Ch.6: The Arena Champion Part 1!

Author's note:

Hey guys, we are back with another installment of Team Eviolite: Time Shocked! First I'd like to tell you guys about the recent releasing of my collaboration fic with Ratmaster007. It is called Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: An Eternal Soul, so go check it out on his profile if you will. Link is on my profile. (Note that it is placed after Time Shocked, so a lot of things have already happened. Nothing to worry about though since anything you'll probably think is given away is not exactly what it seems. A lot can happen in such time.) ;)

On that note, this chapter will be a little bit different. For once, instead of throwing you into another plot filled, eventful explosion, I will be taking some time to put a break in the pace of the story. That's right, I'm putting in filler for the first time. I was thinking for a while and I was like: Why not give o'l Austin and Ally a break for once in a while? Certainly no harm there right?

Austin and Ally: Jee thanks... *fighting a monster house*

Oh and another thing. There is something small but fairly important that I left out during the transition between the first book and this book in this series. I had apparently forgotten that the events of the destruction of time and the meteor happen on different continents during the writing process of the first chapter of Time Shocked, so I neglected to put in the fact that Eve (and later, Austin and Ally followed by Drew, Flare and Conor) took a Drifblim ride over to the continent that is the setting of Time Shocked. (Lol) But now that you know, this should not be problem.

Eve: Hey! Don't reveal my travel methods!

Me: Sorry, had to be done.

Eve: Hmph!

Ally: I was pretty surprised that you actually took a ride with a drifblim considering you're afraid of heights.

Eve: Am not!

Ally: Riiiight. You wouldn't even climb trees when we were little.

Eve: Ugh, whatever...

Alex: Oh come on Ally, leave her alone. If you don't, there's a shameful vine whip in your future.

Austin: Oh there better not be!

Flare: Oh come on guys, calm down. If you don't I will burn all of you!

Everyone else: Ok! *nervous laughs*

Flare: That's more like it.

Me: Oookay. Well it's time to start this chapter. I hope you guys were excited for this because I sure am. This series is just starting to get to the exciting parts. Fun! And the fact that this chapter is filler might just mean that the next one will come earlier. Maybe even a double update. :)

Competition is that of utmost beauty when those who compete do so in a friendly manner. Winning, losing. Glory for all...

9:00pm, Sanctum Boss Chamber, Austin's Pov:

Wish somebody would have told us that attacks could be used in sanctum boss chambers, because victini's first attack, fire spin, caught all of us off guard. Of course, being a legendary pokemon and all, Victini's fire spin was twenty times more powerful than the usual fire type's, so you could say it wasn't pleasant. Alex was lucky to have found a fallen pillar, which he promptly grabbed Eve and dove behind before the fire from the attack ripped across the room. We weren't so lucky...

I stood in front of Ally, raising my arms to protect my face. I closed my eyes, waiting for the heat of the impact...but it never came. I opened them again to see Ally in front of me with her paw to the spiraling embers. The flames themselves seemed to diverge at the point where they almost touched her paw, as if they were somehow repelled. It took me a few seconds to realize that she was using magic. I didn't even know she knew how to do that.

Soon after, the flames from the fire spin died down and a surprised Victini was revealed. "Well well, I see your girlfriend's had no problem catching on to her abilities. Though I suppose I should expect no less of one from the Grace family line." Victini spoke. I wonder what he meant by that. Was Ally's family full of super powerful wizards or something? That thought reminded me of the bright pink wand that I still held in my hand. I can use magic too. Duh!

"Nice one Ally." I complimented her, even though she looked like she had no idea how she did that. That brought up another point in my mind. I had no idea how to use magic at all. Great...

"Now let's see if you can handle this!" Victini shouted as he shot a concentrated torrent of flames from his mouth directly at us. Naturally my instinct in a situation like this was to use quick attack to evade the flame thrower, so that's exactly what I did. As I kicked off with my quick attack, I grabbed Ally and headed in the direction of the pillar that Alex and Eve were still hiding behind. Jeez. Help much?

I quickly reached into our bag and pulled out the spell book, changing it from badge to book form by the click of a button. "Ally. Do you think you, Alex and Eve can hold Victini off while I find some spells that can help us?" I asked her quickly before Victini had a chance to attack. She nodded and dove behind the pillar to grab the other's attention. Not a second later, they came out from behind the pillar launching a barrage of attacks. I on the other hand hid behind the pillar, searching quickly for simple but helpful spells. Sadly, I didn't have much luck with hiding behind the pillar seeing as Victini shattered it minutes after I dove behind it.

I jumped to my feet, readying myself to search through the book while dodging attacks. "Are you ready to face me now, or are you just going to continue to hide?" Victini asked me in a mocking voice. It was clear that simple tactics weren't going to work on him, and his attitude was beginning to tick me off to be completely honest.

"Ngh!" I grunted in frustration at my recent interruption in concentration. Victini simply laughed before firing a concentrated beam of fire in my direction. Thinking quickly, I leapt up using my sword as leverage just as the attack reached me, doing a backwards somersault in mid-air and rebounding off of a nearby wall to keep from putting myself at the mercy of my ever so annoying enemy. Annoyingly he was also a quick thinker, quickly following up with a barrage of fiery chunks that he sent practically everywhere in my direction...the move Ember. I quickly put the spell book in my bag and shot off with a quick attack, dodging and rolling under the embers that shot past me.

Once I was at a close enough distance from Victini, or what I could tell from how fast I was going, I slid a bit on the dirt floor and leapt up with my already prepped iron tail, smashing it into his face and leaping over him to land behind my teammates and pull the spell book out again. It seamed as though that iron tail really hurt. The others just stared at me, completely bewildered at what I had just done. I gave them an expectant look, raising what was supposed to be my eyebrow. "Well. What are you guys waiting for? Attack him. I have reading to do." I told them as I opened the book again and began searching. They shot off towards Victini seconds later.

I glanced up at the battle scene occasionally while I was searching, mostly due to an attack that was blown or fired my way (in which case I'd have to jump or roll out of the way), or to check up on Ally. The first thing I had come across was how to create a magical protection barrier, which was surprisingly easy and I didn't really need the wand for it. It also detailed that I could take attacks from enemies and make them my own, sending them back in any direction I chose using a similar form of that skill.

At some point during my searching, Alex was sent flying in my direction. Luckily I managed to grab hold of his hand, spinning around once using his momentum to launch him back at Victini for a powered up leaf blade. Man was I limber in this battle...the question was...why? After a few more minutes of searching, I had found some confidence, and a couple of spells and skills that I believed could help me win this battle. I returned the book to badge form and put it away.

Victini looked over at me, a smirk upon his face despite some slight but apparent exhaustion. "Are you ready for some actual combat now trickster?" He taunted, but I was in no mood for least from him.

"Hmph!" I voiced as I jerked my wand, raising my paws in a lifting motion. Thankfully I was able to concentrate for once, because what I was trying to do was successful. A perfect circle of green light erupted from the ground where I was standing, temporarily blinding Victini...and myself to be honest. When the green light dimmed to a glow, the circle remained, a pattern formed in the center. This was what the book had called the Merlin's Circle. (AN: Sorcerer's Apprentice reference anybody? Huh, huh? Lol.) It supposedly was supposed to help me focus my mind and abilities, though I wasn't quite sure about it to be completely honest. I couldn't read some of the things in the book.

"The Merlin's Circle huh?" Victini asked, slightly interested in my sudden picking up of magic. "Simple, yet I'm surprised you could pull it off being that you are a beginner and all." I really didn't like how this guy was talking, even though he was probably just testing my tolerance for taunting.

I smirked, quickly pointing my wand at the ground below Victini's floating position. Then in one swift upward motion, I jerked the wand up in a circular pattern. A small typhoon of water suddenly erupted from the ground and engulfed the little fire pokemon as I charged up and unleashed a powerful thunderbolt in the form of a beam straight through it, effectively hitting him and causing a descent amount of damage.

He hit the ground a couple of feet away before picking himself up and hovering above the floor again. He seamed to be breathing heavily now, as exhaustion was becoming very evident. He smiled with interest. "Oh ho. Very good. Nice for a rookie. But let's see if you can stand up to this." He shouted as he flicked his paw outwards. The ground suddenly began to shake below me. I looked down just in time to see that it was cracking, giving off a strange red glow. I did a backwards summersault off of that section of the floor just as it exploded upwards sending shards of rock everywhere.

Deciding that I'd rather not be impaled by red hot rock shards, I quickly tried the shield skill I had read about in the book, only to find out a second later that the shards of rock weren't blocked but were floating and seemed to be under my control. I blinked in surprise before smiling at my success at a new magical skill.

"Yeah!" I shouted with a smile. That smile was short-lived seeing that as soon as I gained control of the rock shards, Victini fired another flamethrower at me. "Woah!" I gasped out as I quickly dodged, taking my controlled objects with me. Upon recoiling off of another broken pillar next to the entrance, I moved my hands in such a way that the rock shards formed into the shape of a giant lightning bolt and flew at a high speed directly at Victini. This caught him completely off guard, as proven by his surprised yelp as he was sent flying into the wall on the opposite side of the room. Of course I didn't stop at my rebound and attack. I continued with volt tackle, advancing on Victini at a break-neck pace as electricity built up around me. Just as I was about to hit him, I spun around and topped off my attack with Iron Tail. There was a huge explosion and dust filled the room. Luckily the dust did not reach the part of the room where Ally was standing because I did not want to deal with an asthma attack right now. I quickly leapt back from the wall and landed a bit unsteadily, my left foot on the ground with my knee and my right paw supporting the other half of my weight. That Volt Tackle had really taken its toll on me, and I'm sure the magic use didn't help since I was new to it.

Alex, Eve and Ally just stared at me in amazement. I couldn't blame them. I don't think I had ever done anything like that in battle before. Definitely not the magic, but my performance in maneuvers and attacking strategies had definitely improved. As the smoke cleared, Victini slowly rose from the ground, seemingly clapping his paws together in a congratulatory manner. In fact, that's exactly what he was doing.

"Hahaha! Well done my friend. Well done!" He said as he popped an oran berry into his mouth, rejuvenating himself. "Not bad at all. Very impressive on the object control, especially since objects originating from a spell attack are really complicated to tame and use against an attacker. I'd say you're a natural at this sort of thing. Perfectly suited for that wand." He complemented in an impressed nature. "No wonder Ella chose you to carry on that family heirloom."

He returned to his normal composure. "Austin Grace. You have proven that you are worthy and responsible enough to maintain possession of the Grace Family wand, so take it with you and consider it yours. But be warned that if it is ever to be broken, your magic shall pay the price. You and the wand have been bonded by it." He declared. Wait a minute...What did he just call me?

"Umm...Victini? Did you just call me Austin GRACE?" I asked him with emphasis on "Grace". I was a bit embarrassed. He looked at me and laughed.

"Oh. I suppose you wouldn't know, but those in the Grace family have slightly different marital customs as it seems. Those that are marrying into the family take the last name regardless of gender. I can only assume that you and Allyson would want to marry, but I went ahead and said your name that way to see how you'd react." He explained quite to my embarrassment.

