Chapter 76: Triple Battle Clash! VS Huntail, Gorebyss and Lanturn
Narration: The Grand Prix's final round has started and Carly finds herself cornered by Team Katana's Kizo.
"I'll finish you here, Superpower!" Kizo yelled.
Throh flexed its muscles to increase its power and its body became outlined in a light blue aura as a result. It then proceeded to leap up into the air as it dived down towards Pignite.
"Pignite, watch out!" Carly called out to the Fire Pig Pokémon who had managed to catch itself in the middle of its fall as it looked up to see its opponent diving down to unleash its attack. In response to its trainer's cry Pignite leaped out of the way as Kizo's Throh crashed into the ground, creating a notable crater as a result of its attack.
"Superpower, huh? You've got a pretty dangerous attack there." Carly noted while Throh rose up from the rubble and proceeded to stare down the green-haired girl's Pignite.
"I'm surprised that you managed to avoid that one. For a moment I truly believed that this battle was over." Kizo declared.
"Throh's devastating attack was avoided and now it seems that the battle has entered a stalemate! But I can already tell that this battle is reaching its final stages!" Iris declared while Carly and Kizo remained silent.
"Storm Throw, Brick Break, Double Team and Superpower. That's a pretty powerful combination of moves he has there, but its foundation is weak. Its attacks are straightforward with their intention being to overwhelm us, since Pignite's the opponent he must be overjoyed that I ended up using something other than a Ghost-type." Carly thought to herself while mulling over her opponent Pokémon's attack.
"Strange, she's refrained from using all of her moves despite the situation at hand. Is that last attack something she can't use, something she's refraining from using or something she just doesn't know how to use in this situation?" Kizo wondered to himself. "On top of that she hasn't used any special Fire-type attacks even though it would have been more advantageous compared to trying to match Throh blow for blow." he added along in confusion at the Fire Pig Pokémon's approach to the battle.
"Your heart must be in disarray from the absence of your companions, but you can't honestly think that's a good enough excuse to throw this battle do you?" the pale jam-haired man inquired to the green-haired lass.
"How considerate of you to be worried." Carly sarcastically muttered.
"My concerns lie in you failing to provide me a satisfactory challenge. That silverhead is formidable as much as it pains me to admit so, but if you call yourself Captain than you have to have value as an opponent as well. That is your duty as a captain, that's what I believe." Kizo announced. "Silverhead? Does he mean Kozu? It couldn't be, did he already battle against these guys before? What the heck were those guys doing whenever they wandered off?" Carly wondered to herself.
"Here we go, Throh use Brick Break!" Kizo then commanded as the Judo Pokémon's fist began to glow white while it rushed towards Carly's Pignite.
"Pignite, catch it!" Carly declared in retaliation as the Fire Pig Pokémon remained in place.
"Catch it? Don't be a fool, that mistake is going to cost you! Go, Throh!" the pale jam-haired man yelled as the Fighting-type seemed to strike its opponent. "W-What!?" Kizo exclaimed in disbelief as he looked on to see that Carly's Pignite had caught Throh's fist, much to the astonishment of the rest of Team Katana.
"You still have a free hand, Brick Break!" Kizo quickly yelled. "Pignite, Fire Punch!" Carly ordered in response.
"Fire Punch? Is she trying to intercept him before it can use Brick Break?" Amy wondered.
Pignite formed a fist in its free arm as the hand that it had used to capture Throh's fist was then ignited in flames, causing the Judo Pokémon to cry out in pain and fall back, in the process canceling its own attack.
"Awesome, she managed to use a feint to throw them off!" Vlad happily declared while Omi looked on in shock. "Get it together, Kizo!" Shari yelled. Before the pale jam-haired man and his Throh could react, Carly's Pignite had appeared before it, its fist being engulfed in red-yellow flames and it then proceeded to punch the Judo Pokémon in the gut. The Fighting-type was punched with such force that it eyes momentarily whited out as it then proceeded to hold its stomach in pain while it dropped to its knees.
"Incredible, after struggling to get a proper footing during the battle Pignite has floored Throh with a single Fire Punch! Have we reached the climax?" Iris commentated in awe.
"Throh is a naturally resilient Pokémon and yet Pignite managed to notably damage it, it goes without saying that it is quite well trained." Drayden noted.
"That's the way, don't let up!" Amy called out to the green-haired lass. "Has she already managed to overcome her mental restraints?" Tom wondered.
"That Throh took more damage than I expected it to." Carly admitted to herself in surprise before noticing an opening. "Pignite, now that it's vulnerable finish it with Focus Blast!" the Team Go! Co-Captain commanded. The Fire Pig Pokémon put its hands together over its head and formed a light blue ball of energy between them. "Kizo, get it together!" "Stop messing around!" Iwate and Iwaki respectively called out.
"Throh, hurry and use Storm Throw!" Kizo yelled with a mildly panicked tone.
Throh then proceeded to bear hug Carly's Pignite and it then proceeded to tightly squeeze its adversary before jumping high and finally lifting it up before fiercely slamming it into the ground.
"Pignite!" Carly called out. "You got ahead of yourself." Kizo smirked while wiping off a bead of sweat from his face. "Darn it, I messed it up again. I should have used that Focus Blast sooner or even used it to cushion Pignite's fall or even to block Throh's vision when it was trying to use its attack!" Carly internally cursed to herself in irritation at her continuingly sloppy performance while her Pignite rose up from the ground once more.
"That brat, did she give her Pignite a Focus Band? There's no way that it should be able to withstand so many of Kizo's Throh's attacks." Haku noted in irritation.
"Kizo, don't show that girl anymore mercy! Finish her!" Haku shouted to the pale jam-haired man.
"Master Haku?" Kizo uttered in surprise at his Captain's sudden command.
"Go, Throh!" Kizo then commanded as the Fighting-type rushed towards its opponent once more. "They're up to something, stay on guard Pignite!" Carly declared as her Pignite braced itself. "She's really prepared herself to take our next attack? That's good, now that they've prepared themselves for it they can't shift without leaving themselves vulnerable." Kizo thought to himself while Throh prepared a fist. "Superpower!" he then yelled. Throh's muscles began to bulge as it increased its power and its body became outlined in a light blue aura as a result.
"Superpower? Now? Pignite hurry up and block it!" Carly urgently called out while Pignite just barely put up its guard. The Judo Pokémon proceeded to tackle the Fire/Fighting-type, causing it to fall back into the ground.
"Oh no, Pignite!" Vlad called out in concern. "There wasn't any guarantee that he'd be able to finish it and yet he still went for Superpower?" Omi uttered, shocked at the pale jam-haired man's action. "Pignite wasn't even able to properly guard itself either." Amy noted in observance. "He took advantage of the current state of mind that Carly was in along with her indecisiveness to overwhelm her. But he must have something in mind to have taken such a gamble with a move like Superpower." Tom muttered while Kizo's Throh glowed blue, indicating that its attack and defense was lowered.
"Throh's attack and defense was lowered because of Superpower, if Pignite takes advantage of that it may be able to secure the win." D declared while the Commanders looked on at the battle.
"Assuming that it's still able to battle." B smugly smirked while A looked on in indifference as C sported an utterly bored expression.
"Pignite, are you okay?" Carly inquired to her partner who rose up from the rubble and nodded its head.
"Good, they got ahead of themselves and wasted their Superpower carelessly, now we can take advantage of that." the green-haired girl noted before looking on as Throh proceeded to take out a white leaf which it then consumed. As a result of its consumption of the herb it began to glow white briefly.
"Unfortunately, you can't take advantage of a weakness that isn't there." Kizo smirked.
"Certainly, to utilize such an item in conjunction with a move like Superpower is only natural but still to think that his Throh actually possessed a White Herb." Tom muttered in astonishment. "A White Herb? Hey, that's cheating! No held items!" Amy shouted in protest. "Actually there's no restriction in the rulebook so it's perfectly legal." Vlad accurately noted. "You're not helping!" Amy retorted.
"Even after using Superpower Trainer Kizo took precautions and equipped his Throh with a White Herb, the battle's basically back at square one now!" Iris declared.
"That damn Focus Band, how many more of Throh's attacks have to connect until that Pignite stays down?" Haku wondered in annoyance. "Luck really is on her side if her item is helping drag out the battle for this long." Iwaki declared, the entirety of the team having convinced themselves that the Fire Pig Pokémon was equipped with an item to prolong its longevity during the current battle.
"I keep letting every opening slip by without capitalizing. He hasn't left himself open to the same attack more than once and yet I still keep dropping my guard when it matters most!" Carly thought to herself while observing her opponent and his Pokémon. "I don't have something to do away with the side effects of Pignite's move the way he does so I can't waste our finishing move here. I'm sure there's still a way to get through with a decisive attack. Even if the circumstances have made things more complicated than they should have been this struggle should be expected. After all just because this is the first round doesn't change the fact that this is our final battle. That's right, this is our final battle…" the green-haired girl internally declared while her expression changed.
"The series has only started and yet these trainers have already fought such an intense battle! It can only be expected coming from trainers of our two finalist teams!" Iris declared while the crowd vigorously cheered.
"You know it really bugs me." an irritated Kim suddenly said.
"What does?" Dyllon inquired in response.
"The way they've been talking these guys up you'd think they were in a league of their own. But those guys are at best only about in the same league as our team and yet their team and those other guys are the ones getting all the credit and glory. I'm pretty sure none of the other battles had as long a series as ours did and yet we won't even get any credit for any of that." the pink-haired girl answered in annoyance.
"Results are the only thing that matters." Kyoya then declared to Kim, who looked over at him in response.
"No matter how strong a team, how far along any of those teams came along or how capable any of the competitors are individually, none of that matters. The fact this tournament was able to play out the way it did is what truly holds power. Everyone's been played like a fiddle from start to finish and the fact they were able to have their way in the end is the only result that matters." the dark blue-haired trainer stated while looking in the direction of where the Commanders were sitting. "I guess you're right." Kim muttered.
"Man, you guys sure sound bitter." Dyllon noted. "Shut up!" the duo said in union to the viridian-haired girl, much to her annoyance.
"This isn't looking good." Logan muttered to himself.
"Yeah, I know. If Carly keeps this up she's going to end up losing." Valen responded. "What? No, not that! I don't have any lines to use on Kagera. How will I ever redeem myself if I'm stuck without a proper line to say?" the blonde then inquired. "D-does that really matter?" Valen wondered. "Let's see. Are you a legendary because I wanna catch you! No, that one won't work." Logan muttered to himself while rambling on and trying to improvise a lame line.
"Is something the matter?" Kagera obliviously inquired to the duo. "Not like you'd know even if there was." Valen sighed in exasperation.
