Mudkip - Level 21 - Mud-Slap, Tackle, Growl, and Water Gun
Bulbasaur - Level 19 - Razor Leaf, Vine Whip, Tackle, and Leech Seed
Chapter 16 – A First Contest
The group got an early start after their items had been stolen, and found the Cerulean City Pokémon Center. Getting to the Pokémon Center took all day.
During their remaining time on Route 4, they had gone over what their next plans were. Stetson encouraged them to get supplies as soon as possible. Hazel was ready for her next battle. And Soru and Elise didn't care, so long as they could sleep soon.
After walking the whole day, the group decided on sleep. A good night's rest would help them the next day, where they could take their time to do whatever was needed.
Stetson woke up early, like he usually would. He got ready for the day and woke up Hazel, leaving Elise and Soru to sleep. They often would sleep longer than any other people in the group. It was as though they had a sleeping contest.
Hazel showered and dressed before meeting Stetson in the Pokémon Center lobby.
"Is there anything you're wanting from the store?" Stetson asked. He shuffled through his bag, taking inventory. "I'll have to get a lot of supplies after what those thieves did! It's lucky that I had a lot of money saved up in my account."
Hazel fastened her ponytail, her brown hair waving around uncontrollably. "I'm no good at that kind of stuff. I think that maybe a few Poké Balls would be helpful. But that's up to you."
Stetson nodded and left. Hazel ordered food and waited for the other two come out of the room. They came out together, already prepared for their day. Cyndaquil rested on Elise's shoulder, and Soru held Torchic tight.
"What's the plans for today?" Soru asked, taking a seat next to Hazel.
"Stetson just left for the Mart, but other than that, I have no clue," Hazel responded.
Soru sighed and looked up at the television screen. The local programming turned to a commercial, revealing a giant dome. A light blue ribbon materialized over the ribbon.
"Attention all Coordinators!" a woman's voice boomed. "If you haven't heard yet, today is the Cerulean City Pokémon Contest! Whether you're a veteran coordinator, or a rookie, this is the contest to enter! Remember, the cutoff is at 3 p.m. today!"
"We have to go!" Soru screeched. The two trainers looked at him. He was always hyper, but it was too early for them to take it in.
"Why do you want to go there?" Hazel asked.
"I…uh…" Soru stammered.
"I want to get in training today, if that's okay," Hazel added. "I think I'll just train on Nugget Bridge."
"I'd like to go," Elise added. "We should probably get there at 4, so we don't have to wait so long!"
Soru shook his head and poked his fingers together. "But…"
"It's settled. I'll train with Stetson on Nugget Bridge, and you guys can go to the contest!" Hazel said with a smile.
"No!" Soru yelled. The two looked at him, curious as to why he was so excited. "I mean… I really want to go to the contest. I want to participate…"
"I never took you for a Coordinator," Hazel remarked before she took a sip of her chocolate shake.
"Why do you want to give it a try?" Elise asked.
"You see, I watched a few contest battles and performances awhile back, when we were in Viridian. I've never been a great battler, but I think I can appeal with my Pokémon. I've been training in private with Torchic and Charmander to make beautiful combos. I just want to try it."
Hazel sighed then smiled. "I guess I'll cancel my training plans! But we have to get your registered first!"
"I have awhile to register. We can wait for Stetson to get back, tell him the good news, then leave!" Soru announced.
The two agreed, and they finished up their meal. Soru fed all of the Pokémon, leaving out extra for Stetson's Pokémon. And in no time, Stetson had returned.
"They cleaned us out completely. I had to use up almost all of my money," Stetson announced while he dropped his shopping bags onto the ground. While Stetson's Pokémon ate, the group scurried to fit all of the supplies into their bags so they could tell Stetson the good news.
"So, you'll be going into today's contest, eh?" Stetson said after Soru explained everything. "That sounds awesome. I think your Pokémon would do great!"
"We should get going. Registration ends soon," Elise announced. She glanced at her watch and poked at it playfully.
The group gathered their bags and left for the stadium. The contest was taking place in the Cerulean Gym. It would be a chance for Hazel to get a good look at it.