"Hmm...Rather fitting, don't ya think?" Ally asked me in a sly tone before walking towards the bright circle of light on the floor that was apparently our only way out of here.

Alex walked up beside me. "Austin. Ya might just want to start saving up your money." He laughed before patting me on the back and walking off with Eve following close at his side.

...What just happened?

10:00pm, Outside Covert Sanctum:

I cleared those thoughts from my head as I exited from the sanctum. As it turned out, travel via strange, magical light from the ceiling was a lot less disorienting than that of our badges. Man, Ella and Shard have got to teach us how to travel by magic. We had to have been in that sanctum for a pretty long time considering it was dark as night when we exited. "Ugh, anybody got a watch?" I asked out loud, which proved to be a mistake when Ally and Eve both looked at me like I was crazy.

"What's a watch?" Ally asked me, confusion clear in her voice. I should have known that they wouldn't know about such technology. From how both Treasure Town and Pokémon Square had looked, I could only assume that Ally and Eve didn't live in a modernized area...Either that or such technology didn't exist here, but from the functions of the badges I sincerely doubted that.

"Oh, a watch is something that tells the time of day. They were pretty common in my world...I think. Not sure they exist here." I explained to the two confused eevee. Alex looked at me like he was trying to analyze me, which kind of creeped me out.

"Hmm...Seems to me like you're getting your memory back. Not very fast, but I didn't even remember what a watch was until you explained it." Alex summed up.

"Wait, so you think that Austin'll eventually remember everything? That's great!" Ally exclaimed. Eve bumped her side as if to say, "shut your mouth". She seemed to get the message as she quickly replied, "And I'm sure you'll eventually do the same. Don't worry Alex!"

He just sighed and turned toward me. "Anyway, I think I saw a time function on the badge's main page. Try turning it on." He instructed. I nodded, pushing the button in the center of the badge. The small device clicked to life, light shooting out from its lens as the holographic display pulled up in front of us. Immediately I spotted the time and was taken aback. It was 10:07pm.

"Wow, we were in there for around four hours. Ella and Shard are bound to be worried about us. We should head back now." I stated as I closed the display and followed the transport procedure, only for the voice of the badge to speak up.

"Location not recognized. Unable to initiate transportation services. Please note that locations not marked on your treasure map will be unrecognizable." It explained. Great...

"Well, it looks like we're gonna be too late to enter the guild once again." I stated to the group, slightly agitated.

"Maybe we could suggest to them that we stay at my parents house. Just in case this happens. They do know about magic now." Eve explained. She did have a point.

"Yeah, let's try that tomorrow. No sense in waking everyone up tonight...especially Loudred." Alex agreed. We all shuddered at the thought. "Alright, let's get going guys." It was at that point that sounds of a noctowl were heard, making Eve jump out of fear and cling to Alex, all while trembling like crazy. Was Eve afraid of the dark?

Alex put his arm around her, softly patting her back. "Eve it's ok. It was only a noctowl." He said to her comfortingly.

She seemed to calm down as she looked up at him. "C-can you um...c-carry me?" She asked him pitifully. I looked over at Ally and smiled.

"Now who could've given her that idea hmm?" I asked her slyly. She just winked at me.

"I just told her about the carrying thing. I didn't think she'd use her fear as a crutch." She said as she laughed at her sister's wit. It seemed that even when Eve was scared, she was clever.

Alex looked over towards me for help. I slightly nodded my head, eyeing Eve so he'd get what I was telling him. He looked pretty embarrassed, and nervous, but he turned to face her again. Man messing with those two was fun.

"Oh umm...I...I-I guess so." He replied as he bent down and scooped her up in his arms. She smiled up at him sweetly, the way Ally always does with me.

"Thanks." She thanked him, resting her head under his chin before we began our trek towards home. Ally just smiled at her sister.

10:30pm, Path Towards Treasure Town, Alex's POV:

It had taken only twenty minutes for Eve to fall asleep in my arms. I couldn't really blame her though, I was pretty tired myself. I stared down at her as I walked, watching her chest move up and down slowly with each breath. She would snuggle up against my chest occasionally, making me blush in the process. I smiled a bit, thinking about how cute she was when she slept. She was so peaceful...and I wouldn't take too kindly to anyone who'd threaten that peace.

I thought back to those two thugs who stole her relic fragment on the beach. They'd called her a wimp...and a coward. I looked back down at her. She may be timid, but she's strong and has a big heart. I frowned, thinking about how those words had affected her. She's just bad at taking insults. I can handle them for her. I smiled again, looking back down at her sweet face as I gave her a kiss on the forehead.

"Wow, pretty progressive don't ya think?" Said Austin quietly, coming up beside me with a laugh. I blushed, rolling my eyes at him. "What? I meant it as a compliment." He chuckled. "You've really been treating her well, and she seems to really like you." I smiled at that. I'm pretty sure he would know...and Eve's not exactly clever when it comes to secret admirer letters. Austin sighed, looking down. "Eve needs someone like you. She was real lonely back when we were a rescue team. It was good that she had Connor there to keep here company, but we all knew it wasn't enough. Now she has you, so keep it up man."

I kind of felt insecure about getting into a relationship though. I mean, of course I liked Eve...maybe even loved, I don't know. But I didn't really know how to date or anything. It was those kinds of things that didn't really come natural to me. "Umm...hey Austin. About the whole Eve relationship thing. I'm...not really sure what to do if Eve and I do get together. I mean, I know we have these cute moments and stuff, but I don't really...know how to date."

Austin looked at me kind of confused. "What do you mean?" I sighed, blushing out of embarrassment.

"Well for one thing, I don't think I'd really know where to go. A first date should be special...and you can't just go to the same place every time. I just got to this world ya know? I don't exactly know my way around..." I explained to him. I could feel Eve shift in my arms, so I tried to keep my voice quiet.

Austin seemed to get what I was talking about, though I doubt it had ever happened to him. "First date huh? Has Eve ever mentioned how the beach is at sunset?" He asked me. Taking my silence as a no, he continued. "Well Ally said Eve likes to go to the beach at that time because krabby blow bubbles that look pretty in the dimming sunlight. That'd be a pretty good location to just sit and talk don't ya think?" He asked me. He had a point there.

"And I don't really think Eve would mind if you went to the same place every time after that. She seems to like just being around you. Spinda's café would be fine. I mean, going somewhere else every once in a while is fine, but there aren't a lot of places to go in this area unless you want to find a spot away from town. I think you'll be fine."

"But what exactly am I supposed to do on a date? Man I sound clueless right now." Austin had to hold back a laugh so as to avoid waking Eve.

"Alex, just do what you've been doing. Talk to each other...get to know each other better. If you think about it too much you'll psyche yourself out." He chuckled. "But first things first, you've got to tell her. Thinking ahead'll get you nowhere right now." He said with a wink and a pat on my shoulder before he walked off to join Ally. I looked back down at her. Man, sometimes telling you my feelings seems harder that getting my memories back.

30 minutes later, Grace Family House:

It was 11:00pm by the time we got back to the house, but the lights were still on as it seems. Ella and Shard probably couldn't sleep with us gone to such a hazardous place. I walked up and knocked on the door, trying not to wake Eve. When Ella opened the door, I could tell she wanted to relieve all of her anxiety by hugging each of us, but I simply put my finger to my mouth and pointed down to the eevee sleeping peacefully in my arms. She nodded and moved out of the way so we could come in. Inside, I quickly went by our room and laid Eve in her bed gently before exiting quietly, casting a glance back at her sleeping form and smiling before walking off.

Walking into the living room, it seemed that Ally had decided to follow her sister's lead and catch some sleep, noting her absence. Meanwhile, Austin seemed to be having a conversation with Ella and Shard, and by the intensely focused expressions on the three pokemon's faces, one could tell it must've been pretty serious. "Hey guys, what's going on?" I asked casually, walking up to them with a yawn. It didn't occur to me at the time that the way I had sounded when I said that might have been inappropriate for the situation, maybe even rude considering I might have interrupted them, but I was exhausted to be completely honest and I wasn't entirely focused on what I was doing. A major problem I had discovered about myself recently was that I tended to ignore things when I was either fatigued or concentrated on something else. It was especially problematic when Eve came to mind... That thought proved to be a mistake because as soon as it came, so did a bright blush followed by a few questioning looks from Austin, Ella and Shard.

"Oh hey Alex. I would've thought you would be in bed sleeping next to Eve right now, but I suppose you'd rather miss out on that chance, you being you and all..." Austin commented rather mockingly. I rolled my eyes and he sighed. "Ahh, but seriously. I was just talking to Ella and Shard about the wand and our battle with Victini." He continued, taking on a more serious demeanor.

"You said you were able to control debris from one of Victini's attacks and throw it back at him with a spell, am I correct?" Ella asked him. Austin simply nodded.

"Yep. It was one of the reasons I won that battle. I believe that if I hadn't been able to do that, I would have had some steep difficulty standing up to that guy's fire attacks." He replied. Ella seemed quite impressed.

"Ahh, well I have to say that that's quite impressive. Most advanced wizards cannot pull that off. Combat magic isn't very, well, let's just say simple to learn..." She faded off oddly. "You appear to be a natural." She complimented.

"Wait, so you're saying that highly advanced wizards have trouble with that stuff? Shouldn't that come easy to them, I mean that title does make them seem a bit...professional I guess from the way you said it." I questioned. Shard was quick to answer.

"Ahh, well most wizards only learn magic from a scholarly point of view. They don't really delve into the whole combat subjects as much, so having a specific talent for magic doesn't makes it easy. Combat magic is very different to learn." He explained.

Ella stepped forward. "Now that we're done with explanations, how about you let us see that wand." She requested of Austin. Austin nodded and pulled the pink, sylveon colored wand out of his treasure bag and handed it to her.

"Sorry if it's dirty, there was this huge explosion when I volt-tackled Victini and it sent a cloud of dust everywhere." Austin apologized to her. Ella paused, a terrified expression seemed to have made its way onto her face.

"A dust cloud!? Please tell me that Ally wasn't anywhere near it!" Ella exclaimed, fear quite prevalent in her voice. Shard seemed a bit fearful as well. Austin seemed as confused as I was for a second before his eyes lit up with realization.

"Oh uh, no no. Ella, I can assure you that Ally was nowhere near the dust cloud." He replied, quite to Ella's relief. "And I'm getting the feeling that this has something to do with Ally's asthma?" He guessed. Wait, Ally has asthma?

Ella seemed surprised by his knowledge on the topic. "Yes...yes it does...But how do you know about that? Ally was very secretive about her asthma, and I'm assuming the trend has continued. She didn't want anyone to think she was different, even at such a young age." She explained.

Austin seemed a bit nervous to answer that question, twiddling his fingers around. "Umm, ehe, well ya see. She's kind of had an asthma attack before. It was during one of our missions...on Mt. Thunder." Ella seemed close to fainting.

"She didn't have an inhaler. How...h-how did you stop it?" She asked Austin, still looking quite anxious. I couldn't blame her. It must've been unimaginably hard for her to go almost nine years knowing that she couldn't do anything to protect her children...directly at least. The guilt and anxiety for anything that could've happened to them must be catching up to her slowly...even if leaving meant protecting them.