"If Accel Power can be spread to others than that means that the rest of our team have it too!? How long have you known about this?" Golen inquired to the Hunter.
"From the very beginning." Rayzoni declared in response.
"So from the beginning you intended to include them in all of this anyways." Kozu declared while glaring at the Hunter in disgust.
"No, so long as you two fulfilled the obligations of our alliance than I would have let them be. But such a thing can't be said for the Commanders or those who aspire to acquire all of the Accel Power." the dark cyan and red-haired individual stated. "Under the assumption that any of us were prematurely killed I suppose that the Commanders would have used your friends as backup power sources. Though whether they would have went out of their way to gift them with the Accel Power if they were to have not acquired it beforehand is something that I'm uncertain of, the extent of their plans and other unknown factors are still lost on me." Rayzoni informed the duo.
"Then how are we supposed to stop them? Even if one of us gets taken out there's still no guarantee that we'd be able to slow them down even a bit. It just keeps seeming more and more impossible no matter how we look at it!" Golen expressed in distress. "Like I already told you, this alliance is our means of turning the tide against those four. So long as you gain enough mastery over the Accel Power and experience fighting with it than there's a chance." Rayzoni declared.
"It would seem so. But I have no intention of battling with the Accel Power." Kozu then announced to Golen and Rayzoni's surprise.
"What are you saying, Kozu?" Golen inquired to his teammate.
"You bastard, what in the world are you thinking? You can't do a single thing how you are without using the Accel Power!" Rayzoni angrily declared to the cold silver-haired trainer.
"I'm already aware. How I am now I have no chance of matching the Commanders but you misheard me. I said I have no intention of using this power, if I need to gain mastery over it to overcome my current trials then so be it but I have no intention of using this power to battle. This accursed power that injured my own brother and caused such grief to those around me, how could I ever willingly use such a thing?" Kozu stated while the duo looked on in silence.
"Kozu." Golen sadly muttered.
"…The power that injured your brother? That makes it all the more necessary for you to make use of it." Rayzoni then announced after a momentary silence while Kozu looked on in bewilderment.
"The Commander's plot will surely come to fruition within the next few months. How we all are now there's no chance that we'd be able to surpass them." he then added along. "B-By that you mean there'd be no way for us to surpass them…without your special trump card that you were hiding all this time that'd turn the tide, right? *laughs*" Golen nervously asked while chuckling as Rayzoni simply glared at him. "I already told you how it was, how we all are now there's no possible chance for us to close the gap between us and the Commanders, at the very least not for the two of you." the Pokémon Hunter responded.
"With that in mind, how could you possibly survive against the Commanders without making use of the Accel Power?" Rayzoni then inquired.
"You won't even be able to match me let alone the Commanders and yet with such little time and even less resources to make use of you still think you'd be able to do anything!? What the hell kind of game are you playing at!?" Rayzoni yelled with an almost offended tone. "I guess that's why you want all the Accel Power so much to help your brother." Golen then smiled, shocking both Kozu and Rayzoni and with the uttering of that one simple statement managing to throw both of them off entirely.
"Your brother?" Kozu muttered to himself in surprise. "You just had to say something so unnecessary didn't you!?" Rayzoni angrily exclaimed at Golen.
"That's enough out of both of you, the training resumes!" the annoyed Pokémon Hunter declared while holding out a Pokéball.
"M-Maybe I shouldn't have said that…" Golen thought to himself while taking note of Rayzoni's irritation.
"Acquiring all of the Accel Power to assist his brother? I never put much thought into why he did everything he did but because of something like that?" Kozu wondered to himself while briefly pondering on about what he had learned while Rayzoni called out his Gyarados.
"Let's go, Cyndaquil!" Golen declared while calling out the Fire Mouse Pokémon. "Cynda!?" Cyndaquil exclaimed in astonishment at seeing Rayzoni's Gyarados.
"I know this didn't work out well for us last time but don't worry, this is only training...But be careful anyway!" Golen called out to the first stage Pokémon. "Rufflet!" Kozu declared while calling out the Eaglet Pokémon.
"Go Gyarados!" Rayzoni commanded as the Atrocious Pokémon let out a mighty forceful roar that almost blew the others away.
"It's only natural after all this time but it's even stronger than ever! Let's do this, Cyndaquil, Rufflet!" Golen called out to the two Pokémon as the training had gotten underway.
"Everything's moving forward. The Commanders are carrying out their plan, the Unova League is approaching and everyone's taking strides to progress with their goals. There's no space to make a single misstep moving forward and yet…what in the world am I doing?" the silver-haired trainer solemnly wondered to himself while looking on.
"Brick Break!" Carly and Kizo exclaimed in union.
The black part of Pignite's arms glowed white as both of Throh's arms glowed white and the two Fighting-types rushed at one another. They clashed as both Pokémon used one of their arms to block the other's attack while attempting to use their free arms to attack to no avail as they proceeded to catch their respective hands, in the process they managed to block one another's Brick Break entirely.
"Not bad, but you'll need more than that! Brick Break!" Kizo declared as Throh's arms glowed once more and it pushed Carly's Pignite back. The Judo Pokémon then rushed towards its opponent yet again. "Pignite use Brick Break to block!" Carly commanded while her Pignite prepared its attack. The two Fighting-types then proceeded to exchange a flurry of blows with one another with Pignite being mostly on the offensive, neither side being able to get a clean hit on the other while Kizo began to grin.
"That's right, this is it! I was right about you! This is what I've been waiting for, to battle a trainer like you!" the pale jam-haired man expressed in glee while their Pokémon clashed.
"That Kizo, he's actually enjoying himself out there." Iwaki noted. "He doesn't have the obvious edge right now and yet he's still happy, why?" a baffled Shari wondered while Haku silently looked on.
"Double Team!" Kizo then commanded as Pignite prepared to strike Throh.
In response the Judo Pokémon began to glow white as it proceeded to create various copies of itself and managed to narrowly avoid the attack as Pignite only destroyed one of its copies.
"Double Team again." Carly muttered while slightly clenching her teeth. "Don't stop at that!" Kizo called out as Throh proceeded to create even more copies of itself.
"Incredible, Trainer Kizo swarms the field with an army of Throh!" Iris exclaimed.
"Now Brick Break!" he then ordered as the arms of all of the Throh's proceeded to glow white and they charged at the lone Fire Pig Pokémon.
"She's in trouble if they attack with that many clones!" Omi exclaimed in concern as Pignite was then pummeled by various attacks, the large amount of clones successfully obscuring Kizo's Throh while Carly remained silent. "That Carly, what the heck is she doing!? Pignite can't keep taking that many hits!" Amy called out while Tom and Vlad looked on.
"Pignite!" the green-haired trainer called out as her Pignite let out a roar indicating that its fighting spirit had been ignited.
"Ready to fight now, fine by me. Here we go, Brick Break!" Kizo yelled while Throh rushed at Pignite once more. It then proceeded to strike Pignite in the gut with the Fire/Fighting-type then letting out a smirk.
"Fire Punch!" Carly then commanded as her Pignite then proceeded to backhand Kizo's Throh and send it reeling back in spite of its clones.
"Don't let that stop you, Storm Throw!" he then yelled as Throh bear hugged Pignite and proceeded to throw it. "Brick Break!" Carly called out while Pignite proceeded to smash its fists into the ground to stop its fall.
"What!?" Kizo exclaimed in astonishment.
"Pignite's started to counter each of Throh's moves, what in the world is happening!?" Iris wondered while Team Katana looked on in astonishment at the changing pace of the battle.
"Continue with the Double Team and repeatedly use Brick Break!" the pale jam-haired man commanded. Throh proceeded to attack Pignite vigorously but contrary to the earlier portions of their battle it was no longer able to land a decisive hit, each of its attempts being blocked or intercepted with any hits that did go through only barely making their mark.
"They can't see their opponent but after being hit so much Pignite's managed to get a hang of Throh's battling." Vlad stated in observation.
"But they've taken so many hits to finally reach this point. Pignite's health is draining from taking so many attacks and it's not like the opponent will let up if she goes about countering them the way she's doing. What the heck is she thinking? Is she still caught up thinking about Golen and the others?" Amy wondered. "No, at this very moment the only thing on her mind is the battle at hand. It was an arduous effort but she has managed to clear her mind of concerns and focus simply on the battle. She realized her own mistakes and yet in spite of their deterrence to her prior, she is currently making use of them to change the pace of the battle that was previously dictated entirely by them." Tom noted in awe at his companion's comeback while Throh attempted to strike Pignite to no avail as Pignite used Fire Punch to force Throh back.
"Trainer, speak your name. To have fought so well to reach this point, that in itself is worthy of respect." Kizo declared while asking for the young girl's name.
"I'm Carly, Team Go!'s Carly!" the young girl announced in response.
"Carly, I'll give you a defeat worthy of a trainer of your level. For the sake of Team Katana, I will defeat you! Superpower!" Kizo yelled while declaring what was certain to be their final move.
"I'll accept that challenge! Pignite use Focus Blast!" Carly ordered in response.
The two Pokémon rushed towards one another, Throh covered in its light blue aura while Pignite with an orb of energy in one of its hands. "Now crush it!" the green-haired girl suddenly yelled as the two Pokémon approached one another. The Fire Pig Pokémon then proceeded to crush its Focus Blast in its hand, causing the energy to disperse and create a flash that momentarily stopped Kizo's Throh in its tracks.
"Impossible!" Kizo exclaimed in disbelief.
"Now, Pignite use Flare Blitz!" Carly then commanded. The Fire Pig Pokémon leaped up into the air. Its body became surrounded in red-yellow flames that then burned even more brightly and transitioned into light blue flames. It then dived down and shot itself like a missile at its opponent.
"Throh, continue with the Superpower!" Kizo desperately shouted.
Throh then readied itself as the two Fighting-types proceeded to clash with one another. Their collision caused a bright blue pillar of flames to erupt into the sky as both sides attempted to overwhelm one another while everyone looked on.
"Go, Pignite!" Carly then yelled as her eyes momentarily blurred and a white aura surrounded her Pignite.
"Pignite!" the Fire Pig Pokémon let out a roar as it seemingly overwhelmed its opponents with an explosion then ensuing that engulfed the field in a large smoke cloud.
As the smoke cleared Kizo's Throh was shown lying on the ground but before anyone could utter a word, sparks of energy erupted from Carly's Pignite's body as it then let out a wail before falling on the ground, having been knocked unconscious by the recoil damage from its own attack.
"Pignite!" Carly called out in astonishment.
