept her from sleeping much. However, tired is not her condition. After a good wash that woke her up she's in high spirits. She counts the hours until the evening. She's like dancing through the day and not even the rather bad but at least dry weather slows her down. She takes a long shopping tour to have just the right outfit. Shop after shop is visited and she always finds something to take with her. If she looked godly yesterday she finally decides for a more natural look today. After all, if she's going for dinner the clothes need to offer space. Easy, durable clothes that have no Knick-Knacks whatsoever, everyday wear with no special traits. She doesn't even wear earrings or make-up and still looks gorgeous. As the day then ends she's early leaving for the date.

Her date partner meets up with his friends again. They really wonder for his outfit. "What's with this sloppy outfit?" "That is very far below your stand!" "You're not planning to go public like that?" He glares at them evil. "Idiots. Don't you remember what I explained you yesterday? That's the reason you all have hard times with women. You don't know how to handle them. Your just lucky money and therefore get so many girls but unlike you I can get the real women like her, because I know how they work. Once they fell, you can form them however you want and they don't even care if you play around with other girls." "If you say so, just don't take too long and don't forget to bring proof."

The dusk is red-orange with a few clouds. It might rain sometime during the night but right now it just is a nice sight. May is on her way to the restaurant and beams. Soon she arrives there and is surprised by a wand leaning Bernárd. His left leg is angled and he wers just some normal clothes. Frameless sunglasses, a brown shirt and jeans. He also has a jeans jacket and a big umbrella just in case. "Wow Bernárd. I didn't expect you to be that easy clothed. But you look good in it." "You too. It looks like you were born like this. You better wear this in future meetings with me" He reply's with a smile. "Thank you. Let's go." She's happy. He nods and takes her arm.

The evening will be wonderful but also with a bad aftertaste and a nice surprise. And Frank that already sniffed out May and is close to her will get a story, although not a secret love as he hopes.

While May just starts her evening, Ash starts his morning in the mountain with getting up for breakfast. Pikachu is washing his face at the near stream and Ash enjoys the morning breeze. He stands on a rock and let the wind blow through his nice long hair. It gives him a not comparable feeling of freedom, journey and nature. Since he hit the age of a teenager he got a liking to this and started to don't wear a cap anymore. Back then some flying Pokémon blow his cap away and then it's after wind blew his hair. This incredible feeling never left his memory and after getting back his cap he packed it away and just continued. His normal gear hasn't changed much. It still is a shirt, a trouser and a jacket. The colors are in darker blue and some red and white where to close the jacket. The jacket has buttons and some pockets. It is a bit longer than the hip and open at the bottom. The collar of the shirt is higher and covers the neck. The trousers come with double belts that would offer space for two sets of 6 Pokéballs with Pokémon. His bag pack became bigger. It offers chambers for ropes, small tools, food and berries, a flash light, maps, technical helper like a cooker or communicator and such or normal helper like a pocket knife, clothes and of course enough medicine. Ash has everything one would need for adventuring.

Pikachu is finished and Ash doesn't take long too. Soon they enjoy a breakfast with many fruits. After feeding his other Pokés there still is some food left. It's always like that. He makes more and leaves it for the Pokémon living in the region he currently is. Sometimes he even feeds them directly. In an unfriendly region he also leaves food for those living there.

The descent from the mountain gets harder. The way has some new rubble that came with a storm that only blew below Ash's position. Pokémon search the ground for food but they aren't very lucky. Due that Ash sometimes creates a small food dispenser with his remaining food. He is well prepared and has more than he needs. Besides that he soon will fly in a city and doesn't need all he has at hand any longer. He can stock up soon anyway.

A detour becomes necessary soon because there are too many rocks on the easiest path and that one already wasn't straight when he climbed up. Later this way he finds Pokémon tangled in the undergrowth and of course he helps them. During all that Amethan observes him from the trees. Sometimes Ash notices these observing eyes in yellow but he goes on. The difficult route goes on until far in the day and Ash follows it.

The dinner take long, as expected. Both May and Bernárd eat much and talk easy with each other. He ensnares May more and more. Frank that watched this stopped eating since long and only drinks some now. He doesn't even order anymore alcohol, just soft drinks like lemonade and cola. He also drinks very slowly because he doesn't want anymore but he can't just sit here for hours without ordering anything. "God, I never knew she's such gluttonous." His voice is annoyed. "Oh god, all this soda… I have to go to the restroom very soon…" He becomes restless and soon leaves. It takes a while for him until he can and is finished but in that time May and Bernárd paid and left. "Dam it, where are they? They can't be far away…" However until he gets the chance to pay more time passes. "Damn it now they must be all over the mountains…"

May and Benárd walk some more together and in time the meet Frank. He of course greets them friendly although his teeth were grinding since he just couldn't find them just before that. It makes both wonder but they go on. Soon Frank tails them again. Later under some fireflies Bernárd notice his friends being close and fears to get busted. Therefore he tries a fast good bye. "Sorry May, I think I overdid it a bit. I'm not feeling well. Let's call it a day. I'm going home to fight against the food." He forces a small smile. May of course isn't thrilled about this and goes after him. She did totally fell for him at this point and wants to give him a good bye kiss. Since its dark she can't locate him directly but hear voices although she does not understand them. She hopes it is Bernárd.

"Now Bernard? How was the evening? I heard you eat unusual much." "Well, to cover for bad taste they give mass although I tasted worse." "Fine, did she fell for you finally?" "I would say yes. I got you bet and tomorrow I bring you proof…" Busted, just with this sentence May is close enough to understand the said very well. They all sudden get quiet. The stance May has is very scary. The stew of different emotions is overcooking in her face. Anger, hate, disappointment, despair, lack of understanding, etc… Fire burns in her eyes and her rage pushes aside anything Bernárd and the others say to their defense. With a far reconditioned hand she slaps all of them once and then she slaps Bernárd like a raging Jigglypuff. Not just his cheeks are red from the slaps; May's hands are as well. Her face is fire red and with seamed with tears. They build a sad channel of fine veins. After she calmed a bit she stays some more seconds to maybe see some regret or execution. No. His face shows none of it. Soon she runs away. She runs and runs screaming and shouting, until her breath is too short but she still runs more. Frank tried to follow her but she is too fast. When the shouts of May quiet down he entirely lost her trail. "That was a bad experience for her. I'd like to cheer her up but I doubt I will find her. However, I can't just let this go." Lonely she sits down the next bench. "Why? Why had it been me? How could I end with such an asshole?" She falls quiet. Time passes and her mind spins around. "In the end he was just a candle in the wind but I'm an idiot for falling for someone like that, only because of his sweet talk. You only know people well when you spend much time together, traveled together and get through hardships together. I made this mistake with Drew back when I was younger and I'm still as naïve… So far it only brought pain to me…" After a while she stands up and walks aimless through the streets. May is walking through this grey night in this lonely street May neither minds the weather nor pays attention to the latest newscast which could have lifted her mood. "

… The next world champion tournament is soon to come and the world keeps its breath to this. Participations like Lance from Kanto, Cynthia from Sinnoh and Alder from Unova have already confirmed but the world wonders where the superstars are. Although Ash Ketchum as participant and May, the Contest Empress as star guest have been invited, no reply returned so far and the application deadline hits soon. We all wonder, would especially these two skip this event? More news follows if we get an update. That was Jeff with the sports news and now I hand over to my colleague with the weather. …"

On a parking lot before May a Trainer with his Pokémon lands. It is Tobias.

