These Silver Eyes - JustAScarecrow - Pocket Monsters | Pokemon (2024)

Chapter 1: Silver

Chapter Text

These Silver Eyes

Chapter 1: Silver

I have no idea what the hell is going on right now.

To be completely honest, I'm not sure ofanythingat the moment.

After all, I had just been lying down in bed, getting ready to enjoy my sleep after making a fantastic late night egg sandwich… when I had an out of body experience.

Literally.

One second, I was getting ready to sleep. The next, I felt my whole world turning upside down in a vertigo inducing display.

I was so stunned by the sudden shift, that I couldn't even struggle properly?

The weirdest thing about this entire event, was the speed at which it happened! If I was being kidnapped, clearly they had given up on pretending to be normal.

By the time I even opened my mouth to scream in a panic, the entire thing was already over...

That didn't stop me from screaming though. I let out a bellow of shock that stretched out for a few seconds, before dwindling into a confused noise instead.

"Huh?"

Wait a second.

Who the hell just screamed? I didn't scream alot, but the few times I was tortured into watching horror movies... that wasn't the noise I made.

That's when the paranoia began seeping into my bones and taking root there.

My voice hadn't been this high pitched since before puberty. It wasn't the deepest around, but it was still respectably deep and this voice was not deepat all.

That was the first sign that something was very wrong. The second, was the fact that my body felt completely different.

I was light, with the exception of a strange weight near my waist that I ignored for the time being.

I wasn't talking about my weight here (I was pretty healthy thank you!)... my body just felt light... like gravity decided to lessen its force onto me.

Don't ask me how I knew that I was too light, I justdid.My body never felt this light, period. Not even when I was a kid!

What was... I felt a wave of dizziness hit me as I began to steadily realize thateverythingabout my body felt wrong.

It felt like everything had been moved just slightly enough for me to realize things were amiss.

If someone moved everything in your house by one inch, you would probably notice that something wasn't right with your home but you wouldn't be able to pinpoint just what it was.

If a person moved it by one inch every single day, you'd probably be driven to insanity without knowing the reason why. It was a nagging feeling in the back of your mind, letting you know something waswrong.

Well, it currently felt like that was happening to me... except it was mybodyin place of the furniture.

Nothing felt right. It felt like all my organs had been slightly misplaced. It wasn't enough for me to think I was dying, but it was enough for me to notice that it wasn't right and it was driving meinsane.

And now I was noticing that everything was wrong. Just the way the freezing air brushed against some of my exposed skin (why was I so heavily layered in clothing?!) was wrong.

What was happening?!

I couldn't... hell even my thoughts felt different! They felt... faster? More focused?

This was... I don't know what this was. I would never be able to properly explain what I was going through right now but it was making me freak out.

It felt like I was about to throw up from sheer disorientation. Was this what body dysmorphia felt like?

I was stuck in this limbo of panic and confusion, as my body defied everything I thought I knew about it before.

The sensation of everything about your body being wrong, was so jarring that I had curled into myself, unsteady breaths leaving me-

Before everything suddenly clicked into place.

At once, it felt as if my body realized that it was my body... and stopped giving me grief.

I shakily stood up, looking ahead with a confused gaze that was far clearer than my vision used to be.

Had I been drugged? Did it wear off...? What type of drug was that?

Did it really wear off?

It couldn't have. I had to have still been drugged because right now, Iwasn't in my room.

My house was a humble little thing, great for one person and easily able to accommodate a second or third if I wanted company.

I wasn't one for decoration. I'm fairly pragmatic and don't really need a lot of things to be satisfied.

That didn't mean I lived in a completely barren home, but it wasn't full of many luxury items that I bought just to buy or because it looked pretty.

No, I had all the essentials necessary to survive and gifts that I had gotten over the years from the more extravagant of friends and family who thought my house was too boring.

Despite how annoying they were, the gifts were nice and I appreciated them. So even with my pretty bad memory, I wouldn't just forget the gifts they gave me.

But I couldn't recognize asingleobject in the room I was currently in. Hell, I was hard pressed to even call this a home.

Panic began seeping into my body once more, as I confusedly glanced around the room I was in.

"Where the hell am I?"I thought wildly.

Who was arrogant enough to kidnap a 6 ft, 180 pound guy andnottie them up?

Was it because they knew I was stuck in here? Could I not make it out of this place?

Was I trapped?

But that didn't make any sense… whoever "kidnapped" me, had to have been some type of professional super assassin or God themself.

I didn't really believe the second one but seriously, I wasn't making much headway here.

For one, I had been movedwaytoo fast. Seriously, I didn't even get to fall into a deep asleep before this clusterf*ck of events began happening to me!

No one had touched me but considering the state I had been in earlier, I was probably drugged by my kidnappers and could no longer reliably process how much time had passed.

That would explain why my body was so light and I wasn't deemed worthy enough to tie up… but the drugs didn't hamper me nearly as much as they probably thought because after that rather traumatic moment, I could move just fine enough to kick every single one of their asses before they gunned me down for good.

Where did they move me?

Some type of lab? That's what it looked like to me… There were a bunch of weird devices and objects that were too advanced for me to identify and I scratched my head, brows furrowing at the feeling of fabric meeting hair.

Before I could dwell on the strange thought of my hands, horror suddenly filled my body.

"Why the hell am I in a lab?!"I thought in disbelief.

Were they… planning on experimenting on my body?! Wait... had they already done so? Was that why I was so disoriented?!

What the hell did I do to deserve this?! Did I accidentally piss off the wrong person…? Was it really so severe that they'd kidnap and attempt to traumatize me with that out of body experience?!

By now, I had sufficiently began freaking out and was currently looking in every single direction to find a way out of here.

There was no way I did something deserving of being experimented on.

I was a normal guy, living a normal life, who stayed out of all sort of troubles because it was too much to deal with…

Drama was only funny when you weren't apart of it, so I stayed out of it.

What could I have possibly done to deserve this?! This had to have been some sort of mistake. They had the wrong guy!

Even if they assumed that no one would notice I'm missing, that was wrong. I had a good relationship with my family and my friends were the type to barge in unannounced whenever they felt like it to make sure I had my human interactions for the day.

They would notice I'm gone before the next day ended.

Why not just grab a homeless guy off the street? No offense, but I don't think anyone would notice they were missing.

Whyme?

It was while frantically glancing around for an escape, did I see something that made my blood run cold.

I was currently looking at some metallic lab equipment that worked very well as a makeshift mirror… and in that mirror wasnotsomeone I was immediately familiar with.

After all, I didn't look anything like thisat all.

Looking back at me, was a red haired, pale skinned boy with a vivid shade of silver eyes that didnotlook natural whatsoever.

"What the f*ck?" I said intelligently, blinking in confusion at seeing the reflection say that in a voice that I really didn't recognize.

Who the hell was this looking at me? WHO WAS THIS?!

I had a shaggy head of brown hair that barely reached my chin… not a head of red hair that went a bit past my back! Not to mention, my eyes were a very natural shade of blue! They weren't this peculiar color of silver!

Did people even have eyes this color?!

Not naturally… there were gray eyes but this shade of silver? No way… You'd have to have contacts to get this color. Same as the hair… Red this shade wasn't natural in the slightest…

Had I actually been experimented on? What the hell…? Where was my body? Who was this? WhowasI? WHAT DID THEY DO TO ME?!

"Hello? Is anyone there? I heard a scream!"

I stilled at the sound of a door opening up, letting a beam of light shine through and felt a well of horror fill me, at the sound of my captor entering my temporary prison to continue whatever the hell they were doing to me.

"I need to hide,"I hissed, straightening up as I heard the footsteps slowly approach me.

Moving on instinct, my body managed to miraculously find a perfect spot to hide meandsee just who the perpetrator was.

From this angle, I could see that it was a middle aged man with a short brown hair, a white lab coat and a pair of glasses.

Typical scientist look...

Oh God. This was the asshole that experimented on me.

Instead of fear, I felt my blood boiling at the sight of person who caused all my problems, begin the process of searching for me to continue their sick and twisted experimentation.

"I could have sworn I heard someone scream…" He muttered to himself glancing around and missing piercing silver eyes glaring at him in hot rage.

"This bastard is the one who kidnapped me!"I snarled to myself, skin prickling as I ignored his musings.

He even had the typical scumbag scientist look! It was pissing me off just looking at him!

How the hell did he manage to transport me so easily? Did he have any friends?

He had to… this scrawny guy wouldn't be able to move me so easily…

No doubt, if he didn't find me, he'd go get his friends.

I gnawed on my lip.

On one hand, I wanted answers. I had no clue where I was and I had no clue what happened to my body... If it even still existed.

Who was that staring at me in the reflection?

...That couldn't be me, right? Why did I look like some kid? How was that evenpossible?!

How did I get my original body back...? Could I evenget it back?

Was I stuck like this forever?

"I guess no one's here…" the man muttered to himself, looking puzzled as he prepared to walk away.

"No!"I thought in horror.

If he left, he'd probably come back with backup and my chances of getting out of here would go completely down the drain.

That couldn't happen. I wasn't going to die here!

A surge of adrenaline coursed through my body, as I burst out of my hiding spot and charged the man before he could leave my line of sight.

Mustering up the necessary strength, I didn't even give the guy time to turn around and delivered a heavy blow to the side of his head with this weird body.

My jaw slackened, as the man's body soared and crashed into a heavy bookcase, sending everything crashing with a thunderous noise that would almost certainly alert this dudes buddies to what was happening in here.

"What did I just do…?" I gaped in confusion, glancing at my gloved fist (that's why it felt so weird to scratch my hair).

Now, I wasn't weak by any means (in my original body at least)… but I was not strong enough to hit someone with that amount of force and send themflyingas a result.

I had put enough power in that hit to knock him unconscious so I could get a feel for the area around me before taking what I could and escaping from this damned place.

Judging by the blood leaking on the floor, I did a little more then that.

"sh*t! sh*t! sh*t! Did I kill him?!" I cursed, looking at the pool of blood forming with panicked eyes.

The man's body was hidden underneath the wreckage and the amount of time it would take to move everything out of the way, was not worth it to check if I killed this guy.

But I just… Did I justkillhim?!

I never killed someone before and even though this guy kidnapped me, I at least wanted to get some answers out of him before calling the authorities to deal with this.

I didn't intend to kill him with these freakishly strong fists!

"What the hell… Oh man what the hell?! What do I do?" I muttered, backing away from the body with wide eyes.

I… could plead self defense, right? This guykidnappedme. There was no way I was going to jail for attacking my kidnappers… but would I go for committing murder?

Well, maybe he wasn't dea-

My momentary lapse of freaking out, paused as something around my waist began shaking rapidly and I glanced down at my violet pants, under my navy coat, to see what the hell that was.

My jaw dropped in pure disbelief, at seeing a red and white sphere be the source of all that shaking.

...

...

...

Was that what I thought it was?

Nah. No way. There's no way.

Nope.

I refused to believe it.

There was no way I had an honest to god Pokeball on my waist that was currently shaking with enough force to make me instinctively grab at it.

Without really thinking about it, my body pressed the button and watched as a red beam shot out of it, forming into a small shape that filled me with more dread that I hadn't felt since I broke my leg chasing my older brother in the forest for stealing my Gameboy.

As I stared at the small creature, the pit in my stomach finally managed to pierce through my body and I could only helplessly say -

"What the actual f*ck?"

So I was in the Pokemon world… Such a revelation didn't really confuse me more than I already was. In fact, it actually cleared up a lot of the questions I had!

1. I really did get kidnapped by a God. That had been mostly a joke but only some higher being could pull off such a dick move without a hint of remorse.

2. I finally recognized who's body this was after a second look. It was the main rival of the Johto games, Silver. The red hair, silver eyes, violet pants and navy coat, all belonged to the rival with a bad temper who only cared about getting stronger, until he got his ass kicked enough by the player or something.

3. That man under the bookcase who I just knocked out and potentially killed? Yeah, I had a sinking feeling that was the professor of the region. What was his name again… Elk?

I had just attacked Professor Elk inhislab after thinking he was my captor and that same professor was currently a bleeding mess.

On the floor.

Inhislab.

"f*ck me," I moaned in horror, holding my face with both hands.

Turns out,Iwas the criminal and I was definitely going to end up in prison once they found out who did this.

"Zor?"

I glanced down at that noise and gazed at the source with a blank expression.

A slate gray fox with red and black accents looked up at me with a tilted head. Those large, forward facing green eyes looked at me with a curious expression and I nearly yelled in frustration.

It was honestly adorable as hell, but I couldn't really bask it all in considering my current situation.

If my memory served correct (My knowledge for Pokemon went up to Gen 6 with some Gen 7 knowledge), this was a Zorua, the illusion fox from the Unova region.

What the hell was Silver doing with a pokemon from Unova? Weren't these things super rare too? I was almost certainly in the Johto region so how did I have one?

Was I the version of Silver from Pokemon Adventures…? But no, his first pokemon was a Sneasel... I think?

Why didn't I have a Sneasel?

GAH! Now was not the time to be thinking about this! I needed to get the hell outta here and do some deep pondering later!

I chanced a glance at Professor Elk (was that seriously his name? Weren't they based on trees?) and regretfully decided that it was in my best interest to not be here when someone discovered the body of the man I might have killed.

It must have been Silver's half (I wasn't a great person myself but hey I was no murderer)… but I really didn't feel all that bad for what I just did to the poor guy.

It was probably because I had been intending on robbing this dude anyways-

Wait a minute.

I was just put in Silver's body, in the middle of Professor Elk's lab. Doesn't that mean this is the moment Silver steals himself a starter from the man?

...

Who's the funny guy that put me in a thief's body in the middle of a heist? Couldn't you at least do itafterhe finished the job?

I sighed, prompting Zorua to glance up at me a little fearfully.

It seems I was completely done freaking out so that meant I could think a little logically now.

I don't really know how I feel about being in the Pokemon world. If this wasn't some wild dream, then I was in a world that a lot of people dreamed and fantasized about being in.

Except I wasn't one of those people.

Living in a world where you're the weakest creature on it but instead of normal animals, you get super powered world ending threats instead, was really not my preferred way of living.

Oh well, seems like I didn't have much say in the matter. It is what it is.

But why Silver? He's never been shown in the anime (as far as I know. I hardly watched it past Kanto), has a pretty good role in the video games and has the most character in the manga…

Could be worse, they could have put me in Wally or Barry…

God, if they put me in Barry's body, I might have contemplated ending it all.

Honestly, Silver was probably one of the best choices of a body (I was trying my best to rationalize this). He was cool, with a cool personality and besides the hair style, he wasn't a complete dork like the other rivals.

If I had a choice of rivals, I'd probably have picked Blue (Gary? I dunno) to abuse that sweet Oak money and then Silver... and then no one else because they were all lame.

What version of Silver was I even? Logically speaking, I should be the one from the manga considering my first pokemon isn't one of the starters… and I have those unnatural silver hues.

But my first pokemon isn't a Sneasel.

Wait… was his first even a Sneasel? It's been alot of... years since I last read that manga. All I know is that it wasn't a Zorua because Zorua didn't even exist at the time.

Ugh, too many questions. I just remembered that the manga Pokeballs were see through as well and these didn't look it at all.

So no clue what world I'm in. Another question that I needed answers to and right now was not the time to dwell on it.

My main goal was to survive. To survive in the pokemon world meant one thing.

Become strong. To become strong, I needed to give myself any advantage possible.

Considering I had already committed such a serious crime, I might as well commit another one and complete Silver's original mission.

"Sorry Elk but it is what it is. I'll be taking some stuff to help myself out."

"C'mon Zorua," I said gruffly, heading to the back of the giant lab to begin pillaging.

"Rua!" The fox yipped, trotting after him and completely ignoring the body under the casing.

I had to admit, it was kinda cool to have an actual pokemon obeying and following me. I mean, who didn't dream of this at least once?

I never really cared for the Zorua line. Unova had a stacked array of dark types and I much preferred Hydreigon, Krookodile or Bisharp.

Not to mention, the foxes were insanely rare too. I don't think I ever actually used one.

Hell, Weavile was my favorite Ice type so I find it pretty funny that I didn't get the Dark/Ice type.

But, that didn't mean I hated Zoroark… I just didn't really think about them at all.

In fact, weren't these things really good at illusions? Was that why a thief like Silver had it? These things had incredible criminal potential.

How did Silver manage to secure one…? I don't think luck has a part to play here… You didn't just luck your way into getting a Unova pokemon while in Johto.

Yet another question that wasn't going to be answered yet. I nearly sighed again at the terribly confusing situation and just decided to focus on the mission at hand.

Securing things to survive.

It seems Silver choosing the lab, wasn't a bad idea at all. Unlike the video games, Elk's lab was massive and full of tons of provisions!

Not to mention Silver actually owned a bag too! After checking inside of it, I confirmed that he seemed to have the same type of bag we got in the game and balked at the contents inside of it.

What the hell? Silver was loaded! Why the hell was he even here? Did he want one of the starters that badly?

"Maybe his favorite pokemon is Totodile,"I mused.

Whatever the case, I had no clue if Silver stole all these things but if he did, he was even better at his craft than I thought.

This bag didn't look cheap at all either so the fact he managed to get it…

Then again, you'd think a lab was heavily guarded and I was just inside of here, getting ready to steal one of the heavily prized starters that some poor kid was supposed to get in the near future.

Speaking of which, almost like they were being presented, 3 Pokeballs, shined to perfection, were resting inside of an advanced incubator-like machine. Nothing on the ball indicated which was what starter and I gazed at the Balls with a hint of awe.

I didn't fancy the Johto starters. I wish I had woken up in Hoenn or Kanto or Sinnoh or SOMETHING because I at least had a starter from the other regions that I preferred.

But Johto? I didn't really care for any of them. They were cool with incredible designs, but compared to the other starters I just found them lackluster…

Just like the region. I did not like Johto. Loved Soul Silver and Heart Gold despite that.

I'd never say no to one of the starters . It was still a pokemon and I was admittedly excited to have a starter mon.

But before I picked out one or two or three… I needed something else that was just as important.

I began rummaging through drawer after drawer, idly stuffing my bag with anything that I recognized (A lot of potions, empty Pokeballs, I even got some revives, a few great balls and anultra ball!) before I finally found what I was looking for.

With a triumphant grunt, I pulled out the object of my desires and felt a small grin form on my face.

"Gotcha!"

Sleek, advanced and rectangular in design, the Pokedex shone in a way that showed it was brand new and I pocketed the encyclopedia without an ounce of hesitation in my body.

This was the most valuable thing I could have picked up from this lab. If I did happen to be in the Manga world, the Pokedex was so rare, those who had them were called Dex Holders.

And if I wasn't? Who cares! The Pokedex was still insanely valuable for anyone to have and I probably would never get one through conventional means anyways.

I'd be a fool to go into this world blind. Even with my helpful knowledge of Pokemon, that was still years ago and I'd be stupid to rely solely on that, when I didn't even know which version of Pokemon I was in.

The Pokedex would help me in my very confusing adventures.

With that settled, I slowly stood back up and made my way over to the main attraction of the lab.

The starters.

Now, if this were the Hoenn, Sinnoh or Kanto region, I would have taken all three without an ounce of hesitation in my body.

But this was Johto.

Should I take all three regardless? I'm sure they would fetch a hefty price if I ever went the sell them route…

But if I wasn't going to take all three, which would I even choose?

Cyndaquil, Chikorita or Totodile?

Totodile seemed like the most logical choice. The crocodile was a water type and it was aggressive and strong. Not to mention, it was Silver's signature starter and the one he was depicted with most often, so clearly the two had inherent synergy.

They seemed a bit rebellious by nature and if this guy figured out I kidnapped him, who knows what would happen?

Would I have to discipline it like Silver likely did? I wasn't really into animal abuse…

Alright, then what about Chikorita-

I snorted at the thought.

Yeah right.

What about Cyndaquil?

The fire type started off pretty meek by nature so getting it to listen would be easier then Totodile but once it evolved into a Typhlosion…

Personally, I would have chosen Cyndaquil as well. He was my favorite of the Johto starters, though that didn't really say much and I normally picked him when playing the games.

That reminds me… does Gold exist in this world? Most likely… isn't his main starter Cyndaquil?

Wait, why do I give a sh*t? If I wanted Cyndaquil, I'll take Cyndaquil.

For my own sake, it would probably be best if I took only one starter though. If some trainer was seen walking around with all three missing starters, I'd be in prison faster then I could properly learn this world…

Besides, why take all 3 starters when I could go and catch Pokemon I actually wanted? If this was a dream, might as well enjoy myself.

One was still suspicious, but with what I had started planning… it wouldn't be all that bad.

I nodded to myself and decided on my choice right there.

I'd take Cyndaquil. I had no plans for any immediate fire types but I already had a plan for a water type that overlapped with two other goals of mine.

It was perfect! This adapting to a new body thing was pretty easy-

"PROFESSOR ELM?! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!" A male voice screamed in the distance, distraught in their tone.

Zorua, who had just been silently observing his trainer with a confused expression, and I both jumped high at that loud scream and I wildly whirled around.

"WHO DID THIS TO YOU?! T-THERE'S SO MUCH BLOOD!" A teary female voice screeched in horror.

"f*ck," I hissed in disbelief. I was really not cut out for this criminal stuff, especially with all this confusion going on right now.

Seriously, why was I dropped in the middle of a heist?

Those two voices sounded fairly young. I'd take a guess and say they're Silver's age… which meant they could only be two people...

Gold and Crystal... or whatever the hell their game names were. Ethan and Lyra?

I needed to get outta here. Especially if they both had their own first pokemon too.

"Zorua, it's time to go," I hissed to my pokemon, eyes darting left and right to look for an exit.

My eyes landed on a window and I nodded to myself.

"We're going through the windows," I barked. I grabbed the Pokeball on the left without hesitation, in my haste and rushed off to the window, blood pounding in my ears as I heard footsteps.

"Be careful Gold, w-we have no idea who could be here. I already called an Officer Jenny, she'll be on the way soon…" a fearful voice said as two sets of footsteps approached my location.

"We need to catch whoever did this, Crys!" An angry and brash male voice declared. "Who would hurt Professor Elm like that?! When I get my hands on them, there won't be anything for the Jenny!"

I cursed to myself and fruitlessly tried to get the window open as quietly as possible, nearly slamming my head into a wall at how little progress I was making.

Well this wasn't good at all. I don't think these windows opened.

Zorua at this point, was looking at his trainer like he couldn't even recognize him and glanced back at the noise of the voices getting steadily louder.

They weren't going to get out the window in time before being spotted at this rate…

"What the f*ck is this window made out of? Why is it so hard to open?!"I thought in disbelief. By now I was growing more and more desperate as the footsteps got closer to my location.

A tugging at my legs, made me stop my fruitless attempts and I glanced down to see Zorua staring up at me.

"What? You have a plan?" I hissed quietly and the little guy nodded.

It waited for something and I blinked in confusion.

What was it doing? Why didn't it enact its plan yet-

Ah. Right, Silver was a dick to everyone.

"You have my permission to do your plan!" I urged the little guy as quietly as possible.

Zorua nodded and closed his eyes.

My eyes couldn't help but widen in interest, as the creature grunted and black energy began pouring off of it.

The haze of energy began increasing in frequency, before surging forward and wrapping around both Zorua and I.

I resisted the urge to struggle at the strange move and stilled my body and mind completely.

Despite standing in the middle of the room, when Crystal and Gold both walked in, they didn't seem to realize I was there at all and continued to search the area.

"Zorua put an illusion over me,"I thought calmly, realizing they couldn't see me.

Much like me, Gold and Crystal looked exactly like their counterparts but I noted that Crystalwasn'tthe one from Heart Gold and Soul Silver.

No, she had blue hair and crystal blue eyes… much different from the brown hair that she has in the games…

Were they both also the manga versions? It had to be because Gold had a brilliant set of golden eyes, glaring piercingly into the room with a righteous anger befitting someone with main character syndrome.

They both looked about 14 and Silver should be about the same age as them… so was I 14?

Goddamnit, I had to go through puberty again.

A nudge brought me out of my musings and I saw that it was my slightly panting Zorua urging me to move.

I wasn't sure how long it could maintain the illusion and didn't want to really find out so I hoisted the little guy up and secured him to my person, much to its surprise.

Then, I took a deep breath and focused.

That's when the instincts (that I didn't notice were helping me so much this entire time) took over.

My body began moving on its own, quickly and without a sound as I deftly avoided the exploring Crystal and Gold.

"Should I ambush them? No, it's best if I just focus on escaping. I got what I'm here for so it's time to go,"thoughts that were not my own, began pervading me.

"Gold look!" Crystal gasped in horror, pointing at the incubator machine.

The sudden movement, revealed the single Pokeball on her waist and considering Pokemon had a streak of releasing themselves... Yeah it was time to go.

"One of the Pokemon are gone!"

That caught Gold's attention and the main male of the Johto region, looked over to see what she was talking about.

His eyes went wide at seeing only two of the starter pokemon there and the two wasted no time rushing over to inspect the spot.

I watched the two give me the opening I needed and wasted no time rushing out of the back of the laboratory and into the room I "woke" up in.

There was a woman crying over Elm's (I knew his name wasn't Elk) body, steadying the bleeding man and I took a wild guess and assumed that was his wife.

He didn't look too good. I stared at the unconscious man with a frown and shook my head.

It was a terrible misunderstanding, but I refused to take blame for it. What type of person even puts someone in a situation like this? I refuse to think anyone else would have acted differently to beingkidnappedand dropped in a lab!

Sure it might not have been him, but I was still kidnapped by something and put in the middle of a terrible situation so whoever did this to me, was to blame.

I shook my head. It was unfortunate but there wasn't much I could do about it. Revealing myself after attempted murder, would be bad for me no matter what.

I don't know the laws of this world, but I had to imagine nearly killing someone was still frowned upon.

My eyes caught an open window and I realized this must have been the one Silver used to break in, in the first place.

Good thing he didn't try with the ones in the back… real killers those windows are.

My body swiftly made its way over to the open window and I wasted no time sneaking through it.

By now, there was a small commotion outside that had me cursing to myself and rummaging through my bag.

I pulled out a hoodie and threw it on, making sure to hide my most prominent features and I dashed out into the forests of Route 29, making sure to avoid the eyes of everyone there.

"Good job, Zorua. You saved my ass," I praised the little guy as I sprinted at amazing speeds.

Silver's body was impressive as hell. I was sprinting at full speed and it was more then I would ever have gotten in real life.

Must have been fictional genetics at play. It was brutal knowing that a 14 year old was this much more athletic than me.

"Zor?!" The dark type gasped in surprise at his praise, looking at his trainer with a startled expression.

The trees outside of New Bark Town were as dense and heavy as the game made them out to be but even then there was just somuch.

They littered the ground as far as my eyes could see and I even noted flying types nesting in the branches I could see!

It was surreal seeing a massive Pidgeotto tending to a tiny Pidgey and I paused as the evolved bird stared me down, looking more like a Pidgeot than the middle evolution, before taking its attention off me and fussing over its child again.

I shrugged, before continuing my pace, taking note of all the pokemon but not really paying attention to any of them.

You couldn't traverse this forest in a matter of minutes and just end up in a new area. No, the world was so far more vast then a video game would ever be able to encompass and I began growing tired from the running first, before seeing anything besides forest.

I huffed as I stopped and caught my breath, deciding I had run far enough.

"Think we made enough distance?" I asked Zorua idly, putting them down and wiping the sweat off my head.

Zorua pondered the question before nodding slowly.

"Dammit Silver,"I cursed the original inhabitant of this body.

A resounding theme in Pokemon, was that treating your Mons well, was the way to go if you wanted to be a truly elite trainer.

Clearly Silver didn't get the memo until he got beat down enough times.

Well, time for a good old head start in the right direction.

I don't know how long I had this Zorua for, but I guess now it was time to make it up to the adorable lil guy.

"You did good in there," I praised, rubbing the little red tuft on its head. "I got a bit nervous after I hurt that guy but you kept my head on straight. Thanks Zorua."

Clearly this guy had never been thanked, much less praised before because it looked at me like I had just given it the world.

"Zor!" He barked, nodding vigorously with sparkling eyes.

I wasn't the most affectionate around but I wouldn't complain if it helped me in the long run... the little fox was also kinda adorable.

"Alright, let's let this guy out," I muttered, grabbing the Pokeball I stole with a contemplative expression.

It looked smooth to the touch and when I took my glove off to verify that detail, I was proven right.

I marveled at the coolness of it. I couldn't quite describe the sensation of it but… it was almost like I were holding a metal but not exactly. Maybe porcelain was a more accurate description?

A mix of glass, metal and plastic. That was best way to explain the sensation.

"Be ready, Zorua. If it puts up a fight, I'm counting on you to deal with it," I instructed the fox.

Zorua nodded and got ready for action.

I was a little nervous at the upcoming prospect. Hopefully Zorua didn't need me to order it around too much. I had no idea how I would even begin to act in a pokemon battle.

Maybe I just take a backseat and let the instincts take over… this body appeared to act on what Silver himself knew when I did that... and the kid was clearly way more talented then I currently was.

Damn, it was a good thing Gold and Crystal didn't find me. If they were anything like their important counterparts, I'd have to fight two genius battlers as a complete novice who was still a bit disoriented from the current circ*mstances of beingshovedinto a body that wasn't mine.

Well, it was time to meet Cyndaquil. Hopefully he didn't cause me too much grief.

I'd hate being mean to these little guys but I had no qualms against doing it if I had to.

I wouldn't really consider myself a good person after all.

"You have got to be f*cking kidding me."

Despite my neutral expression, on the inside I was a fuming and embarrassed mess.

In my haste to get out of Elm's lab, I forgot a key detail.

That being, I didn't know which starter was in which ball.

No. In my genius, I had grabbed a random ball without really thinking about it and had taken off without a second thought.

I should have known my luck was once again going to bite me in the ass. I literally got transported into a body in the middle of a heist. Why did I think otherwise?

"Chikorita?" Chikorita tilted its head up at me with curious eyes.

I stared down at it with a blank expression. Zorua was in front of me in case it proved aggressive but the grass type was content to just observe me.

"Okay just be cool. It's not like you liked any of the Johto starters anyways!"I thought optimistically.

I was not optimistic but for this moment, I would be.

Sure, Chikorita was a pokemon I'd never in a million years use… but I could work with this!

It could be worse. I could have been dropped in Unova, who had my least favorite starters period. Chikorita instead of Cyndaquil or Totodile, wasn't nearly as bad.

Yes, I could work with this.

Nodding to myself a little unsuccessfully, I planted my piercing silver eyes on the Chikorita.

"Hey Chikorita. I'm your new trainer. I took you from the lab so you listen to me now," I said bluntly as an introduction.

Chikorita tilted its head at that before nodding enthusiastically with a "Rita!" of excitement.

My blank expression melted away in favor of confusion.

"Huh?" I said a little dumbly.

Was it not gonna put up a fight?

"You aren't upset? Not planning on rebelling?" I asked in disbelief, scratching my hooded head in a puzzled manner.

Even Zorua looked puzzled, stance loosening just a bit at the confusing acts of the grass type pokemon.

Chikorita shook its head at my questions and trotted up to me with an eager gleam.

I was properly stumped. Why was this Chikorita being so friendly with me?

Not just that… it seemed to recognize me too but Ijustreleased it out of the ball.

Why didn't it have a problem with the information I just revealed to it -

"Didn't Zorua want out of the ball when I started freaking out after hurting Elm?"I suddenly thought.

Could… pokemon tell what was going on in the outside world even while in the ball? Is that why Chikorita didn't seem all that shocked?

Huh… didn't that mean Totodile and Cyndaquil knew how I looked? That's not very good at all, especially considering their trainers were my in game rivals.

But that still doesn't explain why Chikorita would be happy that I picked it.

"Why aren't you more upset?" I asked bluntly, silver eyes burning in curiosity.

To my surprise, the cheerful Chikorita's expression turned bitter.

"Chiko chik rita!" It ranted in its tongue, a severe frown on its face as two little vines began waving angrily.

Then, it looked up at me and beamed, pointing one of its vines. "Chik Chikorita!" It exclaimed happily.

"I can't understand you at all,"I thought with a sweatdrop, watching as it poured its heart out to someone who had no clue what it was saying.

Zorua nodded along with Chikorita's words, a hint of sympathy on its features, as it heard the story and he looked at his puzzled trainer.

Clearly he could not understand.

The dark type supposed it could help his trainer understand the grass types plight.

My eyes roved over to Zorua, as it began weaving an illusion and I couldn't help but marvel at how useful the ability of his was.

A picture of a Totodile and Cyndaquil showed up next to the huffing Chikorita and I watched as two figures showed up to pick up both the water and fire type, before the final person, reluctantly picked Chikorita.

Then, the illusion shifted over to me, in front of all three of the starters, picking up Chikorita first.

"Ohhhh,"I thought in realization.

"You're tired of Chikoritas being overlooked in favor of Cyndaquil and Totodile," I guessed. "Those two tend to always get picked before you so you're glad that I chose you over them?"

Chikorita nodded vigorously, gazing up at me with admiring eyes as the illusion melted away.

Now I understood. Chikorita wasn't just one of the most unpopular starters in my original world… it must have been unpopular in this world too.

It made sense. When your competition was a fierce crocodile and a fiery badger with fire coming out of its back... it was hard to compete as a gentle grass Dinosaur.

Typhlosion and Feraligatr looked badass and would surely net far more popularity points then Meganium.

If the professors of each region continuously handed out the same starters, surely the pokemon themselves would notice a pattern.

Didn't Chikorita get picked last in the manga too? I'm pretty sure Crystal didn't even want it or something like that.

Huh, kind of a dick move Crystal.

Even after being a new batch, after so much time, Chikorita must have known that it was going to be the last one selected and probably by a person that got unlucky with their pick.

Getting chosen by a trainer who didn't want you... Damn, I couldn't be that cruel to the little fella.

My accident turned into a blessing for this little guy. I'd be an even bigger dick if I just pretended like Chikorita didn't exist.

I kinda felt bad now for being so upset... Chikorita didn't deserve that.

Well, guess no one ever needed to find out the truth. This was what you called a white lie.

I pat the grass type on the head and offered it a small smile. "They don't wanna pick you? I say f*ck em. It doesn't matter anymore becauseIpicked you and now that I'm your trainer, I'm the only one who matters now. If you follow me, I'll make everyone respect the Chikorita line by turning you into the greatest Meganium out there."

"Who is this person?"Zorua thought in disbelief, gazing at his trainer with wide eyes.

Silver was cold and calculating on the best of days. His trainer was belligerent and ruthless and wanted nothing but strong pokemon.

He was a person of few words and never offered praise, no matter how well Zorua did.

Everything was expendable to him, a tool for achieving whatever his goals may be.

Not only that, Silver was incredibly skilled. He would never have needed Zorua's help for the lab invasion but not only did he compromise the mission, he nearly got caught too.

What happened to his trainer? Did striking that human change him?

Well… Zorua wasn't complaining. He may have been less skilled, but he was nicer and he patted him and complimented him too.

Chikorita gazed up at her new trainer with pure adoration and nodded furiously at his words. The grass type hugged his legs and purred happily at his touch.

I looked at the grass type and sighed.

Well, it wasn't what I wanted but it actually wasn't all bad. After getting a better grasp of my new situation, I could figure out my plans for the future and whether I had Chikorita, Totodile or Cyndaquil, didn't change it too much.

Besides, I kinda wanted to see Chikorita succeed just as a massive middle finger to the people who doubted her.

People doubting her, now meant people were doubting me and I just wouldn't have that now would I?

"Alright, let's get you two checked out, then we can continue walking," I ordered, offering a shoulder for each of them to jump on.

Chikorita took the offer with no hesitation and happily jumped on his shoulder.

Zorua was far more hesitant but tentatively followed suit after I sent it a disarming smile.

Zorua:Male

Ability:Illusion

Moves:Leer, Scratch, Torment, Hone Claws, Extrasensory

Chikorita:Female

Ability:Overgrow

Moves:Growl, Tackle, Heal Pulse, Vine Whip

I hummed in contemplation at the information the Pokedex was giving me.

This wasn't bad. Actually, this was really good. I wasn't expecting them to have some of these moves.

I could work with this. Zorua and Chikorita were both promising and once I figured everything out, I could get started on them…

That's if I even decided to become a battler.

After fiddling with this thing for way too long and getting it properly setup, I finished scanning both Zorua and Chikorita and received a general rundown on my new pokemon.

The Pokedex was even more useful then I thought. It gave me the weight, height, diet and more of what I scanned!

The only problem… was that I wasn't too sure if this thing was tracking my location. After doing a quick check of the thing, I didn't see anything too obvious and considering the lab had been dreadfully easy to break into… I was going to assume the people in this world were all stupid and didn't think to add a tracker onto it.

I did see quite a few Pokedex in the cabinet where I got mine, so they didn't seem extremely rare. Them being so common, might work in my favor because that meant more trainers should have one.

No use dwelling on it. I wasn't throwing this thing away for the life of me.

Night had settled into the forest of Route 29 by now and after eating something quick, while feeding Zorua and Chikorita, I decided to call it a night.

Thankfully, Silver had sleep gear in this extremely convenient bag.

Making sure I was in a secured and hidden area, I setup my expensive tent (seriously, why was this guy so loaded?!) and beckoned both Zorua and Chikorita inside.

Chikorita took the invitation once more without any hesitation and easily snuggled into me with a happy sigh, while Zorua slowly trotted over with an unsure expression, yelping as I rolled my eyes and brought him closer.

As the three of us settled down, I finally decided to get my thoughts on the entire events of today, situated.

I took a deep breath and recalled everything that had happened to me.

While sleeping, I had been dragged, through unknown means, from the comfort of my home and was deposited in the body of a person who shouldn't exist, in one of the worst situations I could be put in.

In my mass confusion, I had wrongfully judged one of the most important figures in the Johto region as my captor and assaulted him with no hesitation, doing far more damage to him then he probably would have sustained if I were actually Silver.

I had no clue which version of the Pokemon world I was in and I didn't really know how I was going to find out either. There was so many different depictions of the game, anime, manga, that I could be in one that I hadn't evenheardof yet.

It's not like I was an avid Pokemon fan either. I used to be really into it when I was younger but the last game I had really put a lot of effort into, was Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire because that was the last time I had fun playing the games.

Ultra Sun and Moon was played for a little but I didn't put much effort into it (I don't think I even beat the Elite 4) and I don't even know the name of the games afterwards…

Don't even get me started on the anime. I spent even less time watching that, though I did used to watch it as a kid.

The manga was probably what I was a bit more comfortable with, but it had also been years since I picked up Pokemon Adventures. I could only recall key details and maybe plot points?

I sighed.

This was ridiculous. I didn't even know how to process all of this but at the very least, I was done freaking out it looked like. I had plenty reason to panic and curse.

Especially considering I was a criminal, but right now, my mind was in a thoughtful lull. Maybe I wasn't freaking out because I used up all my freaking out with that earlier experience of me not feeling comfortable in my body.

Speaking of which, what was that? I felt completely fine now but earlier, I really thought I was going insane with how out of sorts my body felt.

I noticed the differences in this body but now... it wasn't negatively affecting me whatsoever.

But it was still so strange. Even the fundamental way I thought, felt different.

Maybe that's why I wasn't freaking out anymore.

Well, it wasn't the end of the world. At least I hadn't gotten caught yet and I intended to keep it that way.

No one wanted to get arrested. Losing my freedom was the worst case scenario. Even if I was in the wrong, I refused to accept that it was truly my fault and if that meant avoiding justice, so be it.

It was time to adjust and plan.

I wasn't going to waste time trying to find a way out of this world. If a God put me in it, chances are I wasn't getting out unless that God wanted me out.

Thankfully in this timeline, Gold hadn't caught sight of me yet but that didn't change the fact that anyone with a brain would be able to make some connections to my Chikorita…

Well, anyone in the Johto region at least.

It wasn't obvious, but Silver was way too arrogant.

This guy robbed a regional professor with hisnormal clothesand waltzed around the Johto region while under fire from the cops and a rival who would grow to become the strongest trainer in the region... that never turned him in.

Maybe Silver's arrogance, was circumvented by the fact that everyone else were idiots.

I didn't feel like going through all of that trouble of avoiding detection while in the Johto region. I wasn't some prodigy like Silver and I didn't want to rely on this bodies muscle memory for everything, no matter how useful it may be.

Thankfully, I had no qualms never stepping foot in the Johto region again.

No… I had a plan.

Despite not having his skill, I had to admit... the thrill of committing that heist was kind of intoxicating. The adrenaline rushing through my body, at the idea that I could get caught… I didn't hate that feeling.

This lifestyle was certainly more exciting… but I wouldn't push it. When I became confident in my skills, I'd consider coming back to this region but for now… I needed to leave.

I already knew where I was going too.

A greedy gleam appeared in my eyes.

Since I was in this world now, I might as well make the most of it and what was the best way of doing that?

Hunting down and catching my favorite Pokemon of course.

There was no point freaking out about this abnormal situation. That wasn't my style. I preferred keeping a cool head and going with the flow.

"It is what it is," as I would so often say.

So I'd take advantage of the fact that I was put in such a talented person's body and capture a team thatIwanted.

I don't know what Silver's original team is, but it's predominantly Johto pokemon and I didn't want a Johto team.

No, the only Johto pokemon I'd prefer to have on my team is a Tyranitar and I had no interest in hunting one down in Mt. Silver because I'd die and I hated the cold.

So what did I plan on doing?

Travel to the Hoenn Region.

I would need to head to Olivine City (I'm pretty sure that was the region with the ships) while honing not only my espionage skills, but Zorua's and Chikorita's power too.

They'd be my only pokemon for a while so I needed them to be formidable enough to help me accomplish my goals.

I didn't plan on staying in the Hoenn Region though… No, as much as I wanted to explore the region, it wouldn't help me out right now. I needed a region that would help me gather solid information about what world I was in.

Hoenn was just the region I planned on mostly filling out my team with. Afterwards, I'd head to Kanto and travel through the region like normal.

What? I wanted to go through them in order and get a feel for the world I now resided in. The first region of the Pokemon world was basic enough and didn't have the shenanigans that the Hoenn region would have.

Kanto was the region I knew like the back of my hand and though Hoenn was the same, I'd be able to spot more changes with the very first region of Pokemon.

If anything, I could use my time in Hoenn to see if anything particular is happening. I hoped their story hadn't started yet (if it even planned on happening in this world). That would be very inconvenient for me, a new trainer.

Once I landed in Hoenn… I could enact my plans and start catching my future team hopefully... all while letting the heat for Chikorita die down.

Right after I trained up myself and not just my Pokemon.

After the events of New Bark… I was admittedly very embarrassed by my abysmal performance and vowed to become even better then Silver at his own craft because if there was one thing I hated, it was being embarrassed.

Was I cheating by using his body? Who cared about little details like that. He should be thankful that I was planning on making this body better than anything he could achieve.

My goal for this world, was to build a strong enough team to become Champion level, so that on the chance my criminal actions caught up to me, I'd be able to properly defend myself.

With the team I was planning on having… it was plausible.

Should I go for gym badges? Hm…

Sure, why not. By the time I started getting badges, I should have my team and at that point, it would be difficult to make connections… especially in the Kanto region. I don't know how closely related Kanto and Johto were but I was sure Hoenn at the very least, couldn't have had that much connection.

It would be a great way to gauge how strong I was getting as well, if I captured Gym Badges... and a childish part of me must have wanted them as well.

Alright. I had a goal set. Now I should make sure I know what I'm doing and that meant sacrificing sleep to do some research.

I didn't know how I felt about being dropped in this world… but I'd roll with the punches and take advantage of what I had and what I knew.

Nothing else mattered to me but my own comfort and survival. If I had to make some enemies along the way, so be it.

It was as I was rummaging through my bag the next day, did I see a device that had me thinking.

It was an advanced looking device and looked a bit like a wristwatch with a logo on it.

It was black and when I flipped it open, the time (7 am) flashed on the screen.

"A... Pokegear?"I thought to myself, navigating the device and having my eyes light up at seeing the map feature.

This was great! It had the full map of the Johto region and even had my location on it in the form of a red dot flashing periodically over Route 29.

"Olivine is so far,"I thought with a frown, inspecting the distance I'd have to traverse.

Despite looking disturbingly similar to the map in game, the estimated distance (it told me once I clicked the city!) from Newbark to Olivine wasmonths.

Looks like I'd be staying in this region for a little while longer. I would need to travel quite the distance to make it to the lighthouse city…

Lame.

As I got ready to pocket my Pokegear so I could begin the trek, a thought occurred to me.

"Doesn't the Pokegear have a phone feature?"

I could gather a lot of information with just that.

It took me a bit to find my contacts and I stared dumbly at seeingnot a single name there.

"Why the hell do I even have this thing?"I thought with a blank expression.

There was literally not a single contact on the Pokegear. There had been no calls made, no calls received…

Did I steal this? No, according to the Pokegear, this was mine and I had it for quite a while too.

I also had an ID. Turns out I was 12 and was born in Viridian City of Kanto.

Awesome. At least I was learning things about myself...

I have no idea where Silver got so many expensive things, but I certainly wasn't complaining.

Did Green not exist in this timeline then? I remember that her and Silver were quite close in the manga and made calls to each other rather frequently.

Hm… wait, did the internet exist in this world?

Turns out, it did! It was in the Pokedex and I once again praised myself for having the insight to snatch one of these things.

I winced at seeing news of Professor Elm being attacked almost immediately, but at least I didn't kill him. He was currently hospitalized and there was a warning to be on the lookout for a Chikorita, though it expressly stated not to report just any trainer who owned one.

Chikorita frowned deeply once I told her that. She really was hellbent on staying with me and I appreciated that.

Thankfully, it seems Chikorita wasn't as rare as in the video games. In the anime, there was quite a bit of them weren't there?

At the very least, if I didn't reveal my Chikorita until I left this region, I should generally be in the clear.

I hummed a tune of a song whose name I didn't know of, as I scoured the net. Using the internet for information, proved to be a great decision.

It helped clear up a lot of questions I had (It didn't make a dent to my list of questions... but it helped).

In particular, reading that Lance's years of dominance as the KantoandJohto Champion, were being put into question due to the rampant growth of Team Rocket, answered a lot. Team Rocket was actually running amuck in both regions, though they dominantly operated in Kanto...

Red and Blue probably didn't exist in this timeline. Not only was Team Rocket (wow, Silver really hated Team Rocket. My body instinctively convulsed in anger every time I read their name) still at large in the regions but Lance wasstillchampion and there was no mention of him having lost a match, besides exhibitions against other champions, since his reign started.

Hm...

Was this the games? Team Rocket didn't feel like a threat in the anime but they were quite prominent in Kanto... I think?

I don't remember anyone besides Jesse, James and Meowth. But in this world, one of the more wanted and known members of Team Rocket, was someone by the name of Executive Proton.

He was from the Johto games wasn't he? Hm...

Regardless, if Team Rocket really was running rampant, that was more reason for me to slink over to Kanto. They were painting a bigger target on their backs so they'd be under heavy scrutiny, giving me time to train up and get sufficiently strong.

Sounded like a plan. I also did some research on Hoenn and didn't see anything regarding Magma or Aqua, but I'd do some deeper research later to see if they currently existed, previously existed, or didn't exist at all.

"Alright, our goal is to head to Olivine City," I informed Zorua and Chikorita. "I don't plan on staying in the Johto region so we're going to take a boat to Hoenn first and then travel through the Kanto region," I explained.

Zorua nodded without hesitation at my orders and Chikorita followed suit.

"We'll need to train more. I don't plan on catching any pokemon until we land in Hoenn so I'll be focusing on getting you two strong. We'll need to get you guys impressive for what I plan on doing," I explained calmly, despite my excitement at the idea of training actual Pokemon.

"Zor!" Zorua barked in affirmation.

"Chiko!" Chikorita exclaimed.

Now how do I even start training them? I wasn't a pokemon trainer… where should I even begin?

"Alright, let's run through all your moves," I decided, not seeming to sure of myself.

If Zorua or Chikorita picked up on it, they made no move to mention it and my first pokemon stepped up.

"Leer," I began easily enough.

Zorua growled cutely and bared his fangs, glaring at me with venom in his gaze.

"That's adorable,"I thought offhandedly.

I don't know how such a cute move would affect other pokemon, but I didn't comment on it, just nodding in approval.

"Scratch on the tree," I commanded.

The little fox took off at impressive speeds and raked glowing white claws against the tree, gouging it nicely.

"Torment," I said as soon as he finished.

Zorua growled and stamped its feet, shouting mockingly in his tongue as a dark energy roiled off him. I wasn't sure if it worked but he seemed fairly confident in it so I'd write it off as good for now.

"Hone Claws."

Zorua's claws began glowing orange as they extended in length. The dark type growled and rushed another tree, scratching into it with expert precision.

My eyes widened at how deep the gouges were in comparison to his first scratch attack.

"Alright, now for the most interesting… Extrasensory," I ordered.

The dark typed set his stance and focused. It didn't come out very quick but I attributed it to him being a dark type using the opposite type.

Gold energy began pouring off of Zorua, before he fired a rainbow-colored beam at the tree, blowing it off its roots and sending it crashing on the floor.

It made a thunderous noise and I jumped at the volume.

My mouth opened in shock at that, eyes bugged in disbelief as I gauged the state of the tree.

You know… seeing an actual pokemon move, really put it into perspective that I was in a brand new world with its own rules that differed from my old one.

I could die to an angry Rattata if I wasn't careful. Wasn't that just so surreal? An abnormal sized rat, mauling me to death with its gigantic teeth.

This was why I wasn't stoked to be in this world. Too many threats to my life. It was a marvel humans managed to tame Pokemon to this degree.

"Cool," I praised, rubbing the head of Zorua. "Well done."

He barked happily and accepted my pat, before settling next to me.

"You're up next Chikorita," I called.

Chikorita perked up excitedly and got into a ready position. A look of determination was set on her features and I smiled in amusem*nt.

"Growl," I began, running through the moves once more. This was for my sake too. I seemed to have already memorized them (nice memory Silver) but who knows what would happen in the heat of battle?

Chikorita set her stance and narrowed her eyes, before letting out a cute growl that once again made me wonder how this would affect anyone.

"Tackle."

My grass type took off at a slower speed than Zorua before crashing its full body into a tree, jostling it from the impact.

"Vine Whip."

Two vines snaked out the buds around her neck and they extended before slapping harshly at the same tree.

"Heal pulse."

Chikorita opened her mouth and formed a pink ball of energy, before firing it at Zorua and I's direction.

I stiffened at that, but relaxed as the tension of my body left me. I let out a sigh of relief at the sensation and nodded in approval.

Heal Pulse was pretty cool.

"Perfect. Good job both of you," I praised with a small smile that naturally looked like a smirk on Silver's face.

Based on what I saw, Zorua was a fair bit stronger than Chikorita. It made sense considering I had presumably owned him for longer and just got Chikorita yesterday.

Just how long did I have Zorua? I was still stuck on the fact that I had a Unova pokemon on my team while in the Johto region…

Not only that, I was very clearly well off. Just who the hell were Silver's parents? Did they give me Zorua? Did they give me money?

I dunno. Since I had no contacts, I couldn't really figure out either. Clearly Silver wanted nothing to do with whoever his mom or dad was.

Eh, it was inevitable that I'd go to Viridian City one day. It did have a gym after all and if the games were indiciation, the strongest of the region.

Was Giovanni still the Gym Leader or was it Blue?

If it was Giovanni, I wonder if me revealing he was the boss of Team Rocket, would change anything. Does he ever actually pay for his crimes?

Judging by the way my body recoiled in disgust, I wasn't a fan of the Earth Gym Leader either.

Guess that answered that. Giovanni was probably the leader of Team Rocket and the Gym Leader... considering I was also born in Viridian, I wonder if I had personal issues with him.

I'd probably avoid visiting Viridian for the time being if so. Strongest Gym Leader of Kanto and all that.

Ah well. That was months away. The official Kanto gym circuit had started just a little over 2 weeks ago (it was January 17th) along with the Johto circuit but it lasted an entire year so if I wanted to tackle it, I had more then enough time to accomplish my goals before slinking away to my birth region.

"I'll cook up some training for you guys soon, let's keep traveling for now," I ordered.

They nodded in affirmation and we continued our journey to Cherrygrove City.

According to the Pokegear, it would take me 2 hours to make it to the City and maybe less if I upped my pace into a fast walk.

Perfect. I wanted to make it in and out of the city as soon as possible. I didn't need to stock up on anything and I didn't plan on starting training until I made it far away from New Bark.

As we traversed this dense forest, I took the chance to navigate my Pokedex more (I think it was the national variant) and see if it was really as useful as I thought it was.

Hint: It was.

The device was telling me all the moves the Zorua and Chikorita family could learn right now and thank God for that because I would have had no idea how to approach training without it.

Extrasensory and Heal Pulse were also egg moves, so that explained why they had them.

Fascinating.

I wanted Zorua to learn a dark move but that wouldn't be easy while it was still so young. Once it got closer to becoming a Zoroark, it should be able to learn the more difficult dark moves but for now, I had to settle for Pursuit and Feint Attack.

My goal for Zorua and then Zoroark was easy. Abuse its abilities to use illusions, confuse and eventually overwhelm opponents with trickery, speed and power.

Agility, Nasty Plot, Dark Pulse, Night Daze… I'd like to have it master Extrasensory too as if it were a psychic type. These were all moves I would eventually work on in the future.

As for Chikorita, I didn't have a set goal but I liked the idea of a control tank that controlled the pace of the battle.

She would dish out a lot of damage, and weather a bunch more, all while setting up the field in her favor. The Meganium family already had an easy time learning such moves like Synthesis, Reflect, Leech Seed and Light Screen so I wanted to take advantage of that.

Then I'd supplement her offense with moves like Giga Drain, Solar Beam and Petal Dance.

She'd be a drain tank. Someone who managed to keep herself in the battle by draining her opponents and healing it all back up.

Meganium would be unkillable! My opponents would need to expend a ton of energy to take her out and that frustration would make things even easier for me.

The idea that I could potentially have that, had me brainstorming a lot of ideas and I felt a sly grin forming on my face at how annoying I might end up becoming in the future.

There didn't seem to be a four move limit or levels either so that was nice. Though... that might likely mean I wasn't in either the game or the manga, since levels were confirmed there.

Honestly, I think I was probably in some weird amalgamation of all three. At the very least, this had to have been a mix of the games and the manga.

I had no idea what impact the anime had, if it had any.

That might have the potential to be the most nightmarish situation on the planet. A weird mash of all three worlds...

I sighed tiredly.

Man, I hope this training thing wasn't too hard. I needed to get strong fast.

"I challenge you to a pokemon battle!"

I let out a deep sigh of aggravation, that mostly stemmed from the fact I had only pulled a few hours of sleep last night.

Man, what the hell? I barely even got to take in the scenery of something besides the forest, before being bombarded.

Not even two seconds after finally stepping out of the forests of Route 29, I was instantly approached by some kid who seemed eager to battle.

They were literal NPCs. Who even camped out over here? What an inconvenient spot to choose as your base...

It was a bland kid with a pair of shorts, a white tee and a reverse hat on. He looked to be a few years younger than me, but I was clearly not good at identifying ages so I wouldn't make an actual guess.

Despite him camping my location (did multiple people come out of the forests?!) like he was a sniper, I couldn't stop the well of excitement from coursing through my body.

That intoxicating rush that I felt while robbing Elm, surged up at the prospect of my very first pokemon battle.

Sure I had barely even done any training, but that would just make this all the more interesting. The best way to learn, was to actually practice so this battle would be a great learning experience.

I had returned Zorua and Chikorita by now for obvious reasons and for even more obvious reasons, I wouldn't be using my grass type for this battle.

Logically speaking, battling right now wasn't the wisest of decisions... but I wouldn't be battling trainers for quite a bit. I would prefer to remain as anonymous as possible...

I'd be handicapping myself in my mission by not gaining the comfort of battling trainers... so I'd accept just this battle and then continue on my path.

"Alright. 1 on 1," I said shortly, running through plans and the battles I had seen in the anime from years ago.

Surprisingly, it came rather easy to me and I pursed my lips at that.

My memory was excellent now, a far cry from my forgetfulness in my old body.

The youngster grinned at me and pulled out a shiny red Pokeball before lobbing it.

"Sentret, let's go!" He shouted eagerly.

I gazed at the brown mammal with a searching gaze, not quite sure what I was looking for but shrugging all the same.

In terms of Pokemon, it looked rather basic and actually looked like it could fit in with the animals on Earth.

A Sentret...

I didn't say a word as I calmly released Zorua.

The fox materialized, just as silent as me and perked up slightly at seeing the Sentret across from it.

"Woah?! What's that?!" The kid asked in awe, eyes sparkling at my first pokemon.

I ignored him, too deep in my own thoughts to acknowledge him.

I wasn't sure if Silver and Zorua had battled before, but this wasmyfirst battle and losing to a youngster would be a blow to my confidence that my ego would want fixed as soon as possible.

Aka, training until I could crush all 8 gym leaders. I still planned on doing that but if I lost... I'd do that more.

There was a real chance, my inexperience with actual pokemon battles could make me lose this match.

Sure, Silver was absolutely a prodigy, but I wasn't really Silver…

...What am I thinking? I didn't have to be Silver. Silver was content to be second fiddle to Gold or Crystal. He was content to be a loser at the end of the day.

I didn't want to be second fiddle to anyone. Who the hell was content to be in second place when you had the skills to go higher?

Since I knew Silver was a prodigy, I'd exploit his talent and become something he couldn't.

Yeah... I'd be better than Gold and Crystal in any timeline. And if I were better than them, that meant I was better than Silver.

Scratch that. They weren't even on my radar. I had no intention of staying in Johto and meeting up with those two repeatedly, but if we did ever meet, I'd crush either one for my own satisfaction to prove to myself that I am better than Gold, CrystalandSilver.

A co*cky smirk made its way onto my face, as my blood began pulsing.

Yeah that's right. I was going to take this body to places it had never seen before.

No losing every single battle to my rival. Just for you Silver, I'd show you how it felt to be the main star of the show. I'd show you what it felt like being chased instead of chasing people.

I'd gather and create my own army and I'd take out anyone who thought they could beat me.

Resolve set, I glared challengingly at the kid who was soon to become my first victim.

"Sentret, use scratch!" The kid shouted, snapping me out of my musings.

There wasnoway I was losing this battle.

"Zorua, dodge then test it with scratch," I said after a short while.

Credits to Zorua for not even hesitating to follow my orders. The little guy was a real soldier, deftly leaping to the left before lunging in like an assassin, landing sharp white claws directly on Sentret's midsection.

Red claw marks appeared on the normal types skin and it squealed as it flew back, collapsing on the floor.

Should I push my advantage?

Why wasn't the Sentret moving?

"Aw man you're so strong!" The kid said, returning his unconscious Sentret with a downtrodden expression.

"What?" I said dumbly, exchanging a confused glance with Zorua. "That's it?"

"Zor," he shrugged helplessly, making his way to my side.

I got myself that psyched up… for that? That whole speech earlier... about becoming the star and getting chased by people I'd normally be chasing... for this?

A one-shot… with my weakest attack move? No buffs or nothing… just a regular scratch…

And it was down for the count?

"Are you serious?" I said incredulously, gazing at the kid in confusion.

Was this kid taking me for a fool? Did he think he needed to go easy on me? Did I look like that much of a noob?

"You should have used your strongest pokemon, kid. Not some freshly caught one. At least get to know it better before challenging someone," I advised, looking a little annoyed.

What a waste. Getting myself hyped up for no reason. My excitement had been stopped cold at this disappointment of a battle and I couldn't stop the scowl from forming on my face.

"Huh?" The kid blinked, looking a little shocked at my words. "I-I didn't just catch Sentret! He's my first pokemon! I had him for 3 months now!"

What.

"You had that Sentret for 3 months?" I asked in disbelief, feeling a surging annoyance rise in me. "What the hell have you even been doing? Do you train at all? Are you just camped out in this spot for no other reason than to lose battles?"

The kid flinched back at my harsh tone, eyes wide in confusion at my annoyance.

"I took out your Sentret inoneattack," I stressed, brows furrowed. I could practically feel the frustration pulsing through my body.

"How can you be so satisfied being so weak? That's just so damn embarrassing..."

I scoffed, snatched my prize money out of his hand (I read up on some rules last night about Pokemon battles!) and walked past the teary eyed kid.

"Waste of a battle. Waste of my time. C'mon Zorua, let's go," I muttered.

Stupid. Why did I expect a youngster to be worth anything? I bet the kid still wore diapers. Calling them actual trainers would be a disgrace-

"Hey."

I paused and if possible, my annoyance managed togrow.

I knew that voice. Wasting my time on this stupid youngster, put me in a terrible situation and I grit my teeth to avoid cursing everything around me.

Unfortunately for them, this first battle experience of mine had completely soured my mood.

"f*ck off," I said harshly, continuing my gait with Zorua by my side.

A hand on my shoulder, stopped me in my tracks and I slowly turned to face the idiot, murder in my eyes.

Silver eyes, as pale as the moon, clashed with gold eyes, as bright as the sun, both burning with a different type of anger.

Righteous for one.

Cold for the other.

"Stop being a dick first!" Gold snarled angrily, looking dearly like he wanted to punch me.

Seems like he and Crystal were traveling together because the girl was currently consoling the crying kid while glaring at me.

Surprisingly, I didn't even feel a little bad. I was justreallyannoyed because one choice by me, made things very quickly spiral out of control.

"Get your hands off me," I warned calmly, eyes narrowed as I stared at the slightly shorter boy.

"Not until you apologize to Jimmy for being completely out of line dude," the main character of the Johto region demanded.

I sighed and lunged, gripping his arm and bodily flipping him over me with startling ease.

"Anime strength is bullsh*t,"I thought to myself as he landed back first on the floor from my effortless throw.

"!" Gold gasped, eyes going wide as the wind was knocked out of him.

I sneered down at the coughing trainer, a cold satisfaction filling my body at my actions.

"Gold!" Crystal shouted with a look of concern, rushing over to him and hoisting him up with a worried look.

At the same time one of his Pokeballs rustled furiously, before a Cyndaquil burst out, glaring at me with a surprising amount of fury.

Crystal's own Pokeball shook and a Totodile released itself. It snarled at me in some recognition and it basically confirmed my thoughts that like Chikorita, the starters knew who I was.

I gazed at them coolly, watching them growl threateningly at me but making no move to attack me yet.

I snorted, lab raised mons sure were gentle.

"What is your problem?!" Crystal asked me, eyes narrowed in fury as she pushed herself up and jabbed a finger to my chest.

She was also shorter than me, blue hair rustling as those crystalline blue eyes gazed up at me with a stern disappointment.

Yeah, no.

I easily grabbed her hand mid poke and squeezed with some force.

"Myproblem, is that you and your boyfriend keep touching me, after I just saiddon'ttouch me. Are you an idiot?" I stressed, squeezing tighter and tighter until she winced from the pressure.

I was already cursing myself for somehow running into these two without my hoodie on, thinking it would be suspicious to just walk around with it in a populated area.

Not doing that again. This hoodie was staying on regardless of what anyone else thought.

What were the odds that they were even in the area?! Was it that damn God making sure I run into my "rivals"? What type of heartless kids go on a journey one day after hearing their professor got sent to the hospital,withthe starters!

This was way too convenient… I couldn't believe this terrible luck.

Well, whatever. After this meeting, I'd be moving at a pace that made sure we'd likely never see each other again.

This would be our first and last encounter… so I might as well make it one to remember.

I was still super annoyed at that first battle so -

"Battle me asshole," Gold demanded with a deep glare, as he snatched Crystal away from me.

A battle between Gold and I. An actual prodigy in battling if he was similar to any version of himself that was important.

Might as well see how I shape up to the real geniuses of the world. I planned on being better than all of them after all.

Also, I'll give Silver his first and only win against Gold. Least I could do for hijacking his body.

I rolled my eyes. "Up for another, Zorua?" I asked my first pokemon.

The fox's eyes lit up at the fact I was consulting with him and he nodded vigorously, barking as he got into ready position.

"Alright Cyndaquil, let's teach him a lesson!" Gold barked, glaring at me with a co*cky smirk. "Once I win, I'll get you to apologize to Jimmy and Crystal."

I shrugged, mind running through how I planned on winning this.

Like it or not, this was the guy that had the potential to be a champion level trainer. It didn't matter if he just became a trainer, you either had the spark or you didn't...

But Gold was underestimating Zorua's strength.

"Zorua, leer," I began, testing the waters.

"Cyndaquil, leer!" Gold retorted.

At the same time, both pokemon began growling at each other and I had no interest in having this cute little stare off continue.

"Hone in," I said easily, eyes narrowed.

We hadn't trained much, but I did explain my goals for each of them.

My main goal, was for Zorua to become a master of his ability, Illusion, to the point no one could tell if he had them up or not. We were already practicing some keywords that let him know I wanted him to throw up illusions.

Hell we could even condition them into thinking we were using illusions and fake em out.

It was genius!

"Cyndaquil, Ember don't let him get close!" Gold ordered.

Cyndaquil opened his mouth and fired out some pellets of fire at Zorua that the fox dodged.

The fire type continued to fire at the fox, ensuing a chase of sorts that lasted up until the fire mouse let out a victorious growl at landing a successful hit.

That growl, turned into one of confusion as the fire flew right through my pokemon.

"Scratch," I smirked.

Gold's confusion turned into horror, as Zorua burst from the shadows and clawed Cyndaquil's back with ruthless precision.

"CYNDAQUIL!" Gold shouted in horror, watching the mouse tumble across the ground.

"Again. Make sure it doesn't get up," I said ruthlessly, pushing the advantage.

Zorua let out a disturbingly similar smirk to mine (I kinda liked it) and dashed off to finish his target.

"Cyndaquil let out a widespread smokescreen!" Gold ordered with narrowed eyes.

My eyes widened at the order. "Zorua back off!" I barked.

Turns out, Zorua and I were both pretty arrogant. We thought the match was as good as over.

The big fog of smoke said otherwise.

Zorua tried to pull back but the momentum carried him too far and he got a lung full of smoke in response.

"Zor!" He gagged, coughing harshly from the oily air.

"Tackle!"

"Cynda!" The mouse growled fiercely as it rushed and slammed its full weight into Zorua.

"Zorua!" I couldn't help but yell in slight concern as he was sent tumbling across the ground.

"You've got Cyndaquil all fired up! Let's finish this! Use Double Kick!" Gold barked, flashing a victorious grin as Cyndaquil began glowing with fighting energy.

"Double kick?!"I thought in disbelief. What the hell were these starters being fed?!

If that hit it was as good as over…

Not a chance in hell.

I paused as I noticed the prone Zorua and I felt my eyes widen.

"Zorua, hang in there! Move and use Extrasensory!" I barked out.

Nothing, all he did was twitch as Cyndaquil rushed him.

As the iron mouse got closer and closer, my face got more and more concerned…

Until it melted away in favor of a smug smirk.

