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Flannery in Reborn - The Tale of a Firehead [Last defeated: Dounia]

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~EPISODES LIST~

 

*** SEASON ONE - CHILDHOOD ARC ***

1. Dysfunctional Family

2. A Dish Served Cold

3. To Lavaridge Town

4. An Old Friend

5. Recklessness Of Beginners

6. Stardust

7. Echoes Through The Mirage

8. No Holds Barred

9. Without You I'm Nothing

 

*** SEASON TWO - DEPARTURE ARC ***
10. Seventeen Years Later

11. Reborn City?

12. Ambassador Of Hoenn

13. Gone

 

*** SEASON THREE - REBORN CITY ***

14. To Grandview Station

15. Outrageous Arrival

16. Recovery

17. Dounia The Healer

 


Episode 18 - Scoreboard

  • #################### | 100% - Storyline
  • #################### | 0% - Translation
  • #################### | 0% - Illustration

Total:

  • #################### | 33%

"Here we go! Translation awaits us 🙂 🔥 🦊"

 

(Updated 12/11/19)


 

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Spoiler

Once upon a time, in the region of Hoenn, somewhere beside Lilycove's harbor, there was a little girl living peacefully with her lovely parents. She was very obedient and serious for her age. Little did she had to eat, little did she had to sleep. Only 8 years old, she had a heart of gold and was always prepared to assist her parents for almost everything, whatever it was. Her mother was the curator of Lilycove’s museum. The little girl liked to follow her in there during her working hours to see and understand what she did, she pretended to be a curator of the museum too. If she saw anybody damaging the pictures or dumping things on the ground, she told them it was wrong and they had to stop. Otherwise, she would call her mother. Also, she was passionate about arts and beautiful things in general. She took a while to contemplate statues and pictures all along the corridors of the museum. The happier her parents were, the happier she was too. But her altruism compensated with her hyperactivity and her impulsive nature. She had a great sense of justice, but sometimes, it tended to irritate her parents, especially her father.

 

Four weeks after the eighth birthday of the child, her mother was fired out of Lilycove’s museum because of an abuse of violence toward a young thug called Matt. After he assaulted the poor daughter who told him to pay the entrance, the mature lady punched him several times right in his face. She couldn’t stand to see her daughter getting hurt by anyone. Despite of her heroic act, everybody didn’t approach it the same way. The laxity of her manager who judged her too aggressive decided to fire her for serious misconduct to not destroy the reputation of the museum. He said there was no place for savages in such a quiet place. The little girl was upset by such injustice. Whatever she did, nothing could change the past.

 

Since mom was stuck without any jobs, there was only daddy who managed to bring money at home thanks to his rank of deputy head in the warehouse of Lilycove City. His job was only about controlling the import-export settings and the reliability of the products. The more time passed, the more the family was in debt because of bad business. The family started to make cheese-paring economies, and had to be careful when they purchased primary needs like food or when it was time to pay the bill. One day, daddy told her wife it was better to abandon their child because he remembered that it was all her fault if her wife was dismissed from her job. In the end, he assumed it was the best solution as she was not needed nor wanted anymore. The child understood progressively that her parents started to ignore her, and could even punish her for words she never said. Daddy decided she will not going to have dinner for every night, he even said she was eating too much for her age. She may have been a nice and helpful daughter, she was broken by such cruelty from her parents, it let her in deep sadness all alone in her room for days. There were no friends to help or understand her, she felt totally helpless. Joy vanished from her face, there was nothing but tears of sorrow running down her sunken cheeks and wetting the top of her little purple dress.

 

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One day, on a Sunday morning to be precise, after she went out of her unlocked room to go downstairs and have breakfast in the kitchen, she saw an old man sat between mom and daddy. He was probably in his mid-seventies, but the little girl never saw him before. So, she asked her parents about their guest.

 

Little Girl: “Dad, Mom, who is this man in the kitchen?”

Daddy: “Ah! You finally decided to wake up. It’s about time, we were about to clean the table. A few minutes later, you would have missed the dinner AND your breakfast.”

Mom: “Oh yes, of course! I almost forgot you’ve never met before. Honey, this is father’s new employee Mr. Kofa. He works for him for 6 days now.”

Little Girl: “Father’s new employee?! That’s… um… the first time… um… that daddy invite work colleagues at home. Nice to meet you.”

Daddy: “And then? I shouldn’t?”

Little Girl: “I did not want to say that, I just mean that… um…”

Daddy: “That’s not the question. You’re truly incorrigible. The way you express yourself, your clumsiness, so much awkward things merged into one little body… you really should make up your mind. I don’t care you’re 8 years old, that’s not an excuse. Now, focus on your bread roll rather than doing another stupid observation.”

Mom: “Stop! Just stop! Listen to me honey, your father works himself to death every day to allow us to survive. He doesn’t pretend to do it. Additionally, the winter is darker and colder than last year. With such a pitiful weather, it’s not too bad to break the routine and meet new people sometimes, isn’t it?”

Little Girl: “Um…”

Daddy: “Exactly darling! Dear colleague, I let you here until midday. You have all the time you want to speak with our daughter after she finished her breakfast. Me and my wife need to go to the department store to buy some groceries, our fridge won’t be plenty with just a snap of fingers. So, if you need us, you know where we are.”

 

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The elderly agreed by nodding slightly, and then, daddy told his daughter the following words.

 

Daddy: “You… don’t move from here. I hope you realize what I’ve done for you. I even give you a chance to create affinity with an interesting person, one of my new confidents. It will be better for you to learn something useful and interesting rather than dreaming all day long. Mr. Kofa, tell her how our business was this week, it will help her to kill time in a more intelligent way.”

 

The elderly agreed by nodding a second time, and just after that, daddy and mom left the kitchen to reach the closet and picked out blue coats each other. They put on their sumptuous outfits before to go to the department store, letting their daughter alone with new daddy’s partner. The atmosphere started to be heavier than before, the poor child was often left alone at home the last months, but that was the first time she was supervised by an unknown man in her own property, that was a stressful experience. However, the old man could read the fear on the tormented child’s face.

 

Mr. Kofa: “Is that the same story every day?”

Little Girl: “Yes.”

Mr. Kofa: “How long have you been in such situations?”

Little Girl: “Too long.”

Mr. Kofa: “Are you frequently all alone like this?”

 

The confused kid snapped suddenly, started to cry loudly and yelled in a chaotic despair.

 

Little Girl: “Yeeeeeees! But I never wanted this. If that’s what adults call “life”, I wish I could end mine in an instant. It kills me inside and I don’t know what to do. The day mother lost her job, everything turned black around me. Now every day that passes is like a spike planted in my breast. I did nothing to deserve such a thing, I wonder how long I can resist before it destroys me entirely. But it’s fate, right? Right?”

 

The old man just couldn’t believe it. He never heard such sentences from the mouth of a child. He tried to stop her madness by taking her by the shoulders and whispered kind words to calm her down.

 

Mr. Kofa: “You’re not alone anymore. I’m here to understand you. I’m here to help you. I’m here to blow a wind of love on you. Wherever you are, there is still someone thinking about you and wishing the best for you. Now stop crying, I don’t want to read pain in such beautiful red eyes anymore. Try to hold on!”

 

He took out a handkerchief from his pocket and gave it to the child who blown her nose with. After that, she calmed down slowly and hugged the elderly for his kindness. Then, she asked him about what happened in the warehouse this week.

 

Little Girl: “Is daddy also mad at work? Did you already endure his wrath too?”

Mr. Kofa: “Believe me kid, if he ever knew who I am, he would have changed his attitude quickly!”

Little Girl: “What? What do you mean?“

Mr. Kofa: “Your mother… you definitely look like your mother… but younger.”

Little Girl: “Wait, you mean you've already known my mother when she was a child? When? What are you hiding from me?”

