Disclaimer: This is my first Pokémon fic. For my reason in why I've decided to make one now and the inspiration behind the whole plot, just please read through this first chapter to the end where I'll explain the rest. I hope you readers enjoy this story!
One more note, unlike the anime, all the characters have actually aged a bit instead of staying ten or whatever they appeared at first in the show, but I'm sure you already know that.
One long, drawn out year and a half had passed since the Unova League Vertress Conference, in which Pokémon Trainer Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town had competed in. The sixteen-year old Kanto Trainer had seemingly disappeared after traveling in the Decolora Archipelago, the only two friends and witnesses prior to his disappearance were Iris of the Village of Dragons and Connoisseur Cilan of Striaton City, his notably last two traveling companions. Not even they knew of his plans of the future aside from the usual training and capturing Pokémon to become the best that there ever was, as in where he was going after the Unova region.
But as this period of time comes to a close, a new adventure that many have waited for has finally arrived…
Pewter City, Kanto region
"Brock! I'm so proud of you, dear!" Lola cried out, completely hugging her eldest son, the said embarrassed young adult. "You finally did it!" She was joined with the many cheers of her children.
"We've gotten a Pokémon Medical prodigy in the family, that's for sure," Flint agreed.
The whole family was at home, gathered around the newly graduating Pokémon Doctor with certified PKMN M.D. on hand. Dressed in red robes and cap of the typical graduate student, Brock was sheepish in accepting the onslaught of praises flying his way from his parents and younger siblings.
"Come on now, guys, it certainly wasn't easy," Brock said. "I didn't think I advance this quickly in my studies."
"It just goes to show how much traveling around has helped you out, Big Bro," Forrest, the current Pewter City Gym Leader, said. "Now I kind of wish I went off on my own journey too. Just like you and Ash…"
Forrest immediately bit his tongue upon realizing what he just said. The whole family quieted themselves, knowing the sensitivity of the aforementioned topic. Brock lowered his head and gave a sad smile.
"Yeah, just like… Ash…"
"Hey now! This is a time to celebrate!" Lola exclaimed, lifting the mood back up. "Let's make a celebratory feast for our very own Dr. Brock!"
"Yeah!" the children cheered on. Even Brock couldn't help but allow such infectious joy lift his spirits up over not hearing from one of his closest friends for over a year now. Over their cheers, a truck was heard pulling up in front of their house and drove away seconds later.
"Mail time!" Flint announced, leaving the mini celebration to retrieve the mail.
While the patriarch of the family went to retrieve today's mail, Lola and the rest of the children went into the kitchen, leaving Brock by himself in the living room. He glanced at a particular wall that held the majority of photo frames hanging on. His thoughts were then brought to his own memory board, which held nothing more than three meaningful photos. The first to flash in his mind was that of him with Ash, Misty, and Pikachu while first traveling through the Kanto region. Then there was another frame of him with Ash once more, this time with the exuberant pair of May and Max at the Hoenn region. Finally there was the Sinnoh region frame that held a photo of him, Ash, and Dawn: his last journey with Ash…
Where are you, old friend? Brock pondered solemnly. Everyone you knew misses you, you have no idea…
"Forrest!" Flint's gruff voice beckoned from the front door. "You got a special letter!"
The second oldest child of the family ran out of the kitchen to see the letter for himself. As Flint passed on the letter, Brock quickly noticed the seal that was on the envelope, a very special seal indeed.
"That's from the Pokémon League."
"I wonder what they want from us this time," Forrest commented, beginning to tear through the top. "They've already been made aware that I'm the official Gym Leader for the Pewter City Gym."
Both Brock and Flint pondered upon what the Pokémon League Committee would want from them, more like want with Forrest, to be sending an officially sealed letter as such as Forrest took the parchment out of the envelope. He appeared to be skimming from top to bottom, his worrisome expression gradually turning into that of disbelief and finally awestruck.
"No way…" Forrest managed to gasp.
"What is it, Forrest?" Brock asked. His brother smiled widely.
"Everyone! Come listen to this!" Forrest yelled out, the rest of the family leaving the kitchen behind to gather around the young Pewter Gym Leader.
Cerulean City, Kanto region
"All right, team! Great work today!" Misty exclaimed, followed by the cheerful reactions of her Water-type Pokémon in the main pool of the Cerulean City Gym. "We should be ready for any challenger at any moment."
"Hey, sis!" an older female voice beckoned. Hurried flip-flop footsteps were heard echoing in the hallway.