Gold actually caught the shift in expression and his eyes widened. "Wait! Cyndaquil back off! It's a trick!" He shouted but it was too late.

"Zorua, Extrasensory!" I barked victoriously.

My little fox wasn't just a fair bit stronger than Chikorita, naturally he was stronger than all three of the starters. He oversold that Tackle on purpose like the little genius he was!

Zorua's play dead scheme worked perfectly and my dark type shot up with a vicious gleam, eyes glowing before he opened his mouth and fired a rainbow colored beam that hit the jumping Cyndaquil right in the gut.

"Quil!" Cyndaquil wheezed, getting sent flying back to Gold's side of the field like a deflated balloon. It crashed into the ground with athudand laid there.

"No way… I lost?" Gold thought in shock, watching Cyndaquil not even let out a twitch.

My body stopped pulsing as the sweet feeling of victory coursed through me and I smirked a violent smirk.

"Nice, Zorua!" I praised, picking the dark type up and settling him on my shoulders. "You did fantastic playing dead there. That win felt good didn't it? Let's keep it up."

Zorua puffed his chest proudly and accepted my praise with a pleased grin.

Yes, this wasn't his old trainer… but he liked this version of him much more so he wouldn't complain.

"Gold lost?" Crystal said in shock, gazing at the cruel redhead with wide eyes. "But he's the best battler in New Bark!"

The gold eyed teen was looking at Cyndaquil in shock, not quite believing he had actually lost and considering who he was, he probably hadn't lost to anyone but Crystal back home.

That made me feel even better.

This battling thing would surely get harder but right now, I was on the same playing field. I had a bunch of time to improve and I'd use everything at my disposal to do that.

Now if only I watched the anime more… that was the source of pokemon content with the most creative methods of battling. I could have stole some stuff there.

I pulled out a potion from the medicine section of my bag and sprayed Zorua with it, noting that I didn't have to use the whole thing before he was fully healed.

"Neat,"I thought in fascination, watching his wounds close up.

Still, if I'm right. That's the Cyndaquil that was just in the lab and already he and Gold were doing work.

If I used Chikorita to fight him… the type advantage might have made it a one-sided slaughter.

I scowled. I needed to get better. Winning felt good and winning convincingly, would feel even better.

"Give me my money," I demanded harshly.

Gold flinched at that and mindlessly rustled around for the amount, handing it off to me and not reacting as I rudely snatched it out of his hand.

Without so much a word, I began my trek towards Cherrygrove, glancing at a sign that confirmed that I was heading in the right direction.

That snapped Gold out of his daze and he glanced up at the one who defeated him.

"Wait! You still haven't apologized to Jimmy," Gold exclaimed, shaking off his loss and glaring at me.

I glanced in disinterest at him. "I have nothing to apologize for. He should apologize for ambushing me and then wasting my time," I said coolly.

As I was about to take another step, snarling interrupted me and Totodile stepped directly in front of me.

I stared at the pokemon that should have been my starter and noted the clear recognition in its furious eyes.

So I played the ignorant card.

"I'm not accepting anymore battles," I said, glaring at Crystal now. "Get it out of my way."

I idly noted that the little kid was gone now, probably running off to go heal that Sentret of his.

The girl jumped at that, not knowing how to react to someone so callous and rude before she hesitantly returned Totodile despite his protests.

Huh, that was surprisingly effective. This rude bit was a great way to avoid conversation and Silver had a natural resting bitch face.

Gold glared at me, fury filling him in a way that he probably couldn't explain.

"What is your deal?" He snarled, closing the distance again and threatening to butt heads with me again.

I noted with an amused smirk, that he wasn't making contact with me this time.

Despite feeling good about winning that battle. I didn't want to stay here any longer than I needed to.

The only reason I left the forest, was because I noticed that there was a constructed road and man made guides that led you to the next town in a faster route then trudging through all those trees.

I had actually seen quite a bit of pokemon while traversing through the forests and I noted that some of them weren't native to the Johto region!

It was rather fascinating seeing them mingling about and minding their own business. It was a type of immersion that was impossible to experience unless you were actually there.

Starly, Wurmple, Budew… I even saw a family of Pansage, led by an intimidating Simisage.

None were keen on attacking me, but I wouldn't test my luck or risk antagonizing them.

Of course the moment I leave, I run into Gold and Crystal… though I suppose they did take a shorter route so it made sense.

Not to mention they had the other two starters… did that mean Elm was well enough to give them out?

This world probably had really good healing…

He didn't see me at all so I should be good for a bit longer.

I shoved past Gold with a sneer and said, "Losers should know how to accept their losses quietly. I'm done wasting my time here so f*ck off beforeIget violent."

Props to Gold for not stepping down for a second.

"You wanna go? Let's go then!" The Johto native growled.

He missed the way I clenched my fist at my side but before I could raise it to slam into his temple, a hand pushed both of us back.

"That's enough!" Crystal said loudly. "Gold, don't stoop to his level! You're better than that!" She chided.

I scoffed as the boy loosened his stance and that prompted her to round on me.

"I don't know who hurt you but you shouldn't act so nasty to people!" She frowned deeply, glaring at me.

My pale silver eyes glared coldly into her crystalline blue and I was satisfied to see her flinch.

"What? Do you want to battle too?" I asked warningly, taking a step forward and watching her instinctively take a step back. "You aren't a loser yet but if you're anything like your boyfriend, save yourself the trouble."

Zorua peered at her on my shoulder, a look of disinterest in his gaze.

"He's not my..." Crystal shook her head rapidly and glared at me, refusing to allow herself to be bullied any further.

Kudos to her... but I still wasn't in the mood.

"I don't want to battle you... you'll just win. Totodile isn't strong enough and Misdreavus has a type weakness," she frowned.

I rolled my eyes and turned away. "So you're a loser but at least you're a smart one I guess. Congratulations,Crys,"I said condescendingly.

It was far easier to pick on Crystal than Gold. Gold was the type of guy to stoop to my level, but Crystal tried to remain levelheaded.

Too bad for her. I wasn't from this gentle and soft world.

"Y-You are so terrible!" Crystal scowled finally, fed up with my tone. "What is wrong with you?! You do not get to call me that! Only my friends do!"

"And what are you gonna do about it, Crys?" I questioned challengingly, perking a brow.

She opened her mouth and shut it, at my questioning tone, at a loss for words. She had no clue how to deal with someone as foul as me.

Awesome.

"See? Nothing. You're a coward. If you aren't actually going to do something, you can f*ck off too. I've been trying to leave for the longest time now. I don't get how you keep mentioning my mood, but refuse to let me go," I sighed.

Gold looked at our interaction, stunned into silence. He must have been the typical whipped character that always listened to the smarter and more assertive friend. Did he think Crystal couldn't be talked back to?

Pathetic. These were my rivals?

I'm no hero and I was especially not interested in being as righteous as these two right here.

My goal was entirely self serving and that wouldn't change. I wasn't here to save the world. I don't know what was even the reason for bringing me here but whoever did it, was in for a big surprise.

"See ya losers, hopefully we never meet again," I snorted, marching past the two.

That seemed to snap them out of their daze.

"Next time we battle, I'll win," Gold declared with narrowed eyes, staring at my retreating back.

"Doubt it. There's a reason I said hopefully we never meet again. We aren't gonna meet again," I assured, most of my interest lost in my would be rivals.

With that, Zorua and I left their company and continued our trek to Cherrygrove.

Maybe I'd go back in the forest. I felt bad for confining Chikorita to her ball but we had to avoid suspicion.

She'd understand. Instead, I'd speed up the pace and put as much distance between me and those two.

Gold watched the mysterious redhead go and clenched his jaw in frustration.

"I can't believe I lost to an asshole like that. If I had used Aipom, it would have been a different story," he growled, nursing Cyndaquil and getting an apologetic whine out of the fire type.

The gold eyed teen sighed and assured Cyndaquil he did nothing wrong.

"Language, Gold," Crystal sighed, watching the back of the redhead disappear into the distance.

She had never met someone so… harsh.

"Why did you let him talk to you like that, Crys?" Gold asked suddenly, turning towards the girl with a concerned frown.

The girl frowned deeply. "...I don't really know. His words were getting under my skin, but I couldn't think of anything to say. When he called me a coward, I just froze up inside," she admitted.

Gold scowled. "You should have let me kick his ass then. He's just a bully!"

Crystal shook her head at Gold. She didn't want her best friend to stoop to that guys level.

Besides, despite being a bully... the Zorua looked like he was being treated well. Was he really as terrible as he made himself out to be?

"I hope we really don't meet him again. He rubs me the wrong way," she said with a frown.

"No way, Crys!" Gold denied instantly, fierce glare on his face. "I need to get payback and make him apologize to Jimmy. Next time we meet, I'll blow him away!" He promised.

Crystal rolled her eyes. "Gold… I'm pretty sure he's leaving Johto. We're all trainers so that means we're bound to meet again if we just keep traveling but he was sure we weren't. He looks like he's from Kanto with those clothes and he has a Kantonian dialect too, so he'll probably head back eventually," she explained.

Gold frowned deeply at that.

That sucked. He wanted to battle him again.

A sudden flash of light, revealed itself to be Totodile who had forcefully released himself from the Pokeball.

The little crocodile was growling and snarling, stamping his feet as he made gestures.

"What's the matter Totodile?" Crystal asked in concern, looking at her water type with furrowed brows.

Totodile pointed at the spot Silver had just been at.

"That mean boy?" She asked, furrowing her brows as he nodded his head in confirmation. "I know you wanted to battle him, but we can't just force him. He already fought and beat Gold and he fought Jimmy right before... and we aren't strong enough to beat him yet."

Totodile gained a look of frustration and stamped his feet, shaking his head repeatedly.

The crocodile thought about how to explain it and nodded to himself.

Crystal watched in confusion as Totodile pointed at itself and then her, before repeating the process with Cyndaquil and Gold.

Was he saying that he was her pokemon and Cyndaquil was Gold's?

That confusion turned into horror, as he pointed at the spot the redhead had been at and then he grabbed the grass and viciously yanked it out before pointing at it.

"What?!" Crystal hissed in shock, wide eyes jolting towards the spot where Silver had just been.

Gold looked on in confusion. "What happened, Crys?" He asked in confusion.

His best friend shook with wide eyes and turned a startled gaze towards where the redhead had been.

"Totodile… are you saying he's the one who stole Chikorita?" She asked in a near whisper.

Gold's eyes widened at seeing the crocodile nod.

"Him?!" He hissed, pushing himself up to go give chase.

Crystal's eyes widened at that and she grabbed Gold to stop him.

"Are you insane?!" She asked. "We can't do this! You saw how he acted! He won't think twice about hurting us!"

Gold shook his head furiously. "So we just leave it to the Police? After what happened to Elm, I won't feel good unless I'm the one who catches him," He said firmly.

Crystal stared at Gold like he were insane. The two made eye contact and her argument died on her lips, as she saw his resolve.

Gold was hell bent on chasing down that redhead by himself...

"Well, we are Professor Elm's chosen trainers for this year. It would only be right if we bring him in ourselves," she sighed.

To be fair, she did want to battle him as well after what he said. The thief looked to be the same age as them and Crystal had to wonder... what caused him to be so violent?

He spoke to Zorua so kindly... but it was a different story when speaking to them. Crystal couldn't help but wonder if this was really his character... or if he had been raised to act like this.

Gold grinned. "You're the best, Crys!" He praised.

She blushed at his praise and smiled. "We need to be careful about this Gold. No recklessly charging him… and remember that he's probably not staying in Johto… No, he definitely won't."

Gold's brows furrowed at that. He still wanted to complete the gym circuit… but he wanted to catch that redhead too.

His gold eyes glittered and he stared at the crystalline blue of his best friend.

"I've got an idea," he said with a co*cky grin.

"...I hate when you have ideas. They always turn out to be insane," Crystal sighed.

She had known Gold for years. She already knew what he was planning.

A motivated Gold was the scariest person to deal with.

"They probably know who I am by now,"I thought to myself, glancing behind me to see if they would pursue.

Maybe I should have battled Crystal. Dwindling down their numbers to two, would allow me to 2v2 with Chikorita and Zorua, against probably Misdreavus and whatever Gold's second pokemon was.

But now I risked a 2v3 with presumably, Gold's stronger Pokemon and both of Crystals...

But they never showed up.

Strange.

I was back in Silver's default outfit… but that would probably be the last time I wore it.

No skin off my back. I had other choices and the all purple pants... was certainly a choice I made that I wouldn't be making again.

I'd probably restyle my hair too...

No sooner did I think the idea, did a strong negative feeling course through my body that was almost certainly not me.

Guess no changing the hair? Whatever.

As for my silver eyes…

Yeah, nothing to do about that but hide them as often as possible. Here's to hoping a lot of people had unnatural silver hues, combined with peculiar red hair, like mine.

It was later in the morning and it would take about 30 more minutes for me to make it to Cherrygrove.

Not gonna lie, I was kind of enjoying the route. I never really appreciated nature back home but here, you could see that the people of this world didn't dare tamper with it too much.

Offending the Pokemon, was probably a fast ticket to a far more difficult life I imagine.

Trees were littered everywhere, the grass was low cut on the path for humans, but tall on the sides and the breeze was nice and warm. I marveled at the sight of two Sentret scampering around in the grass and peered at them with curious eyes as they played with each other.

They perked up as they saw Zorua and I but only warily watched as I walked past them, seeming to sense the difference in level or just not wanting to fight at all.

That was another pleasant thing, you wouldn't get jumped by any random Pokemon just for existing in the grass. Pokemon wereincrediblyintelligent, to a degree that media didn't portray well.

It seemed like more often than not, the normal ones just wanted to chill.

I snorted. As if I wanted a Sentret. I didn't think I was actually going to be catching another pokemon in Johto for the time being.

Sure there were plenty of choices like Scizor or Mamoswine but they weren't high priority and would only delay me from my real goals... Maybe in the future once I figured out more things...

Like the 6 limit rule. Was that still a thing here?

"We aren't gonna stay in Cherrygrove for long. We need to make a lot of distance. We don't have to stock up either since we got so much stuff from the lab," I muttered to Zorua.

Silver was also an overprepaper. It was clear he didn't like stopping to go shopping and I seemed to have inherited.

"Zo!" Zorua barked on my shoulder in agreement.

"Your work with Illusion is awesome by the way," I praised genuinely. "I want you to practice it in your free time. We're gonna need it for the future and if you can master it, you'll be real annoying to face."

Zorua looked excited at my praise and nodded eagerly.

I snorted. Zorua looked ready to give me the world and all I did was praise him… I wonder just what life he had to have had before I showed up.

Must have been trash. Zorua was a cool pokemon, I'd treat him how he deserved to be treated.

A thought occurred to me.

This was my first pokemon. Technically he was second in charge… I should set him up for the leader role shouldn't I?

In the long run, I don't think he was going to be my most powerful Pokemon but he was still my first and so, I'd make sure he got the respect he earned.

With the pokemon I was planning on getting, he'd need to be more assertive I imagine.

"What do you think of Chikorita?" I asked in a low mutter. "Think she's a good addition?"

Zorua was caught off guard by me deciding to converse with him but clearly, he was getting used to this personality shift and had no intentions of questioning it.

"Zor," the dark type nodded eventually.

Zorua liked Chikorita. They talked for a bit and he explained what she should expect traveling with them.

They weren't normal after all. Chikorita should know that they did… questionable activities.

She didn't seem to mind at all, just pleased that Silver was their trainer so that was a plus.

I nodded thoughtfully at his approval. "Between you and me, I didn't actually plan on getting her… but I'm kind of glad for my mistake. She's very agreeable," I admitted in a low whisper.

I had no idea how Silver managed to tame that feisty Totodile, but I probably would have been far less successful.

Zorua nodded in agreement with my assessment and I found myself gazing curiously at the dark type.

Any issues I had with Zorua being my first pokemon and not Sneasel, had been thrown out of the window by the little guys impressive display.

He saved my ass after all. I would be an ungrateful prick if I had a problem with it.

Zorua was useful. Incredibly so… Silver lucked out getting a pokemon like this.

I had a pet dog before when I was younger. He was awesome but his intelligence didn't even come close to Zorua's. The dark type understood everything I said and was able to respond in a way that made sure I could understand.

That illusion translating Chikorita's problems to me, was absolutely genius of him. Illusion was way more incredible then the games made it out to be.

I was looking forward to learning the limitations and abusing it religiously. He seemed to expend almost no energy when using it on himself, but a lot of energy using it on someone else.

As we headed to Cherrygrove, I decided to walk through the tall grass in hopes of finding something to do and got into a battle with a violent Rattata that scurried away after one hit from Zorua.

Boring. Nevermind.

"I feel a little bad for keeping Chikorita in the ball…" I muttered, idly palming her ball.

Something I should do, was invest in a way to differentiate my Pokeballs. Though I seemed to innately know who was in which one, it never hurt to double down.

I should also think of nicknames to differentiate my pokemon... but that would take a while. I wasn't good with names so I'd have to dwell on it for a while.

"Zor," Zorua assured me hesitantly and I nodded.

"Yeah, once I get the chance, I'll let her get some air," I agreed.

It would probably be after I left Cherrygrove. I wasn't planning on staying there very long because that was still too close to New Bark. Gold and Crystal could catch up to me at any point if I idled around.

No, I couldn't fully relax until I was out of this region…

And I was one step closer.

Cherrygrove, much like Route 29 and New Bark, was a town dominated by nature. Besides the buildings, and some few sandy roads, the area looked almost untouched by mankind. Grass was maintained at a reasonable level but dominated the area, the paved road lacked stone and concrete, using sand instead and the people bustled about with Pokemon of all kinds mingling with them.

It was… nice.

Back home, I lived in the city so I didn't get to appreciate sights like this very much.

Still, I do miss my friends and family back at -

Back at -

I paused in confusion.

...Where did I live again?

I tried to recall information about my home and while I had general knowledge… the moment I tried to recall anything specific, my mind blanked completely. I only knew vague information. I knew I had a family, I knew I had friends... but if I tried to pry deeper...

Huh?

"Zor?" Zorua called in confusion, noticing my discomfort that was slowly increasing in levels.

Why couldn't I remember anything? Where did I live? What was the name of the city I lived in? Hell, what state did I live in? Was it New York? Utah? Texas?

I don't know.

Who were my parents? I had both a mother and a father… but that's all Iknew.I distantly remember having siblings... right? Didn't I mention an older sister yesterday?

Or was it an older brother?

...I don't know.

Why?I remembered all of this yesterday… didn't I?

...No. I was now beginning to realize… that I never even once mentioned my old name.

What was my name again?

Oh that's right. My name's Silver-

I let out raspy breath and stumbled backwards, holding my head in confusion.

What was going on? The deeper I tried to peer into my memories, the more hazy they became.

What the hell? Was I… overlapping with Silver? Did I not completely take over?

When left to my unconscious thoughts... Ionlyreferred to myself as Silver as if I had always been Silver.

I felt a headache blooming and huffed.

I'm not too sure about anything anymore. I thought it was just muscle memory carrying me earlier… but clearly that wasn't the whole story.

The fact that I identified myself as Silver proved so.

Right now, I can't even fathom the idea of having had another name. In my head, I've always been Silver. But at the same time, I knew I wasn'tthatSilver.

This was so weird. At the very least, it did seem like I had full control. I just had to deal with mind shenanigans.

I would hate to share a body with someone. I was beginning to think my mind merged with Silver's somehow but it was dominantly in my favor for the time being.

What was the end result going to be?

Would I progressively lose memories of my old world? If that's the case, why don't I have any memories that belong to Silver? Why did I remember the Pokemon related things from my old world so easily, but nothing else?

Did it have to do with that earlier experience where I was freaking out in my own skin before everything clicked into place?

...How old was I?

"Just turned 12,"I thought instantly before shutting my eyes in annoyance.

f*ck. Things just got a lot more complicated for me.

"Sorry about that, just got a headache," I explained to the worried Zorua. "Let's not waste anymore time. We won't be staying here long. I'm gonna return you for now, don't need connections yet."

Zorua looked very concerned but nodded and I stepped into Cherrygrove City with a pondering frown.

Unlike in the video games, there was way more than a few houses and the stores. The city itself was massive in comparison and various buildings, both business related and just homes, dotted the area.

There were stores besides the Pokemart too. A clothing shop that I considered entering but discarded, a food stand, hell there was a market for just Pokemon related cosmetics too… It was way more alive than the games.

More authentic.

As I traversed the town. I decided to ask around for some directions.

At first, the plan was for me to leave this place immediately but this was clearly a bigger world than the one in the games so I needed to plan a bit more.

There might be places I never even heard about. I couldn't rely solely on my memories when it came to the map.

For instance, there was a town called Whitestone that was between Ecruteak City and Olivine City.

That was as clear a sign as any that this trip could take way longer then I thought…

But I was in luck.

This wasn't the game world. There weren't random landmarks blocking areas, that the devs didn't want us going to, and that helped me notice something.

Cherrygrove City had a large body of water that was blocked off in the games, leaving only a small area to traverse around.

That block did not exist here.

And the best part? If navigated correctly, the water would take you directly to Olivine City, allowing you to skip a bunch of cities in the process.

I just needed to find a way to get water transportation and if I could, I would cut down months of journey, to just a few days.

That's why I was asking around for directions despite desiring anonymity. This was incredibly important to saving time and accomplishing my missions as quickly as possible.

The faster I made it to Hoenn, the quicker I'd get someone off my trail and the more smooth my sailing would go.

Plastering the most fake and polite smile on my face, I approached a middle aged woman who seemed to be shopping for a Furret and she perked up at hearing my footsteps.

The woman looked up in clear curiosity, a friendly demeanor radiating off of her.

"Hello! Sorry to bother, but I'd like to ask a question," I greeted with a short wave.

"Oh aren't you just the cutest little thing!" She gushed, holding her cheeks at how polite I was. "Please, don't be shy dear! Ask away!"

I continued to smile. "I'm new to the Johto region so I'm not quite sure how things work around here… I wanted to go to Olivine City from here and I noticed the body of water that connected the two. Is there a way I can sail there?" I asked easily.

"So well articulated… why yes there is!" The woman nodded at my question. "Near the shore there's a building and a small port. It heads to Goldenrod, Cianwood and of course, Olivine. I'm sure if you speak to someone there, they'll be sure to tell you when the next ship set sails," she explained politely.

I nodded at the information and felt a small grin forming.

Perfect! This would speed things up by a whole lot. I could take a ship to Olivine then from there, I'd look to see if there was anything headed to the Hoenn region.

I'm not sure how good regional relationships were between the regions in this world… but Ash was able to travel to new regions with effortless ease and I did do some research.

If I wanted to get to Hoenn, my best bet was Olivine.

"Thank you! I appreciate that," I said, bowing slightly.

She waved me off frantically. "Oh no need to bow, darling! You're too kind!" she sighed.

"If you just follow this road and head south, you'll find the building. It's hard to miss!"

I nodded, red hair jostling a bit at the movement and I idly brushed the bangs that nearly covered one of my eyes aside, scowling as it popped right back into place.

How did hair even naturally get like this? My hair was a mix of smooth at the top and spiky at the bottom near my neck. To top it all off, I had a slight cowlick sticking out at the very top of my red hair that I already tried pushing down to no avail.

What a horror. The only thing more horrifying, is my body's staunch refusal to actually change the style.

I followed the directions the lady left me, all while contemplating the wonders of anime hair, until I finally arrived at the building she mentioned.

It was large, with a blue roof that had a Poliwag embedded into it and I wasted no time entering it.

A gruff man with a sailor outfit gazed at me with bored eyes behind a counter as I calmly approached him.

"When's the next ship to Olivine?" I asked bluntly. I didn't feel like doing anymore small talk.

Clearly this guy appreciated that.

"Tomorrow," he answered just as bluntly. "If you want a ticket pay here. These are the prices."

Nice. Straight to the point.

One ticket to Olivine costed about 300 Poke (that was so cheap what the hell?) and I had more than enough.

Seriously, just how talented was Silver? All of this didn't seem easy to steal. I seemed to have not only an account to my name with Poke Dollars, but actual cash besides the amount I won from Gold and that kid.

Who set up an account for me? Did I do it myself? It made sense that banks were a thing in this world... but it was strange all the same.

I forked the money over and watched the older man count it, before nodding in satisfaction.

"Be here before 2pm or get left behind. No refunds," he added.

I nodded, accepted the ticket and left without another word.

Good to know not everyone in this world was a happy go lucky idiot.

That would have gotten tiring real fast.

Route 30 was fairly simple like its counterpart in the games.

It was a straight path ahead but it was of course, far bigger than the games could probably scale.

Seriously, if all the games were to scale, it would take months to beat a single Pokemon game.

If I kept at the same pace I took for Route 29 and used the designated roads this time, I'd make it to Route 31 in about 3 hours…

I nodded to myself.

I had time to spare. It was currently 12pm and there was something I wanted to do.

Without any hesitation, I dipped into the forests of the route and released both Chikorita and Zorua out of their balls.

"Rita!" Chikorita trilled and rushed me, jumping into my midsection with a happy squeal.

I rushed to put up my hands before she could drop and deftly caught her.

"Someone's happy to see me," I couldn't help but smile at the grass type. "Sorry about keeping you trapped for so long. I'll let you out as long as possible once we leave the region."

She nodded furiously and took her place atop my shoulder without any hesitation.

"Alright, we leave for Olivine tomorrow and hopefully, we get to Hoenn by the end of the week," I explained to the two of them.

They both nodded, interest clear on their faces.

"Since we've got time to kill… there's something I want to do," I explained. "But first, training."

They perked up at that.

"Chikorita, I want to get you started on three moves. Razor Leaf, Poison Powder and Synthesis. For now, work on Razor Leaf so we can give you more offense," I muttered, showing her the video of all three moves being performed by a Venusaur on the Pokedex.

Razor Leaf and Poison Powder were self explanatory, but learning that the Chikorita family had an easier time than most pokemon learning Synthesis, had me grinning like a lunatic.

Poison Powder was to give Chikorita an easier time learning Toxic in the future. I wanted her and Zorua to be very frustrating to battle.

Chikorita nodded eagerly and trotted off to get started after a few more instructions from me.

"As for you, Zorua…" I muttered, flipping to the information on him.

This Pokedex wasn't Johto exclusive. It was the national variant and it seemed to have information on Pokemon I didn't even know about.

The ones I didn't know about seemed to be from regions I never heard of, named Galar and Paldea and I garnered a guess that those might have been the two games that dropped.

Some of these looked pretty cool.

Interesting… Maybe in my spare time, I'd do some more research but for now, I had no further interest in the later regions.

It was just something I discovered while researching the moves my team could learn.

Somethingreallyinteresting though, was Technical Machines.

With enough practice, Pokemon could actually learn TM moves without the use of the disk. TMs just made them far easier to learn by implanting the memories of the move directly into their mind.

While that was infinitely more useful, you could still learn the moves without them. It wouldn't make much sense if a disk was the only way you could learn something now would it?

"I want you to learn Pursuit, Taunt and finally Snarl," I told the attentive Dark type.

Pursuit was the easiest offensive Dark move that the Zorua line could learn. It would give him a good grounds to offensively harness his dark type energy and that would help in learning even more in the future.

Apparently, since Zorua was born with Extrasensory, he had latent psychic abilities as well. Not all Zorua's had the capabilities to harness psychic moves, but it should help him learn the few he could faster.

Neat. But that came with the caveat of having a very difficult time learning fighting moves other Zorua's could be born with.

Well that was fine. I'd focus on the dark type moves for now.

Snarl was to give him range, and Taunt was to supplement Torment and limit the Pokemon he was up against even more. All to irritate them even further.

Until he became a Zoroark, he wouldn't quite have the power output it looked like. So I'd need to fight smart with him.

He was already a tricky guy, we could do it.

"Rua!" Zorua nodded in confirmation, gazing at the moves with intent, before nodding confidently to himself.

I gazed at the two throwing themselves into training and felt pretty awkward for just standing there.

Well, no better time then now to start honing my craft.

...How the hell did I hone becoming a better thief?

Turns out, this body was capable of a lot of things when I was relying on muscle memories and not my own skill.

I couldn't understate how good of a thief Silver was. He was silent, quick and efficient. It was no wonder he was confident enough to waltz around without any disguise…

Didn't make him any less of an idiot for doing so. Didn't the dumbass encounter Lance and they battled?

How irresponsible was the champ? Or was everyone just that incompetent.

I don't think there was much Silver needed to do to improve his craft besides learning entirely new things.

That's where I came in.

I couldn't consciously utilize Silver's skills. I didn't spend years practicing the art of espionage like he had and it showed in my attempts to practice it.

I was clumsier, louder and not remotely as talented like he was.

It was like night and day, Silver's skills and mine. The kid was really good at what he did.

At least I could fight… that's what I brought to the table.

Bullsh*t... That's what this was.

My best bet, was observing just how my body acted on autopilot, and try to consciously do the same things.

It was exceedingly difficult but I was getting there. I at least was able to walk quietly now so that was a small win I'd take.

Slowly but surely, I'd reach those skills. It would be a waste to let them vanish into nothing.

I leapt off the tree I was on and wiped the sweat off my brow. The afternoon heat was killer and I had long removed that coat Silver always wore.

Currently, I had a normal black tee on that was matted to my skin from all the sweating.

Silver was also pretty damn athletic for his age. I already knew from earlier, but this guy put his body through quite the regimen. I don't know how much of that was his hard work and how much was the physiology of fictional characters evolving next to land destroying monsters... but I'd chalk it up to both.

Might as well keep him in shape. It was fairly easy to go through a steady routine so I'd keep it up along with my other training.

Not gonna lie, this physical state of this12year old was kinda nuts. I don't know if this was how top athletes felt, but running through a workout and not being on the floor exhausted, was a pretty addicting feeling.

I'm pretty sure in my old body I went to the gym a fair bit, but I wasn't a dedicated bodybuilder or anything like that.

Silver felt like his body was at its peak. That was insane, I was12!

To think I'd be getting older... I didn't even hit puberty yet.

...How bizarre.

We had been training for about two hours, before I called it quits and decided to go find some lake to bathe in because I smelt terrible.

Zorua panted and nodded, banishing the dark type energy around him with a satisfied glimmer.

He had gotten Pursuit down fairly easily and was working on increasing its power output because it wasn't quite strong enough yet.

Pursuit in this world was strange. It's power didn't increase as you were recalling a Pokemon. The move increased in strength when striking from behind.

Pretty perfect for an assassin like Zorua. I'd have to make sure he didn't forget about this move. It had potential.

As for Chikorita, the little Grass type managed to surprise me by throwing out some fierce Razor Leafs. She mastered it way quicker then I expected of her and I was pretty damn proud.

I was impressed by how quickly the both of them got their respective skills down and while they weren't difficult moves, I would still give them the praise they deserve.

I returned them temporarily and headed to the water source I saw earlier, looking at the crystalline clear water with a whistle.

That water looked so damn clear and healthy. The vitality of this world was amazing and I found myself once more basking in it.

...Did my pokemon bathe with water? I'm not sure. I guess I could just find out.

I released both of them and made sure there was no one else in the area before I rummaged through my bag and grabbed some necessary essentials.

I began stripping my clothes off and reluctantly got in the lake only for all the hesitation to melt away as I felt the cool water hit me.

An unintentional sigh of bless left my body at the feeling and I glanced back at Zorua and Chikorita for a moment.

"Feel free to join if you guys want," I offered, before turning towards the Wooper staring at me with a dumb smile.

Zorua watched Chikorita happily accept the offer, by jumping right next to his trainer and sighed before following suit, shaking his head at seeing his trainer have a stare off with the strange Water type.

"Rita!" Chikorita demanded, causing me to take my eyes off the Wooper.

"Want me to wash you?" I asked in amusem*nt.

She nodded happily.

"I'm getting good at understanding what they're conveying,"I thought, grabbing the Grass type and scrubbing her scaled hide down.

"Sure thing lil princess," I agreed easily and I proceeded to clean her to the best of my ability.

I marvelled at the scales of the grass type as I cleaned her. It was hard to imagine that Chikorita was a reptile with scales. Thought she was made of leaves and all that but nope, she was actually a little dinosaur who I could hold like a doll... who could kill me without much effort.

What a thought.

Chikorita closed her eyes and sighed in bliss.

My two current pokemon were pretty different in terms of personality.

Chikorita acted very much like a princess. She readily accepted all my affections and offers and sought them out just as much.

It… was kind of adorable. I had a tiny little dinosaur that wanted me to spoil her and it was working out very well for her.

Zorua was a lot more serious in nature. He was sensible and reliable with a good head on his shoulders and a crafty nature too.

He also liked my affections as much as Chikorita but was more reluctant to accept them…

I'd fix that eventually. I liked the little guy.

It was surreal to see such personality in these little animals.

I wonder what my next members would be like... What would they be like? Would their personalities fit up with what I imagined they'd be like?

Would personalities clash? Would they get along? Hate each other?

It was interesting to think about.

Team building was a little more difficult in this world, I imagine… in games you could say, put Zangoose and Seviper on the same team with no issues but here, they would probably try and kill each other.

Huh… well, at the very least I didn't think the next ones I planned on catching had any beef with each other.

And if they did, I'd make them get along.

I didn't wanna give any of them up after all. They wouldn't be easy to obtain in the first place.

"Alright, we've got time to kill before tomorrow hits so it's time to do another heist."

Zorua looked up at me curiously at that before nodding.

Chikorita was back in her ball and I was proud that she didn't fuss about it. She understood that if anyone spotted her with me, we'd probably get hunted and separated.

"Last time I… kinda messed up and you saved my ass so let's try to avoid that this time," I informed him with a sheepish smile.

I needed to get better and experience was the best way. So I'd commit little acts of robbery until I was even better than Silver had been.

Getting to his original skill level then surpassing it would be a goal of mine, even if I stopped my criminal acts. It was a pride thing now.

"We're headed to a house near the end of the Route. It should be owned by some guy named Mr. Pokemon and he might have something useful for us," I began.

Zorua nodded thoughtfully, expression shifting into something fitting for a Dark type.

"In case we're being tracked, we'll head up and make sure no one sees us come back, alright?" I said, storming for ideas.

I had no idea if Gold and Crystal reported me yet but I could throw them off my trail by having them think I continued through Violet City or even the Dark Cave on Route 31.

Little did they know, I'd be headed to Hoenn.

"I have a little challenge for you," I said suddenly, gazing at my first pokemon with a glint.

"Zor?" Zorua repeated curiously.

"Yup. I don't wanna return you, but I don't want everyone knowing I have a Zorua just yet. So, I want you to transform into another pokemon with an illusion and maintain it."

The Dark type nodded at my logic, green-blue eyes glinting with intelligence.

After some thinking, I watched in fascination as the air distorted around him for a bit before suddenly stopping.

Zorua was gone, replaced by a Wooper that looked strangely like the one I was having a stare off with earlier.

It jumped on my shoulder and I nodded in approval.

"How tiring is it to use?" I asked curiously. Illusion was insanely useful. The games did it no justice at all.

The possibilities for this technique were endless!

"Zor," Wooper said with a shrug.

"Ah. It's not a big illusion so not much," I nodded.

Wooper looked surprised that I was able to tell what he was saying and I flashed a co*cky smirk.

"I'm getting there," I bragged.

I had taken my unruly hair and threw it in a messy ponytail for the time being because it was getting in the way too much and I threw my hoodie up.

I should get a mask or half mask. Would be useful.

Zorua and I walked at a brisk pace through Route 30 and I foul personality to ward off any potential challengers.

Anyone dumb enough to approach me, quickly realized it was not for show as I rudely told them off.

At our pace, we had managed to make it to the location in about an hour and 30 minutes and I had slunk back into the large trees to remain hidden from anyone that could potentially be in the area.

"How're you holding up?" I asked Zorua, ensuring that none of my crimson red hair was visible.

This little challenge of his, also doubled as training. I wanted him to completely perfect Illusion.

Zorua, still disguised as a Wooper, was sweating a bit but didn't look utterly exhausted. He barked quietly to let me know that he was fine and I patted his head in approval.

Good to know Illusion wasn't super taxing at this level. Considering it was every Zorua's innate ability, that made sense...

I took a deep breath and began scaling one of the giant trees, glaring at a lone Pidgey that quickly flew off before turning towards the house to inspect it.

Much like the games, Mr. Pokemon's house was the only one in the area. Not many people wanted houses built in a route. A stray Pokemon attack could send it all crashing and overall, it was an unwise investment for all but trainers.

There was a small garden of apricots outside and a fence guarded the entire thing, though if a Pokemon wanted to get in, they would not be stopped.

It was the the same for me but going that way defeated the purpose of what I wanted to achieve.

His house wasn't huge, but it was bigger then the one I saw earlier in the route full of a garden of apricots. It looked to be two stories and it rested near the large trees I resided in.

I smiled at that.

Getting in wouldn't be hard at least.

I stealthily moved from tree to tree (I told you I learned a thing or two from observing Silver's body movements!) until I was on the one directly next to the house and took a deep breath.

Securing Zorua to myself, I took a deep breath and jumped.

I winced at the slight noise of landing on the roof and immediately ducked low, utilizing my dark outfit to sort of blend in with the roof.

A glance around, showed that no one was outside at least so I moved quietly to a window source, peaking my head over the roof to make sure I actually saw one.

"Bingo,"I said.

Palming the Pokeball in my gloved hand, I released Chikorita from the ball.

I put a finger to my lips and she nodded immediately.

"Chikorita, I need you to use your vines to put Zorua right in front of the window," I whispered to her. "Then, Zorua I want you to use a weak version of Extrasensory. Don't break it completely, just make a bunch of cracks appear."

My two pokemon let out quiet noises of affirmation and I nodded, pleased at them.

Two vines appeared from Chikorita and she carefully lifted Zorua, who had dropped his illusion, before slowly dropping him right in front of the window.

Zorua gazed at the window with a look of concentration and fired a weak Extrasensory at it, making the window crack and stopping right before it succumbed under the intense pressure.

"Chikorita, bring him back up and use your vines to gently push the glass. Avoid making noise," I instructed.

The sauropod did just that, placing Zorua gently on the roof before using her vines to gently nudge and push the glass.

It took a bit, but eventually they began falling piece by piece without making nearly as much noise as if I had smashed through with brute force.

Eventually she made more than enough headway for a body to fit through and I returned them both and snuck through the opening.

I leapt from the railing to avoid the discarded glass, glancing around in the interior of the man's house.

The smell of pine brushed against my nose as I inspected the nice furniture and I nodded appreciatively at it all.

It was a nice home. I was currently in a furnished room that let me know the person had money to spend because said room didn't look like it had anyone who slept in here.

Perfect.

This was the home of Mr. Pokemon a friend of Oak in the games. In Soul Silver and Heart Gold, this guy gave you a lot of useful items when you spoke to him.

The most ludicrous, were the Red and Blue orb. Now I didn't expect him to have the two orbs of Kyogre and Groudon just resting in his home, but I imagine he'd have something of value.

It was clearly not in this room.

I closed the last cabinet in here and slowly stood up, making my way to the sole door of the room and quietly opening it.

Before I took another step, I released Zorua and began inspecting the new area.

It was a hallway, with a staircase leading downstairs to the left and two more rooms to the right.

"Zor," Zorua suddenly said, nudging his head towards the staircase.

I raised a brow at that and walked closer to the stairs.

It was clear what Zorua was alerting me to, because I could hear the voice of a man down there.

By the sounds of it, he was talking to someone over the phone or he was senile and having a conversation with himself.

"When do you think Elm will be able to accept visitors?" The voice asked, making me perk up.

I leaned a bit closer to listen in on the conversation.

"That's good to hear… I hear his wife went ahead and distributed the two final starters to the designated trainers. Thankfully, they were the only ones qualified to receive the starters. It would be a shame if a child didn't receive their starter because it was stolen."

I frowned at that. So Gold and Crystal were the only trainers capable enough to receive a starter in New Bark. Regardless of if I stole it or not, one of the Pokemon would have been left behind.

I wonder if it would have been Chikorita no matter what. Gold seemed attached to Cyndaquil in every single iteration that existed and I didn't know enough about Crystal.

Wasn't she affiliated with Chikorita? Maybe Totodile would have been the one left behind this time.

I snorted to myself. Guess we'd never find out. Chikorita was mine and I had no intention of giving her up.

"Still no idea who the thief is? Not to worry, it won't be hard to identify a Chikorita that doesn't wish to travel with its trainer. Signs of abuse should be even easier... Arceus, I hope it hasn't come to that."

That's how they planned on figuring out who stole the Chikorita? God this world was so hopelessly naive.

I guess I didn't have much to worry about if they were going to judge it like that. Chikorita adored me and I had no intentions of abusing her.

But still, I was surprised. Gold and Crystal didn't report me yet? Did they even know I was the criminal?

No, they had to. I wasn't gonna underestimate the intelligence of Pokemon and Totodile looked like he wanted to bite my face off.

So why didn't they report me…

Hm… Crystal seemed smart and she was a coward. She would instantly report me if it was up to her.

But she also deferred to Gold based on what little interactions I saw and my would be rival seemed reckless enough.

Yeah, it was Gold's decision to not report me for sure. Did he want payback?

Idiot, I already said we weren't meeting again.

I grew tired of the conversation downstairs and headed to the two rooms still up here.

The first door was just a bathroom that offered nothing important and the second, was a room full of papers and documents.

A quick search showed nothing that I could really use. Though, this guy really traveled around the world based on the documents I caught glimpses of.

Kanto, Johto... Orre (what region was that?), etc. Hell he had even been to a region called Galar.

What the hell region was Galar? Was that the region with the fire bunny or the fire alligator?

Well whatever it was, it seemed to utilize a phenomena exclusive to their lands named Dynamax.

My interest piqued at that and I grabbed some documents to read over in hopes of learning more about this world.

As long as it was interesting, I had no problem reading on my own accord. But once you forced me? Ugh, just sap the energy out of me while you're at it.

Stuffing a bunch of documents in my bag, I glanced around a bit more and didn't find anything else of not.

I frowned in annoyance.

Downstairs it was.

"We're gonna knock that guy out so we can explore downstairs," I muttered to Zorua.

Zorua gazed at me and nodded, glowing with the power of his ability and wrapping us both in an illusion.

I smiled at him.

Yeah, I liked Zorua very much. He was quick on the uptake of things.

Not a sound was made, as I quietly walked downstairs to assess Mr. Pokemon's situation.

He was an old man, wearing a suit inside his own home (What the f*ck was wrong with him?) and he seemed to have finished up his conversation on the phone while I was searching his other rooms.

I didn't see any Pokeballs near him, so I decided to act quick while the illusion was still on me.

We stealthily snuck up on the man and noticed that he was reading a document on something, muttering to himself in visible excitement.

"What a most interesting read! To think I was able to procure myself one. I know I don't have the full thing but just the opportunity to study it..." he muttered aloud.

I couldn't see it from this distance but that was fine. Once I knocked him out, I'd see why he was so excited and take whatever he procured for himself, for myself.

Mr. Pokemon never saw me coming. I tensed my muscles and lunged, hitting him directly on the temple with much less force then I used on Elm.

He didn't even react. The old man was instantly knocked unconscious from the gloved punch and I smiled in satisfaction.

"Nothing personal, old man," I shrugged, nudging him to the side.

Alright, now that that was settled… I could explore this area of the house in earnest.

I wasn't sure what I was here for. This was mostly to put my skills to the test again and so far, it was going exceedingly well.

Zorua dropped the illusion, conserving his energy for later and I idly rubbed his ear. Out of curiosity, I picked up the document the unconscious had been reading.

Theory on Mega Evolution by Augustine Sycamore.

My eyes widened in clear interest.

Wait a minute… was the reason he sounded so excited, what I thought it was?

Didn't he say he managed to procure one?

With renewed vigor, I began rummaging through the entire house of Mr. Pokemon with no more pretenses, all while Zorua and Chikorita (who I had released after knocking Mr. Pokemon out) confusedly followed me.

It was like a hurricane was currently mowing through the house, as I searched for something.

Clothes and papers were thrown around, as I ransacked Mr. Pokemon's house without any hesitation.

There was an almost manic gleam in my eyes as I entered yet another room.

"Zor," Zorua called me.

"Chiko!" Chikorita said as well.

"One second guys, I'm looking for something," I muttered, pushing through useless document after useless document.

Was this guy a researcher? He had so many goddamn documents!

"Zor," Zorua repeated calmly.

"Chiko!" Chikorita followed suit.

"Hold on guys! I'm almost done with this room," I whispered, gazing at the Elixir with a scowl before stuffing it in my bag.

"Zor!" Zorua finally raised his voice.

"Chiko!" Chikorita shouted at me.

I whirled around like I were being harassed by 2 of my children and resisted the urge to glare.

"What is so important that you keep calling me?!" I hissed at the kids.

I blinked slowly at the sight I was seeing.

Chikorita was looking at me with an annoyed expression. In her vines, she was holding an incubator with an actual Pokemon Egg dotted with blue and red marks all over.

As for Zorua, there was a small rainbowish orb directly in front of him with a symbol inside of it.

I stared blankly at my two pokemon, who stared smugly at me in return.

"...Good job," I said gruffly as I played it cool.

They snorted at me and I completely ignored it.

I totally forgot that Mr. Pokemon was the one with the Egg of Togepi and Chikorita managed to find it.

Would I keep it? I didn't really plan on adding the egg to my team but it wasn't a bad addition… It was a fairy type after all and that type was really strong too.

Togekiss was a good addition, but not one I had thought of really.

But... this was a Pokemon that Gold got and that caused a smug smirk to appear on my face.

Alright, it was mine now. Payback for not getting Cyndaquil and pissing me off.

"I'll probably add it to the team when they hatch. Any problems with that?" I asked curiously.

Both shook their head and I accepted the incubator, before stuffing it in my bag.

What type of technology did this world have? This bag was ridiculous. What was the limit?

I shrugged and focused on the item in front of Zorua, eyes lighting up in clear recognition.

This was what had me in a frenzy and I grinned eagerly as I accepted it.

An actual Keystone. The same Keystone that allowed you to Mega Evolve a Pokemon.

If this was the replacement for the Red and Blue Orb, I wouldgladlytake it. The idea of Mega Evolution seemed so far away from me that I never even considered it!

Hell, I wasn't even sure this world had it! It wasn't one of those things you thought of, until it hit you right in the face.

Sure, I was going to the Hoenn region, but I still had no idea what world I was in.

To be honest, the more I learned, the more I got confused. Maybe this was like what Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire mentioned and I was in a completely different timeline, separate from all pieces of Pokemon that we were aware of.

That was the scariest timeline. It means I had no idea what to expect.

But I digress, a Keystone was one half of the phenomenon known as Mega Evolution. It was introduced in the Kalos region which was why I never thought about it... because I never thought about the Kalos region.

But this changed everything.

It would be unreasonably difficult, but if I managed to find a Mega Stone in the future, I could use it!

"Where did you find the Keystone?" I asked curiously.

Zorua blinked, before nudging his snout in my pocket.

Mr. Pokemon's... pocket?

"I'm not even going to sayanything," I thought with a scowl before it was wiped off my face in favor of fondness.

"Seriously, great job guys," I praised, patting them both with a small grin on my face.

They beamed at my affections and readily accepted it.

Honestly, just these two were awesome. I never thought I'd find myself appreciating Zorua or Chikorita but my only Pokemon were doing a great job proving me wrong.

I was fully on board with keeping them with me and just the thought of putting them in a box for all eternity, sent a flash of displeasure through me.

I needed to do research on the 6 Pokemon rules. These little guys weren't pixels on my screen anymore. They were living beings now so I didn't want them to be confined.

It was a good thing I wasn't a Pokedex completionist kinda guy. I just caught my favorites and used them.

The Keystone glowed with an unnatural light as I gazed at it, before I stuffed it in the spot of my bag I designated the "Important Items" section.

Who knows when I'd use it, but it certainly wasn't anytime soon. I had no interest in hunting down Mega Stones at the moment until I was strong enough to do it in a quick manner.

Now, I needed to get a custom accessory to embed it into like all the other trainers. I didn't want something basic like a Mega Ring or Bracelet.

Maybe a glove, earring or necklace… yeah that seemed pretty good.

"Alright, let's head out. We got what we wanted," I whispered.

Zorua and Chikorita both nodded in approval, both pleased by the successful heist.

We peaked out of the door and made sure the old man was still unconscious, before heading upstairs and climbing out of the broken window we created.

I landed on the floor and didn't waste anytime vanishing back into the forest.

"7 pm,"I thought to myself, glancing at the time. The heat of the sun was gone and a cool breeze had replaced it, brushing against me as night threatened to fully take over.

Not bad. I could probably make it to the outskirts of Cherrygrove by 8:30pm and then I'd get some sleep, train some, and be outta here by 2.

"Let's head out. Chikorita, you can stay out if you want since we're staying outta sight," I informed her.

Chikorita cheered at that and used her vines to hoist herself up on my shoulder without any hesitation.

Zorua followed suit and deftly leapt up with only a slight amount of hesitation this time.

I gazed flatly at the two of them. They were just using me as their own personal taxi now.

"Enjoy it while it lasts. Once you become a Meganium, you'll become my taxi," I promised the Grass type.

At least Chikorita's spoiled nature, was making Zorua relax easier around me. Seeing how I hardly reacted negatively from her actions, let him see that I wasn't a dick anymore.

Good. He deserved to get spoiled for being so useful.

Chikorita's eyes glittered in excitement at hearing me mention she was going to become a Meganium and she nodded rapidly.

"Ru," Zorua reminded me, nudging me forward so that I could begin the trek back to Cherrygrove.

"Fine, fine. We'll do some more training tomorrow morning before we head out so I'll let you guys be lazy for now," I conceded fully, even though I didn't plan on resisting.

"By the way, the egg is a Pokemon called Togepi," I decided to tell them, while walking through the forest. "They're a fairy type that evolves and gains a flying type, so it'll be strong against the both of you type-wise."

Both my Pokemon scoffed at that.

"Rua."

"Rita!"

They refused to accept the fact that they could possibly lose to a Pokemon that hadn't even hatched yet and I thought that was hilarious.

I snorted in turn.

Their confidence in their strengths, pleased me. It made me confident in my next few captures and it made me confident that I could actually survive in this world despite the weird start.

Still though, it was good to know I wasn't the only one with an ego here. Maybe they just picked up on it, but Zorua and Chikorita had quite a bit of pride themselves.

We were perfect for each other then.

I was in a weird situation, with weird shenanigans and some mind tampering but despite that, I was pretty pleased with the plans I had mapped out.

I couldn't help but also be pleased by my on the spot planning too. I never expected to take a boat to Olivine, or add a Togepi to the team but both were decisions I didn't hate at all.

Togekiss would be a strong addition. I'm not sure what role I'd assign for it yet, but I'd figure something out after yet another late night of studying this new world.

I sighed to myself.

Why did they pick such a weird place to put me in? Didn't most stories at least kind of cater to the person on the receiving end of this?

At the very least, why didn't they put me in his bodybeforehe broke in. At least give me more control of my life!

But nope. I get put in a criminal's body, where his rival constantly kicks his ass but doesn't turn him in for some reason.

At least I beat Gold in our one and only fight.

If I ever saw him again, I would know for sure that whoever did this to me, has it out for me.

Chapter 2: Knowledge is Power

Summary:

Completing the first hurdle of my mission... all while gaining a headache from the sheer amount of reading done. Pretty fun, boring and uninteractive I'd say.

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

These Silver Eyes

Chapter 2: Knowledge is Power

"Why do I have so many of the same outfits?"I thought in annoyance, stifling a yawn as the morning sun attempted to blind me.

It was about 7 in the morning and the only reason I knew that, was because I had pulled an all nighter doing some studying.

I was expecting to be more tired, but I was doing fairly well for myself.

Currently, I was rummaging through my bag and trying to get a feel for things in there. Not only that, I was sorting all the items as well in this technologically impossible bag.

While sorting everything out, I came to some pretty logical conclusions.

A lot of these things I owned, were not stolen by Silver. Based on my account, I was just really well off for the time being.

Based on my heavy amounts of research last night, manymanynotable trainers had a sponsor. Whether it be a clan, like Lance or a professor, like Gold and Crystal, exceptional trainers were normally being supported by someone that saw their potential.

Naturally, there were exceptions. Pokemon Trainers were not a dying breed. Almosteveryonebecame a trainer because quite frankly, it was the dream career.

But not everyone had the talent for it. Those who didn't, could still go on journeys of course but they very likely didn't get sponsored and had to rely on their own resources to make do.

Now the differences between being sponsored and not being sponsored weren't that big… the gap just widened depending on what your benefactor chose to do for you.

If you were born into a wealthy family, you were practically sponsored from birth. They'd get you just about any pokemon you wanted, fund all your travels, make sure you're always stocked up…

It was pampering.Toopampering. Trainers born into wealth, typically became strong but they never became exceptional.

The money would help them reach a high level, but they often lacked natural talent.

Rich kids didn't have much respect around here… it was kinda funny.

There were exceptions but this tended to be the norm.

Some people got sponsored by gym leaders. This was typically preparing them for joining the Pokemon League as Ace Trainers or becoming a Gym Trainer for them.

Hell, some were even outright planned to be successors for the Gym. It was mostly aspiring specialists who got sponsored by Gym Leaders and truly exceptional ones, even got scouted by the Elite 4.

Professors like Oak and Elm, gave their sponsors one of the vaulted starter pokemon and some provisions to get started off, then took a largely offhand approach.

From what I gathered, you could find the starters in the wild but they were fairly rare and tended to prefer specific areas.

Not to mention, the starters given out were specifically bred for trainers. They were often better than their wild counterparts and raised in an ideal environment to boot.

Finally, there were cases like Champion Lance Wataru and Steven Stone. The two strongest trainers governing the regions I was currently interested in.

Kanto and Johto were actually heavily into clans. It wasn't as common as back in the days but I didn't really care about the past to search that up and just knew that it simply died out as time passed.

Something about a war. Maybe I'd look into that… but probably not. I didn't have time to search up history when I barely knew what was happening in the present.

But I digress, Lance was still apart of a rather prominent clan called the Wataru Clan, that resided in Blackthorn City, and had a good relationship with most dragons, the most prominent being of course, Dratini.

When you had rule over dragons, it made sense that they were still a clan.

Naturally, Lance had been sponsored by his clan and as the most promising trainer of his generation, it was natural they gave him one of their prized Dratini.

Cue, dominance.

Not only was Lance given one of the best starts a trainer could ask for, he was genuinely a talented trainer so it was natural he took over the region with nary a problem.

Steven Stone wasn't apart of a clan, but he may as well have been. He was born under the biggest corporation in Hoenn and Devon Corps practically ruled the region on the business side.

Not to mention… just like how the Wataru Clan had quite the stranglehold on most Dratini… the Stone Family practically had a monopoly on the Beldum line.

That must have been the reason why you couldn't find any Beldums in the wild when playing the Hoenn games.

The only one you get, is because of Steven himself handing it over.

Steven was sponsored by Devon Corps and his fatherranthe corporation too. I didn't need to say anymore.

Cynthia Shirona, was one of the trainers who hadn't gotten sponsored by anyone of note. She had an average start and clawed her way to the top of the world with sheer skill alone and a hungry little Gible.

Fitting for the boogeyman of most Pokemon players life.

Now why did I explain all of that?

Because I'm pretty sure Silver was sponsored at some point by someone of note. I'm not sure what the story behind it was, but I was almost certainly sponsored by a person and for reasons I didn't know, I abandoned that position.

I didn't know who it was… but I was way to well off in a way that thievery just wouldn't solve.

Hell, the reason I came to that conclusion was because I had a portable stove! I was currently munching on a breakfast burrito and the heat was doing a great job of burning my tongue and keeping me awake.

Off to the side, Chikorita and Zorua were chowing on their own food I had prepared for them.

I stared at them in contemplation.

Looking at it from the perspective of my revelations, it made sense that I had Zorua now and he was so talented. My sponsor must have given him to me but Silver was a greedy bastard and wanted more.

Respectable. If he had the skills, might as well abuse em.

That begged another question. Did my sponsor not know who I was? Why did they become my benefactor? Was Silver even good at pretending to be in a person's good grace?

I doubted it. I was barely able to hold a civil conversation with that middle aged woman yesterday. Trying to do it for a prolonged period was hell.

So my sponsor was likely someone who knew and cultivated my bad habits and if they did that, it made sense that I eventually decided to escape from them.

Was it that masked man from the mangas? The one who kidnapped Silver and Green?

No... I don't think so. Whenever I thought of someone, my body would instinctively react if I knew them and thoughts of the Masked Man brought up nothing.

That must have meant it was Giovanni and Team Rocket...

I would have only thought it was just Team Rocket but I harbored a hate (and fear) for Giovanni too so he was involved in some way.

So Giovanni himself took a vested interest in me and became my sponsor? That had to have been the only explanation.

It would explain everything but it made me feel kind of bad for Silver if it was true. He does become a better person later on in media, so maybe he had always been a good person but got turned into a piece of sh*t.

But why Silver? Was it because I was born in Viridian?

I was missing something important here... But Silver was gifted so it's not that surprising that people were interested in him.

Hmm. I didn't have anything cluing me in except for emotions but surely there was some information somewhere? With this knowledge, it would probably be wise for me to avoid Kanto... but I wanted some answers because I was tired of being confused.

Well, I'd dwell on it later. The only reason I had even started this train of thought, was because of how many convenient items I had in my bag that improved my livelihood.

Food, a tent, clothes… Hell I even had things for bathing… though unfortunately, a portable shower did not exist.

Still, Silver was very prepared.

I couldn't get over how this bag just defied the laws of physics with how many things were stored in here. The most egregious thing about it, was the fact that the weight didn't even register on my back.

It was pretty neat. It even had a compartment for storing Pokemon Eggs.

Thanks whoever dunked me into this world. I had no interest in walking around 24/7 holding an incubator.

"Zorua, Chikorita. Let's train until it's time to go. We won't be able to for a bit until we've gotten to Olivine so let's put some effort into this one."

My two pokemon barked affirmatively and got to work, while I cleaned up our temporary base.

No news of Mr. Pokemon had gotten out yet, which led me to believe that he was still unconscious but that wouldn't be for long.

With any luck, if they made the connection with Elm's lab, they'd suspect that I was heading through a pretty linear route through the Johto region.

It would give me more then enough time, considering Olivine was so far away.

Gold and Crystalstillhadn't reported me and I was beginning to think they wanted a crack at me themselves so they could bring me to justice or whatever nonsense.

I frowned at that as I slipped into my workout routine.

The fact of the matter was, Gold, Crystal and I were the trio of the Johto Region that started their journeys at the same time.

That meant we'd always be relative in skill. Not only that, Silver was on theback footbecause unlike Blue, he didn't become Champion before his rival.

I don't even know if Silver competed against the Elite 4.

Sure, Silver and Gold were far more relative in the Manga but I was beginning to think the only thing Manga related, were the characters we were.

Coupled with the fact thebothof them seemed competent? This wasn't the Johto games, where the main character is a prodigy of a trainer, while the other gender is largely useless.

No, in this one Gold and Crystal seemed like they knew their stuff. I don't know which of them is in the position of main character status but knowing my luck, I was in a nightmare scenario wherebothof them were relatively equal.

Two future champion level trainers hunting me down… it didn't matter if I became a champion level trainer, 2 on 1 was still 2 on 1.

Leaving Johto was for the best. I may have gotten my win against Gold now, but who knows what could change.

The only thing somewhat reassuring, was the presence Team Rocket had in the Johto region. It was a fair amount but the criminals operated in mostly Kanto.

What did this mean for me? We probably weren't in the video game timeline.

At the time of Gold and Crystal's journey, Team Rocket should have no influence at all in Kanto, while operating dominantly in Johto due to being disbanded.

No Team Rocket meant I was probably dealing with a version of those two that weren't directly ripped from the video games which was especially ideal.

Game version of Gold and Crystal = Instant game over for me if we ever meet again.

That's why I was so set on leaving Johto. I don't know which universe of this world I'm in but I'm beginning to think it's some weird mash of various forms of the media.

I saw some things that supported this being the game world, saw even more things supporting this being manga. Hell, maybe those new locations I learned about came from the anime.

I froze completely.

Oh no…The anime.

Was the reason that Red did not exist in this world… because of the actual existence ofAsh Ketchum?!

Oh no no no. Personal grievances for that dumbass aside, Ash Ketchum's world was horrific.

This world already proved to me that it had no qualms showing me the darker side of Pokemon that only the manga deigned to show. If they applied that to the anime, everyone was in for a lot of trouble.

After all, Ash Ketchum was a legendary magnet and I for one, did not want the thread of life and death,being decided by some idiot.

Chosen one my ass. If I was hesitant to go to Kanto before, it was gone. If Ash Ketchum existed, I needed to monitor and make sure my goals of staying alive, were maintained.

Maybe I wasn't in a world with him. Maybe Ash Ketchum doesn't exist and in this timeline, Red is just starting his journey at the same time as me for whatever reason.

I'm 12 in this timeline instead of 10 like in the games… maybe he reallydidn'texist.

I let out a suffering sigh.

Oh who am I kidding? Ash Ketchum totally exists in this world doesn't he?

After brooding for a while with the knowledge that I probably existed in a world with both Ash and Gold (I don't even know where my hate for Gold came from, I actually thought he was fairly cool back in my own world but now I can't stand him… somewhat), I decided to stop being emo and got back to work.

I didn't really fancy meeting Legendary Pokemon, but if I wanted to decide my own life, I probably needed to make sure whatever life ending event Ash causes, doesn't affect me.

Besides, a Legendary probably dropped me in this world. The most logical guess would be some twisted teamwork between all of the Sinnoh legends for some reason.

How would I even garner an audience with Arceus? What would I even learn? Would I even want to go back?

No point thinking about it right now. Maybe far into the future but by then, I imagine most of what I knew about my old world would be gone, considering I was assimilating with Silver.

Legends were a trip and now I was in a situation where I probably knew what disasters they'd cause, so I'd have to try and stop them.

I couldn't help the small shudder when I thought about the calamities known as Groudon and Kyogre.

Hopefully, the timeline was kind to me and Hoenn's catastrophe wasnotabout to start anytime soon. That one was probably the one I wanted to happen the least.

At the very least, in this world… Legendaries were just that, legends.

There wasnorecorded trainer with a Legendary Pokemon. I didn't know if that was true, but I imagine a trainer holding a legendary, would make waves around the world.

For now at least, no trainers like Tobias or the Pyramid King, Brandon, who still existed in this world mind you, were waltzing around with legendaries.

Good. Normal Pokemon were already dangerous. I had no clue how powerful legendaries were, but something told me the gap between them and a normal pokemon, was a lot larger than the games or anime made them out to be.

I was currently camped out in the forests like usual. People didn't go off route, like at all. I assumed it was because of the more dangerous Pokemon that hid in here, but besides that grumpy Victreebel (that had given me a scare of my life), the stronger Pokemon were content to leave me alone.

I doubted they'd be as friendly to me, if I were in a forest that wasn't right outside a human settlement.

But this was good. It was building experience. I was already getting used to camping out and I imagine it was something I was going to have to get increasingly familiar with.

I sighed. My life really wasn't easy right now. I'm just glad I actually had preexisting knowledge on this world. I had been quite the fan as a kid.

Hell, the reason I wanted to go to Kanto was because I played those games enough times to wear out the cartridges.

If either Kanto or Hoenn of all regions confused me, I was doomed to navigate this world with misinformation that could screw me harder than not knowing anything.

But if they didn't, I could give myself quite the advantage.

I huffed and wiped the sweat off my forehead, checking the time in the process and seeing that it was 9.

I still had a good bit of time to kill and I wasn't really interested in going into Cherrygrove, so I might as well go even harder with training.

"Chikorita, Zorua. Spar with each other," I decided. "Try to utilize your new moves. Afterwards, let's talk tactics and plans moving forward."

My two pokemon looked a bit surprised by that but recovered admirably, stopping their respective training in order to prepare.

"It's a friendly spar and don't worry, I have potions. Since Chikorita won't be battling another trainer for a while, she should get experience with you," I explained to the two.

Zorua and Chikorita both o'd in realization, before nodding to me and getting in their stances.

"I'm not giving out orders. I don't want you guys to solely rely on my orders. Especially you, Zorua. Since you'll be all about trickery, having me announce all your moves would be stupid. In the future, your judgement will be just as important as mine."

It was gonna take a lot of work, but it could be amazing if it worked like I wanted it too. Mixing in fake orders with real ones, raising paranoia… based on what I was catching, Zorua was probably not going to be my strongest Pokemon but damn it if I don't make him one of the scariest to face.

Zorua and Chikorita squared off with competitive gazes. They assessed the others and no doubt, were running through plans on how to best approach this.

I watched with clear interest. Zorua and Chikorita got along pretty well with each other.

Chikorita was indirectly encouraging the dark type to be more relaxed around me and she also respected that he was my first Pokemon too.

It was odd to see them glaring challengingly at each other.

"Begin," I said calmly, narrowings my eyes in preparation to analyze the battle.

Chikorita wasted no time summoning razor sharp leaves that she launched at her opponent.

Zorua's eyes narrowed slightly and he deftly moved to the right to avoid the Razor Leaf, before shrouding himself in dark energy and lunging forward at incredible speeds.

Chikorita had no time to react to the attack and she let out a squeal of surprise as Zorua bashed into her with Pursuit.

The few seconds it took her to recover, let Zorua leap back and he dodged a wild swipe of her vines.

He began dancing around the vines attempting to grab him with surprising dexterity.

"Zor, zor," Zorua said mockingly to her, causing Chikorita to growl in annoyance.

Without even realizing she had been caught in the rudimentary Taunt, Chikorita began shooting out an admirable amount of Razor Leafs that Zorua deftly dodged.

So caught up in her annoyance, Chikorita didn't notice that Zorua got clipped by a Razor Leaf without any reaction.

She soon found out why, as the dark type banished his illusion from his position behind her and leapt with that familiar black energy.

The pursuit slammed into Chikorita once more and she yelped, tumbling across the ground before getting up and growling.

"That's enough," I said, pondering the rather one-sided affair with a thoughtful expression.

I could already see how that was going to turn out. Zorua was much faster than Chikorita was and she could barely react to him. He was just going to keep repeating that until Chikorita couldn't keep up anymore and fainted.

It would have worked too. Chikorita didn't have the answers yet to deal with a style like that but she would have it eventually.

Chikorita looked a little put out that I called the match but I put a hand on her head reassuringly.

"Don't worry. What I saw was enough for me to help you guys improve," I muttered with a contemplative expression.

She nodded hesitantly and I decided to show her what I meant by pointing out her issues first.

"Chikorita, you're too slow," I said bluntly. "You react slowly, you move slowly and Zorua took advantage of that. On the bright side, you can take a hit but fast opponents will eat you alive if we don't work on that now."

She flinched back at my assessment and I felt a little bad for her.

"Hey, don't worry. We probably won't be able to make you really fast, but if we can improve your reaction time and the speed of your vines, you can slow them down. In the first place, I wantyouto control the pace of the fight so their speed won't matter when I get you where I want you," I reassured.