"I don't really know. I only really managed to calm her down enough for her to try taking in larger breaths. The warm air that results from my fur heating up the atmosphere around me due to its static could've soothed her airway, but I don't know." Austin replied.

Ella sighed. "Well, that's just another reason to be glad she met you. Now, if you will, please take this." Ella said as she handed Austin something small, blue, and seemingly made of plastic. "This is Ally's inhaler. We couldn't give it to her because it would risk giving away her location to Shade. The one we left with them was destroyed in the earthquake we used get away." She paused on that last sentence. "A highly complexed mix of berries is in this inhaler. It's the only thing that can stop an asthma attack right away to our knowledge. Just hold the open end of the inhaler to Ally's mouth and press the button once." She instructed Austin. He nodded as he put the inhaler in a separate, smaller pocket of his treasure bag. I guess that would make it easier to reach.

"Now about this wand. It's of a quite interesting color right now. To my knowledge it's supposed to be the color of an eevee. This must be a reaction to your connection to Ally. The colors of a sylveon have never happened to appear on the wand before though, so I'd say that's something to put your mind to." She explained, quite to my interest. I've always been fond of mysteries, puzzles and such. "This wand's power is immense. It has been said that Xerneas himself created it..." She paused, looking a bit nervous. Now it wasn't the fact that she became nervous that was confusing to me, but rather the reason. What was it about what she had said that could invoke such a reaction? Was it the sheer fact of her family's possession of the wand if such a high creature created it? I suppose it's plausible, but it could just be my own speculation.

"Anyway, it should prove to be very helpful in protecting my daughter." She continued, glaring at Austin intensely. Austin looked pretty uncomfortable with that...look he was receiving.

"U-uh, of course. W-when have I not protected her?" He asked rhetorically in his own defense. I however knew Ella was just messing with him.

A smile grew on Ella's face. "I know." That smile fell slightly in the coming seconds after she said that. "Austin, did Ally ever...mention us when you guys were over in Pokémon Square?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah. She talked about you guys all the time. Of course half the time it made her tear up, but that's understandable." After hearing that, Ella's smile fell altogether as she let out a sigh.

I leaned over to whisper into Austin's ear. "Uhh Austin, I think you should leave out the parts about Ally getting hurt or crying over her parents. I'm sensing that Ella's still feeling guilty about the whole thing." His eyes widened with realization and he nodded, seemingly feeling guilty himself.

"So umm, when do we start training?" Austin asked, quickly changing the subject. I suppose that was a good way to get her mind off of Ally's past troubles...

"Oh...well training starts with learning simple spells from the book for the first two weeks, and progresses to focus and performing spells without reciting them for a couple weeks following. That's just the basic prep for beginning wizards. After that it pretty much depends on the instructor's imagination." She explained. "Anyway you two, it's 11:30. You really needed to be in bed a couple of hours ago. You definitely don't want to oversleep this time since this is the second time you've missed the guild's curfew." She acted almost as if she was our mother as well.

"Alright guys, I'll see you tomorrow." Austin said with a yawn as he walked down a hall to his and Ally's room. I remained where I was for a second with my arms crossed. I turned towards Ella.

"Do men who marry into your family actually carry on the Grace name?" I asked her, quite to Shard's surprise. Ella didn't react.

"That's true, but why exactly would you need confirmation on that?" Ella questioned back.

I shrugged. "Just curious." I turned towards Austin and Ally's room, a slight smirk on my face. "Don't you just love how well those two get along?" I asked rhetorically before walking off to mine and Eve's room. I couldn't see it, but somehow I knew that Shard just had a panic attack inside.

11:30pm, Alex and Eve's Room, Eve's POV:

I opened my eyes to the sound of a door opening, finding myself in my bed in my parents house. Alex suddenly walked in looking smug about something, but I didn't bother asking. Once he noticed I was awake, he walked over to his bed, which I made him push next to mine. "So how was your nap?" He asked me in a joking voice. I rolled my eyes, giving him a playful punch on the arm.

"Well, if you must know, it was nice. Your arms at surprisingly soft." I blushed as soon as I said that. "...Thanks for umm...carrying me." I thanked him. "I hope it wasn't too awkward."

"Huh? Oh don't worry about that. You're my best friend. And besides, it was cold outside and your fur was warm." Yeah, we both need to learn to be careful with what we say. Both of our faces turned bright red at that statement.

"U-u-umm...W-was that supposed to be a complement?" I asked him. We both laughed.

"Heh, I suppose so. Otherwise I'm just terrible at making conversation." He replied. I shook my paw in such a way as to say "Meh, somewhat". "Hey!" He exclaimed with mock hurt in his voice.

He laid back down on his bed with a yawn. "Well regardless of how nice your nap was or how warm your fur is, you still didn't sleep long enough, so how about we get some more? Did he just make a joke out of a question? I couldn't really tell.

"Wha...? Heh, ok Alex. Night." I smiled as I laid down as well. Oh how strange my crush is...

Eve's POV:

Ya know, it's great to be woken up by the gentle rays of sunlight from the window instead of a raging dark wizard bent on revenge attacking

my sister. Yep, my life's totally normal!

I got up and stretched, proceeding to take my bow out of our treasure bag and put it on. I still hadn't figured out what Alex was up to at the market yesterday, but I wouldn't let him know that of course. I had to make him think I couldn't be tricked.

Looking back over my shoulder I saw Alex, still fast asleep in his bed. I tilted my head in confusion when I noticed that his hand was positioned under his pillow, as if he was hiding something under it. "What are you up to...?" I muttered to myself just as he stirred, opening his eyes.

"Hey sleepy head, what's up with the pillow?" I asked him in a teasing manner. His eyes suddenly widened, seemingly shocked from what I had said.

"W-what!?" He exclaimed as he shot up a little too quickly, promptly face planting on the floor. "Ugh...Eve. Please don't startle me like that." He pleaded as he picked himself up.

"Hehe. Why? Is there something you need to tell me?" I asked him, making sure to maintain that playfully teasing tone. His face lit up with a blush and I was pretty sure I saw a bead of sweat appear on his forehead.

"What? I um...I-I have no idea what you're talking about. Shouldn't we be going anyway? The guild is probably wondering where we are." I just raised an eyebrow. Alex was clearly bad at hiding things.

After a few seconds of awkward silence, Alex seemed to give in, letting out a sigh. "Alright fine." He smiled, admitting defeat as he walked over to his bed, reaching under his pillow and pulling out a small pink box. "I uhh...I wanted to wait for a better time to give this to you, but I guess I'm just too bad at hiding things. 'Twas making our conversation quite awkward last night." Wait...did he intentionally embarrass himself last night just to draw attention away from his little market adventure? Sly...using my warm fur to gain an advantage...I hate it when I loose.

I accepted the box, taking a few seconds to look at it first. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there was something written on the box. It read: "You thought I wasn't watching, but I know you all too well. ;)" I tilted my head in confusion and proceeded to open the box, only to find the rainbow colored bow that I had seen in one of the shops in town yesterday. My eyes widened in surprise. He had actually managed to surprise me...Heh, no one's ever been able to do that. Wow.

"Alex...How did you know I wanted this bow?" I asked him, surprise gripping my voice despite my efforts to suppress it. He smirked at that question, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Simple. I noticed that you kept glancing over at a certain shop yesterday when we were looking for supplies and, knowing you, I was pretty sure that you were eyeing that bow. You really seem to like the one you're wearing right now, and you were wearing a flower on your head when I first met you, so I figured you really liked accessories." He explained. Did he...really pay that much attention to me? I was stricken by how kind he was.

I stared at him for a couple of seconds before a rush of emotion flowed through me and I did what I always did when I got over excited...I tackle-hugged him. "Hahaha! Thank you Alex! It's wonderful! Your the best!" I shouted as I nuzzled his face...wait what? I pulled back quickly, face probably as red as a cheri berry. I couldn't tell without a mirror, but that's how Alex's was at least.

"Oh, Alex I-I'm sorry. I s-shouldn't have-" I started to say, but he cut me off with a finger to my mouth. He smiled nervously up at me.

"No, i-it's's ok. You were just excited, I get it." He laughed as he moved to get up. I got off of him, trying to calm myself down. "Now, let me help ya with that bow." He continued, having regained his composure. I handed him the bow which he promptly took and fastened to my favorite spot next to my ear. Once he was done, I immediately stepped back, struck a pose and winked at him.

"Hehe, how do I look?" I asked him, but apparently the wink was a little too much because he blushed immediately and looked like he was struggling for words. Oops, wasn't trying to embarrass least, not that time.

"W-whaa? Oh...umm, you look...y-you look cute!" He immediately slapped his hand over his mouth after he said that. Did...did he just call me cute? Man, things just would not stop being awkward between us. What was going on with him? Maybe, hasn't been long enough yet.

"Oh umm...thank you. It's not what I expected, but..." I couldn't really think of a response to that, only managing a thank you and a couple laughs between an unfinished sentence. "Do you really think I'm cute?" I asked him, a small smile making its way onto my face.

He fidgeted a little before answering. "Well...of course. I mean, why else would that bow look good on you?" It seemed like such a simple answer, unlike Alex's usual long winded explanations that left me wondering how he was so smart. Hmm... I smiled regardless, but something...I don't know.

Suddenly, the door to our room opened and my mom stepped in. She took one look at my bow and something told me she knew. "Good morning sweetie! That's a nice bow, it looks good on you." She greeted me. "Now you two should get going. Austin and Ally are waiting for you out front. You need to get to the guild early."

"Oh, that's right! Come on Eve!" Alex exclaimed as he ran out of the room. I made a move to follow but my mom stopped me, giving me a sly smile.

"Eve, honey, is there something you want to tell me?" She asked me. I tilted my head in confusion.

"Tell you? About what Mom? What are you talking about?" I questioned back.

She sighed, putting on a softer smile. "About Alex. What's going on between you two? I know he bought you that bow." She told me, pointing to said bow. Ugh...I knew she was just asking how I felt about him.

I blushed slightly. "Heh, Mom. Please..." I said as I looked up at her, but her gaze was too unbearable. What can I say, I had just been reunited with her after nine years. "Mmm...fine. Just don't say anything. I...might have just a tiny crush on Alex...Oh who am I kidding it's not a small crush. I really, really like him." I admitted, practically jumping at the thought.

My mom smile widened as she let out a small laugh. "I thought so. You two get along so well. You're not like the traditional set of friends who just met." What she had just said caught my attention.

"Wait, so do you think Alex might like me back?" I asked her, hope filling my voice. She just ruffled the fur atop my head.

"That's just something you'll have to ask him dear." She answered, giving me a look that said: "I've been there". "Not all relationships start like your sister's. It's how you meet them that counts." She continued, looking as if she were enjoying a pleasant memory. "Now hurry up and go outside, your crush is probably wondering where you are." She laughed. I just rolled my eyes, saying goodbye to her before walking out of the room.

"Hey Eve, where'd ya go? I thought you were right behind me." Alex asked me the moment I exited the house. I explained to him that my mom had stopped me to talk about something, but I didn't dare to tell him what it was about. "Oh ok, well regardless we should hurry to the guild so we can work out this whole living arrangement situation before we have to go on a mission." He responded. Luckily he didn't question me further on the matter. "You two ready?" He asked Austin and Ally who were still messing around in their treasure bag.