Mr. Kofa: “I think I can stop hiding the truth, Kofa is not my true name. My true name is Moore, Mura Moore. And I’m your grandfather.”

 

That revelation almost made her fall off her chair. The elderly she met in the kitchen was not just an ordinary warehouse worker of Lilycove City, he was her grandfather.

 

Little Girl: “But I don’t understand! My parents never told me about you before. If it’s true, why did you choose to work for my father? Why the secrecy? “

 

The daughter was still in shock in front of this unexpected discovery, but Mr. Moore was ready to give her all the details about who he really was. His identity, his motives, he was going to tell her everything.

 

Mr. Moore: “To be honest, I’m more than just a common man. I am an old member of the Elite Four, a very famous and powerful Pokemon trainer with a great reputation all over Hoenn. I lived peacefully with a charming wife and your mother in a pleasant home in Lavaridge Town at one time. Unfortunately, your mother did not spend time with my wife for a very long time. She died in childbirth, a life has been stolen to allow a new one to exist. Do you understand?

Little Girl: “Of course, what a terrible fate! What happened then? I want to know!”

Mr. Moore: “As I said before, your mother didn’t know your grandmother for a very long time. That means I was alone with her, and I had to look after her and see her growing up. But she wasn’t locked at home like a prisoner. For her, I was ready for everything. I always wanted to make her go outside, climbing the Mt. Chimney, discovering new territories, and above all, I wanted to show her the Pokemon living around the volcano behind the village. If only I could make her a Pokemon trainer worthy of the name and see her travelling through the whole region, I would have been more than honored. But it seems it just never happened.”

Little Girl: “I saw it. But why did this never happen? Wasn’t she interested in it?”

Mr. Moore: “If I must be as precise as possible, I have no doubt that nothing interested her in this place. She was careless about the gifts of earth. She often complained about the warmth that surrounded Lavaridge Town and even told me that she felt uncomfortable by living near a volcano. When she was 20 years old, she said she really bored herself and wanted to live for port cities like Slateport City or Lilycove City. She said she preferred to work as a stewardess or a curator rather than just being an herbalist and selling roots and herbs every day. And then, I never heard anything from her for several years… but that was before. Since I was a member of the Elite Four, I’ve kept a large number of contacts with me, and little by little, I got more and more information about her new location. The picture in the newspaper showing the accident in Lilycove’s Museum was the masterpiece of all the clues I managed to get until now. Additionally, there are so few people able to act like this.”

Little Girl: “What do you mean by that?”

Mr. Moore: “Nervousness, shyness, impulsiveness, pride, incredible desire to win and push away our limits are ambiguous feelings written in her flesh. My flesh. Yours. She inherited this attitude from me. It’s something that passes down from one generation to the next. It’s something registered in Moore family member’s genes, and we can’t do anything against it. It’s a pure fact of life.”

 

The child continued to listen to her grandfather’s story. She was very curious about what he had to say. The more he described her mother during her childhood, the more the little girl identified herself with her and started to see Mr. Moore as a trustworthy man. Then, she asked him something else.

 

Little Girl: “But why did you want to keep secret your identity?”

Mr. Moore: “I knew she couldn’t stand to stay with me permanently. I am sure she did her best to avoid me as long as she could. Maybe I was too invasive for her after all this years. The fact she announced me she would leave far away from me without ever coming back confirmed my opinion about her, she would never accept to live away from urban areas. She never told me exactly where she wanted to go, nor where she would spend the night, but there’s still one thing I know, she managed to live another life. At the beginning it was difficult, but I ended up accepting her choice. I realized that there are things for which we are made and others for which we aren’t. Your mother was the most precious thing of my life, and I am proud of her success, I have no regrets. That also explains why I did my best to finally find her in Lilycove City, and I did considerable efforts to change my look, my name, and even a little bit my way to speak. I think you already guessed it, I was, and I am still a talented poet. For me, making well-made sentences and focusing on the importance of rhetoric was an innate talent that I need to sustain everytime. It’s due to the great amount of time I've spent at the top of the Mt. Chimney, in sandy deserts, and other wild and inspirational areas.”

Little Girl: “And I agree, you talk very well, hihihi!”

Mr. Moore: “Thanks for the compliment my child. In a nutshell, I ingeniously managed to pretend to be someone I am not and I applied for a job in the warehouse of Lilycove City. Then, I took several tests to allow them to evaluate my physical skills under pressure. Against all odds, I passed the tests hands down, the hot springs in Lavaridge Town tend to maintain the body and all its basic functions, and help a lot to fight the tiredness. They kept me among the best candidates, I've met the deputy head of the warehouse, and then… you already know what happened then.”

Little Girl: “What a story!”

Mr. Moore: “I thought the same thing. By the way, I didn’t expect how bad she became now. Her husband is totally a twerp, it just took me three seconds to understand he had a bad influence on your mother. But it didn’t surprise me anymore. During the working hours, all you can hear is his boring loud voice. It sounds like an Exploud, but worse.”

 

It managed to make the child laugh, her high-pitched childish voice escaped from her mouth. For this time, her grandfather was right. Concerning mouth, daddy had a big one.

 

Mr. Moore: “By the way, I realize we are talking for a while. Your parents will come back soon. If you’re okay, I’ll have something to say to them.”

 

Just after finishing his sentence, the elderly winked to the little girl. She didn’t know what it meant, but without knowing why, she felt reassured. The fact she managed to meet her grandfather for the first time wrapped her in an energizing wave of happiness. Shortly after, somebody knocked on the door. That same person grumbled swearing about heavy bags of provisions.

 

Little Girl: “They came back!”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t worry I said. I promise I’ll keep the situation under control. But before I let them go home, I have one last question to ask you.”

Little Girl: “Um… yes, whatever you want.”

Mr. Moore: “Your name. I want to know your name.”

Little Girl: “I… um… my name… is… um… I am… um… Flannery.”

 

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Interesting. I like the story so far. And I like how you made it clear who was talking too. I might have to use that for my stories as well. Can't wait to read more.

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Thank you very much !

I always love to see people enjoying what I did. Of course, you can use a similar pattern to help the reader to understand who was talking, I found it less tricky. Also, I don't just want to write a story, the pictures you see include redone Pokemon Ruby screenshots. It's pretty satisfying to see what is possible with some softwares like Advance Map or Gimp. Furthermore, I ended up the whole Little Flannery walking sprites, Little Winona is the next. But it took me a large amount of time, so I think I won't post another episode right now. And I thought it was a good idea to let the story taking place in Hoenn for now, just before the episode 17 of Reborn comes out. Take a deep breath, I already predicted what will happen for the second part ;)

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Hey! Catchy story you have there! I really would like to read the next chapters, if you can tag me, I would really appreciate! Congratulations :P

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Spoiler

After the little girl accepted to say her name to her grandfather, Mr. Moore moved toward the door in the entrance to let Flannery’s parents go home. Their arms were loaded with full shopping bags. Just after opening the door, daddy rushed to the kitchen to deposit the bags, shoving the old man in his haste.

 

Daddy: “Get out of my way! It’s only a matter of time before those damned packs of water bottles awake my arthrosis.”

Mom: “Stop complaining darling, it’s just water.”

Daddy: “Yes, but still. What a stupid idea to go downstairs rather than taking the elevator nearby with such heavy things.”

Mom: “Do you really think it was a better idea to stay into the waiting line to take the elevator when you know it could be faster to go downstairs. Also, a bit of physical activity has never hurt anyone.”

Daddy: “Just a bit!? You said, ‘Just a bit’!? I don’t think my back feels the same way. Now move your buns if you don’t want to lose your precious extra time!”

 

At the same time, the angry man looked at the old man and her daughter, and gave them the following orders.