In search for some kind of support, some holding May ends up in the Pokécenter and calls her father. Her tears have dried but her expression is still a sad masquerade. Due the different place on the world the afternoon is just going on in Petalburg. It takes a few seconds until Norman picks up. He is in high spirits. "Oh, my dear daughter May. It's been a while since I last heard of you. How are you feeling? What a question, you must be feeling great, being so famous that you even got invited as an honorable guest for the next world championship. Your little brother Max wanted to watch it live but where he currently is he can't get there in time. It's broadcasted worldwide so he at least can watch it. I'm so very proud of you to get this honor. Your mother is proud and happy as well." Norman doesn't let May get a word and in his mood he doesn't notice May's face. "Yeah dad, can you give me mom?" Her voice trembles sad. "Unfortunately she's out getting stuff for the party. We invited all neighbors to feast because you got the honorable place on the tournament. She won't come back until the evening. By the way, what time is it where you are currently?" He ends on a curious note. "It's late evening." "Then you should go to sleep soon. Actually, are you even close to the city it's held in?" Norman wonders. "No, my last contest was way away from it…" before she could continue Norman interrupts her. "Then how will you get there? Oh, I totally forgot. An old friend of mine from Kanto was dispatched to pick you up. When you got the invitation in the Pokécenter it was clear you can't make it in time. He told me on his last visit. It's a real nice and very tough guy, especially in Pokémon battles. Ohhhh, by the way, I bet Ash will participate in the tournament as well. There is no way in hell he would miss it. You haven't seen him for years so you surely can meet him there. You two get along well so you must have much to tell each other for what you did all this years." Hearing Ash's name a smile came back to May's face. She instantly remembered all the good times they had while traveling together. "You know dad, originally I didn't want to go there but thinking about it I really should but there's no chance to get there in time now. I would need a Pokémon I can fly with but none of mine know it and are strong enough to carry me." She sounds happier although not as happy as she could. "Well, that's where Tobias comes in play. From what I know he already is on his way to your current location. He knows about your contest participations and so where you currently should be. How he could? I don't know, he either has connections or is very informed. In the end it doesn't matter as long as he finds you. You know, his character and look always remind me of Ash but is probably just me." He is a bit curious about it as he speaks and his voice sounds to that. "Well, hopefully it works out. For now though I stay in the Pokécenter. It's really late enough for today and I just want to end it fast. Bye dad." She yawned in this last sentence and with a soften voice ended the talk. "Have a good rest May and you should call more often. Good night." Now ends the call. May takes her stuff and goes sleeping.

The next morning comes up fast for May. She couldn't sleep too well because of the last evening and the events of it. Naturally something like that is difficult to digest. Additionally she knows where she could meet Ash again after this many years but also knows she can't make it in time like now. Perplexed she sits in the lounge and wonders what know. The last evening seems to blur in the thoughts to meet Ash again. It's somehow strange for her how much she's actually looking forward to meet him again. "I really wonder how Ash looks now. He must be a young man by now although I can hardly imagine him being a mature man…" In her thoughts she doesn't notice the newcomer in the center. It is Tobias. He just enters and asks Nurse Joy if May might be here and why he's looking for her. He's well known and so Joy doesn't hesitate long to tell about May. He approaches her and asks her all of a sudden if she is May. "Are you by any chance the Contest Empress May?" She got surprised by that and doesn't answer immediately. Additionally to that May sees Tobias and wonders, "I can see why dad thinks he resembles Ash a bit and he also is a bit mysterious and looks a little scary but his friendly aura prevails. He just would need darker hair. This must be that Tobias dad told about." Some seconds later she talks back. "Are you called Tobias?" May is almost certain this is indeed Tobias her father told about. "That's my name so your father told about me? Norman's a good friend to me." He talks nice and friendly and in his voice May hears that he is honest. "I'm May, nice to meet you." Friendly he replies "My name is Tobias, glad to have met you." Not long after he calls forth a Lugia and May's expression is truly surprised. After some hesitation and good persuading from Tobias she climbs up. The friendly character of this Lugia also helped. Now they start flying.

For Ash it's evening now and yet another storm is rising up. As fast as its normal in the mountains Ash stands in the middle of a storm. He is busy to keep himself and Pikachu safe from the flying branches and such and in the chaos of the storm Amethan also is endangered. To his luck Ash is close by and can protect it from a big branch. Quickly as it came the storm ends now. Shocked Amethan hushes in hiding as soon as it can but as the shock vanished he comes out again to look after the shaken Ash. He is not hurt just a bit dizzy from the storm and rejuvenates fast.

"Are you all right Amethan?" He asks with a broad smile. As it understood him it nodded. "Yes, I'm fine thank you for your help and thank you for helping the Pokémon here. I didn't know a human like you exists today. Maybe I just isolated myself for too long now." It states in a high voice without speaking. It directly speaks to Ash's heart and he understands. "I do what I can to help Pokémon. I know that Pokémon and humans can live together peacefully and as friends." He doesn't talk as well, he speaks through his heart like he learned due all his encounters with Pokémon if legendary or not. "You are not surprised I can speak to you?" it wonders and Ash responds. "No because I met so many Pokémon and so called legendary Pokémon and befriended them. Making friends, human or Pokémon is one of the greatest blesses journeying brings." His face is full of joy as Ash sends this sentence. "However, I must leave soon to continue my dream of becoming a Pokémon Master. It was nice meeting you. Keep an eye on yourself and your friends here, eventually we meet again." Smiling he goes away but soon Amethan follows him. "You're still following me? Why don't you come out of the hiding and accompanies me the last meters until we reach a fitting starting point to fly?" "Pika Pikachu" Pikachu also wants to lure out Amethan. Quick Amethan comes out of the trees at Ash's side. "So tell me your story, why did you isolate yourself from humans?" A bit surprised it starts a story. Ash listened to it throughout, although they long since reached the place he was looking for. "I see, why did humans so often used Pokémon for their own gain or warfare in the past…" Ash gets a cloudy face of sadness. "I don't know but even in my time there were humans like you, it was probably due them the times have changed." "That might be true but even today there are many humans that abuse Pokémon, even one is too much and everywhere there seem to be evil organizations that abuse Pokémon in big scale. I stopped a few of them but there still are more and more to come. Sometimes I think it is like a battle that can't be won but still must be fought. Even among Pokémon Trainers there are such battles but these all make you stronger and so you go on. I think it can apply to the world as well. Each time an organization is broken the world becomes a tiny bit better, therefore I press on." "You are really a unique human Ash." "Thank you. Anyway it's time for me to take off. We surely meet again…" Wait Ash, I want to accompany you and see the world as it is today but only under one condition you might catch me. If want to be freed again you will do so, can you promise this to me?" It stands before Ash like a wall to stop him. "Do you really want to be caught?" Ash asks surprised. "Only if you let me go when I want to." "Agreed, this is a promise as a friend." He stretches out his hand. Amathan lay's his paw on his like it was a handshake. Next Amethan happily lands in a Pokéball and Ash take's of with his Ryufu, a big dragon type that used to transport humans through air before planes were invented. It also is a powerful fighter. With their good eyes they also can fly through night. After few hours Ash takes a break for sleeping and let his Pokémon rest on a wide, green field. In the middle of grass Pokémon they have their night camp.