"Huh? Oh yeah, yeah. We're ready when you are. We've just been looking for a better place to store the spell book when we're not on a mission. We can't risk losing it again." Austin replied, closing the bag and slinging it over his shoulder. "Let's get going then." He said before he began leading us through town. Oddly enough, the center of town was nearly deserted. The shops seemed to be closed upon closer inspection as we moved through town. It could've been how early it was, but I was a bit doubtful about the idea.

We took a left at the crossroads and climbed the insanely large staircase to the guild. Man, I'm getting really tired of walking up these steps. Luckily the guild's gate was open when we made it to the top. The reaction we received last time when we stepped onto the grate after being absent the night before was not exactly pleasant. It's bad enough that we're gonna have to deal with Chatot again.

We entered the small, wigglytuff shaped tent and descended the ladder to the first floor of the guild, and of course as soon as we did we ran into Chatot. I could tell he was about to scold us about our poor attendance again but Alex interrupted him before he could do so.

"Chatot, before you say anything. We have a perfectly...well weird reason why we were absent last night and we need to speak to the guildmaster." He explained. Chatot looked a little frustrated about being interrupted.

"Well at least we can agree on something. You can speak to the guildmaster. Follow me to his chamber, and quickly! We all know how slack you are with attendance." He replied. Chatot could be really annoying when he was irritated...Or was he just naturally unbearable? Nonetheless, we followed the unhappy bird down the second ladder to the next floor down and over to Wigglytuff's chamber. Before entering, Chatot turned back to face us. "Now this better be a good excuse, because failure to comply with a guild's rules can be very harmful to a reputation. Especially for you, Austin and Ally." He informed us before he turned back around and led us in. Jeez, he acts like we actually mean to miss the closing of the guild.

As we entered the room, it became apparent that the guildmaster was least I hoped he was asleep. Ugh, if he could sleep with his eyes open, which was creepy by all means, then I was sure he could pretend to be asleep. You never can tell with Wigglytuff.

Chatot walked up to Wigglytuff in an attempt to wake him up, and he did, but the way things turned out were painful for Chatot and hilarious for everyone else. The moment Chatot nudged him, our humble guildmaster opened his eyes and shouted loudly, unleashing a hyper voice attack in the process that sent his friend into a nearby wall.

"Yoom-Tah!" Wigglytuff's famous phrase was included in the hyper voice, so it was easy to conclude that he was not one to be woken up safely. Once Wigglytuff had woken up enough to notice Chatot's crumpled up form on the ground, and our fits of laughter, he picked himself off the ground and put on a confused expression. "Chatot? Why are you sleeping right now? We have friends here." He asked his clearly injured friend.

Chatot weakly raised his head from the floor and nodded. "Ugh. So I see guildmaster." He responded, slowly picking himself up and walking over to us.

Wigglytuff turned towards us. "Now what's on your mind friendly friends?" Wigglytuff asked in his usual friendly voice. I don't think I've ever seen him speak to someone unkindly.

"Oh, well we just need to talk to you about possibly living outside the guild while we train here. We know that members aren't usually allowed to do that until they graduate, but considering what's going on with Shade and everything, we think that it might be safer for Ally, Eve and Luke to stay at their parents' house...along with the rest of us of course. I mean, we were late for the guild's closing yet again because we had to get a wand from a sanctum so I could protect Ally more effectively. I can only see that happening repetitively from now on, and we don't want to continue to burden the guild with our absence." Austin explained to Wigglytuff, making him pause as if he were thinking deeply about it. Chatot seemed more or less clueless about what we were talking about.

"Wait, has it really gotten that serious already?" Wigglytuff questioned back. Austin nodded.

"Yesterday morning we were attacked by Shade in our room while we were sleeping. Ella said he used a level 15 dark curse. It looked like a huge, black ball of energy that was completely devoid of color." Austin replied, resulting in a reaction that I had never seen in Wigglytuff before. Apparently, Chatot hadn't seen it either judging from his surprised expression.

Wigglytuff gasped, eyes widening greatly with fear clearly evident in his expression. "T-the death curse!" He exclaimed in a terrified voice. "T-that's it, you guys are not safe here. You need to be with Ella and Shard. Shade will more than likely avoid making a move there in the future now that he knows that you'd expect it. I knew that he wanted revenge, but to use that cruel, forbidden curse on two children is just unforgivable."

"The death curse?" I asked Wigglytuff. "What exactly would happen to someone who fell victim to it?" I asked him.

Wigglytuff just looked at me and shuttered. "The death curse was a curse created by the most wicked wizard in history. It was designed to completely vaporize those it comes in contact with as well as steal their soles and tear them apart. I seriously doubt that Shade used the full potential of the curse, meaning that Austin and Ally's soles would be spared, but they would surely be dead if they had been hit by it." Wigglytuff explained grimly. I was starting to get scared to be quite honest. Shade didn't seem to know mercy at all.

Wigglytuff took in a large breath to calm down. "Ally, Eve. I'm sure that your parents will be able to protect you and your friends. Your team has permission to live outside of guild premises. But don't think this excuses you from your duties." He told us, hastily changing the subject. "Now you guys better get going. I hear that there's a tournament being held today at Marowak's Dojo and I think you guys should compete. Everyone else in town is as it seems." So that's where everyone was. No wonder the town was deserted.

"Wait, so no mission today?" I asked Wigglytuff. Chatot stepped in and answered that question.

"Correct. We've declared today a break day so members could participate in or watch the tournament. The guild is a strong supporter of all community activities. I encourage you to compete. Coming from that strangeness I just heard, you need something to take your mind off of things. Mmm...and as for your crew room. Seeing as you won't be staying here anymore, you should probably go get your other teammates and tell them the news. We'll need that space for future teams." Was it just me or did he seem a little hasty to get us out of the guild?

"Oh. Well thank you Wigglytuff, we'll go check it out." Austin thanked the big pink pokemon before we left the room and headed for our soon to be ex-crew room to get the others.

And as it turned out, what the guildmaster had said was true. All of the guild members were gone on break. Probably already at the tournament site. It's funny how I didn't notice that earlier. I must've been too focused on possibly getting to live with my parents. Anyway, we headed towards the crew rooms and down the long hall leading to our room's door where we promptly entered.

Luckily the others hadn't left yet. Apparently they had decided to wait for us, or so it would seem. I think they just wanted to sleep longer. "Hey guys, we're back! Now pack your stuff we're leaving." I said as we entered the room. Drew, Flare, Connor and Luke just stared at us and blinked.

"Umm Eve. Maybe we should tell then why we're leaving first." Alex whispered into my ear. I have to say I felt a little embarrassed after that.

"Oh yeah, that's probably a good idea now that ya mention it. Ehehe." I whispered back to him. "So guys, here's some news. We're moving out of the guild and into my parents house. Wigglytuff thinks we'll be safer there." I explained, relieving their confusion.

"Moving out? Wait, so does that mean no more Chatot?" Connor asked hopefully. I nodded at his obvious question.

"Yep, and the best part of all, no more Loudred wake up calls!" I replied.

"I heard that!" Came Loudred's voice from another room. Guess he was still here. I rolled my eyes.

"So Flare, how ya been holdin' up?" Austin asked our fully healed teammate. She just smiled. I was pretty surprised at Austin. He was turning out to be quite the leader. Flare wouldn't have gotten here in time to get help if he hadn't directed Drew to take her out of the dungeon and back to the guild while we handled Drowsie, and a true leader always made sure that his teammates were in good shape. He had matured some from the time I had met him at my house back in Evolution Forrest. Heh, I still remember threatening to kill him if he ever did anything to hurt Ally. Guess I'm a bit childish as well, but she's my sister. What can I say?

"Eh, I'm fine. Thanks for asking. It's gonna take a lot more than a psycho cut to take me down." She replied. A lot more? She nearly died. How much more does she think she can take?

"Well good. So do you feel up to competing in the tournament at Marowak's Dojo today with the rest of us? We're just about to head over there." He asked her. She simply nodded.

"I can manage. I think that spell took care of everything I could possibly worry about anyway. The only thing that might possibly affect me is stiffness from the huge scar that I now have." Flare replied, getting up and jumping off of her cloud bed just as Luke made it disappear. "Let's go!" She smiled.

8:00am, Marowak's Dojo, Alex's POV:

After a five minute walk through town, we reached the very crowded building that was Marowak's Dojo. Literally everyone seemed to be here. "Wow, everyone in town really is here. This event must be really popular." I said out loud to the group.

"Well it's the grand opening of a training facility for explorers, so you'd think people would want to be here to see all of the action." Austin commented back. He had a point. This town was relatively small despite its hosting of a first class exploration guild. In small towns, people are generally more responsive to community activities, and certainly being entertained by battles of tough pokemon was an eye catcher.

We began making our way towards the entrance, weaving through a thick crowd of people out front as we went along before we entered the relatively medium sized building. Inside there were people seated everywhere on rows of seats lining a rectangular battle field. There were directional lights over head that shown directly onto the battle field and there was a microphone on a stand in the center of the said field.

"Why hello. Might you guys be here to compete in the tournament?" Asked someone from beside us. I turned to see a Marowak walk up to us, a smile upon his face. "My name's Marowak and I'm the owner of this dojo. If you wish to enter this tournament, you need to check in with me first." He explained.

"Huh? Oh yes, we're here to compete. Thank you for taking notice." I thanked him. I honestly had no idea where to go once we entered so I'm glad he showed up. "We're Team Eviolite from the guild."

Marowak seemed surprised by that statement. "You're Team Eviolite? I've had some people mention you. Not to mention that everybody seems to know who two of your members are. I believe they keep mentioning the names Austin and Ally..." Aaaaand Austin and Ally's fame continues... "Anyway, since you're an exploration team all you need to do is give me one of your badges and we can get you registered. It should have information on all of your members stored in it, so registration is made easy." He explained.

I proceeded to hand him my badge. He accepted it, taking it and holding it to a rectangular shaped object with a screen. After a few seconds and some noticeably awkward sounds from the device, Marowak removed my badge and handed it back to me.

"Ok, looks like you guys are registered." Marowak told us as he messed around with the device in his hands, probably checking the information for errors. "Alright guys, if you'll just follow me I'll show you where contestants are supposed to wait to compete. And don't worry about not being able to see the battle field from where we're going. We've got that covered." He told us before we followed him in a straight path along the side of the battle field until we reached a set of stairs. From that point, we continued on down the stairs and into a room full of...people we knew... Wow, pretty much everyone in here was either from the guild or someone we knew around town. Marowak suddenly turned to us and pointed to two circular like tubes in the middle of the room.

"Those tube-like structures are what we use to get contestants up into the arena since this room is directly beneath it. Inside the tubes there are rising platforms that lift the contestants up above ground for battle." He then pointed over to what looked to be two huge screens on the wall, and when I say huge, I mean huge. The screens went from floor to ceiling and they were spaced out, probably so the tubes wouldn't get in the way of people viewing them. "Those screens are connected to cameras above the arena, so you can watch each battle from down here with ease. If you want to go cheer for a friend of course, you can feel free to go up the stairs and watch, but make sure not to stray too far from them in case your battle is up next. In which case I'll find you." He explained. We all nodded to show that we understood. "Alright well good luck. The tournament'll begin in just a few minutes. Until then you can sit back and relax. I do suppose I should call out the first contestants though." Marowak said as he walked to the center of the room, between the two tubes.