The oldest sister, Daisy, jogged in from the hallway, waving an envelope in her hand high in the air. She slowed down as she approached her youngest sister by the poolside, just so that she wouldn't slip on accident. Upon coming to a complete stop before Misty, she leaned upon her knees just to catch her breath.
"Geez… I need… to get… in better… shape…," Daisy mumbled between breaths.
"Daisy, what's going on?" Misty asked.
The oldest Sensational Sister held out the letter to her while still catching her breath. Misty gingerly took the envelope, noticing firsthand that it was emblazoned with the official seal of the Pokémon League. It would explain why Daisy rushed in giving her the letter. Anything from the Pokémon League addressed specifically to the Gym Leaders or any other significant Trainers would be regarded as very important. Wordlessly and almost instinctively, she began breaking the seal of the envelope.
"What's… it say?" Daisy inquired, standing back to full height.
"Don't know yet," Misty replied as she took the letter out. "I wonder if this is addressed to all the Gym Leaders here in Kanto."
Saffron City, Kanto region
"Oh, Haunter, what've you got there?" Sabrina asked the Gas Pokémon floating animatedly next to her.
Haunter simply decided to phase into her room, not that she minded as she always welcomed its presence. There was something that looked rather special and possibly important gripped within the Gas Pokémon's disembodied hand, like an official letter.
"Hau Hau Hau!" Haunter cackled, extended the fist that held the seeming letter.
Just as the Saffron City Gym Leader was about to accept the letter, it suddenly popped into smoke as Haunter opened its hand. Its raucous laughter ensued, followed with Sabrina's soft giggle as she retracted her hand.
"Okay, Haunter, you've had your laugh now, but I need to confirm this sense of anticipation I'm feeling right now," Sabrina said, straightening herself out into a more stoic persona. "I don't even have to use my powers to know what may possibly be inside that letter."
Dealing with Haunter's seemingly infinite bag of hilarious pranks almost every day since joining her as to keep her happy, she knew the time and place to be truly serious. Of course, she was thankful that it didn't invite its other friends, Gastly and Gengar from Lavender Town, at this time. There was no hope in ever keeping a straight face with this infamous Ghost trio pulling out all stops with their practical jokes and gags. As tempted as it was to continue, Haunter grudgingly recognized serious business when it came up. As such, it stuck one hand into its large mouth, suddenly pulling out a large beautiful bouquet of colorful flowers.
"Haun-ta… Haun-ta," Haunter chuckled, lifting the bouquet up to Sabrina while angling its body in a way that it appeared that it was proposing to her.
"Haunter, that's so sweet," Sabrina commented, noticing the letter nudged into the center of the flowers.
Just about as she reached into the bouquet, all flower buds went erect and sprayed water into her face. Haunter just couldn't resist pulling off this last prank.
"Hau Hau Hau! Haun-t-t-ta?"
Haunter found itself suddenly discovered itself to be bound by psychic power. Comically shifting its beady pupils to see the culprit using Psychic on it, the Gas Pokémon discovered Sabrina's Alakazam doing the honors of keeping it completely captive. Meanwhile, the Saffron City Gym Leader herself had quickly dried herself from the water flower gag attack and began to open the letter.
"Sorry, Haunter, but you really do need to learn some self-control," Sabrina said calmly in spite of the Gas Pokémon's funny gags. She quickly examined the letter with her natural neutral expression before a small smile curved itself at the corner of her mouth. Just as I thought… This coming from the Pokémon League, I can predict this happening to even the Gym Leaders outside of the Kanto region.
Petalburg City, Hoenn region
"WAH! No way!"
"Max, what is it?!"
May ran into the living room where she heard her younger brother shout. Their father, Norman, followed in behind her. They found the young budding Pokémon Trainer trembling rather enthusiastically with an important-looking envelope clutched in both hands. His face gave off the expression that he might as well be drooling with his mouth agape in a very wide grin. Max's Treecko had its eyes closed with a hand placed on its forehead, embarrassed of its Trainer's behavior.
"What's that you got there, Max?" Norman asked.
"Dad! I hope you didn't mind!" Max sputtered out, scrambling himself in front of his sister and father. "I couldn't help myself! I'm sorry!"
"Whoa, slow down there. You couldn't help yourself to what?"
"This letter is actually addressed to you, Dad," Max said, having calmed down before looking to the ground bashfully. "It was from the Pokémon League. I got really curious to see what they wanted."
Max gingerly handed the opened letter to Norman. The Petalburg City Gym Leader retrieved it wordlessly and skipped to see what had gotten his son so excited a few minutes ago in the first place.