Of course, everyone that knows Ash, knows that he will participate in this World Tournament and since most of them haven't seen him for years they all of course come to root for him. One could also say it's his personal fan club and over the years it really became big, above all the girls he met, even Giselle and of course people like Brock and Cilan who sort of raised him as well. His mother though couldn't come this time but roots for him from home. Only May is still missing and Ash hasn't arrived at this time as well and so they wait in Trophy city and enjoy attractions and shopping centers.

A few days later, just before the tournament starts, arrives Ash although no one knows or hears of it yet. The deadline for registering comes soon and knowing that, they assemble near the stand for registering in hope of seeing him soon. The entrance is full so they can barely see. Viewers and participants hustle around. When Ash comes there is plenty of time to fill in left. He isn't young anymore.

"Ash Ketchum right?" "That is correct miss." He replies. "You are pretty famous you know, not just a few champions like Lance, Cynthia and Alder asked for you but also a bunch of real pretty girls. You must be real lucky… Anyway, your registration is done. In two days starts the first round. You can ask for you group, opponents and scheduled battles in one of the Pokécenters around here, just show them your Pokédex. After the pre-qualification comes two rounds of final qualifications, that's the first time viewers are allowed but only a few, mostly they are close friends or family to one of the participants since the stadiums for it are so small. In this handbook are the rules for each round and vital information's. Better read and learn it. As a participant you get full free access to the Pokécenters service and their special equipment normal Pokécenters have not. Your hotel will be the Seashell Sea view. It's the most luxurious and closed to the stadiums of them all. Only the big shots like the region champions and those who made themselves a name through whatever means, like you with your good wins and criminal organization destroying stay there. Have a nice time here. Good bye." After ending her informational speech Ash leaves. "I wonder what she meant by 'A bunch of pretty girls.' Well, I should check the rules book…" As he walks away Pikachu climbs on his head to get a better look of the place they are now. It seems pretty and promising to it. Thanks to that Ash stood out of the mass and was discovered by one of his old friends.

"Hey, I know this Pikachu, it can only be Ash's no doubt about it." Brock took a good look at the person with the Pikachu on the head and could partly see the face. "It really is Ash. He seems on the way to the open park. There ain't as many people and we can talk better." "What are you mumbling Brock?" asks Misty. "I saw Ash and Pikachu, no doubt about it although I couldn't get a good look but I saw part of the face and it is him for sure. He seems to be on the way to the open park. There aren't that many people and we can get a good look at him. I haven't seen him for years; he surely has grown up by now. I wonder how he looks." "He might have grown up and the look of an adult now but is probably still a child I bet." Iris teases him from afar without him knowing it. "Then what are we waiting for, let's greet him. I wonder if he finally got some sense for good clothing." Says Dawn with a laugher. "We will see about that. He did get some fame in the years that should have filed the corners of him. He was a nice boy but very green. Now if he also has a good look I might fall for him but I do hope for him to finally get the title." "Well Giselle, as long as he has to battle this Tobias guy with his legendary it's too much, even for him." "You might be right Brock but every time he faced him he did get more and more pieces of him. The last time he faced him in a big championship was years ago and it became a real close call. Ash made himself a name without screening since then so I don't know about his looks though but he already has a title as a legendary trainer for being able to stand against so many legendary, over and over again." This comment from Tracy concludes the talk before Dawn and Iris push the group a bit.

Ash sits next to a tree and sticks his nose in the rules book. Pikachu is on his site and takes a nap in the shadow. Then his friends pass by. Brock spots him but due the book he holds Ash's face is covered and his mind is caught in it. Curled like Pikachu it is hard to say for sure it is who it is. "It seems like we found Ash" Misty comes in after Brock. "I doubt it; Ash would never read the rules book." The rest of them agree in a chorus. Ash hears that and immediate recognizes the voices. He looks over the edge of the book to verify it. After that he lays the book aside and stands up. "Awesome to meet you all here. It's great that you all came. I wanted to visit you all again since it was so long since I last saw you. "Wake up Pikachu and let's greet our friends together." Right after Ash asked for this Pikachu is up. "Hello guys, how are you." "Pika Pika Pikachu" "I can't believe this is our Ash. Pikachu is so healthy despite me not around." wonders Brock "Or me" adds Cilan. "And I can't believe how Ash looks, I'm glad you still ignored my advice to change something with your hair. If I wasn't a married woman I would fall for you again. "Misty is speechless and Ash seem to have overheard the married thing because he doesn't congratulate now. "Again you say? Didn't seem that you like me that much back then and yes, I know I was oblivious during all the times I travelled with you and the others, in more than one way but especially this one. But even I had to grow up at one point, even if it was a late point…" First they drop their chin for this sentence of Ash and then they laughed like Ash started after ending it. "And you seem to have developed a taste for style as well and I would love to have you and Pikachu as models for my future collections." Dawn is surprised as well. "I'm actually more surprised that he not just became older but also seems to be no child anymore." Iris is dazed as well. "You know Ash, I'm still single" winks Giselle but Ash doesn't react directly to that.

"I'm not sure if I should appreciate what you all just said, how I changed and so but I'm still happy to have met you here. With so much support of my friends I'll make sure to win the thing but one question, I'm missing May. Hasn't she come with you? I really wanted to meet her again. I met Jirachi and Manaphy again while I was training and immediate remembered our great times. I thought to myself it would be nice to travel again for some time. I also wonder how her carrier in contests flows." Ash has a bit of a sad tone while talking and looks lost to the sky. "But you don't care for my progress as coordinator?" asks Dawn a bit sour. "Well, I of course care for all of your dreams and how they progressed but from you I know you're more on the designer street. I even have some clothes you designed, they are really nice and Misty has a world know Water Gym, I heard quite a bit about it in my journeys." Before Ash goes on Misty breaks in "No wonder I have so many challengers lately and pretty good ones for that matter." "And lately you hear much about a so-called Dragon whisperer from Unova. I pretty much figured that must be Iris: People say a trainer with a Haxorus that walks always besides her has the biggest collection of Dragon Pokémon ever seen and solved so many problems with Dragon Pokémon so it only can be her. I heard things of all of you except of May. Therefore I'm wondering." He pauses and takes a nip on his lemonade then continues. "Brock is everywhere known for being a renowned doctor who can solve nearly every problem; heck some Pokécenters even have his picture hanging since he's so talented and skilled. I read plenty of articles with Cilan featured in it. All of you have quite a progress in your dreams and I still lack so much, therefore I'm traveling and meeting people but it is not so much fun to be alone. Sometimes I meet others like I did with you all but I only share a bond like I share with you with a few. Although there are plenty of girls that like to fall over me. It sometimes is annoying."