"Ok listen up. It looks like the first two Pokemon who will be competing are Conor the oshawott and Craig the chimchar. Please step into one of the tubes and wait for them to lift you up to the battle arena. Once you are up there, the announcer will present you to the audience and a referee will signal the beginning of the battle. Once one of you is unable to continue, the match is over." Marowak said out loud to everyone in the room. I guess names are hard to memorize when you have this many people. Anyway, Connor seemed pretty surprised to be going first, and I couldn't blame him. This was such a sudden thing, to wake up and suddenly hear you have to compete in a competition. Nonetheless, he did as instructed, walking over to one of the tubes before entering. Eve promptly made a move towards the stairs, probably wanting to go cheer Connor on. I decided to go with her as we made our way up the stair together.

3rd person POV:

All around the inside of Marowak's Dojo, people cheered as the anticipation for the coming tournament gradually grew with each passing second. Suddenly someone walked to the center of the arena, picked up a microphone, and began talking.

"Hello everyone, may I have your attention?" The pokemon announced to the crowd which suddenly grew quiet when he spoke. "My name is Marowak, and I an the proud owner of this dojo. As owner I welcome all of you to this soon to be amazing tournament that will mark a fantastic opening to this dojo. Now as you all know, a tournament wouldn't be a tournament without an announcer, so I myself will do my best. Now without further ado, let's get on to our first match!" He shouted enthusiastically just as artificial fog started pouring from opposite sides of the arena.

"First we have a fiery chimchar from out of town. Not much is known about him but he goes by the name of Craig Yuso and he says he was born for the arena! Let's here it for him guys!" Marowak shouts just as a chimchar with a smug expression emerges from the fog as it dissipates.

"And over here we have a resident oshawott. Some of you might recognize him as one of the members of Team Eviolite and a member of Wigglytuff's Guild. Please welcome to the arena, Connor Tide!" Connor emerged onto the arena in a similar fashion to Craig. Marowak walks over to the side of the arena. "Ok, standard battle rules. The winner will be determined when either of you is unable to battle." Marowak explained. "Aaaand, begin!"

Craig showed no sign of movement at the battle's start, however Connor shot off as soon as the call was made, a blade of energy forming from his scalchop as he ran at Craig at top speed. Just as Connor was ready to make contact with his razor shell, Craig suddenly jumped, kicking the scalchop out of Connor's hand and sending it flying over his head. He took a split second to smirk at Connor before he grabbed his arm, extending it outwards before elbowing him the stomach. Letting go of his arm, Craig took advantage of Connor's state of shock, proceeding with a Blaze kick to his face followed by a fire punch to his stomach. Craig finished off his close combat with a sickening backhand strike that sent Connor flying across the length of the arena.

Despite the amount of damage taken from the blows Craig dealt to him, Connor managed to find his footing just as Craig propelled himself forward using the fire and momentum from a double fire punch and readied another attack. Craig jumped up at the last second, delivering two powerful uppercut fashioned fire punches (one after the other) to Connor's chest before round-house kicking him into a wall. Craig rebounded from his attack and landed directly in the center of the arena.

Recovering quickly from the blow, Connor took the wall as an opportunity to propel himself forward as he formed an aqua jet and shot off toward Craig who seemed nonetheless unfazed by the sudden action. Down to the last second before collision, Craig parried Connor's aqua jet to the right, only for Connor to turn around and head for him again. Craig parried Connor's attack again, sending him flying to the left, yet Connor turned around yet again and headed Craig's way. Craig, having had enough of this, brought his fist straight up from beneath Connor as he approached him, setting Connor's attack upwards. Connor attempted his strategy one more time, coming in for an arial strike, but Craig suddenly jumped before contact could be made. Flipping in mid air, Craig brought his foot down hard on Connor, sending him crashing down to the ground at a sickening speed. The crowd gasped loudly at this development as dust kicked up from the dirt arena and Connor slid to a stop a few feet away from Craig.

Off to the side, Eve could be heard shouting words of encouragement to her friend who had just gotten to his feet in a wobbly manner. Suddenly realizing that frontal attacks weren't going to work, Connor found a new resolve and prepared a water pulse between his paws before shooting the watery ball out towards the fierce chimchar.

With a fiery gleam in his eye, Craig jumped high into the air with a flip, effectively avoiding the water pulse, before coming down hard with a devastating fire punch to the ground that created a massive shock wave. The shock wave was so massive that it launched Connor straight into the air, only for Craig to repeat a devastating strategy. Yet again, the brutal chimp jumped straight into the air and above Connor before he brought his foot down hard on his head, sending him crashing down onto the arena. Again Craig rebounded, landing directly in the middle of the battle field.

Connor began to struggle to find his footing. "Ugh...Is that the best you've got? That's pretty weak compared to some of the things I've been through." He said as he managed to stand up. Those words turned out to be disastrous as Craig flinched back, clinching both fists in the process.

"Raaaargh!" Craig shouted, raising both of his fists and throwing them down as an extensive amount of fire shot out from him explosively from all directions, reaching each corner of the arena. Then, as Connor stood there with a horrified expression on his face, Craig came at him at lightning speed and launched a massive focus punch that threw him over the wall of the arena, sending him crashing into the wall of the dojo at a break neck pace. Connor didn't get up after that blow.

Just as Craig cooled off from his anger, Marowak's voice rang out loudly from the speakers. "Unbelievable! Wow, looks like Connor Tide of Team Eviolite is unable to battle...and needs a medic. Yeesh. Craig Yuso is the winner and will advance to the first round of the quarter finals!" Everyone in the audience cheered at that statement as Craig began walking towards the stairs of the arena.

9:30am, Marowak's Dojo, Eve's POV:

I looked on in shock as Connor's limp body slid to the ground of the dojo after leaving a massive crater in the wall. "Connor!" I shouted as I ran over to him and tried to arouse him. He let out a cough as his eyes opened and he sighed.

"Ugh. Aww man...Where's my scalchop?" He asked in quite a depressed manner. My eyes widened as I remembered the beginning of the battle where it had skidded to the ground at the other end of the arena.

"Hold on Connor, I'll go get it." I said as I made a move towards the arena, but Connor grabbed one of my paws, stopping me. I looked back at him to find a uncomfortable expression on his face. I tilted my head in confusion just as he looked at me some more and his expression softened.

"Fine, go get it. Ugh." He said before looking elsewhere. I looked at him in puzzlement a while longer before shrugging and heading towards the arena's stairs. However, just as I was about to reach the stairs, I ran into Connor's opponent, Craig.

He nodded to me as some form of a greeting before trying to walk by, but I blocked his path. "What's wrong with you?!" I asked him in quite an annoyed tone. He just looked at me, a confused expression displayed across his face.

"Woah, hey. What do you mean? I was just trying to walk past you." He replied with his hands in front of him. This irritated me a bit.

"I meant with how brutal you were when taking down my best friend. You didn't have to knock him into the wall so hard, if at all. We can't even get him to stand up now!" I yelled at him, making him back away a bit in surprise.

"Oh Connor? Ugh, sorry. I can't help it if someone makes me mad. And I'm sorry if you can't deal with my fighting style." He responded before trying to pass me. I blocked his path, glaring daggers at him.

"It was supposed to be a friendly match, not a brutal beat down and you're lucky that I don't beat you down right here and right now for what you did to my friend!" I yelled at him in frustration. He just rolled his eyes and pushed past me. That just irritated me even more. "So lucky!" I shouted after him before continuing down the stairs and across the arena to get the scalchop. Luckily no one questioned me as I picked up the peculiar shell and went on my way, returning to the stairs and walking back to Connor.

"Connor, I got your scalchop for you." I said as I handed it to him. Again, an uncomfortable expression settled onto his face, but he graciously accepted the shell nonetheless and placed it in its rightful place on his stomach.

"Thanks I guess..." He said, sounding incredibly depressed. I felt really bad for him as I tried to help him up along with Alex's help.

"Hey. Cheer up Connor. It's only one battle. You're still plenty strong." I said to him, trying to cheer him up. It didn't seem to be working.

"But he kicked away my scalchop..." He responded, sounding even more depressed. I suddenly felt even worse for him. What was with him and that scalchop? I'll have to ask him about it later.

"Connor, come on. If ya want, I'll kick his butt after the tournament if I don't get to battle him here." I told him, making him produce a small laugh.

"Ugh. Alright. Just stop pestering me." He said with a small smile, though I could still sense that something was wrong. Alex and I then began to help Connor down the stairs to the contestant area where we sat down and fed him a sitrus berry and a couple of oran berries to rejuvenate him. "Ugh. Thanks guys."

Austin and Ally walked over to us with shocked expressions. "Wow Connor. That sure was a brutal beat down out there. Are you sure you're alright?" Austin asked as he walked up alongside Ally. Connor just sighed.

"Yeah, I'm fine now...besides some damage to my dignity from Craig kicking away my scalchop." He replied, groaning in frustration. Just then, Marowak walked down the stairs and made his way to the center of the room.

"Ok guys. Well that was certainly an exciting battle. Hope you're feeling alright Connor." He said, looking over at Connor who nodded back at him. "Now let's see...well what a surprise. It looks like the next two contestants will be from the same team. Mari Amber and Thomas Gipson, would you please step onto the platforms? Your battle will be next." I looked over to my side to find Mari who seemed to stare at Thomas with an odd gleam in her eyes before walking into one of the tubes and stepping onto the platform. Thomas hesitated for a second but soon followed, stepping onto his respective platform as it began to rise.

"That girl is weird." I said to my group. Alex just shrugged and let out a small laugh.

"I guess she's just trying to psyche him out."

Marowak's Dojo Arena, 3rd person POV:

Marowak stood on the sidelines as fog began pouring from opposite sides of the arena yet again. "Heeeeelooooo everyone! Our next match approaches, and it looks like it's a team battle! Please welcome our new contestants to the battlefield! Here we have a recent recruit to Wigglytuff's Guild. Even though she's new she says that she should never be underestimated in battle. Please welcome, Mari Amber!" He shouted, pointing to his left as a mudkip emerged from the fog making it dissipate.

"Now over here, well, I honestly don't know. He just came into town one day. He doesn't really have a comment either..." Mari noticeably rolled her eyes. "But nonetheless, please welcome. Thomas Gipson!" The crowd cheered just as the call for battle was made.

Upon the start of the battle, it seemed as though Mari had disappeared instantly, leaving Thomas to his own confused endeavors. "Wait what?! Where'd she go?" He asked out loud as he searched for his opponent who was currently nowhere to be seen.

"I'm right behind you! Hehehe." Mari said, suddenly appearing behind him and causing him to jump. "Wow. You scream like a little girl." She taunted before she slammed him with a powerful water pulse at point-blank range, sending him flying across the arena. "Come on, you can do better than that 'illusion master'." She taunted again.