The Meganium line weren't know for their speed and were rather slow up until they actually reached their final evolution and even then, it wasn't super impressive.

I didn't want to focus on her speed though. I just needed to make sure she could react to opponents thatdidfocus on speed and then neutralize them while weathering all the blows in the process.

It didn't matter how fast you were when there was nowhere to maneuver or no way to hit their opponent.

"I want you and Zorua to train together sometimes. Just try and catch him while he's running full speed, alright?" I asked.

This would incentivize Zorua to get even faster as well and then Chikorita would want to capture that faster version. It was a win-win that would help them continuously grow with each other.

Chikorita pondered that, before nodding in determination.

Satisfied, I turned towards Zorua. "You did good," I praised the dark type with a contemplative expression.

"We need to work on your power output because its lacking. Just waiting for evolution isn't satisfying enough. I want you to be strong before it, so that evolution enhances that."

I have no idea when Zorua was going to evolve but I believe that I would begin to see signs when the time was coming.

But that didn't mean I couldn't get started early. If Zorua got strong as a Zorua, he'd be ridiculous as a Zoroark.

Simple maths.

Now the best way to increase his power output, was to increase how much dark type energy he could use.

How to increase his storage? It was like training muscles. Wear it out completely and let it rebuild!

That was the same with all Pokemon actually. It was actually pretty fascinating and I vowed to research some more later.

"Alright you two, I want you to use your moves until you can't anymore. While you do that, we can start talking boring stuff," I decided.

We still had about 4 hours and 30 minutes left, best to make it worth it.

"Alright, let's talk about you twos roles on the team first," I muttered.

At about 12, we bathed, cleaned up camp and I returned the exhausted Zorua and Chikorita to their balls.

I yawned tiredly, as I made the trek to Cherrygrove. Not even bathing in that cool water had much effect besides a temporary shock.

Seems like the effects of pulling that all nighter, were catching up to me and I slowly trudged back to the town with a lazy expression.

I scratched the visible parts of my red hair (the rest was stuffed under a hat right now) and marveled at the unique color.

I still didn't understand the specifics of this body takeover, but I was beginning to suspect that it wasn't a full takeover like I had initially thought.

To be frank, I wastoocomfortable with everything Pokemon related in a way that didn't fit how long I've been in this world.

Not to mention that stunt from yesterday, the one where I realized I subconsciously saw myself as Silver and it had leaked into my actual thoughts.

I was beginning to think I was some weird mix of whoever I was before and Silver. It was getting increasingly easier to apply the things I could do in muscle memory the more I practiced.

It almost felt like I was relearning skills that I forgot. A slow process but much easier than I was expecting.

As I walked into Cherrygrove, I headed straight to the small dock of the city.

Chatter and people filled the entire town, afternoon heat being amplified by just how many individuals were bustling about.

I scowled as someone bumped into me and shot them a ferocious glare.

The annoyed person, who looked like they had been about to say something, shut their mouth and briskly walked away, getting a scoff out of me.

Good to know that I wasn't the only one who thought these silver eyes could be unsettling. Silver had a great set of features for intimidating people, that would only get better with age.

At my pace, I made it to my destination in around 10 minutes and couldn't help but sigh at the salty breeze. It wasn't one I was used to but nice all the same.

Though, I would probably get tired of it real fast.

I approached the burly sailor there and flashed my ticket without any hesitation.

He grabbed it out my hands and inspected it before nodding.

"Room 302. It'll take half a day to make it to Olivine," he said simply, beckoning me forward.

I nodded and walked past him. Stifling another yawn, I gazed at the ship I'd be boarding with an impressed expression.

It was big. Much bigger than I was expecting it to be too be honest but I supposed most things were bigger to accommodate Pokemon and what not.

The white ship with a flexing Poliwrath designed on it, might have been one of the corniest things I'd ever seen but I wasn't going to judge... more than I already had.

The main deck was nice and spacious, but I didn't take long to admire it, opting to head straight to my room instead.

"300… 301…" I muttered, barely sparing the people on the ship a glance.

I nearly let out an audible sigh of relief as I saw my room and wasted no time entering it.

The room was very spacious, able to probably house a team of 6 as long as multiple were not above human size.

I took my sneakers off and placed them to the side, before leaping on the comfortable bed without any hesitation.

Before the lull of sleep could claim me, I let out the worn out Zorua and Chikorita and they blinked at the feeling of being on top of a mattress.

"Make yourselves comfortable," I muttered, yawning and shutting my eyes. "I'm going to sleep. If you aren't sleeping and I am when we arrive to Olivine, wake me up."

Zorua nodded after a bit, while Chikorita squealed and leapt into me, getting comfortable herself.

The dark type watched the two with an exasperated expression, before trotting along the bed and joining them.

"What do you think of Silver?"

Chikorita perked up at that question and regarded Zorua with a tilted head.

They were both laying next to the slumbering body of their trainer, when Zorua had randomly sprung that question to her.

She liked Zorua. He was playful but had enough sense to be serious and he was nice to her too.

"Silver's awesome!" Chikorita gushed eventually. "He's nice to me and he actually picked me before Toto and Cynd! I never thought that would happen!"

Zorua wasn't so sure it was intentional that Silver picked her, but after seeing the other two… he also agreed with his trainer that Chikorita was for the best.

"What about what we do?" He asked curiously. "You really don't have a problem with it?"

"I don't really care," she admitted. "Silver's nice to me so I'm satisfied! If he wants me to do something, I'll do it!"

Zorua pondered her response.

Yes, Silver was nice to her. Silver was nice to the both of them… but that wasn't how Silver used to act.

His trainer was cold, cruel and didn't show 20% of the things his current Silver did.

Current Silver was far more open with his emotions and while he was still cold and rude, that didn't apply to Zorua and Chikorita anymore…

It was strange. His personality hadn't done a complete 180, but it had done enough for Zorua to understand something had changed within his trainer.

There were many times when he could see glimpses of the former Silver… but it was never directed towards them.

He wasn't as talented as the old Silver and he seemed to realize that too, working on reaching that similar level.

Who was he?

He smelled like Silver, he looked like Silver… he acted like Silver, hewasSilver… but he wasn'tSilver.

Zorua looked at the sleeping redhead with a confused expression.

"What about you Zorua? You've been with him for a long time so what do you think of Silver?" Chikorita asked curiously, burrowing into his body and getting their trainer to grumble a bit, before he rested a hand on her.

The grass typed sighed in bliss, preparing to fall asleep.

What did he think?

…Truthfully, Zorua much preferred this version over the other Silver. He had a better personality and was improving in the skills he lost, quickly.

Not to mention, when giving them advice and training them… that was when he was most like Silver but it didn't feel bad at all…

"I think he's a great trainer," Zorua said eventually, making his away atop the teen with a pleased expression. "With him, we'll get really strong."

"I think so too," Chikorita said sleepily. "Next time, I'll beat you," she muttered, falling into slumber.

Zorua snorted and closed his eyes too.

If Silver remained like this, Zorua would have no complaints.

Olivine City looked far more like a port city then the games made it out to be.

By that, I meant the port itself wasgigantic.If someone told me it took up half the sizable city, I'd wholeheartedly believe them.

My ship was just one of many coming in that day. Boats of all sizes wereeverywhere.Some went in, others went out and I couldn't keep my awe down at seeing just how much there were.

Some ships completely eclipsed the one I had rode here and I wasn't even sure ships this size existed back in my old world!

The trip from Cherrygrove to Olivine hadn't really been eventful at all.

I spent the majority of it sleeping and when I woke up, I grabbed food, headed back into my room and continued doing alotof research on this world while Zorua and Chikorita lazed about.

There was just so much foreign info about this world but at the same time, I couldn't help but be fascinated by it all.

After all, my world didn't have supernatural creatures fighting each other as sport. Pokemon Battling was the most popular sport on this planet by alandslideand its only real competition were Contests.

This world revolved around Pokemon and everything, and I mean everything, involved them in some way or another.

It's no wonder Silver was able to break into the lab. People relied so much on Pokemon simple little things like security cameras, were not the norm.

Why use a camera when you could use a psychic type. Why Elm didn't use one himself? I didn't have the slightest of clues. Maybe it was the typical naivety and lack of common sense most fictional worlds had.

I wouldn't be surprised.

Whenever I had free time, I usually spent it researching more on this world and honestly, I think my Silver half was playing a huge part here because I was understanding and retaining it all fairly easily.

It felt like I was jogging my own memory and I was very thankful for that, else I'd have yet another difficulty in my already hectic life.

I sighed as my ship docked into the city and wasted no time getting off. Scowling a bit at the annoyance of it all, I headed straight into the building that handled traveling and made my way to the counter.

A pretty girl stared boredly as I approached. Her eyes perked up in interest and she stared at my face for a while, before coming to a realization and losing whatever interest she had.

I paid it no mind. I knew I was good looking and that was that.

"Are there any boats headed to the Hoenn region?" I asked bluntly.

She blinked, either caught off guard by my straight to the point attitude, or the contents of my question.

"One second…" she pondered, gazing at her computer. Her fingers deftly began moving across the keyboard and she pursed her lips.

"There's a ferry scheduled for Hoenn in 3 days time. That's the closest we have," the lady informed me after a moment.

3 days… that wasn't great but it was way better than I expected.

"How much?" I asked.

"5000 Poke," she smiled at me.

I rummaged in my bag for the necessary amount and pulled out the funds, before handing it to her and accepting my ticket.

The fantastic thing about this world, was that travel was fairly cheap. It wasn't in high demand because any trainer worth their salt, could travel by flight or water with a Pokemon.

If their prices were ludicrous, people would just stick to Pokemon. I read around that you could even pay some trainers to surf, fly or hell, even teleport, with their Pokemon.

Though, teleporters were usually sanctioned by the Pokemon League. It probably didn't stop illegal teleporters from running their business, but teleporting could be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Ferries were pretty damn cheap and considering how far the trip was, 5000 Poke wasn't bad at all.

I didn't really know the currency conversion, but I know for a fact 5000 Poke was not 5000 dollars. It was way less. Like 50 bucks?

The girl typed some more on her computer before nodding.

"Show up in 3 days before 11 am. You will be given the necessary lodgings on the day you're boarding and the trip should take another 2 days," she informed me.

So 5 days in total… Great. Even more studying.

I sighed. Time to use these 3 days to train since we'd be cooped up in our room the entire time.

"Alright," I said, turning away and heading out the building.

As I made it to the doors, I noticed a pile of maps, that highlighted the more notable places of Olivine and grabbed it.

Smart. Put a map for anyone who lands here so that they could milk you of money.

The salty breeze hit me as soon as I walked out, but I ignored it in favor of inspecting the map.

"I should stock up on provisions."

I had plenty of Potions and Poke Balls from my trip in Elm's lab and considering I wasn't comfortable enough to enter a Pokemon Center, it was a good thing I did.

Pokemon Centers… I had yet to actually step in the incredibly important building, huh. I hadn't really battled anyone after my fight with Gold so I wasn't pressed and entering a Center could be very risky.

Not to mention if they saw Chikorita… Yeah, it seems I'd be waiting until I landed in Hoenn to enter a Pokemon Center.

Which meant taking it easy. We would focus on training up our fundamentals and current moves in the meantime.

Learning all these new moves were cool… but this wasn't the games. I couldn't just tack on a new, stronger move and life was sweet.

No, this world wasn't as static. Mastering the moves they knew, could allow them to get full value out of it and have an easier time learning new moves as well.

So for now, I'd have Zorua and Chikorita learn the moves I designated for them, then they could work hard to master them.

It would help with conserving and expanding their stores too. The more they mastered, the easier it would be to use, the less energy they would spend using it.

Hopefully this was the way to go. I was just basing this on theory and that one quote about being more afraid to face that one guy who practiced one kick 10,000 times over the dude who practiced 10,000 kicks.

Fundamentals were important in everything. I doubted it would be different here and training was actually really effective.

So more training, more studying, more ships… I found myself cringing in discontent.

I needed to make it to Hoenn quickly so I could fill myself with some excitement.

After all, my plans there were pretty crazy.

But if it worked… if it succeeded!

On the topic of Hoenn… I just realized I was in a port city and I'd definitely need something for one of my specific goals.

Gazing at the map in renewed interest, I found the location of what I was probably looking for and headed there with renewed vigor, realizing I probably needed to buy even more stuff than my original goal.

One thing I needed to get used to, were my capabilities.

My mind was just not used to the skill I could exert at times and it showed while I was ransacking these stores.

I was very cautious and paranoid, second guessing myself a lot...

But the doubt was very much not needed. I possessed unreal athleticism and prodigious skills in espionage.

After about the third store, I realized that they weren't letting me get away with stealing... they just simply did not notice my efforts, even when I got particularly bold.

It... was kind of ego boosting as hell... With the help of Zorua (who was hiding in my jacket), I was taking things almost effortlessly in their faces and I was steadily getting more and more confident as I built up my daylight robbing skills.

My abilities were swiftly improving and I attributed that to the fact that my and Silver's minds were steadily melding further and further.

Despite the events of Newbark, I operated this body like it had always been mine. There was no discomfort at all and my skills had been picking up at speeds that indicated I simply forgot how to do things.

Case in point, the fact that I was comfortably stealing from these places.

The only problem was that, as mentioned before, part of my mind and body weren't matching very well. The part that lacked the psychotic levels of confidence to steal a Pokemon from a well respected figure with no disguise on, then walk around the entire region without a care in the world.

No, I was a lot more cautious then Silver had been and it must have reflected in the way we operated our more nefarious dealings.

Silver wouldn't have knocked out Mr. Pokemon was my bet. He would have slunk around the whole house arrogantly, while stealing right under the man's nose.

But I immediately went and knocked him unconscious, not willing to even risk his suspicion.

I supposed as I reached the skills that this body used to have, I'd reach that level of arrogance... because Silver's personality was seeping into my own without me even realizing.

As time went by, it did seem as if I wasbecomingSilver himself and I wondered if there would be a day, where I fully acknowledged myself as the original of this body.

It was strange. Despite still clearly being influenced by Silver, it wasn't invasive or uncomfortable... half the time, I didn't even notice my other halfs influence, but it was fairly prominent and seemed to only grow more prominent as time passed.

Did my other half have an active thought like mine? Was I stifling him?

...I don't think so. I don't know what happened to Silver but if we truly did merge... he probably didn't exist anymore.

No... that probably wasn't true.

He was just probably me and I was him... I wonder if these thoughts weren't just mine. Maybe they were ours.

This was awkward to think about and a little strange too... I should go clear my mind.

I had finished getting all the provisions I needed in preparation for Hoenn and the constant buzz and popularity of Olivine was a little insufferable so I was going to go find a spot to relax and train in.

Hopefully something out of sight. I didn't want to be bothered at all during my stay here.

"Oh... I didn't expect anyone to be here!"

I wiped the sweat off my brow at that and stood up to inspect the person who said that.

Chikorita and Zorua were a ways away to train without killing me unintentionally and I narrowed my eyes slightly, thankful that they weren't in the immediate vicinity.

Why?

Because this goddamn person I was talking too, was probably able to very easily capture me if I raised even a little bit of suspicion.

"Who the hell are you?" I said loudly, making sure my two companions could hear me.

I said it mostly for them because I already knew who this was… at least I think I did.

Long brown hair, a teal dress and a large ribbon covering her chest…

Wasn't this the gym leader of Olivine? Probably one of the more forgettable gym leaders in the franchise.

But I knew her though. This was Jasmine. Of course I knew her because she was the first steel type gym leader introduced and Steel happened to be one of my favorite types.

"Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to be rude," Jasmine said with a flushed expression, bowing to me politely.

Now you're probably wondering why I was convinced she'd capture me in a split second…

"I'm Jasmine, the Gym Leader of Olivine and this is Empy! It's nice to meet you."

...The 6ft tall Penguin glaring down at me in a superior manner, was the reason.

To make matters worse, 6 Poke Balls were nestled neatly on her waist and I imagined she was waltzing around with an Empoleon because Steelix was a bit too noticeable.

...What the hell was my luck? I wasn't even in thecity.Give me a break.

I was in a secluded area of Route 40, just training up a bit before getting ambushed by the strongest person in Olivine.

I resisted the urge to scowl and gazed at the teen (she didn't look much older than me) with a raised brow.

"Jasmine? The Gym Leader? What are you doing here?" I asked curiously, frowning at having my area invaded upon.

She smiled at me, contrasting her Empoleon greatly and I eyed the thing with an unimpressed expression, refusing to allow myself to be intimidated.

I had seen scarier.

...Wait, I had?

For some reason, my lack of fear seemed to satisfy it and it's glare lessened considerably.

Guess it was a respect thing. Neat.

"I have no challengers scheduled for today, so I decided to go for a walk. I like to come here because it gives a beautiful view of the sea and Empy really likes it," she explained politely.

I pondered her response with a stern frown, mulling over it.

"Don't you normally hole yourself in the lighthouse? I heard you practically live there," I asked, beckoning Zorua to my position.

Chikorita made sure to stay put but I needed to do this before she got curious and found my grass type.

Jasmine nodded and gazed at Zorua with affectionate eyes, taken by the cute guy. "A lot of ships came in today… and I don't do good with crowds. Not many people know about this spot and I even made it a little harder to find, so I'm surprised to see someone else here."

Not many people? This spot had been so easy to find and I had chosen it because of how it had no on here… What was she talking about-

Ah… I get it now. This spot actually wasn't easy to find was it... and my skills blinded me from that.

Damn it all. I invited this didn't I? Sure the timing was convenient, but it made perfect sense.

"Ah so this is your special spot... my bad," I muttered, brows furrowed.

Being somewhat courteous was probably the best course of action here. Wouldn't be good to make a gym leader suspicious of me right before freedom.

Jasmine waved her hands frantically. "Please don't apologize! It's my special spot but... I don't mind company really!"

"She's way too nice,"I thought. Maybe that's why the Empoleon was with her, so no one could take advantage of this nice girl.

"Don't sweat it, I get needing to be alone for a bit," I grunted, raking a hand against Zorua's tuft and placing him on the floor. "I'm just about done anyways so have at it recluse."

Zorua trotted away and I idly watched him go, keeping my eyes on the gym leader all the while.

Empoleon spared my dark type a single glance before rolling its eyes and heading to the source of water, deeming me a nonthreat.

If only it knew… I'm fairly sure I could strike and knock her unconscious before she could summon another Pokemon.

But that was unnecessary. Gold still hadn't reported me yet so she didn't have a reason to be suspicious of me.

Zorua had wrapped an illusion around the ball I had given him and now Chikorita was secured firmly in her ball.

Now I just needed to get this conversation over with and go to an area that didnothave a gym leader just randomly visiting it.

"Wait!" Jasmine said rather frantically and I paused in confusion.

She must have noticed the strange look I shot her, because a blush of embarrassment made its way to her face.

"Sorry it's just… it's not often that someone speaks so normally to me… I didn't want the conversation to end because it was a little pleasant," she explained.

I blinked before understanding dawned on me.

Right. Gym Leaders were actually massive celebrities in this world. In fact, they were probably the most popular group of people in each region, barring the Elite 4.

Popularity surely varied but Jasmine was a cutesy girl with a sweet personality so she must have been quite popular with the people of this world.

It was natural that Jasmine probably didn't have normal conversations. She may have not been very popular in my world, but that probably didn't translate very well here.

Even now, I didn't really feel that same awe. It was moreso the fact that this was a character that existed in fiction that I was able to see…

But I wasn't really the fanboy type. It was kind of annoying and embarrassing.

"...What do you want to talk about?" I said after a short while, cursing myself for being friendlier than normal.

I should have just been a dick as usual but I didn't feel like getting assaulted by a giant steel penguin and the knowledge that I was leaving Johto soon, had eased me up a bit.

Note to my future self, be an even bigger asshole than before. It had been working out pretty well for me before.

"...I'm not sure. I don't really have personal friends. I really only have my pokemon and Amphy," she admitted embarrassingly.

"...I'd call you a loser but I don't have any friends either," I snorted.

That would explain why she was so awkward.

The gym leader smiled shakily at that, still a bit at a loss on what to say.

It was getting to the point where I was silently rooting for her to think ofsomethingbecause this was just bad.

"Oh! Are you a new trainer?" Jasmine asked curiously.

I resisted the urge to clap for the socially lacking girl and decided to throw her a bone instead.

"Yeah, I recently started. It's just me and Zorua," I replied easily, hoisting up the little guy and putting Chikorita's invisible poke ball in my pocket at the same time in one smooth motion.

"A Zorua… I've never actually seen one before! They typically inhabit Unova but it's so far off," Jasmine awed, gazing at the dark type with interested eyes. "I've always wanted to raise a Ferroseed from that region because they are rare anywhere… maybe I should look around."

I couldn't resist the snort this time.

"As soon as the topic became about Pokemon, all your awkwardness flew out the window. It's actually pretty adorable how much of a dork you are," I pointed out with an amused smirk.

She reminded me of a socially awkward little sibling.

Jasmine's eyes widened at that and she began stammering with a red flush.

"U-Um… what about you? Why are you in Olivine? Do you plan on challenging me?" she asked curiously.

I shook my head in denial. "I'm going to leave in a few days."

She looked a bit disappointed by that but nodded. Before she could ask another question, such as my where I'd be heading, I decided to speak up.

"You got a little too comfortable with me don't you think? Are you that desperate for a friend?" I asked.

Her flinching was the only reason I realized my question was asked a bit harshly.

"Well um… how can I put this," Jasmine muttered. "It's… I've never really spoken to anyone who acts like you and it's refreshing," she admitted.

Zorua and I blinked owlishly.

"What?" I said slowly.

The gym leader was very clearly getting more and more embarrassed. She looked like she was going to die on the spot and it was such a surreal sight.

I was too curious to tell her to stop explaining though... so if she died, oh well.

"You're… really blunt and kind of rude too," she told me. "So far you haven't really held back your words at all to not hurt my feelings… It's different. Everyone else is really nice to me but it's like that because I'm the gentle gym leader and they don't want to hurt me."

"...It's just nice being treated like I'm not made of glass... it makes the conversation feel more genuine," Jasmine finished, ducking her head low to hide her face.

It's a good thing she did that because I was looking at her like she was absolutely insane.

Did this girl just open up to me 10 minutes after meeting?

"I really am in some type of fictional world because this isn't natural. Where did this trust come from?"I thought in disbelief.

"So you want to be friends with me… because I'm a dick?" I asked incredulously, raising a red brow. It was a little hard for me to digest her words because it wasn't making any sense to me at all.

What type of sheltered life did she live, where someone like me, was making this nice and reserved gym leader feel good? That wasn't supposed to be how it worked. She was supposed to be wanting to get away from me at all costs.

She flushed at my crude language and flushed deeper at my question. "Well, when you put it like that… you make me sound really weird."

"That's because you're really weird," I said bluntly, sighing at the trainer that was a dozen times stronger than me currently.

It was odd that I was having a conversation with a gym leader. To be honest, I didn't spare them a single thought because they weren't on my radar at the moment until I got to Kanto.

I especially didn't think about the Johto Gym Leaders. All of them were lackluster except for that one girl with the Miltank.

The crybaby. Wait, weren't there two crybabies in this region? The dragon girl threw a tantrum when you beat her too didn't she?

Losers. I should come back just to put them in the dirt and see the tantrums live.

Here I was, chatting it up with one of the strongest Gym Leaders of the region and she wanted to be my friend.

If only she knew.

"If you wanna be friends, sure I really don't care… but I'm not staying here and I'm not a good friend to have," I stressed with a shrug.

I didn't see the problem denying her request. I was leaving the region anyways so we probably would not see each other again. This friendship was just an honorary thing —

"You have a Pokegear or Pokedex, right? Let's exchange numbers!" Jasmine smiled at me.

I seriously don't even know what I expected. God was I a dumbass sometimes. I really needed to actually starting thinking more before coming to decisions.

"Yeah yeah yeah," I sighed, rummaging through my pocket and pulling out my Pokegear.

"I'm still a gym leader you know. You don't have to look so disgusted… I also like helping new trainers out so I can give you tips!" Jasmine said, pouting a bit at my grumpy look.

"The thought of interacting with other people, naturally fills me with disgust. It's nothing personal," I grunted, recording her number and glancing at her own Pokegear.

We chatted for about another hour and Jasmine took the chance to show me her team.

Magny, her Magnezone. Bronzy, her Bronzong. Fortry, her Forretress. Skarmy, her Skarmory… and Rusty, her Steelix.

I gazed at all the steel types with wide eyes, soaking in their appearances with hard to hide awe.

The pokemon I've seen so far, looked relatively normal despite clearly not being normal.

These Pokemon were anything but. They were so different from normal animals that I couldn't help but stare.

Skarmory was the only one that really looked like an animal but it was also fully decked out in steel armor that shone in the sun.

They were honest to god monsters.

"You're naming scheme is very original," I commented idly, gazing at the gargantuan Steelix with a bit of trepidation.

Yeah there was no way seeing this thing through a screen was enough to prepare you for actually looking at one.

The Steelix peered down at me, before smiling in, what I imagined, must have been gentle in its eyes, but was actually very unsettling in reality.

It was so massive, I had to stamp down the instinctive urge to shudder.

Still looked cool as hell though. Steel types were awesome.

"Please don't make fun of me," Jasmine requested with an embarrassed expression.

"Where's the fun in that?" I retorted calmly, gazing at the Bronzong in particular.

This was the pokemon that looked the most bizarre. The giant blue bell thing stared at me and it was impossible for me to tell what was going on through its head… considering I couldn't really make out its expression.

It hadn't taken its eyes off me yet and I stared back in clear interest, wondering just why it refused to take its eyes off me.

It was surreal. These guys were a lot more enthralling now that they weren't just pixels on the screen.

"Is there any steel type you're interested in?" Jasmine asked me curiously.

Oh you bet there was.

"I'm not sure. I don't really know what I want to catch right now but a steel type would be nice," I lied through my teeth.

I knew exactly which one I wanted… but I wouldn't reveal that to Jasmine because it would be incredibly incriminating.

Jasmine beamed and nodded. "If you ever need help with one, you can just ask me! Steel types are what I specialize in."

"I wouldn't have been able to guess," I said sarcastically. Forretress was currently floating way too close to me and I inspected the bug type, idly noting that Bronzong wasstillstaring.

This whole thing was so surreal. I was just here to train and somehow, I made friends with someone who had Pokemon that could crush me by accident and not even realize it.

Jasmine's team wasstrong. There wasn't a hair out of place (even though none of them had hair) on their bodies and their steel armor was practically glowing in the sun.

As someone who hardly paid mind to the sixth gym leader of Johto, it was humbling to know that someone I ran through without fail every single time, was suddenly way stronger than I ever expected them to be.

"This is my main team," Jasmine explained. "You probably already know, but I use different Pokemon depending on how many badges a person has…"

They change teams depending on badges? That makes sense… it's not like everyone would start in the beginner town and make their way through the region exactly like the main character.

I raked a hand through Zorua's fur as the guy finally let his guard down and began dozing off in my hold.

"So what's the percentage like?" I asked curiously, watching as Empy finally decided he had enough of swimming to meet up with his team. "Do you get trainers with 5 badges the most?"

Surprisingly, she shook her head no.

"According to the League… Claire and I have the highest percentage of trainers with 1 or no badges challenging us," she revealed.

I blinked in confusion.

"What?"

Her and Claire? The sixth and eighth gym? They were challenged first?

Jasmine sighed in slight disappointment. "Steel types are a difficult type to deal with. Even trainers that are just reinstating their badges to reenter the Silver League, find me troublesome to deal with. New trainers typically battle me as early as possible, to deal with my weaker teams."

Her chocolate brown eyes peered at me curiously. "It's why I was so surprised you didn't want to battle me… my eight badge team uses at least one member of my main team, I only tend to get battled by specialists that counter steel," she explained.

I nodded my head at her explanation. "So are you the strongest gym leader in the region or is it Claire?"

Jasmine waved her hands frantically. "I don't think I'm anywhere near the strongest! Claire, Buggy, Whitney, Morty… Pryce… Chuck, Falkner…" she mumbled.

My silver eyes glared unimpressed at her. "Stop being so damn humble, idiot," I scowled.

She just listed all the gym leaders and she happened to have the type advantage overhalfof them!

The gym leader flinched back with wide eyes and her Pokemon perked up, staring suspiciously at me.

I rolled my eyes.

"Grow some backbone. Who do youreallythink is stronger than you? Be honest."

Jasmine stared at me for a while, clearly unsure if she should be saying this aloud and I sighed.

Great, now I was trying to make a meek and timid girl a bit more confident.

"We're the only ones here. Don't be so reluctant. Say what you really think," I pressed calmly, gently bullying her into doing it.

She wilted a bit under my gaze and I was starkly reminded of my silver eyes. I thought they were pretty cool but they could definitely be intimidating.

"I think… I can beat them all… though Claire would probably beat me more often then not… Pryce's Mamoswine is also a force to be reckoned with and gives me a lot of trouble, but I can beat his others fairly easily. Chuck has a type advantage and more experience… but my pokemon are stronger than his… and I fight smarter too so I think I can beat him... the others would rarely get a victory over me except for maybe Morty," she quietly revealed.

My brow raised at that and I couldn't help the small smirk. "Was that so hard?" I couldn't help but ask.

"Yes," she answered truthfully, staring hard at the floor.

I sweat at that.

"So you can confidently beat 6 of the other Gym Leaders… that's pretty impressive," I praised truthfully.

So Jasmine was way stronger than I gave her credit for. Maybe she could give me good pointers in the future.

But for her sake, I probably wouldn't message her much. She was a nice but naive girl and she was also setting herself up unknowingly to be my accomplice.

I was an asshole, but I wasn'tthatbig of one. I'm not the type to get such a naive person wrongly incriminated.

"You should be a little more confident in yourself… you're doing your Pokemon a disservice by downplaying what you can do," I shrugged.

Jasmine reeled back at my words, eyes wide in a bit of shock before she began nodding to herself.

"...I wasn't expecting to get advice from a new trainer… but you're right. I should try to be a bit more confident in myself," she nodded in determination.

"Yeah, it's more enjoyable when you're not getting walked over," I told her.

"I-I wouldn't call it getting walked over… but thank you…"

The gym leader's eyes furrowed in confusion, before going wide in horror.

"I never asked for your name!" She gasped in genuine horror. "Oh I'm so sorry! That's so rude of me!"

I shrugged uncaringly. "Silver."

Might have been a mistake to tell her my name... but oh well. Getting exposed by Gold and Crystal was already the end of my slightly normal life so it lay in their hand.

"Okay, Silver! I have to go now… I stayed way longer than I expected," the gym leader told me, looking a bit saddened at that.

"Sure. See ya Ms. Seventh Strongest Gym Leader," I waved.

She flushed at that. "You're the one who told me to be more confident… why are you also teasing me?"

"Because it's fun."

Jasmine sighed in exasperation. "This is what I meant. You're so rude."

I smirked. "You're the one who wants to be friends. Haven't changed your mind yet?"

She shook her head immediately in denial. "I'll be busy these upcoming days and I imagine you'll be gone soon… so I'll send you messages or just call you… if that's okay! I can give you pointers and tips on your journey if you want."

I listened to her ramblings with a thoughtful expression.

Eventually I nodded and said, "Do whatever you want. Maybe I'll come visit one day when I get stronger and give you a good battle."

She lit up at that and I sighed.

I wonder if I had any younger siblings in either world because Jasmine very much gave me little sister vibes, which was probably why I felt the need to encourage her in my own ways.

It was satisfying to see people come out of their shell. Maybe that's why I had gone and messed up this badly.

Jasmine waved at me and her team nodded their head in respect at me, before she walked off.

"Ah... you have finally lowered your defenses slightly, Moon Eyes. You are truly strange but I thank you for assisting Jasmine all the same."

I jumped at that and blinked in confusion, jostling Zorua in my grasp and making him jump awake.

"Rua?!"

What the hell was that...? What was that tiny and broken whisper in my ears?

"It is nearly impossible for me to continue responding while you have your defenses up... but I am the one known as Bronzy."

I peeked up at that, gazing at the Bronzong floating away with wide eyes.

Defenses? What the hell was he talking about?

"While I appreciate your assistance of Jasmine, I must wonder. Just what are you? I have spent this entire time trying to understand and prod you to very little success. Just this current connection we have is incredibly fragile and requires intense concentration on my part."

What… What did he mean by that? What was he talking about?

"It would be ideal if you did not respond. You are not normal, Moon Eyes."

I furrowed my brows. There's no way I'd be unable to respond after being told I'm not normal.

"What do you mean by that?"I replied back slowly.

For a second, Bronzong completely froze up andshuddered, before it resumed its movements.

"Just the action of me communicating with you, is utterly draining. You responding in turn, is even more detrimental.If you'd so please, allow me more access so that I may enlighten you on my inquiries as quickly as possible."

More access? Was I… blocking out psychics?

...How?

I frowned and scratched my head.

How could I even give it more access? What did I have to do? Did I even want to do it?

"Try relaxing. I believe delving deeper into your mind would end up with me breaking and I do not desire such an outcome so remaining on the surface is fine with me."

I grunted and let my guard down just a little.

"That is sufficient. Now, Moon Eyes, you likely are not aware, but you are filled with otherworldly energies that makes gleaning into you, next to impossible."

My eyes widened in disbelief. Huh?

"Your mind is almost completely inaccessible. It feels as if I'm navigating through thick fog and it seems you are not even aware of the walls setup, Moon Eyes. Not only that, your voice is utterly unbearable for me and likely other psychics as well. I find it hard pressed to identify you in the same vein as Jasmine."

"I can no longer maintain a stable connection. Goodbye."

Without even letting me question it, Bronzong abruptly stopped speaking and Jasmine returned it to the ball with a somewhat confused look.

I stared at the spot it was at in disbelief, unable to process what it had just told me.

Otherworldly energies? Moon Eyes? Hard pressed to identify me in the same vein as its trainer? Was he saying I didn't seem human?

My mind had a wall that was preventing psychics from peering into it? I thought when Bronzong mentioned me not being normal, he saw glimpses of my mixed body… notthis.

"What the f*ck…" I muttered in concern.

What legendary had tampered with me? That was the only explanation as to why my mind seemed to have a foggy fortress protecting it.

Why couldn't I just get straight answers? This was so stupid.

"Welcome to the Politoed Express! Here is your room and if you have any questions, one of our staff will be pleased to help!"

I grunted at the man and inspected my room with appraising eyes, nodding in satisfaction and throwing my bag on the bed.

Shutting the door behind me, I released Zorua and Chikorita immediately and collapsed on my bed with a victorious sigh.

I had finally escaped from Johto. Right now, I was headed straight to Lilycove City in the Hoenn region and I could finally begin my plans in earnest.

Despite what she had said about being busy, Jasmine found excuses to visit me twice more before I had to actually go.

Considering I had nothing better to do in Olivine, I accepted her offers to meet up and they weren't... awful.

I didn't realize how deprived of human interactions I had been until we sat down and talked.

I learned more about her and her Pokemon in the process and I actually thought she was pretty okay.

All of her team (I couldn't really tell with Bronzy, he completely stopped communicating with me) actually liked me, which was a little surprising. Empy especially, seemed to get along with me and my blunt attitude the most.

They must have appreciated my attempts to make her more confident. Most of the time, I was telling her to stop being such a pushover and to stand up for herself.

It was sort of working. She was at heart, just too nice of a person which made our friendship all the stranger, considering I was basically her opposite.

Jasmine probably had no intention of cutting me off though, despite how belligerent I tended to be. She really appreciated the fact that we were having normal conversations without me gushing over her status as Gym Leader.

That was never gonna happen. Not for anyone. I don't care if Lance himself dropped by to greet me, I wouldn't debase myself by doing something like fangirling.

Have some respect.

I found out that she was an only child who lived with her Grandfather and that her first pokemon was an honest to God Onix, followed by a Magnemite.

She was 16 years old and became a trainer when she was 12, before becoming a gym leader at 14.

Learning about the steel trainer put it into perspective, that these were real people now. Jasmine was not a fictional character anymore whose job was to throw out a mediocre team to get stomped by the people.

No, she was a competent trainer who won the Silver League at 13 years old with a team of steel types.

That increased my respect for her by quite a bit. Steel types were awesome.

I sighed for the umpteenth time and glanced at my Poke Gear, seeing one new message.

"I fought a trainer today with 4 badges! I was so surprised by that but he wasn't very happy when I took out his Machoke with Magneton. I imagine he was expecting it to do all the heavy lifting because afterwards, I beat him with little issue."

That was another thing. In this world, gym battles were a lot more challenging. Pokemon Battling was a competitive and extreme sport that very quickly weeded out people who were not skilled enough to be trainers.

Anyone could be a trainer, but not everyone had what it took to remain a trainer.

It was rather exciting to think about. I definitely wanted to try my hand against Gym Leaders so I'd keep up the training until then.

Still though, if Jasmine wasn't meeting up with me, she was texting me and it wasa lot.It was hardly ever important and I tended to not send much replies… but she appreciated it all the same.

What a weird friend I made. Seems like she really needed this and this would help me not become a psycho who only speaks to his pokemon... so why not.

"Nice. Did you tell him to get good?"I replied shortly.

"No, of course not! Why would I say something so mean?!"

"Because he's trash?"

"...You are a terribly rude person."

I snorted and pocketed my Pokegear.

Hopefully the poor girl didn't realize I was a criminal. Her first friend being a thief and assaulter? Yeah she'd probably take some mental damage, especially considering her meek mindset.

Maybe we both had bad luck.

But hey, she chose this. It was on her. I doubted Gold would keep it secret forever. If he never found me, he'd probably report me.

That didn't matter to me anymore though. While Johto and Hoenn had good relations, there was no way they'd ever suspect me going there.

When I went to Kanto is when I should be concerned, but this world was largely incompetent when it came to reigning in and figuring out criminals.

It had been years and still no one knew who the leader of Team Rocket was. Not to mention, Magma and Aqua seemed to have just started up too but they weren't being suspected as criminals. I just caught glimpses of them subtly promoting themselves through anonymous accounts.

Right now, there were simply little innocent posts going around about how there's not enough land or how we're polluting the seas but nothing too radical or egregious.

They were just testing the waters so to say.

Good. I could ignore them for now. Once they became a threat, I hoped I was strong enough to deal with them. I didn't really feel like being some hero, but these idiots were messing with my new livelihood.

But I digress, I would have gone more incognito considering Gold knew who I was, but it was clear he's the type of stubborn idiot who wants to bring me in himself.

Crystal was the more worrying of the two but she did seem to defer to Gold. I doubted he would ever reveal me, but if she talked in his ear, it might make things difficult.

Here's to hoping they kept this info to themselves for the foreseeable future. I needed them to keep this up until I could defend myself.

Which meant I needed to get strong as hell. Which meant… it was time to get crazy.

Wanting to travel Kanto first wasn't the only reason I was opting to not stay in Hoenn. The reason I wasn't just choosing to travel Hoenn right now… was because the full effects of my insanity, was about to revealed.

"Alright guys," I muttered.

Chikorita and Zorua perked up.

"I don't know how long we're staying in Hoenn for, but we're catching three new teammates. Once we get them, we're outta here to the Kanto region."

"Rita!" Chikorita nodded in confirmation, pleased to go with whatever I said.

I loved this little grass dinosaur. She was a gem.

"Zor?" Zorua was a bit more questioning, proving his cautious state by wanting to glean into my head.

"You wanna know more? Sure."

I pulled out my Pokedex and showed them the three members I planned on catching. "First we're headed straight to Fortree City from Lilycove. It won't be long to reach there but our mission may take a bit. We're gonna camp out in Route 119 until we complete our mission and then we'll head down until we reach Mauville City, cut through Verdanturf and head to Rustboro from the Rusturf Tunnel. After Rustboro, we're gonna head straight up to Meteor Falls and then we're done. We'll take the first boat back to Kanto after reaching Slateport."

They both peered at my Pokedex with clear interest in my eyes, digesting my word vomit with more intelligence than some people I knew.

Finally, Zorua nodded in satisfaction and I smirked at him.

"You're both gonna be important for this. We'll be training the whole time, alright?" I informed them.

The two barked in affirmation and I pat them both on their heads.

Then, my expression turned tired.

"Time… for more studying," I sighed in despair, flipping to another page on my Pokedex.

Thank god for this device. It made studying tolerable. It was practically a minicomputer.

I knew I was right to steal one. It helped out so much.

I didn't really like studying but on the bright side, this was actually interesting information.

The downside was that, I was randomly searching things up. I didn't have a set guide on what to study so I just read popular documents or answers to questions that popped up in my mind.

Currently, I was reading a document from the Pokemon League about the conduct of a trainer.

In this world, age of requirement to become a trainer, had been increased to 12. It used to be 10 but that was quickly discarded due to the ramping criminal activities in certain regions and the age limit of 12 was widely accepted and changed for just about every region.

There were naturally some different age limits. I read that in Orre (I have no idea what region this is but it did sound familiar), the ramping crime there was so bad, that you were encouraged to have a Pokemon from as early as9.

That region sounded like it sucked.

But I digress, that means I just became a trainer. My birthday was December 24th and it was currently January 18th.

I estimated that my trip would take about a month if I followed my plan to a T. I wouldn't be enjoying the sights of my favorite region just yet, but I'd definitely go and explore it, when it was time for me to personally deal with Magma and Aqua.

Yeah, there's no way I could let Magma and Aqua thrive in the same world as me. I don't know what the hell Ash did in Hoenn and I didn't know if the main character of Ruby and Sapphire existed (they probably did... May was one of them right?)… but there was no shot I was letting them go unchecked and I refused to put my faith in someone else.

Their goals were the most dangerous to me because they actuallysucceededand caused untold mayhem by summoning Groudon and Kyogre.

And that was in the kid versions. I could only imagine what was going to happen in this world.

After I dealt with that crisis in the future, I'd go deal with that Cyrus guy next... Though letting him succeed might be in my best interest because I would want an audience with those legendaries.

Hopefully they didn't smite me on the spot.

A sigh left my lips as I thought about it all.

I wasn't a hero but these guys were threatening my life with their insane actions. I didn't trust anyone to get the job done so I'd have to do it myself…

I would just do things my way.

But like I said, that was for later. The goal was still to head to Kanto and have a proper journey so I could get a feel for this world.

Kanto was basic, simple and the region I knew most about. It would be smartest for me to glean the changes of Generation 1 and work from there, while getting stronger with limited problems... Though with my revelations about Team Rocket, I should be careful.

I sighed again.

So much to do. At least I had some prior information.

"I'm bored. What are you up to?"I messaged Jasmine.

It instantly went to read and I snorted.

"I have another battle soon but she only has one badge so it will probably be done fast. What do you want to talk about?"

"Dunno. Think of something."

"...But you asked me to talk?"

"Yeah. I did. Talk. Give me some tips on training or something."

"...I'm beginning to think you are a terrible person, Silver."

"You didn't think that before? How sweet of you."

Might as well get some pointers on training from an experienced trainer. This technically wasn't even procrastination!

I even got to torment her in the process.

A complete win win for me.

"Unbelievable… I think it would be best if I called you for tips. It would be inconvenient if I typed it all."

"...Do I have to answer?"

"You're completely unbelievable. I'm going to call you."

I sighed as my gear began ringing immediately after.

Look at her acting so assertive.

I would almost be proud, if I wasn't at the receiving end of it.

It was honestly impressive, how I could stay rooted to one spot for so goddamn long.

I had been cooped up in my room for practically the entire trip to Hoenn. The only time I left, was literally to get food.

Zorua and Chikorita had been hard at work practicing molding the respective energies they could utilize, while I balanced working out, studying and replying to messages.

On the bright side, I was actually beginning to appreciate the friendship I had with Jasmine because it allowed me to distract myself from the sheer amount of words I had digested.

At least I basically had the full idea of how this world worked. I was confident that I learned most of the important things. Naturally, it wasn't everything but I'd get more comfortable as time passed.

"Good afternoon passengers! In approximately five minutes, we will be arriving in Lilycove City, the city where the land ends and the sea begins. We hope you enjoy this hot tourist spot!"

"Shut up," I groused to the speaker, shutting my Pokedex and getting up.

I yawned and stretched, letting out a groan of satisfaction at the popping noises.

"Alright guys, we're almost in Hoenn. To save time, I'm gonna put you guys in your balls," I called out to Zorua and Chikorita.

The two of them glanced over at me. They had been having a little bit of fun with their training it looked like.

Chikorita was summoning some sharp leaves and tossing them to Zorua, who used his shoddy psychic abilities Extrasensory granted him, to stop them. Then, he covered them in illusions and had tossed them at Chikorita randomly, helping her with her senses and speed.

It was utterly genius. My Pokemon might have been smarter than me…

They had been training religiously these past couple of days and I joined them whenever I wasn't studying or sleeping.

I like to think we were all making amazing progress. The two were using their moves far easier now and I was genuinely fascinated at watching them visibly improve.

It seems like the perfecting foundations was rather smart. Zorua had demonstrated Snarl very easily and it had to have been because of how well he was molding his dark energy. He could use Pursuit on command now and it drained very little energy from him.

Hell, I even had him begin practicing cloaking himself in the energies of Pursuit and just maintaining it until he couldn't anymore.

As for Chikorita, she had managed to unlock a watered down version of Synthesis at the moment and was struggling a bit with gathering the necessary poison energy for Poison Powder. Her Razor Leaf was looking deadly and she seemed to enjoy it to a rather malicious degree.

I should get her started on Magical Leaf eventually…

All things considered… I hadn't fought a trainer since Gold but my Pokemon were still improving by a lot because training was actuallyreallyeffective and I just had them battle each other.

Honestly, I don't know if I'd be fighting a trainer in Hoenn either. I couldn't waste time and the less people who knew me… the better.

That's why the past few days at Olivine I went… shopping.

Hey, I didn't steal everything I got. But I stole the things I didn't feel like paying for.

Like the foldable bike and the roller skates. Why the hell were they so damn expensive? There was no way I was going to pay for that but I needed to quickly travel through the Hoenn region and this was the easiest way.

I was only going to steal the bike… but I was curious about the skates and it got the best of me and I'm pretty sure I have unknowingly become a serial stealer.

Look at it from my perspective... I could probably use them in more areas than the bike. It would be far more universal for me!

Not only that, I stole a mask too (didn't want it to be traced back to me on the off chance someone saw it) and bought a couple of disposable hoodies and hats with actual money.

My red hair was tucked neatly away and I had on a black bucket hat, as I watched the boat dock.

Not wasting any time, I waited for the ship to dock and merged with the crowd of excited people exiting the Politoed Express.

As I departed, I took in the sights of Lilycove and resisted the urge to whistle.

Tourist spot was accurate. Lilycove was stunning. The sun was gone, moon taking its spot and the lights of the city shone in a dazzling display.

Tall buildings littered the city but I couldn't specifically pinpoint what was what and I wasn't waiting for the sun to come up to figure it out.

I glanced at the downloaded Hoenn map and nodded to myself. 3 am was a good enough time to start the day.

There were a bunch of areas and cities I didn't know existed in Hoenn. The only place that had interested me, was this place called the Valley of Steel but it wouldn't have what I wanted and the pokemon in there were known to be lethally aggressive.

I wasn't sure if they actually were mentioned in the media but I didn't care to find out.

No I had only one thing on my mind.

Everyone has favorite Pokemon. I was no exception and it just so happened that 3 of my favorites, were in Hoenn.

It was great. The only problem? Getting them was not so great.

Landing in Lilycove was the best case scenario for me. Slateport wouldn't have been bad either but this way, I could seamlessly move to my destinations without many detours.

And it started first in Route 119. The route right next to Fortree.

What was in Route 119? If this world was a little faithful to the game, Route 119 should be the home of Feebas.

Yep. The first pokemon in Hoenn I wanted, was Milotic, my favorite water type followed by Swampert.

I had to pick one and I liked Milotic more so that's who I'd go for. Besides, if I wanted a Mudkip, I'd have to rob another lab again (and I imagine the starters were already distributed) or find a "beautiful beach".

Swampert typically made their nests deep underwater near beaches and they were extremely territorial. If you tried to catch a Mudkip or Marshtomp, you'd run into mama Swampy and youwoulddie if you weren't prepared.

I wasn't keen on dying and I had no method to go underwater either.

As for Feebas… well, Feebas had no recorded locations in this world. To be completely honest, I wasn't half sure if people knew how to actually evolve it into Milotic.

I'm sure at the very least, Wallace knew. But according to an interview he said, "Only a trainer who understands true beauty, will be able to garner the notice of a Milotic."

And that was that. He never revealed where he found one. Didn't reveal a damn thing about it besides those cryptic words.

What a gatekeeper.

Apparently his words had resonated with Champion Cynthia and Tower Tycoon Palmer, two of the only other trainers with a Milotic, and they also kept hush hush about it.

The amount of unity in this world was crazy. Anyone who knew about how to properly evolve Feebas, kept quiet about it. I'm sure more people knew how to evolve it but no one said a thing.

Unluckily for the them all, I didn't abide by those rules. I knew exactly how to get a Milotic so they could suck it.

Feebas in this world, were treated even worse than Magikarps. Not only were they largely useless, they were exceedingly rare. You can imagine that combined with the fact that not many people knew how to naturally evolve them, people had no interest in torturing themselves trying to find the elusive water type when there were so many others.

I was not as weak as those people. I was already going to do some pretty insane things in Hoenn… looking for a Feebas and evolving it into Milotic was nothing.

Milotic was a pokemon I wanted so I'd get it and that was that. But since this world didn't have a documented location for it… I'd rely on game knowledge and pray that it was in Route 119.

Now, I wasn't a person who wanted a lot of things, but when I did want something, I would stop at nothing to get it.

But I digress, catching Feebas in the games was always a bitch and a half and the fact that they were exceedingly rare in this world too, gave me hope that they were in a similar area.

After all, Wallace and Cynthia both had Milotics. It aligned well with Feebas having the same stupid method of fishing in a certain spot for both regions.

I pursed my lips as I pulled out my bike and mounted it, before beginning the trek through Route 121.

Fishing for Feebas was so annoying. They made it better in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, but in the original games it was hair pulling.

Knowing my luck, it'd take quite a bit but hopefully not too long. Littleroot was a little too far for me to commit a heist on the lab and it would completely derail my plans and increase that month long journey, into something excruciating.

But I was still pretty shocked by the rarity of Milotic. Not many trainers at all had the beautiful pokemon so information on them was scarce.

But they were insanely popular and well beloved by many people.

No surprise. It was my favorite water type for a reason.

I idly release Zorua after pausing for a bit and placed him in my black jacket, leaving his head poking out of top.

Well, I'd focus on it more after I caught it. For now, I'd bike towards Fortree city.

Route 121 was useless. The most notable thing about it, was the Safari Zone and while I was vaguely interested, I remember Hoenn's Safari Zone being infamously bad.

There was also the path that lead to Route 122 and Mt. Pyre... the location where the Red and Blue Orb were held, but I wasn't interested in those yet and I doubted I could reach them anyways.

A Ghost would have been pretty neat. Dusknoir was super cool but I needed to focus and it wasn't high priority like my others.

No detours. With this bike, I'd make record time to new areas. Whereas a walk would take me close to an hour to make it to Route 120, with this bike it was only 15 minutes.

I thanked the people making the routes so trainer friendly. Even with the fact that it was night time, some Eco-friendly lights, helpfully kept me from staying blind, as well as the ever familiar paved roads.

Route 120 was just as unnoteworthy… is what I was about to say until I remembered a very,verystartling detail.

Remember how I said no detours? Well, this would be the only one. Promise. Maybe.

My plans never perfectly worked out as you could tell.

I gazed at my map with a furrowed brow and turned left at an intersection, heading up a flight of stairs and continuing to walk.

Movement from the corner of my eyes stopped me and my silver eyes darted to the right as I heard Zorua growl. Despite the darkness, I could make out white fur and once my vision settled, I saw myself staring into the red eyes of a Pokemon.

Was that... an Absol?

The moment it caught my eye, the dark type seized up, before sprinting away from me with urgency.

Weird... very weird. Why was there an Absol here?

Ah sh*t. Weren't those guys a sign that a disaster was happening? Was I the disaster?

Well, who believed in sh*t like that. Not me, that's for sure.

Now as for why I was here…

I glanced up at the giant rock with a curious expression.

If anyone knew what resided in here, I doubt it'd be exposed so freely to the world. After all, one of the three golems of Hoenn, Registeel, was sleeping in here.

I wonder if that stupid ass method of using a Relicanth and Wailord were still needed.

...Yeah, I wasn't going to catch either of those Pokemon so Registeel could stay asleep for all I care.

I don't really like the Regis. The only one I really liked, was Regigigas because he was an awesome mon that got sabotaged by its ability.

As for the others? Yeah nothing. Registeel was pretty decent though by virtue of being a steel type but I hated Regirock and despised Regice even more.

Out of curiosity, I got closer to the tomb and placed a palm against the smooth rock.

Did it really need a puzzle? Why not just break it ope —

LONG DID WE LIVE HERE IN THIS CAVE.
ALL THANKS TO THE POWERFUL POKEMON LIVING ALONGSIDE US.
YET, WE SEALED THAT POKEMON AWAY, ALONE IN THE DARK.
WE FEARED IT.
IF YOU HAVE THE COURAGE, IF YOU STILL HOLD TO HOPE,
OPEN THE DOOR. FOR BEYOND IT THE ETERNAL POKEMON WAITS.

I shouted in distress, stepping back and holding my head as images began pouring into me.

"Zor?!" Zorua barked in concern, jumping out of my jacket to regard me. He began nudging me but I barely registered it in wake of these sensations.

What was that? Whatwas that?!What was that voice? What was that sudden pressure emanating from the cave all of a sudden? What were these images?

What was this pounding headache?!

I backed far away from Registeel's prison quickly due to the ominous weight on my shoulders and turned away, before collapsing after a few steps.

UNBREAKABLE. HOLLOW. METAL. PRISON. SIBLINGS. CREATOR.STEEL.

"We need to go," I hissed, unable to take this pressure anymore and trudging away with a concerned Zorua right on my heels.

Finally, the pressure on my skull abated and I collapsed on the floor, sweat dripping from my features.

I warily glanced back at the tomb housing Registeel and let out a shaky breath.

What… was that? Now that I didn't have a mind splitting headache (why did it just vanish?), I could actually think about what just happened.

Registeel had somehow imposed its presence onto me. That was the best way to explain it. I heard thoughts that weren't my own, saw perspectives that weren't mine… felt sensations that I never felt.

It was horrifying. Why the hell wasn't this place sealed off?

Wait a minute… whywasn'tthis place sealed off? Surely with what I just witnessed… the league understood what this rock entailed right?

...Right?

Oh god. Please don't tell me that experience was exclusive to me. Please don't tell me I was practically the only person that understood that there was a f*cking Registeel just chilling in here.

Please don't tell me that for whatever reason, this Registeel guy decided to only mess with me.

...Damn it all, I was the only one that knew Registeel was here wasn't I?

What did this world want from me…

"Zorua, you didn't feel that?" I asked reluctantly, hoping that he said yes he did.

But to no surprise at all, Zorua shook his head. He just kept looking at me with those big concerned eyes.

I resisted the urge to scream in frustration and scowled instead.

Great. Just f*cking great.

A psychic called me weird, I was trapped in a body that was not mine but was quickly becoming mine and now I got reached out to by a random goddamn legendary.

I already reluctantly accepted the fact that I'd be getting rid of the world ending evil teams because I kinda had to… Now an imprisoned legendary pokemon was flash banging me in my mind.

If I didn't have proof that I got tampered with by a legendary before, this was something impossible to ignore. I'm assuming whoever did this to me, made me more sensitive to them and wasn't that just fantastic?

"I'm fine Zorua, let's go," I grunted, rubbing him on the head and placing him back in my jacket.

Ugh, this was the worst. What was even worse, was the fact that even from this distance, I could feel the lingering presence of the titan.

Curiosity killed the cat never felt more apt here.

At least I was more confident on the routes having taken inspiration from the games…

I don't know the general consensus of wild Pokemon battles… but I didn't give a damn what they were.

"Chikorita! Hold it down with Vine Whip! Zorua, Pursuit to get behind then on its back!"

I was jumping if I saw it fit. No one on ones here.

A Poochyena had decided to get funny with me and I decided to let Chikorita get some battle experience by wrecking the feisty guy with a nice Vine Whip.

Unfortunately, Mama Mightyena didn't appreciate that very much and made an attempt to tear me apart specifically.

Needless to say, Chikorita had exploded in anger at seeing the Dark type nearly kill me and decided to pay it back in blood…

Unfortunately, this Mightyena was actually quite strong.

Turns out, I'm still a new trainer. Not even a single gym badge to my name… so a fully evolved Pokemon, no matter how mediocre, would still prove challenging in the long run...

If it were one on one.

Cue, Zorua jumping in without hesitation as Chikorita took a particularly vicious bite.

Now they were double teaming the furious mother to a very effective degree and I smiled at their teamwork.

A battered Chikorita growled angrily and summoned two sets of vines, before having them lunge forward to hold down the dark type.

At the same time, Zorua used the speed boost of Pursuit to lunge behind the Mightyena.

The wolf pokemon tried to turn to react to Zorua, but found that it was impossible with the vines wrapping around its forelegs, bringing it down.

Zorua, who had already channeled hone claws at the start of the battle rammed into Mightyena before jumping right on her back.

"Scratch. Don't stop," I commanded ruthlessly.

He didn't even hesitate. My first Pokemon's claws elongated and he began battering the Mightyena with unrelenting force.

Mightyena tried to fight back but the growls from Chikorita and the mounting tiredness, made it fruitless.

Eventually the onslaught by Zorua proved to be too much and the wolf let out a defeated whine, collapsing on the floor with some blood.

I sighed, clutching my bleeding arm with a frown.

Those claws were sharp. I barely dodged the attack but it still drew quite a bit of blood.

Pokemon were no joke, just a grazing hit managed to cause this much damage.

"Good job guys," I called to my bruised teammates.

"Chiko," Chikorita sighed, collapsing on the floor and nursing her wounds.

"Rua," Zorua grunted, leaping off Mightyena's back and approaching me with a look of concern. He had sustained the least injuries but the wolf managed to hit the fox with a fierce tackle.

"I'll be fine. I wasn't planning on it, but guess we'll make a stop at Fortree," I replied, rummaging through my bag for a gauze that I swore I saw.

Chikorita looked up and trotted over to me with determination on her features.

Then, she opened her mouth and released a Heal Pulse that hit both Zorua and I.

I gazed in fascination, as the size of my wound diminished slightly. It was still bleeding, but the cut had gotten a bit smaller.

The display completely rewired my interest in Heal Pulse and I gazed at my grass type in fascination.

This move had the potential to be insanely good. If Chikorita got really proficient in it…

Yeah, mastering Heal Pulse suddenly became a goal I eagerly awaited.

"We'll still head to the Pokemon Center for you both but thanks a ton girl," I smiled, hoisting up Chikorita and petting her leaf.

I recently found out that she loved getting the leaf atop her head pat. My second pokemon immediately melted in my grasp and I snorted.

Zorua glanced in appreciation at her, losing his slight limp and I returned the two of them.

After my experience with Registeel, I focused solely on making it to Fortree and didn't allow anything to distract me, up until that Poochyena.

The city was no more than 5 minutes away after 20 minutes of peddling (I was so glad I stole this bike) and thankfully, there were no Kecleons blocking the path.

Even if there were, the route was so wide it was impossible to get completely blocked off unless it was intentional.

Hooray for no video game plot obstructions.

The moon still shone above me, when I arrived to Fortree and I took in the sights city under the night light, in awe.

It was amazing in a way different from Lilycove. Lilycove was a tourist spot and the few buildings I saw embraced that aspect. There were tall buildings everywhere, a museum, a contest hall, the dock…

It was a city that I wouldn't be surprised to see in my old world but it hit different because of the incorporation of pokemon.

Fortree was nothing like that. No, they were complete opposites with the only similarities being how they embraced pokemon.

There were treeseverywhereand they were so tall.I actually wished it were day time, so I could really bask it all in.

The buildings were incorporated into the trees and the homes of the people were made of wood too. They were connected by rope bridges and it allowed for ease of travel through the entire city.

The way it was so immersed in its own nature, was rather mesmerizing. I don't even know how they made it work but the fact that theydid...

It was beautiful in a way my previous world would never have been able to replicate.

I nearly tripped over a snoozing Nuzleaf and barely managed to avoid waking it up, as I made my way to a set of wooden stairs and climbed it.

No video game would ever be able to capture how captivating this city was and I found myself taking in everything, only visible with the night lights.

It was such a shame I didn't plan on staying here longer. This place was incredible…

Ah screw it. I was feeling tired so let's call it a night. It was about 4:50 am so I'd book a room (they were free!) and wake up in a few hours.

Unlike the rest of the city, the Pokemon Center was almost as modern as the one I saw in Cherrygrove and Olivine, though it did incorporate Fortree's aesthetic into its design.

One thing I never mentioned, was just how the Pokemon Center looked and functioned.

They did not all look the same. In major cities, the Pokemon Center's looked more akin to hotels and Fortree was no exception.

I had never been in a Pokemon Center and I idly shivered as the cool air conditioner, contrasted the hot weather of Hoenn (even at night, I could feel the heat).

The lobby was largely bare with a lone Nurse Joy at the front desk. Her only company was a Blissey that gazed at me with a small smile.

She was reading a magazine with a bored expression and I inspected her features.

Pink hair, fair skin and blue eyes.

Certainly fit the cutesy look. If they all looked like this one, it was no wonder Nurse Joys were popular.

But did this world really have a family of people that just all looked identical and decided to be nurses? What would happen if a Joy was born a male? Were they like those Amazons in stories where male babies were either killed or enslaved?

Did all Joy's have a stranglehold on every Pokemon Center? Would I walk into a Pokemon Center and just see a Nurse Joy every single time?

Talk about nepotism. Some things never change regardless of what world you're in.

As I contemplated the oddities of this world, I moved my body to the front of the desk and waited for the Nurse Joy to say something.

Her eyes flickered over to me, before instantly honing in on the tear in my outfit and the red stained gauze covering my somewhat healed skin.

"Were you traveling at night alone?" She asked bluntly, beckoning me to follow her.

I raised a brow and did as told, trailing behind her quick steps. "Yeah. Got attacked by an angry Mightyena."

Nurse Joy pursed her lips at that. "How many Pokemon do you have?"

I pulled the two balls out and showed her. "Two. They got a little beat up but are in better shape than me."

The nurse pushed open a door to a comfy looking medical room and handed Zorua and Chikorita's balls over to Blissey, before sitting me down rather forcefully.

"Rude,"I thought idly, staring strangely at her.

"You're a new trainer traveling at night? You must have a death wish," she commented with an annoyed sigh.

"Don't you just have a sunny personality?" I remarked idly, watching her push the sleeve of my jacket back.

"Night shift is for the nurses that don't feel like smiling 24/7. I happen to be one of them. Why were you traveling at night? You should have at least had a guide," Joy chastised me.

I shrugged, kinda digging the nurses rude personality and allowed her to peel the gauze off. "I didn't get attacked by anything besides the Mightyena and that was because I beat up its kid."

She hummed and gazed at my injury, before reaching for a bottle and summarily spraying my arm.

I bit back the hiss at the stinging feeling… before blinking as it quickly went away and the mark on my arm vanished.

"You managed to beat a Mightyena with those two babies?" She asked, looking impressed. "Not bad. I guess with pokemon so competent, it makes up for your arrogance."

"f*ck you," I replied instinctively, before realizing what I said and blinking. "Oh, my bad. Your sh*tty personality forced an instinctive response out of me."

The Nurse Joy raised a brow, looking somewhat impressed by my statement. "You have a terrible personality yourself. You haven't stopped scowling yet, even when you were checking me out."

"That's my resting bitch face," I replied easily.

Thatmade her snort. "Most of the kids would be freaking out over an injury like this but you're not half bad… maybe you aren't as stupid as I thought," she complimented.

"I think I know the reason you work night shift now," I fired back with a smirk. "If anyone spoke to you for more then a minute, this place would get shut down for bad reception."

The pink haired woman shook her head and stood up to leave. "I've been speaking to you for 5. What does that say about your personality?"

"I'm a ray of sunshine," I retorted dryly.

"Bliss!" The round pink pokemon called out, trotting over with two balls and handing them to the Joy.

"I can tell," she replied with an amused smile. "You want a room or are you hellbent on going back on your little suicide trip?"

"Room. Is traveling at night that bad?" I asked curiously.

"One of the highest mortality rates for trainers, is getting attacked at night by a ticked off Pokemon," Nurse Joy listed like she had done so a thousand times. "That's why it's so encouraged these days to travel in a pair or group if you plan on camping in the routes. Either that or invest in Repels to ward them off."

"Huh, go figure," I said to myself. Was it really that bad? I even slept in the forests where all the stronger pokemon tended to reside in.

Besides the Mightyena and the Absol stalking me, it really wasn't terrible at all.

Actually now that I thought about it, I didn't get attacked very often.

Hm… a traveling partner…

"I don't suppose you wanna travel with me?" I asked the odd Nurse Joy.

What? She was cool. I didn't really want a travel companion at all but I could see the benefits of having one.

Though… there was no point getting one here. I wasn't staying in Hoenn anyways.

Nurse Joy burst out laughing at that. "Maybe if you asked a few years earlier, I'd say yes but I think I'll pass kid. You're not half bad but I actually like my job."

I shrugged. "Sucks. That was your chance to prove the Joys aren't a cult."

She rolled her eyes, amused smile still there, and dropped a card in my hands. "The keys to your room. You and your pokemon should be fine. Try to avoid traveling at night unless you're close to another city."

"No promises."

I heard her snort again and headed to my room.

A traveling companion… considering I was a criminal, the thought of having one never even once occurred to me.

I couldn't really go looking for one now. There were too many reasons finding one in Hoenn was a terrible idea but the main one, was that I planned on going to Kanto.

So I should consider looking for one in Kanto…

It wasn't a terrible idea. I didn't have any reason to commit criminal acts in Kanto so I may not be discovered…

But I didn't want to just travel with anyone. There was a 90% chance I'd hate them anyways.

...Should I attempt to travel with Ash if he really did exist?

I snorted loudly.

Not a chance in hell.

Fortree during the day was as gorgeous as I expected it to be. The way the trees glowed in the sun, how high they reached, the way they integrated themselves with the Pokemon in the area.

Tailows, Swellows, Beautiflys, hell I even saw an Altaria. They mingled in Fortree and no one tried to bother them at all.

It was pretty cool.

Too bad I wasn't planning on staying in the city for too long. I had already given my keycard to the kind Nurse Joy at the desk.

Lame, I already missed the asshole Nurse Joy. She was cool. This one was almost sickeningly sweet.

But that was already behind me.

It was time for me to finally begin my goals in earnest and start hunting down a Feebas.

Route 119 was sweltering hot, to the point that I immediately took my jacket off and remained in just a black tee.