 

Daddy: “Both of you, come here. While my wife will try to prepare something good to eat, you’ll store all our purchases in the fridge and the pantry. And don’t forget to set the table after that, okay? For my part, I’ll try to get rid of my uncontrolled emotions by lying down on the couch, I think my body is about to collapse.”

 

While father staggered from left to right and right to left like a Spinda towards the living room, his work colleague wanted to make a request to him.

 

Mr. Moore: “Mister?”

Daddy: “Yes Mr. Kofa?”

Mr. Moore: “Since I took care of your home, your daughter, and now your shopping bags, would you grant me a favor? I really wish I could have lunch with you today.”

Daddy: “Hm…”

Mr. Moore: “As you know, loved workers mean good cheer, and good cheer means more money for boss’s pockets. We are all the gears of a big clock, and I would not say ‘no’ to some oil.”

Daddy: “Ahah, I definitely love your way to speak! Let me tell you that I’m quite happy to know you. So be it! Flannery, don’t forget to set another place.”

 

Flannery and Mr. Moore emptied the entire content of every shopping bag and stored it in the fridge and the pantry respectively. They also set the table quickly whereas mom cooked daddy’s favorite meal, ground beef with corn. On the other side, lazy daddy was seated on the couch watching the last TV interview. He wanted to learn more about the submarine building project led by Captain Stern in Slateport City. Mr. Moore took the opportunity to get his granddaughter attention discreetly by winking at her a second time and whispered some silent words to her.

 

Mr. Moore: “After the meal, I’ll talk to your daddy in more details about his stepfather. Don’t worry, I know what I do.”

Flannery: “You’re really a good person. People like you are rare, and your kindness means a lot for me.”

Mr. Moore: “And I have no doubt about that, take my word for it. I didn’t lie when I said someone would care about you wherever you are. Guardian angels do not only exist in fairy tales.”

Flannery: “I’m also sure that’s true. Indeed, I’m still waiting the day when my prince charming will come and take me safely inside of his well-kept castle. Hm… if only such things could happen in real life.”

 

A few moments later, mom invited her guests to take place, she finished to prepare the meal. Sunday lunch was always the most generous and nourishing of all the week. From Monday to Friday, the family had to be content with ready-to-eat canned meals without complaining too much. During lunchtime, the whole family had all she needed to eat, except Flannery who was the only one to not have received any piece of meat.

 

Flannery: “Dad, mom. I’m still starving. Why was I the only one to not have a ground steak?”

Daddy: “Because there were only three steaks and I always care about the satisfaction of my new employees. Would you care to comment on that, perhaps?”

Flannery: “This is not fair. If you really like them, you should do it with your meal, not mine.”

Daddy: “I’m the most important member of this family, the central pillar of this house. This is me, and only me, who decide what is right or wrong for each of us. Do you understand me, I do what I want!”

 

The little girl decided to stand up for herself and took her courage in both hands, no matter what it costed. She finally snapped again.

 

Flannery: “That’s enough! Now listen to me. I’m sick of being treated like a trash, I wonder if you still care about me. Maybe I’m a child, but I also know what’s better for me, and if you really think you can intimidate me with your great gestures, please forget it. It won’t change the truth!”

 

Her father couldn’t believe it. Nobody ever talked to him like that, even his own wife who kept silent during the entire meal. Furthermore, he felt particularly ashamed beside his dear friend Mr. Kofa. But his huge surprise started to turn quickly into harmful wrath. Daddy suddenly got to his feet knocking over his chair and walked to the other side of the table to reach her daughter. He was standing in front of her, surrounded by strong hate.

 

Daddy: “How dare you be so impertinent with me, your dad? You’re really getting on my nerves, nobody ever talked to me like that. I’ve never accepted it, and I never will. As long as I am still alive, you’ll never have the last word with me!”

Flannery: “If you feel so awkward by this experience, it’s because nobody was brave enough to say out loud what they think inside. Today, I’m not afraid of you anymore, you’re nothing but a selfish greedy monster!”

Daddy: “You little brat! I’ll show you what happen when someone pushes me to my limits. Today, you’ll better know who I am, I am going to teach you a lesson you’ll never forget!”

Flannery: “Just try it!”

 

Daddy was too proud to understand her daughter’s state of mind and rose his right arm in the air, he was determined to administer a severe physical correction to the little girl. But it did not happen. Someone prevented it, Mr. Moore did. He was just behind him, grabbing daddy’s forearm in the air, immobilizing him and preventing him to touch one hair of the frightened child. Ironically, the old man was stronger than daddy himself, the young skinny man never learnt to fight. The elderly rotated him in his direction successfully and told him the following words.

 

Mr. Moore: “Please, don’t hurt this child, this is not worthy of someone as important as a deputy head to attack someone as young as a defenseless little girl.”

Daddy: “You? What are you doing? Let go of me!”

Mr. Moore: “I did not expect you to be so stubborn and unruly, what a shame.”

Daddy: “But Mr. Kofa, I thought we were friends. You dare soil such a strong connection between a high ranked man and his worker?”

Mr. Moore: “Please, keep your wild imaginings for you. I don’t know how I could still be insensitive to such an ungentlemanly conduct. You know, I may be an old man but I am not senile either. If you insist I would not refuse to show you a demonstration.”

 

While continuing to grab daddy’s forearm, he turned his head in front of Flannery’s mother and asked her.

 

Mr. Moore: “You, madam! Yes, you… look into my eyes, and tell me who I am.”

 

Mom stared at the old man’s eyes. 15 seconds later, she took a deep breath and exclaimed herself.

 

Mom: “Wait! You’re not… it can’t be possible. It can’t… be true. Daddy… is that you !?”

Mr. Moore: “You took your time, but you did it right. Yes, this is me.”

Mom: “This is impossible, I must be dreaming. How such a thing can be real? Darling, listen to me. Calm down and return to your seat immediately.”

Daddy: “What’s all this about Mr. Kofa? My friend?”

Mr. Moore: “My friend, my friend, my friend… that’s all you have been calling me by. You should have known by now I am not Mr. Kofa.”

Daddy: “But, Mr. Kofa?”

Mr. Moore: “How many times should I tell you Mr. Kofa is not my true name. I am Mura Moore, one of the last member of the Elite 4, your wife’s father, and the grandfather of this poor little thing that you call ‘your daughter’.”

 

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Daddy became as white as a sheet and his arm which offered a considerable physical resistance just a few moments ago started to be as flask as a boned Magikarp. Obviously, he did not expect to hear such a declaration from the elderly. As he knew who he was dealing with, daddy quickly understood that it was not a good idea to alienate such a strong and influential person as a member of the Elite 4.

 

Daddy: “Uuuuuuuummmm… okay. So be it, you won. I think I can swallow my pride for this time. Please, accept all my apologies for my misconduct. Would you like a dessert?”

Mr. Moore: “Hm… well. Dear. I note that you couldn’t help talking about me with your husband during all that time.”

Mom: “You guessed right. When I told you who you were, we sworn to never talk about this story again. But I have to admit that nothing erases the past.”

Mr. Moore: “Exactly, even thousand erasers will not be sufficient to remove the footsteps of the only one who saw you coming into this world.”

Mom: “But why? Why did you come here? What are your motives? What’s on your mind?”

Mr. Moore: “What’s on my mind? Why don’t you ask this question to your daughter? I wanted to see how you’ve grown up for all these years. I wanted to see with my own eyes what happened to the sapling your mother planted so long ago. But to be honest, the results don’t excite me anymore. I wish I had seen a cherry blossom rather than a rigid dry bush.”

Mom: “Should I presuppose that you’re not satisfied of my new life?”

