Mountain Resort

Chapter Fourteen – Mountain Resort

Maxie’s Golbat screeched, a piercing sound so violent that even the Magma Grunts started backing off slightly from the scene. Erik turned his head at the ruckus, the screech had snapped his mind back to reality.

He moved his left hand slowly over Blaze’s fur, towards his throat to feel for a pulse. His right hand shot towards his belt, picking up each of his remaining three Pokeballs and throwing them towards the Golbat in turn.

The flying creature’s wings were laced with white lines, where its veins absorbed the power of the meteorite. Ice was too weak to stand after being scorched by lava, slouching on the floor in front of Erik and ready to give his life to protect his trainer if need be. Leaf stood besides Ice, in her own protective stance.

As Erik saw Dancer stroll out to meet the Golbat, his left hand felt a pulse. Blaze’s heartbeat was slow, but present, he was alive! Erik felt a fresh wave of energy coursing through his body, enough to make him climb back to his feet and face down Maxie to conclude their battle. If he was going to go down, he’d go down fighting with his team.

“Still you resist us,” Maxie said, sounding half surprised and half amused as Dancer channelled her trainer’s anger, inhaling deep breaths and charging her electrical energy. “This is futile Erik, you’re trying to bring down the organisation you’ll eventually join.”

“Stop…Talking…” Erik struggled to push words through his anger, he couldn’t force the image of May’s distress or Blaze’s pain out of his thoughts. “Dancer…End…This.”

His Pikachu responded, sending out an almighty electrical blast which seemed to shake the very foundations of the volcano. The wave of energy hit the Golbat directly, but the meteor-charged Pokemon withstood the attack, flying rapidly towards Dancer and attempting to slam an alien strengthened wing into her.

Dancer skipped out of the way of the first attack, but before she knew it the Golbat had swooped back around, hitting her with another wing attack. She was launched into the air, towards the pit of lava, and went over the edge.

A desperate grab onto the ledge was all that saved her from dropping into the scorching liquid below, pulling herself back over with encouragement from Erik. Dancer looked resilient, at first she refused to even step foot into a battlefield, but now she acted as if she were born to fight. The Golbat however, remained relentless, opening his jaws so wide that all Dancer could see was the black pit of its mouth, poison dripping off its sharp fangs.

Dancer charged all her remaining energy, sending out one huge electrical blast directly down the Golbat’s throat, frying it from the inside. The bat-like creature didn’t stop its charge, the Pikachu moving out of the way with a deft pirouette as Maxie’s final Pokemon flew into the lava below. Erik was unsure whether it had already been killed before it landed into the pool of fire, or if the lava had landed the final blow.

Erik heard faint coughing and spluttering from behind him. Blaze was awake.

He held the Combusken in both arms and hugged him tightly, tears streaming down his face before getting caught in Blaze’s feathers.

“I thought I’d lost you, my friend,” he sobbed, clutching his Pokemon as if he never wanted to let go.

“You defeated me…” Maxie spoke in disbelief, as Erik caught the Magma grunts closing in from behind out of the corner of his eye. Dancer rejoined Leaf and Ice as they formed a mini-barrier around Erik and Blaze.

“Stop!” Maxie commanded. “Let him go, he’s too weak to confront us now. We’ll keep Archie and proceed with our plan.”

Maxie grabbed the meteorite off the floor, and walked up to the ledge before swinging his arm back as if to throw the rock into the lava. Before he could launch his arm forwards his PokeNav buzzed violently.

“Maxie,” a distorted voice called out from the device. “Make your way to Mt. Pyre with all haste. We’ve found what we were looking for, the meteorite is powerless compared to what we’ve discovered.”

“On my way,” he responded, as if he were talking to a higher authority, before turning to his goons. “To Mt. Pyre, release Archie, carrying him will only slow us down.” He put the meteorite back in his back pocket as he went to leave, Mylos releasing Archie and leading the grunts back towards the cable car station. Maxie followed shortly after.

“Dancer, what’re you doing?” Erik whispered to his Pikachu, who began following Maxie as if to attack him. Then she stopped, as she turned back around he noticed that Dancer had stolen the meteorite from Maxie’s back pocket, so skillfully the Magma boss hadn’t noticed.

“Nice one,” Archie’s gruff voice wandered over. “Although now they’ve found the orbs we have an even bigger problem. Catch you later.”