Hoenn in general had a sticky heat but this was unreal. The tropical rainforest of Route 119 tended to rain more often than not and I really wish this was one of those times.

I huffed and swiped the sweat off my forehead, as I headed to a specific source of water with Chikorita happily following me.

It didn't take me long, considering the body of water stretched to practically the entirety of the massive route.

That was another thing. This route was already pretty big in the games but here, it wasgargantuan.

Even with my bike, traveling from Fortree to the end of Route 119, 118 and Mauville, would take me about a 2 days if Ididn'tstop at all. Throw in stopping for breaks, eating food, tending to Pokemon, potential battles... the days would quickly add up.

That was insane and it didn't take into account traversing through the muddy floor with a bike...

At least the dense foliage and nature was a sight to behold. Looks like I'd be enjoying it for the upcoming days.

The beautiful and natural sights were very much welcomed by me, as I took a seat and pulled out the star of the show.

A Super Rod.

Back at Olivine, I realized that since I was in a port city, they'd probably sell the rods and I wouldn't have to rely on some freak of a fisherman resonating with me and giving me one for free.

That's not to say I didn't get this one for free. I definitely did.

What?! I was only going to use it once! Why would I spend80,000Poke on it?

I wasn't made of money here.

I idly released Zorua and he immediately went over to Chikorita's side so they could do light training.

They made me so proud. Seriously, I didn't deserve such great Pokemon.

"Look alive. Take turns fighting whatever I fish out," I muttered to the two.

They both nodded in affirmation and I smiled.

Feebas was an annoying pokemon to encounter and I dearly hoped it was nothing like the games. If I had to fish in a specific spot to catch this thing, I was gonna lose my mind and my temper.

But just in case, I was currently in a nice little spot, directly near a bridge and my line was resting under that bridge.

In the Gen 3 games, you needed to find a specific tile that had taught me the definition of patience.

In the Gen 6 ones, you just needed to fish under the bridge.

Hopefully, I could catch this thing and be to Mauville quickly.

My line twitched and I perked up, before an intense struggle began between the pokemon and I.

Now, I had never gone fishing before. It wasn't something that was readily available to me and I wasn't going to go out of my way to do it…

Maybe I should have tried it at least once.

I watched in disbelief, as whatever I caught,escapedfrom the line and my Super Rod went limp in my grasp.

"Chiko…" Chikorita snickered.

"Zor, zorua," Zorua chastised her, failing to hide his smile.

"Shut up," I demanded, slowly reeling the line back in and placing it next to me.

How… how embarrassing.

Now I had to live with the knowledge that that very well could have been a Feebas on the line and it got away.

Ah dammit.

"Hey Jasmine, how do you fish? I have no idea how to use this thing."

As expected, my message went to read immediately but I didn't get a reply until a few minutes later.

"I'm sorry. I was doing something… Why exactly are you asking me how to fish?"

"Because I don't know how to fish and you were born in a city right by the sea."

"It's very impolite to place such stereotypes on people, Silver. Just because I was born in Olivine, does not mean I automatically know how to fish. I'm a steel type trainer."

"So… you don't know how to fish?"

"...Yes, I know how to fish. One second, I'll call and explain it to you… and please, wipe that smirk off your face. Your ignorance doesn't deserve to be rewarded."

I did not in fact wipe the smirk off my face. If I did, it'd be replaced by embarrassment because I actually lost a capture…

And my Pokemon were commenting on it too.

I sighed as my Pokegear began ringing.

At least Jasmine was too nice to make fun of me for messing up.

Turns out, she was capable of making fun of me. Jasmine actually laughed at me when I explained what happened and tried to assure me that it was okay to mess up.

I made sure to shut her up by swearing such a vicious storm, that she began stammering in disbelief and stopped speaking immediately.

Good. I was proud that she was growing a spine and was so comfortable with me (honestly I thought it was too quick but hey) but I was still fuming over not knowing how to fish.

"You're terrible, Silver,"she complained, face a bright red in horror.

"I know, I'm the worst," I agreed, launching the line back in the water with a look of concentration.

"Remember to set your hook after the Pokemon starts biting the bait. Don't get too eager. That was my mistake when I was younger."

I nodded my head.

In the video games, you could fish up many water types with a Super Rod. Even the ones that should be impossible due to their weight, were nothing for game logic.

It seems my world was doing its best to apply logic to things like that.

The Super Rod was made with advanced technology, that gave it its own power when fishing. You, as the user, rarely had to expend any strength. The Rod was able to lift upwards to 500 pounds, before it began showing strain and it even showed you the weight of the Pokemon you were about to reel in.

Most of the strain would come from the struggling pokemon, but the Super Rod helped heavily with the weight issue so I had to deal with the struggling.

As I followed Jasmine's instructions, I suddenly felt a tug on my line and narrowed my eyes as I locked in.

This Feebas was mine.

What followed, was a pretty intense struggle that lasted the better part of 30 seconds, before I came out the winner!

"Get over here!" I shouted with a victorious grin.

That grin was wiped off my face, as I saw the pokemon staring me down with a glare on its face.

So earlier, I mentioned how the Super Rod registers the weight of whatever was on the line. It was to help you get a good idea of what you were catching.

If I had checked the weight, I probably would have just let this capture go. I blamed my inexperience and never wielding a Super Rod.

"Good job Silver!"Jasmine praised, face lighting up on the screen as she began clapping for me."What is it? What did you find?"

"Jasmine," I hissed. "I'll call you back in a bit."

That confused the gym leader before horror crossed her features."Silver, are you using a Super Rod?!"

"Yes," I replied without hesitation, backing away slowly. "Zorua, Chikorita. Get ready for battle. We're jumping it. This is my spot and I'm not leaving until I get what I came here for."

"Silver! Are you crazy?! You plan on fighting it?! What are you even fighting?! HOW DID YOU GET A SUPER ROD?!"

"Now's not the time to be asking me questions!" I replied, waving my hands at my two alert pokemon. "I'll call you back!"

"Wait! At least tell me what it is!"Jasmine requested frantically.

"Oh… it's a Sharpedo," I informed her as casually as possible.

"A WHAT?! SILVER YOU'RE A NEW TRAINER DO NOT FIGHT A SHARPE —"

I hung up the phone and dashed backwards as swiftly as possible. "Chikorita, Growl! Zorua, Leer!"

"Sharp!" Sharpedo snarled loudly and coated itself in water, before rocketing out the water at tremendous speeds.

"Aqua Jet?"I thought in shock.

The Shark Pokemon crashed into Chikorita with no hesitation, making the grass type yelp as she was launched through the air.

I balked in concern, before watching her get up with a deep glare.

Two vines snaked out of her and launched at the Sharpedo, wrapping around its fin with admirable accuracy that she did not have earlier this week.

"Zorua, taunt and torment! Don't let it use Aqua Jet again!" I barked, watching the water type heave Chikorita, who was still attached by vine, through the air.

Zorua growled in affirmation and glowed with dark energy, before barking loudly.

Sharpedo let out a noise of annoyance and gazed at Zorua with murderous intent, forgetting Chikorita for a moment and honing in on my starter.

Perfect.

"Chikorita, hang tight and get on its back then keep using Razor Leaf! Zorua, get tricky. Use Leer and Snarl whenever you get the chance," I ordered with narrowed eyes.

They both barked in affirmation and got to work quickly.

Sharpedo tried to close the distance with Aqua Jet, only to growl in confusion at being unable to, then it looked as if it tried to activate some stat move, before the dark energies of Taunt came into effect and prevented that too.

Needless to say, that pissed it off somethingfierce.

It didn't help that Chikorita had followed my order to a T and landed on its back, before barraging it with a litany of wince inducing Razor Leafs.

One thing I learned about the grass starter… was that she had ameanstreak.

The water type howled at the super effective move slamming into him repeatedly, remembering about Chikorita finally and he began bucking with such force, that it was only a matter of time before he successfully dislodged her.

I noticed Chikorita wincing before realization hit me.

"Rough Skin,"I frowned deeply.

Zorua let loose a Snarl, that directly connected with the water type and only proved to further annoy it.

"Chikorita, use Poison Powder then jump off of it. Zorua, don't make direct contact with it if you can help it."

Chikorita concentrated deeply and opened her mouth, before coating Sharpedo's skin with the purple powder.

Then she leapt off the shark and dashed away to the best of her ability.

Sharpedo didn't let her get away scot-free though.

The bloodied shark snarled furiously, glowing with dark energy before it concentrated it on one of its pectoral fins.

With dreadful speed, he slammed the Night Slash into Chikorita's side and I balked in horror at the direct hit.

A red line formed on her side and I watched her tumble to the side with a squeal.

A surge of terror coursed through my body, as Sharpedo opened it's maw, revealing serrated teeth that could probably carve through metal. Dark energy began coalescing around its mouth before it surged forward to clamp down on Chikorita.

I was already reaching for the Poke Ball but I would be too slow and that thought chilled me.

Zorua growled furiously and lunged forward with pursuit, slamming head first into the Sharpedo and knocking it off course enough to make it miss.

I let out a sigh of relief and aimed the Poke Ball at my grass type, only to blink in confusion as Chikorita shakily got up and glared at me.

"Chikorita?" I questioned in concern.

"Chikorita!" She growled, fluorescent green aura beginning to surround her.

"What is that? Synthesis?"I thought to myself.

No, Synthesis used a different shade of green… what was this?

"Chiko! Chikorita!" The grass type demanded, glaring deeply at the Sharpedo.

Her green aura only got more pronounced, as she saw Zorua take a harsh Aqua Jet to his side that sent him tumbling. He lay there limply and the vicious shark turned its focus onto Chikorita.

Sharpedo had been slowing down tremendously from the poison in its bloodstream and it looked like the shark was getting desperate to end the fight and tend to its wounds.

Chikorita was clearly desperate to inflict as much pain as possible on this troublesome thing.

My mouth opened in surprise, as Chikorita began shooting out amassivebarrage of Razor Leafs. The sharp leaves came out stronger than anything I saw her shoot yet and it had my brain wracking at what that green aura was.

The poison was clearly doing wonders because our opponent had no time to react, as the sharp leaves began slamming into it over and over again.

"SHAR!" It roared its pain to the world. It glared furiously at the glowing Chikorita but she was undeterred.

She began glowing in a much more familiar green and I watched the red gash slowly close up from the effects of Synthesis.

Sharpedo growled and charged the grass type, maw open wide to take a bite out of her…

Only to let out a confused noise as he chomped on Chikorita and met nothing but air.

Two giant vines slowly snaked out from the shrubbery and lunged forward, latching on the Sharpedo's fin again.

I watched in awe as the real Chikorita let out a mighty yell, before heaving the shark, that eclipsedher in size, into the air and slamming it down.

"SHARPEDO!" The pokemon cried out, before it went limp on the floor.

The limp body of Zorua faded away and my first Pokemon trotted out the giant shrubbery, panting in exhaustion as he threatened to fain. There was a nasty bruise on his side and he looked real beat up.

Chikorita trotted out right after him, green aura still covering her body. The anger in her eyes had vanished, replaced by exhaustion even deeper than Zorua's and she whined.

"Holy sh*t," I muttered, relief flooding through my body at seeing them well. I rummaged through my bag and pulled out a Super Potion, before tentatively spraying the both of them.

They both let out sighs of relief as their injuries began healing, but it didn't cure their exhaustion.

"You guys did incredible," I praised genuinely, patting them both as I glanced over at Sharpedo's prone body.

Now that the adrenaline was gone, I could finally pinpoint what exactly Chikorita had done.

Overgrow. Her ability. The grass type equivalent of Torrent and Blaze.

It made the pokemon 50% stronger when low on health. On paper it was useful, but you didn't utilize it often because you'd like never activate it before fainting and the starters tended to have more useful hidden abilities.

But here? With the Chikorita I was planning on turning into a tank?

Not to mention… it didn't vanish after she used Synthesis…

I was already working on making Zorua master his ability… why not do the same with Chikorita? If she could master Overgrow… the potential was endless.

So many ideas. It was actually really exciting thinking of what I could achieve.

Things were so much more fun then learning a new move with levels or competitive breeding.

It was more authentic this way.

"That Sharpedo was nuts… if we didn't fight so smart, we would have gotten destroyed," I muttered with a sigh, warily glancing at the shark.

First Mightyena, then Absol and now Sharpedo? Dark types needed to chill out. At least the Absol hadn't attacked me. I periodically saw its white fur and I wasn't sure if it was a different one, or the same one but none of them liked me at all.

Well whatever it may be, it needed to keep its distance. I had no interest in catching Absol. There were at least 10 dark types I'd prefer over it and I already had one of them.

"You guys alright? Need a trip to the center?" I muttered to the two.

They pondered the question and shook their heads.

A vine snaked out of Chikorita and she pointed at the water again, Zorua nodding next to her.

"You want me to keep fishing?" I asked slowly.

They nodded.

I blinked.

"Huh… well, let's take a break first," I said, not sounding too sure of myself.

Were… my pokemon as nuts as I currently was?

Just how much did I show for them to get this influenced by me?

...It was kind of awesome. It made sense that the Pokemon you raised up would be partly influenced by you.

The ringing of my Pokegear went off and I distantly realized it had been going off this whole time.

Oops. Well, Jasmine was a nice girl, she'd understand.

I should stop jinxing things. She did in fact, not understand.

"How could you be so stupid, Silver?! You used a Super Rod, fished up a Sharpedo and fought it? What are you thinking?!"Jasmine berated me, brows furrowed in concern.

"A Super Rod's technology is really advanced! When the line is put into the water, it emits a specialized smell far stronger than the Good and Old Rods! It's why stronger pokemon tend to be attracted by it! You should have at least checked the weight of it!"

I scratched my head (I scowled as I realized I still had the bucket hat on) and listened to her chew into me with a bewildered expression.

"Where did you get this backbone from?" I asked in confusion.

"Don't you even think about changing the subject! You are a new trainer! You should have fled as soon as you saw what you were up against! No, scratch that. WHY ARE YOU USING A SUPER ROD?!"

I winced at the volume she was taking. For someone who had become my friend about a week ago, Jasmine sure was concerned.

"I wanted to use the best choice… and I won," I retorted lamely.

"You're completely missing the point! You could have died!"The anger in her voice was gone, replaced by genuine worry.

Story of my life. Maybe I should be a bit more careful then…

After Hoenn.

"My bad, Jas. Look on the bright side… I probably won't be using the Super Rod again for a long time," I assured her.

"Oh thank goodness! You shouldn't risk using it this early on! When you have more badges and a further fleshed out team you can use it but for now, please buy an Old Rod! I'll even give you the money for it and you're fishing right now aren't you?"

"...Since when do you know me so well?" I asked, eyes gleaming in joy as I gazed at my catch.

Jasmine had been chewing me out for quite a while now and I got bored to the point where I just started fishing again.

Luckily for me… Sharpedo seemed to be the most problematic person in these parts of the water and whenever I did potentially get something that the weight checker warned me about, I just released it from the bait.

I had fished up a Barboach, three Magikarp, and a Tentacool while she took the time to tear into me.

None of the Magikarp wanted to fight so I let them go but I had Chikorita beat up the Barboach, while Tentacool was dealt with by Zorua.

It was after I threw my line near a pretty huge boulder, did I finally reap the benefits of my completely reckless actions.

"Silver, you are unbelievable. What is wrong with you? Why are you filling me with so much anxiety?"Jasmine asked in resignation.

"One of my enjoyments in life is tormenting people and I find it especially fun to torment a person who can wipe me out as an afterthought," I replied in delight.

Jasmine sighed in defeat."I worry for you Silver. Did you at least find what you want? Is that why you're not going to use the Super Rod anymore?"

"Yep," I popped the p, gazing at the Feebas on my line with a wild glint.

It certainly was shabby like the Pokedex mentioned, but being largely ignored by everyone because of it, was just an over exaggeration.

Sure its natural appearance made it look unhealthy but allegedly, Feebas had quite the vitality.

"At least that issue is solved. I don't know why you are so eager to put yourself in danger… I have a meeting that I postponed because I thought my friend was being mauled by a Sharpedo. Now that I know you're fine, I'll call you later."

I nodded and idly gazed at the face of the girl on my screen. "Sure. If those people ask why you're late, say f*ck you that's why and then show them Empy."

The instant swap from worry to horror was fascinating. I didn't know someone's expression could change so quickly. It was a good thing the Pokegear allowed video calls. I thought that was a Unova exclusive thing.

"I'm not going to do that Silver! Empy! No! We are not doing that! You need to stop cursing so much,"Jasmine complained, hanging up the phone as I heard the Empoleon snicker.

Good to know Jasmine's team still liked me.

Now, to focus on my prize.

Feebas was staring at me warily, eyes flickering between the alert Zorua and Chikorita. It was very quickly coming to the realization that it was in a terrible situation.

"Hey there, Feebas," I greeted easily, catching its attention. "I've been looking for you."

"Fee?" Feebas asked in confusion.

"What? Surprised that someone was actually looking for you?" I asked, crouching in front of it with a smirk.

It nodded slowly, content to just observe me once it realized I had no intention of destroying it in a battle.

Good, I was glad I didn't have to beat it up. Would have felt like bullying and I didn't want to bully this weak little fella.

"I want you to join my team," I said bluntly, gazing at it with clear interest. "I figured I'd give you the choice instead of forcefully catching you so that we can get along easier."

If it said no I wasn't gonna just catch it. It was imperative that at least one of the Pokemon I captured in Hoenn joined willingly because well…

I wonder if I could get it to like I dunno, call one of its other siblings interested in traveling. Surely there had to be a bunch of Feebas down there, unless Sharpedo was snacking on them.

I did not feel like fishing up another Sharpedo. I was suddenly glad that it wasn't raining like it normally does in this route because that would be a nightmare.

Feebas blinked in clear surprise at my words, not quite believing I wanted it on my team and I frowned at that.

Just how harshly were Feebas treated in this world? Kind of unnecessary especially considering people knew it evolved into Milotic. No wonder not many people succeeded in evolving it, it didn't suddenly become a whole new person once evolved.

After a moment, the fish glanced over at Zorua and Chikorita.

I watched the three begin conversing with each other, before Zorua glanced up at me.

"Zor, Zor," he said to me.

I blinked.

"Why do I want Feebas?" I asked slowly.

All 3 nodded.

"Because I like you. I came here specifically for you and I think you'd be a great addition," I replied bluntly.

I don't know what was so profound about my statement, but Feebas' eyes widened, before it looked at me and nodded vigorously.

Huh, that was easy.

"So you want to join me, right?" I asked in slight excitement, as I pulled out an empty pokeball.

"Fee!" It replied, glancing at me in adoration.

I smiled at that and tapped the water type with my ball.

I had never actually caught a Pokemon before. I already had Zorua by the time I took over and I kidnapped Chikorita, so this was my first time seeing the process.

I watched in fascination, as the pokeball opened up and a red light consumed Feebas, before dragging it inside the capsule.

The ball shook once, before clinking shut, signifying a successful capture.

Just like that, Feebas and my future Milotic were secured… and it only took me getting taught how to fish, fighting a strong fish, nearly losing a Pokemon and getting chewed out by my only friend who reminded me of a little sister…

Totally worth it.

"Alright, let's go get you guys healed up at the center. I've got a lot of ideas cooking and we can prepare to go to Mauville next," I grinned excitedly, extremely pleased by the events of today.

In the grand scheme of my plans, Feebas was actually the easy part and it went relatively smoother than I expected. The hardest part of catching a Feebas was not knowing if it were actually here... and evolving it into Milotic in the future.

Now…

Well things were going to get a lot harder.

After all if things went wrong on my end, then the crimes I committed in Johto would pale in comparison to the target on my back from what I planned on doing in Hoenn.

"Ah? Is Ash not here yet?"

Professor Oak glanced at the three aspiring trainers there and frowned at the lack of one.

Of course the one year that more than three people qualify for a starter, one of them doesn't show up.

Gary Blue Oak snorted at that, rolling his blue eyes. "Idiot probably doesn't even realize that today's the day we get our official starters. Happens when you don't even own a Pokemon before that."

A tired sigh was let out almost as soon he finished speaking.

"All these years and you two still have all this bad blood?" Leaf Green muttered, shaking her head. This was why she couldn't hang out with them anymore. It was just too tiring dealing with all that arguing and it caused the childhood friends to fall out.

"What?" Gary said defensively, holding his hands up. "Everyone's here but him! He's just wasting our time! I bet even you're tired of waiting, Green!" the young Oak exclaimed.

"Whatever you say, Gary," she muttered.

Ash and Gary used to be such great friends when they were all younger but one pokeball managed to do this to them?

Green couldn't wait until their journey's started. She couldn't even peacefully speak to one of them without the other accusing her of picking sides.

"Um professor, have you been alright?" Mason, the third trainer there, asked nervously. "Have you gotten attacked recently? I heard Elm was attacked just yesterday..."

Professor Oak, who had just been observing the trainers with an amused expression, smiled politely at the boys concerns.

Truthfully, Mason wasn't going to make it very far as a trainer. He didn't have the drive or the passion but he had scored enough to be qualified for a starter and perhaps Oak would be proven wrong.

"I'm fine. Believe it or not, I was quite the formidable trainer back in the days so I doubt many people would be able to successfully attack me," Oak reassured.

Nothing was known about Elm's assaulter but they had taken a Chikorita for themselves. For reasons unknown, they had left the other two but in the long run that was a smart decision.

Narrowing down a thief by a single Chikorita, was very difficult to achieve. The best way to pinpoint them, was by observing the state of the Chikorita for signs of abuse.

But those were Johto affairs for the time being. Once he distributed the starters, he'd fly over to check on Elm himself.

On that note...

"I believe we've waited long enough," Oak said, gesturing to the pristine pokeballs being presented to them on the pedestal.

"Before you are the three starters. Bulbasaur, the grass type. Squirtle, the water type. Charmander, the fire type."

The three 12 year olds felt their eyes widen as they gazed at the balls in awe.

"Seeing as two of you got perfect scores on the qualifying tests, Green and Gary can decide who would like to select their starter first," Oak stated, gazing at the two.

Green smiled and beckoned for the eager Gary. "He can go first. I don't mind waiting a little longer!" she beamed, just as excited to finally get started on her journey.

It's not like he was going to pick her choice. Gary made it very clear he was getting Squirtle no matter what.

As expected, Gary swaggered right up to the pokeball of the water type and picked it up without any hesitation, smirking co*ckily as he released the water type to observe it.

Green stared in slight interest at the Squirtle but wasted no time walking up to select her own starter.

She grabbed the pokeball of Bulbasaur without any hesitation and grinned as she released it out of the ball.

"So cute!"She gushed, gazing at the serious looking Bulbasaur with a bright smile.

"Now normally, Ash would be next to select his starter, but seeing as he is not here, that leaves you, Mason," Oak announced, gazing at the final trainer.

Oak had prepared a Pikachu for him but it appears Ash would have to accept it.

He watched the trainer eye the final pokeball with wide eyes, before finally releasing the Charmander from the ball.

"Now that that's settled, here is a Pokedex for you all," the professor finished, handing it over to them. "They have a variety of functions but the most notable, is the ability to record and register pokemon you've encountered."

They listened with rapt attention, gazing at the prized invention with fascinated eyes.

"On your journey, you'll discover many things about yourself and make many mistakes, but all of these are crucial in becoming a better trainer. Some of you may even discover a new passion along the way!" Oak informed them with a kind smile.

Gary snorted at that, blue eyes condescending as he sneered at Mason, who could only flinch back.

Green nodded happily, mischievous green eyes glowing in anticipation as she threatened to bolt out of the door.

Oak decided against boring them with anymore talks and just waved them off.

"Now, that's all from me! Run along now!" Oak waved, before his expression turned serious for a moment. "And do be careful of Team Rocket."

The three nodded, before finally departing from the lab, though at the last second, Oak did hear Gary shout about battling Green.

Hopefully Gary matured in this journey. His grandson was rude and co*cky but there was a good heart under there.

And hopefully none of them encountered Team Rocket. Oak himself would show his former status as Champion, if anything happened to his selected trainers.

Team Rocket... the criminal organization were surprisingly elusive. Grunts knew nothing about the higher ups besides names and even then, they were just tasked with doing their job.

It was very likely that they had gone and attacked Elm as well... but why would they only take one Pokemon?

Team Rocket were the type to take everything, not just one... but conveniently, only one had been taken which left two for Elm's trainers to get their own starters.

On that topic...

Oak heard the sound of a phone ringing and went over to pick it up.

"Ah Elm! I was just going to Teleport over on Alakazam to visit you! How are you?" The old man asked.

"I'm recovering quickly. Thankfully, my life wasn't in danger by the time I arrived to the hospital and I was quickly patched up..."Elm informed him, a sheepish smile on his face.

Oak sighed in relief. "I'm glad to hear that. If you're life had been in danger... thank goodness it hasn't come to that."

"I don't believe the person who attacked me was attempting to kill me! I heard a child's scream before entering the lab so they must have been panicked and lashed out."

Panicked? Childish scream? But for what reason? Were they not the ones robbing Elm?

...

"Are you certain? You don't have any lingering head injuries?" Oak frowned in contemplation.

"I'm sure of it. I remember hearing a child screamand when I went to investigate, they must have hid themselves right before I was struck on the side of my head."

Oak's frown deepened at that. So the person willingly struck Elm but besides that, didn't lay another hand on them.

Not to mention the blow hadn't been fatal. Most of the damage Elm had taken, stemmed from all the objects falling atop him.

How curious... a child had invaded the lab and stolen a pokeball... after screaming?

"Do you think they were perhaps, forced to do such a thing?" Oak asked curiously.

"...It might be strange to hear from me... but yes, I do. I think whoever did this, is in a situation where they are in urgent need of protection and likely didn't want to do this,"Elm replied with a deep frown of his own.

"What makes you say that?" Oak asked curiously.

Based on his own thoughts, it did seem likely that the one who had stolen Chikorita, had done so without much consent on their end... but this was all theory.

"Well they only stole one of the Pokemon when they had ample opportunity to take all three... and it's not as if they didn't have time, because they also grabbed a Pokedex, pokeballs and many healing ailments... I didn't lose any important documents, any lab equipment... they simply took everything necessary for becoming stronger."

Oak's expression turned contemplative as he heard that and the aged former champion began painting a story with that information.

He did not like the picture.

If what Elm was saying was true and the child truly was forced to do this... it was a terrifying scenario to think about.

What would make a child risk robbing a renowned professor, for essentials? What had pushed them to this...

Team Rocket most likely. This child was very likely being targeted to some degree by Team Rocket.

What a terrifying prospect to stomach.

"It seems you've come to the same conclusions as I have,"Elm stated warily."It may not be correct, but at the very least I'd like to meet the culprit and speak to them."

Oak nodded along with him. "A child being targeted by Team Rocket... they might have gone to drastic measures to try and secure their safety. But why not ask for help?"

"Perhaps they have no choice. We don't have all the answers and I'd like to get them before something happens to them..."

The professor of Kanto sighed at that. Elm was truly kind and even he found himself sympathizing.

That's if this was all true though.

"If he is found and apprehended, I have enough influence to ask for an audience with them. If this truly is the story, I doubt they will be sent to prison," Oak said.

It would be an insult to the league, to imprison a victim when they just needed to be helped from a terrible situation.

"Thank you, Oak. Now, that's not quite why I called you. I just wished to inform you of some things about my two trainers, Gold and Crystal."

Oak blinked.

Gold and Crystal? Weren't those two also scheduled to get their starters today?

They were both incredibly competent trainers. Crystal especially, had a good head on her shoulders that would do both her and the far more brash, albeit very talented, Gold, many favors.

"What is it that you wanted to inform me of?" Oak asked curiously.

"They want to travel through the Kanto region and complete the gym challenge there! I was hoping you could help them out sometimes,"Elm explained with a sheepish smile.

Oak blinked dumbly at that.

"What?"

Notes:

Hey! Welcome to chapter 2 and I'd like to first take a moment to thank everyone for the support! I appreciate a fun little idea being received so well.

Silver has reached Hoenn and has begun his plans in earnest, starting with the capture of Feebas! He also has a friend that can actually speak back to him!

Hope you enjoyed. Writing a megaverse is really fun so I hope you enjoy as well!

Chapter 3: Hubris

Summary:

A guide on how to potentially make yourself Hoenn Public Enemy #1.

Notes:

I made a server for anyone who would prefer to chat with me in real time! Here's the link: https://discord.gg/nHJEkJh5NE

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

These Silver Eyes

Chapter 3: Cost of Arrogance

Feebas:Female

Ability:Swift Swim

Moves:Tackle, Hypnosis, Dragon Breath

I perked a brow at the last two moves. Hypnosis and Dragon Breath? On a Feebas?

Perhaps her parent had actually been a Milotic and not a Feebas, if she had both Hypnosis and Dragon Breath...

I wouldn't complain. At least I didn't have to deal with a one move Feebas. I knew they were pretty weak but that might have been really hard on me in the long run.

My newest pokemon looked up at me expectantly as I scanned her and I idly ran a hand against her scales.

I had never pet a fish before. Feebas seemed naturally wet and the sensation was pretty strange… but I'd get used to it.

"Fee," she said happily, leaning into my touch.

"Not bad, Feebas," I muttered, genuinely delighted at havingsomewhereto start.

To be honest, I was expecting Feebas to be completely useless until evolution… but this would help alleviate some issues.

I'd have to make a Feebas impressive, so that my future Milotic would become a monster. The better a pokemon was in their first form, the more impressive it would be in its evolutions.

This was especially the case with Pokemon that evolved with specific conditions, like stones or items... or beauty?

That didn't mean pokemon who evolved naturally didn't benefit from it as well. Neither Chikorita, Zorua or Feebas were anywhere near close to evolution, so I'd put in as much work as possible with them to make them as impressive as I knew they'd become.

...Just as soon as I managed to get a proper plan going for Feebas.

Milotic were incredible pokemon that warranted how rare they were. The sea serpents were known for having high durability, incredible regeneration and plenty of power to dish out devastating attacks…

Wallace's Milotic in particular, was known to be quite the force. It was the main reason the man was so heavily considered a candidate for future champion in the Hoenn region.

But that was as Milotic. Feebas didn't haveanyof the advantages Milotic had.

No, the little fish was a rather frustrating pokemon to own.

At least with Magikarp, they became a Gyarados with a moderate amount of training involved… No one knew how to evolve Feebas except for a stark few trainers and all those gatekeepers were firm believers that Milotic was a pokemon that only few trainers deserved.

Combined with how lackluster the first form of the incredibly rare water type was, the few trainers who did manage to catch Feebas, very quickly gave up on them.

I guess Wallace and Cynthia had a point. If they didn't wanna tough it out with Feebas, they didn't deserve Milotic. It was a marathon, not a sprint.

Though, I doubted they'd deem me worthy of it if they knew who I was.

Worthy trainer this, worthy trainer that... they could both go f*ck themselves. I already knew how to evolve Feebas into Milotic and no one was going to stop me.

"Not bad girl," I praised with a gentle smile… that probably still looked like a smirk on my face. "I'll make you strong… it might take a bit for you to catch up to Chikorita and Zorua but it's a marathon, not a sprint."

Feebas gazed up adoringly at me and nodded rapidly at my words.

Adorable. People were way too rude, Feebas weren't eventhatugly.

In the video games, the way to evolve Feebas into Milotic, was by increasing its beauty or trading it with a Prism Scale.

You did the first method by feeding Pokeblocks that increased its beauty stat from contests… The second was finding an item I wasn't quite sure existed yet. Didn't Feebas themselves grow Prism Scales? If that were the case, they might not exist...

But things like beauty levels, stats, physical/special split, probably didn't work like that in this world.

This wasn't a video game. This was real life now and stuffing my Feebas full of Poke Blocks until it evolved into a Milotic, was probably not the right way to go about things.

No, the right way was to treat my shy, nervous Feebas like a queen of course until she thought she was a queen.

Chikorita and Zorua were currently being treated by the Nurse Joy, which left me and Feebas and just off of our brief meeting I could tell a few things.

Feebas had very little confidence in herself and because I showed so much interest in her, she absolutely loved me.

No, seriously. I wasn't exaggerating.

She latched onto every single word I said, looked like I gave her the world on simple compliments and loved every single time I pet or just kept contact with her.

It was admittedly, a little adorable that she adored me so much.

I don't know if all Feebas acted like this, but at the very least, I'd boost her confidence levels up and evolution would be my reward!

A win-win in my books. I felt a personal kind of accomplishment making reserved people come out of their shell. I used to be rather reserved myself.

Training would be hard but like I said, this was a marathon, not a sprint.

I was playing the long game and I would reap my benefits later rather than sooner. The idea of my final team, was enough to motivate me to put up with this nonsense for now.

Hm… I suppose the best thing for me to do was just train up Feebas' fundamentals, power output and sturdiness.

Teaching her new moves would be difficult… That's why TMs were so useful.

Hm… TMs… Yeah those were likely my best bet to helping Feebas out before evolution. She'd always be fairly weak in comparison to others, but you didn't need to be strong to win.

I could look into nabbing a few. It's a shame I didn't stay in Lilycove. I'm sure I coulda stole something from that tourist city because I was damn impressive.

Slateport was another option... I would be headed there after my journey here so I guess I could...

Didn't Mauville have a game corner too? I was headed through that city so maybe I could look into seeing how guarded it was. Security in this world wasverylax and I had no idea why.

Man, I really was trying to become Hoenn public enemy #1…

But what ifIdidn't become their #1 enemy?

My eyes glinted maliciously at the ideas I was brewing and I nodded to myself before focusing on Feebas again.

...I wonder if I should nickname my Pokemon. Jasmine's entire team was nicknamed and I suppose maybe I could do the same?

But I was terrible at naming things. I hardly ever nicknamed my Pokemon in games either…

I'd have to consult my team later and see what they liked. I already had some ideas cooking if they agreed. I had things in my previous world that the people of this world probably had no clue existed, so I had practical exclusive naming rights!

That could wait for later though. For now, I would continue my operations in this region.

Since I captured Feebas, it was time for me to get out of Fortree. This mission was the most legal thing I was planning on doing here so disguises were now a must…

And I knew just the thing. I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner actually.

"Fee?" Feebas called me, snapping me out of my musings.

I was currently in a booked room of the Center and Feebas wanted to spend time with me instead of in the fish tank, so I accommodated her.

But it looked like she wanted back in for now.

I lifted her up and placed her in the tank, much to her delight and even despite the glass acting as a barrier, she still remained as close to me as possible.

This fish was winning me over already and I already wanted her.

She reminded me of...

"You ever considered catching a Feebas? They remind me of you,"I messaged Jasmine.

It didn't take me long to get a message back and I snorted.

"Silver, I really dislike opening my messages and seeing you insult me without reason... Are you implying that I look like a Feebas?"

Oh, I could see how she took that the wrong way.

I shrugged."I was talking about personality… but I kinda see it now."

"You are a terrible person.Can't you say something nice for once?"

I blinked, before deciding to throw her a bone."...Why do you want to hear something nice from me? Someone as cute and famous as you must always get compliments. You know damn well you don't look like a Feebas."

Despite the message being immediately read, Jasmine took a solid minute to respond and I snorted to myself.

"N-Nevermind, please continue being mean instead."

"How the hell are you stuttering over message?"

"...Goodbye Silver. I need a break from you."

I shrugged and didn't respond.

It was a legitimate question.

"Are you actually planning on traveling out there alone at this time again?"

I regarded the same Nurse Joy I spoke to the other day with a raised brow and pocketed the pokeballs she handed to me.

"Is this your way of inviting me to your room?" I replied curiously.

She snorted and rolled her eyes. "Nice try but I'm not a cradle robber, kid. I already warned you about the dangers of traveling at night."

"…" I frowned at that and rolled my eyes as well.

The Nurse Joy sighed. "Look. You're very talented kid and I won't knock that from you at all. You managed to beat a Sharpedo with a Zorua and a Chikorita and somehow you caught a Feebas of all pokemon. I'm no expert but I can tell you've got a bright future... But you areextremelyreckless," she stressed with a deep frown.

That was a nice way of putting it. If she had any idea what I planned on doing next, she'd have me put in a ward.

"In the first place, you shouldn't have fought that Sharpedo," she chastised me, glaring firmly at me. "Route 119 rains often, if it had been raining do you have any idea what would have happened to you? Your life is not a game."

"This arrogance of yours isn't necessary, dumbass. Are you trying to prove that you're talented to someone? I get that you don't care enough about your life, but don't drag your team into it."

A great burst of anger suddenly filled me and I scowled at the nurse who just raised a brow in return.

"So Mr. Hardass actually does care about things to react like this? That's good to know at least," she mocked.

"f*ck off," I growled with narrowed eyes. "Don't act like you know anything about me."

Joy rolled her eyes at him. "I've been in this business for years and I've met all kinds of people, kid. Look at how defensive you just got… someone's got a chip on their shoulder and it's causing you to be a complete fool."

My brows furrowed in a bit of confusion, as my anger bated a bit.

...WhywasI getting so defensive? I wasn't the type to let anyone's words get under my skin. I was very confident in my abilities and very nonchalant otherwise… so just why were her words pissing me off?

...Because they struck a nerve with my other half of course. The original Silver. The half of me that was assimilating more and more into the one who hijacked his body.

At this point, I was merely referring to him as my other half out of respect of who this body used to be.

I schooled my expression and pondered.

This nurse was worried in her own ways… and well, since I was doing what I planned on doing, I guess I could relax for the night.

She gazed at me with a satisfied smile and handed my key back to me.

"I like you kid, that's why I'm looking out for you. A talented kid like you should reach his peak without a tragedy happening," she said, sounding the kindest she's ever been.

So this was just the innate kindness all Nurse Joys seemed to have...

"You're way less of a bitch then my mom is so I'll listen this once," I said offhandedly.

A chill shot through my body as soon as those words left my mouth and I froze completely.

Nurse Joy shot me a sympathetic smile that filled me with more irritation then I'd ever felt.

Without saying another word, I stiffly walked away and headed to my room for the night.

"Hey… I didn't know your family situation was rough. I wouldn't change what I said, but I understand why you're like this," Joy called out to me, catching a few more people's attention (I didn't realize people were watching us).

"Stop talking," I scoffed, leaving the lobby fully.

As I sat on my bed, I released my 3 pokemon and pursed my lips in confusion as I got ready for bed.

…I wasn't the one who said that. The comment about the mom? That wasn'tme.

I don't remember her anymore, but my mother was a great woman. No nonsense but kind and caring. I'd never even imagine calling her a bitch.

But when I thought of the word mom... I only saw the color red and felt disgust...

Just who the hell were my parents in this world? Considering I didn't have either of their contacts and never received a call from them as well… it was very likely they didn't even know my number.

The longer I stayed in this world, the more I became Silver to the point that I was calling the other part of me my other half, instead of seeing it as his body. I don't remember being older than 12, I don't remember any other name…

In fact, besides knowing that I wasn't the original person in the body… Everything else about me seemed Silver dominated.

As time passed, it seemed like I was becoming more Silver than me… At least subconsciously, I was positive Silver had more control.

But as long as I kept my mind, I was fine with that. If Iknewthat at one point I wasn't Silver, then that was fine with me…. But as long asIwas in control and fully aware of it, I don't care.

I showed no sign of making it back to my world and I didn't have time to focus on going back, so right now my loss of memories, while an issue, was not anywhere near my top priority.

In fact, Silvers memories were probably more important now.

Despite losing memories of the little details in my previous life, none of Silver's memories became clearer to me in the process besides vague feelings and sensations. I wasn't gaining anything from the loss… just the memories I was currently in the process of forming.

I sighed, prompting Zorua and Chikorita to crowd me in concern. Feebas gazed at me in her tank and I glanced at them rather fondly.

"It's fine guys, just a lot on my mind," I assured, shooting a smile at them.

I don't know what the end result of my memories were going to end up like… but at the very least the ones I had since waking up in this world were completely intact.

I needed to stop thinking about this. It was clear that I wasn't one or the other so it was just best for me to treat myself like an entirely new person.

Better than having an identity crisis nonstop. It was weird that I fully acknowledged that I was Silver, but I knew I that I wasn't the Silver I used to be…

In the end, I just needed to come to terms that I was both.

...Yeah, that train of thought spared me from the worst headache so I'd stick with it.

"Let's sleep. We're heading out early tomorrow," I muttered, shutting my eyes as I forced myself to get some rest.

I was hoping to cross a great amount of distance during nighttime but that idea was shelved, so I'd just go nonstop tomorrow morning.

"Hmph, the Joy thinks me traveling at night is dangerous. Wonder how she'd react if she knew this wasn't even close to the most dangerous thing I planned on doing."

"Alright," I yawned, rubbing my eyes as I contemplated breaking my Poke Gear.

Unfortunately, I was too coherent for that and instead, the alarm was shut off with just a press by a grumpy me.

Slowly, I pushed myself up and glanced at Zorua, Chikorita and Feebas, who had also begun the process of waking up.

Chikorita was terrible at waking up early. My grass type was practically dead on her feet and whined in annoyance, pleading for me to pick her up with her gaze alone.

Feebas was still sleeping, somehow having not heard my very obnoxious alarm (that sounded suspiciously like the original Pokemon song) and remained so still in the tank, I feared for her life.

Zorua woke up as easily as I did, gazing at the other two with amusem*nt as he began stretching.

I lifted Chikorita up with an amused smile and she began purring in my hold.

"Let's bathe and then eat… then we can head out," I announced to them both.

Zorua and Chikorita nodded, before the little fox began following after us.

I rolled my eyes. I don't know when it happened but I began bathing these two bums every time I bathed myself and it had become routine to start my day with them.

I don't know if this would remain routine when they evolved… considering they'd be way bigger, but it wasn't terrible at the moment so I wouldn't say no to my spoiled team.

"Fee!"

...

Feebas was looking at me, wide awake with a pleading expression.

"…"

Are you kidding me?

I went over to the tank and grabbed her out of it, grimacing at getting wet before my bath.

"Fine, all 4 of us can bathe," I sighed, rolling my eyes and carrying the 3 to the bathroom.

They were lucky I liked them.

"Hey."

My eyes narrowed slightly and I paused in my gait.

After bathing and eating my breakfast for the day, I double checked all my provisions and decided it was time to vacate Fortree City.

I already stayed here longer than I intended, I did not want to waste anymore time or god forbid, run into the Gym Leader.

What was her name? Fiona? No... Winona that's it. You would think the leader of Forttree was a Grass type but she instead uses Flying types.

Running into another Gym Leader, was something I was very invested in avoiding. Considering I'd be going through about 2 other cities with them, it's best if I make myself scarce.

That was the reason why I was leaving a 7 am. No sane person woke up this early and cared about the people around them.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping?" I asked with a raised brow, adjusting my hoodie as the morning breeze carried the heat onto me.

Ugh, Hoenn was so damn hot all the time. This was ridiculous.

"I'm off duty," Joy said simply, dressed in a simple black top and jeans.

I narrowed my eyes. The only reason I could tell this was the Joy that I spoke to at night, was because of her lazy expression and the fact she clearly sought me out.

They seriously all looked too alike. Though Joy here did happen to be taller than her sisters... or cousins... or aunts... or nieces?

"Figured you'd be leaving this early. You seemed eager to get outta here," she shrugged.

My silver eyes stared into her soul without a hint of trust in them. "That's impossible. Even with a hunch, you wouldn't know exactly what time I left. Are you stalking me?" I asked dangerously.

Did I slip up? It's not like my misdeeds were only shown in Johto… It's just a region like Hoenn had literally no reason to pay too much attention to things like that.

That wasn't good. Would I have to cut my Hoenn journey short before catching my next two teammates?

"Relax Silver. I'm not about to bite your head off," Joy said slowly, holding her hands up in a placating manner. She almost looked awkward and I furrowed my brows in confusion.

Why the hell was she acting like this? I didn't speak to her much but this was out of character of her.

"I was just pulling your leg. I saw on the system that you turned your keys back in and decided to check up on you one last time before you vanished to who knows where," she informed me.

...Check up on me? Who did this lady think she was, my mother —

Ah.

Seeing as I wasn't keen on saying anything, the Joy sighed.

"Look, I don't know much about you or what you've had to deal with… but you're not a bad kid. I won't make any assumptions, but at the very least,I'dbe worried if something bad happened to you… so just be careful out there, alright?" She said gently, a hint of worry in her gaze.

What was it with people opening up to me so easily? Everyone in this world needed to learn to be more guarded. Trust wasn't something you should hand out so easily.

I sighed.

Maybe I needed to hear those words, considering my previous lifestyle but I wasn't quite the same Silver anymore now was I?

I may have been 12 but one half of me was already secured and assured. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I needed to do. I was not conflicted, I was merely confused about what the hell this world wanted from me.

It was cute that she was trying to help what she thought was a troubled kid, but I knew full well what I was doing. Her words of reassurance weren't going to change my plans.

No doubt about it, I was definitely troubled... but my issues did not lie in something like family issues at the moment.

My issues lie in something Joy probably would never understand... considering she wasn't two people.

But… it was sweet of her to go out of her way to do this. She didn't have to seek out an, in her eyes, troubled kid and I did appreciate that.

Guess she really was a Nurse Joy at heart.

"Thanks for that. I'll try to be more careful…" I responded, just wanting to leave the city now.

I did not need someone trying to take up a pseudo motherly role because of a single offhand comment.

I don't know either of my moms. I don't know either of my dads and for the moment, I just didn'tcarebecause it didn't concern me yet.

My parents weren't a detail that was affecting me as much as she thought it must have been. She just happened to evoke a reaction out of me.

It might have been before I got put in this body, but not anymore. I had more things to concern myself with…

Like catching the next two members of my team.

"I need to make sure you're actually careful," Joy suddenly said, pulling out a Pokenav. "Your number. Give it to me. I'll occasionally do a checkup on you and make sure you're taking care of yourself."

I scowled at her. "No way. I thought you weren't a cradle robber. I'm not giving you my number."

She let out a barking laughter, utterly nonplussed by my reaction. "You have a cute face so use it on someone your age. I can't guarantee you'll take care of yourself, so I'll remind you."

"...No," I said bluntly.

I liked her but I had no interest in adding anyone else's number to my pokegear.

Joy's eyes narrowed at that and I gazed back at her with a fearless expression.

"Don't be such a recluse. You're too young for that. Your number, give it here. If you don't, I'll bother and hold you here even longer. I'm even capable of causing a scene if you'd like."

How the hell did she know me this well? This was ridiculous. No one wanted me to be antisocial in peace.

Couldn't I just have Jasmine as my only friend?

Apparently not.

"f*cking fine," I scowled, snatching her Pokenav out of her hand. I gazed at the strange device and punched my number in.

The Pokenav didn't look much like a Pokegear but there were some similarities at least.

She smirked at me and grabbed my Pokegear, easily putting her number on it. "For someone who had so much fun checking me out, you sure aren't eager to write down my number. Nurse Joy's don't just hand out their numbers to people you know? Unprofessional."

"I'm so honored but you should have kept the professionalism," I grunted sarcastically, pocketing my device. "I only checked you out once by the way. You were the first Nurse Joy I met so I took in your appearance. You just happen to be good looking so you took it as me checking you out."

For a moment, Nurse Joy's smirk vanished the moment I said she was the first Nurse Joy I ever saw, but it was back before I could properly register it.

"Right." Her voice came out dry and amused.

"I expect to hear about you in the future. I don't know why you have no gym badges, but you've got potential to be a great trainer… you already care more for your Pokemon than most trainers so that's a step in the right direction."

I smirked at her praise, pleased to hear that someone thought I could be strong, before a look of confusion crossed my features.

"Is it a big deal that I'm caring for my Pokemon?" I asked curiously.

Joy let out a barking laugh. "You'd be surprised how much the little things matter. Most kids aren't into doing things like bathing their team or tending to them and making sure they're completely healthy. It's a thing mostly breeders and people who do contests focus on but the trainers? Good luck getting them to think of anything besides battling and eating," she snorted.

I tilted my head at that.

That, was oddly immature of them. Maybe it's because I had a pet in my previous life, but tending to my Pokemon seemed like common sense…

Wait, hold on. Why not care for them even more? These were my little soldiers. They should be in top condition!

Yeah… there was probably way better ways to care for Pokemon than what I was currently doing. Better food, quality of life for their bodies, hell maybe I could look into seeing if Luxury Balls and Pokeball transfers were a thing here… there were levels to this and I must have been doing the bare minimum.

I'd have to look into it later. Zorua and Chikorita ate their standardized Poke Food… but there must have been something much healthier for them both.

Yeah, there definitely was. Training Pokemon wasn't just about teaching and honing moves. These were young monsters growing up under my care and there was a proper way to raise everything.

I needed to make sure I was doing it right...

"See? That's why I think you have potential," Joy praised genuinely. "Look at that look in your eyes. You were already doing good but you still aren't satisfied after what I just told you."

She pat me on the head and ignored my glower. "A team is only as good as its leader and you're shaping up to be a pretty damn good one."

The off duty nurse began walking away. "Whatever you plan on doing, know you have a fan in me, Silver. So don't go disappointing me by dying early."

I watched her go and took in her words with a confused expression.

I'm not sure what I did to impact her so much but cool I guess.

What person didn't want a cute girl rooting for them? I wasn't going to complain.

"And you say you aren't like the other nurses. Coming all the way out here just to give me a pep talk… that's so sweet of you," I mocked.

"I'm way too tired to banter with you right now and Blissey gets antsy when I'm gone for too long… so shut the hell up and let me go home in peace. I'll check up on you tonight to see if you're dead," she retorted, not looking back at me.

I snorted and turned away, walking off. "Sure whatever you say. Nice outfit by the way. Didn't think you knew anything besides that nurse outfit."

"Pervert. Stop staring at my ass."

"That's not what I meant. I'm genuinely impressed that you know another outfit."

"Sure."

I shrugged helplessly. I wasn't gonna try to defend myself.

There were bigger things to worry about and the biggest one was making it through this gigantic route at good speeds.

Getting her number wasn't what I wanted but at least she was cool.

I wonder how embarrassed she'd be when I brought up the fact that she actually attempted to take a motherly role with me.

A snort left my mouth.

How ridiculous.

As I began placing my roller skates on my feet, the rustle of footsteps caught my attention and I went stiff, hand immediately dipping to release Zorua and Chikorita.

I turned my head to the side and watched the Absol freeze up once more, poised to run off.

"Why do you keep stalking me if you're gonna run away the moment I notice you?" I asked in some frustration.

The Absol gazed at me, red eyes wary as it saw something only it could see. This was how it always looked at me when I noticed it, before it turned tail and ran off.

I scowled. This was insanity. Was it keen on stalking me the entire time?

"Are you gonna attack me?" I asked after a deep breath.

Almost like it had whiplash, the Absol shook its head in denial and I was stunned to seefearon its face.

Fear? Zorua and Chikorita weren't even out! What was it so afraid of? Was it afraid of me?

Alright since it was actually answering my questions, I may as well try to dig deeper.

I had been doing research on Absol since it was so keen on keeping an eye on me so I knew a thing or two.

"...You can sense when a crisis is about to strike, right?" I continued, getting a slow nod out of it. "You've been following me for a few days now yet disaster never struck... what's the deal with that? What are you trying to tell me?"

The horn on its head, could allegedly sense disasters and Absols would warn people about it... but why was it approaching me? It had been days since my encounter with Registeel and Absol and nothing had happened to me barring the Sharpedo.

Disaster never failed to strike the spots Absols showed up at, so why exactly had disaster not struck yet?

What was it warning me of...

"Absol," Absol said warily, pointing its disaster sensing horn at me.

I pursed my lips at that.

"Are you saying... I'm the crisis?" I asked slowly. "Am I the disaster? Is that what you're trying to tell me?"

Much to my dread, the Absol nodded without hesitation.

I gazed at the dark type and mulled that over.

"So it's not about Kyogre and Groudon," I sighed in relief.

That was good. I was getting worried that the plot really was moving without me being ready but I still think I had a lot of time.

"Are you gonna kill me?" I asked curiously. "It's your job to warn people about upcoming disasters, yet you're telling me thatI'mthe disaster. So are you warning me about myself?"

The wild pokemon actually pursed its lip at my question and I marveled at its intelligence.

Pokemon were incredible, it was a wonder they hadn't thought to overthrow us.

I warily watched it approach me, for some reason able to tell it meant no harm, and watched as it placed a gentle palm on my chest.

"Sol, Absol..." it said, stressing its palm.

My chest...

"What's inside me?" I guessed with a frown.

It nodded, pleased with my correct guess despite the fear I could see roiling off it.

I was beginning to paint a picture and I had an inkling it had to do with that foggy fortress inside my head that Bronzong mentioned.

"Are you saying it's whatever is inside me that's cause for a disaster?" I asked gently.

Absol looked as if it were about to say yes to my response, before it paused.

Taking a step back, I watched it draw one line... and then it drew another.

...What?

The Disaster Pokemon sensed my confusion and approached me once more and placed its palm on my chest again, before tapping twice.

Two lines... two taps to my chest...

Two...

Oh f*ck off.

"There's two things inside of me? Not one?" I asked it just to confirm.

Absol nodded solemnly, as if my existence was a tragedy and I scowled deeply.

Was Absol even speaking about the foggy fortress? Bronzong didn't mention a damn thing about some second energy. Was it residue from touching Registeel?

Before I could further question it, Absol fully seized up andshuddered.

It gazed at me... no that's not quite right, it gazedthroughme and I realized it was looking at something only it could see.

And whatever that something was, it scared Absol something fierce.

The feline took a single step back before turning on a dime and dashing back into the forest.

"Hey wai... never f*cking mind," I sighed with a shake of my head.

Absol was actually being helpful to me... such a shame that whatever my deal was, scared it sh*tless. I was getting the best answers of my life from something that couldn't even properly communicate with me.

Two things inside of me... I hazarded a guess that the foggy fortress protecting me was one of them but I couldn't even begin to tell you what the second thing was. Bronzy made no mention of anything else besides the fortress so I didn't really have a clue.

Ah well. No point stressing about it. I had a strange feeling that whenever I got close to finding an answer, whatever scared the piss outta Absol would rear its head again.

So I'd just let the answers come to me instead of seeking them out. They'd come in due time.

For now, there were more important things to focus on.

But still.

"Whoever you are, whatever you are... you're really annoying,"I thought to myself.

The roller skates were very fun to use.

No seriously, even though a bike would be objectively faster, skating through Route 119 wasreallyfun.

Besides, with all the foliage here, navigating with a bike would be annoying. I'd have to stop frequently and adjust my course.

But with the skates, I was able to move way more flexibly.

I couldn't go as fast as I wanted though because of all thisrain.

From the moment I had stepped onto Route 119, a heavy downpour had befell the route that completely contrasted the scalding heat I fought Sharpedo in.

I was beginning to realize that Hoenn was a very annoying region. If it wasn't boiling hot, it was raining.

Way to exert your presence Groudon and Kyogre. Really subtle.

At the very least, it wasn't that sticky heat like it normally was and I had on a hoodie that was doing a surprisingly good job at protecting me.

That didn't mean it was doing a great job. I was still soaked and grumpy and my hair was practically rooted to my skin and my blue hoodie was practically rooted to my hair and I was in a really pissy mood because I'm pretty sure I looked like a grumpy cat.

Despite my mounting annoyance with Hoenn, I would never lie about how gorgeous the region was. The amount of foliage and nature dominating the region, made me regret not choosing this as the one I'd travel through first.

Maybe second. I definitely planned on coming back here… with less heat capturing clothing too... along with something to protect me from the rain.

But the goal remained the same. Go to Kanto and verify where exactly I was, and journey through that region while letting the heat I was going to acquire in the Hoenn region, vanish.

I wanted to battle trainers but walking around the region with a Zorua and Chikorita was just asking for unwanted attention, not to mention the incredibly rare Feebas too.

I wasn't sure about the rules of battling in this world but eye contact = battle, was definitely not the law around here.

No, when making eye contact, it did seem to initiate a conversation between two trainers but you could always deny the chance for battle. You were not obligated to accept any battle and it was actually illegal to leave a trainer with all fainted pokemon in the middle of a route.

Would lead to unfortunate things happening to a defenseless trainer. Like death. Death was very not cool so yeah, trainers needed to have at least one pokemon well rested.

I was rather fortunate that so far, the trainers on Route 119 asked me how many badges I had and when I replied 0, lost interest in battling me.

Perfectly fine by me. Incognito was my style at the moment.

I could become a battle junkie in Kanto. I'd battle everyone there and get way stronger.

For now, training and catching was my goal.

Heh, battling my first badge with almost a full team of Pokemon not from Kanto, was funny.

Was there even a Kanto pokemon I wanted to catch?

Venusaur was my favorite pokemon from that region but I had Chikorita already and I loved the little dinosaur so I wouldn't dream of replacing her.

I was also a big fan of Eevee… but Eevee's were popular witheveryone.

Finding one in the wild was practically a pipe dream. They were seriously too popular and also insanely rare. If a wild Eevee was encountered, even if the trainer didn't want one, it was getting caught.

The best way to find an Eevee, was to get them from a breeder and that was that.

If I really wanted an Eevee, I could really just steal an egg in the future. Buying one wasn't cheap whatsoever. In fact, Eevee's were one of the most expensive Pokemon sold in the Kanto region.

Yeah, stealing was the way to go. It'd probably be as easy as breathing but that was for way later... I'd have to do some research probably.

I wasn't actually sure there was something in Kanto I wanted to really catch.

Hm, I guess Togepi would fill out my sixth slot for now while I figured out who else would join the team.

As for Kanto… yeah, I don't know if I'd be catching anything there but I'd definitely be on the lookout. I wasn't expecting to love Chikorita or Zorua but here we were.

Speaking of which, my Pokemon were in their respective balls while I traversed Route 119 but I had them in arm's reach in case something tried to ambush me.

It didn't look very likely though. The Pokemon in this route were very relaxed.

Hell, a giant and old looking Tropius, had caught me staring and offered me one of the bananas around its neck!

The giant grass sauropod was just such a surreal sight that I couldn't help but stare. Good thing it didn't take offense to that and instead offered me the fruit! It was pretty damn delicious.

I shoulda asked it to give me a ride to Mauville… maybe it would have said yes.

Alas, I just hesitantly pat it on the head, shuddering at the deep rumble of content it let out and continued my course.

That was awesome. I never cared for Tropius before, but now I thought they were cool.

But man, Route 119 was massive. I had been skating for the better part of an hour now and I was showing little signs of tiredness.

At least skating wasn't as exhausting as biking or running on foot. I could keep up this pace for a while.

And that's what I did. I followed the map I memorized and just continued skating through the route with a single-minded focus.

Kudos to the like 3 trainers in this route that I encountered in the midst of my skating, who were just as miserable as I was.

We just nodded to each other, finding kinship in the misery and headed our respective ways.

I was as envious of their foresight to have umbrellas or rain coats, as they were of my owning of roller skates.

"This sucks," I sighed, moving my matted hair out of my eyes and scowling as it plopped right back into place. "3 hours and the route looks the exact same."

I looked at the time and frowned.

10:13… I wasn't feeling very hungry and I could honestly keep going for way longer, but I should check up on my team and see how they were hanging in there.

Alright, yeah I'd do that.

I found a nice cover of trees and entered it to get some protection from the rain, before slowly blinking at seeing a Bellossom and Breloom in the spot I had just claimed as my own.

We had a slight stare off, before I decided it was not worth causing an altercation with two fully evolved Pokemon.

I had enough of battling fully evolved Pokemon with babies. I wasn't that crazy to actively seek it out. I was just crazy enough to understand I might run into them in my shenanigans.

"My bad," I apologized, turning on a heel and leaving the spot.

I was not in the mood for that. I just wanted out of this route.

"Bell!"

I paused at that noise and turned around to regard the two grass types with a raised brow.

The Bellossom was beckoning me over with a kind smile, patting the fairly dry floor with an inviting expression.

The incredible display of intelligence was ignored by me (I was way too used to pokemon displaying human gestures) and I accepted the offer.

I sat down and regarded the two pokemon with searching eyes, a disarming smirk on my face.

Alright, I'd let out my Pokemon later. Letting them out now, wasn't the smartest thing.

Why?

I'm fairly certain these two belonged to a trainer so I'd just play this break off as eating a quick snack and then skate some more until I reached Route 118…

I should be there soon. It would take me maybe a few more hours at my pace if I just focused on it...

"Oh! A trainer out in Route 119 is rare!"

Yup. Damn I was getting good at this.

"Ah so you're their trainer," I said, rummaging in my bag and pulling out a sandwich.

As I gazed at my sudden company, I tried to keep the annoyance off my face.

Black attire from the neck to the legs, a red-orange jacket, boots and hat… with a rope around their waist.

A ranger. League sanctioned trainers that protected the environment.

Not quite as dangerous as an Ace Trainer, the top brass of League foot soldiers, but still very annoying for a criminal like me to run into and disastrous, considering I was still new.

"Yeah! I've had Bellossom and Breloom forever now," he grinned, holding out his hand. "I'm Jackson, a Pokemon Ranger. I was doing some rounds before coming back when I saw you!"

I stared at the hand with a cool expression, chewing my sandwich in contemplation.

After a few seconds, I grabbed the suddenly awkward guys hand for a brief moment before immediately releasing it.

"I'm Aqua," I introduced, glad that my general appearance was mostly hidden. "Just wanted to grab a quick bite before heading off again," I said shortly.

If Jackson was put off by my attitude, he didn't show it. The black haired teen just laughed and sat next to his two grass types.

"I get that a lot. Since I'm one of the few who doesn't actually mind all the rain, I get stationed here often," he explained with a relaxed attitude.

I raised a brow. "Must be nice."

The cold ham sandwich didn't take very long to finish and I immediately stood up to leave.

"Nice talk but I'll be heading out now," I said bluntly, turning on heel and getting ready to actually leave.

"Already?" Jackson asked in confusion.

"Yeah, I'm in a bit of a rush and I'm tired of getting wet," I grunted, making sure my skates were well enough to keep going.

Shoutout to these skates. What a steal (heh). They were damn impressive, really durable and resistant to many of the bizarre things in the Pokemon World. Hell, it could even skate on the rocky floor of caves... or wet dirt and floor.

In the 3 hours I had been skating, the rain had not let up once. It was making me miserable and this was from someone who enjoyed the rain because it helped me sleep easier.

Clearly, Jackson wasn't keen on letting me go just yet.

"Wait kid, where are you headed? To Fortree?" He asked in curiosity.

I looked at the slight worry on his face and contemplated lying but realized I could potentially get something out of this.

"Mauville," I informed him. "And don't call me kid. I already told you my name," I added harshly.

His eyes widened at that and he completely ignored my biting tone.

"You're headed to Mauville? That'll take another day or two at least and it's gonna be raining the entire time!" he told me.

"I'll survive," I said with a roll of my eyes. "I've already been going for 3 hours and I only stopped for a quick snack. It'll be easy enough."

He really didn't like what I was saying.

God being a kid sucked. I don't even remember how old I used to be anymore and I don't actually remember being older than 12 but Ihadto have been because being treated like a child was insanely annoying.

Or maybe this was a thing all kids hated.

Wasn't it weird knowing at one point you were older than 12… but now you can't remember being anything else but 12? What a conundrum.

This body combination was so weird. No one told me it would be so difficult, most times it was rather seamless.

"…" The ranger looked conflicted. "Alright, how about I let you ride my Tropius to Mauville? Free of charge. It wouldn't sit right with me letting a kid who isn't prepared for this route travel it."

Oh I wanted to punch this asshole in the face so badly… but I wouldn't... yet. Jackson was his name right? Yeah if he was still alive by the time I came back here, I was going to remember him.

Instead, I raised a brow. "I won't say no to that… but you don't plan on coming?"

Jackson shook his head. "I'm not on break for long. I had Breloom and Bellossom look for a decent spot for me to eat in peace before I scout out the area."

I nodded in understanding.

"Alright, I'll accept that offer… thanks," I said reluctantly.

This was too perfect to let up. It would speed up my travels by a whole lot and I could skip Route 118 and the rest of this route.

Jackson smiled at me good naturedly and I resisted the urge to scoff.

I missed Joy, everyone in this world was too nice for their own good.

"Alright, normally I should be with you, considering you've probably never flown before but Tropius is an expert. Never remove the harness until the flight's over and you should be fine."

I nodded, glancing at the harness like it were a strange entity.

It never occurred to me that I'd need to use a harness to ride a flying Pokemon… but it made sense. Someone probably fell off their own flying type and died like an idiot for not having a harness.

Pft.

Despite my neutral expression, I was excited to try this… riding an actual flying type? What an exciting experience!

Who knows when I'd get to experience something like this again. Probably not for a very long time.

Hell yeah I was gonna enjoy it.

I kept my grip firm on the hardy Tropius as it flapped it's grassy wings once and took to the skies.

I glanced down as the grass type began ascending off the muddy ground with wide eyes.

"Tropius head straight to Mauville and drop him on the outskirts then come back, we'll be doing routines as normal!" Jackson called out.

"Trop!" Tropius nodded seriously.

"Thanks for the help I guess," I said begrudgingly.

Yeah, thanks for helping my terrible lifestyle easier. Great job accomplice. I'll make you proud by completing both my remaining missions.

"Don't mention it, Aqua! It's the least I could do," the ranger waved at me, as Tropius took off into the air.

"!" My eyes widened as the rush of wind and rain hit me and my startled yell was drowned out by the downpour.

Tropius wasn't the fastest, but it still flew at enough speed to stun me!

Holy sh*t! This… was awesome!

I didn't even realize I was grinning wildly as Tropius soared over to Mauville City because the sensation of flying was one of the coolest things I ever experienced.

For once, I felt like the giddy little kid I actually was and I felt a real grin form on my face as the rain vanished, making way for a warm breeze that would have messed up my red hair, if not for my blue hoodie being matted to my head.

Flying like this, so freely with the air brushing against you… a plane could never replicate a feeling like this.

The ground beneath me shifted in a blur as I clutched the grass type and I marveled at how fast we were going, compared to the day and a half the original trip would have taken.

I wonder how fun flying would be with a faster pokemon. Tropius weren't well known for their speed…

In fact, despite how exciting this was… as I got used to the sensation, I realized that this was one I had felt before.

...I guess I had gone flying on a Pokemon before and it was yet another memory I couldn't remember.

Hm… Ah well. I'd have my own Pokemon fly me around eventually. Not anytime soon, but eventually.

After about 30 minutes, I began rummaging through my Pokedex again.

Fun fact, you know how in the games, whenever you entered a new route there would be a little indicator at the top telling you what area you were in?

Well, that was actually a feature of the Pokedex. It was a neat little thing that came with the map, as well as the option to download a map of the region you were in.

I already had Kanto and Hoenn downloaded (Johto was the default download), so whenever I entered a new area, my Pokedex would vibrate and that same indicator would pop up.

It was nice how this world was trying it's best to logically translate the oddities of the video games to here.

Like how there were no random giant boulders or trees that would block your route until you got an HM.

HMs didn't even exist in this world! The moves still did, but they weren't gated by such things like unforgettable disks. That would just be stupid now wouldn't it?