Mr. Moore: “I hope that’s a joke. Of course, that doesn’t satisfy me at all! You failed as a wife, you’ve failed as a mother, you’ve failed as the curator of Lilycove’s Museum, and more importantly you’ve failed as my successor. If your mother was still alive, what do you think she would say about your current situation?”

Mom: “A lot of things but not many compliments, I guess. Do you regret to have make so many efforts for so little?”

Mr. Moore: “Not as much as I would! Because, regardless of what you’ll become in the future and whatever you do, you’re still my daughter, and it’s not like me to let one of my family member get lost in this kind of predicament. If you really want to know, I had a flash of intuition this morning. If you understand it, maybe I can help you all. But you and your husband must both agree about this solution. Do you want to know it?”

Daddy: “Why not? In any case, it’s not like I had something to lose.”

Mom: “Father, I know you too well. There was something else in your mind since you talked to our child this morning.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re very sharp, well done! The conversation we had reminded me of how removed I’ve been from the struggle. It even involved your daughter, your ‘precious’ daughter as we might say. As she told me before, your difficult economic situation you encountered has increasingly driven a wedge between you and her. But I think it’s better to let your daughter express herself. Flannery, if you have something to say, do it now.”

 

The child tried to organize her thoughts and concentrated on what she would have to say. Then, she expressed herself as quietly as possible by looking in her parents’ eyes.

 

Flannery: “Dad, mom. Since the accident in the museum, you’re not the same. I believed you may be able to love me whatever happens, but you just decided to keep your distance with me permanently. You spend so much time on creating stupid punishments that you’ve forgotten how much I love you. The more I did efforts to draw your attention, the more you avoided me. But that’s enough, I can’t continue to live this way, it’s too much for me. If you don’t want me to be with you any longer, please let me go. No matter what I do, I know that’s what you expect from me, you will not yell at me pretending I eat too much anymore. In the past, I enjoyed spending time in this place trying to be useful and supporting you all day long. But it seems like things have changed now. Every day that passes means another day alone at home, I finally accepted to admit that our family was broken. This place may be my home, today I feel like a bird in a cage.

Daddy: “And? Do you really think I cared about that!? If you really want to know, I’ve always been tired of living with a clingy child like you. Before Lilycove’s Museum accident, we did a lot for you… too much indeed. We were always here to respond to all your spoiled brat whims, we already gave you all you needed to be happy and grow up as you should. In the end, you were nothing but an infuriating and annoying child from the start. But the world we live is uncompromising, the day will come when you’ll have to do everything by yourself, kid.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s when I come in. All Flannery needs is love, abandoning her to her sad fate like you did is letting her die slowly and painfully. I am sure there is no problem if you allow me to take care about her and her education instead. Even if that means that she should follow me to Lavaridge Town to get another life.

Mom: “That’s what I thought…”

Daddy: “Hmmmm…”

Mr. Moore: “You both agree with this? After all, I’m just offering my assistance to my own family. Have a good think about it.”

 

Mr. Moore’s proposal did not left Flannery indifferent. Her eyes were brighter and a big smile crawled across her shining face, her own parents never saw such an expression on their daughter’s face before. Meanwhile, mom and daddy looked at each other, their mind were blurred by questions and exclamation. Then, after careful consideration, they turned to Flannery and Mr. Moore.

 

Daddy: “Stepdad, even if it seems to be an interesting idea you’ve there, you can’t just escape with our daughter overnight. Also, I must remind you that you applied for a full-time commitment until the last week of next June. Even though you were going to Lavaridge Town with Flannery, you’ll never have the time to strike the balance between your personal life and your work time in Lilycove City.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t worry about my job. You know, I have taken the time to be syndicated at the start of my career in the warehouse, and I know my rights. Therefore, I can break the contract whenever. And if you’re not satisfied, I have an interesting amount of money with me. Interesting enough to cover all your miscellaneous expenses for the next six months, so it should be enough before your wife manages to find another job. Also, I clearly don’t think there are so much family with an understanding and energetic grandfather like me, and I am modest. I’ll have all the time I need to give Flannery a better representation of the world as it is now, and nothing will happen to us during the entire trip to Lavaridge Town. I have not been nominated member of the Elite 4 for nothing, I promise I’ll take care of her.”

Daddy: “Hm… from this perspective, I don’t know how I could say ‘no’. That seems honest, I accept your offer! Darling?”

Mom: “Hmm… after all, why not? For the instance, I don’t believe we have so much to lose anymore. It remains to be seen whether Flannery feels ready to stand on her own feet somewhere she never was before. It’s for her, and her alone to decide. So, honey, do you feel motivate enough to leave everything behind and start over in an unknown place, or would you rather stay with us in Lilycove City having sweet dreams and forgetting all about this story?”

 

The little girl did not hesitate any longer. She already known what was the best for her and her future and ended the suspense quickly.

 

Flannery: “I can’t stop to consider this day as a gift of heaven, and I would really enjoy to side with grandfather. Please, just don’t be disappointed by my choice.”

Mom: “Disappointed… but… Flannery, I admit I was not a perfect mother these past few months, but please, listen to me. There is nothing more beautiful for a mom to see her daughter gaining self-confidence at such a young age and see her taking decisions like an adult. I’m not like your father. When you’ll be gone, I will do my best to find another job as soon as I can, and I will also lend my hand to your father to be sure that nothing will prevent him to make more profit in the future. This predicament is the main cause of our broken relationships. I wish we never met this scamp in the museum either.”

Flannery: “Matt, if we ever meet again, I won’t let you flee. You can count on me, I swear, I’ll go to you, I will make you pay.”

Mr. Moore: “So be it. Flannery, I let you say goodbye to your parents. Once your reconciliations are done, meet me outside. Grudge is pathogenic pain which needs to be cured as soon as possible.”

 

Flannery’s dream was becoming a reality. She jumped in mom’s arms who hugged her with all the love she deserved. Daddy was next to them, he caressed the top of the head of her daughter a short time before to leave to the living room. Whereas he watched TV to forget about the whole story, mom decided to extend the meal of her daughter with a heavy heart by cutting a big red apple just for her. Mom looked at Flannery who ate the fruit with a hearty appetite, and could not hold her tears any longer. She decided to embrace her daughter for the very last time.

 

Mom: “Please, never forget me, I’m begging you. I love you honey.”

 

Flannery burst into tears as well.

 

Flannery: “Waaaaaaaah! Why… why are the separations so heartbreaking? Why does it hurt so much? WHYYYYYYYYY!?!?”

Mom: “There are no separations without tears of sorrow honey. It’s living with it that makes you a woman.”

Flannery: “I love you… I love you so much… so much. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

Mom: “Listen to me Flannery! Listen to me! You will be okay, I am sure, I know it. You’re a fighter, you’re born to push away your limits, please never change and hold on. If you don’t do it for your father, please do it for me, your mother. Now dry your tears and finish your apple, grandfather waits for you.”

 

After this emotional scene, Flannery regained her sanity and finally ate her small snack entirely. She said her last goodbye to her parents and joined Mr. Moore outside the home.

 

Mr. Moore: “I see you’ve taken your time to come here. I assume the separations were quite difficult in the end.”

Flannery: “That’s true, but it was the right thing to do. I leave to give my parents a chance to put an end to their money troubles and help them to live a better life. I leave to learn more about the one who reached out to me and answered to all the questions which haunted me for so long. I leave to be this woman that mom could not become in the past. I leave to discover Hoenn on my own way. I leave… because I must.”

Mr. Moore: “This speech is the reflect of who you have always been Flannery, an energetic caring child who know what she wants. But you’ll realize very soon that it will take you more than words and well-made sentences to survive and make a name for yourself in there. If you understand that, so there is still a chance for you to take my place someday.”

Flannery: “I would be honored to do it, hihihi. But… but do you know when the… next boat will come into port? I see nothing.”