Thomas just stared at her blankly. "Ok?" He uttered in confusion as he readied a shadow ball to throw at her. Just as it was about to hit her, she dashed out of the way with speed like lightning, rebounding off of the wall and forming a torrent of water that quickly surrounded her as she gained momentum. "Aqua Jet?" Thomas questioned to particularly no one just as his eyes became alit curiosity, a smirk forming on his face. Backing into a fighting stance, a black aura started emanating from the ground as his eyes became silvery. Not a second later, he unleashed a strange light from his eyes that seemed to distort the atmosphere around it.

From Mari's perspective however, this 'strange light' proved to be quite different as her Aqua Jet turned to fire and everything around her melted into a lightless void. "W-what?!" Mari exclaimed in fear as she stopped her attack in mid air and crashed into the wall of the arena. "Ugh...what the heck was that?..." She questioned as she lie there in a crumpled heap. Thomas just laughed.

"Heh. I can't believe you just fell for one of my illusions. And after you called me the illusion master too. Certainly you knew about them?" He continued to laugh.

From over to the side, Austin could be heard shouting over to Mari.

"Come on Mari, kick his butt!" That little shout of...encouragement made Thomas rase an eyebrow, and soon Mari was up and doing the same, tilting her head along side him.

"Wow. What's going on between you two?" Mari whispered to Thomas.

"I'll give you the short version later, agreed?" Mari nodded. "Ok, battle on!" The both shouted before colliding both a shadow ball and a water pulse, setting them a couple feet apart. "Hey Mari, do ya know what the best thing about being a dark type is?"

"Umm...No. Why?" She asked him, a bit confused.

"Well it's just that I have the amazing ability to sneak up on people while they watch me and even talk to me." He said to her with a bit of a creepy edge.

"Huh?" Mari asked as another Thomas suddenly appeared behind her, only to get slammed down by a torrent of water. Mari casually looked back over her shoulder and smiled. "Oh hey Thomas, where'd you come from? I certainly hope that waterfall trap didn't rain on your parade or anything." She said sarcastically, leaning down to face him directly. "Whelp, bye!" She shouted as she zipped off yet again just as Thomas found his footing.

"Ugh, not again. Curse that crazy mudkip." He muttered, looking around cautiously.

"Crazy? Why that's certainly mean to say. What did I ever do to you?" Mari asked him, sarcasm gripping her voice yet again. Thomas spun around just in time to get a face full of water. "Oh yeah...that's probably it. Sorry. Hehehe." She said as she zipped off again. Thomas didn't seem very tired, but he was annoyed.

"Get back here you-" He began to say just as something clicked below him. "Huh?" He muttered just as a massive stream of water shot him straight up, slamming him against the sealing a couple of times before he came crashing back down. "Ugh...why is this water so dirty?...Wait a minute. Did you just rig the sewage?!" He asked in shock.

"Maybe..." Mari answered, fidgeting with her paws. "But that doesn't matter. This does!" She suddenly raised both of her paws into the air as a massive wave of water lifted up from behind her. Thomas just stared at her, wide-eyed.

"Mommy..." He muttered before the massive wave slammed into him with force equal to that of twenty rhydons. When the wave ran it's course, he was left on the ground, soaking wet and slightly bruised up. "Ugh, cheap shot..." He muttered, coughing up water. Then, from no place in particular, he pulled out a little white flag on a stick and began waving it around.

Marowak took notice and pulled out the microphone. "And it looks like we have an...understandable forfeit...Mari is the winner!" With that the crowd cheered and Mari moved on to the next round.

"Aww, you're no fun." Mari pouted as she walked over to Thomas and helped him up. Thomas looked at her, slightly scared.

"I'm no fun? It looked like you were having some pretty scary fun there to me." He said hysterically. Mari just laughed.

"Oh relax Thomas. That's just my battle style. Creepy huh?" She said with a laugh. Thomas calmed down a bit, though he was still a bit confused by his teammate.

"Wow. You're certainly strange. Though I guess that's not exactly a bad thing considering what you were able to do to me out here." He laughed. "Impressive, and you sure did make my brother laugh." He complemented her as they began making their way back to the contestant area. She looked confused about what he had just said.

"Your brother? You have a brother?" She asked him in surprise. He smiled at her expression.

"Well, brother by adoption. You know how Austin was yelling at you to kick my butt? Well I'm pretty sure that was because I annoyed him yesterday. His parents adopted me around the time he was born and, well, you can say we tend to annoy each other from time to time." Mari looked over to the pikachu in front of her who was also making his way to the contestant area.

"Wow. I didn't know he was your brother, but I kind of owe him one considering he's the only reason I wasn't wrongfully turned away from the guild by that Chatot guy." She responded with slight gratitude in her voice. Thomas nodded.

"I guess I understand." He said, taking a curious glance at his brother.

10:00am, Marowak's Dojo, Austin's POV:

I descended the flight of stairs and arrived back in the contestant area just as a familiar voice spoke up from behind me. "Hey Austin. I loved your support out there." Mari said before I turned around. I looked at Thomas and he looked a little less than thrilled, or was the look coming from the plumbing water that still left a strange sent emanating from him.

"Oh uh, you're welcome. Good job." I replied, giving her a high five. "Oh and um Thomas, ya might want to consider taking a shower after the competition because 'water from the sewage system' is not the right sent for you." I joked as he rolled his eyes.

"Very funny. Let's just go sit down all right." He responded as we made our way over to the other contestants. I sat down next to Ally and started talking to her.

"So that was a pretty interesting fight. Mari's pretty unpredictable." I started causing her to turn to me. She seemed like she was thinking about something.

"Hmm...yeah. She fights a lot like Eve does when she gets serious, though Eve can be a little...mischievous." She replied.

I tilted my head in confusion. "Mischievous? How? I've never really found her to be that way the whole time I've known her." Ally gave me a sly smile in response.

"Then you obviously don't know her as well as I do. And I would advise that you never get into a serious fight with her." I looked at her with wide eyes.

"Oookay I'll take your word for it. Makes me feel sorry for who's battling her then." I said with a slight laugh as I grabbed her paw. "And whoever you're battling, I hope you give them a good workout."

She smirked at my comment. "Oh I'll make sure to do way better than that. They'll have to work hard to even hit me." With that I put my arm around her and pulled her close, making her collapse onto my chest in a fit of giggles and laughter. "Heh, stop it. The static in your fur tickles!" She managed between small laughs. She always liked the static in my fur, but I might have been putting a little extra into it just to produce that effect. Everyone around the room looked over at us for a second before returning to what they were originally doing. At least nobody was giving us odd looks, much less a second one. After a few more seconds, I released her and stared at her meaningfully.

"Make 'em sweat." I said to her with a laugh. She laughed along, still quite red faced from that recent 'cuddle attack'.

"Like I wouldn't. You need to focus on your battle though. Let's hope you get Chatot." My eyes lit up as I looked towards the musical bird pokemon. I laughed at the thought of getting to battle the guy.

"Heh, yeah that'd be great. Get back at him for being annoying." I agreed, smiling widely at the idea. Suddenly Marowak came walking back into the room looking quite happy with how his tournament was going so far.

"Alright competitions, that sure was an...interesting battle wasn't it?" Everyone in the room laughed at his statement. "Ok, well the tournament must go on. Congratulations Mari for making it to the next round. Oh and for all of you competitors who have been knocked out of the competition. Just so no one gets confused, will you kindly make your way up to the reserved seats around the battle arena? Don't worry, your team mates who are still in the competition will still be able to talk to you when they are not competing." Marowak said just as Connor and Thomas began making their way up the stairs. "Ok then. Now without further ado, the next battle will be between...Austin Valor and Loudred. Alright you two, you know the drill. Three minutes till your battle begins." Marowak smiled before walking back up the set of stairs.

So I was battling Loudred? Well it wasn't Chatot, but I suppose this'll be fun too... "Good luck." Ally said to me before I smiled and let go of her paw. Then I walked up to one of the rising platforms, Loudred in the other, just before it began to rise.

Hmm...yep, I remember elevators too, because this is just like one. Upon arrival at what I could only assume was the arena due to all of the fog that was starting to clear up, I heard Marowak start to announce something to the crowd.

"Heeeeeey everybody! Let's go on ahead and continue this tournament with our next two competitors!" The fog cleared up completely just as he began to introduce me. "Over here we have someone that all of you may know. He's not only part of Wigglytuff's Guild, but the esteemed leader of Team Eviolite and one of the proclaimed saviors of the world! Please welcome to the arena, Austin Valor!" He announced to the crowd as they went wild. I did a mental face-palm at how he introduced me. Being known to everyone as the 'savior of the world' was kind of annoying considering that it never went away. Oh well. I guess that's just part of being good at helping people.

Looking across the arena I noticed that the second patch of fog had cleared to reveal Loudred, who looked as pumped and ready to battle as ever.

"Aaaand over here we have yet another member of Wigglytuff's Guild. He helps maintain the guild's security by assisting in sentry and protecting its gates, whether opened or closed. Let's have it for Loudred!" The crowd cheered for a few seconds before Marowak began speaking again. "Well then, with that...battle begin!"

Loudred began to advance on me immediately, but I stood my ground, watching as he did so. It had taken him a while to get to the center of the field. He wasn't very fast as it seemed, but that made me worry about his possibly strong attacking power. I readied myself, and just as he approached me with a glowing fist readied (probably focus punch), I jumped slightly into the air and over his fist as it came hurtling past. Smiling, I landed on his head, jumped again, and did a backwards flip before landing on the ground behind him.

"Huh? Ugh, why you little! Where are you?!" He asked out loud as he searched around for me. Little did he know that I had jumped yet again and was ready to come down hard with an Iron Tail to his head. Seconds later, I smashed my now silvery tail into his head with a sickening thud and rebounded, landing a few feet away with a smirk on my face.

"Oh come on Loudred. Ya gotta be faster than that." I taunted him as he held onto his head in pain. This only seemed to agitate him, which was just what I wanted.

"Ugh. I'll show you fast you smug little mouse!" He responded in an annoyed voice before he picked up his foot and brought it down hard on the floor causing it to crack a little. He had used earthquake, and rocks were flying everywhere. I just hope Ally wasn't feeling this. She'd be terrified.

I put my paw out in front of me, creating a strong protect barrier that blocked all of the rocks that threatened to damage me. Soon the earthquake stopped and I dispelled my protect. "Nice try." I said slyly before I created a decently sized ball of electricity between my paws and launched it at Loudred, scoring a direct hit and sending him straight into a wall.

"Rrrgh! That's it, you're gonna feel this one in the morning!" He shouted before he began collecting energy in his mouth. Hyper Beam? Loudred can learn that? When Loudred had charged up enough, he fired a massive beam of energy at me. Luckily I reacted in time to jump straight over the Hyper Beam and start readying my own attack in mid air. My paw started glowing red as I started to fall towards Loudred, who was still focused on maintaining his attack. (Apparently he couldn't stop until the energy he had stored up was depleted. Weird.) Just as I was about to land on him, I brought my fist down hard on his face, stopping his attack and slamming him straight into the ground. He got up just in time to see me land a couple of feet away.