Right after he ends another familiar voice comes from behind. "Iris, darling, there you are. I thought we want to meet on the stone garden this noon. Now the flowers I got for you have hanging buds." "Sorry Drew, we just talk to Ash, you know him as well, don't you." Iris is a bit meek. "Sure do although it's been very long. However, I more or less willingly heard about his achievements through the years though I wasn't too interested in it. It was because of you Iris that I came here to see him participating in this championship." Iris makes a slightly angry face at him because he said it like she unwillingly forced him to. Then more familiar voices come up by chance. "She truly keeps your leash short Drew but I think you sometimes needs this." Drew makes an attacked expression upon hearing this from Solidad. "Isn't it more like your still jealous that Ash won May over back then…?" Drew grunts after Solidad's comment and then talks on. "Why should I, now I have Iris and she suits better to me than May. It couldn't have gone good since my rivalry with May was stronger. "So you admit it" smiles Dawn. "I guess you got it there Dawn" sounds up as well. "Zoey, you here? You haven't much to do with Ash so what brings you here?" "I'm also a friend of Ash, though not as close as any of you but there were a few weeks that we headed for them same direction and so we traveled together during that. Of course it was in the time after you parted." "I see." After this mystery was solved Zoey greets Ash normally. "Hey Ash, nice to see you again." "Hey Zoey" reply's Ash.

Before the next word is spoken something's rushing into the group, actually two Persons, Bianca and Barry. They shake the whole group and had crushed Ash on the tree if he hadn't reacted fast enough. "ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ou…" sounds in sync. The others who know them "Bianca and Barry, who else…" and sigh. "Sorry, sorry, I couldn't stop on time…" excuses Barry while holding his hurting face. "I didn't know there was a tree…" comes from Bianca. "Hey Ash, how are you. How about a battle for the greetings?" With too much energy like usual he talks fast. "Sorry, I won't show off all my Pokés openly like that so possible opponents know about them. We can do that in the championship" answers Ash. "No he won't, he didn't qualify for even the first round because he didn't make himself famous enough for that." Sudden sounds it sharp from a passerby scary looking young man with a reddish hair, Paul. "I'm looking forward to this rematch with you Ash." Then he silent walks on. Barry has his had hanging sad now. "Nah, there always is a next time and then your surely in" Bianca lay's her hand encouraging on his shoulder. "But still…" reply's Barry. "Don't give up if you face hardships and even if it won't work you surely find something better fitting for you, I did as well." "This is not really helping but thank you for the try." It goes on with Iris. "I think two have found them here…" More people pass by, one of them is Trip. "From what I heard you improved a bit, a smart trainer won't show his Pokémon unnecessarily, especially just before a tournament Ash but if you really have can we see if we face each other." So he as well leaves.

Solidad is the one to speak next. "Anyway, back to why I stopped here. I heard you talking about you wondering what's with May. You surely have heard about her during your journeys, just without knowing. Nowadays she is known as the Contest Empress. She became very famous with her contests and we are not much of a match to her anymore. With that she also has to lurk around in the high society and I'm really pitting her for it. This world up there can be very cold. For normal people it looks full of glamour and respect but in it it's horrible. I know about it since I as well walk there from time to time since I have some fame as well. For someone like her it might be a bit too much but back to what I really wanted to say. She was invited as an honorable guest for this tournament. Despite that it's strange, a VIP like her should already have arrived but she could also have declined the invitation or on a place on this world that's just too far away to be on time. In her case though, it might be the first." Anabel shows up. "I can help you in that. Tobias, you all should know became the mission to pick her up if she wants so there is no need to worry. By the way, hello Ash, it's been a long time." "You hear as well? Can you leave your battle tower alone?" "Sure can, also, most gym leaders also closed of their Gym for the time of this world important event. You sure will meet the one or other during the 5 weeks of tournament here" she continues forth. "Sorry Anabel, the surprise made me forgot to greet you, hi Anabel." He sounds sorry. "It's okay. I'm just glad to meet you again to I was hoping to when I decided to come here…" she has a slight blush while talking but the sun made it impossible to see. "Really, how comes you all are here? Just for me?" They nod. "I don't know what to say, this kind of flutters me thank you. We certainly must win now. Ain't that right Pikachu?" Even some tears come out of his eyes. "Pikachuuuuuuu…" Pikachu absolutely agrees. "You better do Ash or I'll have to shape you up." This shout came from Angie. "So you as well, nice to see you Angie. Then only one that is missing now would be Gary." Tremors Ash. "Oh, I nearly forgot." Misty falls in his word. "He comes later and asked me to give you a message. Don't dare to loose or I have to laugh at you like in the past." Ash is thrown off. "How comes how know of Gary's current doing?" Brock wants to solve the problem. "Seems you haven't heard but well, we barely got something of you as well. They are already married." "I think I like that thought… Congratulations" comes from Ash with an interesting face…

"Anyway, I just hope May arrives soon but for now I need something to eat and so far I haven't stocked up my supplies of food for my Pokémon and medicine and I need some ingredients. Thanks to Brock and Cilan and other people I meet on my journey's I'm making some of it myself. Then, according to the rules I read so far I am allowed to use some items during the fights in the final round. My opponent's of course as well but if they are self made is another question. What I make myself normally has better effect than the standardized things they sell in shops. See you later guys" after determined ending the sentence he stands up to walk off. "Wait Ash, there still is time and even when I understand your unusual acting right now because of the tournament you still have time until then. Between the days you have battles there are free days as well and don't forget with so many participants from all over the world there will be days you have no battles but others. Why don't you stay with us now, after all we are assembled just know and haven't seen each other for years. Cilan and me will prepare a big, unforgettable barbeque for us all." After Brock, Cilan as well speaks some nice words to persuade Ash. "That's right; even if you can cook for yourself by now I bet it's far from our cuisine with our unique taste. If we combine our skills you won't ever want to eat anything else. I bet we even can compare to your mothers cooking then." Cilan is a bit to passionate about this. "That's a high goal you stacked there for us and I wouldn't say we manage it but it might come close." Moments later they already start.

As the cooking starts the talking starts as well. They all talk about what happened through this years and how their standing is right now. Brock and Cilan prepare a big buffet in the time so the whole time of talking is also covered with food. It's a merry noon until a big shadow of unknown origin covers the sun. Looking up all they spot is a Lugia. It lands a bit away from them but of course such a Pokémon draws attention and besides Ash and the group other people from all around come to look. It's a mass where individuals can hardly be seen.