Mr. Moore: “Boat? When I said that I thought of everything, it was not meaningless rhetoric. We don’t have to take a boat to go to Lavaridge Town.”

 

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Without further delay, the old man reached into his deep pockets, seized a Pokeball inside, took it out and threw it in the air vigorously.

 

Mr. Moore: “Pelipper, listen to me and obey me, I need you.”

 

A big Pelipper appeared, overhanging Lilycove City, and landed in front of its trainer’s feet faithfully. Flannery couldn’t believe her eyes, the Water Bird Pokemon was really impressive and obedient towards her grandfather.

 

Flannery: “Wouaaaaaah! I have never seen a Pokemon before!”

Mr. Moore: “Never? Is it the first time for you?”

Flannery: “No… um yes… um but… because I often followed my mother in the museum, it was just statues and… paintings.”

Mr. Moore: “And finally, you can freely contemplate a flesh and feather Pelipper. He was really useful during my young trainer years. Today, he often helps me to travel long distances. Indeed, this is piece of cake to go from town to town with a Flying Pokemon.”

Flannery: “What!? We will go to Lavaridge Town by riding a Pokemon?”

Mr. Moore: “Of course. Did you think we were going to do the entire journey just by foot? I know there is still a lot of energy inside of me, but still. Believe me kid, the Pokemon are not just mysterious and unpredictable creatures. It’s also possible to create affinity with them, they can help us to do what we are unable to do alone in our day lives. But please, don’t confuse Pokemon with simple tools, the more you love them, the more they will feel the same way. Understood?”

Flannery: “Understood. So, I think I’m ready to travel the world and understand it in the manner of the Pokemon. Thank you so much for all you did for me until now grandfather. I won’t be able to thank you enough.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re welcome my child! Now, speech’s over, we have a long way to travel.”

 

Mr. Moore sat Pelipper down and rode it with Flannery next to him. The little girl put her arms around her grandfather’s waist to be sure to not fall during takeoff.

 

Mr. Moore: “Are you comfortably installed?”

Flannery: “I’ll be fine, no problem. Wherever you go, I will follow you.”

Mr. Moore: “So, it’s perfect! Let’s go Pelipper, it’s time to go home.”

 

The strong Pokemon started to take off, Flannery and Mr. Moore overhung the whole city, even the high Department Store building. Once they gained enough altitude, Pelipper took a speed to the West. Time after time, the heartbeats of Flannery were getting louder and faster, she moved away from Lilycove City further and further. However, she had no regrets, she felt confident that she had made the right decision. It was the end of her story in Lilycove City, another one could be written now. The story of a little girl and her grandfather.

 

Mr. Moore: “We own the sky!”

 

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As the time passed, Flannery moved toward Lavaridge Town along with her beloved grandfather. They were both flying over the glistening waters of the sea on Pelipper’s back. During the flight, Flannery asked her grandpa about the mountain nearby.

 

Flannery: “Grandpa, grandpa! What is this mountain there? Is that the Mt. Pyre?”

Mr. Moore: “That’s it, the famous sacred place dedicated to the humans and Pokemon who left this world. We are flying over it as we speak.”

Flannery: “My parents often told me about the Mt. Pyre, I must admit that I didn’t really feel at ease because of the rumors about this place. It’s known to be haunted… at least, that’s what daddy said.”

Mr. Moore: “And for once, he’s right. A legend speculates that the souls of restless humans might surface again in the form of spectral Pokemon. But nobody was ever able to confirm such a hypothesis.”

Flannery: “Brrr… just the thought of it gives me chills. My father always told me to close the window at night to prevent bad Pokemon to… ummm…  kidnap me during my sleep.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t worry, and stop believing about daddy’s weightless talks. Even if Ghost Pokemon could be unpredictable, the most part of them are far more scared of us than us scared of them, you can trust me. Also, Lilycove City is not so closed of the Mt. Pyre, so you don’t have to be afraid of anything.”

Flannery: “Okay grandpa, if you say so.”

 

Flannery remained deep in her thoughts for a long time, she had the impression of living in a fairy tale. She was so happy to contemplate new areas from the sky with her grandfather. The wind tickled her sweet face and lifted her dress slightly. Immune from the fear of heights, she was like a princess among the clouds and felt powerful. It gave her a sensation of superiority against this oppressive world which threw her away a few moments ago. She was glued to her grandfather’s back, full of hopes and excitement, his presence reassured her. Very soon, the clear sky started to be covered with gray thick clouds, and a heavy rain fell instantly on the travelers. They both continued their long trip in the sky, facing the capricious weather surrounding Fortree City and its huge forest. Nevertheless, Pelipper held on, he already have met far more critical and serious situations than a big rainfall. Flannery was not complaining for too long, it did not take Pelipper more than fifteen minutes before to leave from the wetland.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Well, I guess I am getting too old for this kind of things. Only my back is dry. And you kid, are you okay?”

Flannery: “Grr… I’m so sick of what happened! Only my belly is still dry, but it could be better.”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah, that’s not a surprise for me. You were holding my waist from the start of the journey. I bet you did not expect this, am I right?

Flannery: “To be honest, I did not expect this at all. I’m soaked to the bone, feeling the wet clothes stuck on my skin gives me an unpleasant sensation. But whatever, I clearly don’t think we would be able to avoid this rain even with an umbrella, so… I’ll deal with it. I just hope I won’t be sick.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t panic! We’re going somewhere your clothes we’ll be dry very quickly.”

Flannery: “Eeeh?”

 

Obviously, the old man known the way home so well that he could have travelled all this distance by closing his eyes. Flannery and he hovered a rocky cliff leading to a spacious desert. After the downpour, the two wanderers had to face a blazing sun, flying over the huge sand dunes which filled their whole field of view.

 

Flannery: “Waaah! What a great change, it lets me speechless! In a few minutes, we left a humid forest to enter a desert! That’s crazy!”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah! It takes your breath away, isn’t it? Welcome to the true wild spaces of Hoenn my child. I’m sure you never saw it before.”

Flannery: “I must say that Hoenn is truly an amazing region full of surprises with all these unexpected areas, there’s no place that looks like another one. This is a whole new experience for me, but… I have a question. What are these whirlwinds down there?”

Mr. Moore: “Whirlwinds? Are you talking about sandstorms? Don’t worry about it, we took so much altitude that it can’t even reach us. Exploring this desert without the good gear is nothing but pure unconsciousness. But Pelipper knows it, so don’t stress anymore. By the way, don’t you want to drink something? You seem a little quieter than usual.”

Flannery: “Not for now. I don’t know why, but I feel in my element here. Indeed, I much prefer feeling the strong shine of the sun in my back rather than letting the rain crawling on my skin.”

Mr. Moore: “And don’t you find this landscape intimidating? After all, there is nothing more than rocks and sand dunes all around us. It’s not like you have spent your entire life in a city near the sea where the air is fresh and calm. Don’t you even feel homesick?”

Flannery: “For the instance… no, that’s not a problem. I stayed closed into my room so much time that being here, in the heart of earth, gives me the sensation of returning to the wild. It’s a great opportunity for me, it’s a deliverance for me, I find it very exciting and satisfying. These lands may be inhospitable, it won’t prevent me to appreciate them, they look so gorgeous. Even the biggest frame of any museum won’t give me such a beautiful sight. If you didn’t know already, you just gave me the best gift of my life. Thank you, thank you so much!”

 

Flannery’s compliments made her grandfather blush. It was a long time that nobody has shown as much gratitude and compassion to him for so few. Furthermore, he felt proud of the enthusiasm and the temerity of the little girl, it motivated him to show her the other unrevealed secrets from north-western Hoenn as well as his village where he lived for all these decades, Lavaridge Town.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Well, it makes my heart ache to know you’re happy now. I promise I’ll do my best to make you smile as long as possible. Because when you’re happy, I am too.”