"Really, Max," May sighed with folded arms. "Even having started your own journey, you still do childish things like taking other people's mail."
"Oh, please. Like I need a lecture of personal space from you, of all people!"
"Why, you little!"
"Kids, that's enough!" Norman barked. The two siblings immediately behaved themselves and ceased their bickering. Norman smiled back at them. "Now then, I can see why Max would have gotten excited after reading this."
"You mean, you're not mad after he read your own mail?" May inquired.
"We'll discuss a proper punishment for that soon, but there's something I think you guys would really enjoy from this letter, given that it's officially sent from the Pokémon League Committee," Norman said.
"Ohh, boy! This is going to be so awesome!" Max tittered.
"Just what is that letter all about, Dad?" May asked.
"I can begin telling you this," Norman began, "that this will entail not only the Gym Leaders from Hoenn, Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh, and Unova, but every powerful Trainer out there fully recognized by the Pokémon League…"
Veilstone City, Sinnoh region
The house had been quiet for quite some time now. He was finally back home after his usual regiment of difficult training with his Pokémon, but even with all the experience he had gained from his entire journey, he still was not good enough. He still could not beat the man that defeated his older brother. Regardless of how close the last battle was, he still lost a bit of control over his emotions, still feeling the embitterment of his brother disgraced all those years ago.
But he knew he changed a lot now. He could see it even in the demeanor of his own Pokémon, that they showed a bit more emotion, happiness, and life aside from being the closest to perfect battling soldiers. It was thanks to another Trainer for helping him realize that not everything was as clear-cut black-and-white as he originally saw it, regarding training and raising Pokémon. He sat in the living room of his house, deep in thought. The line of his sight was directly upon a particular framed case on the wall, one of which belonging to his brother.
Only six Symbols…
"Paul, looks like you got something," a friendly male voice spoke up, snapping the said young man from his trance.
"Huh?" Paul grunted.
He looked up to Reggie, who was smiling and holding an important-looking letter in one hand. Paul blinked a few times before standing up full height to meet him for his letter. Without any more exchanges of words, he took the letter from his older brother and tore it upon right there.
"It's from the Pokémon League," Reggie clarified. "I wonder what they want with you now."
Paul didn't respond. He was more intent with finding out what was being said in the envelope. He didn't even notice Reggie walking behind him to read alongside with him what the letter said. He was completely mesmerized by the message. A smile, only noticeable at a very close range, started to form on Paul's face while Reggie playfully ruffled his younger brother's thick hair.
"I guess congratulations are in order then, Paul. I guess you've certainly earned some solid recognition from the top dogs now."
"Right," Paul said with a brief nod. "If the message in this letter is as true as it claims to be, then two of the Trainers I want to fight and beat should be eligible as well."
"I don't doubt it. But Paul…"
Reggie looked away briefly. Paul fell into a somber mood quickly, catching on what his brother was going to say anyway. It was not necessarily a sensitive topic for them, though they could imagine it being for a certain group of Trainers, it felt rather strange to openly discuss it.
"It's been over a year now. He still hasn't been found yet. Who knows what could have happened to him? A lot can happen within just one year, you know."
Paul glanced out to the backyard window, where the rest of his Pokémon and more that Reggie had been taking care of now were at, either playing or relaxing. He felt a fiery passion burn within him, strong enough to pull him out of the momentary depression he was in from his recent loss. Much to Reggie's surprise, he smirked for the first time in days since coming home discouraged and frustrated.
"He can't stay in hiding forever," Paul said. "He'll come, as well as the other. And once both of them have gathered, I'll prove my power to the both of them once and for all."
Pallet Town, Kanto region
"Oh, goody, the mail's here," Delia said, watching the Pidgeot mail truck pull away from the front of her house.
Mimey, her Mr. Mime, continued to sweep up the floor behind her as she went to the mailbox to retrieve the various letters sticking out from the opening. Unbeknownst to her, something was flying a fair distance away from her residence, seemingly watching her movement as she sorted through the mail.
"Mime… Mime…" Mimey sang to itself as it continued to sweep away.
"It seems like there are the usual letters," Delia noted, thoroughly looking through each one. She started to frown slightly as she shuffled through them. "Hmm, I was hoping to see more of his letters in here. Really now, if he plans to stay out of sight from the world, the very least he could do is keep in touch with me. I am his mother, and it's my right to do so."
Delia managed to sort through all the letters, sighing in disappointment that there was not even a single written letter from her only son. She accepted the fact that he was an independent Pokémon Trainer, but with everything that has happened since the past year had started to take its toll on her motherly worry meter. It was only after bringing herself out of her worries that she noticed a special-looking envelope in the bottom of the pile.