“Orbs? What do you mean?” Erik called after him, but the Aqua boss paid no heed to him, jogging off towards the cable cars in pursuit of Magma.

Despite being surprisingly light, the meteorite felt like it weighed a ton in Erik’s palm as he studied it whilst beginning his trek towards Jagged Pass. He had already considered using it to forcefully evolve his team, or to boost their strength, but he wasn’t sure of the risks of doing so.

The rock had fallen from space, as May had told him as they made their way towards Meteor Falls. “Many fragments of the meteors still containing power were found within the few months after the asteroid shower, some forcing evolution of certain Pokemon, or certain types. Others were even more powerful than that. They are all held by resourceful individuals or scientists now though, I hear Mr. Stone has a fair few.”

Erik didn’t know what to do with the space rock, so he decided to place it into one of the pockets of his backpack until later. He had other problems to worry about, like the problem that lay now in front of him.

Jagged Pass was a sharp descend, full of mud and dirt. The slopes downwards were steep and many a trainer could be seen practising along the route. Erik couldn’t afford a battle with his weakened team, so he looked for an alternative route down the slopes. There were many pathways through the pass that looked viable for him to travel along, but only two weren’t infested by trainers. Both, however, were thick with long grass and wild Pokemon. With his view overlooking the entire pass, he took the route that looked least treacherous.

Trudging through the long grass was exhausting, tentatively putting one foot in front of the other whilst making sure to avoid any wild Pokemon jumping out and attacking him was wearing Erik out. Leaf and Dancer walked alongside him, the only two Pokemon in his party still able to keep pace with him, although the latter was panting for breath with each step.

Suddenly, Erik felt himself falling to the floor, a sharp pain imprinting itself on his chest from the wild Spoink bouncing up and colliding with him. Leaf leapt to his defence, releasing sleep powder up into the air whilst Dancer tackled the Spoink to the ground, inhaling the fumes whilst doing so.

Erik lobbed a spare Pokeball at the aggressor, capturing the sleeping Pokemon whilst withdrawing Dancer into her Pokeball as she slept.

“Hello Bounce,” he said to the device, cracking a slight smile as he spoke. He added the Pokeball to his belt, meaning he now had five Pokemon in his party, with another to be withdrawn from storage once he had arrived in Lavaridge Town.

The descent had been difficult, Erik had been forced to slide down numerous muddy slopes and almost tripped on sharp rocks covered by the ash many times. The closer he got to the bottom, the further it seemed away, until the ash cleared and Lavaridge Town lay only a few steps away.

Erik broke into a run, almost a sprint, aiming directly at the Pokemon Centre at the town’s entrance. Throwing his Pokeballs down on the front counter he demanded his team be treated at once, informing the nurse at the desk that it was an emergency as his team were dead or dying. Whilst he sat in the waiting room he withdrew Fury from storage, using the facility at the Pokemon Centre to scan his wrist device against the machine, and input the option to withdraw a Pokeball from the storage. After a few minutes Fury’s ball popped out of the dispenser.

It had been a hectic day, and the mid-afternoon sun was hidden behind thick clouds as Erik left the Pokemon Centre with the freshly healed Ice, Blaze, Dancer and Leaf all by his side. A cool breeze hit him square in the face as the doors to the building slid shut behind him, allowing him to finally get a full look at Lavaridge Town.

Lavaridge was a relatively small and peacefull village, settled neatly into the side of Mt. Chimney. Few houses could be seen, the little that could appeared to be more like hotels than homes, with visitors to the town relaxing in two giant hot springs fuelled by the heat of the volcano, one for males and one for females. The hot springs were tucked into the mountainside, with lovely warm sand covering the village’s surface.

Erik could see why many would make the treacherous journey here, the town was more of a resort, seeming so quaint, relaxed and distant from the rest of the world. Visitors were able to come to the town in order for them escape their everyday problems along with the troubles of Hoenn.

“Everyone, say hello to our newest capture, Bounce,” Erik called to his team as he released the Spoink from its Pokeball. The newest team member bounced up and down delighted in front of her new friends, who all seemed to take her to heart straight away.

“And the sixth member of our new party,” Erik began, clutching Fury’s Pokeball in his hand before lobbing it into the air, the Zangoose appearing arms folded. Blaze and Ice sneered at the normal-typed Pokemon, who seemed uncaring. Leaf and Dancer also looked uneasy at Fury being a part of the team, but Erik knew they would accept him eventually.