"Due to both Pokémon being unable to battle any further this battle is declared a tie!" the referee announced at the sight of the two Pokémon much to the surprise of the trainers from both teams.
"After all of that the first battle of the series has ended in a draw, what a shocking turn of events!" Iris declared while the crowd cheered.
"Carly that fool, if she didn't screw up so much early on that recoil damage wouldn't have knocked her Pignite out!" Kim exclaimed in annoyance at the result. "What was that out there? That slight sensation I felt." Kyoya muttered to himself, having gotten a strange feeling from the concluding moments of the battle. "What the hell are they hiding?" the dark blue-haired trainer internally wondered while the Commanders looked on.
"They managed a tie, huh." Nate noted in observation. "Knowing Carly though, she's likely to have taken this as a loss." Rosa declared in response.
"You did a good job, Pignite." Carly muttered while recalling her fallen starter.
"After all this, everything that was on the line and yet all I did was manage a tie. The Unova Circuit really will be a far off dream if I keep going at this pace." the green-haired girl muttered to herself while gazing at the Pokéball. "Throh, a job well done." Kizo stated while recalling the fallen Judo Pokémon.
"Not just the silverhead but even that Captain too? Just how impudent can a single team be?" Haku wondered in anger at the result.
"Carly, your battle out there was impressive. I fought to my fullest and yet you still managed to avoid defeat." Kizo declared while praising the green-haired girl. "T-thanks." Carly responded, not considering anything she had done a performance worthy of praise. "But forcing a tie with me is different from getting the lead in this series. The rest of Katana and Master Haku still await and he is undisputedly the strongest of Team Katana. Can the rest of your members manage against them?" the pale jam-haired man wondered in amusement.
"Hey, that's not fair! Pignite fell last and it was only because of its own recoil damage too so Carly should be the winner!" Amy called out in protest at the result.
"Ms. Amy please calm down. Unfortunately there isn't a way to deduce what caused the draw, whether Pignite fainted from the recoil of its Flare Blitz, whether the damage from Throh's Superpower was too much for it to handle in the end or whether it was a combination of both, there's no other result than a draw that we can accept now." Vlad stated to the red-haired woman. "Vlad is correct. In comparison to the draw during the prior battle between Golen and Kyoya, this battle was only the first in our series so there is not as much a necessity to ensure a victor." Tom added along.
"That's so cheap!" Amy retorted in annoyance.
"Carly battled and yet all she managed was a draw. This isn't good, even if Tom does get the win in the next round that means that I…" Omi nervously thought to himself while looking on in fear as the crowd was pump up because of the battle that had transpired.
"That was an intense contest! Not to dampen the mood after all the excitement from that battle but we'd like to take a brief intermission until the next round!" Iris declared.
"In the thirty minute timespan until the next battle I would like for you all to relax and enjoy yourselves until the continuation of the Grand Prix's final round. That will be all for now." Drayden added along.
"My apologies, Master Haku. Even though I insisted on making use of all of my strength I was unable to secure the first win." Kizo apologized while kneeling to the moss-haired man. "Kizo, your inability to secure the win was a disappointment to say the least. Throughout the entirety of this tournament we had yet to have been unable to acquire victory in even one of our battles and despite that our streak of perfection was ruined here." Haku declared while glaring at the depressed pale jam-haired trainer.
"But I hold nothing against you, your battle was enjoyable none the less. The only ones deserving of contempt are those fools from Team Go!." the Captain of Team Katana then announced.
"Thank you for your kindness, Master." Kizo bowed to the moss-haired man.
"I suppose it'll be up to the rest of us to settle the score." Iwaki smirked. "Those guys are still missing two of their members, they'll be desperate for their companions to return to them in time before the series resumes without question." Iwate added along while the team looked over at their opponents.
"Sorry everyone, I made such a big deal about fulfilling our own roles and yet I let my judgment get clouded and I couldn't even fix my mistake in time to get the win." Carly muttered while apologizing to her teammates. "Rest assured, you did the best that you could. To criticize you for mistakes that you are already aware of would be cruel." Tom smiled while comforting his companion.
"We might not have won but it's because of you that we were able to avoid falling behind!" Vlad added along while trying to cheer the green-haired girl up.
"If we were to blame anyone I guess it'd be Golen but that wouldn't be getting us anywhere." Amy declared while Omi remained silent.
"Speaking of Mr. Golen, do you think that he and Mr. Kozu will make it back in time before the break ends?" Vlad inquired to the others. "No way, if they were gonna show up they would have showed up back during the last battle." Amy said in response to the crimson-haired boy. "We should not discount those two so hastily, despite their current trials they are still dependable members of our team. We should have faith in them to assist us in our ordeal." Tom stated.
"I guess if all else fails that you can just throw your faith at the other team and hope for the best, right?" Amy sarcastically asked in response.
"You really think so!?" Vlad eagerly asked while missing the red-haired woman's obvious sarcasm.
"Tom's right. We should have faith that those two will show up but just because we should have faith doesn't mean that we should risk everything on whether they show up or not." Carly then stated to her teammates. "We should continue these battles under the assumption that we'll have to settle things ourselves. That's the only way for us to make it through this without handicapping ourselves." she added along, wanting to prevent the others from sharing her own experience.
"Certainly, regardless we will have to fight to our fullest. Omi, let us acquire victory in the battles to come!" Tom declared to the orange-haired kid. "Y-Yeah." Omi hesitantly responded.
"Omi, would you desire to partake in an extended colloquy during this intermission?" the former Gym Leader suddenly inquired. "
Collaki?" Omi muttered in confusion. "He means a conversation." Vlad informatively whispered. "Then why didn't he just say so?" Amy then wondered.
"N-No thanks." Omi hesitantly replied.
"I've got some things to do now that we have a break so I'll have to excuse myself." he then declared while running away much to Tom's disappointment. "This isn't working! At this rate I'm going to end up losing it!" the young boy thought to himself while frantically attempting to find solitude.
"Will he really be alright?" Tom solemnly wondered.
"Leave him. If you just try to force yourself and your ideas on him you'll end up making things even worse." Amy declared to the violet-haired individual. "You must be speaking from personal experience, huh." Carly muttered while checking her pockets for something. "You're damn right I am… What?" the red-haired woman replied in bewilderment.
"Mr. Golen, Mr. Kozu, are the two of you safe?" Vlad wondered in concern for his companions while looking out into the distance.
Elsewhere Rayzoni's Gyarados wildly shot out a stream of scalding hot water surrounded by steam from its mouth towards Golen's Cyndaquil and Kozu's Rufflet, who managed to avoid the powerful attack while the latter was covered in a crimson aura. In response the Pokémon Hunter proceeded to order the Atrocious Pokémon to use Aqua Tail, prompting its tail to be encased in a powerful spiral of water. It then swung its tail at the duo, who narrowly avoided its attacks once more on the command of their respective trainers, with the force of the Aqua Tail being so great that both trainers and their Pokémon still had to brace themselves regardless of the lack of contact from said move. Without delay he then proceeded to call out his Arcanine, which then shot out a powerful stream of red-orange flames as Golen and Kozu respectively brought out their Conkeldurr and Breloom while their training continued.
As this occurred the Dogma trio were shown flying in a jet, having long since departed from Opelucid City after their failed attack on Drayden.
The trio rode quietly before the silence was ended by a beeping sound that came from their communicators, this prompted Duke to then pick up the call.
"Attention all Dogma operatives, cease all activities and pursuits regarding Neo Phantom. All operatives are to stay on standby and return to H.Q until further notice." a voice declared as the announcement startled the Dogma trio.
"Stop pursuing Phantom? What the heck do they mean by that?" Zorua wondered. "We were trying to crush them and yet now all of sudden we have to stop, why now?" Nichole added along, being just as perplexed as the Tricky Fox Pokémon. "The stand-in leader must have some reason to have made such a decision so abruptly, it could be that it's been decided to suspend our conflict to acquire further resources for the time being." Duke suggested to his companions.
"What just to fight a crummy organization like Phantom, no way!" Nichole protested. "Are you trying to say that we can't stop them how we are now, you punk!" Zorua shifted back into its human form and jumped to the front row where Duke and Nichole were seated and started grabbing the ruby-haired man's collar before shaking him.
"Would you grow up?" Duke exclaimed while being shook by the transformed Dark-type. "Hey, watch it! Do you want me to crash this jet?" Nichole yelled while elbowing Zorua and trying to maintain the jet's balance.
"You should listen to Nicky, you know how much of a klutz she is when it comes to her piloting." Duke muttered with a deadpan expression. "Good point. Does she even have a license?" Zorua wondered.
"Shut up!" Nichole retorted in annoyance while Duke pushed Zorua away and adjusted his collar.
"Anyways it's not like that's the only possibility. They could have discovered crucial information and are taking precautions to adjust or even decided to settle things after the current tournaments ends. For all we know maybe Master is the one who ordered this. Trying to guess what the reason behind their decision would be a waste of time." the ruby-haired operative declared.
"Then why did you try to guess?" Nichole wondered to herself while focusing on piloting.
"But it's fortunate for us, our business in Opelucid is finished and we should be approaching headquarters in a while. Maybe then we can get some answers." Duke declared.
"Master, where are you?" Zorua wondered while reverting back into its original form and sitting down in the back while the trio continued on their way.
"I can't do this!" Omi yelled while crouching down in a corridor while his Fraxure looked on.
"It's the finals, Golen and Kozu are missing and because of that one of me or Tom are gonna have to battle next. It's all so clear and yet my thoughts are all jumbled! The clearer things get and the closer we are to having to act, the more and more I feel like I'm going to lose it!" the short orange-haired boy stressfully expressed while the Axe Jaw Pokémon remained silent, continuing to look over its trainer's turmoil.
"Fraxure, what am I supposed to do? Even if things are a little different from how they used to be you were always there back when I was starting out. You haven't stuck around outside your Pokéball like you did before but you have to have something in mind even now, right? Please tell me." he desperately pleaded to the Dragon-type.
"Fraxure, frax." Fraxure muttered while placing its hand on its trainer's shoulder. The Axe Jaw Pokémon the proceeded to press its own Pokéball and return itself back into it, much to Omi's astonishment.
"Fraxure! Darn it!" he cursed, unable to comprehend what his Fraxure was attempting to tell him with its actions.
"So this is our private booth, huh." Velia noted as back at the stadium she and her fellow Gym Leaders were shown to have finally made it to their seats.
"It's pretty cramped." Camil noted while looking around. "It isn't a luxurious space by any means but we will have to make due. At the very least our seniors will have their own space to observe today's festivities." Casey noted as the former Gym Leaders were shown in their own private box.