"So here we are May" states Tobias while helping her down. "Thank you." Sudden the people who can clearly see who rode the Lugia shout, scream and go wild for seeing the multiple times champion Tobias and the Contest Empress May at one place. The people in the back, there where Ash and friends stand as well have no clue about it and still gaze over the Lugia. Misty is flashed "Who could possibly have a Lugia?" Ash answers with slightly grinding teeth. "That only can be Tobias…" Forgetting that he might transport May as well he clenches his fists. "I wonder if May is with him" comes from Dawn. "Yeah, right but I see no way now to get through these masses. Although I would love to greet her now we have to wait back here. I just hope the mass will lift soon." Ash is a bit unsure that this works out. Brock takes away his worries. "Normally I would agree to that but this is a special situation. Many big shot stars are around here so people aren't as pesky as they usually would with champions like Tobias. So far no one knows about you as well Ash. If they would know your looks they would most likely swarm you as well. You are famous as well you know." "…"

On the front Tobias just calls back his Lugia. "Thank you Lugia. Have a good rest now. "You think Ash might be here as well?" May is concerned. "Doubt it. He probably trains right now, somewhere around here, where he can't be seen as easily or is breeding over tactics and possible move combinations in the battles ahead. You probably will be lucky if you ask in the Pokécenter's where he stays now since there are multiple hotels for trainers in the time of championships. I have a hunch he stays in the Seashell Seaview like me, you and the champions of the regions for example. After all, he has a name as well. People don't know his looks but they know him as the legendary buster or anti-terrorist Pokémon Trainer. First you can imagine, it points to me. He is the only one that ever managed to beat any of my legendary Pokémon. All others lost with my first, even when they had six at their disposal. And for the second, I just count you; Team Rocket in Kanto and Johto, Team Aqua and Magma in Hoenn, Team Galactic in Sinnoh, Team Plasma in Unova, Team Black, Team Inferno, Team Dominion… and so on. In every region he was he busted such criminal organizations or at least destroyed their plans. Unfortunately he has many foes due that without him knowing it but his strength so far is too frightening for them to act. As a result many of them get caught without ever harming him. Besides of that, he is hard to locate since he always is on tour. With him it's similar with me though I busted other organization. The only one the always comes back somehow is Team Rocket…" Tobias brings May's spirits up again and the way he said it just makes one believing him. "All right we should check for Ash. Oh, and please visit the registration counter so the officials know you have arrived now and you get registered for the hotel later. Even if they don't taking registrations anymore, as long as someone is there, which is still a bit after the closing because of some organization stuff they can mark your arrival. You're a special guest. You shouldn't forget this."

"Please let us through" asks Tobias but it only is for the first few lines. The people further back already leave. May looks around. "Still looking for Ash?" "Yep, maybe he just is on break. I can't imagine him being that serious." May hopes to spot him. "Well, that's not like the Ash I know, he grew up immensely since you traveled together but having fun with friends is also important. Sometimes I fear he forgot this over all his failures in the important championships over the years. In such case one needs friends to make this realize again but if this is indeed the case you probably help much to change that and his other friends as well." Says Tobias somehow concerned. "I'll make sure he does." May set herself a goal now. "Glad to hear that" reacts Tobias sounding somehow relieved.

Far back Ash doesn't know what these two talks on the peak of the crowd, all he cares for know is Tobias. The relaxed state Ash had from before vanished without a trace upon seeing Tobias here. "It was nice with all of you guys here but I must go now. I need to prepare for the battles. I can't lose to Tobias again and with Paul and Trip here as well and Gary on the way I have no time to fool around. Not this time…" he then leaves before any of the others could say anything and he is fast. "What's with him all of a sudden?" questions Cilan. "He just got a load of pressure on him. If you would know Ash as good as I do you would understand how his relation with all of them here is but you didn't travel long enough with him like I did. You are surely a real good friend to him and the same around but since I traveled with him much longer we already have some kind of brother-like relationship. For this reason I understand him better. On this point he needs his friends to cool off. Our job is to let him know focusing on the tournament is important but he must not get possessed by it." Brocks voice is filled with worries and rigor. "I understand… hopefully it's not too hard…" breeds Cilan while holding his chin.

May is spotting Brock and Cilan talking first and straight heads to them. "Brock, if he is here Ash can't be far I have to ask him." She distances herself from Tobias and breaks through on her own. He follows her wondering what's up. May shouts at Brock. "Hey Brock, how are you? Is Ash around as well?" Shook out of his thoughts he looks at her at can't answer before she arrives. "May? Hello, you surprised me. As for your question, he was just a minute ago but meeting his fiercest rivals and then seeing Tobias arrive was a bit much for him and he run off. He is crazy for beating all of them at the moment." Tobias heard Brock's answer to this. "So it really is like I feared…" Brock though wonders about May approach. "So tell me May, why are you so eager to meet Ash again?" Solidad and Drew wonder as well. "That would interest me as well." "I'm curious too." "Solidad… and Drew. Why, you remind me at that ass…" First she smiles but spotting Drew erases that smile immediately. "Interesting…" hums Cilan and Dawn ask straight out. "I wonder, problems with the men? Also, hi at you." "Why don't you tell us, it helps" asks Misty. "Fine, I encounter an asshole off men just a few days ago. I don't want to go into detail here though." Their face tells they understand. "I get it but Ash… I have my doubts he is the right person to come at with such problems but for that we are here. Am I right girls?" They nod besides Giselle "Not necessarily you know. If you got certain issues like that for example you tend to go to people that you value really much…" her hint reaches the other girls two but the men of course can't follow entirely, expect Brock or rather he thinks he got an edge here. His Toxicroak now stops him though. "This is a woman issue and I think we are misplaced here. Better we go." Brock regained his stand and sudden just nods "ahm… ahm…" Tobias who saw the group and knows then left since he knew it's all right. The group is now split.

Ash reaches the hotel and as soon as he knows of his room he hides in it, thinking about the battles ahead. First arrives Tobias who gets a room higher up than Ash and then later May. She gets a room fast as well. It's the same floor Ash is on but she doesn't know it and their rooms are in different hallways so it's unlikely they meet by chance. After packing out her stuff she has on her, others will be delivered automatically told Tobias her during the fly, she tries to get the information if Ash is here and in which room at the reception. "Excuse me, may I ask a question?" "Sure, what is it?" "Can you tell me if a trainer called Ash Ketchum is in the hotel and in which room?" "I can tell you that but unfortunately I'm not allowed to give out such information to anyone. It's for safety reason. I'm sorry." "Please, can't you make an exception just once?" "Sorry about that, please leave now." May continues bugging her. "Really, even if you were his girlfriend or wife I'm not allowed to give out this information now be nice and leave. Especially if you have a different gender I may not tell anything. If he is so important to you the only chance you might have to get to him and his room would be during meals. The room for eating is centralized but of course, if a guest wishes it, the meals are delivered to their rooms as well. That is often the case because people staying here are usually stars and such. They tend to stay alone. I wish you a nice evening." Tobias just passes by. "Hello May. So you told about your arrival and checked in her. You won't get any information out of the reception here I fear. I forgot to tell you this but since it's Ash we are talking of there is a good chance he prefers to be under people for eating. Such people are here as well so you have a good bet here. This means you must wait until tomorrow for it. Just enjoy it. See you later." Then he leaves. Sighting May goes back to her room.