He considered relaxing, taking a couple of days out from his adventure and instead spending them resting in the mountain resort. But with Maxie headed to Mt. Pyre, and the threat of trainers being banned from Hoenn completely looming ever larger, he knew a couple of days could be too much. The fourth gym beckoned.

Scorching heat choked Erik as he looked around Lavaridge Gym, the hot air reminding him of Mt. Chimney’s summit. The gym consisted of a single large room, the surface of which was made up of cobblestone, steam arising from the cracks in the cobbles. To the rear of the room lay a hill of solid rock, with ledges all over that needed climbing. The hill was flanked to either side by pools of lava, with a small moat wrapping its way around the front, a thin bridge of cobble the only way  across. A final check of the room led to Erik spotting two further hot springs, one on the left side of the room and the other on the right hand side.

“Welcome,” bellowed a lady who looked to be in her early twenties from atop the hill. “Flannery’s the name, the Heat Badge is the game. Here to play?” Her dark red hair tied up in a bun, Erik noticing that she was the only person in the room not covered in sweat. Her only wearing red shorts with a black short top probably aided that.

Her three minions all lined up underneath the hill, to which Flannery introduced them in order from left to right. First up was Cole, who had slightly darker skin than the other two, as well as being well built compared to the other two trainers’ more slim figures. Second in the line was Sadie, with blonde hair tied up in a bun, wearing the same red shorts as Flannery but this time with accompanying red t-shirt. Finally, Zane. The man with a baby face, shoulder length silver hair and slim but athletic figure stared directly at Erik with bulging green eyes. Each of the three were drenched in sweat.

“Who first,” Erik said, half-ignoring Flannery’s question.

“That would be me,” Cole replied in a deep monotonous voice. “Good luck against my Numel, moulded in the fires of Mt. Chimney itself.”

“I’ll take my chances,” Erik smirked, nodding to Fury who strolled out onto the battlefield, arms folded. Erik couldn’t tell whether his Zangoose was being moody or was just nonplussed by it all, he would soon find out it was the latter.

The Numel growled, focusing its energy and releasing a stream of lava which shot up from the cracks in the cobblestones. Fury stepped casually to one side before another stream hit him straight on, but the Zangoose didn’t so much as wince.

Fury leapt forward and began swiping relentlessly at the Numel, and before his foe had time to react, Erik’s Pokemon picked it up and hurled it across the room with impressive strength into the hot spring. The fire and ground type Pokemon was unable to survive in the water. Fury strolled past Erik and his team without so much as a backwards glance, before getting in the other hot spring and relaxing.

Cole sent out a Slugma next, Erik countering with Ice. The Mightyena immediately dug its fangs into its opponent, usually he would cling on and freeze his foe’s veins, but the glistening cold on his teeth instead seemed to melt on touch to a hissing noise. The Slugma took advantage and blasted fire at Ice as he was vulnerable, the Mightyena keeling back in pain before ramming into Cole’s creature. Slugma recovered, sending a wave of searing flame towards Ice who scampered to one side rapidly, dodging the flame before grabbing the Pokemon in his fangs and throwing it into the hot spring, copying Fury’s ploy.

“So that’s your tactic then, err.. whatever your name was!” Flannery shouted from the top of the hill, before ordering Zane. “He’s using those hot springs, go and cover them up!” her voice like a high pitched squeal as it made its way around the four rock walls.

The baby faced athlete left the building, whilst Erik and Cole continued their fight. The former sent Bounce into the fray for her first taste of battle, the latter a Koffing.

Erik’s Spoink made slight squeaking noises each time it touched the floor before bouncing back up into the air, looking innocent and harmless. Suddenly, she stopped moving, and focused her mind. The Koffing send out a blast of sludge, but Bounce had seemingly foreseen this, leaping out of the way before focusing her mind once more and scrambling her foe’s brain with a wave of psychic energy. The Koffing looked confused, floating aimlessly from side to side, before an electrical blast generated by the kinetic energy made from the Spoink’s constant bouncing fried what was left of the dimwitted creature.

“Not as innocent as you appear, are you Bounce?” Erik smiled at his Pokemon, the Spoink making a slightly louder squeak back at her trainer.

As Cole retreated back behind the moat, Zane returned with a couple of residents, carrying between them two large metal sheets which they used to cover up the hot springs. Erik’s attention was diverted onto Sadie, who walked nonchalantly despite soaked in sweat over the bridge and into the battle arena of rock and steam.