But I digressed. Since I still had some time left, it was time to review my notes and improve on them for what I was doing in Hoenn.

I caught Feebas, my shy and lacking in confidence fish and Zorua and Chikorita already got along well with her. She was going to be a great addition to the team and I grinned wildly at how… somewhat smoothly that part of my plan went.

Now… I already mentioned how this wouldn't really compare to my next two goals so I wouldn't lie and say it got easier from here.

First, I'd cut through Mauville City, head to Verdanturf and go through Rusturf Tunnel so that I could make it to Rustboro City where I could begin my first goal.

What was that? Well, it was making an enemy of the Stone Family, of course.

How? By getting myself a nice little Beldum.

It was no secret that the Stone Family had a monopoly on the Beldum family. Why would it need to be secret?

The Stones ran Hoenn. This was practically their region in terms of business because of how much the region benefited from their inventions. Even other regions benefited greatly from them.

They were like the Silph Co. of Hoenn due to the massive success of Devon Corporations.

Not to mention, they didn't just run it business wise… the heir to Devon Corporations, Steven Stone (apparently he was no longer heir), happened to be the strongest trainer in the region and was Hoenn's champion to boot.

Needless to say, the Stone family were not to be trifled with andnoone even thought twice about outwardly messing with the business and battle savvy family… until now at least.

Where did all their success come from?

The behemoth known as Metagross.

The steel type pseudo, was clearly not given justice by the video games because in this world being better than a supercomputer, having ridiculous psychic powers and wielding incredible physical strength by virtue of being a steel type, was kind of a big deal.

Metagross were titans and somehow, the Stone family had a majority of them. They offered the Steel types protection from people who would love to get their hands on them and they in turn offered the Stone's their power.

When you were formidable and being protected by someone just as formidable, poachers would find a hard time getting their hands on you so there we almost no attempts.

I sighed.

First time for everything. I was really trying to set a precedent.

Why was I going through all this trouble to get Beldum? Potentially making an enemy of all of Hoenn?

Well, I wasn't a person who wanted a lot of things but when I wanted something, I'd do a lot of things to get it…

And Metagross was my favorite Pokemon. There was no world, where I wasn't going to attempt to get my favorite Pokemon of all time.

So yeah, I'm not moving from this stance no matter what. I would be getting a Beldum one way or another…

As for my final Pokemon… let's just say the reason I was potentially making an enemy of all of Hoenn wasn't because of just Beldum.

Heh, turns out in this world, there used to be people who ruled Hoenn way back in the past.

Draconids were their names.

Now, I didn't know a damn thing about Draconids… but apparently they were a fierce group of savages that loved Dragon types.

Go figure.

Wanna guess who their favorite dragon to use was?

Yeah… it was Salamence.

Wanna guess what dragon type happened to be my favorite?

Yeah… it was Salamence.

Metagross, Salamence and Milotic were my 3 favorite Pokemon from my favorite region. Pokemon Emerald was probably the game I loved the most growing up so it was only natural I'd love some of the main hitters… but goddamn why did two of them have to be guarded by such important people?

I actually contemplated capturing a Trapinch instead. Flygon was also very cool and it would bemucheasier to capture than a Bagon... but Silver, and by virtue me, really,reallyhated Flygon.

Just the mere thought of catching the Ground type filled me with a nauseating amount of disgust.

Actually, I didn't seem to want a single ground type pokemon. I thought I liked em but guess not.

Even Mamoswine who I had liked earlier, was suddenly not something I wanted.

Guess it's a good thing I caught Feebas, Swamperty was part ground after all...

I was getting off-track. Focus.

As you can imagine, getting a Bagon wasn't going to be a cakewalk either. After raiding the Stone residence for a Beldum, I'd immediately move North to Meteor Falls and set up camp there for a bit until I managed to snag a Bagon.

If I managed to piss of some Draconids? Eh, who cares. Apparently they didn't even have much of a standing in Hoenn anymore so their word would be empty nothing. They just skulked about in Meteor Falls, gate keeping Bagon and whatever other dragons they had their hands on.

I sighed again at how protected some of these pokemon were.

What this world just didn't seem to get, was that Iwouldbe getting what I wanted. I refused to settle for anything else. Once I set my sights on something, I'll do everything to get it.

But it wasn't all bad. If things went bad, I already had a plan to get myself out of it.

...After all, I already had the two perfect suspects to frame.

I smirked wildly and glanced down at my all blue outfit.

Poor Team Magma and Aqua, making an enemy of the Draconids and Stone Family before you could even debut. I bet they'd be real confused about this in the future.

But what were they gonna do about it? I'd love to see the villains plead their cases about how they were being framed.

This way, if they did plan on starting their scheme early when I wasn't ready, people would be wary of them from the jump.

A criminal org doesn't just start from thin air after all.

Now… how I was possibly going to play off having a Beldum? It's not like the Stone Family had a monopoly onallBeldums. They weren't exclusive to the Hoenn region but this was their preferred region.

Hm… There were trainers out there with Metagross that they probably didn't get from the Stone Family. They weren't very common, but I could pass off as one.

...I pursed my lips and nodded to myself.

I could throw people off my trail using the Magma/Aqua design long enough but to truly avoid getting exposed, I needed to remaincompletelyanonymous.

No face, no features, hell not even a Pokemon to trace back to me.

I cursed myself for using the Pokemon Center in this region but it was fine. Kanto should be able to hide my steps well enough and the fact that Pokemon of all kinds could be in any region, worked out great for me.

Well, I'd figure out the complicated details in the futureaftercompleting my goals. For now, I'd need to put 100% focus into actually getting them.

No time for anything else.

Beldum and Bagon would be mine no matter what.

"Thanks Tropius," I said kindly to the Tropius, shooting it a thankful smirk as it dropped me off at the outskirts of Mauville.

Hey, asshole I may be… that was only to humans! Being unnecessarily dickish to Pokemon, was no better than hating a dog for no reason.

Unless they deserved it of course. I wasn't that nice now.

Tropius rumbled deeply at me and nodded before wasting no time in heading back to his trainer.

I watched it go into the air and vowed to fly way more when I got the opportunity to do it on the regular.

The flight reduced the day walk, to just two hours and I grinned in satisfaction at how much time was saved.

Maybe being nice to people would do me favors. If my less than stellar personality was giving me a Gym Leader and a Nurse as my only friend, along with a free ride to the city...

...But I didn't want to be nice. It was annoying and a lot of these people were inherently annoying too. I had no intention of being nice to any of them.

Yeah forget that noise, I'd reserve my pleasant side for my team. They could have all the niceness and that would allow me to be an unabashed asshole.

Sounds like a good enough deal for me.

The rainy weather of Route 119 was gone, replaced by the familiar heat and sea breeze that I was now associating with the Hoenn region.

Honestly, it wasn't even terrible, so long as I wasn't dressed in my preferred long clothing.

I sighed in suffering, as I completely hid my striking red hair and made my way to Mauville from Route 118.

Unlike my previous thoughts from earlier, I wouldn't stop at the Game Corner to steal some TMs. I had more things to focus on than unnecessarily risking myself.

I was actually getting very confident in my talents that I lost and I was sure I could nab a TM and get away with it… but I've had enough of unimportant detours.

No more until I completed my mission. It was time for me to fully lock in.

Mauville City completely dwarfed Fortree in terms of size. The area looked more akin to the Mauville in Generation 6, being an indoor city and it was very impressive how they managed to handle it.

The two cities were complete opposites to each other. Whereas Fortree had fully immersed itself with the nature around it, Mauville fully embraced the technological aspect of humanity.

Everywhere you looked, you'd see something powered by electricity. Hell, electric types lingered around the area as well. My eyes widened in visible interest at seeing a seasoned trainer walking around with an Eelektross of all things.

What a cool pokemon. I wouldn't have complaints if I ever caught the Electric eel.

Too bad I wouldn't even be staying even a day in the city but I already rationalized it with saying I'd fully explore Hoenn in the future.

This was just a sneak peek for me.

Every crevice of the city was packed to the brim with people and pokemon alike and I bit back my scowl of annoyance as I rudely pushed through the crowds.

If Mauville was this bad, I'm glad I didn't stay in Lilycove. This was aggravating.

After pushing and shoving for what might have been 20 straight minutes, I let out a sigh of relief as I finally reached the corridor that would take me straight to Route 117.

The Route connected Mauville and Verdanturf to each other. It wasn't nearly as big as some other routes, so it wouldn't take me long at all to reach the next city if I just ignored everyone and kept it pushing.

117 was rather unassuming, with it's most notable feature being a Pokemon Day Care that nursed Eggs into Pokemon or took in abandoned ones.

It didn't have the same features as the one from the games which made sense. Trainers just abandoning their Pokemon to a daycare sounded fairly inhumane and would probably get your trainer license revoked.

There were also way more Daycares in general over in this world. It was a staple for Pokemon Breeders who made their living off selling young or abandoned Pokemon to a new home.

Chikorita had actually been hatched in a Daycare. All Professors had a link to one that specialized in hatching the starters for their trainers.

But I had no business with a Daycare at the moment. I already had an Egg anyways.

The buzzing of Volbeat and Illumise dominated my hearing for a bit and I gazed at the swarm of them with uninterested eyes, making my way through the route.

While not as much as Mauville, there were still a healthy amount of trainers out here.

While the seasoned trainers understood my haste as me not wishing to battle… Not everyone was as intelligent.

"Hey! Wanna batt —"

"Not. In. The. Mood," I said harshly, moving past the eager kid with a stern frown.

That had been the fifth person to ask me and by now I was getting seriously fed up with it.

While I did want to battle more to increase my experience, I simply had more things to prioritize at the moment and I did not need to reveal my team to random strangers just yet.

I'd have to make do with battling wild Pokemon and training for now.

I saw the person flinch, caught off guard by my tone but I ignored it completely and kept my pace.

Verdanturf wasn't too far. Another five minutes and I'd make it there, then I could head straight through Rusturf Tunnel before arriving to Route 116.

Honestly, I could probably get a Beldum by the end of the night if I kept this pace…

Yeah a night infiltration would be perfect for me. I worked best in the night.

With that, I continued my quick pace to Verdanturf and continued the draining task of rejecting battles.

Note to self, invest in headphones and findsometype of music I could enjoy here. I hope it wouldn't be too cringe inducing listening to what the people of this world made.

Oh just wait until I became an active battler. I'd make people think twice about challenging me for the hell of it.

But that was for later, for now it was time for me to briefly take in the views of Verdanturf and continue speedrunning Hoenn.

Verdanturf was a quaint town, far smaller than both the cities of Fortree and Mauville which thankfully meant way less people.

I sighed in relief at that.

"Should I eat a quick snack? Nah… I'm not that hungry,"I thought to myself.

One thing I noticed is that I could weather my hunger very well. Even if I was a bit hungry, it wasn't really noticeable unless I went hours without eating.

Why a 12 year old like me could weather his hunger so well? I wasn't sure but I could hazard a few guesses.

Weathering hunger was something you did when you were in college and struggling to get by.

Silver was not in college.

It was probably his upbringing.

I'm beginning to think I had been attempting to get away from my abusive parents. It would explain why I had none of their contacts.

I suppose it wasn't too surprising. A kid attempting an act of thievery at 12 on something as important as a Pokemon Lab, couldn't have possibly been raised right.

But whoever did raise me gave me balls of steel. I had to salute myself for getting one of my very first Pokemon from a lab…

Praising myself was weird but eh, someone had to do it. My skills from the first first heist to now, were night and day. I had been honing them since I landed here and it was paying off well.

If I attempted the heist on Elm's lab again, I'd be in and out without making a single noise. I'd probably be halfway to the next city before anyone realized anything went amiss.

Hard work really did pay off. Helped that I was innately talented too.

It was time to truly put my skills into action.

Rusturf Tunnel was the first cave I was entering since landing in this world and thankfully, it wasn't as massive as caves like Mt. Coronet or, the soon to be entered, Meteor Falls.

No it was a fairly small tunnel that was simply used to connect the east and west sides of Hoenn to an incredibly effective degree.

Imagine if I had to go through Slateport, take a ship to Dewford, then take a ship to the outskirts of Petalburg and finally walk my way to Rustboro.

I'd be in Hoenn forever at that point. Might as well have done the Gym Challenge because I'd have visited 4 cities with gyms… 5 if I decided to take a break in Petalburg.

Thankfully I did not have to do all that. I could just take this tunnel to Rustboro then take it back and head to Slateport so I can sail to Kanto.

Seemed full proof.

Seeing as I was finally in an isolated area, I found a nice little spot and sat down in the tunnel, before releasing my team.

Three flashes went off and I regarded my team with a small smile.

"Sup guys," I greeted, pulling out a sandwich that I was planning on scarfing down later.

They all greeted me with excited noises and I felt my smile widen a bit.

"We're almost at our first mission you three. Since I want to prioritize stealth, it'll be Zorua and I for the job alright?" I informed them, pouring up a bowl of food for them all.

I wanted to learn their best diets soon. After my realizations, I wanted to give them the optimal options for their kind.

Maybe that's why the team limit was set at 6 (fun fact, there was no way to actually enforce this. Trainers just had a lot of integrity). Raising Pokemon probably wasn't cheap… that would also explain why people were type specialists. Just easier all around to raise.

It made a lot of sense… but man was that boring. I much preferred variety in my life.

"Zor," Zorua nodded in affirmation, scarfing down his food quickly.

"Ko," Chikorita grumbled in agreement, not looking too pleased but understanding why.

"Bas," Feebas agreed easily.

We had given her the rundown and she didn't seem opposed to it… but did Pokemon raised in the wild really even understand things like that?

I doubted it. Feebas was probably content to do whatever I asked of her.

"Are you fine outside of the water?" I asked her curiously.

"Fee!" my water type nodded vigorously.

In the water, Feebas were actually pretty fast but out of it? Yeah, it wasn't really anything impressive.

Just the fact she was able to operate outside of it, was enough for me though. She did not need to be fast or anything, just needed to take a hit and dish it back.

I'd figure it out soon enough. For now, I'd let them eat and discuss tactics with Zorua.

But first…

My Pokemon watched me stand up with curiosity and I began the process of removing my mostly dried blue clothes.

Folding them neatly, I placed them to the side and pulled out an all red outfit this time.

Long pants, red shoes, red and black gloves... complete with a hoodie that hid my face fairly well and was, you guessed it, red.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the color red… but all red? Damn these guys were ridiculous.

Placing the entire outfit on, I gazed down at the mock Team Magma design and nodded in satisfaction.

It probably wasn't a perfect 1 to 1, but the dominating color of reds was all that really mattered.

Perfect, the hoodie was protecting my peculiar silver eyes as well.

I looked at the time and pursed my lips.

6:29 P.M… The walk to the other side of the tunnel would take about 40 minutes and from what I learned about Hoenn, it typically got dark around 8.

Alright, it's showtime.

I ate two sandwiches that filled me up good enough and deposited my discarded clothes and the food bowls of my Pokemon into my bag.

Then, I returned Chikorita and Feebas (I had to promise Chikorita that she'd be apart of the next heist... whenever that was) leaving just me and my starter.

Zorua's relaxed features (it was a far cry from the first day I saw him… I'm glad I was making him more comfortable) sharpened to something far more serious.

It kinda reminded me of myself.

"Remember the plan?" I muttered to Zorua, opening up my coat a bit and allowing him to jump in so he could hide until it was time.

We had been running through it for a while now and his presence would be invaluable.

"Rua," Zorua nodded easily.

"Good. In and out with a new teammate. Stealth is a priority. If we get spotted, we're probably captured in an instant," I smirked, body thrumming in anticipation.

There was just something intoxicating about this rush. I wasn't the type of guy who committed crimes because that was too troublesome and the risk wasn't worth it.

Who knew the adrenaline could be so addicting?

The Stone Family owned a gigantic acre of land that resided in the dense forests of Route 116. It was fairly close to Rustboro City, where Devon Corps primarily operated and the leader of the corporation, Mr. Stone himself, lived.

Gigantic might have been putting it nicely. They were utterly loaded and it showed. I must have just reached the entrance and I didn't know where it ended.

Night had fallen by now and I sat on a tree branch as I inspected the outskirts of the Stone residence…

Maybe I should call it the Stone Territory. That seemed more fitting.

Despite the night sky hiding my features, I still opted to put on a mask that fully hid my features.

The piece of black porcelain was rather comfortable and probably not intended to be used for the purpose I was using it for but hey, I wasn't fact checking that.

There was a gate that served as the cutoff between Route 116 and the Stone Territory and it was almost as tall as the branch I was sitting on.

Keyword, almost. There was a reason I chose this tree.

Without any hesitation, I deftly leapt atop the gate and balanced myself on it, before landing on the stone beneath me without making a noise.

Odd seeing the grass just get replaced by stone but I wouldn't question it too much.

Zorua, who was tucked in my coat still, took place atop my shoulder and immediately wrapped me in an illusion as I swiftly began moving forward.

I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for but I'm sure the deeper I went, the more clear my answers would be…

And clear they were.

My eyes widened in awe as I made it deeper into the territory and sawloadsof Beldum and Metangs just mingling about, doing whatever it was they did.

Night time didn't seem to hamper the Steel types at all as they moved about.

This was perfect! It was almost like Christmas came early!

As I gazed at them, eyes glinting in clear interest, I noticed that they weren't all the same size.

Makes sense. Chikorita had been growing bigger by the day so it made sense that not all Pokemon were the exact same size.

The Pokedex entry on weight and height must have been the average for the mentioned Pokemon.

I wonder if Chikorita's sudden growth were signs that she was going to evolve soon?

It was a thought for later. For now, I needed to think about how I was going to approach this.

There was no way I could handle all the steel types in a fight and even though their numbers certainly played a big part… the biggest reason I had zero interest in a direct altercation, was due to the single lone Metagross looming in the back.

Glowing red eyes peered through the darkness and roved over the area, glancing past my spot without indicating it noticed me here. It was impossible to tell what the behemoth of a pokemon was thinking but I just admired it.

God, Metagross was so cool. That's why I needed to do this. I wonder how many of the fully evolved steel type were in this area?

The main building to the Stone Family was a lot further ahead, to the point where I could only see the lights of the, probably, massive building.

I wonder just how many Beldums resided here? Considering they could probably breed with each other, probably a lot.

Perfect.

If I'm right, this was probably some type of line of defense. There were more Metangs here than Beldums and that single Metagross looked rather formidable (even a freshly evolved Metagross would crush me in seconds).

I didn't make a noise, as I snuck past the first line of steel types with silent steps that I had been working very hard to achieve.

It was working out well because the psychics didn't even glance at me.

Dark types were amazing. It was no wonder criminal teams used them so often. Zorua's illusions (and the fact he was on me) was naturally filled with dark type energy and that not only hid me from the eyes of people, it hid me from the mind of psychics too!

"...But it's not smart for me to stay in one area… wouldn't a psychic be confused if it couldn't feel a certain place? Does it even feel the environment around it? Food for thought…"

At the very least, that train of thought wasn't biting me just yet. The Metagross hadn't stared at any spot I was in for long and I thanked the stars for that.

As I traversed the mix of grass and pavement, I noted that there seemed to be more than just Beldum here. It was dark so I couldn't quite make it out but I did see some sleeping silhouettes.

A cold thought went through my body.

"What if Steven Stone is here?"I thought in horror.

But as quick as the thought came, it left and I shook my head.

If the champion of the Hoenn region were here, I think I'd have gotten caught before even entering the area.

I even planned for this somewhat. Steven Stone visited Rustboro very rarely. The only time he visited apparently, was after exploring Meteor Falls.

Considering he was the champion of Hoenn, he didn't have much free time either. I doubted he would spend his free time visiting this place and from my other world knowledge, I knew he had a private home in Mossdeep so he likely stayed there in his free time.

If there was one thing I understood from this world, it's that everyone was far too naive.

Maybe naive was too harsh… the best way to explain it was that, they didn't have the same amount of pessimism and paranoia as my other world and maybe that was for the better.

Yeah that's the best way I could put it. Despite being much darker than I expected it to be, there was still a level of naivety that the people of this world seemed to naturally have.

It was like watching a movie and questioning where the common sense was, but I lived in the movie now and I was the only one wielding said common sense.

Even Joy was naive in a way despite being an asshole.

Guess that worked out well for me.

It must have taken me 10 minutes of exploring and walking past a plethora of the Beldum line, to finally find what I was looking for and I grinned wildly, as a predatory gleam entered my eyes.

There, all by its lonesome in a part of the forest, was a bright blue Beldum, red eye gazing at nothing as it did… whatever Beldums did?

I didn't know the average size of Beldums but it looked pretty small (was it young?).

I felt an immediate rustling in my coat, as Zorua locked in on his opponent, before climbing out of my outfit and landing silently on the floor.

Without even waiting for my orders, Zorua cloaked himself in dark energy and rocketed off with the effects of Hone Claws on his red stubs.

I smirked proudly as Beldum let out a startled noise from the Pursuit, right before my starter began clawing into him.

Like the assassin I was raising him to be, the stealth attack was over as soon as it started and I snorted at how anticlimactic Zorua made sure his battles were.

He was swift and efficient, having a no nonsense stance as soon as he got into it.

Serious right as soon as battle started… weren't dark types supposed to be the opposite?

I shrugged. Whatever, this was the perfect outcome for me. If Beldum had put up a fight, can you imagine what would happen to me? The more unaware everyone was, the better for me.

Beldum never even knew what hit it and the super effective attacks from Zorua, swiftly knocked it unconscious.

Without any hesitation, I grabbed the Great Ball I stole from Elm's lab and tapped it against Beldum, watching the red light absorb him, while glancing around to see if anyone caught that.

I wasn't sure if the Beldum's could communicate with each other but if they could, Zorua should have stopped that before it could start.

It was perfect.

The Great Ball shook heavily and for a moment I thought disaster was about to befall, as I remembered how infamously terrible Beldum's catch rate was.

But thankfully it settled down after a minute and pinged in success.

Catching a pokemon was actually pretty easy. You just had to beat it into submission and knock it out and it was practically a free catch!

Was that f*cked up? Everyone else did it, I wasn't gonna suddenly have morals to question whether it was right or wrong.

I gazed at the Great Ball and delicately grabbed it, before placing it gently on my belt.

Zorua's stance loosened and he leapt back into my coat, smiling up at me and immediately cloaking me in his dark energy again (I think? I couldn't see).

I affectionately ruffled his tuft all while swiftly evacuating my spot. Those few seconds Zorua was off me, could have gotten me sensed by any of the pokemon there.

Did I ever mention how much I loved Zorua? He was the perfect starter and I'm glad I had him.

I headed directly north with the illusion wrapped around me, ensuring no one was on my tail or suspicious of my actions.

It was all done without a hitch. I just raided the residence of the most prominent figures in the Hoenn region and captured one of the strongest non legendary Pokemon.

I grinned madly the moment I finally made it off the Stone Residence and let out an almost delirious laugh after an hour of finally holding it in.

HELL YEAH! I WAS AWESOME!

After the absolute disaster that was New Bark Town, where Zorua saved my ass, I made a vow to my pride that I would hone my skills until I was better than Silver originally was.

I wasn't sure what the measure really was… but I think this is better than anything he had done before so I'd take it.

I just snuck past an army of psychics and took one of them right under everyone's nose… and no one was the wiser.

It was likely they'd eventually find out, Metagross was an incredible pokemon and Beldum's in large clusters tended to be in a hivemind kind of thing… but for now, I was in the clear.

And now, it was time to finish my journey in Hoenn with one more capture.

"Good sh*t, Zorua," I said affectionately, grinning at the Dark type who was looking at me with wide eyes. "Just one more and we can go to being regular trainers."

Zorua nodded before hesitantly climbing my shoulder and placing his head on my cheek.

I gazed at my starter and raked a hand against his fur.

"C'mon, let's head to our next location. I wanna tell Chikorita and Feebas the news."

"Zor!" Zorua nodded.

Once I had stepped out of the forests of Route 116, it put me directly into Route 115. If I just continued walking north, I'd eventually make it to Meteor Falls.

Much like previous things I encountered, there were no convenient obstructions that blocked early access to Meteor Falls until far later into the journey.

No, you could easily head there from Rustboro City and that was the plan.

I grinned violently, full of confidence as I marched towards Meteor Falls.

Forests, beach, the sea and now caves… I didn't have a single gym badge and yet I had already explored 4 different types of terrain.

Pretty impressive. Technically speaking, I could have fought 3 different Gym Leaders but I just chose not to for obvious reasons.

I yawned slightly and rubbed my eyes.

Despite being so layered by the pseudo Magma clothing, I was so used to the scalding Hoenn heat, that the shift in temperature caught me off guard.

Meteor Falls was massive to the point where I had to strain my neck to see the top of the ceiling.

I was once again stunned, by the scale of the cave in comparison to the game.

Not to scale should have been a disclaimer in every video game. This was what a real cave looked like… I didn't initially think Meteor Falls was as impressive as Mt. Coronet or Mt. Silver, but I might just be wrong because it seemed endless.

I heard flapping and leapt back right as Zorua jumped out of my coat to intercept the Zubat trying to sink its fangs into me.

My eyes narrowed at the small little flying type and I grunted, beckoning with my hand for Zorua to take the lead.

This is what we had been doing mostly. I wanted Zorua to be my most independent pokemon so that we could run circles around trainers. I even planned on giving him wrong orders sometimes, just to confuse my opponents even more. We would need a lot of synergy to get it working but once it did, we'd be terrifying to go up against.

Zubat launched towards Zorua with glowing wings, only to growl in annoyance as the dark type deftly dodged the attack.

My dark types eyes narrowed and he lunged forward, using the speed of pursuit to directly connect with the poison type and successfully tackling it out of the sky.

Before Zubat could think to retaliate, it let out a pitiful noise as Zorua mercifully scratched into him.

"Nice," I praised as Zorua leapt off it's prone body. "We haven't fought much trainers, but we're improving by leaps and bounds," I noted with interest.

Our training was paying off really well. Experience from battling was good, but training was doing us all wonders and I really could just let them fight each other.

I like to think I was training them all pretty damn well. Our battle against Sharpedo was proof of that.

Zorua and I continued our pace through the cave, battling a couple more Zubats and being completely avoided by some Lunatone and Solrock (they were all so strange to look at!) up until we made our way to a waterfall.

Next to the waterfall, was a hidden set of stairs that I did not hesitate to climb and I found myself for the umpteenth time, thanking this world for not having unnecessary game obstructions.

Meteor Falls wasn't a place some trainers should really enter until they were more experienced.

It wasn't a death sentence like say, Mt. Silver… but the home of the Draconids wasn't a walk in the park.

That was another thing. Far deeper in Meteor Falls, was a village that housed the Draconid Clan. They made their home in the confinement of this cave for whatever reason and were mostly independent from the ongoings of the Hoenn region.

The League seemed to mostly leave the Draconids alone too. I believe Elite Four Drake had relations with them and that seemed good enough for them.

I didn't do deeper research on their history so I wasn't sure about the story behind that but I did know they worshiped Rayquaza.

Wait, what was that one girls name? The one with the Mega Salamence?

...I don't remember. She had the really cool music and was trying to destroy the Meteo —

I balked. Wait, the meteor? The same meteor that was going to crash into the planet and kill us all if we didn't stop it?

The same meteor that had… Deoxys on it.

...I absolutely loved Deoxys. It was my favorite mythical Pokemon… but goddammit why was it on a meteor that was going to crash land on Earth?

I pursed my lips and stopped myself from moving any further, sighing as I inclined my head to a certain direction.

Hoenn had way too many issues. What was wrong with this region? Two living calamities, their parent able to calm them both, and a meteor with an alien on it who said parent happened to hate.

If my life was in no danger, I'd have just noped outta here… but unfortunately it was and I refused to put my life in the hands of someone else.

But for the meteor I just might have to… wasn't a worthy trainer supposed to wake up Rayquaza and stop all the madness?

No… that's not what I remembered. Zit tried and failed to Mega Evolve Rayquaza… but we as the player, were able to.

Because of that meteorite… the one that the person in Fallarbor Town discovered and got mugged from by either Aqua or Magma.

I halted my movement and narrowed my eyes.

That was the same meteorite… that the scientist found inhere.

Yeah… I could do that. I could use my prior knowledge to give myself an advantage for sure. If I secured that Meteorite…

I nodded to myself and went back downstairs, reaching the first floor of Meteor Falls once more as I headed to a random destination.

"Zor?" Zorua muttered in confusion at my change of pace.

"Something important suddenly came up… I'm looking for something," I muttered back, heading closer to the exit that lead to Rustboro, over the one that led to Fallarbor.

If I could give myself a head start like this and secure such an important item, that'd be huge for setting back those two gigantic idiots.

Hell, if I were strong enough, I'd have gone after the Red and Blue Orbs too… but that was out of my reach for the moment. And I very much doubted it was out in the open of Mt. Pyre like in the video games, just free for the taking.

Did people even know those orbs were atop Mt. Pyre? Likely not... they were probably hidden well by the guardians... but if you knew it was there, it was only a matter of time before you got it.

I was realizing now, that I knew a lot of general knowledge about important stuff. I knew where both Magma and Aquas bases were, I knew where Groudon and Kyogre resided (I wasn't sure how I was gonna reach Kyogre)… hell I even know about the Meteor.

Mega Evolution existed in this world too... yeah securing this meteor would be important.

I do think I still had a good amount of time, considering Magma and Aqua weren't making much noise at all, besides shady recruitment on websites you wouldn't find unless you were actively looking for them like I had.

No, the most prominent criminal organization at the moment was Team Rocket. No signs of Aqua, Magma, Galactic or Plasma or whoever the hell the other regions had.

I hated Team Rocket but I was content to stay out of their business for now. Since I'd be traveling Kanto naturally I'd be wary of them but actively seeking them out in my path of getting stronger was dangerous and dumb…

If they were still going strong when I was confident enough, then I'd take them out too. My general knowledge didn't extend to just Hoenn, I knew enough to completely ruin Team Rocket right down to the very core.

After about 3 more Zubat attacks in the midst of my searching, I let out a grunt of annoyance.

"Damn I'm tired,"I sighed. What time was it?

10:57 PM… I frowned at that. Alright, I'd wrap up this business, set up camp deeper in Meteor Falls and get some sleep.

Then we could begin the search for Bagon.

There weren't any other humans that I could see in here to question me for my weird searching habits but I wouldn't have let that deter me regardless.

I didn't know the specific location but it had to be somewhere around here.

How did I know? Well call it a hunch, but there was a suspicious pressure eerily reminiscent (but not at all as dominating) as when I ran into Registeel earlier and it was getting stronger the closer I got.

This feeling wasn't anywhere near similar to Registeel, who felt cold and metallic, and I might have even been able to ignore it before, but my exposure to one legendary, seemed to have opened the floodgates and now I could actively feel the strange sensation.

I couldn't even explain this one. It just felt like I was breathing in too much air. It really was very different from the Steel Golem.

I frowned at that. Could I really feel the pressure of things related to Legendaries just because I exposed myself to one? Why? Why was I even able to expose myself to them?

Was it because of who I was?

That couldn't be it. At the end of the day, I was only relevant in the Johto region and the legendaries associated with me, were Ho-Oh, Lugia and maybe the Legendary Beasts...

But I never once encountered said legendaries and I doubted any of them had to do with the fortress in my mind, or my sudden vulnerability to legends.

Was it even worth thinking about this right now?

As I glanced at the spot where the pressure felt the strongest, I realized it probably wasn't.

An unassuming group of rocks blocked my vision of the prize I was searching for and I glanced at it dispassionately.

Suddenly, I wasn't too thrilled to find the object. I even seriously contemplated just leaving it here and letting nature run its course.

But despite that, I couldn't and I really f*cking hated that.

Despite the fact that I vowed to not involve myself in stupid sh*t or be a hero… I was realizing that I'd never be comfortable with the idea of my life being on a thread with someone else needing to save me.

The fate of the whole world? Why would I rely on some other kid to save it? What if this world didn't have anyone to save it? Do I just die without doing a damn thing?

I was in an alternate version of every media of Pokemon I was aware of. I couldn't expect things to go the way I expected it to so I'd have to lay a heavy hand and ensure my own safety.

Being a bystandercouldwork out but if it didn't, I'd die and that payoff wasn't worth it at all.

With a sigh of resignation, I moved the pile of rocks about and laid my eyes on the strangest rock of the group.

Like I said before, if I had to save this world in order to make sure my livelihood wasn't at stake, then I'd do thingsmyway. I don't know if it was Mew or Arceus or whatever the hell Pokemon it was, I wouldn't let any of them control me or my actions.

As I crouched down and grabbed the Meteorite, I grunted as a vision of a giant rock floating in an ever expanding darkness invaded my mind.

Then, the darkness faded away and all I saw wasgreen.

I violently shook my head and placed the Meteorite in my bag, frowning as the pressure from the stone, never abated.

"So I guess this really is Rayquaza's... hopefully it doesn't hunt me down now,"I mused.

Looks like I'd have to get used to the feeling. At least it wasn't all that annoying… just a slight buzzing really.

Maybe it'd even get me used to other legendaries. I knew for a fact I was gonna be meeting them and being in denial never helped anyone.

"Alright, let's go set up camp," I grunted, getting up from my crouched position and heading back to those hidden stairs.

I really needed to go to sleep.

"Chiko!"

"Fee!"

I grunted as I was brought to the floor of the tent before a smile replaced my features. I patted the wet scales of Feebas and the dry scales of Chikorita with a pleased feeling coursing through my body that I used to be foreign with, but was quickly getting accustomed to.

"Missed me?" I asked curiously, tiredly laughing as they nuzzled me excitedly.

They both nodded furiously and I sighed at how adorable they were.

"Zorua and I completed the mission," I informed them. "Flawlessly, no mistakes as far as I'm aware."

Chikorita's eyes widened and she glanced over at the dozing dark type, before trotting over to him.

"She's bigger than him now,"I noted curiously. Chikorita and Zorua had been about the same size but over the weeks, I noticed that my second Pokemon had been growing quite a bit.

Not to mention, the green of her skin was getting a bit brighter.

Was she close to evolving? It was kind of awesome that you could see signs before it was complete. I wonder just how close she was?

Chikorita pulled out a vine and began nudging Zorua, who popped one eye open and gazed at her tiredly.

"Chik Chiko!" She exclaimed excitedly.

Zorua nodded and they exchanged a few more words before Chikorita turned towards me with expectant eyes.

I rolled my eyes and pulled out the Great Ball, presenting it to them all.

"We'll officially meet them tomorrow morning after I wake up. Be on your guard," I told them, idly stroking Feebas' scales.

They all chanted in their respect tongue and I smiled at them, before deciding to call it a night.

I had invested (yes I actually bought these) in some repels and currently, there was one outside my tent to ward off any curious pokemon.

Hopefully it worked out well. I didn't wanna die in my sleep.

Judging by the look of disgust Zorua had released the moment I put one down, it did its job well. Repels scent got weaker the more you traveled because the movement allowed more air in and diluted the scent of it.

Stay still and it would last a very long time.

"Alright, I'm going to sleep. You guys can do whatever but make sure you're not too loud," I muttered, letting my head hit the pillow and falling asleep near instantaneously.

I didn't realize I had been awake since 7 am and it was half past 12 am now.

Damn had I really been awake for 17 hours? Not bad… though I doubted my 12 year old body should be awake this long.

Let's fix that.

My eyes abruptly opened to an expanse of darkness and I blinked in confusion.

What... was this?

Despite the fact that my eyes were open, I couldn't see anything except for my own body. Not even the floor beneath me existed and I warily glanced around.

Where exactly was I?

What was happening? What was this endless darkness…?

Why was it… that I couldn't feel my heartbeat, my body, my senses… I couldn't feelanything…

Except for an overpowering presence all around me.

Paranoia began seeping into me and I began warily glancing around.

Considering I had a sensation worse than this earlier before, it wasn't as jarring as I expected it to be but it didn't change that this situation was incredibly bizarre.

"Who's there?" I tried to ask, but whether my voice reached here or not was unknown to me because I couldn't hear at all.

Frustration began to rise inside of me before even that was stamped away by the heavy pressure I was being subjected to.

This was... this was even heavier than Registeels. This pressure was almost completely stifling, smothering me completely and robbing me of all my natural senses.

Such heaviness... if this thing had an even more imposing presence than Registeel, that meant...

Suddenly, all my senses returned and I let out a breath I didn't know I had been holding in.

That was nerve wracking, I didn't even want to think about what the hell was imposing its will onto me currently —

I whirled around on instinct, as the presence suddenly spiked and I could only gaze in horror, at the giant red eyes ofsomethinggazingdirectlyat me.

I let out a strangled yell as I shot up and glanced around wildly, clutching my chest and letting out strained gasps.

My Pokemon slept blissfully unaware, though Zorua had popped a single eye open at the strained noise with a questioning gaze.

I let out a shaky smile and placed a palm on his head.

"Nothing buddy, go back to sleep," I whispered quietly, running my fingers through his soft fur.

Zorua glanced up at me, before nodding slowly and shutting his eye, falling back into slumber.

A rattled breath left my body as I thought about that dream I just had.

Maybe nightmare was more apt. That was bizarre.

Not to mention those eyes… just what was that? Even though it was a dream… I couldn't forget that pressure crushing me from all angles.

The pressure that even eclipsed Registeels own.

I resisted the urge to groan and lied back down.

No way was I getting my sleep ruined by these annoying ass legendaries. Getting my sleep interrupted, was a surefire way to piss me off for the rest of the day and my Pokemon didn't deserve that because this wasn't even on them.

Still, that dream didn't feel like a dream. Whoever wielded those big red eyes... I had a strange inkling they were the one that scared Absol off.

"Rita?"

I glanced down at the concerned Chikorita and flashed her a tired smile while idly messaging Joy that I was in fact alive today. "I'm fine girl. This hard ground kept me up for a bit."

She nodded sympathetically and climbed atop me to graciously offer her presence to me.

I chuckled at the fact that she thought just climbing me would help but accepted it all the same, just patting her on the leaf.

"Alright it's about time we meet our new member," I yawned, pulling out the Great Ball holding my most recent member.

Zorua and Feebas perked up and nodded in anticipation, while Chikorita opted to continue resting on me for my own sake.

I had walked rather deep in Meteor Falls and found an isolated part of the cave that had a body of water in it and no Pokemon at all.

This room might have been crafted actually, considering there was an entrance to it.

Also… this suspiciously reminded me of the room you catch Bagon in but there was no Pokemon in here at all that I could see.

Fine by me.

I held out the Great Ball and released Beldum from confinement with a cool expression.

The red light coalesced into the Steel/Psychic Pokemon and we all gazed at the Beldum with curious eyes.

A single red eye glanced back at the small group, before locking on me, prompting me to pull out a potion.

"Want me to heal you?" I asked curiously, gazing at the dominantly blue Pokemon with a relaxed expression.

Beldum contemplated the question for a moment, probably assessing its own injuries, before nodding.

I got up with Chikorita on my shoulder and approached my newest capture with a friendly expression…

Only for a white light to cover Beldum's head and crash right into me.

Beldum had a vicious gleam in its eye, that turned into a blink of confusion, as they flew through the body.

"I figured you'd do that," I sighed, still sitting in the same position with Chikorita as the body Beldum crashed into, faded out.

Beldum immediately seized up, as Zorua tackled him to the floor, shrouded in dark energy.

He let out a threatening growl as he held a paw to the Beldum's neck and I smiled.

Finally, I got up and moved over, spraying the Potion on its body with a calm expression.

Beldum looked at me in confusion and I kept my expression neutral.

"Nice to meet you Beldum, I'm Silver," I greeted coolly, placing the potion back into my bag. "I caught you, so you probably know what that means, right?" I asked.

Beldum gazed at me with a defiant expression that I wasn't really expecting from a Beldum but nodded its head all the same.

"Right. I'm your trainer now and I'd prefer it if we could get along so that this could go smoother."

Judging by the expression on its face, Beldum was not a fan of that idea and I frowned slightly.

"Bel," was all it said.

Considering Chikorita just snarled, I was gonna garner a guess that Beldum did not say something family friendly.

"Why?" I asked, nonplussed by its reaction.

No, there was simply curiosity in my stance so that I could get to the bottom line of gaining this one's loyalty.

"Is it because you were content with living in a hoard of Beldums?"

It nodded easily.

That got a scowl out of me. "But why? What's the point in just staying there and being a Beldum forever? Does that life satisfy you?"

Beldum hesitated slightly, before nodding its head.

"So you're content to stay confined in that cage all your life, while staying as a Beldum... Aren't you even slightly interested in being a Metagross? Do you have no ambition? Goals? Are you content to be subpar?"

As much as it tried to hide it, my words were causing Beldum to ponder a life outside its confined home and a gleam entered my eyes.

"I don't get it… Metagross are some of the most respected Pokemon on the planet but it would naturally takeyearsfor you to ever achieve it… in fact, it might never actually happen considering that's probably not the goal for you is it? Your goal for the colony isn't to become a Metagross, right? It's to provide for them isn't it?"

A pause... a shake of its head.

"That sounds no better than a prison to me. No free will, no choice to make your own decision... Is the inside of that cage all you ever want to know? Do you not want to see what the world has to offer you? Your only goal in life does not have to be providing for the hive as one piece of many. Don't you want to bemore? Don't you want to be seen as a single individual?" I asked with a raised brow.

"...Bel," Beldum said hesitantly, nodding its head as my words captured its full attention.

It tried, it really did but I had ithooked.

"Then work with me," I proposed. "I will show you a life beyond that cage and I'll show you that this entire time, you've barely been breathing. I'll give you the freedom of choice and my goals for you, require you to be a Metagross, so you don't have to stay a Beldum for a majority of your life," I assured, smirking confidently.

I beckoned for Zorua to get off and he obeyed without hesitation, making Beldum look back at my dark type.

It must have remembered how easily Zorua dispatched of him and I did grin this time.

"You've been shackled your whole life with a will that's not your own, with a will that doesn't want the best for you and deep down you don't want that, so align your actual will with mine so thatyoucan find what's best for you," I finished, silver eyes gazing resolutely into its red.

Beldum glanced back at me and I marveled at how a single eye could convey so much emotion.

I wasn't really sure but my mental image for the Metagross line must have given me the vibe that they were all emotionless machines that coldly got the job done.

But Beldum didn't really convey any of that. How young was he? There was a fire in his eyes, a conflicted expression, an anger at me for upending his life…

But he wasinterested.Interested in being something besides a Beldum that roamed the Stone Territory, providing solely for the hive. Interested in attaining power that it never would normally achieve.

Interested in becoming the behemoth known as Metagross, something it might have only thought of in passing. Perhaps it never even thought it would become a Metang because that's not what the hive desired of it.

But it could achieve all those hidden desires under me.

As Beldum reluctantly agreed to join me, I found myself thanking Steven for making my life so much easier.

Protecting the Beldum wasn't a bad job at all… but coddling them like this, confining them to only one area… forcing them to be apart of one hive because of their nature.

Well of course they'd be curious about the outside world. Maybe if the Metagross line truly was emotionless, they wouldn't be… but that wasn't true.

No, all intelligent things had an innate curiosity and the easiest type of curiosity to manipulate, was the curiosity of a person who was being confined, no matter how willingly.

A caged bird would always have the desire to fly and Beldum had been imprisoned its whole life without even realizing.

But I made it realizeand that's how I won.

Beldum may not like me now… but I would show it exactly what it had been missing out on. As we traversed the world, it would realize that I hadn't been lying, it would realize that the hive was just a small fraction of what it could have achieved...

And it would realize I showed them this new way of living.

"Cool… now that that's settled…" I mused. "We haven't trained in a bit. Let's eat and I can think of something for Feebas and Beldum in the meantime. Zorua, Chikorita, keep doing what you were already practicing until you master them. Mix in physical training with it, sparring and honing your respective energies."

They both barked in confirmation and I smiled.

"We're in a pretty dangerous place guys. Stay on your toes until we complete our mission. We'll be here for at least a few days," I warned.

Beldum watched the three nod without any hesitation and gazed at me with a quizzical look.

I caught its gaze and simply smirked.

"Did I forget to mention I'm a high stakes kinda guy?" I asked with a maniacal glint. "We're here to catch another member of the team!"

"...Bel," Beldum said slowly.

"Chiko," Chikorita nodded sagely.

"Zor," Zorua agreed.

I scratched my head slightly. "You get used to it? He's always like this? When the hell did you guys get so rude to me?"

"Fee!" Feebas smiled.

"Not you girl. You're a sweetheart," I assured.

"...Dum," Beldum said.

Was this truly the trainer that snuck into their territory?

Beldum:N/A

Ability:Clear Body

Moves:Takedown

I hummed as I scanned Beldum and nodded my head.

"Not a lot to work with, but that's fine. I've already got plans," I said aloud.

Normally I'd keep such musings to myself, but I was realizing that the way to win Beldum over, was to verbalize how I intended on making it useful.

As they were now, I'm sure even Feebas could give it a run for its money and win.

"Alright, up until I evolve you, you'll be limited. But that doesn't mean you're useless. There's 3 moves I want you to learn and that's Iron Defense, Iron Head, Zen Headbutt."

Beldum normally only learned Take Down up until they evolved. It made them terribly useless, even more so than the first form of a lot of pseudo legendaries.

But later on, in later regions, they decided that Beldum was too useless and allowed it to learn three moves via tutor. Thankfully that seemed to apply here as well.

At the very least, Beldum's tended to evolve faster than their pseudo siblings. Achieving the Metang form wasn't very difficult at all.

"It won't be easy, so I need you to practice molding your psychic and steel energy to an effective degree. Just internalize it for now and don't even bother on shooting it out of your body. We'll focus on that when you become a Metang."

Beldum listened to my orders and watched the clips on all the moves with its single red eye.

Eventually, they nodded and went off by its lonesome to practice said move.

I wondered when he would be able to communicate with me. Would it be hard like with Bronzong? I hope not. Having my own psychic to communicate with seemed cool.

"Hey wait, Beldum! Do you want a nickname?" I suddenly asked.

The steel type froze at that and gazed at me, before shaking their head in refusal and continuing its course.

I shrugged. I expected that. Maybe it'd be more receptive in the future.

"What about you three?" I asked.

They looked stunned by my proposal, before Chikorita immediately began nodding, joy on her features at the idea of having her own name.

Feebas and Zorua followed suit and nodded happily.

I had been dwelling it for a bit because I was terrible with names. I hardly ever nicknamed my Pokemon but I figured to increase our bond, it'd be good to give them names.

Also to avoid confusion on the off chance we ever faced a mirror matchup.

I had a pretty good scheme planned too. After all, I had knowledge of another world that had its own folklore and myths.

There's no way this world knew about Greek or Norse mythology!

"Zorua, how do you feel about Loki? It signifies mischief and trickery," I asked curiously.

The Norse God of Mischief seemed like a perfect fit for my Zorua. My plan was to just name all of them after whoever's name I could properly associate with them and Loki was practically perfect for my Zorua.

Zorua thought about it before nodding in approval, accepting the name without complaint.

"Chik Ri!" Chikorita demanded next. She eagerly awaited and I rolled my eyes at her.

Chikorita's name wasn't one I could think of as easily as Zorua's… but there was one I liked.

"How do you feel about Gaia?" I asked Chikorita. "It signifies one who rules the Earth."

Gaia the Greek Goddess of Earth. Pretty self explanatory and I was immensely pleased to see Chikorita nod rapidly at it, because I had no other name for her besides like, Terra or Demeter.

Finally, I glanced at the eager Feebas with a name already on my mind.

"Feebas, how's Freyja?" I asked the fish. "That name represents love and beauty so I thought it was a perfect for you."

Aphrodite was my first option, but that name was gonna get tiring to say real fast so I settled for Freyja.

I watched with a swell of satisfaction, as Feebas' eyes widened in shock at what I said before she grinned in happiness and nodded.

"Fee!" She agreed adoringly.

I laughed at that and stood up. "Perfect. Loki, Gaia, Freyja. I'll be calling you guys that from now on, okay? Get used to it."

They chorused and I clapped once.

"Alright, I'm gonna focus a bit with Freyja and get her a good regimen. Loki and Gaia can keep training on what you need to learn, alright?"

They nodded and trotted off to train with each other and I brought my Feebas to the nice water source to help her refine her very lacking water stores.

Beldum watched from a distance as its trainer interacted with the older members of its new team.

A nickname? For what reason would Beldum need a nickname? It was simply a Beldum.

No, it would only be worthy of a nickname when it managed to find what was best for it while exploring the world beyond the hive.

Only when it was a Metagross, would Beldum agree to the idea of a nickname because only when it became Metagross, would it acknowledge its trainers words as truth.

"Alright Freyja, I'm gonna be honest. Battles are gonna be hard," I admitted truthfully, dipping my bare feet into the body of water she was swimming in.

Before she could get any negative ideas I decided to speak up again.

"That's not to say I'm giving up on you or anything like that. I just want you to know that if you're ever struggling, don't think I'm disappointed in you," I finished reassuringly.

Feebas looked at me, before a surprising look of determination crossed her features and she began nodding resolutely.

I smiled at her. "That's what I'm talking about."

I flipped open a Pokedex and beckoned her over. "First things first, we need to get you a water move and I'm thinking Water Pulse will be the best one for you to learn."

The good thing about Feebas, was that they could actually gain quite a bit of moves from egg or tutors unlike their fellow useless fish, Magikarp.

And it was a pretty large variety too!

"I don't want to overwhelm you with too many moves but I was thinking Icy Wind in the far future," I muttered.

I showed her the two moves and she watched with curious eyes as the Sealeo on the screen showcased both moves.

"Focus on Water Pulse first. You need to get your water stores up to something usable. Try not to neglect using Dragon Breath and Hypnosis either, those will be really useful for future moves."

Freyja wouldn't have the power right now, but I was hellbent on making her effective.

My Feebas nodded in determination and set to work immediately on controlling her water abilities.

I smirked in a pleased manner before turning serious and getting up.

While they did this, it was time for me to do a bit of reconnaissance.

After all, this room I was in was fairly close to the Draconid's base of operation. A 10 minute walk to be exact.

I probably shouldn't go alone… but my Pokemon looked pretty locked in…

Except for Beldum. It didn't look like they were making much progress…

"Beldum, come with me," I called as I headed to the exit of this room in the cave.

Beldum looked over before floating to me.

"Dum?" He questioned.

"You looked like you were struggling a bit so I figured I could personally help you out while I go scouting," I explained, flicking open my Pokegear.

"Hey Jas, got a few questions about steel types. Been thinking of catching one and I wanted your opinion on how to raise em."

I had already been doing some research on Beldum and honestly the most interesting thing I found out, was their diet and the fact that theydidn'thave any weird evolution shenanigans that some Pokedex made them out to have.

No two Beldums to evolve into Metang. No two Metangs to evolve into Metagross.

Thank God. Going back and catching 3 more Beldums would have been hell for me.

Also Beldum had a mouth… at the opposite end of its head that it used to consume mostly metal and minerals, but also some meat.

Fascinating. Pokemon were so strange.

My gear immediately vibrated and I glanced down to see a message.

"A steel type? You want to catch a steel type?! Oh what would you like to know? Typical diets? Key moves? Which one I recommend catching? There's so much to discuss! One moment, I'm calling you right now."

I scratched my head in confusion and resisted the urge to groan as my phone began ringing as soon as I finished reading her message.

"Nevermind Beldum, scouting is for later," I suddenly said, turning on a dime and heading to my tent. "Hone your psychic abilities. I'll be back with steel tips. Remember, the key to honing psychic energy, is concentration and proper utilization of the mind. Try meditating."

Beldum looked at me like I were stupid but eventually nodded and went back to train, keeping my words in mind.

I picked up the call and was immediately bombarded by my… best(?) friend.

"Do you really want to catch a steel type?!"Jasmine asked excitedly.

Technically, I already caught one but yeah I wouldn't tell Jasmine that for a while.

"Hello to you too. Yeah, I wanna catch one eventually and figured you'd be the perfect person to help me figure things out."

I saw her eager grin and couldn't help but smile myself at how extroverted she suddenly was.

"I'm so glad you came to me! I can give you general tips on steel types and even some specific ones. I don't own all of them but I've done my research!"

I nodded my head at her, noting the excited expression on her face. "I was thinking of some general tips for now."

"Alright! You might want to get some paper. I'll tell you some of what I know,"she beamed.

...Some paper? Just how much was she planning on telling me?

The answer to that question I asked before, was a lot.

Jasmine dumped so much info into me, that I was reminded of all the horrific studying I had been doing in this world since landing here.

Despite my clearly disgusted look that I know she saw, Jasmine completely ignored it and plowed through my distaste, with a level of willful ignorance that I was actually extremely proud of.

Because of the fact I was proud and the fact I asked in the first place, I actually did listen to everything she had to say and typed it on the nifty note section of my Pokedex.

I noticed her smiling even wider at the fact I was actually typing my notes.

By the time she finished, I felt exhausted just looking at what I was gonna be reviewing.

"How do you remember this off the top of your head?" I asked in concern.

Her knowledge was the real deal and the fact that she could recite this so easily made me realize how this girl managed to become a gym leader.

Jasmine was a f*cking genius. She was only 16 years old and she was practically a college graduate with her level of knowledge.

No wonder she had no friends before, my best friend was not apart of the norm at all and probably had no one to actually fit in with.

"Oh I've reviewed my notes on Steel Types so many times that it's become second knowledge. I'm one of the leading experts on the type for a reason!"she explained easily.

I snorted with a small smirk. "Is that confidence I'm hearing? Good to know you're growing a spine," I teased.

She flushed slightly at that."Well, it's kinda hard not to when you're my friend… Can you believe that a trainer I battled with 4 badges had the audacity to ask how I became a gym leader after winning with his plethora of fire types? I politely asked him for an exhibition match 1 on 3 and let Empy unleash havoc on his team."

"Oh?" I asked in clear interest. "Seriously? You did that?"

She nodded with an exasperated expression."I felt far too much satisfaction wishing him luck in the Silver League after I crushed him… I think you've corrupted me a bit. The look of horror on his face made me feel a little bad, I think I might have deflated his confidence a bit."

I couldn't help the slight chuckle at that and clapped mockingly. "That's still a bit too nice for me but it's a step in the right direction. Nice job, Jas."

She actually rolled her eyes at me and I nearly shed a proud tear at the sassy action.

The 16 year old was someone I began to appreciate more as I stayed longer in this world. She was practically the only person I spoke regularly to and rather than annoyance, I was actually filled with fondness talking to her.

I doubted I'd have much friends so the fact that she was one of my only ones, wasn't lost on me.

Despite being older than me by 4 years, the constant teasing I submitted her to, gave me huge little sister vibes and believe it or not, I genuinely think I liked Jasmine as a person.

...I'm not telling her that… Maybe I'd tell her the little sister part though. She'd definitely get upset considering she was 4 years older than me —

Wait a goddamn second.

"You have notes on this and you made me write it all?!" I hissed in disbelief, silver eyes glaring a hole into her.

The smug little sh*t, actually had the audacity to smile at me!

"I knew you'd notice eventually! Consider this revenge for worrying me so much and then making fun of me Silver!"

This little…

"You're an annoying little sister," I said flatly.

Her eyes widened in disbelief and she began spluttering."L-Little sister?! I'm 4 years older than you! In what way am I a little sister?!"

"Dunno, if you can't tell how you're a little sister, I see no point in explaining it to you," I said with a smug smirk. "Now if you don't mind, something came up and I conveniently have to end this conversation here."

"I asked a question, Silver. I know for a fact that nothing came up and this is just your way of —"

Hmph. I can't believe she actually got one up on me. She was so lucky that I wasn't in Johto.

"Alright, let's go give Beldum some pointers," I muttered to myself.

Annoying she may be, Jasmine did give me a whole new perspective and I was eager to put it into practice.

Some of the things she mentioned, I could even apply to my other members in some way.

Diets, training methods… I just needed to research the right ones for them all and look into getting it at Slateport.

Man… the research would never end.

I expertly ignored the messages coming in troves with the same level of willful ignorance Jasmine shot me earlier.

The Draconids didn't actually reside in Meteor Falls… technically? Well they didn't live in the... cave section? that I set up camp in.

No at one point, when you truly went deep into the cave, you'd find an entrance and through that entrance was a whole new area that had me whistling with an impressed expression.

While the rocky terrain of Meteor Falls remained, the area became far more expansive and a lot of more livable too. Huts littered the area that people must have resided in instead of. Said people were mingling about, with tan to darkish skin that seemed to dominate the Hoenn region and I looked at their sharp features with a curious eye.

So these were the Draconids huh? For a "dying" clan, they seemed to be doing fairly well for themselves and that did not bode well for me.

To my surprise, there was no ceiling, allowing me to see the afternoon sky and I wondered what Pokemon managed to accomplish that… it was so strange knowing I could just walk through the somewhat hidden entrance back into Meteor Falls and I'd be in a different world again.

But the most surprising thing, were thedragons.

Every pokemon I saw, was a dragon in some form.

It was an amazing sight… the Draconids didn't hoard just Bagons… I was seeing everything here!

Druddigon, Gabite, Zweilous, Flygon… Hell I even saw this little apple thing! I didn't even know what that was!

Damn… maybe getting these guys attention was not in my best interest.

With the Metagross colony, I had a dark type to shield me from their psychic perception… I had nothing to shield me against these Dragons and their heightened senses but my own skills and while I was co*cky enough to sneak in, unless I could stealthily capture a Bagon with no resistance from it, I'd be in trouble.

I should look into fairies in the future. Oh wait, Togepi was a fairy huh? When was this egg going to hatch? I'd like to utilize a Fairy type to deal with everyone obsessed with Dragons.

Right now, Beldum and I were hidden as we gauged the area and, in a rare moment of unity so early in our relationship, decided it was in our best interest to leave.

Draconids weren't as hostile as they used to be, but that didn't mean they were friendly. They were isolated for a reason and though I wasn't one to stereotype... they weren't the smartest bunch around.

Hm… I'd have to figure out the Bagon dilemma later. It was suddenly much harder than I expected it to be.

Should I sneak in at night? They didn't seem to have dedicated scouts, as seen by how easily I was gathering information but things could change when night time hit...

I should get night vision goggles. I operated a lot at night.

Beldum and I slunk away from our hiding spot, never noticing the curious eyes on us, and began heading back to our base.

We had been in Meteor Falls for about 5 days now. Instead of being hasty, I decided to take it easy and slowly figure out the giant cave instead of rushing right into it.

Throughout those days, I studied the layout and even figured out a route that would lead me in and out the Draconid village the fastest in case I decided to do a hail mary play.

Since I got Beldum way quicker than my schedule planned for, I decided to focus more on training my Pokemon up to respectable levels, while I myself did some reconnaissance.

That's how I managed to find the hidden entrance to the Draconid Village.

Naivety once again struck this world because entering had been as easy as breathing once I found it… though I suppose much like the Stones, no one would be dumb enough to attack a tribe of dragon trainers.

For good reason too. I saw a Dragonite in there and the Kanto pseudo looked a lot less goofy than the games portrayed them as. It may have looked a little tubby, but that thing was full muscle.

I wonder how Garchomp or Hydreigon looked… I was a little excited to find out but not very excited to find out now in my journey.

"Catching a Bagon might be harder than I expected," I told Beldum with a contemplative expression.

Dragons had good sense of smell and great hearing too. Illusion wouldn't work out very well and they'd immediately hear the sound of battle if I got in one…

Maybe I could shoot for a oneshot on my target... but I really hadn't seen much wild Bagons. I did see a Shelgon at one point and one day I heard the roar of a Salamence... but the Bagons seemed to have their own trainers already.

Damn, did I have to give up? I didn't want to but it wasn't looking too hot for me.

Hm… I didn't really want to give up but there were easier dragons to catch that I also liked... but that might be far away in the future.

I could exit through the Fallarbor Entrance and maybe catch a Swablu I guess, or maybe even snag a Dratini if they're in the Safari Zone of Kanto.

But they weren't Bagon... my definitive second choice to replace Bagon would have been Deino but how the hell was I gonna get one of those? I didn't fancy a trip to Unova at the moment.

Maybe Bagon was in a different location besides just Meteor Falls. Surely they weren't all here... I could just be on the lookout for —

Without any hesitation in my bones, I leapt out of the way of whatever was charging at me and tumbled across the cold stone floor.

I grunted in shock and clutched my side at the sharp pain, wincing at the feeling of blood pooling on my fingers.

Not good. Even with the dodge I still got tagged and it wasn't a small cut either.

The large wound on my side evoked a lot of panic out of me and I watched the steady stream of blood pour through my fingers, gritting my teeth before gazing at the offender.

Gray tusks protruded from the side of a snarling mouth, tipped with red that matched the irises of the green and black pokemon. Upon closer inspection, I saw a red liquid dripping off the tusk and noted that I was probably seconds away from getting completely gored through.

A Fraxure. The most violent middle evolution dragon with a fiercely territorial streak and by the looks of its still greenish pigmentation, recently evolved too.

It was no secret that pokemon who recently evolved had to deal with raging hormones and Fraxure's were already infamously temperamental...

And this was glaring at me with all the fury in the world.

"This arrogance of yours isn't necessary, dumbass. Are you trying to prove that you're talented to someone? I get that you don't care enough about your life, but don't drag your team into it."

The words of Nurse Joy filled my head and I realized that Ihadbeen getting arrogant.

My biggest worries at this stage of my life, wasn't a formidable trainer finding me out… It wasn't committing crimes and potentially getting caught...

My biggest worry in life right now was pissing off the wrong Pokemon. That's what Joy had been trying to warn me about but I completely shrugged her off.

"Fraxure," the dragon type growled warningly, taking a single step forward.

Almost immediately, with reflexes I had no desire of admiring at the moment, I returned Beldum with my left hand and launched a Great Ball at the Fraxure with my right.

I didn't even wait to see the red light appear at my perfect aim, before I booked it to base.

"sh*t sh*t sh*t,"I repeated with panicked eyes, clutching my wound as tightly as I could while sprinting to my temporary base.

I heard the noise of what was probably a Great Ball breaking, before footsteps accompanied it and I picked up my pace.

It was truly a blessing that I chose to do reconnaissance before officially entering the Draconid village, because it was the only reason I knew the mental map to my base.

Blood dropped behind me as I rapidly took off towards where my other Pokemon were located and I didn't dare look behind me to see how much distance Fraxure was making.

I grit my teeth in pain, as I did a sharp turn and aggravated my wound but the sudden trick worked and Fraxure's stubby legs got a little further away.

If I didn't have this injury hindering me, I would have been able to sprint circles around this piece of sh*t. I didn't know much about them, but I imagine evolving from the quadrupedal Axew, must be awkward for movement and left them rather slow.

But goddamn this hurt. I needed to get outta here and wrap it up.

I lunged behind a small boulder, just in time to avoid vicious claws. I chanced a glance back and whitened at seeing the Dragon Claw completely gouge through the stone.

Fraxure took a few seconds too long to remove its limb from the stone it dug into and I took the chance to throwanotherPoke Ball at it.

Not wasting anymore time, I launched myself through the entrance to my base, much to my Pokemon's surprise.

Loki, Gaia and Freyja all gazed at me with wide eyes, caught up in their own training, before locking onto my wound.

"Help. Fraxure. Dragon type. Really angry and trying to kill me," I rasped.

Then Fraxure entered the room with a thunderous roar.

"FRAX!" The dragon announced its presence —

To a faceful of razor sharp leaves slamming into its coarse and rough skin.

Gaia glared furiously at the Fraxure, two vines snaking its way out of her as she repeatedly switched from worried glances for me, to hateful glances at the unfazed Fraxure.

The Razor Leaf seemed to only anger it but it finally took its attention off of me as Loki immediately threw out a Torment on the dragon.

"Zor," Loki growled with narrowed eyes.

I shakily pulled out Beldum's Great Ball and released it.

The steel type gazed at me with confusion in its single eye, before noticing the very same Fraxure he had seen before.

"Defeat it," I ordered.

I began digging in my bag and pulled out a gauze that Joy had given to me (Saying that I at least knew how to wrap myself so this would be useful), before wrapping it around my midsection as tightly as possible.

My side was on fire right now. Not only was the cut painful, I needed to make sure it didn't get infected because this was clearly a wild Pokemon and not a trained one.

I temporarily took my eyes off the battle, having faith in my Pokemon to handle this for now and wasted no time packing everything up and stuffing it into my bag, finally ending with the tent.

"Agh, being a criminal sucks,"I thought, placing my skates on to make a speedy escape.

Finished with that, I turned around in time to see Beldum flying into the white claws of Fraxure with a metallic sheen over its body.

The Slash met the shoddy Iron Defense and Fraxure snarled in annoyance at barely denting the fierce Beldum.

"I dunno if anything else is coming but we need to wrap this up quick and go,"I thought, placing my porcelain mask on to hide my features.

"Loki, Extrasensory! Hold it tight," I barked, eyes narrowed behind the mask.

My Zorua wasted no time following my order and with a grunt of exertion, he wrapped the Dragon in a psychic sheen.

Fraxure let out a surprised growl as the attack connected and immediately began struggling, making incredible progress.

"Gaia, Poison Powder! Freyja, Dragon Breath!" I continued, silver eyes burning like a predator.

Gaia followed my orders almost immediately. She released a purple dust cloud that made its way to the Fraxure, allowing the toxins to begin seeping into its skin.

The dragon roared in annoyance as it was forced to inhale the attacks, right before a weak breath of draconic energy crashed into it.

Despite being super effective, he shrugged Freyja's attack off completely and broke out the psychic hold, before charging Loki with an enraged howl.

It's claws took a green sheen and extended, before attempting to crash it into Loki's position, letting out a confused grunt as the Dragon Claw went through the spot where the dark type was.

Fraxure let out a roar of annoyance, as a Pursuit crashed directly onto its back, sending it tumbling from the increased power.

Before it could regain its composure, Beldum slammed into its sternum with a Iron Head.

Loki, powered by Hone Claws, continued to repeatedly hit the Fraxure on its back with the strengthened Pursuit,, diving in and out with admirable speeds.

Deciding that the Zorua was a bigger threat, Fraxure whirled around and attempted to catch Loki in its jaw…

Only to be prevented from doing so at the vines wrapping around its mouth and kept it open long enough for Loki to dash away.

The Dragon's eyes widened in blistering rage, before Gaia, Beldum, Loki and Frejya began bombarding it with their own attacks.

Despite the situation, I couldn't keep the pride out of my eyes as Fraxure was brought to a single knee from the onslaught.

Iron Head, Pursuit, Razor Leaf, Dragon Breaths… I almost felt bad at the severe jumping before remembering that this thing just tried to kill me.

My gaze darkened at that detail.

I suddenly wasn't interested anymore in catching this thing as a consolation prize.

Haxorus was a damn stupid pokemon anyways.

"Guys. Finish it," I ordered coldly.

Fraxure's eyes widened at that and it let out a desperate roar.

With a surge of renewed strength, I could only watch, my blood going cold, as the Fraxure let out a furious howl and shot back up.

Gripping Gaia's vines, the violent dragon type yanked the Chikorita over to its position, all while a destructive draconic energy began forming on its tail.