In a Pokécenter the others discuss. "If we need to help Ash we need to be close to him but if there is the possibility that he locks himself up in his room we don't have a chance in it." "If he comes out for his battles we might see him but until the second round there aren't any viewers allowed." "Further we aren't told who battles whom and where until the final rounds in the big stadium." "I'm as a frontier brain have my place in the same hotel Ash is most likely in but I can't get on any information according to person staying in it, safety you know…" "The way he is now, chance for him going out eating in each restaurant around or having some fun slacking and visiting any special place that might be here are slim." "A chance would be that I see him during meals since the eating room is centralized for all but it's more likely that Ash just let his meals bring to his room the way he is now." "It looks dim for us…" Cynthia comes in by chance. She as well as the people that have met her are surprised seeing each other but soon greet each other nicely. "... You all make sour face what's the problem?" They explain the situation to her. "I hardly believe Ash would fall for that trap but once you come out of it again you're a better trainer. I had similar problems when I started but I had good friends like Ash has you to help me out. I think I can help you there. In 1 or 2 days, so just before the first round starts I should be able to bring you in the Seashell Seaview as well. It has more rooms than guests like me anyway and since you all have a degree of fame as well it should be easier. I'll tell you as soon as it's done. I see you later." Then Cynthia goes away from the group to do her thing she wanted here. "That will help much. Now since the problem with getting to him is solved we can focus on thinking how to wake him up…"

The next morning on breakfast the room is rather empty. Just a few trainers May never met and some rich folks, the nicer kind she knows sit around. It's early though so there still is hope. People come and go but with closing in to the ending time for the breakfast there still is no Ash. What she doesn't know is that he is already here. Since he changed so much visually she can't tell it is him and with Pikachu hidden by some plants this sign for Ash falls flat as well. During her look around's she saw a trainer that really eats much multiple times but the idea this might be Ash hasn't come to her mind yet. When she finally got it he already left. Discouraged she ends her breakfast as well and decides to go out and sits on a nice formation of rocks at the start of the adjoining forest with a hanging head. After a while she notices a strange cat-like Pokémon sometimes speeding through the trees and wonders. Tobias who just took a walk and sees her noticed it as well and recognized it as Amethan. The nosy face May makes brings him to her and stating it's most likely Ash's. "Good morning May. It seems you also saw Amethan, at least your face tells this." "Amethan?" It's a legendary Pokémon and Ash's I would say." "Ash catching a legendary? No he isn't that kind of trainer." "I wouldn't say he caught it. It's more likely it wanted to come with him. That's the only nice way to get a legendary. Only if they deem a Trainer worthy due his traits they will accompany you. I know that because I got mine this way as well and it took many years. Ash was faster in getting his first though I can tell you already and if you wonder about this, just ask your Pokédex. Amethan is even special among legendary as you will learn soon" After that she does as he says.

"Amethan, the bonding Pokémon. It's said to only appear a trainer that really understands Pokémon and shares a special bond with the Pokémon world. The trainer that manages to befriend an Amethan can befriend every Pokémon. He has the ability to bring forth a new, better age of bonding and understanding between Pokémon and human."

"I see and now understand what you meant. If one is that close to Pokémon its Ash." New hope shines through her eyes. "It's very fast but if you want to get in touch with Ash you better try to follow it but it can take a while until you get to where Ash just trains. Amethan is known as the fastest Pokémon on this world. Good luck." And he leaves again.

It's hard for my but slowly he close in and finally sees Ash training. Overjoyed she rushes at him and this endangers her because she crosses the zone of attack. Ash notices her and without thinking comes at her and prevents that she takes a fully powered Thunderbolt from one side and a Breakcharge from the other side. Ash is angry and shouts. "Seriously who do you think you are? Attacks that powerful clashing can kill a human. We aren't suit to take such. The bodies from Pokémon are different. That's why they are strong and can attack like that. And how the heck did you even find me here. As a reason of fact, I especially came here because the destructive potential might be too much anywhere else if the control is not perfect." Shocked by the event just now and flashed from Ash look that barely remind the boy she knew she keeps quiet. "You look pretty but you seem pretty dump as well for doing such actions. I know what I'm talking about because I was like that as well but this was years ago when I still was a boy. I often jumped into danger without thinking first and I had enough luck to survive it every time. You're a grown up as well so you shouldn't be like that anymore!" May is a bit mad as well. "Really, are you that Ash I know? I doubt you have the right to tell me off like that but then again the years might have changed you. And you do look very handsome now." The last sentence comes out too low for Ash to hear.

Meanwhile they stand again. "Okay, you know my name but many others do as well and them following me like a bur is annoying. You also seem to claim you know me very good but I can't recall who you are." His voice is lower now but still pretty loud. It already seems to be like a fight between two lovers how they stand and look at each other. "How can you not recall me when we traveled together for so long, even when it was years ago… But then again, at first I wouldn't recognize you as well after these years, like I didn't during breakfast…" Both seem calmer now but Ash still is clueless. "Is that so but I wouldn't forget someone with such a look…" May sighs. "Seriously, I feel like we are back in Hoenn again with your attitude right know although the others told me how much you obviously have changed." A big face appears on Ash. "May…" "That is right, that is me." Sudden she changes back to a much happier face. "It's really nice to meet you again and I was looking forward to it but I have to train now and I can't allow someone to watch, not even my close friends. It's too dangerous. We can talk later, maybe." "But I want to. I haven't seen you for so long and there is much I want to talk about but I also want to see how good you are now." "If you want to stay then I will leave. The risk of hurting any viewers is too big for me to tolerate." "Then at least tell me where you room is so I know where I can find you when you're done training." She shouts after him. "4th floor, room 217" and he is away. "That's the same floor I'm on though in a different hallway. Good to know but I never saw him that dead serious with training when a tournament is up ahead. Tobias may be right in his concerns. I hope I can get him some time…"

The day goes on and the time for lunch arrives. In the hall May looks for Ash but he is not here. "Really, Ash missing out on lunch? Something's fishy about this. Is he really training that crazy?" Trying his room didn't help. Worrying about him she starts to search for him again. Luck is not on her side and dinner comes up. Here she hopes to see him, no luck either. More searching doesn't work either. Tired she goes back to her room. When turning to the hallway of her room she trips over a beaten Ash. It shocks her. "Ash, you look terrible. You surely had intense training. You really need a day break tomorrow so why don't we take some time together to talk about what we did in the last years and visit a few nice places here. The restaurants around her have a good reputation for first-class-unique-food." She followed him to his room while talking and Pikachu seems to be with May as well. "No time for it. I must assure to be shaped up when it starts." He shows not much enthusiasm for this idea Pikachu though does but the friendship between then would win in the end. "And drive you and your Pokémon sore? I can't allow that, even if I have to force you. You didn't eat anything since breakfast so you have to eat in the morning and that is when I catch you, you hear. I will get you, I promise. It would be better for you if you would cooperate but if not its fine too. I still can do it." Ash already closed the door during May's talking like he doesn't care and doubt she can execute what she is saying. "Oh, you shouldn't have done this…" May is already fired up.