Sadie sent a Slugma into battle, with Erik wanting to turn back to Bounce before hearing a splash from the hot spring to his right. Fury was pushing back the metal cover, not allowing Zane or the villager to place the sheet and ruin his relaxation. Embroiled in the match of strength, Fury was equal in power to the two humans before Erik called over to his Pokemon.

“Fury, I have a Slugma for you to take this out on!” The Zangoose glared back at Erik, the momentary distraction causing the two humans to overpower him as Fury was sent back in the pool with a splash. The Zangoose leapt back out in a rage, storming up to the Slugma who sent up a burst of lava from underneath the cobblestone.

The lava crashed into Fury’s stomach who walked through the pain with gritted teeth, as if it were nothing. Erik could tell his Pokemon was weak, but the Zangoose showed no sign of it, rapidly swiping at the Slugma before picking it up by its neck and slamming it into the ground, then burying claws as sharp as knives into Sadie’s creature, defeating it.

Fury turned his gaze towards Zane, before strolling back towards the rest of Erik’s team, Dancer giving him a wide berth as she trotted up to face off against Sadie’s Meditite. Dancer performed a pirouette in front of Erik with a smile, her trainer smiling back before seeing his Pikachu enter into a state of fury.

The Meditite copied her precisely, performing a pirouette and smiling at Sadie. Dancer sent out a wave of electricity, paralysing her foe, then performed another pirouette to Erik’s shock.

“Wow.. I didn’t realise Dancer had that in her…” he whispered to himself as his Pikachu angrily moved over to the Meditite. Sadie’s Pokemon reacted through the paralysis to launch a fist covered in fire directly at Dancer’s cheek, connecting with aplomb and sending Erik’s fighter crashing into the solid stone ground.

“Bounce, take over,” he commanded his Spoink whilst recalling Dancer into her Pokeball.

Bounce emitted bright lights aimed directly at the Meditite which changed colour at a rapid pace, the ray of lights working effectively to confuse her opponent. The paralysed creature moved slowly in an attempt to launch another fiery punch, but the Spoink bounced up highly, landing directly behind her foe and shocked it with electricity, defeating it.

Sadie’s final Pokemon was a Koffing, Erik leaving Bounce out as she knew how to beat the poison-typed creature with ease, and she didn’t let him down as Zane crossed the bridge for the final fight before Erik would take on Flannery.

Another trainer, another Slugma. Fury looked emotionless as he faced his third opponent. Despite his Zangoose being injured, Erik found himself unable to stop him from entering the arena; Fury seemed to harbour a newfound hatred for Slugmas.

Fury moved with speed, cooly dodging two flame bursts before grabbing the slugma by its throat and lifting it into the air, the foe gasping for breath. Instead of throwing it back to the floor instantly, Fury held it in midair for a while before doing so this time and burying claws in it like he did before. The Zangoose was merciless and relentless.

Zane sent out a Kecleon next, Erik allowing Ice out to play. The Mightyena leapt onto the foe with icy fangs, before the Kecleon’s skin turned from green to white and covered in frost. Erik was stunned, he had never seen anything of the like before.

“You look confused, never fought a Kecleon before?” Zane goaded. “A Kecleon changes its type to match whatever just attacked it, in this case, an ice fang.”

“Fool,” Erik thought to himself, “he’s just revealed its secret.”

Erik withdrew Ice, and sent in Blaze. The Kecleon seemed to be struggling with the heat of the Combusken’s fire attacks, its skin almost melting. Blaze finished the process, melting the Kecleon down with bursts of flame. Zane was defeated.

“You’re surprisingly strong for a kid, you hardly broke sweat taking down my disciples,” Flannery commented as Erik reentered the gym after healing his team at the Pokemon Centre.

“Wait a second,” Erik paused as he strode up to the edge of the arena. “You don’t know who I am?”

“No clue,” Flannery replied from the top of the hill, before jumping down off the top with surprising ease, landing in a crouched position on the floor then getting up and sauntering over the bridge in the intense heat seemingly unaffected by it. “We are pretty secluded here in Lavaridge.”

“I can see that,” Erik thought to himself, before speaking aloud. “I just want my fourth badge, then I can go and fight Norman.” His heart fluttered at the thought, one more battle and he would be on his way to fight his dad.

“You have to beat me first!” Flannery shouted, sending out her Slugma to battle. Erik didn’t even have to look back at his team to know that Fury was already on his way forward, marching into the arena.