"It's pretty crazy to think that the Grand Prix is finally finishing. It feels like it went on for an eternity with everything that was going on. It's almost like a dream." Caroline stated while taking a seat.
"Yet even with everything that went on the Humilau Gym Leader managed to miss out on everything. They must have went on one heck of an expedition." Camil noted.
"It can't be helped. To my knowledge Benson and Mr. Marlon got caught up while exploring ruins in the Hoenn region after a small incident occurred a few weeks back." Turner declared to the Nimbasa Gym Leader.
"Well I guess with everything resolving it doesn't really matter much anymore." Camil responded while taking a seat next to the red brown-haired girl. "Ugh, why are you sitting here?" Caroline inquired in annoyance. "Sorry, I couldn't see you there." Camil mockingly retorted while the duo exchanged glares. "Those matches better start up again soon." Caroline muttered while turning away.
"He's not with the rest of his team. Is he going to be alright?" the young Gym Leader wondered to herself in concern while thinking about Kozu.
"Hmm, I give up. Vlad why are you guys' uniforms different from Carly's?" Amy asked to the crimson-haired boy while Tom discreetly posed in the background.
Vlad was shown to be wearing a white jacket with gold trimmings throughout with two identical black circles on the left side of his chest and on his back, barring their coloring they had the same Go! symbol that both Golen and Carly's uniforms possessed with the letters being yellow rather than white. While the rest of his outfit remained relatively unchanged compared to the usual, the young lad also wore a black Team Go! armband with the team's name written in gold. Tom on the other hand wore a slightly more extravagant jacket with identical coloring and symbol placement to Vlad's. He also sported a black dress shirt to complement the white and gold colors of his jacket and go with the black Team Go! armband that he sported.
"That's easy, Mr. Golen and Ms. Carly are the captains so I figured that I'd give them their own matching outfits while the rest of us had our own matching colors." Vlad stated to the red-haired woman.
"I see, but you totally could have milked it a lot more. You could have added more color variations and even made summer and spring variations if you wanted to catch people's attention more." Amy declared while Tom continued posing in the background, failing to catch her attention. "But it's winter." Vlad mumbled. "Exactly, they'd never see it coming!" she retorted. "I see now, that certainly would increase sales. I wanted these outfits to be for our team alone but I guess that was thinking too small!" Vlad declared while nodding and taking notes.
"When it comes to big competitions like this you should always have this motto in mind, 'Everything in the name of money.'" Amy announced.
"Hey, stop feeding Vlad all of this stuff. You'll just leave a bad impression on him. Let him figure this stuff out himself." Carly stated. "Like the rich girl should be talking." Amy replied. "Right, right." Carly sighed before walking away while Tom approached Amy and Vlad.
"Amy, do my current aesthetics appeal to you? Have you taken notice of my progress?" the violet-haired lad inquired. "What am I supposed to notice? You're just as Tom-ish as ever." Amy stated in response.
"Just as…Tom-ish?" Tom reiterated in horror.
"Isn't that great!? That means that you're on a completely different level of coolness compared to your usual kind!" Vlad naively declared to the former Gym Leader. "Such kindness, is she an angel!?" Tom wondered in an over the top manner.
"What, did Tom get tips from Logan?" Carly wondered from a distance in response to her companion's buffoonery. "No, I wrote them all down here." Vlad abruptly replied while pulling out a notepad.
"I didn't mean it literally." the baffled green-haired girl stated.
"Why's everyone being so carefree? Don't they remember that we have a tournament to win?" she wondered to herself. "It isn't like we have all the time in the world until the next match starts." the young trainer added along while looking into the distance, wondering whether their missing companions would arrive in time or not.
After some time had passed the intermission until the next match had almost reached its end as the members of Katana were shown discussing something amongst themselves while standing on the outskirts of the battlefield, surely in regards to the course of action to take moving forward.
While this occurred Omi was shown to have regrouped with the other members of Team Go!, who were shown to be backstage.
"Omi, where were you? The break's almost over." Carly stated to the orange-haired boy. "Sorry, I got caught up." Omi muttered with a half-hearted tone.
"Katana is up to something, we'll all need to stay on alert to make sure we don't get caught off-guard." the green-haired captain stated to the others. "Knowing Team Katana, they will be certain to desire compensation after their inability in acquiring victory in the prior round. Stopping at nothing short of an absolute victory, that is their modus operandi." Tom added along as the members all looked back and were astonished to see the arrival of a notably exhausted Kozu.
"Mr. Kozu!" Vlad shouted in surprise at the silver-haired trainer's sudden arrival.
"Where were you? And what's up with those injuries?!" the crimson-haired lad exclaimed in concern after noting the tears and scratches that covered the young trainer.
"It's nothing, things just got a little complicated while I was training." Kozu replied.
"Complicated? What's that supposed to mean and where's Golen?" Carly queried in response while the silver-haired boy remained silent. "The two of us were training together in an attempt to be in well enough shape for today's battles. While we trained we were attacked by powerful opponents." he declared while giving half-truths to the others, having no desire to delve into the specifics of what had occurred during their absence along with the duo's alliance with Rayzoni.
"Say what!? Wait then does that mean that Golen…" "He's fine." Kozu declared while interrupting the concerned Amy.
"We managed to mostly gain control of the situation. Golen realized that we were running late and he told me to go ahead to help all of you in the final round battles. He stayed behind to make sure that the situation wouldn't spiral out of control and that nothing would follow us back to the stadium." he then said while somewhat relieving the concerns of his teammates.
"How's the current situation?" he then inquired while trying to divert the attention away from Golen's current situation. "Well Ms. Carly battled hard in the first round but we only managed to force a tie in the end. We're still in the middle of an intermission until the second round but it should be finishing up pretty soon." Vlad stated while relaying the current status to his teammate.
"A tie, huh. Sorry, I can't help but feel like we're responsible for this." Kozu said while apologizing to Carly for his and Golen's absence.
"Don't worry about it, what's passed is passed. We should focus on what we're going to do moving forward. You were late but with you here now we may be able to form a solid plan moving forward." Carly announced. "Right." Kozu muttered while slightly nodding his head as Omi remained silent. "Alright, I'm sure Katana has a trick up their sleeves so that's why…" "Everyone, our brief intermission has almost concluded. To make sure that we can start the upcoming round as quickly as possible we'll need the members from both competing teams to return to the arena." Iris announced on the loudspeaker.
"What, already?!" Carly exclaimed in dismay. "What the heck's up with their timing!?" Amy wondered in annoyance. "How unfortunate but regardless, we must make haste!" Tom declared while everyone departed.
"Mr. Kozu, here. I made you a uniform to wear for the final battle and with how messed up your clothes are after that training I guess it's pretty handy that I had this with me." Vlad declared while handing the silver-haired trainer a change of clothes. "Thank you." Kozu said while gazing at the uniform.
"We don't have much time so unfortunately we won't be able to get your wounds tended to properly." Vlad apologized while handing him a first aid kit.
"It's fine, I'll be there in a moment." the silver-haired trainer responded while Vlad departed.
Kozu then looked forward and saw Omi silently look back at him from afar. The two adopted siblings silently exchanged gazes as the orange-haired boy then left with Vlad as Kozu looked onward before staring at his injured hands.
"We really caused a lot of trouble, huh." Kozu thought to himself while thinking back to his departure from Rayzoni's training.
"What's wrong? Is that all you can do?" Rayzoni inquired to the duo, who were both panting in exhaustion.
"This is crazy, how are we supposed to know whether we're actually progressing or not when he's just slapping us around?" Golen wondered. "Regardless our current performances are worlds apart in comparison to our initial battles against him." Kozu noted while looking over at Rayzoni's Gyarados and Arcanine. "I-I guess." Golen replied, that thought having not crossed his mind until then. "It goes without saying that all of our abilities have drastically improved in the months that have passed and yet each of us are still hopelessly outclassed against our enemies. It isn't a recent discovery yet the weight of the trials that are to come are all the more apparent after all of this." the silver-haired trainer thought to himself.
"I've fulfilled my obligations here so I'll be withdrawing from the training." Kozu then announced. "I expected as much." Rayzoni nonchalantly stated.
"Will you be alright continuing this training on your own?" the silverhead inquired to his captain.
"Sure. If you're there with the others than I'm sure that things will go a lot more smoothly over at the Grand Prix. So if that's the case I'll just endure things here and meet up with you all later." Golen declared as Kozu nodded and recalled his Rufflet and Breloom.
"Use the experiences here and do away with those ridiculous notions of yours. You'll have no choice but to use the Accel Power if you want to fight on any sort of even footing with the enemy." Rayzoni declared.
"I suppose so." Kozu thought while contemplating something.
"Pokémon Hunter, I have one last question before my departure." he then announced while Golen looked on.
"Do you genuinely believe that this alliance will be able to overcome the Commanders?" the silver-haired inquired to the hunter. "Relying on their diminished abilities and mere adversity to overcome the differences in strength between our groups, are you really that optimistic or are you simply sending us all to our deaths?" he then added along.
"You're free to think what you want. I wouldn't waste time on a hopeless alliance but you're both still only novices in the world and to the concept of Accel Power so you can't properly visualize what lies ahead." Rayzoni responded.
"This energy and these abilities as a whole aren't confined simply to physical prowess. Your mental fortitude, your conviction, your vision and your force of will, the culmination of it all is power. If your mind is still too weak than no amount of strength will allow you to acquire that power. Accept that weakness and the uncertainties of the battles to come and use your experiences here to prepare yourselves." the dark cyan and red-haired trainer declared while Kozu and Golen looked on.
"In other words, so long as we do it your way than we have a chance, huh?" Kozu thought to himself as he left to get changed.
Elsewhere the members of Team Go! and Team Katana had gathered back at the arena, anticipating the start of the next round.
"They're still missing members." Caroline noted while observing the remaining trainers from Team Go!.
"Looks like those other guys really won't be showing up." Shari noted to Haku. "Pity, I wanted to at least get back at the silverhead-bastard but it can't be helped. We'll proceed as planned." the moss-haired man announced to his teammates. "Right!" the Katana members obediently declared in union. "You're scrambling to make up for your incompetent companions, dreading what's to come, right? Rest easy, your farce of a struggle will be over soon, Team Go!." Haku thought to himself while smirking as he observed Carly and the others.
"Alright, the intermission has come to an end and now we'll be proceeding with the second battle in the series between Team Go! and Team Katana!" Iris declared as the crowd cheered.
"We would like for both teams to choose their participants for this next battle." Drayden then added along.