My eyes widened in horror at the last act of desperation. "GUYS GET OUTTA THERE!" I shouted.

I had no idea what move it was attempting, but I assumed it was Dragon Tail and I didn't need any of them getting hit by that…

But the turn of events happened too quickly to properly react to. None of us were expecting the last burst of energy from Fraxure.

The results were disastrous.

Fraxure violently swung its glowing tail in a complete circle that connected with Loki, Gaia and Beldum all at once in a move that didnotlook like Dragon Tail.

"What the f*ck?!"I thought in horror as they let out respective noises and went limp.

My horror only grew at Beldum being the only one of the three to get up. Loki and Gaia lay there limply and I distantly realized that I had never seen them actually faint before.

"FRAAAAA!" Fraxure roared, glaring at Beldum and Freyja, who was unharmed from the attack due being in the safety of the water.

My poor Feebas watched with wide eyes, as Fraxure took out both the much stronger Chikorita and Zorua with whatever move that was.

Beldum, while still conscious, didn't look too hot either. It was only a matter of time before they fainted.

Not good. So not good. I didn't have the same synergy with these two that I had with Loki and Gaia.

Right now they weren'tstrongenough to wrap this up…

And Fraxure was blocking the exit.

I grit my teeth and returned Loki and Gaia to their balls, pocketing it securely.

Fraxure huffed, bruises all over its body. If the fight had gone on any longer, I'm sure it would have lost. The Dragon type looked like it was on its last legs and the poison was still taking effect. Even now, it looked like it was close to fainting...

"Beldum, Iron Head. Feebas, Dragon Breath," I grit out.

Beldum didn't hesitate to follow my order and slammed its metallic skull into Fraxure's sternum once more.

Fraxure let out a groan of pain but weathered it well, before lunging forward and clamping its fangs, coated in dark energy, around the Beldum.

"Bite,"I frowned severely, returning Beldum and gazing at Freyja.

She looked terrified at the prospect of being the only one up against this Fraxure.

"Freyja," I called to her. "Don't be afraid, we'll get out of this," I reassured, despite not really feeling that confidence.

Fraxure was looking between me and the Feebas, before realizing getting into the water would be far more annoying than goring me through.

It began charging me to no one's surprise and I began skating around the room, hoping the poison would eventually tire it out enough to make an escape.

Though the poison was affecting it, it really wasn't as fast I expected it too. If only this was Toxic... It would have fainted a long time ago.

Not to mention this rocky ground was really hard to skate on when you were playing avoid the rampaging pokemon…

As if proving my point, I got caught on a rock and stumbled about, before crashing to the floor.

"Agh!" I gasped in agony as a sharp rock dug into my injury.

I could practically hear Fraxure let out a cheer of happiness and knew it would take way too much joy trying to tear me to shreds.

"Guess Joy was right. I am too arrogant,"I thought, glancing into the red eyes of the furious dragon.

Red eyes… just like in my dream. Maybe dying in my sleep would have been preferable to this.

Right as Fraxure was about to end my life, a Dragon Breath crashed right on its back.

He ignored it completely, scoffing at the pitiful damage… right before another Dragon Breath, this one far bigger, crashed right into it.

Thatseemed to get a reaction out of it.

Fraxure let out a roar of agony and turned to face who he thought was Feebas…

Only to freeze completely.

I took the opportunity, to dash from the corner I was trapped in to make distance between the rampaging Fraxure and I.

What I saw, left me stunned.

Bipedal with blue scales on all parts of its body, barring the gray bone that looked like a helmet. It wasn't tall at all, being dwarfed by the Fraxure but despite that, it glared up at its fellow dragon without a hint of fear.

No, there was only excitement in that gaze.

"Are you f*cking kidding me?"I thought in horror, glancing at the actual Bagon in disbelief.

What a terrible time to run into one. Now I was stuck in what was probably a fight to see who gets to feast on me.

I inched away from the stunned Fraxure, wondering why it was so shocked to see the Bagon, before heading towards Freyja.

I froze as the baby dragon looked at me and I watched its predatory gazelightup of all things, before it looked at my Feebas and sneered.

The Bagon looked at me once more and made some strange gestures with its hands that seemed as if it wanted me to wait.

Then it rushed the Fraxure with a dangerous gleam.

...What the hell? Did this Bagon… want something from me?

I nodded in confusion, before turning my attention towards Freyja.

"Are you alright, Freyja?" I asked as calmly as I possibly could, looking at the distraught water type with concern in my eyes.

She looked at me and then at the fighting Bagon and Fraxure with a defeated gaze.

A sharp flare at my side caused me to wince but I ignore it. "Hey, look at me," I demanded suddenly.

I get it now. She was realizing the gap in strength between her and the rest of my team. Against Fraxure, there was nothing she could do.

"Didn't I tell you? This is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't have to worry… today wasn't on you, it was on me. I got too arrogant from my success and paid the price," I muttered in reassurance.

I ran a hand against her scales. "We're all too weak right now but it'll change eventually. I promise you Freyja, I'll make you strong just like everyone else."

She looked up at me with wide eyes, before nodding hesitantly and I smiled, glancing back at the battle at hand.

Despite the difference in freshness, Fraxure was still a more matured Pokemon and Bagon had no idea what dodging was, taking every hit and dishing it back with the fervor of a berserker.

But that wouldn't work. Fraxure was on its last legs but it still had that strange Dragon move that would possibly defeat Bagon in one hit.

"Freyja. Use Hypnosis on Fraxure. Let's help out the Bagon," I ordered.

She looked at me with wide eyes, before they narrowed in determination.

Her eyes began glowing a slight blue, that slowly but surely began to reflect in Fraxure's own eyes.

The middle stage evolution seized up, before slowly but surely nodding off.

Freyja's Hypnosis wasn't yet strong enough to put a Pokemon fully to sleep but it was still effective in leaving them dazed.

Deciding to chance it, I said, "Bagon, aim for its tusk."

The horror in Fraxure's tired gaze, reflected the cruelty in mine.

Much to its dismay, Bagon grinned at my order and followed without any hesitation. It lunged forward and opened its mouth, before clamping directly on the panicking Fraxure's tusk.

The resounding crack would have made me wince but I was way too pissed at the current ideals to give a damn.

Fraxure howled in pure agony and despair at losing its tusk, before all the damage finally caught up to it and it fell back.

Bagon let out a derisive growl at the Fraxure, before turning towards Freyja and I.

"Hope no one else falls victim to the remaining tusk. Enjoy becoming a Haxorus," I sneered to the freshly evolved dragon type.

I warily watched Bagon approach me. It looked at the Feebas once more and said something in its tongue.

My head tilted in confusion, as Freyja's expression turned into one of anger and she responded to whatever Bagon said.

I watched the two begin arguing with each other for some god forsaken reason and let out a pained sigh.

"Hey Bagon, thanks for the help but I gotta go," I said, really not in the mood anymore. "What was it you wanted?"

The argument between the two stopped (Why the hell did Bagon not like Freyja?) and Bagon gazed up at me.

"Bag Bagon!" The dragon suddenly said, gazing intently at me and gesturing with its short stubby arms.

I blinked in confusion as Freyja's face turned into one of disgust.

Ah. I think I could take a guess here.

"You wanna join me?" I asked curiously.

Bagon's eyes lit up at that and it nodded furiously.

It said something, that this incredible stroke of luck only hit me after I was deeply humbled by my own arrogance.

I nearly died here without even seeing a single Bagon… and now one approaches me to join me after saving my life.

The irony. I had to rob the most renowned family in Hoenn to get Beldum and now I was being approached by a Bagon.

"Welcome to the team," I said with a strained smile.

Bagon roared excitedly at that and eagerly bat its hard helmet against my injured midsection.

I tried very hard to bite back the howl of pain at Bagon's actions and instead tapped it with a Pokeball, watching it shake once before dinging successfully.

"Alright, I just want to get out of here," I complained. "Good job Freyja… I'm proud of you. I know you were scared but you still tried to save me and I appreciate that. Don't think I didn't notice you trying until the very end."

"Fe…," she mumbled and I smiled again, before returning her.

I glanced at the Fraxure's body and contemplated chucking it in the water so it could drown… but I completed my mission and was satisfied... Plus I wanted it to live with the misery of knowing it had only one tusk until evolution.

Now I was finally done with Hoenn. Get me outta this goddamn region. I just wanted to relax now and head to Kanto —

"SALLLLLLL!"

My blood went cold at that distant roar that sounded like it came from the Draconid village.

...Sal?

A primal terror went through my body.

I just caught a Bagon and not even a minute later a Salamence begins roaring?

What was the connection?

Yeah no. I was done being arrogant. That roar was for me and I refused to believe otherwise. I needed to get thef*ckoutta here.

A Fraxure nearly wiped me out. I didn't even want to imagine what a Salamence was going to do me.

Good thing I was already ready to go and I had my skates on.

It was high time I got the hell outta here.

As I skated out of my base and headed to the entrance of Meteor Falls, I briefly caught the gaze of a red eyed girl that I skated directly past.

It looked as if she just arrived to the scene and I skated past her with no hesitation, watching those intriguing red eyes make eye contact with my masked face.

She was a little taller than me with chin length black hair but that's all I really caught before my speed came into play again and I rushed past her.

Her eyes were wide but other than that, no words were exchanged as I continued my course.

Hm… she looked familiar.

"Lying here in defeat… Without a tusk, as a freshly evolved Fraxure. How unbefitting of a dragon."

Fraxure awoke with a start and snarled violently at the voice. It attempted to get up but the numerous wounds and burns on its body prevented it from doing so.

"You recently evolved and let your hubris get the better of you. You thought you had easy prey but look at you. Now until you evolve again, your lack of a tusk will be a reminder of how much you failed today."

"Frax!" It roared angrily.

That human hadn't beaten him! The daughter of the alpha dragon had! That human had lost! He had them all dead to rights!

"Don't agree with the results of what happened? Facts are facts. Your so called prey got away and spared you after taking away one of the most important parts of you. You're quite the disgrace."

Fraxure let loose a pitiful growl at that.

To be shown mercy by someone he had considered prey the entire time.

To lose to all those weak Pokemon…

To lose his tusk.

How shameful!

"Wanna get your tusks back?" The voice asked.

He perked up at that.

"You aren't strong on your own and you'll probably never see that trainer again. But if you join me, I guarantee we'll run into them again… I have some business with them too."

"Not to mention your tusk won't regenerate so long as your a Fraxure. With your prowess, it'll take years for you to become a Haxorus but underneath me, you'll be one in no time."

Fraxure mulled over the question and strained to push himself up.

Red eyes peered into red eyes, before the dragon glanced at the quadrupedal creature encased in a nearly full shell of bone.

"You're weak when you could be strong… So join my team and we can both find that person in due time. Mark my words, we'll run into them again… we're both special in our own way."

The figure held out their hand with a wild grin.

"I'm Zinnia and this is Gail, my Shelgon. Join me on my journey as Lorekeeper and eventually, our paths will cross the trainer who did this to you."

Fraxure looked at the hand, then at the hardened and serious Shelgon, before coming to a decision.

The tusked dragon grabbed the hand of Zinnia, who showed no fear at all at the fact that he could maim her through and accepted the offer.

Zinnia's unhinged grin grew wider and she glanced back at the position of the one who was dressed in all red.

"Let's get along!"

"What is the meaning of this?" One Draconid shouted in shock, recalling his Druddigon that had been instantly defeated.

"The High Elder's Salamence is on a rampage! Why?!" Another called, horror filling his body as his Vibrava got ragdolled by the furious dragon.

The village of the Draconids, had been calm and peaceful. The people mingled, conversated and went about their day.

It had been a normal day for the tribe of dragon trainers. People mingled about, dragons interacted, pleasantries were exchanged.

All that changed once the High Elder's Salamence began rampaging.

Dera, the aged Salamence, was a fierce creature who had seen a number of battles back in its day. Her fierce temper had dulled over the years but there were still signs of the proud warrior that would give Elite 4 Drakes equally unstoppable Salamence, a worthy battle.

And that same Salamence was currently on a complete rampage for reasons unknown to them.

They were understandably confused and even more afraid because despite all her age, Dera hadn't seemed to lose a step in power.

Fiery flames, draconic flames, heavy winds... the Salamence seemed to be focused on something with furious intent and was lashing out on all to reach it.

Naturally, the Draconids were trying to do damage control by stopping the raging Salamence.

If only they knew this was helping Silver make great distance out of the cave.

They had tried to guide it elsewhere, but the Salamence had been hellbent on flying straight through the village to continue its destruction.

The dominating power of Dera proved to be too much and just as it decided to begin razing down the area in order to reach its target, a red beam connected to it and returned her to the Pokeball.

"My oh my. What could have dear Dera in such a fuss?" An elderly woman mused, nursing the weathered Poke Ball with a curious expression.

She was a short woman, with long gray hair and a cloak covering much of her Draconid attire. The woman's naturally sharp features were set in a kind smile.

But the unassuming appearance did nothing to diminish her aura.

"High Elder Ambrosia!" Everyone shouted in relief.

Ambrosia inspected the Poke Ball with a searching gaze. "It's been quite a while since I've had to return Dera to her ball. I normally enjoy letting her fly free but she was causing quite a bit of damage to our homes…"

The elderly woman turned her gaze towards the closest immediate people.

"Is anyone aware as to why Dera could be so upset? I haven't the faintest clue myself. Why, I was just enjoying a cup of fine black tea gifted to me from Drake and now here we are," she asked curiously.

A wave of silence greeted her and the elder perked a curious brow.

"We thought… you would have known," someone admitted.

"...Most curious," Ambrosia muttered.

"I'm aware of the reason, Granny."

Everyone turned towards the voice and though no one said anything, a wave of discontent coursed through all but the Elder.

Ambrosia smiled. "Ah, my dearest granddaughter, Lorekeeper Zinnia! What did you find out?"

The appointed Lorekeeper ignored the gazes of everyone and focused on the High Elder.

"Dera's chosen Bagon seems to have chosen a trainer and left home of her own accord. Based on her reaction, I assume this was not discussed," she informed them with a pursed brow.

The old woman's eyes widened at that. "Truly? Bagon left Dera's care after all this time? You're certain of that?"

Zinnia nodded shortly and pondered the events that took place.

She had not seen much. By the time she arrived, the battle was over and the only thing she saw, was the stranger catching the willing Bagon, before turning towards a hidden pokemon and returning that too.

There was a fallen Fraxure to the side and Zinnia debated trying to interrogate this stranger forcefully, only to freeze at hearing Granny's Salamence let out a furious and bone chilling roar.

Any doubt on who the Bagon was, was wiped away and the Lorekeeper was left dwelling justwhyBagon chose to do this.

Zinnia's slight distraction let the trainer skate right past her and away from the village of the Draconids.

She contemplated making chase, consideringjustwhat they caught… but she didn't have anything fast enough to catch up to those skates and if she ran into a trap, no one would be able to relay the info.

...So despite her eagerness to pursue, Zinnia held herself for once and turned towards the village.

Besides, Bagon had willingly chosen to go with that trainer…

"But why would Bagon choose to leave? Dera's chosen daughter has always been adventurous but this is too much even for her. Doesn't she understand why Dera chose to keep her in such close proximity?"

Zinnia mulled the question over and glanced down. "Even if she did understand, I doubt she cared. I think Gail right here must have triggered her."

All eyes were drawn to Zinnia's Shelgon, Dera's son who had just recently evolved into the second stage of the Bagon line.

Zinnia's Shelgon and the Bagon that had chosen the mysterious trainer, were laid and hatched in the same batch along with a handful of other Bagons.

While Shelgon and Zinnia had swiftly bonded and formed a pair, Dera had noticed something and had taken a personal interest in Bagon.

As a result, the aged Salamence staunchly refused to give her over to any trainer unlike her many other children.

Clearly Bagon did not agree with that decision and had escaped into the waiting arms of that trainer…

Was it because she wanted to get away at all costs? Or did she detect something special about that trainer… Perhaps a combination of both?

Zinnia wondered if Bagon felt what she felt.

Whatever the case, Dera was furious that Bagon was gone and the perpetrator was likely long gone now. They had unintentionally helped him too by expending their forces on Salamence, all while preventing her from reaching him.

"You mean to say Gail's evolution triggered Bagon's envy and she decided to escape on her own? Was her desire to find a trainer that strong?" Ambrosia asked in concern. If that was true and Bagon truly was gone, then Dera may need to stay in her ball for a bit longer.

Zinnia nodded. "Every Bagon's dream is to fly eventually and she must have felt like she couldn't achieve that here. A caged Taillow will always have the desire to fly so to achieve such a goal, she needed to escape what she perceived to be her cage. Maybe she has been spying on potential trainers this entire time and finally decided on one."

"How troubling…" Ambrosia muttered. "What of the trainer? Do you know of them?"

"Nah," Zinnia lied shamelessly. "I simply saw them for a brief moment, but I wasn't able to catch anything concrete."

The trainer in all red… Zinnia had already promised the Fraxure that she'd find him again… whenever that was.

The Lorekeeper never intended to catch a Fraxure, but a Haxorus would be a good addition and they were both invested in that strange trainer with the red outfit.

That trainer was her personal project now. Besides, she trusted none of the Draconids, as they did not trust her.

Zinnia would do everything alone like she always intended to.

Such was her role as Lorekeeper.

Bagon:Female

Ability:Sheer Force

Moves:Rage, Bite, Leer, Headbutt, Ember, Dragon Breath, Dragon Dance

"Holy sh*t," I muttered in disbelief.

Bagon wasstacked.What the hell was this?! The Dragon type looked at me with proud eyes, pleased with my shock.

Honestly, I couldn't even pretend to hide it. Bagon was loaded with a good variety of moves that would give me quite a bit of coverage.

But that wasn't the prize. The prize was the fact that Bagon had Sheer Force.

It's hidden ability.

Did that mean… Bagon was going to get Moxie when it evolved?

...I smirked with a wild gleam in my eye that Bagon immediately reflected in her own.

We were currently hidden in the forests of Route 116 after I skated for an hour straight. After looking at my burning wound (and wincing at the gruesome injury), I decided to check Bagon out while allowing myself to recover a bit.

Said Bagon looked at my wound with appreciative eyes and I nearly snorted at the look on her face.

I bit my lip and glanced once more at the injury, before tentatively pulling out a bunch of revives I stole from Elm.

Bagon watched curiously as I released my unconscious team (and Freyja) and I winced at the bruises on their body.

Breaking Swipe. That's the move Fraxure hit them with. I don't know what the hell a Breaking Swipe was, but it was probably a thing in the new games and it was damn effective.

sh*tty Fraxure. Hope I never saw that stupid designed dragon again and I especially hoped it never evolved into a Haxorus so it could have half a tusk for the rest of its days.

I lined up my three Pokemon and grabbed three revives, gazing at the little crystals with a curious eye before placing them next to each of them respectively.

It was never quite explained how a Revive actually worked in the games. No one really knew if it was consumable, or like a stone or hell, even just a capsule with a powder in it.

But here, they were like the Pokemon equivalent of smelling salts... sorta.

Revives were crystal like stones that emitted an energy, that when put close to a Pokemon, revitalized them.

No need to feed them. Force feeding an unconscious Pokemon sounded kind of… not smart. Not to mention the ones that had no mouths.

But I digress, you just needed to put the Revive close or on the Pokemon and their body would absorb the latent energy inside of it, shocking their system and waking them up.

So no reviving the dead.

Loki, Gaia and Beldum all woke with a start, glancing around wildly in confusion.

They seemed to remember that they were just in battle and the three shot up with fierce glares.

"The fight's over," I said gruffly, making them turn their gaze to me. "We won and got away… and we have a new teammate too."

That got their attention and they focused on the Bagon who was staring at them with searching eyes.

Unlike with Freyja, Bagon nodded at the three with some respect.

Loki and Gaia didn't miss the look of disgust Freyja and Bagon shot each other and glanced at me questioningly, to which I just shrugged in confusion.

I had no clue why they hated each other already but I had never seen so much determination in Freyja's eyes.

"Everyone, this is Bagon… our newest member. She helped us defeat Fraxure and wanted to join the team."

As I explained to them, I began spraying them each down with a potion and watched as their wounds slowly but surely disappeared, until they were gone.

"Zor?" Loki asked me with a tilted head.

"Yeah, she just asked to join. Her and Fraxure both followed me back from the village."

The Zorua didn't look satisfied by that statement and turned towards Bagon himself.

Ah, Loki wanted to know why she was interested in joining the team. Despite the pain I was in, I was proud of him.

I watched the two conversate, a little curious about what her reasons were too.

A vine tugged my outfit and I glanced down to see Gaia staring intently at me, exhaustion in her eyes but concern as well.

The Chikorita glanced intently at my midsection, before using her vines to expose it.

"She's getting good at controlling her vines."

Gaia gasped in horror at my wound and drew the attention of Loki and Beldum.

Beldum didn't outwardly react but Loki's eyes narrowed furiously at the gruesome injury.

I was sat down, rather rudely by the way, by the grass type and she began channeling a Heal Pulse that felt just incredible at the moment, considering it was getting rid of my pain.

"So why did Bagon want to join?" I asked Loki, grunting at the sensation of being healed.

It's a good thing she was doing this because I was not going to visit a Pokemon Center.

No, I wasn't going to let anyone know that I had a Bagon or Beldum yet so braving this injury was what I was going to do until it healed by itself.

Thankfully I had this awesome Chikorita right here.

Zorua thought best on how to explain it before he began weaving an illusion for me.

An aging Salamence (considering he had only seen it on Pokedex, Zorua's depiction of Salamence was really impressive) with a pack of Bagon's surrounding it that steadily dwindled until there was one.

The lone Bagon glanced at the others with envy as they went off with their own trainers, until it left just them.

That envy transformed into rage, at seeing one of her siblings evolve into the Shelgon, all while she remained a mere Bagon trapped under the watchful eye of her mother, whorefusedto let her get stronger.

Then, the Bagon chose to escape while mother Salamence was unaware everyday, until meeting a trainer in all red that they followed and stopped from being killed by Fraxure.

"Ah, I get it," I muttered, with an intrigued eye. "You were being stifled by your mom while your siblings were allowed to do whatever and they started leaving you behind?"

Bagon nodded with a fierce expression.

...That explains why Salamence was so furious. Being in such close proximity to Bagon… did it somehow sense my capture of its favored child?

Probably.

"I won't stifle you like that," I said. "My goal is to become strong and for that, I need all of you to be at your best."

Bagon looked at me proud expression a mirror of each other as we reached an understanding with one another.

"I'll make you the strongest Salamence. Stronger than your brother and you'll fly me around the world so that you can announce you're dominance to everyone alive. How does that sound?"

Bagon grinned ferally.

"BAG!" She roared happily.

"And that goes for you all as well," I said seriously, watching Gaia step back from my wound with a tired expression.

I glanced down and scowled.

The blood had dried up by now and the wound had sufficiently closed but Fraxure had left its mark.

The scar was a jagged thing, cutting halfway across my midsection in a jagged line that probably had no plans on disappearing.

"I failed you guys today," I said bluntly with a look of pure frustration and anger.

Now that the adrenaline wore off, all the fear and anger had crashed into me and I clenched my fist at the thought that I nearly died from something so damnstupid.

I could have died... I could have gotten my entire team f*cking killed because I was too far up my own ass. My arrogance almost cost me big and the worst part was that I had been warned before by someone who had seen this all the time.

But I disregarded their words. I just thanked whatever that I was still alive to learn from my dumbass mistakes.

Loki, Gaia and Freyja immediately protested at my words, while Beldum and Bagon said nothing.

I put up a hand to silence them.

"No. If you guys mess up I'll hold you accountable so it's only right I hold myself accountable too and I messed up bad."

That Fraxure was really about to kill us all. I had been treating this whole thing too laxly because of how smoothly things had been going for me… but Joy was right.

"I was too arrogant and we almost died because of it… if not for Bagon…"

JustonePokemon had done that to me. My hubris had reached levels that were too high and I nearly died before being humbled.

"This scar is a reminder of my failure. I brought us into a situation that we weren't ready for… and this isn't the first time I've done it."

Now that I think about it, in my pursuit of the three Hoenn pokemon, I had put myself in three dangerous situations that could have cost me everything if I slipped up.

This wasn't a game. I think I had been a little disconnected to reality, not taking the world here serious… but that mindset was a dangerous dangerous thing to have, when you could be killed at the whims of even the weakest Pokemon.

This jagged scar was proof of that.

My silver eyes burned with determination.

"You guys shouldn't be the only one shouldering expectations, I should too. As your trainer, it's my job to evaluate and make decisions based on what I know and I'll stop letting you guys down."

I took a deep breath.

"I may not always succeed. I may fail again… but it will never be to a degree this severe. That, I promise you," I swore.

Every one of my Pokemon looked into my blazing silver eyes, stunned silent by my resolve.

"Bel," Beldum nodded in approval at my words, being the first to break the silence.

Eventually, all my others followed suit and I let my heavy mood fall, smile replacing it instead.

"Alright. We're done with Hoenn. It's time to head to Kanto, then our real journey begins. I think a good basis of testing our strength, is the Gym Challenge so we'll do that," I muttered.

There were multiple Gyms in a region, barring the 8 gyms you fought in the games…

But those were lesser gyms. The reason the 8 gyms in each region were featured in the games… was because those were the best Gym Leaders of each region.

Plain and simple. Every single of the most prominent Gym Leaders, were the same 8 as in the video games.

Naturally, those were the ones I'd challenge. Couldn't be the best without beating the best.

"Before I return you all… Bagon, do you want a nickname?" I asked curiously.

The dragon looked up at me in clear curiosity, mulling the question over before eventually nodding.

I pursed my lips, as I idly wrapped another gauze around my waist just to be safe.

Athena was the name I deeply contemplated the most but just from what I knew… she wasn't really full of wisdom now was she?

Well, this name seemed gender neutral enough.

"How about Ares?" I asked curiously. "It represents power, war and brutality. Fitting for a Salamence don't you think?"

The Greek God of War. Unlike Athena, he was far more in line with what a Salamence signified. Brutality, bloodlust and violence.

Judging by the way Bagon's eyes lit up, she was all game for it and I nodded in satisfaction.

"Alright, Ares it is… Now, let's get outta here. Who knows when your mom might find us," I muttered.

I needed to get far away from not just Meteor Falls, but Rustboros territory in general.

My mission was complete. Despite hiccups, I accomplished all three of my goals here and even did some bonuses.

Feebas, Beldum and Bagon… all mine. Now I was done with this region for the time being and I'd be done until it was time to stop that calamity from happening.

For now? I'd just try and enjoy a life in Kanto and get strong enough to be able to prevent said calamities.

I sighed.

At least I'd be able to mostly avoid trouble there.

"Alright, nice job Larvitaro!" Gold shouted with a co*cky grin.

Larvitaro, the Larvitar, grunted, violent scowl falling off its face at no longer having anything to fight.

The fallen Onix was returned to the ball and the trainer gazed at the golden eyed boy with an appraising eye.

"Great job Gold!" Crystal praised with a bright smile, clapping at the display.

"No biggie!" Gold shrugged, rubbing his nose with a finger.

"Congratulations Gold, the way you commanded your pokemon along with their skills has earned you the Boulder Badge."

The Johto native grabbed the badge and gazed at it with appraising eyes, before tucking it into his empty badge case.

There should have been two in there but that Viridian Gym Leader was a coward and only wanted to fight trainers with 7 badges.

"Thanks old man," Gold nodded in respect, returning Larvitaro to his ball.

Flint gazed at the two trainers from Johto with kind eyes. "Another batch of talented kids. I won't be surprised if I see you all in the Indigo League."

The Crystal girl had already defeated him just before with her unrelenting Totodile. She balanced out its aggression with a cool and calculated head.

"You'll see me win it all!" Gold assured co*ckily.

"Have some humility, Gold," Crystal said, rolling her eyes and smiling at the gym leader. "You mentioned another batch of talented kids? Have you encountered more people our age?"

Flint nodded, recalling the trainers easily. "Four trainers all hailing from Pallet Town, though regrettably, the one with the Charmander has yet to defeat me but I respect his tenacity."

Gold perked a brow. Was that red haired asshole from Pallet Town?

Nah, no way. Oak and Elm were good friends and the old time Kanto champion would never leave a douche like that unchecked.

Flint perked up. "But the other 3 have bright futures! My son fought a lad by the name of Gary and his Squirtle packed a real punch. He had quite the sturdy Rhyhorn as well!"

Crystal pursed her lips.

Gary as in Gary Oak? Oak's grandson? That ruled him out completely.

"What about the other two?" She asked curiously.

Flint's eyes took on a fond glint. "There's Ash… he's actually the reason I took up my mantle as the Gym Leader again. He's traveling with my son. He managed to defeat an Onix and Geodude with a Pikachu of all things!"

"Seriously?!" Gold exclaimed with wide eyes. "How'd he manage that?"

Flint let out a barking laugh. "He abused the sparklers!"

"Really now? That's genius!" Gold exclaimed, a cunning look in his eye.

Crystal groaned at that look. Ash was likely not the culprit either. "And the final trainer?"

The Gym Leader glanced at their curiosity with a knowing gleam. "Scouting out future competition eh?"

Crystal offered a smile. "Something like that."

The man nodded approvingly. "I should have done that. Might have helped me as a trainer."

He quickly sobered up, making both Gold and Crystal tense.

"The last trainer was a real prodigy that one," He sighed. "The battle was over in just two moves! Why I nearly lost my confidence again at the defeat!"

"Two moves?!" Gold balked.

"I was shocked too! Two Razor Leafs and I was down for the count," Flint explained, still looking shocked by the ordeal.

"Razor Leaf?! A grass type?!"Crystal thought in shock.

Could it be?

Gold was thinking the same thing. "Who was it?!"

Flint answered without hesitation. "Her name was Green! A real spitfire that one is. But the moment the battle begins, it's like facing another person! Her Ivysaur is a force to be reckoned with and I bet she's going to make it real far in the Indigo League! Despite being the last one to show up, she defeated me the easiest and I heard she crushed Cerulean City's gym too!"

Crystal and Gold both deflated at that, disappointed at the revelation that it was not the red haired thief.

"Hopefully I get to battle them someday," Gold responded, furrowing his brows as he and Crystal departed from the gym.

"We didn't get much info about the thief," Crystal muttered as the duo headed to the Pokemon Center.

"We'll find him eventually. In the meantime, we may as well do the Gym Challenge and enjoy Kanto," the boy replied with a helpless.

She nodded, still not looking too sure. "What if I was wrong and he really didn't come to Kanto? I heard one of Elm's friends was attacked near Cherrygrove City and he lost something important. Could it have been him? Is he still in Johto?"

Gold frowned. "Your doubting yourself again Crys. We'll find him, don't worry."

Crystal nodded slowly. "Do you… think he's apart of Team Rocket?"

The criminal organization had been running rampant in Kanto. Crystal even heard around the vine that they had attacked a Pokemon Center in Viridian City and had done something in Mt. Moon as well...

Not to mention Professor Elm thought the thief was apart of them. He didn't go into detail but he did recount the story before he was knocked unconscious.

"That's what Professor thinks," Gold shrugged. "If he really is, even more reason to take him down… Team Rocket should have been dealt with ages ago."

Crystal agreed but… that thief looked the same age as them. If he really was apart of Team Rocket… how long had he been in there?

Was that why he was so violent? Professor Elm said he heard the boy let out a distressed scream...

...Did he even have a choice?

"Gold, I think it's the right move to just keep this between us until we find him… this whole situation just doesn't sit right with me for some reason," she whispered to her best friend.

Gold raised a brow at that and turned towards her.

Crystal had been the one against the idea of keeping it to themselves… now she was suddenly agreeing with it?

He wasn't planning on ever reporting that guy until he got his hands on him… what was Crystal's reason?

The two exchanged a glance, years of growing up together, helping them convey intent incredibly easy.

"Ah you're worried he was forced to do something he didn't have a choice with," Gold muttered.

He never thought about that. That asshole… might not have always been an asshole. Professor did say he heard him scream.

Crystal nodded. "I might be wrong but… we should at least talk to him before turning him in. I want to understand why he did what he did."

"You and me both. He's one of the only other trainers to beat me besides you too," Gold agreed, a thoughtful expression on his face.

The two sighed in unison at the complicated situation.

"Alright, let's finish up business here and head to Celadon. I heard the gym there is water type," Crystal informed him.

Gold tossed his head back and groaned in annoyance. "Seriously? First rock, now water? Gimme a break," he complained.

"Get over it, you'll be fine," Crystal said, rolling her eyes.

What a drama queen.

"Zit? Zip? Zippy?"

I furrowed my brows.

"What was her name…?"

Her of course, was the girl that I skated right past.

It wasn't a game anymore so I couldn't immediately identify her… but I'm fairly sure that was the Lorekeeper girl.

"Zem?"

...Whatever her name was.

I was gonna drive myself crazy dwelling on this but the only reason I was even thinking about it so hard, was because she saw me.

Granted, I had been fully disguised but still. Just how much did she see? Did she know the members of my team? She probably knew I caught Bagon but who else did she see?

Zem sounded pretty good. Maybe I'd just handshake that.

We'd probably be meeting in the future. My business with Hoenn would involve her no doubt about it so we'd cross paths and whether that was as enemies or not, remained to be seen.

But that future was far away. If we were enemies, by the time that future arrived, I'd be equipped to deal with her. For now, if she wanted to find me, she could f*ck off and follow a nothing trail.

Unless she planned on following me to Kanto…

But what psychopath would do that? Chasing me to another region? Talk about obsessed.

"Zemya!" I slammed a fist against my palm.

That sounded right.

Yeah.

Yeah… I'd stick with that. I didn't care if it was wrong.

Notes:

Done! Hope you enjoyed the Chapter and its contents! Lots happened, questions answered, new questions found, new teammates acquired, new names given!

This was a fun one to write but we'll be fully wrapping up Hoenn next chapter! I can't wait until I get to write about this region again but for now, Kanto begins!

On that note, I made a Discord server because while I love reading reviews, I'd much rather answer or speak to a person in real time. If you're interested in joining feel free. It also helps that since I write a lot of words, a lot of questions are built up so it would be easier to answer them all quickly instead of repeatedly having to wait.

Here's the current active code if you're interested: https://discord.gg/nHJEkJh5NE

Chapter 4: Ignorance is Bliss

Summary:

Done and... mostly safe with my antics in Hoenn, it's time to focus on my journey and become the very bes - yeah no, I'm never going to say that.

Notes:

In case you need a reminder.

Zorua - Loki

Chikorita - Gaia

Feebas - Freyja

Bagon - Ares

I made a Discord Server! If you wanna chat or have questions and want quick answers, consider joining!

Here's the code! discord.gg/BFFtXAXFU7

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

These Silver Eyes

Chapter 4: Ignorance is Bliss

Now that I caught all members of my team in Hoenn, I was very much done with this region.

Feebas, Beldum and Bagon… I was still happy as hell that I succeeded in getting them all and it must have shown in my body language because Gaia hadn't released me yet. She was happily cuddled into me and I just pat her in satisfaction, getting a happy mewl out of her.

Actually, she might have been this clingy because she was still worried about that scar I got on my midsection.

The pain was mostly gone now, besides a dull buzzing, and it practically vanished altogether, by the time I made it to Southern Mauville.

After getting the f*ck out of Meteor Falls and Route 116 in general, I swiftly rushed through Rusturf Tunnel and decided to set up camp on the outskirts of Verdanturf Town, after verifying that there was in fact not a Salamence hunting me down to get their daughter back.

The nice thing about Hoenn, was that there were literally trees everywhere. They naturally littered the region everywhere you went and because the region had so much rain and sun, they grew to gigantic heights that provided great cover.

If I thought Johto was full of vitality, Hoenn must have been vitality itself.

I went to sleep without wasting any time because that whole debacle with Fraxure, left me goddamn tired and I had traveled without rest from Meteor Falls to Verdanturf.

Needless to say I fell asleep quickly, before waking up early and rushing through the routes and Mauville. This city was awful to deal with when it was filled to the brim with all those people. They would cut my time down by an amount I didn't want to deal with.

It was a good thing that waking up early was a universally hated thing. Mauville had been barren, save for some kindly old man, with an aged Manectric, who waved at me.

I sent a single wave back because he was old. Being rude to old people wasn't cool unless they were rude first.

That brought me here, to the southern part of Mauville right at the entrance of Route 110.

Hoenn's routes in general, tended to be a lot bigger than the Johto and Kanto were massive and Route 110 was no exception. It wasn't as big as the Route 119 and 118 combo, but it was still a time consumer…

If you didn't own a bike. Without a bike it'd take at least a day if you walked, but if you had one? Life was easy!

Thankfully, I did own one! A nice little foldable bike that I permanently borrowed during my stay in Johto.

On Route 110, there was a massive structure called the Seaside Cycling Road that provided a very swift shortcut between Mauville and Slateport City so long as you had a bike.

Seriously, it reduced the trip to like an hour or more if you utilized it.

Perfect. The faster I could get to Slateport, the faster I could go to Kanto.

I ignored the guard signaling for me to get on the bike and idly flipped him off, before getting onto the cycling road.

It was obvious to see why it was called the Seaside Cycling Road. I was offered a gorgeous view of the expansive ocean that seemed to go on forever while pedaling over to Slateport.

Clear blue, no signs of pollution and all those water types. I even caught the huge ass shadow of what could only be a Wailord, just lounging about as I cycled.

Hoenn was amazing and I'd never state otherwise. It was as if humans attempted to impose their will on it but the nature fought back and they compromised instead

The only thing not amazing about it, was the fact that I was willingly attempting to give myself a heat stroke due to trying to maintain anonymity.

At least the wind from going so fast was doing me wonders.

There weren't much people on the road. It was still fairly early in the morning so I only saw some dedicated cyclists who had the gear on and all.

Those guys were really dedicated for their cause. They only glanced at me and gave me a thumbs up once we flew past each other.

They probably assumed that I was insane as them and working out this fine morning.

I guess that was a valid assumption, this reallywasa workout. Cycling for this long, was doing wonders to my legs and combined with the fact that I woke up ridiculously early, I just wanted to book my trip and got to a hotel so I couldsleep.

Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep just yet because I had things that needed to be done. At the very least, I had long done my research on Slateport so I didn't need to aimlessly wander around.

If I had to aimlessly wander around in this city, I'dlose my mindbecause Slateport City was almost as enormous as Mauville.

Much like Mauville and Lilycove, Slateport was a very popular tourist spot in Hoenn. It was one of the most populated cities in the entire region and it fully embraced being a port city.

It almost reminded me of Olivine but on steroids. There was even a beach further south that wasverypopular by the masses.

Huh... Lilycove and Slateport were pretty similar.

Naturally, I didn't give a damn about any of the tourist attractions this city had to offer at the moment. The only thing I cared about, was getting a ticket to Kanto and sleeping.

Thankfully, the Slateport Harbor wasn't very far from the entrance I entered Slateport through so it didn't take me very long at all to find the place.

In a move that I was getting dreadfully familiar with, I approached the receptionist there with a single purpose on my mind.

"Fastest boat to Kanto?" I asked curiously, skipping all pretenses and getting straight to the point.

Look, I'm tired, I've been walking for a long time, my legs were killing me and I had a new scar on my body because I couldn't stop being an arrogant ass.

The poor receptionist must have seen the exhaustion in my eyes because he didn't even question my sour mood.

He just smiled sympathetically and typed something on his computer.

"Tomorrow at 5 pm to Vermilion City," he said kindly. "It'll be 6000 Poke."

I aimed my Pokegear at the machine offered to me and glanced at the successful transaction.

I wonder how that worked. I heard Porygon and Porygon 2 were the driving force of the internet and whatnot in this world.

Porygon-Z were almost impossibly rare in this world to the point that just finding information on them was difficult. Unlike with Milotic, not a single person actually knew how to evolve it, barring the scientists who worked on Porygon...

For natural reasons they did not disclose information on how to evolve Porygon2 into Porygon-Z because Porygon-Z was considered a failure of a pokemon...

Huh... I knew how to evolve a Porygon2... but I'd rather get the necessary items (Upgrade and Dubious Disc) to do that before actually catching the Porygon.

Food for thought.

"There's a hotel about 10 minutes away. Pokemon friendly and cheap despite how lavish it is," the guy over the counter informed me, handing me my ticket.

"…" I said nothing for a while, just glancing at him, before I nodded my head. "You're not half bad," was all I offered.

There's no way I was going to apologize for my terrible etiquette… but this guy didn't deserve my moody nature.

God, what did Fraxure do to me?

The receptionist even seemed to understand that was my way of apologizing and just smiled knowingly.

"Have a good day," he offered.

"...You too," I said gruffly, marching out of the harbor.

One day. That was fantastic. I was going to go to that hotel, I was going to get some sleep and I was going to laze in there until I thought of something to do.

I needed to relax. I had been running myself ragged for areallylong time so now it was time to just take it easy for the rest of my stay in Hoenn.

Now to find that hotel…

Turns out that receptionist was right. This hotel was fairly cheap for how nice it was.

I landed on the bed with a relieved sigh and released my entire team.

Without really thinking about it, I deftly caught Gaia and placed her on my chest, gazing at the grass type with a tired smile.

"I must be more tired than I thought… are you getting heavier girl?" I asked with a raised brow.

Gaia smiled smugly but said nothing.

Instead she began urging me to get some sleep and I yawned in agreement.

"I'll probably go to sleep for a long time. Do whatever you want but don't destroy anything," I instructed, allowing the Chikorita to jump off me.

"Loki, you're in charge. Make sure they don't kill each other... or me."

The Zorua nodded in affirmation and I shot them a thumbs up.

"Have fun. G'night," I told them.

Then I passed out without further prompting.

"Why are you in charge?" Ares asked with narrowed eyes. The Bagon was gazing at Loki with suspicious eyes.

"Because that's what Silver wanted," Loki replied easily. The Zorua had been about to start warming up, before Ares initiated conversation with him.

Ares sniffed. "My vassal simply doesn't understand because we've not been bonded long enough. Soon he whose eyes roar like the moon, will recognize my might and when I spread my wings, I will be fully in charge!"

Loki sweatdropped at the Bagon. "If that's what you want, but Silver has to approve it first."

He was admittedly, quite surprised that Ares was so refined in speaking. He honestly didn't expect it of her.

Freyja, normally so kind and patient,snorted."As if a brute like you has what it takes to be in charge when all you think about is violence. Go headbutt a wall until you faint. Loki will always have my vote as leader over you."

Ares snarled immediately and glared at the Feebas. "Be grateful that my vassal fancies you! One headbutt to your body and you wouldn't be alive to feel it!"

"Ridiculous," Beldum said simply, floating off to hone their skills.

Loki sighed. "Why do you two have such a problem with each other in the first place?" He asked curiously.

"She's rude to me for no reason!" Freyja announced with a deep frown.

"Because she's weak!" Ares said bluntly, pointing a stub at the fish. "Unable to do nothing with draconic abilities but make a mockery of it! If not for my intervention, you'd have let our trainer die before he could recognize and unleash my potential!"

If not for Ares firing her own Dragon Breath at that troublemaking Fraxure, her vassal would never have been able to catch her! Such a future was preposterous! She had known he was her trainer from the moment she laid eyes on him spying on their village, with no one but her sparing a glance!

They were destined partners!

Freyja scowled in return. "I'm not… strong enough yet but I will be! I'll be as strong as possible because Silver believes me and I won't let him down! Then, when I'm strong enough, I'll beat you too!"

The Bagon snorted disbelievingly. "You? Beat me? No matter how strong you may become, all of you will pale in comparison to my eventual might! Banish such preposterous thoughts, bottom feeder!"

"Just you wait, brute!" Freyja replied in determination.

Loki gazed at their third teammate with a curious eye. Freyja was shy on the best of days so he never imagined she'd so strongly fight back against something.

Hmm, perhaps this would help the Feebas in the long run then. Some competition was always healthy and based on what Silver said… Bagon would become one of their hardest hitters in the future.

He'd monitor them for longer before making a set decision. For now, so long as she was motivated, it'd be useful.

"Enough arguing, Silver is trying to sleep here! If he wakes up there's gonna be hell to pay!" Gaia demanded, waving a threatening vine and making them all go silent.

The Chikorita nodded in satisfaction and smile triumphantly. "Now that that's settled… Loki! I need your help! I wanna surprise Silver when he wakes up!"

Loki gazed at his friend with a curious look, before nodding.

"Sure, what do you want to do?" He asked.

Gaia's smile widened.

Catching up on sleep, was definitely one of the nicest feelings in the world.

During my trip from Fortree to Meteor Falls, I didn't actually sleep and to be fair, Tropius had cut my trip down by so much, that I decided to just finish my journey to the Stone Residence.

Then I finally slept in Meteor Falls… but I didn't quite sleep for too long for the time I was in there. I would get some rest, but there was still the mission to accomplish so I always woke up early.

But now, I could fully get some rest with the knowledge that I was completely done with Hoenn and I'denjoyit.

Sure, I'd probably be resting some more during the ship ride there but I'd for sure be studying and training because the grind never stopped.

Right now? Just fully resting.

I yawned and peered at my Pokegear.

Huh, I had slept the whole day. I really was exhausted wasn't I? It had still been morning when I fell asleep yesterday...

It was early morning of the next day and I had a good bit of hours left before I had to go back to the harbor so I could laze about for a bit before turning productive.

I lazily pushed myself up and caught the gaze of Beldum.

Their single red eye had a flash of purple, for a moment and I tilted my head.

"Mornin," I waved at it.

Beldum didn't really like me at all but at least it tolerated me enough to not kill me in my sleep.

He continued gazing at me and I could have sworn they looked almost… confused.

Why?

"Are you trying to look into my head?" I asked suddenly, raising a brow.

Beldum looked surprised that I managed to figure it out and I snorted.

"Here, go ahead and try," I offered, relaxing a bit. "Communicating with you would be fun, but I doubt you have enough power for that… and apparently my mind is weird."

If anything, that seemed to interest Beldum even more and I watched as it actually beginapproachingme.

The little steel type began floating over and once it got close enough, they began focusing.

For a long while, I felt nothing. Like I said before, Beldum's output was just not strong enough.

Even Jasmine's Bronzong seemed to be struggling. The other psychic hadn't even been able to pierce my mind because I had my guard up the entire time I was talking to my friend.

Beldum would very likely struggle even despite the fact that my guard was fully down for him to attempt to establish a connection.

Judging by the slight frustration in Beldum's eye, they weren't making much success.

Despite having little psychic reserves, Beldums were innately good at establishing connections because they were apart of a hive basically.

As I spent more time with Beldum, his connection with their hive in Rustboro, would eventually whittle into nothing, making him unrecognizable by them.

So he was preparing for that by forming a connection with me. They were dependent on having that bond but I didn't realize they'd be so reliant on it.

"Don't push yourself. Try establishing a connection when you get more power," I informed him.

In the first place, I was surprised he even wanted to form one. I kinda kidnapped him and all that.

Maybe the large distance we made from Rustboro, had cut the established connection? There wasn't much detail that went into how Metagross operated.

Beldum didn't look satisfied by that and continued in their crusade of establishing a bond with me.

Was it that big of a deal? Was this an attempt to ruin my mind? I doubted it, especially considering how fortified it seemed to be against psychics.

...Maybe it was just not being used to not being connected to his hive and it was finally catching up to him.

I closed my eyes and tried to fully relax, which was not very easy considering I was almost always on edge but since I just woke up…

Honestly, I wasn't sure what type of block I had in my head that made it so difficult for psychics to peer into my mind…

Was it something I always had from my previous version of Silver? Or was it something else?

Otherworldly energy…

That's what Bronzy had said that one day… whatever this otherworldly energy was, made it capable of draining an elite Bronzong.

Hm…

I think I had a pretty decent idea what was going on but I couldn't be too sure if my thinking was correct because Legendaries were at play here.

For now, I needed to let Beldum try and establish a connection and to do that, I needed tonotbe thinking things that would make me more stressed.

I didn't have anything that made me particularly happy, so my best bet was to just try and empty my mind completely.

Think of nothing… just… completely… empty —

"Bel!"

I popped open an eye at that victorious and metallic noise, before feeling a little nagging feeling at the back of my head.

Beldum triumphantly gazed at me and I couldn't help but return the smile… before it was wiped off my face at a startling realization.

Wait a f*cking second...

My eyes widened in horror. "Beldum, hold on you need to disconnect from me right now!" I said urgently.

A look of shock crossed my features as Beldum seized up and began shaking in place.

I hastily grabbed him.

"Hey, woah woah. Calm down Beldum," I hissed, wincing at the cool metal of its body.

Damn it, was I stupid?! I already acknowledged that whatever was going on with my body was legendary in nature... so why thehelldid I let a Beldum try to connect to me?

Not even Bronzong could speak to me for long and Beldum was trying to do even more.

"Don't even think about killing it,"I snarled venomously, hoping that whoever the hell was tainting me, f*cked off and didn't break my Beldum.

Before I could find a solution to Beldum's problems… it seemed to miraculously stop on its own...

No that wasn't right, for a brief second, I saw a blue aura surrounding my psychic, before it vanished.

I watched in confusion as Beldum stilled… andblinkedits single red eye.

Then it gazed at me as if I were a new person…

At the same time, the nagging in the back of my mind took complete root, before I finally stopped registering its presence.

"St...r...a...ng...e."

I gazed at Beldum in shock.

Were they speaking to me? It was extremely broken buthow?

Most baby psychics didn't have the capacity for that until evolving. Even despite Beldum's former hive, it should not have been possible until it was at least a Metang and even then, it would only truly be able to communicate proficiently as a Metagross.

...I don't know at all. At the very least, just that one word seemed to exhaust Beldum and it continued gazing at me like I were some type of puzzle.

"I guess that means you accept me as your trainer now?" I said blandly, brows furrowed by the turn of events.

Beldum nodded it head and a mental image of a black and green figure appeared in my head.

"Ah because of the events with Fraxure," I muttered.

Well, that made sense but I still didn't understand what happened between Beldum and I. Why were they able to stay connected to me even with my guard back up?

Did I become apart of its "hive" now?

I sighed.

Best to just do some research on it later. For now I needed to wake up my dead to the world team —

I froze completely as I finally took stock of the room.

Everything was a mess. They had clearly been having way too much fun despite me saying not to make one…

At least nothing was broken.

But that wasn't even the most surprising part of this entire ordeal.

No, the most surprising part was the f*ckingBayleefsleeping happily away right beside my bed.

"Why can't I just catch a break?" I sighed miserably.

Turns out, while I was sleeping Gaia and Loki decided to spar because she was actually way closer to evolution then I thought.

"Bay!" Gaia cheered, butting her head against my chest and getting a disbelieving laugh outta me.

"As proud as I am that you've evolved…" I began.

All my Pokemon went stiff, at the sight of my smile completely vanishing.

"I know I said not to break anything... but that doesn't mean completely ruin the room. Not to mention, I missed the first evolution on the team," I said with a small frown.

They all winced, barring Beldum, at my severe expression and looked away.

I sighed. "I'm not all that mad… but no more surprise evolutions please. I wanna be there to see it."

They all nodded and I smiled.

"Now, all of you are cleaning the room, except for Beldum," I instructed.

They began protesting immediately.

"Bag?!" Ares said incredulously.

"I'm not stupid," I rolled my eyes. "All of you played a part in messing this room up except for Beldum. Even after I said not to break anything, you guys went and did the next best thing," I said with a stern frown.

"Congratulations on evolving Gaia, we'll check you outafterthis room is cleaned."

They gazed at me in shock before saying what could only be, "Fineeee," in their respective tongue.

"Bel," Beldum said smugly, floating over to me.

Now that I had properly punished my team, it was time to get the day started and prepare to leave this region.

I was pretty excited. It was time to finally begin the process of getting stronger and pitting myself against Gym Leaders was filling me with a thrill that wasn't as addictive as my stealing streak… but definitely up there.

While I wanted to do them in order, it made the most sense for me to fight Surge first because I would be landing in Vermilion City.

Afterwards… yeah I could just cut through Diglet Cave to Pewter couldn't I? Then I'd traverse through Mt. Moon, beat Cerulean and then I'd be back on pace because I could head to Celadon relatively easy from Cerulean...

The good thing about Kanto was that all the cities were very close to each other... it just had stupid ass video game plots preventing you from reaching them.

Alright, not bad at all. I had a plan and it sounded pretty good to me.

Was I expecting the plan to stick? Nope... but it was best to at least have a mental map formed of my path.

"Ares, Freyja. Stop arguing," I demanded, watching the two make biting remarks towards each other.

Kudos to my adorable Feebas for doing her utmost to clean up the mess they all caused, but she wasn't really effective.

I snorted at seeing the two reluctantly back off from each other and sighed.

Ares and Freyja had quite a bit of animosity towards each other and from what I understood, it was because my most recent member didn't acknowledge Freyja's strength.

I'd need to make sure there were no grudges being formed. For now, it was giving Freyja quite the competitive air and I'd, hopefully, have a Milotic before a Salamence.

If Freyja became a Milotic… the power dynamic between the two would shift dramatically until Ares evolved into her final form.

Hah, their competition would be very uneven for a while but I'd make sure Freyja didn't get dejected by it.

We were trying to build her confidence here, not plummet it by pitting her against adragon.

"Alright alright, you guys have no clue how to clean properly," I sighed.

While Loki and Gaia were doing a pretty good job, Ares and Freyja werenot.I'm pretty sure they were actually making it worse and I don't know what I expected really.

Freyja had no limbs and Ares' were really tiny... and they probably never cleaned before either.

I lazily rolled off the bed and landed on my two feet. "I'm hungry and I wanna bathe so I'll help you out."

All my Pokemon (not Beldum) perked up at the word bathe and I resisted the urge to groan out loud.

Goddammit…

"Ares… by chance, do you also want to bathe with me?" I asked slowly.

Much to my annoyance, the Bagon nodded without any hesitation, almost looking at me like it was a ridiculous question and I did groan this time.

Ridiculous.

Now that everything was settled, I was taking the time to inspect Gaia and her new form.

She looked far different from the Chikorita she had been before and I marveled at the fact that she was already experiencing evolution.

Sure, she had been showing signs but I didn't think that meant she'd change so soon!

Well, I suppose it made sense. Starter first forms evolved fairly quickly and I imagine I had been traveling long enough to be on pace to get my second or third badge.

We had been training the entire time as well, exhausting ourselves just about everyday…

Now that I rationalized it, it was beginning to make sense that Gaia had evolved.

I thought my lack of fighting trainers was going to bite me… but I was still getting visibly stronger because of my crazy shenanigans in this region.

Training was scarily effective and I could thank both my research and Jasmine for that.

Huh, would you look at that. I actually missed Jasmine. I wonder how my shy and adorable big little sister was doing.

I'd check up on her during the boat ride. She hadn't called me in a while so she must be busy with gym business.

But I digress, Bayleef and Chikorita shared almost no similarities with each other.

Her hide was yellowish now, losing the green coloration up until reaching evolution again, she was a lot taller now, but surprisingly, she didn't get much heavier. I could comfortably still lift her.

Her leaf had changed in appearance as well, protruding from her forehead instead that curved a bit with a sharp edge. She grew her tail out as well from that tiny thing it had been before.

Finally, her neck beads had sprouted far more, giving off a delightful aroma that seemed to energize me just by inhaling it.

Huh, was Gaia a walking drug?

Nah… apparently, Bayleef's leaves were actually very healthy for people and just standing next to one, allowed the fragrance to give off a combination of simulating, energizing and rejuvenating effects.

And people didn't like this Pokemon? That was incredible! Just being in the presence of the Chikorita line, was beneficial to a person.

I wonder what prolonged exposure would do… hopefully I didn't become addicted to it.

Upon evolution, Gaia had learned one new move and that was Reflect.

My eyes took on a manic glint at that.

I had her demonstrate it to me and upon seeing the shimmering Blue glass-like material, I realized that Gaia was already just a few steps away from beingcompletely insufferable.

Naturally it wasn't perfect, but we had time of course. Mastering this move was imperative for my Bayleef and I had discovered some very interesting things about the technique as well.

Gaia preened under my attention, enjoying every moment of it and I pat her leaf at a job well done.

"Riding on my shoulder might be a little impossible now, girl," I said sheepishly.

Her happy look, immediately turned into one of horror and I couldn't resist the chuckle that erupted from my body.

"Alright, I'm gonna go turn in this key and then we can go shopping until it's time to go," I told all my clean Pokemon.

They let out noises of affirmation before I returned all but Loki.

Like clockwork, my first pokemon jumped into my jacket and I snorted.

"I'm thinking of upgrading all of your diets and it sounds pretty expensive… so I won't be paying for it," I informed him.

"Zor," he nodded in agreement, already knowing what his job to play was.

"Yeah, this trip is mostly for you guys. I want to get stuff just to make your lives more comfortable," I added.

Specialized brushes, specific foods, stuff like that. My little soldiers needed to be well kept if I wanted them at 100% so that's what I'd do.

Loki smiled at my list and just gazed at me with proud eyes.

I snorted and ruffled his tuft. "Aren't you just too adorable. I'm gonna miss you hiding in my coat when you evolve."

Loki just laughed.

Damn, I already knew it before hand... but stealing must have been my special characteristic because this was getting pitifully easy.

I was even doing it in people's faces. Most of the shops that catered to Pokemon, were outside in stands… meaning I had to get up close and personal to the vendor.

Easy work when you had a Zorua.

I didn't even have to go fully invisible. I just had Zorua practice his precision with Illusion by making him cover specific parts of my body.

Namely, my hand. Hard to see a hand swiping something off the shelf, when it looked like said hand was in that person's pockets.

For the more complicated things, I had Zorua spread out the illusion so I could safely grab at it and stuff it into this awesome bag of mine.

Fun fact, I did my research... and the intricacies of this bag sounded almost exactly like the Storage System in the games that you would put your overcaught Pokemon.

I guess a storage system to keep your Pokemon would be a little (extremely) unethical so they focused that kind of technology to other things, like the inside of a Pokeball or this bag of mine.

I love technology. Those bags of food were not small at all but with this storage bag, you wouldn't think it was even in here.

The horrifically crowded market streets, helped me out in troves with my stealing. There were honestly so many people, a natural disgust crawled through my body.

But I'd tough it out for my team. They deserved the best.

Hell, I was even learning how to cook for us. Making food for them (and myself), was actually really healthy. I managed to secure myself a bunch of berries, a Berry Pot that originated from the Johto Region and a Berry Mixer that was very popular with contests people.

Damn, I needed to relax. I was beginning to feel bad at how many things I was stealing…

Oh who am I kidding? No I didn't. I even stole some stickers to differentiate between my Poke Balls. I'd be applying those during my trip.

After nabbing everything I needed, I decided to just chill until it was time to go.

Thankfully, I was actually allowed on the S.S. Tidal earlier than the departure time and after flashing my ticket, I was promptly directed to my room by the pretty lady.

If there was one things I appreciated about the ships, it's how nice the setup was.

Every room I had been in, even the one from Cherrygrove to Olivine, had been very nice.

The rooms of the ships that brought you from region to region were fantastic. And every room was large enough to accommodate nearly all sizes of Pokemon except for the ludicrously big ones.

I released my team at once and let Zorua jump out of my jacket.

"Alright you all, we're gonna be headed to Kanto in the next few days and we'll be training the whole time in this room... unless you guys want some fresh air out there," I began.

They nodded at my words and I smiled at having their undivided attention.

"We're gonna all learn a utility move, because I don't want you guys really destroying anything. Practice the moves you already do know and get a more firm grasp of them too," I said.

I had already picked out utility moves for all of them to learn too.

"First… Loki, I want you to learn Agility," I listed, beginning with my first Pokemon.

Since he was born with Extrasensory, Loki's psychic reserves were good enough for him to dip into learning more psychic moves earlier.

While he couldn't learn any other offensive psychic moves besides Extrasensory, he didn't need anymore offensive moves regardless.

It just allowed him to learn the other psychic moves he could learn easier.

Pretty neat.

Loki nodded and I showed the move to him so that he could understand the basics.

"Gaia, you're learning Light Screen," I turned towards my Bayleef, flicking to that move next. "I was gonna save this for later, but since you learned Reflect, getting the basics of Light Screen should be easy. As long as we get a working version, it should be fine. Mastering both of these moves will be imperative to our goals."

Gaia nodded confidently and I smiled at her in return.

"Beldum, there's nothing you can learn at the moment," I informed it with a small frown. "For now I want you to refine the moves you already know. By the time you evolve, you'll have them all down pact."

Beldum's were just not good at emitting their attacks until evolution. They were better at harnessing it inside of their metallic bodies but pushing it out, was incredibly difficult.

It's why they couldn't even learn confusion until evolution. Young Metang's werejustdipping into being able to emit attacks.

It was the reason why Metagross favored physical attacks so much. When they were all you could rely on in your first evolution, and you took forever to reach the final stage, you'd get pretty good at your niche.

My Beldum would be good in both. That was without doubt.

Beldum sensed my intent and nodded, a passive metallic sheen making its way over their body.

I was glad that the steel type was warming up to me faster than I imagined. They'd never fully acknowledge me until reaching its desired state, but my actions at Meteor Falls seemed to increase its respect to a level that made them at least decide, that it was safe to consider me as apart of their "hive".

Weird now that I thought about it, but eh… weirder things had happened to me.

"Ares, you'll be learning Scary Face," I said calmly.

Funnily enough, Ares would actually not have that easy of a time learning Scary Face… because she had Sheer Force.

I don't really know the specifics of it and it was a little to sciency for me, but Salamence born with Rock Head followed by Intimidate were more common for a reason.

It helped them more in the wild. Having a naturally Intimidating aura, did wonders for being an indomitable creature.

The ones born with Moxie… were very out of control, to put it nicely.

To be honest, from what I read. You'd have to be insanely unlucky to catch a Bagon that would evolve into a Salamence with Moxie.

Salamence were aggressive, but they wouldn't go out of their way to cause untold mayhem. No Pokemon was wild enough to do that quite frankly.

Salamence with Moxie were a whole different story.

Moxie was an ability that slowly but surely released the inhibitors that held back a person or pokemon's will, the more foes defeated hence the "raise attack on every defeat".

For Salamence, more defeats meant it's bloodlust would rise more and more.

Even one defeat, was enough to send a wild Salamence on a complete rampage and most of the Dragons that had been forcefully put down, were due to having Moxie and causing destruction.

Huh, what a dark and twisted way to explain why it was a hidden ability. Salamence were quite frankly, too dangerous naturally and adding something that released their inhibitors…

You couldn't give an apex predator more power. Salamence with Moxie were hunted down in the old days or kept in captivity, plain and simple.

That must have been one of the reasons why Ares' mother, kept her so close. Judging by how battle hungry my little adorable Bagon was already… there might have been more behind that Salamence kept her daughter on what seemed to be a tight leash.

I doubted it was just the future Moxie because I'm sure there were worthy trainers but that had to have played a part.

Raising a Salamence with Moxie… wasn't smart.

For one, you needed to have a team that could handle its rampage and when the Pokemon rampaging was one of the most dominant dragons in existence (Up there with Dragonite, Garchomp and Hydreigon in sheer destructive power), not many trainers had that.

Only well established trainers were equipped to deal with them.

Huh. Go figure.

So basically, Ares understood that she was probably never going to get an actual trainer and decided to take matters into her own hand.

What a go getter. If you want something done, do it yourself.

I could get down with that.

But before I went off on that massive tangent, I was saying something about Scary Face being more difficult to learn for her…

Well Bagon's with Sheer Force had differences from their brethren. Thinner helmet, smaller fangs, more lithe body.

Overall an appearance that was much less physically imposing. But goddamn did they make up for it in aggression.

I was kind of excited by the prospect actually.

Ares nodded in confirmation and I finally turned to Freyja.

The Feebas gazed up at me in curiosity and I pat her head.

"So Freyja, learning moves as you are now… isn't very easy. So I decided on a workaround."

Everyone of my team piqued in interest, as I shuffled for something in a specific section of my bag.

A small disc, colored a light blue greeted them and I smiled.

"It's Rain Dance, to give your water moves a little more oomph and to give you more speed too," I explained.

I wanted to get more TMs… but the selection I saw, weren't all that useful so I just opted to steal this TM for Rain Dance instead.

Something thatwasuseful was seeing the sheer price this TM cost.

I'm pretty sure these were permanent. If they weren't, a scam was being ran on us all.

Well only one way to find out.

"I'm going to return you now," I told my excited Feebas.

She nodded rapidly and I put her in the ball, before taking the disc and slotting the hole into the little poke out button of the Pokeball.

Pokeballs, for their basic appearance… were actuallyreallyadvanced in nature. These things would have the greatest geniuses from my old world salivating.

One of the nifty features was being able to transfer the information of Technical Machines, into whatever Pokemon resided in the Pokeball.

The Pokemon wouldn't master it immediately, but it would get the basics down enough to actually use the technique.

Extremely convenient. Rich trainers normally jacked up their Pokemon with a bunch of Tms and it backfired eventually because they never bothered mastering it.

I released Freyja from the ball and gazed at her with curious eyes.

"Might regret this… but Freyja, use Rain Dance. I'll deal with the mess afterwards," I ordered.

Freyja pondered my demand, before summoning a little rain cloud over her head only, causing a light drizzle to hit her skin and save my room from terrible things.

I gazed at the little cloud and heard Ares snicker in the background.

Rain Dance was supposed to fully alter the weather and cause a drizzle to appear... in a much larger area.

Really proficient users could cause it to storm with thunder and everything. Hell they could even wrestle control of the weather from opponents.

...Freyja was a long ways away from that.

Freyja looked rather dejected but I simply smiled, as ideas began brainstorming through my mind.

"Hey Freyja, could you move to the left for a bit," I suddenly asked, ignoring the light patter wetting the floor.

Dejected eyes landed on me, but my Feebas followed my orders.

"Now focus real hard… and make the Rain Dance move left too," I instructed, eyes pondering.

Freyja looked puzzled by my command but nodded, shutting her eyes tight and straining on the connection to the rain cloud.

Much to my delight, the little cloudfollowedher.

"Amazing… I didn't know Rain Dances output could be reduced to this," I muttered, brainstorming with ideas.

I lifted Freyja up and placed her in the tank for water types.

"Freyja, I want you to practice Rain Dance as much as possible," I said with a pleased smile. "I want it to seem like it's second nature for you to summon rain. Increasing the power is important, but controlling it is even more important right now. Focus on making the drain vanish, before increasing its size, then increase the size and repeat."

If Rain Dance could come out this small… I wanted Freyja to master it to the point where she could cause a flood if she so pleased.

It made sense that different Pokemon could make different levels of rain. Kyogre wasn't the only pokemon with Drizzle as its ability, but Kyogre's ability to summon rain nearly flooded the world.

If Drizzle was naturally that dangerous, we'd be suffering another Moxie problem where pokemon would be forcefully hunted down... but itwasn't.

You could control the output of the rain... that wasamazing!

She looked at my eager expression with wide eyes, shocked that I was excited by something she was displeased with, before the little Feebas began nodding, absorbing my own excitement.