"How was that?" I asked him with a smirk before my fist began to crackle with electricity. I used quick attack to close in on him at seemingly lightning speed before I brought my fist upwards into his gut like an uppercut, making him fly into the air a few feet. Reacting quickly, I jumped up and rebounded off of the railing of the wall and followed up with another Iron Tail angled towards the ground. The attack sent him flying towards the ground at such an angle that, upon impact, he began to tumble a couple of feet before coming to a stop just as I landed. I quickly shot off across the length of the arena with Quick Attack and was about to start a Volt Tackle before I was suddenly slammed in the face by Loudred's fist, sending me a couple of feet back.

"Haha, how do ya like that?!" Loudred shouted as he got up wobbly. I just shook it off.

"I have a feeling you'll soon find out." I replied simply before I used Iron Tail to propel myself into the air. Just as I was as high as gravity would allow me to go, I unleashed a massive amount of electricity that arced straight towards Loudred before making contact with him and, well, electrifying him greatly. Just as the electricity from my Thunderbolt had run its course through his body, I landed and he dropped to the ground, defeated. Shortly after I heard Marowak's voice shout out to the audience.

"Amazing! And just like that, Loudred is down and out in a feat of electrifying intensity! The victor is Austin!" The crowd went wild as I waved to it once and exited the arena, making a turn to walk down the stairs to the contestant area. I would've stopped to help Loudred up, but the medics had arrived to tend to him and he wasn't conscious to begin with.

Walking into the room, I was greeted by 14 pounds of fluffy brown fur wrapping around me like a blanket. "Nice job Austin. That was awesome!" Ally said as she hugged me tightly.

"Heh, thanks Ally. Umm, can we go sit down now? I'm kind of tired after all of that." I asked her, making her look back up at me.

"Oh. Heh, sorry. Got a little carried away." She apologized with a sweet smile. "Sure, come on." She continued as we made our way over to the others. It seemed that no matter how much she matured she still kept her cute, 'jumpy' characteristic. I'm kind of glad about that.

We walked over to the others, sat down and started a conversation. "Oh hey Austin. Nice job kicking Loudred's butt! I actually quite enjoyed it after our first wakeup call from him." Eve congratulated me, a painful expression adorning her face at the mentioning of the memory. I was starting to get the feeling that Alex and Eve's first morning at the guild hadn't started off too well. Bet they're glad Ally and I showed up and kicked up the party.

"Thanks Eve. It was actually kind of fun, but man does that guy pack a punch. Running into his fist was not a fun moment..." I thanked her, rubbing my head from the previous impact with Loudred's fist. I looked over to the side to see someone in a red hooded robe standing alone in a corner of the room. "Hey guys, who's that?" I asked my group as they looked over to that same corner.

"Umm...what are you talking about Austin? There's no one there." Ally questioned me with a strange look, making me look back at the corner again to find that the person was gone. I rubbed my eyes and stared at the corner, blinking a couple of times.

"Huh? I could've sworn I saw someone over there in this red, hooded robe." I said out loud in confusion. Everyone else just shrugged. "Weird."

"So anyway, Eve. Who do you think you'll be going against?" Ally asked her sister, trying to continue the conversation. Eve just tilted her head in thought.

"Mmm...I don't really know, but I hope it's Chatot. He's just so annoying. It'd be cool to show him who's boss." She replied hopefully. "Oh, and I hope that I get to face Craig later on in the tournament if I move on so I can get him back for hurting Connor so badly. And apparently kicking away an oshawott's scalchop is a pretty hurtful thing to do because Connor seemed pretty upset about it." Man, she seemed pretty mad at him. I would kind of feel bad for him if he actually did end up battling her later.

Our conversation ended when Marowak came down the stairs again with another announcement. "Ok guys. First of all, congratulations Austin for moving on to the next round." He congratulated me with a big smile on his face. "Now, as for the next match, it seems that we have two fire types thrown into the mix. Let's see...Drew Blaze and Flint Hart. Please prepare for battle." He announced before he left for his position on the arena.

Drew's POV:

I have to be honest. I was a little surprised when my name was called out for the next battle, but nonetheless I followed the procedure that the others had before me and stepped onto the platform. I gave a last second wave to Flare as it soon began to rise up to the arena. I looked up to find that there was indeed artificial fog at my destination. I guess that was for dramatic effect or something. As soon as the moving sensation stopped, I heard Marowak's voice shout out from somewhere.

"Thank you for waiting ladies and gentlemen! Now it's time to get on to the fourth match of the preliminary round! Get ready for things to heat up because we have some really skilled fire types competing this time for a spot in the next round!" Marowak shouted to the audience enthusiastically. Man, that guy sure could pep up an audience.

"Now, over here on this side of the battlefield we have a fiery member from Team Eviolite. He used to be blind but with a miraculous turn of events, everything is clear to him and he's ready to battle! Please welcome, Drew Blaze!" He shouted out to the audience. Where does he get this information?

"And on this side of the battlefield we have the third member of Team Mirage. Born in this town, this fiery competitor is ready to heat up the battlefield! Here we have, Flint Hart!" Marowak announced just as the growlithe we met on the beach was revealed from beneath the clearing fog. "Aaaaaand battle begin!" Marowak shouted.

Right when Marowak started the battle, we both unleashed intense Flamethrowers at each other that collided at the center of the field and fought to gain the upper hand. When the heat at the center of the field became too intense, there was a huge explosion that sent ash and dust everywhere. I immediately closed my eyes, not wanting anything to damage them risk going blind again. Luckily my hearing was still quite advanced, so I didn't particularly need to see right now. I could hear Flint moving around so I could sense where he was.

Just as I assume he was about to make contact with me, I swiftly jumped up and over him and fired another Flamethrower in the opposite direction. Judging from the sound he made I could only guess that it had hit him.

Sniffing the air, I judged that the ash and smoke had cleared from it so I opened my eyes just in time to get knocked backwards a couple of feet by a strong Flame Wheel. "Ugh. Well that was unexpected." I muttered to myself as I pushed myself to my feet. I looked at Flint for a second before I shot off at him at top speed. When I was a few feet from him, I jumped slightly, fire forming around my right paw, before I prepared to deliver a fire punch to Flint's face. Little did I know that he had something planned for me when I got too close.

Right about the time when I was ready to swing at him, massive plumes of lava suddenly shot up from the ground sending me flying high into the air. When I came back down, I had just a split second to notice Flint charging at me before I was sent flying ten feet in another direction. When I came to a hard stop, I got to my feet with some difficulty to notice a slight burning sensation on my right arm. His attack had burned me. I looked over at him to find that he seemed slightly worn out from what he had just done. Could he have used Flare Blitz. It was certainly possible with its ability to cause burns and injury to the user.

I shook away my thoughts and charged at him again, only this time lamb body began to be covered in flames. Flint looked like he had the same idea with Flame Charge as he approached me with the same speed for a head on collision. We met at the center, there was a decently sized explosion, and we were both sent flying our separate ways to the opposite edges of the arena.

I struggled to get up from that, legs wobbling as I tried to maintain balance. Flint looked like he was having the same problem from what I could tell, but then again I didn't have good vision and he was pretty far away. I thought I could hold myself up for longer than that, but soon I felt the pain from the burn I had received from Flint's Flare Blitz and my arm gave out, letting me collapse to the floor. Yeah...there was no way I was getting up from this.

I soon heard Marowak's voice shout out to the audience. "Oooh! And with a close call it looks like Flint is the winner! What a close battle that was indeed!" Looking across the battlefield, I now noticed that Flint had collapsed on the ground as well. Hmm, I must've been first. I looked to my right to see that Flare had rushed to my side.

"Drew, hey! Are you alright?!" She asked me in slight shock. Apparently she had been watching from the side of the arena.

"Ugh. I will be with an oran berry or two." I joked. It was quite annoying just lying there and not being able to get up. Her eyes lit up and she let out a nervous laugh.

"Oh yeah. Ehehe. Of course. Hold on." She said as she reached back and picked something up. She then reached down and fed me an oran berry that she had apparently brought with her to heal me. Heh, she could be kind of forgetful sometimes.

I soon felt rejuvenated as the oran berry took effect and I stood up on two feet. I still felt the burn though. Looking across the battlefield again I saw that Mari was helping Flint up. The medics were apparently still tending to Loudred. "Hey umm Flare? Do you have another oran berry?" I asked her. She nodded in response, holding up the said berry. "Well then follow me." I told her as I began making my way over to Mari and Flint.

As soon as we got to them, Mari looked up at me, a confused expression on her face. "Need some help?" I asked her as Flare fed Flint the oran berry. Her confused expression soon turned to one of gratitude as Flint started to stand independently.

"Hey, thanks guys!" Mari thanked us with a huge smile on her face. She looked over towards Flint who seemed a bit distracted at the moment and frowned, prodding him in the side. "Flint! Say thank you!" She commanded as the newly healed growlithe looked at her in surprise.

"Huh?! Oh! Ehehe. Thanks guys!" He thanked us, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "So umm, shouldn't we be getting back to the contestant area?" He asked us. Flare smirked at me.

"Well yeah. All of us except for Drew of course." She said with a laugh.

"Hey! Don't forget you haven't battled either." I laughed back at her. She just rolled her eyes and smiled.

"Ok 'know it all'. Let's just get off of the arena before they get mad at us." With that we hurried off of the arena. Flare decided to stay up in the reserved seats with me while Mari and Flint scurried on down the stairs below the arena.

11:00am, Marowak's Dojo, Alex's POV:

Well all I could say about Drew's battle was that Flint was not someone to be underestimated. In fact, from how the battle ended I'd say that the two of them were quite evenly matched. Turning my head to the right, I noticed that Mari and Flint had entered the room with no sign of Drew and Flare. Flare must've stayed up in the reserved seats with Drew to talk to him since he had been defeated.

"Hey Flint! Congratulations! Beating Drew isn't exactly easy to do." Eve congratulated him as they walked over. Flint gave a small smile in return.

"Heh thanks. I could tell. Even with fire type attacks he really did a number on me." And it was true. Even after being fed an oran berry, which I'm sure he had been, he was still noticeably worn out. I noticed that he seemed to be keeping all of his weight on one side of his body. Hmm...

"Hey Flint. Ya might want to eat another oran berry. From the way you're standing it looks like you injured one of your legs." I suggested as I grabbed an oran berry from our treasure bag with one of my vines and extended it out to him. Man it was cool being a snivy.

He accepted it with a look of gratitude on his face. "Thanks Alex. How did you notice that? He asked me in confusion after he had eaten the berry.

I smiled. "You were shifting all of your weight to one side of your body so as to keep it off of one of your legs. I could only assume." I replied. Eve looked at me like I was one of the smartest pokemon in the world. She really seemed to enjoy watching me observe things and explain them.

"Well we're gonna go talk to Thomas now. He's probably pretty lonely up there." Mari spoke up as she and Flint began making their way back towards the stairs and up to the reserved area.

I turned back to Eve who still seemed a little awed by what I had said just a second ago. "Heh, Eve. Come on. That observation wasn't a big deal. It was pretty simple." I laughed. The way she was acting was pretty cute.

"Well it was still cool..." She muttered. I put my arm around her shoulder and, well, you can pretty much guess what happened after that.