"If it's a one-on-one than we should leave it to Sensei!" Vlad declared while suggesting for Tom to participate. "You've actually been pretty on point during the tournament so you might actually have a chance here, Tom." Amy declared while agreeing with Vlad. "How could I refuse with your words of encouragement?" Tom wondered in joy at the duo's faith in him.
"Omi, are you fine with letting Tom battle here?" Carly inquired while looking over to the orange-haired boy.
"If he wants it so badly than let him have it." Omi replied.
"Well then Tom it looks like you're…" "Please wait a moment." Haku suddenly declared while grabbing a microphone.
"Not to impose but given the occasion I feel that it would be anticlimactic to rest the outcome of today's battle simply on a series of one-on-one battles. Up until now the Grand Prix has been filled to the brim with such battles and even if only for this current battle I would like to suggest we deviated from that format and instead made the upcoming battle a Tag Battle." the Sinnoh native announced to the surprise of the crowd.
"That Team Katana, they've made it a habit until now to shift the formatting of the battles during the tournament to their favor." Chili noted as the former Gym Leaders were shown observing the events that were transpiring in their own private booth. "It was bound to happen sooner or later but if they're doing so now than it must be because their perfect streak of victories was broken." Cress stated.
"What a deceptive taste, ripe with ulterior motives. But I wonder, will it really work out so well?" Cilan said with mild amusement.
"A Tag Battle, what do you think?" Iris asked to the Spartan Mayor.
"I have no objection to their proposition. But according to the rulings of the Grand Prix a shift in the format is to be agreed upon by the hosts and the participating teams before being put into action." Drayden announced. "There you have it, as your hosts we agree with Trainer Haku's suggestion but it will be up to Team Go! to respond before we are to come to a decision." Iris announced.
"Hah, you've gotta be kidding! No one would be stupid enough to actually accept something like this when those stuck-up rich guys obviously have something planned!" Amy declared while Vlad gasped in excitement and hopefully looked towards the entrance, obviously expecting Golen to burst in and accept the proposition, to no avail.
"I'm sorry, but we have no intention of accepting that request. If we're to settle things than it'll be one-on-one." Carly responded after having gotten a microphone of her own.
"What? BOOO! TAG BATTLE, TAG BATTLE, TAG BATTLE!" B obnoxiously chanted, which in turn prompted various members of the audience to join along with the chants that then proceeded to echo throughout the stadium.
"What's with the sudden shift in the audience?" Amy wondered with a baffled expression as the chants loudly continued.
"Don't be a bunch of idiots, there's no point in a Tag Battle!" the redhead then yelled while snatching the mic from Carly only to be answered by a chorus of boos as the Tag Battle chants then resumed while Haku smugly smirked and Emma shook her head in embarrassment while watching her granddaughter get booed on television.
"It's obvious who the one behind this stupidity was." Kyoya muttered in annoyance as the other Cyclone members looked over to see Logan also contributing to the Tag Battle chants.
"Sorry, it's just really catchy." the blonde nervously chuckled.
"Worked like a charm." B declared while snapping his fingers. "I should have known that the sheep would be able to get the rest of the herd to follow suit." C indifferently stated to his twin brother's annoyance.
"This isn't good, things are already hectic enough as is with the fact that we're still missing a teammate. Having to deal with audience while trying to get the lead over Katana isn't going to help us much during the battle. What should we do?" Carly wondered to herself.
"Carly." Tom suddenly called out to his companion, who looked over at him.
"Accept their request." the former Gym Leader announced to the green-haired girl's astonishment. "What are you saying, Tom!?" Omi shouted.
"Katana are a devious bunch, even so they are under the notion that they alone would benefit from a Tag Battle. Carly, both you and Golen have been the ones to shoulder the burden of leadership throughout our recent endeavors but just this once allow us to take responsibility." the violet-haired lad smiled while then looking over to the terrified Omi while Carly remained silent. The green-haired lass then proceeded to snatch back the microphone that Amy had previously taken from her.
"I'd like to retract my statement from earlier. We accept the challenge, this next battle will be a Tag Battle." Carly announced to the amusement of Haku and the rest of Team Katana.
"Idiot, why are you following their pace!?" Kim shouted as Emma, Professor Juniper, Bianca, Alder, Benga and the members of Team King and Blizzard were shown looking on.
"There you have it, the second battle in the series between Go! and Katana will be a Tag Battle!" Iris announced as the crowd cheered.
"Omi, lend me your power. Let us combine our strengths and emerge victorious." Tom said while requesting for the orange-haired boy to battle alongside him. "But I…" the young boy was unable to give a proper response as Kozu had then appeared. The silver-haired trainer was shown to be wearing a white vest with gold trimmings, similar in style to his usual attire, which also sported two Go! symbols similar to the ones featured on the uniforms of the other teammates. He also wore a black Team Go! armband and had replaced his tattered undershirt with a formfitting 3/4 sleeve purple shirt.
"So he's here." Haku thought to himself as his eyes momentarily widened while he let out a grin.
"Can the participating trainers from both teams please step forward?" Drayden inquired. "Wait just a moment." Haku suddenly called out.
"Excuse the interruption once again and forgive me for these admittedly overbearing demands but given that both of our sides have the required amount of members, why not modify the rulings a bit more and treat the spectators to a six person Rotation Battle? It would make for a better show of unity and overall progress for each team compared to a mere Tag Battle." Haku suggested once more.
"Sure, you wanna run the tournament while you're at it too? Jeez, you make us go through all of that to get a Tag Battle and you still want to change the stipulation again? *sigh* Fine just make sure it's okay with the other team." Iris declared with notable signs of irritation at Haku's condescending attitude.
"*smirk* How about it? Rotation Battles did originate in your region after all. Beating you here in Unova on this grand a stage using the very type of battle that originated here, wouldn't that make for quite the spectacle?" the moss-haired man smugly asked to the silent green-haired lass.
"A Rotation Battle?" Kayla reiterated in bewilderment. "Just like the type of battle they had with us." Lora noted. "Looks like we really were nothing more than sacrificial lambs. Your battle with them was just their way of intimidating and warning Team Go! of their intentions for them here." Devin calmly declared to his teammates. "Darn them, that Team Katana." Han cursed while the other members of Team King anxiously looked on as Devin intently glared at Haku.
"I refuse." Carly bluntly declared in response.
"You've thrown your weight around the entire time, even here you're trying to have your way. With your track record up until now and the fact that you've reached the finals, it's only natural for you to do this but I'm not going to let that keep happening. Rotation Battles aren't the only type of battle that came from the Unova region, if we're going to change the type of battle we're having here again than it'll be a Triple Battle." Carly announced to Kozu's surprise.
"Very well. Is a Triple Battle fine?" Haku asked, barely phased by the announcement while turning over to Iris and Drayden.
"Fine, fine, just get on with it." Iris grumbled.
"I would like to request for the participating trainers for the upcoming battle to step forward." Drayden announced.
"Sorry, I got caught up out there. Are you guys fine having this Triple Battle?" Carly asked to her teammates.
"You speak as if withdrawing was still an option." Tom chuckled. "Omi, Kozu, what about the two of you?" he then inquired to the brothers. "What's the point of…" "I'll go." Kozu declared while Omi looked on.
"You almost seem eager to do this, you remember that you're still pretty beat up, right?" Amy stated to the silver-haired lad.
"There's something I have to see for my own eyes." Kozu responded. "Are you really that worried about Katana or is it something else?" Vlad queried while Kozu simply nodded his head without giving a straight answer.
"Tom, Kozu, Omi, we'll be counting on you three out there." Carly declared to the trio. "Don't let those rich snobs get their way!" Amy added along. "Katana may be tough but if it's you three than you'll be able to get the win no matter what, I'm sure of it!" Vlad expressed with the utmost faith in his companions.
"Rest assured, I stake my pride as a member of Team Go! on the line in this battle!" Tom declared while the trio left to the battlefield.
"He made it!" Caroline thought to herself in glee after spotting Kozu. "So that guy's actually-…!?" "Kozu's here!" C intently exclaimed while cutting off the bewildered B.
Elsewhere Rayzoni and Golen were shown to have recalled their Pokémon, seemingly indicating that their training had come to an end.
"I take it that you haven't told your Emolga of our alliance?" Rayzoni inquired to Golen's surprise. "O-Of course not, Emolga hates your guts after all. It'd just complicate things if I told it we were teaming up with you no matter what the reason was. If we can improve with your advice than it's better to just carry out the alliance and get done the things we would have needed to get done even without it and avoid any of that trouble." Golen replied while Rayzoni chuckled.
"I figured you wouldn't have it in you to actually tell it. But forget about that, how have you come along with your Accel Evolution?" the Pokémon Hunter then asked.
"Progress? We haven't used it once since… We just haven't used it in a while okay!?" Golen exclaimed while stopping himself from thinking back to the Mewtwo incident as Rayzoni suspiciously looked on, taking note to his momentary change in expression.
"Soaring Trainer doesn't know about it, does he? About Accel Evolution, or the fact that both your Emolga and my Salamence possess it, right?" Rayzoni asked.
"Why are you asking all of this so suddenly?" Golen wondered.
"Of course, he wouldn't know of it. He showed such apprehension towards just the basics of Accel Power that it would have been far too unlikely for him to possess the knowledge of an evolution derived from that energy and to have not attempted to acquire further information in regards to its nature. Given your response, I'm sure that you already know my actual intentions." the Hunter declared.
"You want to know what I know about Accel Evolution." Golen replied while Rayzoni glared at him, waiting for a response.
"Just because I got it before you doesn't mean I know any more about it than you do. Honestly you probably already know more than I do anyways." the goggles wearing boy stated.
"Answer this then. When you've experienced Accel Evolution, what were the requirements for Emolga to able to do so?" Rayzoni inquired. "Requirements? Well we've always only been able to do it when we were in a pinch." Golen noted. "A pinch? I see, in that regard it isn't all that different from abilities like Overgrow, Blaze and Torrent then. In my own experience, I deduced that I would have needed that very same condition to make use of our own Accel Evolution, but after uncovering the true requirement I realized that I was wrong." Rayzoni responded.
"So Accel Evolution has different requirements for each Pokémon?" Golen asked in shock.
"I wouldn't know, the evolutions themselves may be distinct but it may have been the way we went about acquiring them that caused a deviation." Rayzoni replied. "What do you mean? You were in a pinch just like we were back when you gained it." the black-haired boy noted. "Maybe so, but our proficiency with the Accel Power may have been the key factor." Rayzoni said while gazing at his bandaged hand.
"The two of you are at the brink of evolution, whether that evolution will help you or not will be up to you." he thought to himself while then looking over to Golen.
Back at the stadium, all the participating members stood by awaiting the start of the battle.