Fury moved deceptively fast, swiping voraciously with claws at Flannery’s first of three Pokemon. Erik could tell this Slugma was stronger than the others Fury had faced, unsure if his Pokemon had realised as it grabbed the fire type by the neck and slammed it into the cobblestone floor.

Flannery sprinted onto the battlefield, armed with a Hyper Potion. The medicine even more powerful than a Super Potion restored the Slugma back to full fighting health as the spray sunk into its oozing skin. Fury charged, pushing Flannery aside before she had time to finish applying the potion, sending the gym leader crashing to the ground as the Zangoose buried his claws into the Slugma.

Instead of slumping to the floor defeated like the rest of the Slugmas that Fury had faced, Flannery’s Pokemon reacted differently. Enraged that the Zangoose had attacked its trainer, the Slugma overheated its body, reaching its boiling point as its lava-like skin began melting, with Fury’s claws still lodged inside it. Raging heat stemmed up Erik’s Pokemon’s claws, through its arms before coursing through his body, frying Fury from the inside. The Slugma slumped to the floor in synchronisation, having sacrificed itself to destroy the Zangoose. Erik and Flannery had both lost one Pokemon.

“Fury…” Erik whispered, he hadn’t been too fond of his Zangoose, but had respected its strength. He stiffened himself, forcing his mind from the thought and back to the battle. Erik felt stronger than before, the losses of many of his team having toughened his resilience. He nodded to Ice, who strutted out proudly into the arena, looking quite chuffed with the demise of Fury.

“You idiot!” Flannery screamed. “You’re such an idiot you made my Slugma do that to himself. Now you have to face my strongest and best Pokemon.” The scarlet haired gym leader whipped the second Pokeball of three from her belt, launching it into the air. A Torkoal emerging from within.

Ice leapt viciously at his foe, burying his ice cold fangs into the shell littered with holes, intense heat pouring out from within each. The Mightyena felt the ice on his teeth melting under the high temperatures they were being exposed to, but held on with all his might. The Torkoal charged into the rock formed hill, trying to knock Ice off but the Mightyena held on strongly as the tortoise-like creature began climbing the ledges, all the way to the top of the mini-mountain.

Once the Torkoal reached the summit, he threw himself and Ice off the top, heading straight down into the pool of lava below. Ice leapt off the Torkoal’s back, throwing out a paw and clinging onto the edge of the hill perilously, toes almost dipping into the fiery liquid. A splash came from behind him as the Torkoal plummeted into the depths, Ice managing to pull himself up slightly with one paw, just enough to cling onto another ledge with a second. Before the Torkoal grabbed him.

Emerging from the lava, the Torkoal wrapped his mouth again one of Ice’s hind legs and hurled himself back into the pool, the force of the dive too much for Ice to withstand, as Erik’s Mightyena disappeared into the lava below, a weak howl all that could be heard as Ice faded from existence.

Erik’s vision flashed back to Route 101, sneaking up on a wild Poochyena with encouragement from May. He had been so happy with his first capture, Blaze was his first Pokemon granted, but that was a gift. Ice he had caught all by himself.

“Yay!” Flannery screamed, “Two – One to me!”

Route 104, where Ziggy had been terrified of the Poochyena chasing her. Ice had annihilated any trainer that had stood before Erik on Route 102, with a smugness and proud strut that would boil the blood of most people. But Erik was different, he saw Ice’s proud demeanor for what it really was; a way to cover the Poochyena’s insecurity.

Dancer saw her trainer looking inconsolable, deciding to take the initiative herself and skip over into the arena to face the freshly emerged Torkoal. Whilst Ice was obliterated by the lava, the fiery liquid pouring into the gaps in Torkoal’s shell had only seemed to strengthen it. Blaze would’ve stepped in but knew Erik didn’t want him out there fighting, especially after just losing Ice.

“And you blamed yourself,” Erik whispered, as he remembered how distraught Ice appeared at the deaths of String, Speedy and Bunny. The swagger gone with the Poochyena’s confidence, then during the war on Slateport’s beach, Ziggy had fallen, another death Ice had taken personally.

Dancer launched an orb of electrical energy at the Torkoal, the beast recoiling slightly before roaring, the whole room shaking as violently as Dancer’s legs. Flannery’s Pokemon seemed to have doubled in size since absorbing the lava, and massively overshadowed the Pikachu. Torkoal threw itself into the air with surprising agility, Dancer attempting to scurry away only to fall flat on her face as her legs gave way from underneath her, the Torkoal slamming its body directly on her, crushing the Pikachu. When Flannery’s monster stood back up, Dancer weakly crawled away, the Torkoal seeming to laugh at the sight.