"What's this?" Delia inquired, pulling it out from the rest of the letters.
"Pidgeo! Pidgeo… Toh!"
A loud screech echoed in the skies of Pallet Town. It immediately stole Delia's attention away from the peculiar letter that she was going to further examine. Looking towards the direction from where the screech came from, she glanced in the sky that something large was diving right towards her. She could not get a good visual on the creature as the sun was at its back. The creature's speed, along with the rays of the sun, had momentarily blinded her.
As on instinct, Delia immediately dove to the ground. She felt the wind whip around her as the creature flew over her at such a high speed. Taking a chance to see if it was gone, she opened her eyes and confirmed it as she watched it fly off west. Her fingers were feeling something missing.
"Hm?!" Delia gasped.
The special letter was gone. No doubt, the flying creature had stolen it from its swift swoop. Before she was about to act on her rising rage, she caught from the bottom corner of her eye a new letter on the ground lying a short distance before her feet. She didn't recognize it from being from the original pile from today's delivery. However, what she did recognize from the new letter as she picked it up was the familiar messy handwriting of someone she wanted to hear from.
At least he did remember to write…
Vermillion City, Kanto region
Within Vermillion City was the Headquarters for the Battle Frontier, built up upon the former construction site since seven years ago. It took long time for it to be built, with the needs of many resources and a lot of funding, but it was completed a while back. It was a place for the members of the Battle Frontier, the Frontier Brains of Kanto and Sinnoh, if necessary, to gather and discuss on future plans and propositions.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming on my behalf," Scott announced.
The seven Frontier Brains of Kanto were seated formally around a large round table, along with the five Frontier Brains from Sinnoh. They, having been employed by Scott for x amount of time now, were eager to hear out this special announcement. It was special enough to pull all of them from their posts, and special enough to pull the Sinnoh Frontier Brains into traveling to the Kanto region to hear out their boss.
"What do you have planned for us, Scott?" Brandon spoke up. "Is this to lure more powerful Trainers into challenging the Battle Frontier?" Scott merely smiled back at the stern Pyramid King.
"Something like that, old friend," Scott said, pulling out a peculiar looking envelope from his pocket.
"That's from the Pokémon League Committee!" Thorton declared upon first sight of the envelope. The seal had already been broken.
"What's this all about, Scott?" Greta demanded impatiently. The portly leader still kept a jovial smile despite of all the surprised looks he was getting.
"A little publicity would never hurt," Scott began. "After all, regarding anyone and everyone who has read this letter will know that time has come, for every evaluating decade…"
"The Champions League has begun."
As you have read by now, I'm also trying my hand a writing a Champion League story with the element of Ash missing from the world for a period of time. The prologue should have given you an idea of what's to take place. Anyway, I feel the need to explain a bit more on what I hope and plan to accomplish with this:
I watched the Decolora ending in Japanese on YouTube. It was a catchy tune and everything it showed, up to all major characters and rivals from the past started holding hands, appeared as though the series was to come to an end, at least that's what I thought.
One has to wonder what the Champion League for someone would be like. I know I read somewhere, in the anime, that one has to first win a League Conference to win the right to challenge the Elite Four of the region it was held in. It felt a bit restrictive to write around with, so I making this special addendum that this particular tournament happens every ten years. The Pokémon League keeps tabs on the strong Trainers that have competed and invite those that meet the high qualifications. And apparently, the Gym Leaders and the Frontier Brains are invited as well. I'll reveal more in future chapters. The ideas are in my head, albeit rather unorganized and not yet put on paper.
And, I'm starting out by following the footsteps of my brother. If you had not already checked my profile page, then it's time you knew that I'm legitimately related to the one and only… MisterP! So I'm pretty much borrowing some elements from stories I've read anonymously and following a little template he's given me for if ever I wanted to start an account here. But don't worry. I won't write anything that's he's already written. I'm making this as original as I can. Ex: I called it "Champions" instead of "Champion." ;P
I might as well join the bandwagon of "world-tournament-AbilityShipping" stories out there. It looked like a fine place to start, but would no doubt take up much commitment. I don't plan on using a lot of OCs. I think they're hard to keep track of. I pretty much am going to try to pull characters from the games and anime as much as I can and use them when appropriate. I promise I won't abandon this though, but my updates will be rather slow. And my future chapters, outside of battles, won't be as long as this prologue.
Well, it's time to measure how my writing skills are. Please review!