On one side stood Kozu, Tom and Omi while on the other side were Iwaki, Iwate and Shari, the representatives of Team Katana.
"Omi, for the time being dispel your concerns and lend us your strength." Tom declared to the orange-haired boy. "I already know! I already know…" Omi exclaimed before then becoming silent. "Focus." Kozu thought to himself while attempting to better compose himself.
"You sure you'll even be able to beat us? That's a pretty pathetic shape that you're in." Shari mockingly declared to Kozu, in observation of his injuries and bandages.
"If it's just to beat the three of you than it'll be plenty." Kozu coldly declared much to their contempt, he was seemingly attempting to intentionally provoke the opposing trainers.
"You'll regret that arrogance of yours." Iwate declared in irritation. "Don't think that things will work out as well for you as they did last time!" Iwaki added along to the confusion of Tom and Omi, neither of whom were privy to what the Sinnoh natives were referring to.
"This will be a Triple Battle abiding by the Tag Battle format, each trainer will be allowed to use one Pokémon each and the first side to take out all of the opposing team's Pokémon will be victorious. Let the battle, BEGIN!" the referee announced.
"Behold, Team Katana's immeasurable power! Show yourselves, our knights!" the trio declared while calling out their respective Pokémon.
Iwaki called out Huntail, Iwate brought out his Gorebyss and Shari called out a large, blue fish-like Pokémon with small, blue pectoral fins. It had a yellow "mask" over its red eyes. The lower half of its caudal fin was yellow and had jagged edges. A Y-shaped antenna with a teardrop-shaped orb on each tip sprouted from its back, this structure came from a modification of its dorsal fin.
"Huntail, Gorebyss and Lanturn, huh." Amy muttered in observation as Carly brought out her Pokédex.
Huntail, the Deep Sea Pokémon. One of the two evolved forms of Clamperl. It lives deep in the sea. With a tail shaped like a small fish, it attracts unsuspecting prey. Gorebyss, the South Sea Pokémon. One of the two evolved forms of Clamperl. It lives at the bottom of the sea. In the springtime, its pink body turns more vivid for some reason. Lanturn, the Light Pokémon. Lanturn's light can shine up from great depths. It is nicknamed "The Deep-Sea Star."
"They're using three Water-types. But why? All the guys on our team have to do is use Pokémon that have the advantage against Water-types and they'll be at a disadvantage." Carly said with a perplexed tone.
"They'll probably use coordinated attacks and teamwork to overcome any type disadvantage." Vlad declared. "Maybe. But if they use Combusken than even though it's weak to Water it'd probably be able to just dominate the opponents with its sheer destructive power, like in the last battle." Amy said in response while bringing up the battle with Cyclone while Emolga popped its head out of the backpack that Vlad had brought along.
"A trio of Water-types, how daring! How will Team Go! respond?" Iris wondered.
"Unfortunately, I have no Grass or Electric-type Pokémon to take advantage of your generosity. So forgive me for not playing along, appear my valiant champion!" Tom declared while calling out his Skitty.
"Those guys are obviously up to something, if I use Sawsbuck to try to get an advantage with Grass attacks or Fraxure to have resistance against their Water and Electric attacks I'd just leave myself open to get taken out by whatever Ice-type attacks they must be hiding." Omi thought while scrambling to decide on a member.
"G-Go!" Omi hastily yelled while throwing a Pokéball and calling out his Buizel.
"Is this some kind of joke? I'm sure you have more impressive Pokémon than those two." Shari declared while disregarding the first stage Pokémon. "To think we even gave you the chance to pick more adequate members." Iwate chuckled. "Well who's your last member?" Iwaki inquired while Kozu silently looked on.
"Kozu are you still uncertain of the member of your entourage to call upon?" Tom asked to the silver-haired trainer.
"Don't tell me…!" Omi muttered to himself, no doubt horrified at the prospect of Kozu once again calling upon his Combusken.
"Soar, Rufflet!" Kozu declared after an extended silence as he called out the battered Eaglet Pokémon much to C, Caroline and everyone else's astonishment.
"What kind of joke is this?" Haku asked himself in irritation. "What's with your Rufflet? It's not in any shape to battle here!" Omi called out to Kozu in response to seeing Rufflet's scratches.
"Focus on the opponents, not me. Listen, if I become a burden out there or an opening arises where you can defeat members of the other team than take it and strike me down to secure the victory." the silverhead coldly announced to the astonishment of his teammates. "W-What…" "The battle's already started, Aerial Ace!" Kozu quickly commanded while brushing off the orange-haired boy.
The Eaglet Pokémon flapped its wings once. As it did so it was encased in a clear aura as it began to move so fast it became a blur.
"Shock Wave!" Shari ordered while her Lanturn started gathering electricity in the orbs on its antennae. The orbs then started to cackle with electricity as it fired beams of yellow electricity with light purple sparks at the incoming Normal/Flying-type.
"Change your course!" Kozu called out as Rufflet evaded the beams of electricity that began to home in on it as it rapidly flew around.
"Don't be so reckless!" Omi yelled while attempting to take action before being stopped by Tom. "You know as well as I do that he is not the type of individual to act without a reason. Observe closely for the time being." Tom said to the orange-haired boy while Rufflet rushed towards Iwaki's Huntail with the Shock Wave following suit. Rufflet cringed slightly as it then flew over the Deep Sea Pokémon, causing the Shock Wave to strike it while Haku and the others looked on. Rufflet then flew towards Iwate's Gorebyss at an incredible speed.
"Ice Beam!" Iwate then exclaimed as the South Sea Pokémon quickly formed an orb of light blue energy in front of its pointed mouth.
It then fired a beam of light blue energy towards the incoming Eaglet Pokémon, who narrowly avoided the super-effective attack in spite of its proximity with its opponent at the time that it used its attack and fell back towards where Omi's Buizel and Tom's Skitty were.
"Trainer Kozu boldly attacked first but Team Katana's Pokémon have managed to emerge from that initial assault unscathed." Drayden noted as Huntail was revealed to have used Protect to avoid the stray Shock Wave that had previously approached it.
"I would presume that after that brief skirmish you must have come to some sort of conclusion in regards to the strategy of our adversaries. Well, what do you think?" Tom inquired to the silver-haired trainer to Omi's confusion. "It's just as it seems." Kozu declared in response.
"Your Lanturn's special ability is Volt Absorb." he then announced to his opponents.
"Are you sure about that?" Shari slyly asked while trying to play mind games with the silver-haired trainer.
"That nonsense won't work. You chose three Water-types in hopes that I'd challenge you with Combusken again but also had Lanturn among your team to counter any Electric-types that we could have used. With moves like Protect and Ice Beam you would have also been able to lessen the burden for your other members from mismatches. It's so simple, too simple even. If you want to have any sort of chance in this battle than you should drop the pretenses and fight seriously instead of wasting our time with more misdirection. The last battles you've had with our team should make it obvious that you can't have your way with the same tricks you used before." Kozu coldly announced.
"As expected of Go!, you really are one big pain. So much so that we're glad that you managed to make it here in time for this, silverhead." Iwate mockingly retorted.
"Your group is different from all the ones that we've faced up until this point. But the opposite is true as well, nothing you could have experienced in this tournament could have possibly prepared you for us." Shari added along. "Get ready. You'll be facing a completely different Team Katana compared to the one you've dealt with up until now. Ice Fang on Buizel!" Iwaki commanded. A blue glow formed inside of Huntail's mouth as a white mist started to seep out of its mouth and it rushed towards the Sea Weasel Pokémon.
"Use Bulk Up and grab it!" Omi commanded in response as his Buizel was surrounded in a crimson aura while bracing itself to catch its opponent.
"Gorebyss, Aqua Tail!" Iwate ordered while a stream of spiraling blue water surrounded his Gorebyss' tail.
"Skitty, intercept them with Wake-Up Slap!" Tom called out as the Kitten Pokémon dashed towards its opponent.
"Shift!" Iwaki and Iwate yelled in union. In response Huntail turned and rushed towards Tom's Skitty as Gorebyss jumped up and attacked Omi's Buizel instead, to the surprise of the Team Go! trainers.
"Block it!" Omi commanded as Buizel shielded itself with its arms in attempt to block the sudden attack only to lose its footing and get sent falling back anyways. Skitty in return attempted to strike Huntail with its tail to no avail as the Deep Sea Pokémon's attempts at landing a clean hit with Ice Fang met a similar result.
"I guess it's just you and me." Shari smugly smirked while looking at Kozu.
"Aerial Ace!" Kozu commanded in response as Rufflet rushed towards Lanturn once more.
"What's he doing? Aerial Ace didn't work before so he can't really be expecting a different outcome, can he?" Camil wondered while Caroline silently looked on.
"What a dimwitted command. It'll only end up the same as before, Shock Wave!" Shari ordered as the Light Pokémon once again attacked the incoming Normal/Flying-type. "Go forward." Kozu muttered as Rufflet was struck by the powerful Electric-type attack and proceeded to strike Shari's Lanturn in spite of that.
"Buizel are you alright?" Omi asked to the Sea Weasel Pokémon who nodded its head and rose up. "A stalemate, huh." the orange-haired boy muttered while observing the other Pokémon.
"How unfortunate. Despite our anticipation at partaking in a Tag Battle of some variety with Team Katana we failed to formulate a stratagem for this occasion." Tom said in amusement. "That's not something to be smiling at." Omi said in response. "This is only the start but you know they've got something in mind. If we don't put them down quickly we'll just regret it." he then added along.
"Will it really be that simple?" Kozu rhetorically wondered.
"Kozu, don't go ahead and rush in there without saying anything again! We should try to gang up on one member at a time and take them out like that instead of trying to turn this into three separate Single Battles." the orange-haired boy declared while attempting to formulate a plan. "How ruthless. On the chance that we could carry out that formation of yours, what is to stop our other opponents from disrupting us?" Tom then inquired while Kozu remained silent.
"Well, I don't really…" "I'll attack, Sky Drop." Kozu suddenly declared. "You'll what!?" Omi called out in shock while Rufflet rushed towards their opponents.
"There he goes." Haku thought to himself while a smirk formed on his face.
"Obscure their vision." Iwaki declared.
"Go, Gorebyss!" Iwate then commanded without haste as the South Sea Pokémon used Aqua Tail and proceeded to smash it against the surface to kick up debris in an attempt to blind its opponent.
"Avoid it!" Kozu ordered as his Rufflet swiftly maneuvered itself through the debris before noticing Iwaki's Huntail having leaped up towards it, cladded with the mist covered light blue fangs of energy from its Ice Fang attack. "Focus on Huntail!" the silver-haired trainer commanded before seeing the Deep Sea Pokémon get sent flying back from Tom's Skitty's Hyper Voice attack.