The morning comes and as predicted Ash does at least breakfast and not to short. May sits next to him on a different table so the things she eats have space as well and so all Ash can do is glare at her. When he tries to leave May quickly grabs him. "I told you I'll take you out today and won't let you train yourself ill. I got an eye on you." Ash resists to it but his chance is small. During the day he more than once tries to sneak away but no success and with the hours going bye he stops resisting but all he thinks about is the championship. Although his mind is battling he can find some enjoyment in the restaurant tour he does with May right now. It is like when they were younger and in every city tasted the local specialty or the tour during the Hoenn league and how much fun times they had with it. As the evening draws near they conclude their tour and walk back to the hotel almost like a pair already and they look so natural together. "Fine May, you got me today but tomorrow is training again. "You shouldn't do that or do you want to start with exhausted Pokémon. The first round begins tomorrow for the case you forgot with all the training and your old rivals in mind!" "… You're right. I still can breed over tactics though…" "I can accept that, if you get enough rest that is. My Kammillel will make sure of that because I sent it with you when I drop you at your room and if you stay up for too long it will make you sleep with his Wonderspore though this also could cause burn, freeze, poisoned, petrify or paralyze. Not the nicest thought despite it not working as long on humans." "This wouldn't be good if you care for my health though it's a nice thought to go that far or is it a warning I should distance myself from you…" the end of the sentence became very low. "Trainings fine and important but taking breaks to revitalize as well and if you don't have some relaxing fun you get too stressed and your concentration for battles goes down the hole." She sounds reproachful. "Yeah, whatever you say." And closed the door is. Kamillel got in though. In this night Kamillel is forced to 'help' Ash to fall asleep. Since Ash and May were out they also don't know all the others checked in this noon. Misty actually had a reservation since she is Misty Oak and Gary is a renowned professor. The others got in due Cynthia's help. She just pulled some strings and it worked. Ash and May will learn about their friends staying her too during the breakfast the next day.

May and Ash come down eating early so they have more time for it. Today they share the same table and of course, the dishes pile soon. The rest comes down together. They all stay on the second floor and since they are together they could ask about the room numbers and actually get it. They take a group of big tables; after all they are a big group as well. It's a bit away from Ash and May so they can't see them from their seats. They wonder about them but so far can't make them out in the room. "Our tables lie close to the entrance so we're bound to see at least one of them at a time if they come down for food so we can ask where they stay so we just should take the breakfast." The rest nods to agree Brock.

"Good, I think I can battle well with a belly full like this" grunts Ash. "And since viewers aren't allowed in round one I check out for other location that might be fun here. We can visit them the next day off. Though, since I'm the honorable guest I might have access to the first round as well. I'll just try it out when I got some places to go on free days." May can't sit still at the moment. "Do what you want but if I have a day off I rather spend it training." Ash still is glued to the tournament. "We will see about that… but I will accompany you to the stadium you're in though do you know which?" "Sure do, checked it this morning. The computer in the room helps a lot." Then let us start" they buzz off together. As they approach they entrance that also serves as exit they see the group and stop for a moment. "Morning you, how comes you here, thought this only is for VIPs and participants or those who are both." "Cynthia helped us here because she knows how good of friends we are"answers Cilan. "How nice" comes from May. "Really? That's great. Anyway I'm off for round one. See you around." Ash and May leave. The group is a bit perplexed. "Seems they are busy today..." "Well, their position brings that along…" The interaction ends before it started. The following weeks will be like that as well. May has some sort of attendance to make and Ash of course is interested in battle of possible opponents and training. Today it works out well for Ash and May. He breezed through his opponents and May found plenty of facilities of interest for the days off. She was also right with the thought that she can view the first round if she wants and at the moment is on Ash's last battle for today. "Good work Ash, you mopped around your opponents today." He keeps silent but nods on her. They go back together and soon end their day.

In the following time things work out well. Ash comes easily through the battles and May's job seems to be nice and with not much stress as well. If they have one day off May takes Ash, sometimes forcefully to do things like mini-golfing, museums, game halls, cinema, swimming, having romantic walks and others like that. If there are more days of May let him train but keeps an eye on him that he doesn't overdo it. It works well and helps Ash being more relaxed. His 'addictions' to train and breed over tactics to make sure he beats his rivals lessens. He keeps it on a normal level after he spent some time with May. Her heart wound slowly closes as well. "So it might be Ash that is the light to brighten the cold room I landed in. If we travel again I can forget about the hardships the high society give me after my contests…" They get along well. The other friends of Ash do a good job rooting for him, especially Dawn which doesn't surprised since she already did it while they traveled trough Sinnoh. The second round comes easy to Ash as well. His rivals Paul, Trip and Tobias have no problems with it as well. Rarely Ash and group even get the chance to hang out with the regional champions. At a later point May even tells him about Bernárd but at this point they pretty much are a couple already. Sometimes they have an argument and other times the live through funny and/or embarrassing moments. This good time tops the time they spent together in Hoenn and Kanto. One day though, the final round starts and with it a special broadcast with famous announcer.

"As you all know lately it's popular to battle in natural fields. All the different things that come in play here add a good amount of tactic to the action filled Pokémon battles and we can see a trainer's real skill. And since it is so challenging here of course was all effort made to allow multiple landscapes for battles to get used here and so it will. I'm looking forward to see the new ways of using move to win."

In this finale Ash still has few problems beating opponents. He also faces Trip and Paul in it. These battles already show intense tension and remarkable skill. Ash wins with more than one Pokémon left to them though all he has are at least some exhausted. He never needs to use Amethan though. Winning these important battles for him helps even more to not get lost in the tournament stuff.

Then the semi-finals come. Ash faces Tobias. In this battle the crowds sees a real thing. The Pokémon battle crazy. The audience can't stop being amazed. The Pokémon fall after battles hardly to describe in their cool, entertaining and massive way. The power show-off is just flashing and destructive to the field. First Tobias, then Ash and then Tobias again. Each battle tops the last but in the end, Tobias gets the short and loses. After so many years Ash managed to beat all of his six legendary though this time he had one as well but it just ended it fast. His normal Pokémon did the most work. While he can't believe his luck Tobias congratulates him.