Once they reached the gym, they were able to take in its spectacle. It was huge in comparison to Pewter's Gym. The building was blue and dome shaped, paintings of water-type Pokémon on the walls.
When they entered, the first thing that they noticed was tanks. Tanks of water-Pokémon were everywhere. Where there would be walls, there were tanks.
"I'm going to go and register," Soru announced. "You all get good seats now!"
"Good luck, Soru!" the group said before leaving for the stands.
Soru quickly registered, receiving his ribbon case and an I.D. card. He darted to the back room where he would watch other coordinators perform and give his Pokémon a pep talk.
Once he was there, he released Torchic and Charmander.
"Now, guys. We have to be careful. We've been practicing a lot, but we're on a special stage. The Cerulean Gym may give us some trouble," Soru told them. He smiled. "But no matter what, we'll give it out best."
"This place is huge," Hazel commented while she took a seat in the stands along with the other two.
Elise took a few shots of the stage. "Soru is going to give me some great shots, I bet!"
"I can't wait to see him in action. I never expected him to really do anything with his Pokémon. This will be interesting," Stetson replied.
"Welcome one and all to the special Cerulean City Pokémon Contest," an announcer screamed into the microphone. The stage lights reflected off of her sparkly, red dress. Her blonde hair was curled and hung off her shoulders. And to compliment her dress, she pasted on bright red lipstick.
"A special thanks goes out to the Cerulean City Gym Leader, Misty!" the crowd cheered while the lights in the stadium redirected to the judges panels. A red-headed teenager stood up from her seat and waved to the crowd.
"So, that's the gym leader," Hazel mumbled.
"She will be serving as our special fourth judge today. And as for the other judges, you all may be able to recognize Cerulean City's own, Nurse Joy!" the lights moved to Nurse Joy, who simply stood up and nodded at the crowd. "Mr. Sukizo!" the next just was small in stature, but that didn't affect his wide smile. He brown hair was shaved to a thin cut, and the suit that he wore was simple, complimented by a plain red tie.
"Thank you all for having me! It is truly remarkable!" the judge said happily.
"Raoul Contesta!" The last judge was much taller than Mr. Sukizo. His hair, graying in the middle and at the sides, was slicked back. He wore a red suit, complimenting his classy look.
"I thank everyone for coming today! I can't wait to see all of our competitors perform. May you support them and drive them to do their best," Raoul said with a smile.
Soru, in the backroom, sat with his Pokémon, both of them on his lap.
"Are you ready for this, guys?"
Coordinator after coordinator performed. Soru watched them all, amazed by some of the things that people had done. The only thing that worried him was the field. It was a water field, which could prove trouble for Soru's Pokémon.
After many more trainers came and went, Soru's name was called. He returned Charmander into his ball and walked down the hallway with Torchic in his arms. He could feel his heart race, pounding against his chest. It was an unfamiliar feeling.
"Introducing next—this is his first contest—give it up for Soru Oberon!" the announcer screamed.
Soru appeared from behind the curtain, and the crowd went nuts.
He didn't expect the stage to look as it did. All of the contest halls that he watched before had a simple, flat stage. This stage was instead filled with pools of water. Only one strip of land floated. The land that Soru stood on.
He took a breath and smiled before looking down at Torchic.
"Are you ready?"
"Alright! Ember!" Soru ordered, tossing Torchic into the air.
Torchic spun around, releasing the tiny pellets of flames.
As if he knew what Soru was thinking, Torchic pecked at the different pellets of fire, taking them into his mouth.
Soru stuck out his hand, and Torchic landed on it. "We'll finish this one off with super Ember!"
Torchic tilted his head up and let loose a gigantic flame. The flame exploded in the air, raining small bits of ashes onto the stage.
Soru and Torchic stood still, waiting for the appeal to sink in. And without having to wait for too long, the crowd was on their feet.
"What a wonderful display of your Pokémon's power. Not only that, but how in sync you two are," Raoul complimented with a smile.