"You must be aware of the fact that you have more than one adversary to contend with, correct?" Tom inquired while Rufflet fell back.
"Thanks." Kozu offhandedly said while looking at his opponent's Pokémon once more.
"On Team Go!'s end Trainer Kozu repeatedly attempts to attack his opponents on his own while on Team Katana's end the team has managed to avoid extensive damage and overtly disadvantageous scenarios." Iris commentated. "The trainers are both cautious and eager as this battle progresses. They're aware that the factors at play make any missteps even more hazardous for their chances at attaining victory." Drayden added along.
"Jeez what are Tom and the little guy doing out there? They're pretty much just letting Kozu do all the work out there and what's Kozu doing attacking all on his own like that? Are they even trying to figure something out?" Amy wondered.
"Do you think we'll have to worry about a repeat of the Cyclone incident?" Vlad inquired to Carly. "It's too early to say. Anything could happen and even if I'm not sure why, this has a different feel to it compared to the last Tag Battle." the green-haired lass replied while observing the situation at hand. "I was thinking the same thing. Mr. Kozu, just what is he planning out there?" Vlad wondered in concern while Emolga looked on.
"What are you thinking out there? You're putting us at risk by acting up like that!" Omi yelled.
"You've already battled them before so you of all people should already know. They revealed their hand back at the Tower of Elites and even if they didn't reveal all of their tricks there's no way that they wouldn't have made some sort of change to their strategies since then. Being cautious and letting them get into our heads isn't going to get us anywhere." Kozu retorted to his younger brother. "And rushing head first in there is supposed to do better, right!?" Omi asked in response, showing notable irritation while Tom silently looked on.
"I haven't seen you do anything." Kozu declared while not once turning to face the others.
"FINE!" Omi exclaimed in response.
"Having a falling out, are we?" Iwate wondered while he and his teammates smugly looked on. "What are they doing out there?" Dayna wondered while watching her sons having a falling out in the middle of the battle.
"Buizel, let's do this!" Omi called out.
"Wait one moment, Omi! If you lose your concentration…" "Now you have a problem with one of us going solo?" Omi retorted while cutting off Tom's attempts at dissuading him.
"Buizel, Brick Break!" the orange-haired boy commanded as the Sea Weasel Pokémon rushed towards its opponents. Buizel's arms began to glow white as it attempted to strike the trio of opposing Water-types. "Dodge!" the Katana trio ordered in retaliation while their Pokémon avoided the attack.
"How vexing. Skitty, provide assistance with Wake-Up Slap!" Tom ordered as the Kitten Pokémon dashed to back-up its teammate.
Buizel attempted to strike its adversaries repeatedly to no avail as they maneuvered past each of its offensive measures. Buizel then swung at Lanturn, who dodged the attack, before looking up to see Gorebyss diving down at it with another Aqua Tail. Before the attack could connect though Tom's Skitty had managed to intercept Iwate's Gorebyss with a well-timed Wake-Up Slap. "Huntail, Skitty's wide open so use Ice Fang!" Iwaki ordered as her Huntail prepared to strike before noticing that it was unable to move due to Kozu's Rufflet having been revealed to have stepped on its tail.
"You can't get away now, Rock Tomb!" Kozu commanded.
Rufflet opened its beak as silver sparkles appeared in front of it. The sparkles then expanded, forming into a silver orb of energy. Finally, the glow faded out the orb, forming into a large gray boulder with a transparent silver glow and it then fired the boulder, pelting Huntail in the face with it and sending it reeling.
"Huntail!" Iwaki called out in astonishment.
"Lanturn don't let the silverhead get away with that, Shock Wave!" Shari exclaimed. Before the Light Pokémon could execute its attack though it was struck on the head with Buizel's Brick Break.
"That damn Buizel, go!" the flaxen-haired woman called out as her Lanturn managed to strike Omi's Buizel with a super-effective Shock Wave before the two Pokémon both went reeling back.
"Yes, they pushed them back!" Caroline expressed in glee. "It's still only a stalemate though." Turner noted in response. "The battle can only go on for so much longer until their Pokémon end up feeling the burden of having to fight with their current handicaps." Camil added along.
"Now that we have overcome that debacle we should move forward as a cohesive unit." Tom stated to the two brothers.
"You're the one who stopped me and let him do what he wanted and now you're lecturing us? How about you make up your mind already, Tom!" Omi yelled at the violet-haired lad, no doubt his prior insecurities having been the catalyst for his current rage. "Omi, please calm down. By battling amongst ourselves we will simply be playing into the hands of our adversaries." the former Gym Leader responded. "Then what are we supposed to do?" Omi then asked as his anger began to subside.
"Forgive my arrogance but for the sake of more orderly collaboration I would recommend, for this one instance, the adopting of the role of Captain for this battle." Tom then suggested.
"You're still on about that?" Omi then asked with a baffled look. "I suppose in a way but please just this once allow me to take this burden. It is the least I can do given the occasion." Tom smiled in response.
"...Fine, I'll do what I can to follow your lead. But are you sure we'll be able to manage?" the diminutive lad inquired to his teammate.
"Of course, just leave it…" "No, how things are it'll be pointless." Kozu cryptically muttered while looking on with a subtly distressed expression.
"Do you really want to win?" Kozu thought back to those words uttered by Rayzoni as a bead of sweat dropped from his temple, his eyes sporting a subdued light green glow that flickered while a sense of dread subtly began to bubble over deep down as elsewhere Golen was shown with an anxious expression while conversing with Rayzoni.
"If you're not gonna tell me how your Salamence evolves than you can at least show me, can't you?" Golen asked.
"That'd be pointless. Accel Evolving so close to an area likely teeming with people capable of sensing it would just tip off our enemies. Besides just because we're allies for the fight with our shared enemies doesn't mean that I have any obligation to share all of my secrets with you." the Hunter answered to Golen's disappointment.
"What are you hiding?" Rayzoni suddenly asked to the goggles wearing trainer. "W-What are you talking about?" Golen inquired while feigning ignorance.
"Your eyes, your expression, they're even more lifeless than they were in the past." the Hunter noted.
"Excuse me for being out of it, all of this stuff sure is a whole lot to have to take in especially when I should be over at the tournament helping my friends instead of having to take a crash course for Accel Power!" Golen retorted while Rayzoni turned away.
"I figured that I already had seen it for myself before." he declared to Golen's bewilderment.
"Your despair-filled face. When we met I pushed you to the brink of death and yet again during the Comet Tower incident. Two separate occasions and yet compared to how you are now your expression from back then is worlds apart." the dark cyan and red-haired lad stated. "The Commanders haven't taken anywhere near drastic enough actions to spur this and I doubt any random opponents could be capable enough to cause it either. There's something that happened that you're hiding." Rayzoni declared.
"Like you said there's no obligation to share our secrets with each other, we're still gonna end up having to fight each other after the Commanders are dealt with after all." Golen responded while trying to put an end to that particular subject. "You're right, but at the very least tell me this. Is it that you don't want to tell me about that secret of yours or is it that you can't say anything even if you wanted to?" Rayzoni inquired to Golen's astonishment, the words spoken shaking him to his core as the scene transitioned back to the Grand Prix stadium.
"Get it together!" Kozu thought to himself while the green glow faded from his eyes.
"From the battles with Ryou, Team King, Team Cyclone and my confrontation with Katana and the Hunter from the other day, after the battles progressed up to a certain point I ended up losing control of myself and allowed the Accel Power to take hold. From what the Pokémon Hunter said before, Combusken is the main cause of those anomalies within me. Maybe it's because of that contamination that I subconsciously relied on it more and more as the tournament progressed." Kozu thought to himself while looking on at his Rufflet.
"Sorry, Rufflet. I'm using you here as a reminder of the progress that I'm supposed to have made because of the alliance with Golen and the Hunter. If I hadn't used you, there's no telling what sort of temptation I would have lost myself to. Using you to battle against Katana and defeat them as quickly as possible before I can lose myself and before they can carry out a plan, if we can manage that than that means that we really have begun to grow. So why is it that I-I'm trembling?" the silver-haired trainer wondered to himself while looking at his subtly shaking hand. "Does that mean that what I'm doing now is wrong? If it is then what am I supposed to do?" he then wondered.
"Kill them." a voice uttered. "S-Shut up." Kozu muttered under his breath.
"Kozu!" Tom called out while placing his hand on Kozu's shoulder.
"Are you alright? Will you be able to battle alongside us?" the violet-haired trainer inquired. "Y-Yeah." Kozu replied while Omi silently looked on.
"The battle will start now." Kyoya announced.
"Now? What do you call the last few minutes?" Dyllon asked in response. "A joke. If you knew a thing or two about battling you'd realize that everything up until now was just a warm-up." Kim said in response. "Right?" she eagerly asked to the dark blue-haired trainer, obviously trying to suck up to him. "I guess." Kyoya replied without even looking at the pink-haired girl.
"Since it's a Triple Battle that must mean that it'd take them longer to really get into it compared to a one-on-one. You guys must be pretty skilled to be able to see that so easily." Kagera said while praising the two as Dyllon grumbled.
"Do you have any idea what they're talking about?" Valen asked to Logan. "Not a clue." Logan indifferently replied.
"Shouldn't they try to get serious now?" Kizo inquired to Haku.
"Why ruin the fun? The next phase will start soon enough but how things have progressed now they've done well in exposing the faults in that other team." Haku declared while casually observing with a smirk. "So does that mean that the plan will shift to take advantage of those faults?" the pale jam-haired man curiously asked. "Why bother, bending my plan to accommodate malleable faults would only slow those three down. Better to dominate them and let those scum fall apart on their own." the moss-haired trainer declared.
"Our current formation has been selected, let us commence! Go, Omi!" Tom announced.
"Right, Buizel charge forward with Brick Break!" the young boy commanded while his Buizel rushed at the opposition on its own.
"Buizel's going in alone?" Alicia asked in bewilderment. "That's too careless with Lanturn on the other side." Frida noted while she and the rest of Team Blizzard looked on.
"You stupid kid, like you'd even get close. Lanturn, Shock Wave!" Shari commanded as Lanturn attacked yet again. "We'll go now!" Kozu announced. "Right!" Tom replied as the silver-haired trainer commanded for his Rufflet to backup Omi's Buizel. "Their Pokémon are close range battlers, they can't do much without taking at least these kinds of risks." Iwaki noted. "It just makes it easier for us, Ice Beam!" Iwate commanded while Gorebyss launched an attack concurrently with Shari's Lanturn. Buizel struggled to avoid the electricity from the Shock Waves while maintaining its Brick Break as Rufflet then grabbed the Sea Weasel Pokémon by its shoulders and proceeded to lift it and guide it through the beams from both Shock Wave and Ice Beam, with the former attack chasing after them as Gorebyss fired more Ice Beams.