Freyja's tiny stores, had inadvertently shown me that you could control Rain Dance more then I initially thought.

Making it that small… while it wouldn't give her the power boost a full fledged Rain Dance would, it could reduce the benefits to just her.

I doubted I'd have discovered this if she was a Milotic or any other water type in general. The control needed to maintain this…

As long as you used your power wisely, you could be formidable. Forget increasing Feebas' power output, that was just not probable at her stage.

Control was what I needed to focus on. Control to make her weak attacks impactul and energy conserving… and then control to make her eventual strong attacks, downright deadly.

Power came later… Since Feebas had small stores, it would be far easier to grasp and get a control of, helping Freyja in the long run with understanding the steps needed to make her powers submit.

This was the correct answer. Make her bring out the full use of what she was equipped with, before finally trying to increase it.

By the time she became a Milotic, Freyja would be able to switch between a needle and a hammer at a whim.

Perfect for a water type. That type of flexibility...

"Freyja, It's not gonna be easy… but I want you to try your best at letting out a steady stream of Water Pulse, while maintaining some control over Rain Dance. Build up how long you can do it."

"When you can't do that anymore, practice with doing the same stream with Dragon Breath. Alternate between strong and weak versions until you have a perfect feel for all of it. Gauge the power for both, try to find a middle ground and try to mold it into different shapes. We need to fight smart."

Freyja had been given rather simple tasks by me before so this one understandably caught her off guard.

She looked a little unsure but I flashed her a reassuring smile that made her eyes light up.

Then, she glared at Ares and nodded fiercely.

"Atta girl," I praised.

I stood up and stretched. "Alright. Let's get started, no time to waste. We got a few days before we land in Kanto so lets make the most of it."

They all let out choruses and got to work.

I sighed.

Time for me to do my work too.

I idly tossed a Pokeblock over to Ares and watched her gulp it down without hesitation.

The Bagonfinallynodded in satisfaction and let out a satisfied roar, that sounded more like a bark.

"So Ares likes spicy," I mused with a contemplative expression, jotting it down in the page dedicated for my Bagon.

Besides training and studying, I had taken on the arduous process of learning how to cook a meal for me and my team.

Maybe that's why the limit was 6. You could actually hold more than 6 Pokemon, but things would get expensive very fast.

Type specialists existed for many reasons. Easier to train your Pokemon, likely similar diets, easier to become an expert in your craft… It was overall a lot cheaper to be a type specialist, especially if u weren't sponsored by a notable trainer.

What type would I have even chosen if I went that route? Probably Psychic, Steel or Water.

But anyways, I sucked at cooking currently. I was a decent cook back in my previous body by virtue of living alone for a while… but none of that translated to my life currently.

Sucks but oh well. I'd get better in time.

At the very least, my Pokemon didn't have to suffer like I did.

All of them had different diets but there were similarities.

Zorua, Bagon and Beldum had fairly similar diets in regards of what they eat.

Zorua typically ate anything without much complaint, but meat was what they preferred.

Bagon were mostly carnivorous, but had no complaints about what went with the meat.

Beldum, surprisingly, ate meat as well but they did prefer metals.

Feebas mostly ate insects and plankton. It changed once becoming Milotic, evolving into also eating smaller fish and what not.

Finally Chikorita and subsequent evolutions, were herbivores and also gained sustenance from Photosynthesis.

Some Meganium's were documented only needing the barest of sunlight to sustain themselves.

That was pretty cool.

Naturally, there were specific meals catered to specific Pokemon, condensed and stored so trainers didn't have to be like hunters of the past, getting their own food by slaughtering whatever they encountered.

This world catered to Pokemon in every possible way in every single detail.

I took a variety of different foods that were packed with the specific nutrition needed.

Carnivore centered packs, omnivore centered packs, herbivore centered packs and even one for Pokemon that dwelled in the sea… this would be sufficient for now and there were very helpful reviews on them that let me know I picked the right choices for my team.

A thief should be fully prepared! What type of thief would I be, if I didn't even know what I was stealing?

Slateport was a practical goldmine so of course I'd do my research beforehand on what was worth taking.

If I had done my research on Lilycove, I would have probably stayed there and stole a bunch of TMs for myself…

Hmm, guess I could research Celadon for later. They'd probably have neat TMs for me to take.

Besides getting food catered for them, I also began learning how to make Pokeblocks too.

The little snacks were useful and were also quite packed with their own nutrients. You just had to blend some berries together and bam, easypeasy.

It was a wonder only contest people did this. Though, I suppose getting all the stuff for making a portable Pokeblock maker would start adding up. None of this looked very cheap and buying berries over and over again would start to get really expensive.

...Which I accounted for too.

With my Berry Pots growing 5 berries for me at a time, I had my very own resource and as a result, I didn't think I'd have to go hunting for berries like a maniac. I didn't get every kind of berry, but I got a ton that enhanced Pokeblocks... and I even got the ones I noticed naturally, like Oran, Sitrus, Leppa... all the status healing ones! When you were gonna steal, might as well be effective as possible.

They didn't even take all that long to grow either. The Berry Pot promoted their growth without me having to find a random patch of earth to build a garden on and in only a matter of days, I'd have a fresh batch.

The technology in this world was absurd.

Guess when you weren't focused on constant warfare, you could evolve different things to an impressive degree.

Why focus on furthering your warfare, when you had monsters to do it for you? Focus your efforts into something else and be progressive.

But yeah... I decided to dabble in making different Pokeblocks and feeding it to my team to see which ones they liked.

Once I got a firm grasp on which ones each of my members liked specifically, I'd slowly but surely mass produce them.

Based on plenty of experimentation, I managed to basically get the gist of what every member of my team liked.

Loki heavily preferred bitter Pokeblocks, with some partialness to spicy as well. He was willing to eat sour ones, but didn't much like the dry or sweet ones, though he'd still finish whatever I offered him.

His favorite was a mix of bitter and spicy from what I noted.

Gaia hated the bitter Pokeblocks. She wouldn't hesitate to spit it out if I gave her one. On the contrary, she loved the sweet and spicy ones. She also liked the dry snacks and tolerated the sour ones.

Her favorite was naturally, a mix of sweet and spicy.

Freyja proved to be the pickiest of my Pokemon surprisingly. She loved dry and sweet blocks the most and hated all the others. She especially couldn't stand spicy and sour so I'd have to be careful what I fed her.

Beldum preferred sour and bitter Pokeblocks the most. They didn't dislike any of the others and would eat them if offered, but it reacted most well, when I gave them one of their preferred ones or a combination of the two.

Finally, Ares loved spicy and sour, hated sweet, didn't care for bitter and liked dry. Funnily enough, she despised any combination I attempted, preferring to eat them alone.

I sighed as I finished noting all this down.

This was hard work! I had spent practically a whole day figuring this stuff out but I had a good idea of what worked and was pretty proud of the results.

My Pokemon also loved it because I gave them free snacks in the process of learning… greedy little squirts they were.

Now, I just needed to get better at cooking human food. I get that I was 12 and all that but seriously, this was ridiculous.

I was talented at a lot of things, but taking care of myself did not seem to be one of them.

Well, that was fine. I already excelled at all things Pokemon, so it was time to excel at all things human.

Which meant fulfilling standard human affairs and not ending up a complete recluse (Joy's words not mine)...

"Silver?! You're calling me first?!"Jasmine asked in clear surprise. There was a joy in her tired eyes and I felt a wry smirk forming.

"Yeah, I thought you died because you haven't been blowing up my phone for a while," I greeted.

"O-Oh!"She gasped."I've been a little busy with duties and it's been a little stressful… but I didn't want to burden you with my issues…"

Jasmine trailed off as she noticed my unimpressed expression.

"Are you f*cking serious, Jasmine?" I said slowly, frowning slightly at that.

She flinched at my words and I sighed.

"You don't gotta be reluctant to call me just because you're struggling with stuff… we're… friends and a friend will listen to your worries," I explained patiently.

Granted, I wasn't a very good friend to have when your a shy and introverted girl but still, I wasn't that terrible.

"Look Jas, if you're going through something, don't bottle it up. I get you probably confide in your Pokemon, but you can tell me too."

I had been in this world for a decent amount of time now and besides my Pokemon, Jasmine (and recently Joy) was my most consistent form of communication with an actual human.

It's not like I found her annoying or anything either… Jasmine was a great friend and she was way too nice for her own good.

Sure I might have been annoyed when we first met, but being rude to a person like Jasmine was like… kicking a puppy.

"Silver…"Jasmine sniffed, looking exactly like said puppy.

I watched in confusion as actual tears began springing up in her eyes and for a moment, I thought her troubles were more serious than I initially thought.

"T-That's the first time you called me your friend!"She exclaimed, wiping the tears from her eyes with a happy smile.

"I thought it was obvious we were friends. I respond to all your messages and answer all your calls," I said blandly.

"Well… that's true… but I don't know. I didn't want to burden you with something I can't even go into much detail about. Wouldn't that be rude?"she asked, looking doubtful.

"90% of what I say is rude, idiot. Don't go assuming things either, it's better if you just ask me so I can tell you straight up if I mind or not," I chastised her with a disappointed frown.

"Don't go making up scenarios in your head alone. You're stupid so it'll never work out well for you."

The sound of a haughty penguin in the background agreeing with my sentiment, caused me to snort.

Jasmine's face burned red and she turned to the left to glare at Empy.

"Alright, what's got you stressed out?" I asked curiously.

"...Ah well… make sure you don't tell anyone,"she requested.

I shot her a flat look. "Jas, you are the only person I like. I hate speaking to everyone else."

Her face lit up a dark red at that. "Really?!"She asked in shock.

I raised a brow. "Are you really surprised by that?"

"...Actually no I'm not. I'm just surprised you like me,"she replied, a hint of exasperation on her face.

"Hey, I've come to appreciate your insistence. You're a good friend which is why I haven't deleted your number yet," I assured her.

As expected, she beamed at my compliment and I watched the tension leave her face.

A bit scummy by me, but I was curious about what had her feeling stressed.

"Well, I'm not sure how much you know about them, but Team Rocket are becoming a more prominent threat in both Kanto and Johto… I've even heard of some sightings in the archipelago's of Kanto."

She sighed."They've recently been spreading their influence en masse and we're no closer to finding out anything far too prominent about them."

Team Rocket eh? Makes sense that they'd be cause for concern.

"It's getting bad. More trainers are turning up missing. Some are in Team Rocket. Others…"

The Gym Leader sighed and I furrowed my brows.

"The worst part is, we don't have any solid leads on any of their high ranking members or their motives. Whenever we might have one, they slink away into the shadows again."

Yeah, it'd be hard to get a solid lead of the criminal organization when their leader was the strongest Gym Leader in Kanto.

"Silver I know you're very averse to the idea, but please consider getting a companion to travel with. I… don't want anything bad to happen to you and Champion Lance is adamant on continuing the gym circuit for this year."

I nodded. "Makes sense. Canceling the circuit would let Team Rocket know that they're winning. It would be disastrous in the long run for their confidence but either way, unless you find some things out, it's still a loss regardless of intent."

Jasmine looked at me with wide eyes and I blinked.

"I'll also consider getting a traveling companion?" I added in confusion.

"Silver, you're really smart. That was basically what they were saying too,"she informed me.

I nodded with a thoughtful expression.

There was no way I could out Giovanni without being a prime suspect myself and besides, it would be the word of a trainer without a single badge against the strongest Gym Leader of Kanto.

Normally I wouldn't care either… but Team Rocket couldn't only be getting victories. A lead would turn the League ravenous and I'd be even more in the clear as they focused on destroying each other…

Jasmine was a Gym Leader too. My suspicions would be laughed at but hers would be taken far more serious and she trusted me almost unconditionally.

"Have you ever considered a mole in the league?" I asked curiously, cupping my chin to really sell the idea.

Jasmine's brows furrowed in confusion."A… mole?"

I nodded. "Yeah… I'm sure the league isn't full of complete idiots and Team Rocket has been a ramping threat for a while now. It's a little suspicious that besides some names, you hardly have any more leads on them. Suspicious enough for me to think someone might be feeding them information," I mused.

Jasmine's doubt, slowly but surely faded away, as the logic of my words were processed by her and I withheld the urge to sigh.

The people of this world were so naive. I don't get it. This world was definitely darker than most pokemon depictions… but then I got moments like this, where people won't even cast doubts on the idea of a traitor.

"That… makes a lot of sense,"she muttered, brows furrowed.

"Surprised no one thought of it," I shrugged truthfully. "If I had to guess, it's probably in the Kanto region, since that's where they're most prominent… and it might be someone influential."

This might be suspicious… but 90% of the time, I complained to Jasmine about how much studying I did and how much I hated it so knowing stuff like this, wouldn't be too weird.

"…" Jasmine's brow furrowed more and more. She remained silent for a long while and I imagine she was having a conversation with Bronzy.

Psychics were insanely useful.

I let her mull things over, idly running a brush through the dozing Loki's fur. I had taken to caring for them beyond just training and that meant self care as well. I even had a nice little specialized rag for Ares' helmet!

My attention flitted back to my screen as Jasmine spoke up again.

"What should I do? This does sound like a valid concern I should bring up… but how would I go about it?"she eventually asked.

Despite being a Gym Leader of 2 years, Jasmine was still only 16 years old. She was still very young so I wouldn't fault her even a little for being lost…

In the first place, I just didn't like seeing so much stress on her face.

"You need to make sure your suspicions remain between you and one other person that's not me," I said easily.

"Raise your concerns to a trustworthy source that can look into your claims. The less it spreads, the more likely you are to get a solid lead."

"Who… would be trustworthy enough?"Jasmine asked, looking unsure of how to approach this.

Aww, she was so adorably innocent. She had no clue how to do this at all.

"You're best bet is speaking to the Champion himself. I wouldn't trust anyone else in the league with this but him… and if even he's untrustworthy, then we've got a whole other issue to worry about."

Jasmine went silent again, mulling over my words.

Then, I proudly watched as her expression turned serious, befitting of her Gym Leader role.

"Alright, I'll schedule a one on one meeting with Champion Lance and express my concerns to him. Though it's certainly not a guarantee, it's not an option we should rule out at all."

"Sounds good," I nodded.

"Thank you Silver… you might have just opened a lot of eyes with this new perspective."

"Don't mention it. I'm just trying to peacefully get stronger," I told her with a roll of my eyes.

She nodded, a look of worry in her eyes as she gazed at me.

That made me tilt my head a bit in confusion. "What's the matter?" I asked curiously.

Jasmine flinched back, eyes wide at being called out and I pursed my lips.

Did I reveal too much? Was even innocent Jasmine suspicious of me now?

That wasn't good. Jasmine knew a lot about me.

"Um… I know you said I shouldn't be afraid to ask but I'm still a bit… No, I'll ask,"she eventually said, pepping herself up.

"Silver… do you have history with Team Rocket?"Jasmine asked quietly, afraid to even ask the question.

Huh? What the f*ck? Wait, did I actually end up revealing too much information? Did Gold leak my identity and Jasmine was making false connections?

While Giovanni was my sponsor, I don't know what further connection I had with Team Rocket and stealing Gaia was my first heist... but I was still a thief so it was logical to make the connection.

"That's a bit of a weird question to suddenly ask," I pointed out, not willing to further incriminate myself by answering said question.

"I know it is! But it's just… the moment I mentioned Team Rocket… you had the most angry expression I've ever seen on your face… and I don't even think you realized."

I froze completely.

"…"

Seriously? Clearly my hate for Team Rocket ran deeper than I thought because I hadn't even noticed that my expression changed. I thought I was normal the whole time...

Butwhy exactlydid I hate them? Even if I wanted to truthfully answer Jasmine's question, I wouldn't be able to because I didn't know.

But this feeling…

"They've done something unforgivable to me is all," I said tersely. Based on this feeling, that seemed as honest as I could get.

There was a flash of sorrow and pity in Jasmine's eyes and only the fact that I genuinely did warm up to her, stopped me from hanging up in her face and never calling her again right then and there.

Thankfully, she didn't pry (not like I had anything to give her) and instead said,"Alright Silver, I'll call you later after a few phone calls. I missed talking to you!"

I inclined my head. "Sure, see ya Jasmine."

She smiled shakily before the screen cut and her face vanished.

I immediately sighed.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much more I could (or wanted to) do in regards to Team Rocket, without looking massively suspicious. Even now, I felt like I stuck my neck in too much but maybe my innate rage at the criminals played a part.

Which begged the question… what was my deal with Team Rocket? Where did this rage and hatred stem from?

I know Giovanni was my sponsor but what did he do to me? What was this interest in me?

I was from Viridian and I had no contact with either of my parents... but I hated my mother... did she abandon me to Giovanni? Was she also connected to Team Rocket? Was it because I was from a wealthy family?

Rich parents tended to be douches so maybe that's why I had called my mother a bitch…

Ugh. I was missing something important here.

Trying to figure this all out was impossible. I know I came to terms with my identity, but at this rate, my past that I didn't know about was going to bite me.

Should I also add Team Rocket to the list of criminals I need to permanently get rid of? I wasn't strong enough to do so, but I could work in the shadows to take them out, leaving anonymous tips to the league...

Well, only time would tell. I was in the middle of getting stronger. I was not strong yet.

I'd be strong when Magma/Aqua/Galactic came into play but Team Rocket was heavily active during my most vulnerable stage of being a trainer.

It'd be reckless to throw myself at them.

Who do they think I am, Red?

"Good morning passengers! In approximately three minutes, we will be arriving in Vermilion City! Make sure to view the city when the sun is setting, you won't regret it!"

I heard that message in the middle of blow drying my hair and idly pulled the electric toothbrush out of my mouth.

"You guys heard that right?" I shouted to my team.

A chorus of noises, was my response and I nodded.

"Alright, I'll be out in a sec so get ready to leave," I instructed, turning my blow dryer on again.

The trip to Kanto was as peaceful as every other boat ride I had taken. I remained holed up in my room, except for when I wanted food, and trained with my team to help them hone the moves they knew.

On the bright side, being in such close proximity with my team at almost all times, increased all of our familiarity by quite a bit.

I had verified that while Ares and Freyja had animosity towards each other, it wasn't detrimental to my Feebas.

The little fish just looked up at me with determination in her eyes and shook her head no, when I asked her if she wanted me to tell Ares to back down.

That surprised me a bit. Freyja was really shy and reserved so I thought she would have wanted me to tell Ares to calm down for a little.

Maybe Freyja was using it to fuel herself. I didn't want to overwhelm her with compliments all the time, but I did compliment her whenever I saw fit, refusing to let her confidence dwindle even a little.

If I saw her rivalry with Ares negatively impacting her, I would step in immediately but right now, it didn't seem completely necessary. I was sure Loki was doing the same thing as well so that was good.

Besides that, Freyja and Gaia seemed to get along really well…

Granted, my Bayleef was very outgoing so she got along well with everyone on the team but Freyja seemed to admire her quite a lot and Gaia was a big fan of it so the two were shaping up to be quite the good friends.

Surprisingly, Ares got along great with Loki.

The two had taken to some very light sparring with each other and though my Bagon was stronger, Loki managed to get the victory more often than not in their quick bouts.

He was forcing her to think instead of throwing herself into every fight without logic and it was doing wonders for my very brave Bagon.

That had gotten the two rather friendly and Ares' mother must have been a tired person because the two were starting to become quite the mischievous duo… well, whenever Ares wasn't nose-diving off my bed head first.

I only let them get away with it so often because I liked seeing Loki's mischievous side… the Illusion pranks were not cool though.

Imagine waking up to a Salamence staring you down. Heart attack inducing I tell you but I couldn't even stay mad because Loki had been genuinely remorseful at that one in particular.

Beldum was as much of a loner as I opted to be, so they tended to channel their abilities near me, while I studied or did whatever activity I thought of. I'm also fairly sure they did extra training at night when everyone was sleeping.

Regardless, it tolerated the team just fine. They weren't especially close with anyone but that was no surprise. Beldum would warm up to them all eventually so for now, this was perfectly fine.

Now it was time to get started. I had spent a whole lotta time preparing myself for this part of the journey and now it was time to really get the show on the road.

I returned my entire team, pocketing them in their customized balls and grabbed all my things.

I dumped my blow dryer (I still couldn't get rid of that damn cowlick) and toothbrush in the bag, placed my sneakers on and shrugged on a violet jacket with red lines.

It was early in the year, I heard Kanto would be decently cold at around this time.

As I stepped off the S.S Tidal, I let out a pleased sigh as an actual cool breeze brushed against me that contrasted the boiling heat of the Hoenn region.

Next time I'm visiting Hoenn, it would hopefully not be as a criminal so I didn't have to deck myself out in so many layers of clothing…

Or I could invest in more clothes that counteracted their extreme weather. Surely in a world as dominated by nature as this, that would exist.

Huh... why didn't I look into that earlier?

Well, regardless, the air of Vermilion city, despite carrying the sea breeze smell that I was getting very tired of, felt very nice.

Vermilion was one of the more normal cities I encountered. There was nothing too unique about it besides its incredible proximity to the sea and how large the port was.

It was still nice all the same.

As I walked on the stone pavement, I took in the sights with a curious eye.

Vermilion, much like Slateport and Olivine, had a diverse amount of people. It wasn't very easy for me to identify what region they likely hailed from based on features and whatnot, and I didn't really care to, but they did have their differences.

Maybe enough time here would help me spot the differences. I cared very little about learning of other people so I certainly wouldn't research it. It's not like I wanted to talk to them so what's the point in learning where they likely hailed from?

I sighed as I entered the Gym of Vermilion City and approached the receptionist there.

It was a really big guy, who looked like he ate bricks for breakfast and squatted weights as a hobby.

"What do you want, kid?" He said gruffly, gazing at me with bored and intimidating eyes.

I sneered, utterly nonplussed by the fact that this dude could fit my head in his palm. "I'm here to sight see your ugly mug. Why else do you think people walk in a Gym, dumbass? I want to schedule a battle with the Gym Leader."

So my people skills didn't get any better… but it's not like I was trying to make it better… it was kind of funny being an unabashed asshole to everyone.

Besides, he started it!

I saw an actual vein form on the guys head and he glared at me.

"Name?" He asked through grit teeth.

"Silver. S-I-L-V-E-R," I said slowly.

"I know how to spell it," the receptionist cut in, brows furrowed.

Heh, he must have not expected my attitude. I wasn't gonna let anyone bully or intimidate me no matter the size difference.

I smirked in what had to have been an insufferable manner and shrugged helplessly. "Coulda fooled me. I'm surprised you can even type without busting the keyboard. Now hurry up and continue with the questions, old man."

I wasn't intending on being this rude, but I was getting really irked with people calling me kid. It grated on my ears like a personal ick and made me rather sour.

"…" The receptionist took a deep breath to compose himself and gazed at me with a measured expression.

Huh, surprisingly smart for a guy this muscly. I was expecting someone like him to have exploded by now.

I guess they didn't just hand out this job to anyone.

"How many badges do you have?" He asked slowly, no doubt realizing that someone way younger than him was setting him off.

"Zero," I replied easily.

He shot a brow up at that and gazed at me searchingly, before coming to a decision. "Listen, normally you'd be able to without a hitch but right now, Surge is upping the ante for trainers challenging him by a lot. Go fight another Gym Leader else your team'll just end up in the Center."

My brow raised at that.

Surge was upping the ante? In the games, he was the third gym leader and that Raichu of his was pretty damn annoying to face…

Jasmine admitted that she was actually the seventh strongest gym leader of Johto. I wonder who the strongest to weakest were in Kanto.

How did the Kanto and Johto leaders fair against each other? Who was the strongest Gym Leader in the Indigo League, Clair or Giovanni?

Food for thought… but…

"You're really sh*t at your job," I said blandly. "Are you some type of pervert? Why are you keeping me here longer than I want to be? I'm here for the gym challenge. Should it really be this difficult to schedule a match?"

I glowered at the guy wasting my time. "The match. Schedule it. I don't give a f*ck if he's upping the ante."

The man spluttered, face going red and he stood up to regard me.

"Now listen here you little —,"

Whatever he was about to say, was cut off, as booming laughter reached our ears.

The sound of footsteps approached from further within the gym, until a massive palm grabbed the door that separated the interior of the building and a person stepped through.

Well damn. If I thought the receptionist was big, this freak of nature was something else.

I had to strain my neck just to look at this guy's face. Wasn't that a thought? I was short but still.

Lt. Surge cut a massive figure. He was the type of guy to be the tallest in the room without trying and he seemed to love that fact.

He wore a green shirt with no sleeves, camo pants, large boots and some shades that were currently in his hand so he could regard me with a raised brow that he clearly perfected.

"If the kid wants to get his confidence shattered this early on in his journey, I say let him!" Surge bellowed, voice carrying effortlessly through the entire room.

I pursed my lips and gazed at the electric gym leader with a searching expression, stifling my annoyance at being called a kid again.

"So you're the gym leader," I said, wholly unimpressed by my ordeal here toschedule a match. "Maybe you're slightly smarter than the dumbass you hired but I'll still make it easy for you to get. Me. You. Battle. Badge."

Surge glanced down at me and unlike the easy to rile up receptionist, he simply let out another bellowing laugh.

"Schedule the match, John," Surge said eventually, slapping the receptionist on the shoulder. "This kids got guts! I wanna see what he's made of!"

John (oh he had a name tag), didn't even bother protesting Surge's decision and just typed something on the computer. He almost looked relieved at not having to deal with me... or maybe that was relief that Surge was going to put me in my place.

"The match is scheduled for 3 days from now," the receptionist said after a moment.

"Hear that?" Surge asked, turning towards me with a co*cky grin. "3 days from now, meet me in here and I'll give ya a battle that'll shock you straight!"

I rolled my eyes at the pun. "If you decide the rules, make it a 3 on 3. I wanna get experience off this battle."

The gigantic gym leader began laughing even harder. "You heard all of that and still wanna fight 3 on 3? I like this kid! He's got a spine on him! Silver you said? Alright, don't disappoint me!"

"Whatever," I scoffed, marching out of the gym.

I deftly dodged the body of the girl I was about to run into, relying just on instincts to do so and began mulling over my scheduled match in three days.

To be honest, I was a little thankful that my match was in 3 days… after all, the last trainer I battled wasGold.

In Johto.

I could use these 3 days to properly battle trainers and train too in preparation to beat Surge.

A 3 on 3 and allegedly, Surge was getting rough against trainers, so this would be more difficult than any first badge fight I'd normally have.

No sweat. Couldn't become strong without struggling. I'd beat Surge here and make my statement properly.

Besides… I'm very confident that I'm much stronger than a 1 badge challenge regardless and I wanted to be pushed in all my Gym Battles.

I nodded to myself and decided that Route 6 was a good spot for me to check out. According to my map, it was littered with trees and was probably a hotspot for trainers as well.

Alright, let's go fight some trainers —

"Hey! Wait!" A voice shouted, making me twitch slightly.

Naturally, I ignored it. Why the hell would that be for me? I literallyjustlanded in the Kanto region.

"I guess I can visit Pokemon Center's now huh? No need to avoid them like the plague anymore,"I mused.

My team was in a good state. They didn't need the center at the moment but since I'd be fighting trainers, trips would be inevitable.

Fighting Surge 3 on 3 would be great. I already knew who I'd be using too so I'd be using these 3 days, to get them ready —

I paused in my gait at the rushed footsteps and instinctively clenched my fist in preparation to strike, only for the footsteps to stop in front of me as a figure cut my path off.

"It's rude to ignore a girl calling for you, Silver! You nearly bumped into me back there too!"

...

I glared at the person with enough venom in my gaze to make most people freeze.

Bumped into? When the hell did I almost bump into someone?

Oh back at the gym.

"Who the hell are you and how the hell do you know my —,"

I froze completely, sentence dying on my lips as I took proper stock of the person I was currently staring at. The longer I stared, the more the horror coursed through my body.

"I was listening in on your conversation back there at the gym and I was in so much awe! I have no clue how you were able to talk to those two giants like that so easily! You have like, no fear at all in your heart and I thought that was pretty cool… Oh! Where are my manners!"

It was a girl with very messy long brown hair, wearing a short black dress. She was a tad shorter than me, with a smile on her face as she regarded a complete stranger with familiarity that no human being should express on their first meeting.

But that wasn't the problem. No there were much bigger problems then a stranger treating me like we were friends.

No, the problem were those big, real bright,forest green eyesstaring at me with clear interest.

Ah f*cking —

Give me a break. I knew who this was.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Leaf Green, but you can just call me Green! That's what all my friends call me," the girl finally introduced, smiling at me like I was one of those friends she mentioned.

"Oh and this is Vee! He's my first friend!" She exclaimed, pointing at the sleepy Eevee that seemed to blend in with her jungle of hair.

Green's smile turned into one of confusion, as I let out a miserable groan.

When I said coming to Kanto would give me good information, I was expecting to sort of ease into it.

Instead, much like my life since becoming this new version of Silver, I was slam dunked immediately.

Leaf Green, the female player of the Kanto region, was currently standing directly across from me with a friendly, albeit confused, smile on her face.

Rotten, miserable, sh*tty Legendaries. They better pray I don't ever get my hands on a Master Ball.

"What do you want exactly?" I asked with a raised brow, effortlessly moving past her towards Route 6 with a purpose.

To no one's surprise, she hastily began following after me.

"You're gonna fight Surge in 3 days right? Well, I am too!" She beamed. "I set up a fight with him as fast as possible because I wanted to catch up to you before you disappeared!"

I grunted, a little outraged that she managed to set up an appointment that quick.

"We should train together! I dunno, but you seem like you could be a pretty strong trainer!" Green exclaimed eagerly, getting straight to the point.

She was fairly laid back and cheerful, weathering my bad attitude without issue.

She also seemed to have a mischievous streak, but Green hadn't attempted to rob me yet (not that it would have worked) so I could safely assume that she wasn't primarily the manga version...

But she had on a black dress. I'm pretty sure she wore this in the manga as well, so it was probably a version that didn't forcefully become a thief like I still was? The masked man (wasn't that Gym Leader Pryce actually?) didn't exist in this world so she was free from that life.

Guess I wasn't as lucky huh?

"You heard the conversation right? I have 0 badges… and I imagine you don't have 0 either," I said calmly, deciding to get information out of this before eventually turning her away.

"I've got two!" Green preened, showcasing her badges. "I beat the Pewter and Cerulean gym leaders for them, now I'm here to fight Surge!"

She spun until she was directly in front of me and looked me directly in the eyes.

"She has no idea what personal space is,"I instinctively thought, resisting the urge to shove her away.

"I heard about how Surge was upping the ante and I got a bit nervous, but seeing how unfazed you were, inspired me! That's why I wanna train with you so we can both beat him!" she exclaimed cheerfully.

Wow, it was as if someone heard all my complaints about how the people in this world were too cheerful, and decided to shove a prime example in my face.

Green was a little hyper and by a little I meant she had to have been drugged up on sugar.

Still though, this was not only a good opportunity to milk her of information, but Green was likely a competent trainer as well.

Sparring with her should be much better practice than finding random trainers on the road.

"Alright, sure," I said calmly. "But I prefer to train in isolated areas. Do with that information what you will."

The little idiot nodded without any hesitation, not a hint of suspicion on her face despite the fact that I was trying to advertise the word "caution" for her.

"Sure! Lead the way, Silvy!" She chimed.

"Don't f*cking call me that," I bit out harshly.

Silvy? Ridiculous.

Green didn't even flinch at my biting words, a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"What? Don't like a cute girl calling you nicknames?" She asked innocently.

"Maybe she's more like manga Green than I initially thought,"I thought with furrowed brows.

"How old are you?" I asked in annoyance.

"12!" She said without missing a beat. "You?"

"...12," I grunted.

So we were the same age? That didn't seem right. Wasn't Green a few years older than Silver?

But it looks like we started our journeys at the same time…

"Where are you from?" I continued, idly shoving some shrubs out of my face, as we traversed through the forest.

"Pallet Town!" She informed me, smiling thankfully at my pushing through the shrubs.

I made a show of raising a brow. "Pallet Town? Are you an Oak sponsor then?" I prodded.

Green nodded easily. "Yeah I am! You know a lot of stuff!"

She really was too trusting. Green answered all my questions without any hesitation, finding it in herself to trust mealready.

I just don't get it at all really.

"Doesn't he have three per year? Were you the only one?" I asked, glancing at the open area with appraising eyes.

This would do fine. There was even a lake in the area for when I inevitably worked up a sweat.

"Mhm!" She nodded, setting her bag down once she noticed me stop moving. "There's me, Blue and Ash! We were the top 3 but Oak made an exception this year and accepted a fourth named Mason!"

"Blue… and Ash," I said slowly, closing my eyes and letting out a deep sigh.

Green did not notice.

"Yeah oh but his actual name is Gary! I just call him Blue because I'm Green haha! We grew up together! We used to be pretty close but those two got lost in their rivalry and I didn't feel like being in the middle of that," she sighed with a shake of her head.

"They're both so stupid, arguing like little kids over every small thing… it was getting exhausting, so I just focused on improving until it was time to start my journey!" The girl explained to me.

I wasn't fully listening to her, just mulling over the revelation that Ash did actually exist in this world.

At least that confirmed it to me. So I truly was in some massive mishmash of a universe.

"I actually saw Blue back in Cerulean," she exclaimed, not realizing that I didn't care even a little about Gary.

"Yeah?" I said disinterestedly, digging around in my bag to start preparing food for my team.

"Uh huh! Right on the bridge! We battled and I won pretty easy!" Green preened, puffing up at the thought.

"Wow, you must be strong," I said idly, tossing a snack over to the Eevee who had curiously approached me.

He consumed the Pokeblock easily, eyes lighting up at the taste and I tossed him another.

That got a purr out of him and he lazily rubbed his face against my open palm.

"I'm the best battler in Pallet!" Green bragged, putting two fists on her hips.

Finally done with my preparations, I decided to stop letting her talk my ear off.

"You wanna train right?" I asked, interrupting the girl. "We should probably get started on that because you talk a lot."

Green blinked, before noticing Vee next to me with an amused look in his eyes, still accepting my mindless pats.

A tinge of red dusted her cheek and she laughed nervously.

"Sorry, once I get going, it's hard for me to stop," she said sheepishly.

"Yeah, I know. If I didn't already decide to use this spot, I'd have ditched you," I scoffed.

Green pouted. "You're pretty mean you know?"

That got a snort out of me. "Mean doesn't even begin to describe what I am, Leaf. If you make it past the first day, I'll be impressed."

She puffed out her cheeks in annoyance. "Not Leaf! Greeeen! Call me Green, Silver!" The shorter girl demanded.

"Alright, let's get started," I decided. "I'm gonna feed my team first, they should be getting hungry soon."

"Don't change the subject! Say my name! Green! Greeeen!"

"W-Woah! I've never seen these Pokemon before! They're so cool!" Green awed, gazing at my team with clear delight in her eyes.

She was clearly a lover of Pokemon and she gushed over them all, Loki in particular.

"Can you tell me abit about them?" she asked eagerly.

I nodded shortly.

"This is Loki, my Zorua. He's my starter," I introduced, nodding towards my first pokemon that was currently being hugged by Green.

"A Zorua..." Green muttered in awe. "What region are Zorua's native to?"

"Unova," I answered easily.

Her eyes lit up. "I have a pokemon that's normally native to Unova too! I'll show you after your introductions!"

That got an interested look out of me.

A pokemon from Unova? Really?

"This is Gaia, my Bayleef. I found her in a forest," I lied easily, running a hand against her head.

Gaia sighed in bliss at the touch, nodding in agreement and leaning into me happily.

"A Bayleef! Wow, did you know that Bayleef is a starter for the Johto region?! They're really rare!" She beamed obliviously, walking up and joining me in patting Gaia.

"Really? Where I found her had quite a bit," I hummed.

Green nodded rapidly, not a hint of suspicion on her face as she gazed at Gaia in awe.

Good. Maybe if she was still a Chikorita there'd be more suspicion but we'd have to wait and see later.

"This is Freyja, my Feebas," I said, hoisting her up. "I fished her up after spending a while hour searching for her."

Freyja looked embarrassed at that, still taken aback by the fact that I was searching for her specifically.

"A Feebas," Green muttered, eyes turning calculating as she gazed at my fish. "I think I heard a bit about them! I don't know too much though," she admitted, putting a hand on Freyja's scales to pet her.

"Nice to meet you Freyja!" she beamed.

Freyja looked surprised by Green's energy but smiled in return.

That raised my respect slightly for Green. If she had saidanythingabout Freyja, I would have called it here and left.

"This is Beldum. I found them and we came to a mutual agreement so now we're partners," I said easily, omitting just how I found my steel type.

Beldum didn't react to that, but I felt a flash of amusem*nt in my mind and couldn't help but smirk.

At least that wasn't murderous intent.

"No nickname?" she mused to herself, inspecting Beldum's tiny body with a fascinated gaze. "What typing is a Beldum?"

"Psychic and Steel," I replied.

"Oh! I remember now! Beldum is the pokemon that evolves into Metagross," Green's eyes widened in shock. "Wow! That's insane!"

Beldum perked up in interest at hearing their final form mentioned and I nodded.

"And Bagon turns into Salamence!" She cheered, inspecting Ares with wide eyes.

She was much smarter than I thought. I wasn't expecting her to know of Pokemon outside of Kanto.

"Ares," I introduced, patting her on her skull. "She sought me out and saved my life."

Ares let out a fanged grin and leaned into my touch.

"Your team is so awesome!" Green gushed, inspecting them all again to memorize them. "Here take a look at mine!"

With that, she released her entire team, too eager to think about it further.

I snorted at her excitement and gazed at Green's team with a hint of interest.

Green had 4 Pokemon to her name in comparison to my 5 and she proudly puffed up as they materialized.

"This is Vee, my Eevee! He was my first Pokemon. I had him even before I officially became a trainer," She introduced again, pointing at the Eevee with better kept fur then her hair.

It didn't look much different from pictures of Eevees I saw but the little fella, from what little I saw, was quite lazy.

Still adorable as all hell.

"This is Lapee! My Lapras! She's my most recent capture!" Green continued, pointing at the water type who smiled gently at us all.

A Lapras… I gazed at the water dinosaur with interested eyes, inspecting it with a hum and offering it a small smirk in return as I pat it between its ears.

Lapee merely let out a dignified coo and leaned into my touch.

"Aren't Lapras super rare? How did you manage to get one?" I asked curiously.

Green puffed up at that. "I got her from a friend named Bill after uh… saving him from a problem! He was given her as a gift from someone in Saffron City but she wanted to explore the world more so I ended up taking her!" She explained with a big smile.

Lapee crooned, clearly pleased that Green was her trainer so there were no complaints to be made.

I raised a brow but shrugged, not quite caring enough to prod.

Bill huh? The guy that gives you the ticket to the S.S Anne? He also brings you to the Sevii Islands as well...

Wasn't he also insanely rich? Not a bad person to become friends with Leaf. Just off of one meeting she managed to procure a Lapras.

"This is Saury! My Ivysaur! He's my starter pokemon that I picked from Oak!"

My favorite of the Kanto starters was a sight to behold because what the hell... he wasmassive.

Green's Ivysaur gazed at me with half lidded, albeit serious eyes, looking way above the average size of what an Ivysaur should be.

Ivysaurs tended to about 3 feet but this thing was damn near5.

"He's pretty big huh?" Green laughed, rubbing the flowery bud with a fond smile. "I dunno what happened! He used to be such a tiny Bulbasaur, then he became this huge! When I spoke with the professor about it, he actually came to me to inspect him! Said a bunch of things but I think he threw in the world Alpha or something."

Alpha? The f*ck was that?

...Dunno. Something else I'd inevitably have to research because it seemed kind of important.

Ivysaur grunted, never taking his eyes off me or my team.

At least someone on her team was intelligent. There wasn't too much distrust (that he knew of) but he was rightfully wary of the strangers.

While he wasn't as big as the average Venusaur (he was about a foot shorter)… when the time came where hedidbecome one, he'd be a goddamn giant.

Her next and final member though, was byfarthe most surprising one and I felt my mouth slacken a bit at seeing it.

"This is Larvee! She's the one I mentioned being from the Unova Region! I found her in Viridian Forest," Green introduced, showing me the honest to god Larvesta.

I gazed at the extremely rare bug type with wide eyes, gazing into its cheerful and innocent blue eyes.

Volcarona was one of the coolest bug types out there. But not only were they cool, they wereseriouslyf*cking rare, even in their native region.

How the hell did she manage to find one in Viridian Forest? Was it the work of poachers? That had to have been it right?

This world had a lot of cross region Pokemon but this was pushing it.

Areas like Viridian Forest, might actually have a ton of rare Pokemon in them but I think it would be well known if a family of Larvesta were living there because the forest would have been burned to the ground.

If Green hunted this thing down and its mother or father was nearby, she'd be dead plain and simple.

"A Larvesta?" I asked incredulously. "Do you realize what you just caught?"

Green sheepishly rubbed her hair. "I did a lot of research... I caught something really amazing didn't I?"

"Amazing is one way of putting it," I said dryly, grunting at the heat the Larvesta was radiating.

"…It's not like I planned for this! I decided I wasn't going to leave Viridian without catching a new member of the team because it was just Saury and Vee for the longest!"

The girl grinned fondly. "I'm a little picky for teammates so nothing really caught my eyes for a while and I must have stayed in there for days! I was looking for a Scyther actually but then, I woke up one day and Larvee here was sitting on me, looking me dead in my eyes!"

Ah, so she was insanely lucky. Figures.

"Alright guys," I announced suddenly, turning to my team.

They all went straight at my voice and I smirked in a pleased manner.

"This is Leaf —,"

"GREEN!"

"Leaf. We're gonna be training with her for the upcoming gym battle," I told them all.

"My match should be a 3 on 3 and he's an electric type specialist. We'll discuss formations more but my planned are Loki, Ares and Gaia."

The three made noises to confirm they heard me and I turned towards Freyja and Beldum.

"You two don't have many advantages over electric types and they tend to be fast too but you'll be fighting the next gym leader for sure so keep polishing your techniques," I instructed them.

"Fee!" Freyja nodded in determination.

"Bel," Beldum didn't fuss.

"Alright, focus on getting down the moves I gave you," I finished, shrugging my jacket off as I prepared to work out myself.

I turned towards the gaping Green and raised a brow in confusion, making sure my black undershirt was on correctly.

"What?" I asked.

She snapped out of her shock and gazed at me with practically shining eyes.

"W-Wow! You're so structured and organized! Training outside of battles… You dedicate time to that too… I never thought of doing that! I get all my experience off battles!" Green told me, gazing at my Pokemon and then her own.

"I'm totally adopting some of your strategy. That's so genius of you! Oh I just knew talking to you was a good idea! You have that vibe, you know? Well, not the really rude vibe that you have but the other one!"

"Shut up," I groused. "You talk way too much."

Green flushed red. "No I don't! You… just talk too little!"

I shrugged. "That's true, but that's because I don't like talking to people. I especially don't like talking to people who don't know how to take deep breaths," I stressed.

Bless Jasmine's soul. We were both fairly introverted so neither of us liked talking too much… until you brought up steel types. Once you did that, she wouldn't stop going.

Green was a tried and true extrovert it looked like. She was outgoing and could talk for three people if she really wanted to.

Essentially, she was the total opposite of her male counterpart, Red. That guy was so introverted, he made his home on the peak of the most dangerous mountain in the world and became famous off saying just "...".

Well, Green's personality was fairly in line with her manga counterpart. It was probably just amped up because she hadn't gotten kidnapped by some perverted freak this time around.

Explained why she didn't seem to be a thief either. I wonder if she still had the talent for it?

I don't think I got kidnapped by that masked man either actually… or maybe I did, I dunno.

I doubt it though.

I blinked as I noticed Green's lips moving and focused back onto the real world.

"—Saying I don't know how to take a deep breath? Super rude, Silvy! You're not nice at all you know that? I haven't heard a single positive thing come out of your mouth since even before we met!"

God, she was still going?

These 3 days were going to be agonizing weren't they… At least I began filtering her voice out already.

...I should just start my own workout.

"H-Hey! Don't walk away when someone's talking to you! You know how many people would kill to talk to a cutie like me?! I'll tell you, alot! Alot of people Silvy!"

"Alright a 2 on 2? First two Pokemon captured?"

"Yep!"

I nodded, wiping the sweat off me and stood across the eager Green.

So my first battle was against Green…

Perfect. This should be good for me. A one on one against a sponsored trainer… the alleged best trainer in her class as well.

Plans began running through my head, as I signaled for Loki to step onto the field.

At the same time, Vee jumped off of Green, all signs of laziness gone as an alertness entered the Pokemon's eyes that caught me slightly off guard.

Almost as soon as Vee landed on his side of the field, Green adjusted that white hat (she had put it on the moment I agreed to battle) and I watched the eager grin vanish from her face, replaced by something far more serious.

Oh? I felt a small and eager smirk forming on my face at that.

Seems like Green was full of some tricks herself. Her complete shift in mood…

There was no obvious signal, but Green and I began the match at the exact same time.

"Loki, Torment and Hone Claws," I ordered in quick succession.

"Vee, Quick Attack to get close, Tail Whip afterwards on the eyes," Green replied without missing a beat.

Both Loki and Vee exploded into action swiftly.

As the Eevee glowed white and rocketed towards the Zorua, Loki began glowing with dark energy and growled lowly, activating Torment on Vee and making the normal type splutter in confusion as the Quick Attack slowly but surely petered off.

At the same time, Loki's claws sharpened and he dashed forward.

Vee instinctively flinched backwards as Loki closed the distance, only for my Zorua to smirk.

The dark type sprinted right past the faltering Eevee, before he turned on a heel and slammed the Pursuit into Vee's back.

He squealed as he tumbled across the ground and I pressed my advantage.

"Another one, hit it with Pursuit again," I commanded.

Loki didn't hesitate. Dark energy shrouded him again and he dashed forward with merciless intent.

Green's face never even shifted. She remained perfectly calm. It was almost like looking at an all new person.

Right as Loki got too close, Green struck.

"Vee, Detect, then use Return on the opening."

"Detect? What the f*ck?!"I thought in shock.

There was absolutely no time to react and I watched with some dread, as the fallen Vee, effortlessly weaved the lunging attack from Loki with glowing eyes.

Then, he began glowing white and slammed their head into Loki's gut.

"Zor!" Loki grunted, as the attack fully connected with his midsection and launched him away.

I grit my teeth as he tumbled across the ground.

Return was a move that did more damage the Pokemon liked you… and considering Green mentioned that Vee was her very first Pokemon, that meant the move was terribly effective.

"Loki, you good?" I asked in concern, watching him shakily climb to his feet.

"Zor," he said darkly, glaring at Vee with a newfound fury.

I knew what that meant.

"Use Scratch," I ordered calmly.

My Zorua dashed forward, claws poised to dig into Vee.

Green's brows furrowed at the reckless move. "Vee, intercept with Sand Attack. Once it's blinded, finish with Return."

Vee was already on the move. He dug his palms into the ground below and launched a stream of sand at the charging Zorua, getting a yelp out of the Dark type.

Finally, Vee began glowing white once more and rushed Loki with intent to finish the match off.

The Eevee let out a might yell and ran full force into the blinded Zorua…

Only to let out a noise of confusion at flying right through.

"Extrasensory," I said simply, as Loki's illusion wore off right behind the confused.

Green's eyes widened for the first time since this battle started, as the Extrasensory hit Vee point blank.

"Eev!" The Normal type yelped, as it was launched backwards to Green's side.

Much to my annoyance, the Eevee shakily pulled himself up and panted, mirroring Loki.

I said nothing, as Zorua unknowingly set up an illusion again.

Unfortunately, Green was prepared this time.

"Vee, use Swift!" she barked, not leaving any room for trickery.

"f*cking… this girl is scarily competent,"I thought in disbelief as Vee began launching homing missiles in the shape of stars that honed in on Zorua.

"Loki, destroy as many as you can with Snarl!" I barked right back, eyes narrowed as the illusion trick failed.

Loki dropped the illusion and opened his maw, letting out a bark full of dark energy.

Despite getting tagged by a couple of Swifts, he managed to destroy a majority of them so he wasn't down yet…

But he'd be down soon. Loki was visibly exhausted. He was not built to take hits and he had taken that Return point blank earlier.

I needed to wrap this up.

Evidently, Green was thinking the same thing based on Vee's condition.

I wouldn't give her the advantage.

"Vee, Quick Attack!" Green commanded.

"Let's wrap this up. Loki, Agility into Pursuit," I commanded, eyes narrowed.

Agility wasn't mastered, but it was enough to give him a moderate speed boost and that's what we needed to keep up with the Eevee.

Loki grunted, tapping into his psychic abilities to give himself the necessary boost to increase his speed to respectable levels.

The two charged each other with intent to end this, streaks following both.

Right before they clashed, both Green and I struck.

"Detect, then use Return!" Green shouted.

"Taunt and then get behind for Pursuit," I barked.

Once we both heard our respective orders, a look of horror crossed Green's features, while a victorious smirk made its way onto mine.

Vee's attempts to dodge the upcoming attack with Detect, failed, as Loki's Taunt washed over it and filled the Eevee with a blistering rage.

Loki leapt cleanly over Vee's lunge, before landing on his paws, turning in one single motion and launching himself directly into Vee's back with the dark energy of Pursuit.

Vee squealed as the attack connected and he collapsed on the floor, not making a move.

Loki huffed, as Green extended a Pokeball and returned the Eevee, looking at the ball in slight shock.

"Why do you have 0 badges?" She asked me in curiosity.

"I just now chose to start the gym challenge," I replied easily, watching Loki make it back to my side with a slight limp.

I offered to return him, but my first Pokemon simply shook his head no, intent to leave his mark before going out.

Green smiled at me. "You're more impressive than I initially thought, Silver. That was a fun fight!"

I snorted. "The match isn't over yet. Send out your next one, Leaf," was all I said.

She nodded and Saury stepped onto the field.

The massive Ivysaur's eyes were alert, as he focused his gazed on Loki and I returned to the match at hand.

"Loki, Agility," I said tersely.

Loki began dashing around the field, the effects of his shoddy Agility increasing his speeds to respectable levels.

"Saury, don't let him use his tricks. Slam him."

Quicker than the exhausted Loki could react, two vines snaked around him and hoisted him up, before slamming him into the ground.

I clenched my jaw, shock in my eyes at seeing the Ivysaur react to my Zorua.

Sure he was tired, but those vines… what the hell was that speed?

I returned Loki to the ball and gazed at the Ivysaur again.

...I pursed my lips and beckoned Gaia forward.

Green's Eevee was very impressive for an Eevee. The little foxes weren't really known for their prowess in battle, but the girl here managed to raise one that would become incredibly strong in the future.

It was not only Eevee that was impressive.

This Ivysaur was a monster of a Pokemon. It was undoubtedly Green's strongest Pokemon and it wasn'tclose.

"Gaia, use Razor Leaf," I tried, brows furrowed.

"Razor Leaf," Green called out.

The two shot out a massive barrage of Razor Leafs. Some collided with each other, others connected to their respective opponents but the attack was largely ineffective all the same.

...How was I going to do damage to this thing?

"Vine Whip, grab her," Green said calmly.

"Don't let that happen, use Reflect," I commanded, eyes narrowed as Saury's vines flew forward at amazing speeds.

Gaia narrowed her eyes and summoned a shimmering blue screen that caught the vines of the Ivysaur.

"Now, wrap your own vines around his," I ordered.

The Bayleef smiled in a pleased manner at my command. Before Saury could recall his vines, Gaia lashed out and wrapped her own vine whip around them.

"Slam him. Don't stop," I ordered ruthlessly.

Gaia didn't have the firepower needed to take out her grass starter brethren.

Not only were Venusaur's more offensively geared than the Meganium line, they were also partPoisontype.

I was inherently at a massive disadvantage here and I vowed to get Gaia a counter to this goddamn beefy dinosaur.

For now, I just had to play my cards right and whittle Saury down.

Gaia let out a bellow and lifted up her target, before slamming him down to the ground.

Saury, who I just noticed was glowing a bit, grunted as he met the ground and Gaia attempted to do it again… only for her to blink in confusion at seeing the Ivysaur remain rooted to his spot.

"Saury, don't let those vines go. Bring her to you and then Take Down," Green said calmly.

With almost startling ease, Saury heaved the startled Gaia to his location.

"If he was this strong always, why did he let Gaia lift him the first time?!"I thought in shock.

Then it hit me.

"Gaia, you gotta use Reflect and then Synthesis after the Take Down!" I demanded urgently.

Growth. The Ivysaur had been slightly glowing when Gaia hoisted him up and I finally realized that things were very bad right now.

The Bayleef attempted to heed my order but the chain of events just happened too quickly.

She managed to get the Reflect up but it meant very little in the face of Saury, who justbashedthrough it.

"Don't let her heal, use Sludge," Green said, a tone of finality in her voice.

Saury grunted and spat out a single, noxious, blob at the Bayleef.

The super effective attack had devastating effect and I watched in shock, as Gaia squealed at the corrosive poison before going limp.

Saury's vines snaked back into his body and he let out a single grunt, sauntering back over to Green's side without prompting.

"Good fight! You're way stronger than I expected," Green exclaimed, cheerful demeanor back again as she approached me.

"…" I said nothing, as I returned Gaia to the ball. A frown formed on my face as I ran through the battle again.

The problem wasn't Gaia vs Saury… it was Loki vs Vee. If I had taken out that Eevee faster and accounted for that Detect, I'd have been able to potentially make an impact against the Ivysaur to soften him up for my Bayleef.

She was inherently at a huge disadvantage against her Kanto counterpart so maybe I should have had her face against Vee instead.

I sighed, missing the way Green's smile turned shaky.

That probably wouldn't have changed much. Saury was just too strong and I don't think anyone on my team would have made much of a difference at my current stage. That Ivysaur was seriously ridiculous.

Actually, as I battled it, I realized something alarmingly startling about Gree —

"I'm sorry!"

Huh?

I gazed at the nervous looking Green with a raised brow.

"It… was kind of scummy for me to challenge you to a 2 on 2! I knew Gaia didn't have any advantage over Saury while he had all the advantage over her but I still asked for the battle. I just saw how organized and structured you were... so I wanted to see how you fared in battle because I was feeling jealous... E-Even though you don't have any badges, you're still a lot stronger than a lot of the trainers I did battle. I hope this doesn't make you cancel our training —,"

I groaned loudly and put a hand up. "You talk so much. Shut up for a bit," I requested.

You'd think with the way she reacted, I was going to assault her for losing.

Actually, why was she so nervous?

"What's your deal? Why the hell are you apologizing after winning? Do you take me for some type of pitiful f*cking weakling?" I asked slowly, eyes narrowed.

Her eyes were wide and she shook her head rapidly. "N-No not at all! I think you're really good!"

My eyes narrowed further. "You beat me. That's that. I'm more than a little annoyed that I lost, but it's not the end of the world. I don't know what this all is, but donotapologize to me after winning a battle, that'll piss me off even more than losing."

It must have been because of Fraxure nearly killing me but yeah I wasn't super pissed about losing.

Don't get me wrong, I was still pissed that I lost, but it was the just wait till I get my runback kind of pissed.

Not the I'll end your miserable existence pissed.

Green's nervous expression lessened slightly. "So… you're not mad that you got beat by a girl?"

I snorted loudly. "I'd be this pissed if the strongest trainer in the world beat me. A loss is a loss and I don't like losing. Gender doesn't have sh*t to do with that."

Was that what it was? She thought I was gonna be super pissed that I lost to a girl?

Right… this was a world full of kids. I guess the idea that some boys would be very annoyed if they lost to a girl wasn't that surprising. I wouldn't be surprised if they still thought cooties existed.

Luckily for her, I'd be pissed even if a future version of myself showed up and beat me in a battle to humble me.

"So… do you still want to keep training with me?" She asked hopefully.

"You're probably the strongest trainer I'll meet in the next 3 days who won't stomp me, so yeah. That's obvious," I scowled, not seeing the point of these questions.

By now, Green was grinning once more, whatever internal crisis she was going through somehow appeased by my words.

"Does that mean we're still friends?!" The Pallet Town resident asked excitedly.

"Since when the hell have we ever been friends in the first place, Leaf?" I asked in disbelief.

Green squealed excitedly, rushing me for a hug.

She did not get that hug.

"Oof!" She yelped as I instinctively gripped her arm and flipped her over my shoulder, bringing her right to the floor.

"Habit," I said, hoisting her up off the floor.

"It's okay, Silvy! You're really rude, but you're also a pretty nice person, aren't you?" Green beamed, sending out a signal to her team, letting them know it was alright and that they could back down.

"I don't know how the hell you came to that conclusion, but I won't dwell on it," I grunted.

Then, I sobered up as I remembered my earlier musings.

"Hey, Leaf," I called, turning towards the girl. "You mentioned being the best battler in Pallet?"

She nodded eagerly. "Yeah! I actually haven't lost a battle to anyone close to my level in skill yet! And call me Green!"

I pondered that. "What did you help that Bill guy with?" I continued randomly.

Green's eyes widened at that question and she looked back and forth, before leaning into me to whisper in my ears.

"Between you and me, he got put into the body of a Clefairy and I just ran a machine for him to get him back to normal," she whispered.

Goddammit.

"...One more question," I requested.

Green nodded happily.

"Have you encountered Team Rocket yet?" I asked gravely.

Her smile turned into a frown and I felt my fears get confirmed.

"Yeah, I did! I heard that they attacked Viridian City sometime while I was in Viridian Forest… but I officially encountered them in Mt. Moon and thwarted their operations. I also met them in Cerulean... they stole some guys TM and injured him really badly," she explained to me with a deep frown.

I nodded thoughtfully, but on the inside I was a cursing and scowling mess.

I thought because Ash existed in this world, Red would not and that was true…

To an extent.

You see, Leaf Green here wasn't just her counterpart from the Manga…

Her prodigious battling, the events she went through, hell even the way her demeanor shifted in battle…

The reason Red didn't exist wasn't because Ash was in this world.

No… Green right here was the reason Red didn't exist… becauseshewas Red.

Well, I suppose that wasn't very fair to her at all now was it? She was her own person and it would be rude of me to only think of her as someone else.

Green was the stand in for the main character of the Kanto video games.

What an interesting turn of events…

This gave me a lot to think about but I did know one thing.

One day I was going to beat Green in a battle. She was the real deal and measuring my growth against her…

Not bad at all.

"Alright, I'ma go use that lake to clean up for a bit," I said bluntly.

Green blinked in confusion. "The Center is only like an hour away. We can just go there," she pointed out.

"Don't feel like it," I replied blandly, pulling out two potions and releasing Loki and Gaia. "I want to stay here for a bit longer, but I'm also sweaty. Going to the Center is a waste of time."

She gazed at me in awe and nodded furiously. "I wanna start dedicating more time to training too so I'll stay here!"

I scoffed but nodded. "Sure, whatever."

The fact she got this strong without proper training...

I might have just created a monster.

Naturally, my team decided to join me for a bath and I snorted, scrubbing down a grumpy Gaia as she rubbed a vine against my scar.

"Don't be too upset, Gaia," I informed her. "We can't win them all and I know you want to, but we aren't the greatest yet," I reassured.

Evolution had increased her hormone output by quite a lot so she could get really moody but I had gotten fairly good at calming her down.

"Green's the real deal so don't be offended that we lost to her," I told my team seriously. "I'm just as upset that we lost, believe me… but we'll get stronger."

My entire team nodded in unison and Gaia grumbled in acceptance.

"Don't worry girl, we'll get back at that Ivysaur," I mumbled, stroking the leaf atop her head soothingly. "I'll figure something out for you."

Her scowl vanished and she nodded in determination.

I smiled, idly snatching Ares out of midair so she didn't dive headfirst in the water.

Despite just being shy of a 100 pounds, I hardly registered Bagon's weight and stared at the unapologetic dragon with a look of exasperation.

"I know you want to fly… but please stop diving headfirst into everything. You put yourself in a lot of situations you could avoid if you did anything else," I chastised.

Honestly she was lucky she had such a hard head. Multiple times a day, she'd find the highest spot she could reach and dive off of it like a little psycho.

Sometimes she got stuck and I had to save her.

Ares simply let loose a fanged grin, no doubt ignoring my order completely as I slowly began dipping her back in the water.

"One day you're gonna get real stuck and I'm gonna leave you there until you beg for help," I assured her.

Freyja snorted, agreeing with what I said and successfully drew Ares' attention to her.

Like clockwork, the two began arguing with each other and I released the Bagon from my hold so they could settle their hourly squabble without drawing me into it.

Training today went fairly well and I'd use Green for these upcoming days to make a good amount of progress.

After I beat Surge, I'd travel through Diglett Cave to battle Pewter (was Brock traveling with Ash?) Gym and then head through Mt. Moon to Cerulean City…

That was good for me, since that meant Green and Ash could do whatever the hell they wanted, without me getting involved.

Perfect —

"U-Um, Silver?"

I went stiff at the voice of Green.

Not because I was naked underneath the water and there was a girl behind me…

No, it was because Green currently sounded like the guiltiest person on the planet.

"What did you do?" I asked calmly, inclining my head to gaze at her, body still underwater to not reveal anything inappropriate to her.

The girl refused to make eye contact, yelping the moment she gazed into my piercing silver eyes. She couldn't maintain eye contact for more than a second and began staring a hole into the floor once more.

On her shoulder, Vee was looking at the girl with an utterly exasperated expression, disappointment firm in his stance.

"I-I'm sure this may seem bad b-but I-I just saw something ruffling really hard a-and I was going to call you but then everything happened so fast and please don't be mad at me!" She blurted out.

I frowned slightly at that, brushing my soaked hair aside and freeing my other eye in the process.

"I'm going to ask again.Whatdid you do —"

I abruptly stopped speaking, as I took full stock of the situation before me.

Green was there naturally, along with Vee and all her other members…

But that wasn't all…

There was a fifth pokemon there.

A small, light-yellow Pokemon with a rounded body was by Green's heel. It's body was encased in a white eggshell that had red and blue borders on it.

A Togepi… and judging by it's utterly tiny size, it was recently hatched too.

From the egg thatIstole.

"Toge?" Togepi tilted its head, holding up its stubby little arms for Green.

"You went through my f*cking bag?!" I snarled in fury, eyes flying open in a furious rage. "What the f*ck is wrong with you?!"

She flinched back at my severe expression, a frantic look making its way to her face.

"No, I promise I wasn't looking through your bag! I didn't see anything!" She tried.

That failed to placate me in the slightest and only the looming fact that I was naked in this lake, was doing her any favors.

"I'm sorry!" Green blurted, the moment I opened my mouth to rip into her.

"I was just discussing with my team about the upcoming training with you while you bathed a-and then I was gonna bathe too so that we could keep training together… Then I heard a loud cracking! I admit… curiosity got the best of me but when I saw an Egg hatching I was going to run to you immediately… but I was too late and Togepi already laid eyes on me," she explained, looking depressed at the idea.

"I understand if you don't ever want to speak to me again… and I haven't caught Togepi yet either so you…"

"You might as well f*cking catch it," I sneered, interrupting her. "Judging by how sorry you are, you already know what it means to be the first thing a hatched Pokemon sees so there's no point trying to throw a pity party."

She flinched back harshly but nodded. "I'm… its parent now."

When a Pokemon first hatched, it imprinted onto the first thing it saw and if it was a trainer, it was strongly advised for that person to raise the Pokemon up until it became independent enough.

As a trainer, hatching an egg meant you were that Pokemon's trainer. There was no other way around it.

Togepi was Green's now and there wasn't really much I could do about it.

I sighed and felt my anger tapering off, though the withering glare never left my face.

Well, whatever. Togepi would have been a fine sixth pokemon but it wouldn't have been my first choice for the slot.

Though, if I had known this was gonna happen… I would have planned more for my sixth member.

But still, I was mostly annoyed that she went through my goddamn bag.

It sucked that I wouldn't get Togepi, but this wasn't the end of the world and in the first place, I stole the Egg so that Gold wouldn't get it.

Considering I completely finished my mission in Hoenn as well… to be honest, I was satisfied with my team. A sixth pokemon would come eventually... but not getting one immediately, was not the end of the world.

Sucks that I'd miss out on a fairy type though. That typing was kind of ridiculous but I'd probably look for another one in the future.

"Don't go through my stuffeveragain," I stressed, removing my eyes off of her and dipping my hair in the water again.

What did I even want my sixth pokemon to be? I guess whatever caught my eyes next.

Green had a look of shock on her face. "Y-You still want to hang out with me?"

"I've never once wanted to hang out with you," I replied shortly. "This is strictly business. We train for the next three days, I get my badge, then we go our ways."

"What about Togepi… this was your egg and I just… if only I hadn't been so nosy," Green frowned sadly, actually looking like she was about to start crying.

No wait, those were definitely tears forming in her eyes.

"It doesn't matter what I think anymore idiot," I scoffed, nonplussed. "Togepi hasn't looked my way even once. Its eyes are only on you so just catch it. I don't care anymore and it wants you to pick it up."

Togepi still had its stubs up for Green right now and it even began whining while we were arguing. Green bit her lip and glanced down at it, before hesitantly picking it up.

Judging by the way Togepi lit up, it really did only have eyes for Green.

There would be no point trying to separate the two. I didn't carethatmuch about owning a Togekiss.

I already had Ares anyways and I'd much rather fly on a Salamence.

"Now can you get out of here? I'm naked," I grunted, pushing my hair out of my eye and scowling as it flopped right back into place.

Stupid.

Green looked stunned and honestly, I'd normally be extremely pissed but I was already over the situation. It's not like I bonded with it at all. The egg stayed in my bag 24/7 to the point where I even forgot I had it at times.

Maybe Fraxure nearly killing me did something to me besides humbling me something fierce…

Or Gaia's drugs. Could be anything really.

Green's eyes lit up at that and a grin formed on her face.

"Alright Silvy! I'll head back first then… see ya tomorrow?" Green asked, anticipation in her eyes.

"Get out of here Leaf and stop calling me Silvy," I grunted, not even looking in her direction anymore.

I heard a giggle and the shuffle of multiple footsteps, before it eventually dwindled into nothing.

"She's so annoying," I sighed.

She was lucky I still wanted to get some information from her and that her strength was the real deal.

Loki shrugged sympathetically and I felt a tingling in my mind that caused me to gaze at the completely dry Beldum.

The steel type gazed at me with its singular red eye and looked distinctively smug.

He hadn't spoken to me in a long time, but I was able to sense his intent now (it was pretty strange) and right now, he was giving me a very "You deserve it" vibe.

...Dick.

Green showed up for the subsequent 2 days, as cheerful as ever with one extra Pokemon to her name.

Togepi, who was a male, was too young to join training so the little guy was just being attended to by Green, who had went last minute shopping for a baby pokemon.

I learned a good amount from her through small talk, particularly about her childhood friends.

Ash missed a starter like usual, ending up with Pikachu and Blue ended up with Squirtle.

The person who got Charmander wasn't all that impressive according to her and I already forgot his name so there's that.