"We really got to see how beautiful a fire-type can be with your display. In addition, it looked like you both were having fun!" Nurse Joy opined.
Misty shook her head. "I feel like you wasted the stage. That could have been performed at any contest, but you decided to do it here. You should have incorporated the water."
Soru sighed and held Torchic tight. He ran to the back. The next coordinator went through, and Soru stopped at the curtain.
"I don't care what she said, Torchic. I think that you did awesome!" Soru said, his smile still strong.
As all of the competitors went through, Soru sat with his head down in the back of the room. Once everyone was finished, the judges got together and readied to announce who would be moving on.
"How do you think Soru compares?" Hazel asked. She had never watched contests before, her knowledge about the subject not at a high level.
Stetson smiled. "Besides the deal with the water stage, I think he performed very well. But the water stage could hurt him."
Elise scrolled through the pictures on her camera. "Torchic really was beautiful. I say we keep our faith in him!"
"Attention audience members and coordinators! The judges have made their decisions. If you would direct your attention to the screen," the announcer exclaimed.
Soru bit his thumb, feeling nervous once again. The screen flickered on, eight cards appearing on it. The cards flipped one by one, revealing the coordinators who'd move on.
"One…two…three…four…" Hazel murmured, hoping to see Soru's face on one of the cards.
"Five…six…seven…" Soru counted. Seven. There was one more, and Soru's face was yet to be shown. He messed up. There was only one more card left, and there was no way he'd be on it. He was new to this. The rookie.
The trainers gaped at the sight. The eighth card flipped, revealing the brightest smile they could imagine.
"I made it!" Soru screeched, jumping up and down with his Pokémon. "I can't believe that I made it!"
"Congratulations, Soru!" a soft voice said behind the bouncing boy. He turned, taking in the girl that stood behind him. Her blonde hair, pulled back and braided, hung over her shoulder. A green sun dress mixed with a brown belt complimented her light green eyes.
"Do I know you?" Soru wondered.
The girl blushed. "Um, no… But we both had similar appeals. We both didn't use the water and got points docked for it."
Soru glanced back up the screen—graphic confetti now embezzled all over it—and noticed the girl's face on the sixth card.
"I'm Luna Elanor. This is also my first contest," she said with a smile.
"Oh. I'm Soru! Congrats on moving forward!"
Luna pointed her finger at the screen, redirecting Soru's attention. The cards shuffled and moved around.
"We will now decide the order of battle! There will be three rounds to decide the victor!"
Soru glanced around frantically, finding his name quickly.
"I'm in the first match!" he said happily.
"And I'm in the last one," Luna stated. "Good luck, Soru!"
"You too, Lily!"
"This contest battle will be between coordinators Soru Oberon and Cane Kudo! A winner will be announced when either the time runs out, a Pokémon faints, or a Pokémon loses all of their points!"
In the middle of the field was a small pool. The rest of the field was colored blue, keeping to the water theme.
"Let's go, Eevee!" Cane screamed, his small brown Pokémon jumping off of his shoulder.
Soru's opponent had an extravagant look. His hair, red as fire, was spiked into the air, matching his red eyes. A black shirt with yellow stripes hid under a brown vest. To top it all off, he wore white pants with red trim.
"You ready, Charmander?" Soru asked. Charmander nodded and walked forward onto the stage.
"Eevee, use Swift!" Cane ordered before Soru could even think.
Eevee flipped into the air, stars flying from his body.
"Block it with Flamethrower!" Soru screamed.
Flames bellowed from Charmander's mouth, easily blowing through the Swift.
"Keep it going!"
Charmander cried out, causing more flames to emerge. When they died down, Eevee was gone. A hole had been made where Eevee once stood.
"Where did he go?" Soru screeched.
The ground shook at Charmander's feet, and Eevee emerged. Both Pokémon flew back, Charmander landing near the water.
Cane smiled. "Take Down! Let's knock them in the water!"
"Use Flamethrower and spin!" Soru ordered desperately.
Charmander nodded before he started to spin. Flames blew from his mouth, stopping Eevee in his tracks.