Flannery: “Oh, grandpa.”

Mr. Moore: “My angel… Ah! I think we’re close to our final destination.”

 

Flannery squinted to see straight ahead. A mountainous massif overhung by a stony cone covered with black smoke started to appear in her field of vision.

 

Flannery: “Hm… oh yes, there is a volcano a bit further. Can you see it?”

Mr. Moore: “Of course I can, we’re getting closer to the Mt. Chimney. This volcano has always been active, even before my birth. The dark clouds surrounding it are all the ashes expulsed from the crater every day. They seem to have good and nutritive properties, giving to the plants the elements required to grow and survive all along this area. In other words, the mountain itself ensures the fertility of the lands permanently, and the crops have always been favorable thanks to it. As a villager of Lavaridge Town, I feel lucky to live near this magnificent site.”

Flannery: “As we might say, the nature does things well. I have never seen a volcano before. Has it ever happened that ashes fall directly on Lavaridge Town?”

Mr. Moore: “Fortunately, it always falls on the old rock path at the entrance of Lavaridge Town as well as on the road leading to Fallarbor Town, another little community located behind the Mt. Chimney in the north. There is no risk of seeing any ash reaching the roof of Lavaridge buildings, it never happened for now.”

Flannery: “That’s good to know it, at least it won’t prevent me to sleep quietly tonight.”

 

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When they put an end to this conversation, Pelipper already left the desert and flew over the southern flank of the Mt. Chimney. A few moments later, Flannery and Mr. Moore reached the border of an old pathway leading to Lavaridge Town, the end of the trip was just ahead.

 

Mr. Moore: “So… it seems like our travel in the air is finally over. That was faster than I expected, the sun has not set yet, we will land shortly. Are you fine back there?”

Flannery: “Everything is fine.”

Mr. Moore: “So be it. Pelipper, be prepared to land near the first home on your right.”

Pelipper: “Peeelippeeeeer!”

 

The Pokemon obeyed to Mr. Moore’s orders and did not hesitate to land softly in front of the house indicated by his trainer. He slowed down briefly and lost altitude little by little to touch the ground carefully. Finally, they arrived at Lavaridge Town without any trouble, the old man was quite satisfied, the trip from Lilycove City to there was flawless. He left the back of the exhausted Pokemon by holding Flannery in his arms.

 

Mr. Moore: “Thank you Pelipper, me and the rest of your family are extremely grateful. Come back, you deserve a little break for it.”

 

The nice Flying Pokemon smiled to his trainer and entered in a Pokeball held by Mr. Moore, he clearly needed to recuperate. In the meantime, Flannery yawned and took a look around her. From where she was, she could see some little houses with red roofs, a Pokemart and a Pokecenter with a steamy area behind. But by squinting a bit, she saw something else, something that attracted her curiosity.

 

Flannery: “Grandpa, grandpa! Why are these people buried in the sand? Are they… dead?”

This sentence managed to make Mr. Moore burst into tears of laughs by leaning back. Flannery started to feel a bit ashamed by what she said.

Mr. Moore: “Wahahahahahaha! I didn’t laugh as much for ages. You can’t be serious Flannery, right? They’re not dead at all, they are just relaxing in the sand by enjoying the hot springs nearby, that’s all.”

Flannery: “Oh yes, now I remember that you talked about it in the morning! The famous hot springs of Lavaridge Town… sorry.”

Mr. Moore: “You don’t need to apologize anymore. That’s normal for those who never heard from this place before. Lavaridge Town is mainly known for the hot springs naturally powered by the Mt. Chimney. It’s very appreciated by the travelers, pilgrims or other newcomers. The elderlies also enjoy spending some time in there, the heat emanating from the ground is ideal to enhance the bloodstream and prevents rheumatism or laziness to take us. If you want to know everything, it’s mostly due to them that I’m still in good shape today.”

Flannery: “That’s true, it’s warmer in here than in Lilycove City. It should not be really difficult to survive the winter in this place.”

Mr. Moore: “You can say that again! However, you have to be careful when you go explore outside the village. The paths and roads bordering the Mt. Chimney might be very slippery and dangerous during the winter, even for an experienced mountaineer.”

Flannery: “Thank you for the advice, I won’t forget it. By the way… can we go to the hot springs just after? I would love to see what it looks like inside!”

Mr. Moore: “Maybe tomorrow… but not today. In fact, I planned to go to the herbalist to buy some dry herbs to make a special infusion for tonight. After all, we have been through a lot with all these changes of weather, and I am sure it’s just a story of some hours before we become ill. Also, I would not refuse to drink something warm and healthy. Flannery, do you want to come with me to the herbalist?”

Flannery: “Wherever you go, I will go.”

Mr. Moore: “I knew you were going to say that. As long as we are here, do you want something specific to eat for the evening? I can buy you pasta, organic rice or vegetables steaks if you’re interested.”

Flannery: “Oh yes! I love rice and vegetables steaks. Simple things are the best.”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah okay it’s noticed, I’ll take care of it when we’ll be there. Just wait a second, I need to bring a basket at home.”

Flannery: “No problem, I’ll stay here.”

 

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The old man quickly entered inside of his residence, and came out immediately by holding a large wicker basket.

 

Mr. Moore: “I found it. Now it’s time to go.”

 

Flannery and her grandfather moved toward the Herb Shop located to the south quarter of the town. A comforting wave of heat was floating in the air and wrapped Mr. Moore followed by the child, they led to the lower part of the locality. Arriving in front of the Herb Shop , they both entered and went to the countertop where a young lady was standing. Flannery’s grandpa addressed to her to buy some miscellaneous articles.

 

Mr. Moore: “Good afternoon, madam!”

Herbalist: “Oh, Mr. Moore! You there… that’s always a pleasure! What can I do for you?”

Mr. Moore: “Could you please give me six sachets of ash flower tea? I come back from a tumultuous travel in the air and I remembered that I am almost out of stock. Could you also give me two packets of organic rice and some vegetables steaks? I was missing them too.”

Herbalist: “Of course, I guess I still got it. Don’t move, I’ll go find it.”

 

The young lady rushed to the display case behind her, picked up the articles and brought it to the old man who put it into the basket, Flannery helped him.

 

Herbalist: “Well mister, you never told me that you cared about children. What’s the name of this little girl?”

 

While Mr. Moore was about to explain the situation to the herbalist, Flannery spoke.

 

Flannery: “My name is Flannery. In fact, this man is my grandpa, and I just arrived in Lavaridge Town this afternoon. I want to assist and help him as long as I can, it’s better for him than staying alone.”

 

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The lady exclaimed herself by looking to Flannery and the old man.

 

Herbalist: “Oh! Okay, it’s just that… it was a long time since we had not seen a child in Lavaridge Town. Why haven’t we already met you before?”

Mr. Moore: “It would be too long to explain the whole story, I discussed and arranged with her parents in Lilycove City to spend some time with her. In the end, it’s natural for an old man like me to see his grandchildren from time to time, isn’t it?”

Herbalist: “Lilycove City!? What a big trip you did, I am impressed you’re not tired anymore, but hey. I understand it, you largely deserved to spend time together, there is nothing worse for elderlies than loneliness. But still, it’s strange to see someone so young in Lavaridge Town.”

 

Flannery understood quickly enough the reaction of the herbalist. Since they arrived in this town, there was nothing but seniors and elderlies wandering outside, and not a single child showed up. Nevertheless, Flannery did not seem unduly bugged.

 

Mr. Moore: “Our age is not a barrier between people of past and future generations, and affinity never really had any boundaries… otherwise, what do I owe you for this?”

Herbalist: “Hm… it will cost ₽350.”

Mr. Moore: “Absolutely perfect.”