“You loved Wally,” Erik thought. The frail boy was such a big help in restoring Ice’s confidence. So much so that when his new friend was in trouble he evolved into a Mightyena just to save him. Once Ice had evolved he didn’t look back, seeming to find new strength from within. Like Blaze, Erik could always rely on Ice, whenever he was in danger, or losing a battle, sending his Mightyena into the fray always seemed to turn the tables. And now he was gone.

Agonising thoughts flowed furiously through Erik’s mind, until he was snapped from them by a soft hand placing itself on his shoulder. Blaze grabbed Dancer’s Pokeball and withdrew her. Leaf was weak to fire and Bounce relatively untested in battle, as Erik and Blaze locked eyes the trainer knew he had no choice, reaching up to his shoulder and putting his hand on his Combuskens, he nodded. Blaze returned with a smile as if to say, “everything will be okay”.

The Torkoal roared once more as Blaze walked briskly onto the battlefield, he was only slightly shorter than the overgrown lava-filled Pokemon, but made up for the lack of height in speed. Blaze launched two kicks on the Torkoal, who stood strong, before his opponent rammed violently into him, not feeling the intense heat from the shell as Dancer did. Withstanding each others’ initial blows, the two fire types blasted flames at their foe, two bursts of orange intercepting and dancing around the other.

Blaze held onto his blast, before seeing the Torkoal flying through the flame and crashing into him with another body slam, the Combusken landing so awkwardly on his legs he ended up being paralysed by the blow. Erik winced at the scene, feeling his body shaking in fear as the Torkoal went in for a third and possibly final slam.

Blaze recovered, rolling out of the way for the Torkoal to crash down into the cobblestone floor. Blaze used the momentary distraction to limp over to the hot spring on the left hand side and remove the sheet.

“NO!” Erik boomed, Blaze turning around at his trainer’s voice at the last second, but it was too late. The Combusken grabbed the Torkoal in midair, sending them both crashing into the hot spring.

“Three – two to me, Erik, but it looks like your Pikachu is too weak to fight, and Gloom too weak against fire attacks!” Flannery giggled as she spoke. “Spoink vs Numel for the badge then?” she said whilst throwing her final Pokemon into battle, the aforementioned Numel appearing from within his Pokeball.

Erik suddenly heard a splash to his left, as Blaze clambered out of the hot spring. Unlike a Numel or Slugma, Blaze had arms to swim and his skin wasn’t affected by water. The spring liquid must have poured into the holes in Torkoal’s shell, the fire type unable to withstand it as Blaze collapsed exhaustly outside the spring, Erik immediately returning him into his Pokeball.

Bounce used the rays of light to confused the Numel, before bouncing up onto the top of the hill. Attempting to follow, the Numel crashed into the mountain side in its confusion, damaging itself before being hit by mind frying psychic blasts as it climbing to the top. The Numel remained resilient once it had reached the top, summoning its power to blast the Spoink with fire, almost pushing it off the edge and into the lava pool to the right hand side.

As Bounce teetered over the edge, the Numel rammed it, sending the Spoink over. Bounce recovered, using its spring to catch on to the ledge, before bouncing back down to the surface weakly and crashing into the solid stone below. Erik withdrew the Spoink, and sent out his only Pokemon who could still stand to finish off the fight and win him his fourth badge, Leaf.

The Numel stumbled down to the surface weak and still a little confused, but Erik knew any sort of fire attack against Leaf would devastate her. The Gloom knew she would have to act quickly, making sure to rapidly send out spores.

Erik noticed that the spores were different than usual, larger in size and far more plentiful as they zoomed towards Numel, latching onto its skin and draining its health before flying back to Leaf and seemingly transferring the Numel’s energy onto her. Flannery’s last Pokemon fell to the floor, drained of the last of its energy. Erik had won.

Erik breathed a sigh of relief through oceans of sweat, a wave of calm flowing through him since it was confirmed that he had won the battle. He had lost Fury and Ice, nearly lost Blaze, Bounce and Dancer, but he had gained the Heat Badge from their sacrifices. He knew what lay next, Petalburg City and badge number five. Norman’s badge. The stage was set for his long awaited showdown with his father.