Charmander stopped, but before the flames could die down, he lunged forward and slashed at Eevee.
As Eevee fell back, Charmander let loose flames. The flames engulfed Eevee, but he was able to recover.
"Take Down!" Cane commanded.
Eevee checked into the fire-type, pushing him closer to the small pond.
"We need to get out of there!" Soru cried. "Ember!"
Charmander stopped panicking and shot his head down, small pellets of fire aimed right at Eevee.
Instinctively, Eevee dug into the ground, easily avoiding the attack. Charmander moved away from the pond before he could be knocked into it.
"Shadow Ball!" Soru heard Cane yell.
Eevee blew out from under the ground. A black orb formed in front of his mouth, and he released it towards Charmander.
"Get out of the way!" Soru screeched.
Charmander did a cartwheel, maneuvering around the ball. Once he was back onto all-fours, he took in a deep breath. A green flame emerged from his mouth, blasting into Eevee. He flew back, landing hard on the ground. But to Soru's surprise, Eevee stood back up.
Before either trainer could order for another attack, the buzzer went off. They both stopped in their tracks and turned their attention the screen.
"Time is up!" the announcer screamed. "And our winner is…"
"Please…" Hazel mumbled.
"Soru!" the announcer screamed. Soru's face appeared on the screen, and it moved up on the bracket. "He will be moving onto the second round!"
"Yeah!" Soru yelled while he ran onto the field and grabbed ahold of Charmander. "We did it!"
The other trainers went on the field and battled while Soru let Charmander rest. He didn't believe that he actually went on. And the fact that he was able to last for a whole five minutes surprised him even more.
The three other matches went by fast, and before he knew it, Soru was back on the field.
"The next battle will be between Zook Smitty and Soru Oberon! The rules are the same as before! Now, let's begin!"
"Smitty?" Hazel wondered. "Are you related?"
Stetson shook his head. "Nope! Never heard of him."
"You got lucky in your last battle. But you won't with me!" Zook said, a smile on his face. "I use my head! Kecleon, c'mon out!"
A green Pokémon materialized, a red stripe across his body.
"You got this, Charmander!"
"Char!" he cried, running onto the field.
"Kecleon, let's get a feel for the field! Use Quick Attack!"
Kecleon nodded before bounding forward. He easily crossed the water, as if he flew right over it.
"Dodge! Then use Metal Claw!" Soru called, watching the green Pokémon get closer.
Charmander jumped out of the way, causing Kecleon to stop and look around. His claws then turned to metal, and he lunged at Kecleon. Before Zook could order anything, Kecleon jumped out of the way and disappeared from sight.
"Did you see that?" the announcer asked the crowd. "Or NOT see that! Kecleon just disappeared."
"Oh no…" Soru sighed.
"Let's use Lick!" Zook commanded.
Charmander suddenly cried out, a wet spot appearing on his tongue. He tried to move, but another damp object touched him.
"Get out of there!" Soru yelled.
Charmander ran around frantically, but every time he moved, he ran into what was like an invisible, wet wall.
"He can't get around it!" Elise exclaimed.
"I know!" Soru said happily. "Use Flamethrower at the ground!"
Charmander, exhausted from running around, used what energy he could and shot flames at the ground. The force from the fire flung him into the air.
Soru looked around the field, spotting a red stripe floating in the air.
"Maybe…" Soru thought. "Okay, Charmander! Use Dragon Rage on the red stripe!"
Charmander looked around, also noticed the stripe. He unleashed the green flame, connecting directly with the stripe. Kecleon reappeared, landing on the ground. He fainted on the spot.
The buzzer went off, all judges knowing that Kecleon was done.
"It looks like, either by look or some hidden skill, Soru wins!"
With that, Soru went to the back. He gave his Charmander a short pep talk while the other battle, and before he knew it, it was over.
Luna ran to the back, having won her last match. It would come down to him or her.
"You did really well!" Luna complimented.
"Thank you!" Soru replied. He didn't pay much attention to Luna's match, so he didn't know what to expect.