 

Mr. Moore took out the sum requested by the young lady from his wallet, and gave it to her before to exit the shop with his well-filled basket in arms. He and Flannery wished her a good day.

 

Mr. Moore & Flannery: “Goodbye miss!”

 

Pleased to have found some provisions, Flannery returned home with her grandpa. She was about to discover the home in which mother has lived all these years, and finally, she passed through the door of Mr. Moore’s house. She was behind him, and a little bit excited.

 

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, I am more than happy to present you your new residence. My home is your home.”

Flannery: “It’s nicely decorated, I really love it!”

Mr. Moore: “Thank you Flannery, it’s there that I decided to live when I met your grandmother, I have never left this place since, it would have made no sense for me. Your room is on the top floor. In the past, it was occupied by your mother, when she was still a child like you. As of today, this is yours. Don’t be shy, I’m going to take you up to your room.”

Flannery: “I’ll be right behind you grandpa, hihihi.”

 

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They climbed the stairs leading to the second floor. Once they got to the top, the magic happened. For Flannery, that was a total upheaval. There was a big desk surrounded by a closet and some bookshelves full of books talking about tales and myths of local Pokemon on the west side of the room, a large bed was placed on the bottom left hand corner, and two orange couches separated by a pot plant were lined up against the wall on the east side of the room with two coffee tables nearby. The bedsheets, the carpet and the clock were all red.

 

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Mr. Moore: “So honey, what do you think about your bedroom?”

 

The emotion was almost palpable, Flannery was about to cry.

 

Flannery: “There is… there is no… *sniff*… there is no word to describe how beautiful is this room. If I am dreaming… I wish… *sniff*… I wish I will never wake up. Thank you so much!”

Mr. Moore: “I can feel your emotion invading me, it warms my heart to know you love it. Sorry if I am repeating the same things, but I am pleased that you’re happy now. By the way, I think it’s almost time for dinner. Why don’t you take a rest on your bed while I go prepare the meal? You should really be exhausted.”

Flannery: “You’re right, I have to admit that this travel exhausted me. I feel myself in a down phase, it’s better for me to wait here until the dinner is prepared. I’ll meet you downstairs when it will be done.”

Mr. Moore: “Okay, I’ll make you aware. Get some rest honey, you deserved it.”

Flannery: “Thank you grandpa! Thank you so much! Nobody has such a golden heart than you, you’re a hero for me! Thank you for everything!”

Mr. Moore: “Come here.”

 

The old man squatted and Flannery came toward him and hugged him, the arms around his neck, she almost strangled him to death. Nothing could break such a peaceful and cute moment between this little girl and her grandpa. After this swap of positive waves, Flannery rushed to her bed and slipped between the fresh sheets. Meanwhile, Mr. Moore was going downstairs to cook something in the kitchen. One hour later, he came back in the room to see how Flannery was going, he finished to prepare the meal.

 

Mr. Moore: “Flannery! Wake up, it’s time to eat. You can co… Flannery!?”

 

Mr. Moore could not finish his sentence, he was appalled by what he looked at. Flannery was white as a sheet, she had a pale face. This unbearable event was hard to take for him, he saw her granddaughter moaning, the eyes closed, she writhed in agony by gritting her teeth and let some words escape from her mouth.

 

Flannery: “The pain… please… stop the pain… my head… my head is going… to… I can’t… uuurghh…”

 

The old man understood briefly, the big differences of temperature encountered during their flight have caused a progressive hot and cold sensation, the poor little thing was too weak to endure it. She had a very high fever and chills.

 

Mr. Moore: “Don’t give up Flannery. I've sworn to keep you safe and I always keep my promises. Don’t move from here and hold on, I’ll be back very soon.”

 

Without wasting time, he ran to the ground floor to fill a plate of rice as well as a full cup of ash flower tea, and brought it back to Flannery who fought unsuccessfully against the increasing pain. Each word she heard or said resonated in her head and weakened her a little more.

 

Mr. Moore: “Drink it my child. You’ll get your strength back.”

 

Flannery didn’t say anything, she just seized the cup of tea and drank it all in one time. Her face started to wrinkle, she has never drunk something that bitter.

 

Mr. Moore: “It will be alright. Take your breath Flannery, let the air fills your lungs and relax your diaphragm, you will feel the effects very soon. This ash flower tea is a liquefied miracle, when you wake up, you’ll feel revived. You can eat if you want to, there is nothing better than rice when you get sick.”

 

While grandpa left the room, the little girl waited quietly, and focused deeply on her breath. After half an hour, Flannery felt a warm and sweet sensation appeasing her. Attracted by the smell of rice, she started to wake up slowly, and took the plate of rice near the bed. She ate as much as she could and finally put the plate carefully on the ground before to yawn and to fall asleep by closing her eyes. Everything was silent around her, the light was turned off, the pain started to fade, and Flannery, lay on the bed, turned onto the left side giving the hint of a smile on her face. She was not suffering anymore. And then, without making any noise, in the absolute darkness, her beloved grandfather moved to her quietly and whispered kind simple words.

 

Mr. Moore: “I love you Flannery, have a nice sleep.”

 

The old man leaned over Flannery, kissed her on the forehead, and cleared her plate before to go sleep as well in his own bedroom on the ground floor. The night fell on Lavaridge Town, there was nothing but sweet dreams and poetry.

 

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Today begins a new day in Hoenn. A ray of light pierced through the window of the bedroom on the upper floor, lighting up the sleepy face of Flannery who woke up peacefully. The night was serene and quiet for the child, she hardly recognized the decoration of the room at the first sight. Then, she remembered fast enough her travel in the sky accompanied by her grandfather to Lavaridge Town in the afternoon.

 

Flannery: “Fouuaaaah… that seems like it was not a dream in the end. This meeting, this journey, this quarrel… everything was real. Hmmm… I wonder what time it is. I hope I didn’t sleep too long, grandpa must be waiting for me downstairs. Oh… grandpa…”

 

She stretched herself and sat up straight before getting out of bed and put on her red shoes. She crossed the room diagonally and run down the stairs to rejoin her grandfather who was waiting for her. He was sitting on a cushion next to a large table in the dining room which was also the living room of the house. On the table, there was a porcelain plate on which were disposed any kind of food. Eggs, grilled fish, veggies, miso soup, apples and green tea… there was enough to eat and skip the midday meal. Mr. Moore seemed to wait for Flannery’s awakening before taking the breakfast. The little girl smiled on seeing her grandfather sitting on the cushion and flung herself into his arms.

 

Flannery: “Grandpa! You’re here! How good it is to see you again. Did you have a nice sleep?”

Mr. Moore: “Oh honey! Of course, of course. I have slept like a Snorlax last night. And you? How do you feel? Are you fine? I was seriously worried about you this morning, I thought it was better to not wake you up.”

Flannery: “Everything is fine grandpa, it was a good night. I’m impressed, even if this tea had an indescribable taste, I felt like I’ve been reborn in my sleep. I just hope I have not kept you here sitting for too long.”

Mr. Moore: “Stay cool Flannery, there’s nothing wrong about that. The most important for me is that you’re in perfect health. If you really want to know what time it is, it’s 11:15 to be exact.”

Flannery: “Really!? It seems like the day is almost half over. I didn’t think I could have stayed in a bed for so long, I’m sorry.”

Mr. Moore: “It just means that you needed it. Don’t worry anymore, I already planned what we could possibly do for today.”

Flannery: “What did you think about?”

Mr. Moore: “Actually, I have a delivery to make for an old lady living somewhere in the northeast of here. She was a good friend of your grandmother in the past, you know? They liked spending some time hiking and cooking together… but it’s been over for a while. She asked me to bring her a set of medicinal herbs for her personal use a few days ago. I was hoping you would come with me to see her.”

Flannery: “And how! But… does she live away from here?”