"Alright guys it's time for the next battle announcement!" Marowak yelled as he came down the stairs. Eve perked up quickly, which of course made me loose my balance as I quickly fell out of my chair and face-planted on the floor.

Eve quickly jumped out of her chair and helped me up. "Are you ok Alex?" She asked me with some concern in her voice. I just rubbed the back of my neck in embarrassment while I nodded.

"Yeah Eve, I'm fine. Just lost my balance." I replied, blushing at how incredibly cute her pink eyes were. I swear her eyes are magical, even though she has no magic...

Marowak cleared his throat, getting our attention. "As I was saying. It's time for the next battle announcement. First, I'd like to say that the last battle was pretty amazing, and close at that. Congrats Flint. Now let's see...oh ok. It seems like one of our contestants would like to remain anonymous. And they will be going up against Alex Faron." Marowak announced. Who'd want to be anonymous in a competition? "Well, you know what to do. Your battle will start in a few minutes. Now I better get going." Marowak said as he hurried off up the stairs.

On my way over to the platform, I looked to my right to spot someone in a red hooded robe slowly walking to the other one. I tilted my head to the side. Could that be the person that Austin claimed to have seen before? I didn't have time to finish my thoughts though as I stepped onto the platform and it began to rise.

When I reached the stadium, I immediately heard Marowak's voice. "Hello all you people in the audience! Welcome to another exciting match of the preliminary round! Next we have a bit of mystery, but it should prove to be exciting nonetheless!" This guy had words for any situation. Never lost that peppy attitude either...

"Alright, now on this side of the battlefield we have a new member of Team Eviolite. Despite coming into the team roughly a week ago, he's already left his mark on the team by detecting and assisting in the arrest of a highly evasive criminal that had even elite teams baffled. Certainly no small thinker, we have Alex Faron!" Marowak announced to the crowd. The crowd went wild at that statement. Wow, I wonder how they'd react if I told them that my "detection" was some strange visions that showed me exactly what Drowsie was going to do. He was pretty powerful though, and I guess you can't really discredit yourself for a strange occurrence, but...what exactly was that? I lost my train of thought when Marowak spoke up again.

"And over here on this side of the battlefield we have an anonymous outsider. Not much is known about this person right now except that they'd prefer that their identity be left a secret, but the battle must go on! Please expect it to be a great one!" Marowak announced before the fog cleared around the same red hooded individual I had seen just a while ago. The atmosphere about this person just seemed...eerie and unusual... The stance, calm, and the robe flowing with the air in the room... It was kind of intimidating to be honest.

"Aaaaand, battle...begin!" Marowak shouted, but we just stood there, silence drifting throughout the dojo...or was that just my imagination? Deciding that I'd rather not take the chance of being taken by surprise or analyzed, I took the hasty approach, (which is usually out of character for me) taking off straight at my opponent. Again, there was no movement at all in my opponent.

Right when I came within attacking distance, I jumped up slightly, my tail glowing bright green, before I came down hard with a Leaf Blade. Strangely enough, right as my attack made contact, or rather was supposed to, my opponent disappeared completely. Canceling my attack quickly and looking around, I spotted someone above me. To my surprise, there was what looked to be a female riolu almost directly above me. Stealing a quick glance down at me, the unnamed riolu quickly grabbed something from what looked to be a small bag and it suddenly extended into what looked to be a large staff. Aiming the staff at me, she created a blue sphere from its tip and shot it straight at me. Luckily I reacted in time and back-flipped out of the way...even luckier that I did it twice since she had apparently shot two Aura Spheres.

She wasn't done yet though noting that as soon as she landed, she took two attempts at jabbing me with the staff and one full swing, which I cleverly avoided. This staff was going to be a huge problem. I needed my sword, but there were cameras everywhere. I needed some sort of cover so I could take it out of the void...

Luckily such a distraction came when she suddenly jumped, readying what looked to be a Mega Punch before she slammed it into the ground. I narrowly avoided it, which caused enough dust to be kicked into the air for me to pull out my sword without anyone noticing. Doing so carefully, I back-flipped to the wall and rebounded over the staff wielder, landing on the other side. If she could shoot an Aura Sphere from a staff, I figured that I could do the same with a sword and an Energy Ball, so I gave it a try. Focusing my energy to the tip of my sword, a decently sized green ball formed before I launched it at my enemy at full force. The Energy Ball made contact with her, forcing her into the wall before she could turn around.

Regaining her footing, she turned around to face me. She eyed my sword but she never gave a hint of surprise. In fact, her expression hadn't seemed to change from serious since she revealed herself. Now that I had a second to look at her, it appeared that her robe had in fact disappeared, replaced by a medium sized red cape that fluttered behind her with each movement. I was shaken from my thoughts when she suddenly pointed the staff away from herself, shooting an Aura Sphere backwards that seemed to propel herself forwards at an extremely fast rate. She had a full swing prepared for me when she reached me, but I blocked it with my sword. Doing so pushed me back a couple of feet, but she continued on with the close combat, running at me and swinging again.

This time after I blocked her downward strike, she swiped the other end of her staff below me so as to throw me off of my feet. I did a sideways flip over the staff's end and attempted to get in another Energy Ball since she had decided to go with the momentum of her last swing and spin, but she simply parried the sword out of the way when she came back around and kicked me backwards.

I hit the ground, went with it for a second, and flipped back onto my feet with a slide. Suddenly getting an idea, I sped back towards her, swinging quickly at the readied side of her staff. She blocked it of course, following up quickly with a downwards sweep under my legs which I back-flipped over. Seeing that her right side was momentarily unguarded, I rolled towards it. She quickly took notice of my action and tried to swing back at me, but I had already jumped high into the air and readied a strong Energy Ball which I quickly fired from the tip of my sword. The Energy Ball made contact with her, sending her flying across the arena, sliding before coming to a stop. She found her footing and looked back up at me before pointing her staff at me and readying an Aura Sphere. I did the same with my sword and an Energy Ball and we fired them at the same time. The two balls of energy collided at the center of the field, creating a massive explosion and kicking up a decent amount of dust. We then ran at each other at top speed, our weapons readied, but before we collided, I jumped and landed on her staff, using it to spring myself upwards. From up in the air, I repeated my strategy of shooting an Energy Ball at her from an aerial perspective. The Energy Ball collided with her again, this time with enough impact to send her across the arena and into the wall. When I landed, I looked over at the wall to see her get up. She struggled slightly, but managed to find her footing.

She looked back over at me with intensity in her eyes as she held her staff out in front of her. Then, as if it weren't enough, she spun around, twirling her staff as she went until it started growing and changing in form. When she stopped spinning, I noticed that a long blade had been produced out of the top, which she promptly struck into the ground. A huge scythe...great...and I see that the obsession with red continues. This...was quite nerve wracking.

She proceeded to launch herself towards me at a quick pace before turning around and striking at me with the blade, but instead of hitting me with it, she let it hang in the air space behind my head as she stared at me. Her expression could only be described as morbid, so I could tell that she was trying to intimidate me just from how sadistic she tried to make herself appear at the moment. Again, I had an idea. I played dumb and went with it for a while.

Acting horrified for a few seconds was surprisingly fun when you knew you had your enemy figured out. I had slowly been moving my sword into position as this progressed so I wouldn't be noticed. Then, with a quick smirk I struck hard at the shaft part of the scythe, knocking it out of the way long enough for me to elbow its owner in the stomach and fire a point blank Energy Ball in the same location. She was sent flying back a few feet before she shoved the blade of her scythe into the ground to stop her momentum. When she recovered she seemed a bit surprised at what I had just done. Nonetheless, she dashed back at me, scythe readied again, only for me to leap off of its shaft and land on the other side of her where I quickly followed up with one last Energy Ball. Right when it should have made contact though, she disappeared, this time without a trace seemingly.

"What the?" I asked out loud as I looked around for my opponent, but she never revealed herself. She had just disappeared, as if she had never been there. I was about to look around some more when a piece of paper suddenly landed on my face. When I pulled it off of my face, there was something written on it. It read: "Petals have eyes".

I tilted my head in confusion before I caught sight of yet another peculiar object. It was a single rose petal...and it was in the exact spot where my opponent had been moments ago. Petals. Hmm... My thoughts were interrupted when Marowak's voice shouted out to the audience.

"Wow! Ok, well this looks like a forfeit, but nonetheless that was amazing! Don't you agree folks?!" Marowak announced to the audience as they went wild. "Well with by far the most amazing combat we've seen yet, Alex Faron is the winner! But man was that a strange battle." 'Strange' could not even begin to describe this battle or this note, but even so I could worry about that later. Eve was probably freaking out right now.

11:30am, Marowak's Dojo, Eve's POV:

"You had a freaking scythe to your neck and you decided that it was a good idea to hit it away from yourself?! You could have gotten yourself decapitated!" I yelled at Alex angrily. I was freaking out. He raised his hand to interject.

"Eve, calm down. The scythe wasn't against my neck. There was too much space for it to hit me." Alex explained to me, but I wasn't in the mood to listen.

"I don't care! What were you thinking?! You scared me!" I broke down into tears after that sentence.

Alex bent down and grabbed my paw. "Eve-" I cut him off by hugging him and crying into his chest.

"D-don't ever do a-anything like that a-again. Next time j-just lose." I said between sobs as Alex tried to calm me down. Everyone in the room was watching, but I knew they understood.

"Eve, look at me..." Alex said in a calm voice while patting my back. I did as he told me, picking my head up so I could stare into his eyes. "It's ok Eve. I promise, I won't do anything like that again. Especially not if this is how it effects you. And come on, you know me. I always think things through." He laughed, trying to cheer me up. I'd be a liar to say that it didn't. His laugh always did that... "Now, let's find a towel for your face." He joked, making me smile some more.

"Ugh, stop. I'm trying to be mad at you..." I fake whined with a laugh. He just smiled back.

"That's understandable. But if you're mad at me I won't cheer for you during your match." He joked again with a sly edge.

"...Fine." I smiled before we got up...well actually it's more like he picked me up and carried me to my seat. When Alex sat down, I turned to him to talk. "So who do you think that was anyway?" I asked him in confusion. I had never seen that riolu before, but I'm pretty sure that's who Austin saw moments before Drew's battle.

"I don't know, but whoever she was, she's not gone." Alex replied as he held up a piece of paper with the words, "petals have eyes" written on it.

"Oh...Mom and Dad are not gonna be happy about this..."

Author's note:

Aaaaand I did it again. I underestimated my writing capabilities and wrote too long...again. This is only about a fourth of the competition, so lengthwise...yeah. This cut-off is appropriate. Lol. The good thing is that the next update should be relatively quick and this one finally came out. :) Anyway, part two of The Arena Champion should be out soon because I'm currently writing it and am very excited for you guys to see the tournament in its entirety. I hope you like this chapter! Please read and review!

Austin: Ugh. Finally he updated. It's been really boring.

Me: You have the power to do pretty much anything...yet you're still bored...

Austin: Ok I can see what you're getting at, but still it's been a long time.

Ally: Seriously, how long has it been this time?

Eve: I believe it's been quite a few months.

Me: Okay! It doesn't matter how long it's been since I last updated. The point is I'm back!

Alex: Riiiiight.

Me: ...

Everyone: See ya!