The two were called, and they made their way down the hallway. The stopped at the curtains, both peaking through them and at the crowd.
"Good luck," Soru said.
The two walked out, took their places at the trainers boxes, and prepared for battle.
"Here we are! Our final battle of the day. The battle that will decide the fate of the Cerulean City Ribbon! Which one of these rookies will be taking the ribbon home?"
Charmander walked out onto the stage and growled, ready to defeat another opponent.
"Chikorita, the stage is set!" Luna called, tossing her Poké Ball into the air. A tiny, green Pokémon with a leaf on her head appeared in front of Luna.
"Looks like Soru has the type-advantage," Stetson noted.
"Charmander, Flamethrower!" Soru ordered.
Charmander jumped over the pool and released smooth flames from his mouth. The flames raced across the field, heading on route for Chikorita.
"Dodge!" Luna called.
Without skipping a beat, Chikorita twirled out of the way of the flames. Within her little dance, she twisted her head, flinging leaves at Charmander.
Chikorita stopped elegantly dancing and lifted her vines from her body. She struck the vines against the ground, digging them directly into it.
"What?" Soru wondered.
The vines suddenly lifted from the ground, smacking Charmander in the face. The red Pokémon rolled back but quickly regained his footing. Charmander, now angered, released green flames into the air.
"Yeah!" Soru said happily. "Dragon Rage!"
Charmander bounded forward, releasing the flames. They engulfed Chikorita, and the fire-type ceased the attack, proud of his progress.
"Chikorita!" Luna cried.
Chikorita backed a few feet, but was ready for her next command.
With another swing of her head, Chikorita released leaves. The leaves raced down the field, heading straight for Charmander.
"Metal Claw!" Soru screamed.
Charmander opened his palms, his claws turning metallic. He swiped forward, easily blowing through them.
"Get up close and use Flamethrower!"
Charmander obeyed, lunging forward. Flames exploded from his mouth, only a few feet away from Chikorita.
"Spin, and use Vine Whip!" Luna screeched.
Chikorita twirled around, smacking one of her vines against Charmander's face. The flames died down quickly, and he was thrown back.
Soru glanced up at his points, watching as they were being depleted quickly.
Chikorita stood proudly, taking in the sunlight from the glass ceiling. Her body started to glow a light yellow, and she prepared for her next attack.
"Glowing Razor Leaf!" Luna ordered, snapping her fingers and doing a small dance.
A barrage of leaves flew from Chikorita's body. They each glowed like the sun. Charmander was pelted hard, causing him to fly past the small pool and to Soru's feet.
The buzzer went off, and everyone brought their attention to the screen. Luna had most of her points, while Soru's had been completely depleted.
"And the winner of the Cerulean City Contest is Luna!"
"Soru!" Hazel cried. She ran as fast as she could and embraced him. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah!" Soru replied. "Why wouldn't I?"
Hazel looked at him, his usual smile planted on his face.
"Yeah! No problem!" Soru responded. "Let's have dinner! I'm starving!"
The group walked slowly to the Pokémon Center, random strangers shouting out Soru's name. It had been weird for him. He never thought of himself as a star.
After a few minutes, the group finally got to the Pokémon Center. Soru immediately started to make dinner, wanting to congratulate his Pokémon as soon as possible.
He finished quickly and sat down at the table with his friends. Their waiter dropped off chocolate milkshakes, and they clanged them together.
"Number 2 isn't that bad for your first try!" Elise said with a smile. "And I got a bunch of awesome pictures!"
"I think you did awesome! I'd like to train with you sometime!" Stetson added.
Hazel smiled and looked at her friend. No part of him seemed upset. He was normal as ever. It was as if he didn't even compete.
"Well, I've made the decision to continue with contests. I think I can become a great coordinator if I keep trying!"
"Yeah!" the group agreed.
"Charmander!" his Pokémon cried happily.
"Then it's settled!" Soru said, taking a big gulp of chocolate shake. "Watch out contests, here I come!"
A/N Very sorry for the late updates!
But as my excuse, it has been a hectic week.
Heather and I graduated!