"Bravo Ash, bravo. I'm really proud of you and as promised I'll let you in the secret. But first to that I must apologize to you that I did it this way." His surprise of the win is substituted with a surprise of Tobias talking this strange. "I hope Delia is fine like that though I wished I could see her here as well but not that it's done I can go back to her for some time, until I packed by the urge to journey again. I'm sorry I wasn't there but all I can is battling and raising Pokémon. I'm not good with raising children but luckily your mother, the good soul covers this lack of mine. The only way I could think of to raise you is to raise you to a strong trainer. For that I followed you to keep an eye on you and to make you stronger by battling you with the strongest ever Pokémon I befriended in my years as Trainer. The time was right after you get used to traveling and found some good friends which were with Sinnoh. Since then I kept pushing you by challenging you in the big tournaments and making you to live through battles that are pretty much impossible to win, for normal Trainer. I'm really proud that you final became stronger as your father." Totally steamrolled Ash asks the dumb way if Tobias knows his father. "Do you know my father?" Tobias is laughing. He understands that Ash must be very perplexed now. "No my son, I'm your father but of course you don't recognize me if you hardly ever see a piece of me and besides that my current style is very different from those few times when you were much younger and met me though as soon as I come home Delia will make sure that my style changes back…" "Father…?" "That's right my son, I waited for this moment to tell you that. I hope you don't hate me as much for not being there and sort of tormenting you with continuous losses." Meanwhile Tobias is on Ash's side and offers him the hand for a good battle and waits for a reaction. The commentator is speechless as Ash and the rest of the crowd is as well. "I don't know what to say. This is … an unusual event on such a tournament but it's also a sort of nice reveal but what will Ash do now?" Ash takes Tobias hand. "Thank you dad, you really did something helpful to me I just realize. But make sure to shape up for a rematch at a later point or at home." "Sure will and you don't lose your edge too. You will need your strength, not just for the final but also for after because there are many people that like to get you head because you foiled their plans. I'm talking about all those criminal organizations you shattered. However, no battle or fight is as tough as the one you have when you are engaged. Don't forget that." First they friendly glare at each other and then they laugh together. As the second semi-final is announced to start they leave the field together complimenting each other for the good actions during battle. A big discussion between Ash's friends comes up as well for this reveal but in the end they get the same thought. It was a good thing. The attending champions that really lost already to trainers like Ash and Tobias and a third one that is about to rock the next semi-final saw that coming. "So he finally told him. It really is an unusual way to do such but he's an unusual Trainer as well, it starts by him getting so many legendary's already." "But his son isn't that different." "These two a really special. It's like they are like those humans in legends that change to world to the better…"

The second semi-final ends very fast. Both trainers fought well but one always dominates in a match. This will be Ash opponent. The next day is free though. The only match going in is the one for the third place. Tobias of course easily wins that. After the battle is over Ash, his father, May and all of his friends that were rooting for him have a real funny time.

The next day is a horror for Ash. With the final match being soon he gets totally restless and unorganized. He stresses himself up very much and puts himself under immense pressure. If it weren't for May and his friends he might have fainted due all of that. They could keep him calm. His trembling now is not due stressing, its due anticipation and determination. He is ready for the match.

In the stadium people even flood the close radius of the stadium to watch this battle on the big stadium outer screens. Not to mention how full the stadium itself is. If you have no seat reservation you are bound to miss out. Of course Ash's friends had some and participants as well as special guest are covered in the VIP lounge but even this one is kind of full though not as bad as the rest. The two opponents enter the field. "You will go down Ash. I know all of your tactics and I will counter them easily, not even a legendary will be able to pound you out of this." He speaks to Ash down looking and overconfident. "We will see about that and don't think I haven't looked into your file. I also know quiet some about you." "That doesn't matter there are still thinks I haven't shown and no one knows." "The same goes for me." As soon as the trash talk ended it starts. The battle not just promised to be epic it is epic. Ash and his opponent seem equal but Ash lands the better hits. Not even half the Pokémon are down and the field is totally different. Their attacks have changed it and opened new tactical actions. Of course both use them good. Although it sometimes seems close Ash usually keeps the upper hand but some lucky hits make them equal again. It continues like that and with using some items as allowed it stretches out. In the end it is Ash that ends victorious and it's none to less to thank to his self made medicine. This medicine just works better than the buyable ones. Of course his skill was also important and his willpower and bond to his Pokémon. They are as stubborn as Ash if it comes to battling and their friendship helps to always break their limit so Ash just could win and so he did. "Now the mood is high. "Joyful Ash thanks all his Pokémon for this and goes all wild. After some dancing you could say the opponents meet at the center of the field and shake hands. "I will get my revenge one day, better keep an eye open" and soon Ash's opponent leaves. He doesn't even aim for the podium. Together with his Pokémon Ash rounds on the field and takes a bath of cheers. "We won, we really won and with this out of my mind another difficulty lies ahead and this one feels heavier than the whole championship but the stage is right to ask…" Together with his Poké's he slowly walks to the podium like he carries a whole mountain. For the people it seems if he just enjoys the shower of flowers and hurrahs but for him it's a hurtle marathon of feelings. After a while he does arrives the podium and climbs up.

Atop the podium at place #1. Ash baths in the cheers and hurrahs of the crowd again. During that he collects himself. The cheering is shaking the stadium with so many fans clapping and stomping for the deserved victor. Girls faint for this star and everyone wants a piece of him or advice how to become that awesome. The commentator approaches him now for the closing. "A great win after a world class battle. Now Ash, do you have any last words you want to spill out as long as you stand on this podium?"

"Indeed I have. I have a special message I wanted to give a long time now. This is the perfect stage to say it." Everyone shut down now. An awful silence overcomes the ranks. The tension is to cut with a sword. "It's something I want to say to someone really important to me. We are close friends since so long and already traveled together when I just started out. My memories with her followed me all the time…" This is enough; sadness, disappointment and also excitement go through the girls in the crowd. Pretty much all the girls Ash ever had contact to and more he meet only short on his watch this finale and such an announcement can only mean one thing and they know it. The only thing in mystery about it is who's the lucky one?

"May, the ribbon and the charm you gave me always spent me safety, cover and courage. I never thought much about it or my feelings towards you until we met again a few weeks ago and the time I spent with you again meant much for me. You helped me to remember of ther stress of this tournament how important friendship and some breaks for fun times with friends are. I was young, dense and oblivious, I still am but I know for sure how important you are to me. We share many good memories and they still shine bright in my head and although we haven't seen each other in years the short period of time since we again met after years enlightened me. Although I didn't know I love you when we traveled through Hoenn and Kanto, even our short reunion in Sinnoh I now know I did and do. I love you and I want you to marry me, will you become my wife?"

Everything is focusing on her and the cameras zoom at her now red face. It's not certain if it is anger or embarrassment and she opens her mouth wide to remain frozen. It shows no bad or good emotions just now because she is totally surprised. The silence from before feels even worse now and everything is stale. After some horrible silent time her face starts to smile. She sets to answer. "YES I WILL!" Overjoying feelings and noise fill the stadium now. Although the other girls feel a bit bad right now they join the feast and joy soon enough. A new future is set in stone now.

Seite 29 von 29