"Skitty, dissipate that Shock Wave by utilizing Hyper Voice!" Tom commanded as the Kitten Pokémon unleashed its attack and proceeded to successfully neutralize the tedious Electric-type attack.
Gorebyss fired yet another Ice Beam as Rufflet ceased its hold on Buizel, which caused the Water-type to plummet to the ground as both Pokémon avoided the Ice Beam. Buizel landed on the ground and it proceeded to attempt to chop Lanturn, who narrowly avoided the attack, before attempting to strike Gorebyss.
"Aqua Tail!" Iwate yelled as his Gorebyss proceeded to intercept the Brick Break.
"Huntail, Ice Fang!" Iwaki then yelled as her Huntail prepared its attack and appeared to leap towards the preoccupied Buizel only to instead turn around and block the surprise Wake-Up Slap that Tom's Skitty had attempted to capitalize with.
"Another stalemate. But what about Rufflet?" Dayna muttered before looking up and seeing Kozu's Rufflet flying above of the other Pokémon in the battle.
"Kozu, your idea to draw out the remaining moves and stratagems of Team Katana is most ideal. That is why…" "Aerial Ace!" Kozu commanded while cutting off Tom. The Eaglet Pokémon then dived down into the ground to attack as the other Pokémon narrowly avoided the reckless attack, which caused the ground to crack and rocks to protrude from the area where it landed.
"What are you doing?" Tom inquired.
"They were open. If we already know the objective to work towards than how we go about achieving it doesn't matter." Kozu announced while stepping forward, his vision blurring while observing his opponents.
"The two of you are doing fine enough on your own, if you keep up your combinations than you'll be able to make a breakthrough but for that you don't need me." he then added along. "What are you trying to say?" Omi asked. "Teamwork and combinations, I won't use any of that. I'll fight them myself." the silver-haired trainer announced to the glee of the opposing trainers while Tom and Omi speechlessly looked on.
"Does that mean you'll go all out to battle us, silverhead?" Iwate inquired while obviously goading Kozu.
"Don't take me for a fool, I won't go to such lengths to take on opponents who aren't using all of their strength. It would be nothing more than a disgrace to all of my opponents up until now." Kozu protested.
"How laughable. Your performance when you fought us before was far beyond whatever you showed when you fought in the earlier rounds and definitely far beyond today's pathetic display." Shari retorted. "The same is true for your battles in the PWT, from what we discovered your elimination was simply a result of a forfeit. For all of that talk of yours, I wonder, is it just that you haven't realized that the person who's been disgracing all of those battles up until now is none other than you?" Iwaki said as Kozu clutched his face while beginning to pant, despite what the trio had presumed their words had been almost entirely blocked out by the silver-haired trainer, whose senses wildly fluctuated.
"Shut your mouth. Enough talking, Rufflet end this!" Kozu aggressively yelled as his personality seemed to shift completely. "Hold on!" Omi called out while being restrained by Tom once more.
"Why is this happening?" Kozu internally wondered to himself while his Rufflet was covered in a dark aura as it rushed towards its opponents once more.
"You fool." C uttered under his breath while disdainfully looking on.
"Lanturn, Confuse Ray!" Shari ordered. Her Lanturn then fired a large multi-colored orb of energy from its antenna towards Kozu's blindly charging Rufflet. The orb then dispersed in six smaller orbs and surrounded themselves around the Eaglet Pokémon before dissolving into it, confusing it in the process.
"Rufflet!" Omi shouted in shock as the Normal/Flying-type groggily flew around before falling to the floor while its trainer helplessly looked on.
"Rufflet's been confused! After one too many solo charges Team Go! has allowed their opponents to get the edge against them!" Iris commentated. "What a useless eyesore." Kyoya muttered in disgust.
"You see, instead of stopping me all the time you should have stopped him instead! Now we're at even more of a disadvantage!" Omi exclaimed to Tom. "Forgive me. You and Kozu have two distinct states of mind so that is why…" "Why what? How are we different exactly!?" Omi asked in response while cutting off his teammate, the understanding that the trio had seemingly come too having fallen apart in almost an instant while Haku laughed in the background.
"Shari, Iwate, let's go. The strategy begins!" Iwaki announced while her teammates nodded their heads in agreement.
"Have you finally noticed?" Rayzoni asked as the scene transitioned back to the route that he and Golen were conversing. "Neither of you two have the experience or knowledge of this world to have been able to understand it until now. Before either of you realized it you were enlaced in a battle with a monster greater than any other foe." the Pokémon Hunter declared while Golen remained silent. "If the both of you understand it than surpass it! Once you do the real battle will begin!" he yelled.
"That day, everything that happened on that day every time I close my eyes those events just flash before me. All this time, so much has happened. We've fought so many enemies and worked together for so long, somewhere deep down did I use the Grand Prix as an excuse to run away from what was staring me in the face from the start?" Golen wondered to himself while falling to his knees as images of Mewtwo and a defeated Emolga repeatedly flashed through his head.
The scene transitioned back to the Grand Prix stadium with a fatigued Kozu groggily gazing at his opponents while Tom and Omi, along with their other companions, anxiously looked towards their ally.
"Rufflet get it together." Kozu weakly said to his confused Pokémon before wincing in pain. "Take your own advice. Seriously, as if things weren't complicated enough." Omi expressed in distress at the situation at hand.
"Could it be?" Tom thought to himself in horror after staring at Katana's trio of Water-types.
"Omi, Kozu, the both of you prepare yourselves! Their real objective is…." "That's right! Huntail, Gorebyss, Lanturn, transform the battlefield! Surf!" the Team Katana trio commanded in union as their Pokémon were respectively covered in blue auras. The close proximity between the trio of fully evolved Water-types caused sparks of blue electricity to cackle as a result of their auras and they created a gigantic wave of water.
"Skitty, assist Rufflet!" "B-Buizel, Brick Break!" Tom and Omi respectively commanded as the wave of water crashed into the ground and quickly engulfed the entire battlefield.
The platforms below the participating trainers of both teams, along with the referee's, were elevated to prevent anyone from getting caught up in the flood caused by the Surf.
"What happened to Rufflet and the others?" Caroline wondered.
Shortly afterwards Tom's Skitty emerged from the water while holding onto Kozu's Rufflet as Omi's Buizel proceeded to carry the two onto one of the large pieces of rubble created from Buizel's prior Brick Break.
"Nice timing, Omi. The severity of our disadvantageous situation has been decreased even if only moderately." Tom said while observing the sea-like battlefield, with nothing more to use as footing other than the rocks and rubble created from the previous collisions and attack.
"Taking advantage of Kozu's vulnerability to impair Rufflet and remove its ability to observe the submerged opponents from the sky. With this field of water that leaves Buizel as the only member on the other team capable of maneuvering properly." Dayna noted.
"Rich snobs, they've basically crippled two-thirds of the team and they haven't even knocked any of them out yet." Amy stated in annoyance. "Added along with that if Buizel, the only member capable of battling normally, separates itself from the others it'll leave itself open to be tripled teamed by the others." Vlad said with a concerned tone.
"Kozu, Tom, Omi. You're not going to let something like this stop you, are you?" Carly wondered to herself while observing the dire situation that her teammates had found themselves in.
"Watch closely, this is the power of the Grand Prix's strongest team!" Haku boastfully declared while Iwaki, Iwate and Shari confidently grinned.
"Is this, my loss? Will I really lose, again?" Kozu wondered to himself while blankly staring forward and thinking back to the critical words spoken by Rayzoni and Team Katana in regards to the degree of his utilized strength in battle. "That's absurd! I've always given it my all in battle. To fight a fair battle with the opponent and advance forward, that's what I need to keep doing until I can reach the end of my road of battle! I've embraced that adversity because it's what allows me to evolve!" he thought as the image of his own defeat at Rayzoni's hand flashed through his head. "But…that's not true. Ever since that battle, I've allowed myself to falter so easily. My defeats in the battles throughout the Grand Prix and my failures since then. My current weakness is because of the contamination of the Accel Power but that's not true either. I deluded myself into thinking my actions were honest and fair to avoid confronting the truth that lied in that self-created ignorance." the silver-haired trainer pondered as his blank expression softened while the scene transitioned to Golen and Rayzoni.
"Overcome it, Soaring Trainer, Ken! Defeat the most fearsome monster that lies in a trainer's heart and evolve." the Pokémon Hunter thought, the ignorance and mental blockades having been lifted as the two young trainers had both come to a realization.
"…I'm afraid." Golen and Kozu concurrently muttered to themselves, the weight removed because of the uttering of those simple words deeply effecting them and creating a sense of relief that neither had realized they had needed until that moment.
Narration: After Carly's tie in the first round, the team of Kozu, Tom and Omi have found themselves on the losing end of their Triple Battle with Team Katana. What awaits Team Go! as the twofold battle against their lingering trauma and cunning adversaries continues?
"W-what in the world is this!?" a Neo Phantom operative wondered in astonishment. "Someone contact our higher-ups!" another Phantom shouted as a few operatives were revealed to be looking at a corpse of one of their fallen, which was very obviously put on display to garner their attention. On the cloak of the corpse was shown to be a note from Team Dogma addressed to Neo Phantom's leader.
Major Events (2/10/14): Rayzoni confirms the fact that the Accel Power had been spread to the other members of Team Go!, the effects of which are unknowingly showcased during Carly's battle.
More information of the Accel Power is revealed, such as the differing conditions to acquire Accel Evolution, while Kozu also discovers the reasoning behind Rayzoni's goal in acquiring all of the power.
Carly's Pignite is revealed to have learned Flare Blitz, Tom's Skitty is revealed to have learned Wake-Up-Slap, Kozu's Rufflet is revealed to have learned Rock Tomb and Omi's Buizel is revealed to have learned Brick Break.
Carly continues her battle against Kizo, which ends in a tie.
The Dogma trio, along with other Team Dogma members, are called back to headquarters.
Benson, the current Humilau Gym Leader, and Marlon are revealed to have been caught up during their expedition due to prior events that transpired in Hoenn.
Kozu, Tom and Omi commence their Triple Battle against Iwaki, Iwate and Shari.
Team Dogma sends a mysterious notice to Neo Phantom.
Neo Phantom members
Zorua (Team Dogma)
Lanturn (Shari's, debut)