She also lived with just her mom and was a single child.

I didn't ask for all of that but she had apparently decided that we were actually friends now no matter how rude I was to her.

She was a complete weirdo.

Regardless, that didn't take away from the fact that she was a brilliant trainer.

Training with her, benefited me more than battling random trainers.

I would know, we actually took time out of Day 2 to go battle some trainers.

That's what let me see that I actually put up a great showing against Green because no one else that was near our level even camecloseto beating her.

Her whole team wasn't strong… no Larvy was considerably weak. Lappy was quite strong, but it was clear that Green recently acquired her.

Vee and Saury on the other hand…

The Eevee, while coming close to losing matches, was a real trooper. He and Green had great synergy that let them hit above their weight class…

But Saury was the real monster. Green's Ivysaur was some time of freak of its line and seeing it perform, showed me that even if I could confidently take out the rest of her team, this grass type would ensure that she won the battle.

It was bulky, strong and had no need for actual speed because those vines were all it needed.

Not to mention, he and Green had a scary amount of synergy.

That Ivysaur was shaping up to be a behemoth of a cornerstone. I shuddered to think what it would be like as a Venusaur…

Didn't matter. I assured Gaia we'd get our revenge and that's what we'd do.

The days passed by quickly and I wasn't going to lie, my own personal improvements after training with Green, were tremendous.

I also had an innate talent for battling. My countless victories, despite not having battled since Johto, accounted for that.

I took to battling like a duck (fun fact, people of this world saidPsyduck)to water.

That's something else I noticed battling other trainers besides Green. They were so easy toread.

The more trainers I battled, the more I realized how impressive my training partner was.

All the trainers I battled, did nothing to hide their thoughts. It was so obvious when they were getting nervous, when they thought they were about to win…

It made the battles against them all the more easy. They were showing off that at the end of the day, they were amateurs and there was nothing wrong with that… it just highlighted how exceptional Green was.

There was no loudmouth Green when she was battling. The hyperactive girl transformed into a hyper-focused battler.

She was above her fellow peers by quite a bit and by the time she reached her full potential, she'd be a real menace.

That… slightly increased my respect for her. She would be a good measure to test my own growth whenever we ran into each other.

My training with her was done so after this, we'd go our separate ways. I'd likely head to Pewter and she'd go to wherever the hell her next badge was.

Good, she still talked way too much...

Actually, that just reminded me of an encounter we had during our 2 days here. Green's urge to talk seemed to be a disease that inhabited all the Oak sponsors.

Day 2 of training

"Well, if it isn't Green!"

I twitched at hearing someone mention my partners name but ignored it.

Green froze, recognizing that voice before a competitive gleam entered her eyes.

"That's my cue to go," I said blandly, preparing to leave her for the day.

"Wait Silvy!" She urged, grabbing me before swiftly letting me go at my warning look.

"Silvy? Who the hell are you?" The voice asked snidely.

I sighed, brushing a hand through my hair as I turned to gauge the person.

He was slightly taller than me, with auburn hair and bright blue eyes that were glaring at me with an innate smugness in them.

"You must be Gary Oak. Leaf has told me so much about you, all against my will," I said in disinterest, wondering what monstrosity I was going to cook up today.

My cooking had not gotten better. At least my team got to eat good.

Gary Blue Oak glared at me almost as soon as I mentioned his last name. "Don'tsay my whole name. Call me Gary or Blue you f*cking nobody."

I raised a brow. "I'll call you whatever the f*ck I want. What exactly are you gonna do about it if I don't?" I sneered.

Green watched in some disbelief, as Blue returned the sneer and focused his full attention on Silver.

I watched Blue return the sneer and raised a brow.

Someone with backbone?

Yeah right, let's see how long that lasts.

"What? Don't like being an Oak? Is the shadow your grandpa casts too big?" I asked smugly.

Judging by how murderous Blue suddenly became, I struck a nerve.

"Silver, you shouldn't say things like that!" Green said with wide eyes, turning towards me with shock on her face. "Blue's sensitive to that type of stuff!"

"Aww," I mock frowned. "I'm so sorry to hear that. Poor Blue must have it so hard carrying such a burden as the gasp... Oak name! I wouldn't want to wish that on anyone!" I sighed.

My sneer returned as I dropped all pretenses. "Get the f*ck over yourself. I bet you're the type to abuse that name so long as it's convenient to you. You have no right to be ashamed of being born in such a lavish lifestyle, f*cking brat."

"Silver!" Green shouted in horror.

Blue's murderous glare deepened and he rushed me without any hesitation, but I rolled my eyes at the action.

Clearly I was more athletic than he was.

I sidestepped his lunge and tripped him, using my superior agility and I watched as he stumbled to the floor with an oof.

"You sure fight like a guy who's lived a lavish life," I grunted, completely unimpressed.

Blue snarled and shoved himself up. "I'll f*cking kill you!" He swore.

My gaze darkened into something dangerous at those words. "Are you sure you can back up those words?" I asked lowly.

"You'll find out soon enough," he spat.

"ENOUGH! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU TWO?!" Green shrieked, releasing Saury from her ball as Vee jumped off her shoulder. "Stop! Stop right now!"

Two of Blue's pokeballs shook, before they opened and out came a Wartortle and his own Eevee.

Loki, who was watching from inside my jacket, growled warningly as he poked his head out and glared at Blue and his team.

"Stop? I'm just retaliating," I said simply. "He's the one that rushed me because I said a few words."

Green frowned at me. "But you said some really rude things! You were way outta line!"

I rolled my eyes. "I called him by his name and he called me a f*cking nobody. Who was really outta line? I haven't been the aggressor once, I'm just retaliating. I even tried to leave," I pointed.

Green flinched at the accuracy of my words. "Well that's... true but —"

I interrupted her. "I don't give a damn if he's your childhood friend Leaf. He might be your friend, but to me he's a douche that clearly needs to get put in his place, so I'm going to put him in his place."

"I was thinking the same thing," Blue snarled. "We're already at a field, let's use it."

"Sure thing. 1 on 1," I said confidently, already grabbing at a Pokeball. "I can spare a few extra minutes but not too much. Let this nobody teach you a thing or two about battling."

Green looked helplessly at the both of us, clearly not having expected a meeting to go so south.

I always expected a meeting with me to go bad... but I expected to be the aggressor in all these situations.

What a fresh turn of events. That would make this feel all the better.

"Gaia," I said easily.

"Wartortle!" Blue barked at the same time as me.

At once, both our starter pokemon shot out their balls.

Sensing my slightly foul mood, Gaia's face morphed into a scowl and she glared at both Blue and his Wartortle.

Wartortle flashed a co*cky grin but it vanished as he felt just how foul his trainer currently was.

"Aqua Jet!" Blue said immediately.

"Reflect, grab it," I said easily.

Wartortle ducked into his shell and began spinning, before jetting off with incredible speeds.

Gaia was already ahead of him. She summoned a blue wall that Wartortle crashed into.

The hard shell protected it from the rattling that Reflect would normally give it but that didn't matter because Gaia's vines swiftly wrapped around it.

"Poison Powder inside the hole," I instructed ruthlessly.

Blue's eyes widened. "Water Pulse! Stop it from doing that!"

Credit to Wartortle. He immediately stuck his head out and conjured the necessary amount of water, spitting it directly at Gaia's face...

To very little effect. Gaia growled in annoyance but followed through with her orders, spitting out a poisonous cloud directly in Wartortle's face.

Then, she brutally slammed him onto the floor with her vines.

"Wartortle!" Blue shouted.

Wartortle hacked and coughed. It had inhaled a full dose of Poison Powder so it had gotten poisoned immediately.

Now it was on a timer and being on a timer against Gaia wasn't a very pleasant lifestyle.

"Use Icy Wind!"

My eyes widened a bit in surprise at that. Wartortle couldn't learn Icy Wind naturally.

Gaia let out a slight squeal as the super effective attack struck and Wartortle grinned, before devolving into hacking coughs once more.

"Icy Wind huh? Sure are putting that Oak money to use," I taunted, unbothered by that.

Blue snarled at that and tried his best to ignore me.

"Well, I guess money can't buy everything... like skill," I shrugged helplessly.

"SHUT UP!" He roared. "Wartortle Aura Sphere!"

"Light Screen then Synthesis," I said smugly, not showing the surprise I felt at Wartortle knowing Aura Sphere.

Blue's eyes flew open in even more anger, as Wartortle valiantly summoned an Aura Sphere and shot it out, only for it to break against the conjured Light Screen.

Then, the water type could only watch helplessly as Gaia flashed a smug grin, very reminiscent to mine, and began glowing. The damage she took from the Icy Wind began patching up until she were as good as new.

"Razor Leaf."

Blue tried to recover from his shock. "Wartortle, Rapid Spin! Run away!"

But it was not to be, Wartortle took a second too long to sink back into his shell and the Razor Leaf mercilessly slammed into it.

"War!" Wartortle groaned, before falling back in defeat.

"Well done, Gaia," I said easily, smiling as she ran up to me with a pleased smile. I ran a hand against her and chuckled as she nuzzled her head against my chest. "Sorry about that, I know that was too easy but I wanted to make a point."

Gaia scoffed at that, just pleased to put someone in their place just like I was.

Blue looked stunned at his loss, gazing numbly at his defeated Wartortle and I sneered.

"No wonder you get offended when someone calls you Oak, you can't even beat a nobody huh?" I said mockingly.

Let it be known, no one could out asshole me and that would not change.

"See ya Oak, maybe don't pick fights you can't win."

With that I turned on a dime and left.

Battling with Gaia became far easier when the opponent was visibly frustrated, that's why I goaded him mid match...

Though I doubted I needed that. I would have won that match regardless.

So I was weaker than Ivysaur (I refused to acknowledge that I was weaker than Green herself) but I was stronger than Blue it looked.

Not bad. I was stronger than I thought.

"Let's get something to eat yeah? On second thought, I'll spoil myself with something edible," I decided.

"Bay!" Gaia cheered, trotting next to me.

"Are you alright, Blue?" Green asked quietly, looking at her quiet childhood friend with concern.

She had never seen Blue so outclassed... while she was stronger than him, Blue had a way with words that Green could never really go against so even her victories didn't feel as complete.

But Silver completely beat him in both the battle and talking aspect. It was almost scary to see how unraveled Blue became when facing her training partner.

Blueflinchedof all things and gazed at her with a sneer. "Just leave me alone, Green. I don't need your sympathy," he snarled.

Green frowned sadly. "But Blue —"

"I said leave me alone! The last thing I need is for Gramp's favorite to try and cheer me up!" he roared.

With that, Blue turned on a dime and stormed off.

Green had a hurt expression at that and just watched him go, before sighing and rushing to catch up to Silver's location.

It didn't take her very long, her red haired friend was walking at a rather leisurely pace by his standards and so when she caught up, he spared her a single glance.

"Why did you say such cruel things?" She asked bluntly.

Silver was cold but that was... just really cruel. He had said such harsh things to Blue and sure her Pallet friend was rude... but that was too much.

"Why?" Silver replied, gazing at her with his customary bored expression. "Do I need a reason beyond him calling me a nobody?"

"...Yes," Green said firmly. "That was harsh Silver... Blue has a tough life despite what you think."

Silver let out a noncommittal hum at that.

She sighed. "Blue's parents are... not in his life and he's only got the Professor and Daisy, his older sister. He might be a bit rude but he's gone through a lot."

Silver said nothing for a while.

Then he turned towards her with those striking silver eyes of his.

"I don't care. At least he has a good family to complain about. It really pisses me off seeing someone get gifted everything they could ask for and they're still unsatisfied with their life. What a sickening mindset."

"Now are we done? I'm hungry."

Green stood in shocked silence at that and nodded numbly.

No one said anything and she just watched Silver's figure retreat further in the distance.

At least he has a good family to complain about...

I grunted. That wasn't something I really thought of saying. I just said it on instinct much like all the other things I said on instinct.

Blue seemed to irk me in a way that went beyond his annoying attitude and I didn't realize until Green pressed me.

Whatever, what's done was done. Blue had already beaten the Vermillion Gym so I wouldn't be seeing him for a long while.

Spoiled idiot.

Green had tried to act normal meeting up with me and I decided that it was a great idea so I made no mention of the events of day 2. We managed to get back on track and now we were here at the Vermillion Gym for both our respective battles.

"Hey musclehead," I greeted, gazing at that John receptionist from the other day.

I saw his jaw clench instinctively at my voice and resisted the urge to laugh.

"I'm here for my battle with your boss. Hopefully you don't make this take longer than it needs to as well," I told him.

Unfortunately, John seemed to grow a brain since our last meeting and simply jammed a finger to the back.

"Not gonna say nothing? Smart," I shrugged helplessly, making my way to the back of the room.

"Surge is gonna teach you a lesson so there's no need," he bit out.

Heh. Dumbass.

"Having another man fight your battles? No wonder you're just a receptionist. You a house maid too?" I fired back, smirking smugly at seeing a vein form on his `.

Green couldn't hold in the giggle anymore.

"Shoulda stayed quiet Jane, worked out way better for you this time around!" I shouted co*ckily.

"I don't get how you're not even a little intimidated by them," Green said after getting her laughter down. "They were looking down at me the whole time when I spoke to them!"

A sneer formed on my face. "I won't let anyone look down on me. There's nothing to be intimidated about anyways. Just a couple of muscleheads," I retorted.

Green gazed at me. Her match was up next after mine so she asked (begged) to watch my match and come here together.

"So you aren't nervous?" She asked me.

"What's there to be nervous about?" I asked in return, blood pumping at the idea of this match. "Being nervous just gets in the way of how effective I can be so it's unnecessary."

From the corner of my eye, I watched Green stand a little straighter, gazing at me in awe and I snorted.

"I get nervous before every match against a tough opponent," Green admitted. "But it all goes away once the match starts."

"As long as it goes away then you're fine," I replied with a roll of my eyes.

What a trip. Her? Nervous? Bullsh*t. She looked and acted as confident as I did in battle.

Boisterous laughter rang out, as Green and I reached the back of the gym.

I gazed around at it all and nodded, impressed by the sight.

Jasmine invited me to see her gym right before I left Olivine but I denied her offer, claiming that I'd like to see it when we battled eventually.

For some reason, that made her panic and she claimed that she actually needed to renovate the area. I'm pretty sure she actually did renovate it a few weeks ago because she suddenly promised that I'd love seeing her gym.

I should have accepted the offer to see it just once. Gyms were cool.

We were in a stadium. The terrain was a flat plain of dirt and there were seats all around that were currently empty.

"They normally fill up with higher number of badges," Green whispered to me. "There's some exceptions though. The Sensational Sisters are really popular so they always get filled seats for Gym Battles."

Sensational Sisters? Well, Green only had two badges so I imagine that was Cerulean City.

Oh right, those were Misty's sisters. Weren't they trash? Did I really have to battle them?

Bah, they were probably better in this world. Had to be because this world didn't mess around and if they were anything like their anime counterparts, they'd be out of a job.

Gym Leadershadto be competent. There was no room for the embarrassments you saw in the show.

"Right on time!" Surge called, standing on the opposite side of the giant field. "I've been waiting for you Silver! I've been eager to face you and I ended shocking all my previous challengers straight!"

"Silver?" I raised a brow, idly glancing at the referee on the sides. "Looks like you guys are actually able to remember names. I'm impressed."

"Only the ones worth remembering!" Surge grinned. "I heard about Green over there too," he mentioned.

Green blinked. "Me?!" She asked in shock.

Surge and I both scoffed simultaneously.

"Don't be surprised about that dumbass," I chided.

The gym leader nodded. "You trashed Pewter and Cerulean in your battle! Of course we've got eyes on you kid! I'm looking forward to our battle but for now, go sit on the stands."

Green beamed, a glimmer of excitement entering her eyes.

"Good luck, Silvy!" She called out.

"Shut up, Leaf," I replied.

"GREEN! CALL ME GREEN!"

I snorted and said nothing, silver eyes turning focused as I peered at Lt. Surge.

"Seems like the kid's ready! No more wasting anytime!" Surge bellowed, gazing at the ref who took that as his cue.

"This is an official gym battle of the Vermilion City Gym between the challenger, Silver of Viridian City and the Gym Leader, Lt. Surge! Each side is allowed 3 pokemon and only the challenger is allowed to swap. The match will be decided when all 3 Pokemon of one side are unable to continue!"

"As the Gym Leader, Surge must release his Pokemon first!"

Surge was already throwing a Pokeball and I hummed at the sight of the pokemon before me.

It was a small and chubby rodent, covered in yellow fur with two horizontal brown stripes and two red pouches on its cheek.

A Pikachu. I'd have been able to identify it even if I didn't know a damn thing about Pokemon.

I nodded. This is about what I expected if the match really was a 3 on 3.

"Ares," I said calmly, releasing my Bagon from her ball with a sticker of a dragon roaring.

Surge raised a brow high at the sight of Ares, gazing at it with searching eyes. He looked a little caught off guard that this was my first choice but hid it well.

Ares let out a battle roar, that got both our blood pumping and I felt a feral pulse course through my body.

"The contestants are set! Pikachu vs Bagon! Begin!" The referee announced.

"Quick Attack!" Surge called out instantly.

"Rage," I retorted instantly.

Pikachu's were fast. Faster then my stubby little Bagon. Dodging moves was a waste of time and energy so we'd weather and benefit from them.

The Quick Attack connected clean but Ares shrugged it off, eyes gaining a red tint as Rage quickly took effect.

Good. As long as Rage was active, Ares would get stronger from getting hit. Excellent for the pestering attacks of a Pikachu.

Surge frowned, no doubt realizing the same thing.

"Use Thunderbolt!" He shouted.

"Dragon Breath," I retorted instantly. "Afterwards, Scary Face."

"Chu!" Pikachu growled, shooting a burst of electricity at Ares who fired back with the turquoise energy of Dragon Breath.

Dragon Breath met Thunderbolt and the two moves combated with each other, until the powered up Dragon move overwhelmed the electric attack and forced Pikachu to dodge...

Which left it completely open to the terrifying visage of Ares glaring at it.

We didn't master Scary Face as well as we'd like… but I discovered that Rage made the move alot easier to use and it was taking full effect right now.

"Dragon Breath," I said calmly, as Pikachu took a step back in fear as the effects of Scary Face washed over it.

"Pikachu, move!" Surge barked, as Ares opened its mouth once more.

Pikachu unfortunately, was too afraid to follow Surge's command and the Dragon Breath, powered up by both RageandAres' Sheer Force crashed directly into it.

Sheer Force removed all secondary effects of moves that had them. I didn't know the specifics of how that worked in this world, but it had to do with the structure of one of Bagon's organs that allowed for stronger but shorter attacks.

Pikachu squealed as the attack connected right to its gut and the little guy began tumbling across the ground with burn marks on its fur.

Much to my surprise, it actually did get back up. I thought that Dragon Breath was going to take it out but it was a little sturdier than I imagined.

One more hit would probably put it down for the count though.

"Dragon Breath again," I ordered.

Surge knew that Pikachu was in no shape to dodge the attack, so he shouted out "Shockwave!" as a last ditch effort.

Ares roared with a feral grin and belched out a giant Dragon Breath.

Pikachu panted and began sparking, before letting loose what seemed to be an unfocused blast of blue energy, but was proven not to be, as it honed in on Bagon's location.

The attack left it wide open for the Dragon Breath though and with a pitiful noise, the rodent was batted away.

Ares let out a slight grunt as the shockwave slammed into her but mostly looked unbothered, merely allowing it to fuel her battle lust.

"Pikachu is unable to battle! The winner of this match is Bagon!"

"Well done," I praised with a confident smirk.

"Gon!" Ares grunted, gazing at Surge's side with hungry eyes.

Surge pursed his lips at the one-sided affair and gazed at me in a new light.

"You're stronger than I expected… so I'm gonna use a different second pokemon," he announced, grabbing a pokeball.

I inclined my head. "Sounds good to me. This match would have been boring otherwise."

Surge grinned and tossed the ball.

What came out, was cause for concern and my smirk vanished.

It was yellow and bipedal, with a vaguely humanoid shape. There were two antennae on its head with bulbous tips and it had two large fangs jutting out of its mouth.

To top it off, black stripes littered its body with a large lightning bolt in the middle of its chest.

"An Electabuzz as his second?"I thought with a deep frown.

Considering his last was almost certainly gonna be the Raichu that he had been solely using for the past few months to put trainers pokemon in the hospital… this was gonna get much tougher than I anticipated.

I grunted and steeled myself.

That was all the better for me. I wanted my battles to be tough and I wanted to come out on top knowing that my opponent was putting in the effort to win a battle.

No better way to improve, if you weren't trying your best to win a close battle.

That was the fun of it all.

"The contestants are set! Bagon vs Electabuzz! Begin!"

"Dragon Breath."

"Shock Wave."

Ares opened her mouth and fired the Dragon Breath at the same time Electabuzz fired a wave of electricity.

The turquoise beam managed to catch a couple of the Shock Wave, but the majority of the wave managed to land directly on Ares, making her grunt in annoyance.

Worst, the Dragon Breath didn't reach Electabuzz at all. It moved out of the way of the attack whose strength was diminished slightly by the Shock Wave.

Staying away was a bad idea in the long run. It was best that I accepted that reality right now instead of continuing this stubborn and slow defeat.

"Headbutt," I ordered, testing the waters a bit.

"Quick Attack," Surge retaliated, confident grin on his face.

Electabuzz whirred in confirmation and rocketed off, white streak following after it as the electric type charged the slower Ares.

Ares bellowed, not backing down for even a second and rushed her opponent…

Only to get batted away as the larger Electabuzz practically bowled her over.

"Thunder Punch!" Surge shouted.

Electabuzz's fist began sparking and it whirred, before slamming it against Ares' gut, making her cough a bit at the heavy blow.

I grit my teeth. Despite not being very effective, that didn't change the fact that Electabuzz carried quite a bit of physical power and my Bagon wasn't the biggest girl around.

Just the blow from the punch was enough to do damage, the electricity was a bonus.

"Scary Face!" I barked, eyes narrowed as I thought of a plan to win.

Ares recovered from the punch and snarled, eyes flashing an intimidating red as she activated Scary Face once more.

Unlike Pikachu, Electabuzz only showed slight effects to the Scary Face.

Makes sense, Electabuzz were predators too and I only had a Bagon. Once she became a Salamence, Scary Face would be most effective.

"Dragon Breath!" I ordered.

"Quick Attack! Get away!" Surge demanded, even as Ares opened her mouth.

Electabuzz began glowing white once more and dashed away, successfully avoiding the attack but I was thankful for the sudden space between us.

"Quick use Dragon Dance!" I barked, smirking as Electabuzz made great distance from her.

Surge's eyes widened in disbelief at the sight of Ares' body moving to a rhythm that only she could hear, red and blue aura surging around her.

"Dragon Dance? What?!" He grunted in shock, before coming to his senses.

"Electabuzz, Shock Wave!" Surge barked, frowning slightly as Ares finished her dance.

"Dragon Breath! Destroy it!" I retorted.

Dragon Dance was a move that was very similar to the games. The user would perform a dance that had draconic roots to it (don't ask me. I didn't know the lore behind it) that boosted the offensive capabilities of a Pokemon.

The difference between the games?

Every attack was offensively boosted. Especially dragon moves.

This world was really fun.

Case in point, Ares opened her mouth and launched a gigantic dragon breath, dwarfing all her others since the match started.

That pesky Shock Wave attack stood no chance and was engulfed by the turquoise flames, but Electabuzz was already on the move.

The electric type launched forward but Ares could match it now. She was capable of reacting to him because her training partner had been my quick little Zorua.

With a feral grin, Ares ducked her head and Headbutted the hell out of Electabuzz.

Fun fact, Ares had been getting pestered by attacks the whole match and I had used Rage at the very beginning.

She didn't dodge a single attack, just allowing all of them to brush against her draconic skin and letting it fuel both her love of battle... and Rage.

The results? Electabuzz's gut was nearly caved in from the force of the Headbutt.

"Buzz!" Electabuzz wheezed, as inertia finally shifted and launched it away from it's position.

I smirked wildly as Electabuzz soared away and tumbled against the ground, collapsing with a pained heave but much to my displeasure, the Electric type got back up with shaking legs.

Tch. Whatever, it was the same situation as with Pikachu. One more hit and it was as good as done for.

Surge grunted at the state of Electabuzz, no doubt noticing that it wasn't faring too well.

"Quick Attack," he ordered, co*cky grin finally off his face.

"Meet it with Headbutt. Overpower it," I grunted.

Ares' aim wasn't good enough to hit a moving target with Dragon Breath but the speed of Dragon Dance should help her keep up with it.

"Thunder Wave!" Surge suddenly shouted.

My eyes flew open in shock.

I had prepared for the possibility of Thunder Wave, but after seeing Pikachu not attempt it even once, I assumed Surge was the type to just keep his offense up, with no room for status moves.

"I don't normally do this against newbies, but I can't have you just steam rolling the match now can I?" The Gym Leader informed me, grinning smugly at someone who he was probably twice the age of.

This son of a bitch was trying really hard to make sure a 0 badge trainer didn't win this match huh?

Electabuzz, surging with the speed of Quick Attack, completely diverted his course of action and juked to the left.

As a surprised Ares missed her mark, my Bagon was left wide open to the sudden Thunder Wave.

The weak waves of electricity connected squarely with Ares and she let out a whining snarl, as static began coursing off her.

I snarled in annoyance and bit my cheek.

One thing I noticed, was that I had a tendency of letting my teams nature seep into me when I got caught up in the middle of battle.

Depending on who I was using, I'd handle things a little differently and because I was battling with Ares, my strategy became a lot more aggressive because she was my most aggressive pokemon.

I don't think I needed to fix it because it allowed me to relate more to my pokemon but I was the brains here. I needed to act like it.

"Quick Attack!" Surge barked, a predatory gleam in both his and Electabuzz's eye.

I grit my teeth. "Ares, Ember. Slow it down," I called out.

Much to my frustration, the moment Ares opened her mouth to form the necessary energy, the static began running through her body and she was left wide open.

The Quick Attack connected squarely with her and she was launched away from the momentum of the tackle.

Ares let out a roar of aggravation as she attempted to move, only for those sparks to make their presence known.

Electabuzz panted in exhaustion but began whirling its arms.

"Shock Wave!"

"Try and destroy as much as you can, Ares!"

No luck. Every bolt of the Shock Wave crashed into the paralyzed Ares and I snarled.

Paralyze was f*cking ridiculous. What the hell? Potions and other medicine weren't allowed in battle either so I was just stuck in this situation?

Bullsh*t.

By now, the damage had accumulated on my hardy Bagon and she was panting as harshly as the Electabuzz was.

Neither were going to last long but Ares should have comfortably won this before.

I'd have to look into status conditions more and try to find counters to them. They were nonsense.

"Wrap this up Electabuzz! Thunder Punch!" Surge shouted, intent to finish this off.

Electabuzz roared along with Surge and launched itself forward, sparks rolling off the fist it had been whirring just before and I grit my teeth.

Alright then. Ares and I already fought recklessly enough.

Time to up the ante.

"Ares, block it with your head!" I yelled, silver eyes blazing in a moment of madness.

Surge's eyes widened at the command.

Ares roared in confirmation and ducked her head, allowing the Thunder Punch to bash into her hard skull. Electricity surged across her body, but her head weathered the physical punch extremely well.

Electabuzz roared in pain at connecting with the Bagon's skull, the physiology of the dragon type making it regret its decision, and I sneered.

"Ares, Bite. Do not let go of it!" I ordered with a maniacal gleam in my eyes.

Ares matched it. She fought through her pain and leapt at Electabuzz, latching onto the arm of the taller pokemon.

The electric typehowledat that, fruitlessly trying to get Ares off of it and failing at the raw determination of my psychotic dragon.

"Ares. Dragon Breath," I said in a tone of finality. "Don't let go."

Electabuzz and Surge eyes widened in horror simultaneously.

Ares knew exactly what I meant and without any hesitation in her bones, she charged a Dragon Breath in the mouth that was still latched onto Electabuzz.

Electabuzz's frantic energy increased at that and it desperately tried to get Ares off of it. It began sparking with electrical energy but it began sputtering out slightly due to just how tired it was.

"Electabuzz, Shock Wave! Get it off of you!" Surge ordered frantically.

It was not to be. The moment Electabuzz began gathering the necessary energy from its spent stores, Ares fired the point blank Dragon Breath.

A loud explosion took place and I stared coolly at the field.

Both Bagon and Electabuzz were on the floor, unconscious from being in such close proximity to the Dragon Breath. Brutal burns marred the Electabuzz's body, the unique property of draconic flames making its statement known.

"Electabuzz and Bagon are both unable to battle!" The referee announced. "Will both trainers please release your next Pokemon!"

I returned Ares to her ball. "Nice job you little psycho. You did your job well," I praised.

Well was an understatement. Ares went above and beyond to do her job and win or lose, she'd be getting rewarded for the display.

"You're nuts and so is your Bagon! A perfect match eh? I'm impressed!" Surge exclaimed, letting out a barking laughter as he gazed at me. "I won't lie, I expected this to be a wash in my favor but here I am on the backfoot! This went from a humbling session to a genuinely exciting battle!"

"You already used an Electabuzz against me and you still have one more. Aren't you a little ashamed to be doing this against a trainer with no badges?" I grunted, palming one of my pokeballs, this one with a black taping that covered the red of the pokeball.

He clutched one of his pokeballs and a grin made its way to his face. "I'd only be ashamed if they didn't deserve it! You're more impressive then you let on so it's only right I give you what you deserve!"

With that, he tossed his final pokeball and I gazed at his last pokemon.

It was a rodent, fur orange instead of yellow and cheek pouches yellow instead of red. It had bifurcated ears and a long tail with a thunderbolt at the end.

As expected, his final pokemon was the same Raichu he had been using since the circuit started.

Why he was using it? I don't know but allegedly, he was using it against anyone that he was sure it was stronger than.

In fact, Surge seemed to be upping the ante on every trainer that battled him for some secretive reason. I heard against more formidable trainers he was actually using his real team, with a much stronger Raichu and a goddamnElectivireof all things.

I wonder what the deal was. Jasmine told me she only tended to use one pokemon from her actual team in battles against the strongest opponents. Anymore and the battle would swing in her favor.

She was far stronger than a trainer with 8 badges... it was surreal to imagine.

Regardless, this wasn't the Raichu on Surge's main team. If it was, this wouldn't be a very fair fight now would it? The Raichu on his main team was his second strongest Pokemon and Surge was astrongtrainer.

That didn't change the fact that this Raichu had been sending lesser trainers straight to the Pokemon Center.

Normally, against a 0 badge trainer like me, this would be a slaughter but I was here to win.

"Loki," I said calmly, releasing my first pokemon.

The Zorua said nothing as he took the field, gazing at the co*cky Raichu with a neutral expression.

"The contestants are set! Raichu vs Zorua! Begin!"

"Thunderbolt!" Surge said immediately.

"Agility," I retorted, eyes narrowed.

"RaiiiiiCHU!" Raichu growled, shooting a massive beam of electricity that dwarfed the much smaller Zorua.

The f*ck? That Thunderbolt was gigantic...

Zorua grunted, slipping into Agility and dashing away from the attack with startling ease.

Without needing any instructions, he immediately activated both Taunt and Torment.

"A Zorua eh?" Surge muttered, watching his Raichu began growling in fury. "Those lil things are tricky… alright."

"Pursuit," I muttered.

"Quick Attack, run the runt over," Surge ordered.

Loki cloaked itself in dark energy and sprinted over to Raichu's position, boosted by the Agility.

Raichu didn't falter for a second. Getting on all fours, the large rodent launched itself forward into a Quick Attack of its own.

The rat blinked in confusion at running right through Loki's body, only to let out a squeal of annoyance as the real Loki slammed right into its back.

"Raiii," Raichu growled, anger mounting at the nuisance of a Pokemon.

"Snarl," I commanded, eyes narrowed as we continued to whittle down the Raichu.

That's what battling Loki would be all about. Frustration at being hit by everything, while failing to track its opponent properly.

"I see what your game is," Surge suddenly said. "And it's not going to work."

"Shock Wave!" The Gym Leader announced.

I snarled in annoyance. Did every single one of his pokemon have Shock Wave? What an annoying move!

Raichu grinned menacingly and summoned the tracking electricity.

Illusion wouldn't be able to avoid this attack so I thought of something else.

"Loki, run from the Shock Wave! Don't stop!" I barked, eyes narrowed.

Loki slipped back into Agility without any hesitation, sprinting away from the volts of electricity chasing him down like heat seeking missiles.

"Thunderbolt, cut off its course!"

A massive bolt of electricity, that effortlessly dwarfed Pikachu's earlier, attempted to smash into the Zorua but he just continued to run, leaping clean over the attack all while Shock Wave continued chasing him.

What the f*ck was this move? Did it run out of energy?!

"Get behind Raichu! Let it take the hit!" I demanded.

Loki followed my order without any hesitation, using his superior speed to sprint towards Raichu's location.

The rodent had no time to react, as Loki forced it to get in between him and the Shock Wave and the surprised Raichu was forced to take its own attack.

Luckily, it didn't seem to have Lightning Rod to boost its own output even further.

"Not bad… but not good enough," Surge said calmly.

Unluckily, that attack didn't do anything.

Before I could tell Loki to get out of there, Surge sealed our fate with one move.

"Discharge, don't give it anywhere to go."

Raichu let out a pretty evil noise and lit up far too brightly.

Loki howled in pain as the wide electric attack struck him and sparks began surging across his body.

"Mega Punch."

Raichu grinned violently and began charging up a Mega Punch, no doubt willing to sock my Zorua with glee.

Yeah right. f*ck off you little rat.

I returned Loki to the ball with a deep frown. "I forfeit Loki."

Loki would have been able to whittle down that Raichu… but these tracking moves were seriously infuriating. Without being able to rely on Illusion, a pokemon like Raichu would eventually overwhelm him like shown here.

Tch. He wasn't gonna be happy about that and I wasn't either.

"The challenger has forfeited Zorua! As a result, Raichu wins the battle! Challenger, please release your final Pokemon!"

Raichu looked miffed at not being able to land that Mega Punch and that was the main reason I didn't let it do so.

"Gaia," I grunted, releasing the Bayleef from the ball. "You're last girl. Let's wrap this up."

Gaia gazed back at me and smiled eagerly at the prospect for battle, getting a small smirk out of me too.

Raichu looked none the worse for wear. The only thing that had really taken a hit was its mental and by now, Taunt had worn off, though Torment still remained...

Not that they knew that.

"This is the final round between Gym Leader Surge and Challenger Silver! Raichu vs Bayleef! Begin!"

"Thunderbolt."

"Light Screen."

Raichu wasted no time launching that massive bolt of electricity but snarled in annoyance as a shimmering pink screen formed and blocked a majority of the attack.

"Not bad," Surge commented. "Raichu, Mega Punch."

"Reflect."

Surge's eye twitched a bit at that but I wouldn't have noticed if not for paying attention to it.

Like trainer like pokemon I suppose.

Raichu launched himself forward to throw the Mega Punch, but collided solidly with the wall of Reflect and let out a growl of annoyance.

"Grab it. Poison Powder and Leech Seed," I instructed with a small smirk.

Gaia followed my orders to a tee. Vines, that had gotten suspiciously quicker after meeting Saury, lashed out before Raichu could step back, wrapping around the evolved rodent.

She opened her mouth and fired out a poisonous cloud and at the same time, the beads around her neck fired seeds that took root in Raichu's body and began wrapping around it.

"Discharge!" Surge growled.

"Don't let it. Slam it on the ground."

Right as Raichu began sparking, Gaia lifted it high and brutally slammed it onto the field.

Raichu whined as Gaia disrupted its attack with that brutal slam and the Bayleef lifted the rodent up to do so once more.

"Raichu, cut the vines with your tail and get away!" Surge suddenly said, noticing the dire state that the battle would very quickly begin to take.

I frowned as Raichu's sharp, lightning bolt shaped, tail effortlessly cut through Gaia's vines, getting a growl of annoyance out of her, and the evolution of Pikachu rocketed away.

No matter. Playing keep away wouldn't do it any favors. It was already panting slightly from the effects of getting drained by both Leech Seed and Poison Powder.

Surge must have realized that too.

"Thunderbolt! Full voltage! We need to end this quick!" He barked out.

Raichu was in full agreement.

"CHU!" Raichu roared, letting loose a massive bolt of thunder.

"Light Screen," I grunted, eyes narrowed.

Gaia summoned the shimmering pink screen but she had only just recently learned Light Screen and it was an exhausting move to maintain if not mastered.

As expected, the ridiculous Thunderbolt smashed through the Light Screen and directly into her, getting a squeal of pain from Gaia.

It said something about this Raichu that the thunderbolt did that amount of damage despite being not very effective.

"Quick Attack! Use Mega Punch afterwards!" Surge demanded.

Raichu surged forward quickly with the speed of Quick Attack, before using the momentum to slam a Mega Punch directly onto Gaia's midsection.

"Bay!" Gaia squealed in pain as she was sent tumbling back.

She let out a whine of pain, bruises and burns already littering her scales.

My eyes narrowed. "Razor Leaf!"

The sharp and numerous leaves were shot out like rockets, greatly enhanced by Gaia's evolution but none of that mattered because Raichu had already gotten out of dodge with another Quick Attack.

The moment Raichu's Quick Attack ended, I struck.

"Use Razor Leaf again right now!" I told her with a predatory gleam.

Surge's eyes narrowed in confusion at my command. "Raichu, Quick Attack again! Get out of that spot! Run circles around it and use Shock Wave!"

But much to his surprise, Raichu's attempts to activate Quick Attack completely failed, leaving the shocked rodent at the mercy of the Razor Leaf.

It recovered admirably and tried to move, but it was too late and the sharp leaves reached his location, cutting into him with expert precision.

Raichu squealed in pain and confusion, caught completely off-guard and I pressed my sudden advantage like a shark smelling blood.

"A gift from Loki,"I smirked violently. "Gaia, grab it now."

"Raichu, move out of the way!" Surge's voice was frantic and confused, not able to piece together why Quick Attack failed yet.

Raichu, in a moment of raw panic and confusion, that showed it was not apart of Surge's main team, attempted to activate Quick Attack again, only to failonce more.

Not to mention, the poison and Leech Seed were swiftly sapping it of energy while Gaia steadily healed back up. Right now, the poor guy was in a complete state of delirium and we took full advantage of that.

Gaia had a rather sad*stic gleam in her eyes as her vines lashed out and wrapped around the Raichu without any mercy.

She definitely inherited being a sad*st from me, because my eyes were almost certainly reflecting the same thing as hers.

"Summon a Reflect under it and slam it down," I ordered.

"Raichu! Thunderbolt! Put everything into it!" Surge barked in a last ditch effort to get out of the sticky situation.

Props to this Raichu for being able to follow that order despite how terrible its situation was. With a loud roar of its name, the rodent exploded in pure electricity and sent it Gaia's way.

At the same time, a blue screen formed under it, before the Raichu was lifted high into the air and slammed down into the Reflect with crushing force.

Gaia let out a shriek of pain as the hellish Thunderbolt crashed into her and she began swaying heavily, before a green aura surrounded her and began slowly patching her burned marks back up.

Raichu was not so lucky. The electric type lay prone, unconscious to the world around it. Cuts littered its body from the Razor Leafs and bruises marred its fur from the slams of Vine Whip.

"Raichu is unable to battle and as a result, Gym Leader Lt. Surge has no more Pokemon to use! The winner of this match is the challenger, Silver!"

"WOOO! GET EM SILVER!" Green cheered, clapping happily at my display. There was an excited gleam in her eyes and I snorted to myself.

I let out a grunt of surprise, as I was tackled to the floor before letting out a tiny chuckle as Gaia began excitedly licking my cheek.

She looked exhausted but that was to be expected. Her moves were really draining to use and Raichu packed a ridiculous punch.

"Well done Gaia. You're on a roll," I praised, running a hand against her leaf with a pleased smirk. "You beat the hell out of that Raichu. A lot of people got wiped by it you know? And you beat it while it was practically fresh!"

"Bay!" She cheered, accepting my praise with a smug look.

"Not bad at all!" Surge boomed, making his way over to my side with a grin. "Torment eh? It took me too long to realize that's what you used."

I glanced up at the Gym Leader, managing to straighten my features even as Bayleef continued her affections on me.

It must have been a funny sight to see someone who always had a harsh expression like me, getting gushed over by a Bayleef. The contrast must have been very peculiar.

"No point announcing a move like Torment," I said idly, pushing myself up to regard the massive man. "Best to let opponents figure it out on their own."

That's exactly what I had told Loki. Why would I ever announce Torment or Taunt? It was much better to keep it a secret that could help you at the perfect time like against Raichu here.

Surge thought Loki only used Taunt, so I goaded him into using Quick Attack twice and he fell for it.

Once Quick Attack failed once, Raichu delved into a panic that swiftly snowballed the match into my favor.

He may have taken out my Zorua quickly, but Loki still made his presence known.

"Not bad at all, Silver!" Surge laughed, clasping my shoulder with that meaty hand of his.

I nearly buckled from the force and batted it aside with a withering glare. "Don't touch me," I growled.

If he was bothered by it, he didn't show it.

"You're definitely a newer trainer but your progress isn't 0 badges at all! You already have different methods for your teammates too… you're gonna end up a scary trainer," the gym leader praised.

"As the leader of Vermilion, I acknowledge your skills and hereby grant you the Thunder Badge!" He announced, pulling out the badge.

It was an eight-pointed gold star that had a gold octagon in the center of it. It gleamed and I grabbed it out of his hand with a curious gaze.

Oh wait, I didn't have a badge case.

"You don't have a badge case do you?" Surge snorted, even managing to makethatsound loud. "Hold on one second, I'll get you one. Consider it a gift for giving me a helluva surprising battle."

I was going to refuse the offer but honestly, I had no reason to so I just shrugged in acceptance.

The giant of a man lumbered off and I idly watched him go, noticing a figure running up to me from the corner of my eye.

"That was awesome!" Green praised, patting Gaia on the head with a wide grin. "Seriously! You're so good! I can't believe this is only your first gym badge! You and Gaia totally owned that Raichu! I knew she was strong but she's so strong!"

Gaia puffed up at that and I couldn't keep the pleased smirk off my face.

"The training paid off. Gaia was able to weather Raichu's onslaught real well and Saury seemed to help her out with the speed of Vine Whip too," I mused, recalling the battle in my mind.

I know Loki wouldn't be happy about that, but he shouldn't be ashamed of his performance. The fact that every single one of Surge's pokemon had Shock Wave, was just annoying for his entire style.

He also didn't have the required power to take out Raichu. When you were against a tougher opponent that countered your style of fighting, there was only ever one outcome that it would reach. That was just the harsh reality and I hope he didn't take it too bad.

Green beamed. "Will you watch my battle?!" She asked suddenly.

I raised a brow at that.

Well, she had been my training partner for these 3 days… if not for Green, this match might have been even harder but she helped me out a ton…

It would only be right if I watched her battle...

"Hell no," I replied with a snort, returning Gaia to the ball with another pat.

Yeah right.

Green blinked, before her eyes went wide in confusion.

"N-No?!" She balked.

"Yeah… no," I said coolly. "I'm not interested in watching your match. You're not gonna lose anyways with that monster of an Ivysaur."

She spluttered in disbelief. "Don't be so mean Silvy! Watch my battle!"

"No."

"Pleaaaase!"

"No."

"Prettyyyyy pleaaase!"

"No."

By now Green was clutching my jacket in a way that didn't make me want to instinctively throw her (I had batted her hand off of me multiple times over the day), refusing to let me go.

She was gazing at me like a kicked puppy and I gazed back with unimpressed eyes.

Fun fact, Green didn't like when the day ended with just training. No, for some godforsaken reason, she actually enjoyed hanging out with me.

She would constantly pester me to do things after training was over, since we started in the morning and finished around midday, and used these same exact eyes to get me to agree… but she didn't realize that these eyes barely affected me.

I simply agreed because I had nothing better to do, but agreeing after the first ask was not really my style.

I liked to make it seem like I was putting up resistance despite not caring. Made the weaker people back off.

Green was not one of those weaker people. She would bug me forever if she had to.

Mischievous and cunning Green must have thought it had to do with her "cuteness" whenever I eventually complied.

I snorted at the thought. What a funny girl she was.

"Actually, you should stay back and watch the battle! I've got something to give you!" Surge called out, handing me the badge case.

I shot him a scalding glare, as Green perked up in joy.

"So just give it to me now dumbass there's no reason to wait," I bit out. I opened up the case and placed my badge in any slot before shutting it and placing it in my bag.

"It would be faster to just hand it out to you and the girl here after her match," Surge laughed, utterly unbothered by my foul temper.

Are you kidding me? Everyone here was a freak.

I scowled and marched to the stands. I had half a mind to just ignore him and leave but whatever. I didn't have to leave for Pewter immediately I guess.

"Yay!" Green cheered happily, taking her place on the field as she shot me a thumbs up.

My response was to flip her off but she brushed it off like she brushed off all my terrible mannerisms.

Annoying. That's what she was.

Green and Surge's battle, unlike mine, was a one on one battle.

This was what he had been doing against every other trainer that challenged him. I was the exception because I had requested for it and for some reason, he agreed to my demands.

Probably to put me in my place.

Heh, he failed. I had already gotten my arrogance beaten in by a Fraxure, I wouldn't lower it any further until I nearly died again!

Green was all business. Her black dress was gone, replaced by a teal shirt and red skirt combo, red wristbands, long cyan socks and white shoes.

That same white bucket hat remained firmly on her head as she gazed calmly out at the field.

Surge, considering Raichu was unconscious from my earlier beating, had sent out a hardy looking Magneton and in response, Green confidently released Saury.

I watched the match in renewed interest because the first thing Surge had Magneton do, was use a move by the name of Electric Terrain.

I vaguely remember a move name like that. Changed the field or something.

It must have increased the power of electric moves too because that Magneton was rocking some serious firepower.

It's electric attacks came out in furious bolts, hitting the Ivysaur who managed to evade some, but not nearly all of them.

In response, Saury launched various grass attacks, testing Magneton for something and watching as the floating magnet hardly registered some attacks.

Steel type was a terrible typing for the Ivysaur. Not only did it resist the grass type attacks, it was completely immune to poison attacks as well.

"Sunny Day," Green said suddenly, looking completely at ease despite the matchup disadvantage.

Saury grunted and began concentrating, before shooting a white light into the sky.

I scowled in annoyance, as the rays of the sun intensified and punished me for wearing long clothing.

But that annoyance turned into a silent surprise as the entire tone of the battle shifted.

I knew Green's Ivysaur had Sunny Day. I don't know how he had it and why, considering he didn't even have Solar Beam yet… but it did help boost Growth.

"Growth, Saury."

Saury let out a rumbling growl, plant on its back blooming a bit from the effects of the Growth and I watched it soak in the sunlight.

Then it took a single forward and my mouth opened a little bit, as that massive f*cking Ivysaur began moving like it were a Pikachu.

Wait just a goddamn second. Did this thing haveChlorophyll?!

Holy hell, are you telling me this entire time Saury was even stronger than I initially thought?

Saury belied his size greatly with how quick he was suddenly moving and two gigantic vines, size boosted by Growth, sprouted out before slamming into the frantic Magneton.

Magneton never stopped firing attacks. Thunderbolts, Shock Waves… I even saw it shoot out an unpolished Flash Cannon and Tri-Attack.

Before, Saury would just weather the attack and fire back even stronger but now he wasactively dodging them.

Those huge vines of it began battering the Magneton nonstop, before Saury supplemented his offense by firing Razor Leafs at it as well.

It didn't matter if they weren't effective, because the Ivysaur was hitting it far muchandit was boosted by Growth. The damage was very quickly adding up and Saury just naturally hit really hard.

I would know. None of my Pokemon could beat this thing and three of them had resistance to its moves. The one who currently came closest was Ares but she lost in the end too.

Saury wrapped up his dominant performance by wrapping more huge vines around the Magneton, before slamming it brutally on the ground.

"Magneton is unable to battle and as a result, Gym Leader Lt. Surge no longer has any pokemon left! The winner of this match is challenger Green!"

Green grinned and leapt happily. "I did it! Yes! Good job Saury!" She praised happily, hugging the Ivysaur.

Saury grunted, smiling slightly at Green and wrapping his vines around her before she returned him to his ball.

"Damn,"I thought with furrowed brows. Saury was actually a freak of a pokemon.

Chlorophyll blindsided me. Saury hadn't deigned to showcase that ability in our spars and I felt my resolve to crush Green in a battle raise.

It's not like Saury would be her only problem in the future either. Green's team was going to progress almost as hard as my team was.

Right now to be completely honest, if not for Saury, I'd be able to comfortably beat Green in battle but that Ivysaur completely flipped the power in her favor.

But as she got better, her team would very quickly catch up to Saury. Lappy was getting strong fast, but Vee, Larvee and Togee were still babies (Vee less so).

Her final team looked pretty scary. Both our final teams did actually.

The fights between us were going to only get better. I guess she really could be my rival for this region.

"Alright, what the hell do you want?" I asked, ignoring Green's badge face shoving as I instead gazed at Surge.

Surge laughed and began digging in his pocket.

"You sure don't waste any time, kid!"

I sneered, only to blink as Surge produced two pieces of paper and two TMs.

"The reason I've been upping the ante, is because of these babies right here!" Surge said, handing the paper to both me and an interested Green.

"Tickets?"I thought.

"A ticket?" Green said aloud.

"Yep! To the S.S Anne! We're running a special event with it this year." Surge exclaimed. "Only worthy trainers are allowed on and I'm the one tasked with giving out the tickets, so I've gotta weed out the ones not ready for it!"

My brows furrowed. A ticket to the S.S Anne from Surge?

Wasn't this… from the Anime? In the games Surge didn't give you a ticket to the Anne. Bill did.

But now he was? Yeah this was from the Anime for sure.

"When does the boat show up?" I asked calmly.

"Two weeks," Surge replied easily.

Two weeks… perfect. I could probably get Pewter and Cerulean badges at that pace if I planned correctly.

"Alright," I grunted, pocketing the ticket. "I guess I'll be there."

"Me too!" Green nodded in excitement.

Surge nodded with a grin, before handing us the yellow discs. "A gift from me! It's the TM for Shock Wave! It's permanent too so use it as much as you want."

Shock Wave… I didn't even know when I was going to catch an electric type or which I'd catch.

It would be useful though. If I did catch one, I was going to abuse this Shockwave move because damn was it annoying.

I took it out his hand and placed it in the TM section of my bag.

"Awesome! Thanks so much!" Green beamed, doing the same thing.

Surge laughed again. "Alright, now I gotta head to the center and you kids probably do too. I haven't lost back to back in a long time."

"No. Leave me the hell alone," I said with a glare.

They both completely ignored me and I sighed.

Whatever.

"So what do you plan on doing before the ship arrives?" Green asked curiously, biting into her sandwich as she gazed at me with those big green eyes.

Green wasn't an uncommon eye color but her shade of it was pretty damn unique, much like my pale silver eyes. Hers were a fluorescent green, practically glittering with wonder.

"Going to Pewter City through Diglett's Cave... then traverse Mt. Moon to head to Cerulean," I replied, biting into my own sandwich.

Green nodded, expression thoughtful. "You plan on fighting the gyms there?"

I nodded. "That's the plan. I have two weeks to get their badges, then I'll come back here and get on the boat."

Wooo… another boat ride. Was this like my fourth one? In such a short span too. I never even road a boat back in my previous world and it was basically my main form of transportation here.

And I spent most of my boat rides cooped up in my room. Maybe I'd actually enjoy the benefits of a boat when I got on the S.S Anne.

"What about you?" I asked, finishing off my sandwich.

Green's thoughtful expression deepened. "I… was thinking of going to Pewter City through Diglett's Cave… and then Cerulean through Mt. Moon."

I glared at the girl with narrowed eyes. "Absolutely not, Leaf."

There was something deeply wrong with her. I don't understand what was wrong with her.

"We are not traveling together. Go get your other gym badges. You've got time to secure one or two just like me," I said firmly.

"But Silvy! I had so much fun hanging out with you these past 3 days!" Green argued, crossing her arms and having the audacity to pout. "You're one of the best trainers I encountered my age and you taught me the importance of training too! I think we'd be great traveling partners!"

"Cool," I said blandly.

She was insistent. "Wouldn't it be fun if we traveled together?!"

"Maybe for you and even then, I doubt it. We're complete opposites. We'd probably kill each other after a week."

"Nuh uh!"

I felt a twitch form in annoyance and took a deep breath.

This was one of the things Green would pester me about until I actually left this damn city.

"What is your deal? Why do you want to travel with me?" I asked, trying to figure this out. "I'm not nice. I'm not pleasant. I don't think I've complimented you even once and I was a complete dick to your childhood friend. So why are you so insistent on this? You've been a trainer long enough to have a traveling companion but you decided I was the right choice. What's wrong with you?"

Was she dumb? What type of masoch*st would want to put up with me for a prolonged period of time? I don't even think Jasmine was that insane...

Nah she was. Bless Jasmine's, too nice, soul.

Green frowned slightly, thrown for a loop by my questioning behavior. She didn't expect my curiosity because I wasn't curious by nature. I either said yes or no without questioning her but for something like this, naturally I'd want to ask questions.

This wasn't some small thing such as hanging out. This was a decision that would change my entire journey through Kanto.

In the first place, I wanted to travel alone. I was still a criminal after all and I didn't plan on suddenly becoming a saint.

"Well… it's just," Green pursed her lips. "I dunno… I just haven't had this much fun hanging out with someone in years. I used to have fun with Ash and Blue, but they've become so hostile, that if I hang out with one of them, the other will get mad and it's exhausting…"

"But you're different! Yeah you're mean and really rude and you don't really like anyone, but you're that way with everyone! You're mean… but I still like hanging out with you because you're just generally malicious! You don't actually hate me because of anything I've done! That's just who you are!"

Are you f*cking kidding me?

Since when was having a bad personality a good thing? I just don't get it at all. Jasmine thought the same thing didn't she?

"Besides… Team Rocket is becoming more prominent and I personally stopped their operation twice. I've been meaning to travel with someone for a while because I could be in some danger… Most people are already buddied up and honestly... I don't think I can rely on them if that happens like I can rely on you!" Green added, using the most logic since this whole thing.

...That made sense. She should have just lead with that.

She had a point. I seemed to have problems with Team Rocket as well so having her watching my back and vice versa, wasn't a bad idea.

"We're leaving tomorrow at 8 in the morning. Show up outside the center or I will leave you," I said tersely.

Green lit up at that and a wide grin split her face. She leapt across the table and hugged me excitedly.

"Yes! I'll be there! I definitely will! I'll even set an alarm for an hour earlier!" She announced.

I grunted in annoyance. "Don't touch me," I demanded, shoving her off me.

Unfortunately, I had done this too many times to her and she swiftly recovered.

"Tomorrow at 8… alright! I'm gonna go now for some last minute shopping! I'll see you tomorrow!" Green beamed, backing away and waving at me.

I sighed and waved her off. "Yeah yeah. See ya Leaf," I replied.

"STOP CALLING ME THAT! CALL ME GREEN!"

A snort left me as she disappeared, before I sighed.

I was still in the center waiting for Ares, Loki and Gaia to finish their checkups from the battle so I'd be here for a little longer.

To appease Jasmine and Joy, I did actually plan on finding a traveling partner… at some point, once I was sure my criminal actions weren't going to catch up to me.

Getting one as soon as I landed in Kanto, was not the plan.

Getting the counterpart of one of the main characters in the series, was definitely not the plan.

Green wasn't exactly like the video game version and that made sense because this world was not the games.

But if there was one thing she had, it was their talent.

Sure she wasn't as invincible as the protagonist of the video games and I very much doubted Green was going to become Champion in her first year (I don't think that was possible in this world) of training… but she would become Champion eventually at this rate if that's what she set her mind to.

Her team had some similarities to the depictions of Red as well, though likely not in the exact order he got them.

Venusaur, Lapras and Eevee were common sights… but she had a Togepi and now a Larvesta too... with the addition of all the cross region stuff, it makes sense that she would have different choices but it was fascinating all the same to actually see.

It wasn't ideal that I was traveling with a hero but whatever, if push came to shove… I'm positive that I could escape in the long run.

I could also conveniently disappear whenever she was off doing her main character stuff or whatever.

…Sometimes I wish I didn't get humbled by that Fraxure. Yeah my ego was massive after all my success… but now I've been reduced to this, actually considering other people's words and not being an arrogant ass all the time.

Normally, my conversation with Green would have ended the moment she appeared in front of me… and our pleasantries would have turned violent when she opened my bag…

But now we were traveling together. What a funny twist of fate.

"Silver! You're pokemon are healed and ready to be taken back!"

I sighed, standing up to go approach the, too nice, Nurse Joy.

Why was it that whenever I said one thing, the other tended to happen?

It was ridiculous.

I was staring at my team, in my room at the Pokemon Center, with a small smile.

"First things first, we won the match and got our Gym Badge," I revealed, showcasing the badge for them all to see.

My smile widened at the pleased noises of my team.

"Ares, Loki, Gaia… fantastic job," I praised, gazing at the three fighters who participated.

"You all did great and before you start complaining…"

I sent a pointed glance towards my first pokemon and was satisfied to see him flinch in surprise.

"That Raichu packed too much power for you with a surefire way to hit you through your illusions. You don't have to be disappointed in that, besides Torment helped Gaia and I wrap up that match with little issue so thank you, Loki," I praised.

Loki's argument died on his lips at my logical words and I scratched behind his ear.

"Don't worry about it. You win some you lose some and that Raichu was a fully evolved Pokemon. We'll steadily increase your firepower until you have the strength to supplement your trickery," I assured.

My Zorua gazed up at me, before his eyes narrowed in determination and he nodded.

I gazed at Gaia with a proud gaze. "I already sang my praises to you girl, but you did a fantastic job neutralizing Raichu. You poisoned, restrained, drained, blocked… it's a controlled style and it's frustrating for them, but really enjoyable for you, isn't it?"

The unsavory gleam in Gaia's eyes, told me all I needed to know. It was clear as day that she enjoyed controlling the tempo of the fight and we'd keep at it.

I'd give her options to speed up the fight, options to slow it down… She'd completely control the field and her opponents every step of the way.

Finally, I turned to Ares and felt a feral smirk forming at the same time as her.

"Ares, you performed way above what I expected of you," I said genuinely, rubbing the hard helmet of hers. "Not only did you crush that Pikachu with hardly a struggle, you beat the hell out of an Electabuzz too! You fought through the pain and kicked his ass!"

Ares roared at that, looking utterly pleased with herself and I couldn't fault her.

"We'll continue to increase your power and endurance for now. You can take a good hit and once you become a Shelgon, we'll teach you even more defensive techniques, to help supplement the power you'll have as a Salamence, got that?" I instructed.

Once she became a Shelgon, her defenses would skyrocket but everything else, barring power, would practically disappear in preparation for the metamorphosis into Salamence.

I would take that time to teach her how to take a hit that didn't involve abusing her shell. Shelgon's would always be naturally more durable then Salamence because of that shell, but that didn't mean my Salamence had to lose all that durability.

Ares was going to become her namesake, a real war machine.

Ares looked up at her trainer, eyes practically shining in anticipation.

If there was any doubt about picking the wrong trainer (there had been none), the match she had against Surge dashed all of it away.

Her trainer was truly a worthy vassal, befitting the honor of riding along with her once she gained the abilities to dominate the skies!

I saw the look in Ares' eyes and smiled in a pleased manner. Looks like she was truly on board with me being her trainer now.

Good. Getting her loyalty now, would do wonders in not getting maimed to death when she first evolved into Salamence. The early hormones for Bagon's final evolution were infamous enough to warn most trainers about.

"Alright, next up we're going against a Rock type gym," I announced to my team. "Freyja, Beldum. I'm using you two for this battle no matter what so get ready."

Beldum simply nodded, their intent flashing through my mind for a moment.

Freyja looked a lot more nervous.

It was no secret that she was my weakest Pokemon but her control had been increasing steadily these past few days.

Her work with Water Pulse in particular, was getting pretty damn good. Rain Dance's output was slightly better but it wasn't anything too impressive. Maintaining it though, required a lot of energy so I had her practice keeping it up as long as possible.

While she couldn't beat any of my or Green's pokemon (her battles with Larvee were very close!), she was able to get some victories against rather incompetent opponents… in my opinion.

"Don't be nervous," I assured. "You have me guiding you. We'll win this badge and you'll win your match. Just do your best and I won't be disappointed."

Freyja gazed up at me, taken aback by my complete confidence in her, and then she smiled shakily at me and nodded vigorously.

I smiled at her and let the topic drop.

"By the way, we're traveling with Green for the time being. I don't know if its permanent but for now, we'll try it out," I told them. "Any objections?"

There was a brief silence, before my team gazed atmelike I had grown another head.

"What…?" I said in confusion.

"Bay," Gaia drawled, pointing a vine at me and getting a nod out of every single one of them.

"...I'm the only one that would have a problem with that?" I asked in disbelief.

Once again, they nodded.

"Fee!" Freyja beamed.

"You guys like Green?" I asked dumbly.

Yet another group of nods.

"Zor zorua," Loki explained gently.

"...You guys this this is good for me because I don't talk to enough people...?"

A final group nod. Even Beldum and Ares agreed on that one and they could care less about my social interactions

...

You've gotta be kidding me. No way were my pokemon telling me I needed to be less antisocial. No way were they actually encouragingmeto travel with her.

"...You guys are free to do what you want for the rest of the day," I grunted sourly, marching over to my bed to sulk in peace. "I'm gonna check out the next moves I want you to learn and do some adjustments now that we have another person moving with us. Don't mention the less than legal things I do by the way. That's a team secret."

I finished by tossing them all a pokeblock and got noises of affirmation from them all.

Before I could pull out my Pokedex to make good on my words, my Pokegear vibrating, made me glance at it and I flipped it open.

A message, from Green…

"Tomorrow at 8 right? I think that's what you said... Wait that's definitely what you said! Okay Silvy! I gotta go, Togee just tried to steal this trainers food so I have to apologize!"

I felt my eye twitching in annoyance.

When the f*ck did she add her number to my Pokegear? When the f*ck did she get mine?

The chilly morning air brushed against me and I let out a cold breath, stuffing my hands in my jacket pockets, before removing one to push the hair out of my eyes.

It was currently 7:50 and I was waiting for Green to eventually show up.

My internal clock demanded I wake up earlier, so I had been awake since about 6 actually. I took a bath with my team, made my team food, choked down my slightly edible meal (it was motivation to better my own cooking), and did a light workout that got the blood moving.

I had already returned the keys back to Nurse Joy so all that's left, was to wait for her to show up.

Before, I was going to leave her as soon as 8 hit… but with the news that my team liked Green, I would wait for a little longer.

Currently, I was relaxed against someone's house, the Pokemon Center visible from a distance that would allow me to see Green come out, as I contemplated my next course of action.

Considering I now had a person I was traveling with, it would be best if I start including her in my planning. Green was the type of person who would generally follow whatever I say we were doing, but she was independent enough to pitch in her own ideas.

I had a very my way or highway mindset, but that was typically when I had a set goal. If Green wanted to go somewhere and I didn't find it inconvenient, I'd not have much problem going.

Hm… I should consider a new sixth member. I wasn't hard pressed for one, and I would surely catch more than six in the future but I suppose filling out the last slot was a good side goal to focus on.

I was missing quite a few types as well…

I guess from the types I was missing, filling my last slot out with a Fire, Ghost or Electric type would probably be what I want the most.

But I couldn't really think of one right now, that'd be feasible to hunt.

The only fire type I'd seriously consider in Kanto, was Magmortar and the only electric type was its counterpart, Electivire.

Conveniently for Ghost, Dusknoir would be awesome too. It may have sucked in games but here? They were astonishingly rare and powerful.

Same with Electivire and Magmortar. They were much stronger than the games portrayed them as.

But alas, I don't think I wanted to catch those three. Sure if the opportunity arose, I'd take it... but I think I'd like to consider other options…

Which was the problem. I doubted I'd find options like those in Kanto. Sure there was much more national variance, but pokemon still had preferred regions.

I guess looking for a Ghost was my best chance? Most Ghosts congregated at Lavender Tower and we could realistically head there en route to Celadon.

I may even find something in Rock Tunnel. Maybe I'd even ask Green to let Lappy ride us to the Power Plant. There might be a decent electric type over there.

Alright, that didn't sound too ba —

My eyes darted upward, as the sound of a woman singing, interrupted my musings…

Except it wasn't a woman singing.

I froze solid, a primal fear surging through my body that filled me with just as much confusion because I didn't knowwhyI was afraid.

Well, I didn't know for long but I soon found out.

The source of the woman singing, wasn't actually a woman. It was a pokemon.

Light green in nature, the pokemon had some insectoid features but it looked much like a dragonfly.

A Flygon, one of the many dragons from Hoenn.

And on the back of that Flygon was a man.

He was a tall, middle aged man with very short black hair. He was wearing a long sleeved black shirt, with a large V neck that showed a white undershirt underneath and black trousers along with shoes.

It wasn't the Flygon that was filling me with such fear… Despite the fact that the dragon was gazing at me with a violent gaze, familiarity in its eyes… I didn't fear it nearly as much as the man riding on it.

The man gazing down at me with cruel gray eyes that looked similar, but oh so different to my unnatural silver hues.

"You're nervous," Giovanni pointed out idly. "I thought I taught you that being nervous detracted from how effective you could be. It's a waste to be anxious."

He was practically saying the same thing I said to Green earlier right before my gym battle. It was something that I thought of myself…

Why was he saying the same thing?

Taught me? What did he teach me?

"What do you want?" I bit out, anger mixing in with fear for reasons I couldn't explain.

Giovanni raised a brow, gazing down at me with slight amusem*nt.

"You ran off without saying a word and while the thought is still amusing, isn't it natural for a father to be worried for his favorite son? It's only right that I come to pay you a visit after hearing that you remained in Kanto. Not to mention, you managed to beat Surge. It seems like you really are worth my investment."

You would have thought hell froze over, with how my body stilled.

What did this asshole just say ?

Isn't it natural for a father to be worried for his son?

Oh no no no no. No f*cking way absolutely not.

...My connection to Team Rocket, my hatred for them, my anger and fear at Giovanni, my thieving and belligerent attitude, my birth city being Viridian…

Was because I was thesonof Giovanni, leader ofTeam Rocket?

"You've gotta be f*cking me."

Notes:

Hey there welcome to Chapter 4! Lot of stuff going down so I hope you enjoy! Kanto Arc officially starts and I'm not wasting anytime! Enjoy the banger ending haha!

This whole chapter was quite fun to write and I officially introduced both Green and Blue! I hope you enjoyed and liked the battles too!

I made a Discord Server! If you wanna chat or have questions and want quick answers, consider joining!

Here's the code! discord.gg/BFFtXAXFU7

These Silver Eyes - JustAScarecrow - Pocket Monsters | Pokemon (2024)

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