Mr. Moore: “Not that much. She lives on the far side of the desert, but I know a shortcut. There is a rocky pathway to the west of Lavaridge Town leading to the foot of the Mt. Chimney. At the end of the trail, we will have to go to the north to see the entrance of a tunnel under the mountain leading to the other side of the desert. Normally, without a minimum of protection, it’s impossible to see anything in the heart of those sandy dunes. Going through this tunnel is still the best choice to do. Furthermore, there’s a certain amount of chance for us to meet some wild Pokemon in there. It might be a good experience to go there, provided that they are few and not in a bad mood.”

Flannery: “Oh yes! That sounds totally awesome! Also, if there is any way to meet a Pokemon along the way, I would be very happy.”

Mr. Moore: “You’ll see, it will be a great opportunity for you to get out of your cocoon for once. Additionally, breathing some fresh air from the mountain is good for your mind, and wandering in these wild lands keeps your body awake. I’ll tell you more once you’ll start to taste this fabulous breakfast I have prepared. Eat well, we won’t come back before the fall of the dusk, at least.”

Flannery: “Yeah that’s true. It might be quite a long trip once again. So be it, enjoy your meal grandpa!”

Mr. Moore: “Enjoy your meal, Flannery!”

 

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Flannery and Mr. Moore enjoyed the entire breakfast. They both had enough to eat and drink, taking their mind off their troubles and focusing on what could await them on their trip today. Flannery has never eaten such a meal in her life, a few moment later, there was nothing left on the table. Everything was consumed, nothing was wasted.

 

Flannery: “Oh god! That was the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten. I swallowed everything, nice job grandpa! You should really teach me how to cook sometimes, hihihi.”

Mr. Moore: “Why not? If you’re interested, I’ll show you some tricks and recipes of my own composition, ahah. After a dish like this, it’s important to burn the surplus of calories. I invite you to join me outside once you’ve washed your hands, sweetie.”

Flannery: “No problem, I’ll deal with it!”

 

Flannery rushed to the sunk to soap and rinse her hands widely while her grandfather put the medicinal herbs into a small sachet. Then, the child rejoined Mr. Moore outside. The excitement was real.

 

Mr. Moore: “So, are you ready?”

Flannery: “As always! I would go to the end of the world with you.”

Mr. Moore: “Thank you my child, your enthusiasm goes right to my heart. Let’s go!”

 

Mr. Moore and his granddaughter walked up to the East and left the village before to find themselves in front of a wide path which sloped gently down up to an intersection. They came through it without any difficulty. The more they progressed in the path, the more they were close from the mountain. Facing the irregularity of the field was not a problem for Mr. Moore who always knew where to put his feet. Also, there was no need for Flannery to hold his hand, she watched carefully every footstep of her grandfather and replicated it accurately. In this way, she could avoid putting the feet on an unstable rock and never stumbled. Then a moment later, they arrived in front of the entrance of the tunnel described by Mr. Moore before. Hot air streams escaped from the cave as well as a thick smoke.

 

Mr. Moore: “Here we are! Are you okay Flannery? Did you manage to keep pace?”

Flannery: “Until now, that was pretty easy. I even took the opportunity to look up. This is incredible how small we are compared to this mountain! I’m forced to admit that human beings are nothing in front of Mother Nature.”

Mr. Moore: “Lots of people could say the same thing, but everybody won’t necessarily think about it. This is by overcoming this kind of physical test that all of us become aware of the limits of our potential. And we finally reached the entrance of the tunnel under the Mt. Chimney. Just let me be clear; once we’re inside, I want you to stay close to me.”

Flannery: “Why? Is it unsafe to go in this cave? Is there a danger?”

Mr. Moore: “As I said before, this place is a natural habitat for a large amount of Pokemon, especially those who enjoy high temperatures. I would not be surprised to see one of them jumping on us when we last expect them. Additionally, since this passage goes under an active volcano, it’s permanently caught in a big vapor cloud. If you don’t proceed with caution, you can lose your way easily if you go there for the first time. Understood?”

Flannery: “Understood! I’ll take your hand during the crossing. It would be better for a first time.”

Mr. Moore: “It’s all I wanted to hear. Just one more thing… it wouldn’t take very much to wake all the sleepy Pokemon up in there, so don’t make a noise. In the worst case, keep your voice down.”

Flannery: “Don’t worry, I will be as quiet as the grave.”

Mr. Moore: “Very well. And above all, have no fear. As long as I am on your side, nothing can happen to us. Now, let’s go in there!”

 

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The little girl put a blind trust in her grandfather and followed his instructions, they entered the blazing depths of the tunnel by firmly holding their hands each other. The brave wanderers were both swallowed by the oppressive heat which haunted the whole den, reducing their field of vision considerably. To make matters more dismal, an unpleasant smell of sulfur invaded the rocky corridor, it was very important to keep its self-control and focus on the breath to not let too much heated air enter the body. Hopefully, Mr. Moore had the habit of walking down that path, and could have gone across the tunnel by closing his eyes, the road leading to the other end was almost a straight line. Suddenly, while they were half way, Flannery sneezed.

 

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Flannery: “AAAAAATCHI!!!”

 

The old man stopped to walk, turned toward Flannery and whispered.

 

Mr. Moore: “Beware! This is exactly this kind of sound that wake the Pokemon from their sleep in there.”

Flannery: “Oops, sorry.”

Mr. Moore: “You have no need to apologize, start to run instead. If we don’t, I think we’re going to have a bad time. Hurry up!”

Flannery: “*Gulp* Come on, grandpa!”

 

While a stressing loud sound started to resonate from the deep of the cave, Flannery rushed to the exit with her grandpa without ever looking back. They just hoped there was a chance for them to leave this place without be harmed. Against all odds, they managed to reach the opposite of the volcanic den. Fortunately, the Pokemon in the cave disliked leaving their natural habitat and preferred to stay inside. It was like they protected the mountain from within. Flannery and Mr. Moore shared a smile, they looked relieved.

 

Flannery: “Pchiouu, what a creepy experience! I don’t think they like visitors anymore.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re right on some points. However, this has not always been the case. During the winter, the local Pokemon are in the middle of their hibernation cycle. Also, they are not very fast, either. All this time spent into the heat makes them slow and lazy. It’s like the opposite effect provided by a bath in the hot springs of Lavaridge Town. Ironic, don’t you think?”

Flannery: “I agree, it makes you think… um… eh!?”

Mr. Moore: “What!?”

 

While they were in the middle of their conversation, Flannery turned back and saw something strange returning to the cave, something that looked like an orange tail. She kept her eyes fixed on the entrance, the mysterious creature had already disappeared, she could not see in detail what it was. Only heavy footsteps followed by a steam locomotive sound could be heard. The sound decreased in intensity, becoming increasingly distant.

 

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Flannery: “What was that?”

Mr. Moore: “A Pokemon more curious than his friends, probably. It’s uncommon to see this happening. Normally, they don’t leave their original territory like that.”

Flannery: “Oh… I hope we did not make him angry.”

Mr. Moore: “Relax, my child. Even if they can have quite a tumultuous temper, the Pokemon living under the Mt. Chimney are not vindictive. He will certainly go to his hideout to take a nap forgetting everything about our intrusion. Anyway, we still have some herbs to deliver. Can we continue?”

Flannery: “Of course, we have to. Come on!”

 

Flannery got on the road accompanied by her grandfather and continued her trip along the grassy plain eastbound. After a half-hour walk, they finally reached their destination. The old lady’s cottage was right in front of them.

 

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Mr. Moore: “All right, here we are!”

Flannery: “So, grandma’s old friend is living here. Poor lady, I didn’t see anyone on the road since we left home. She must feel so lonely.”

Mr. Moore: “She couldn’t stand to live in crowded places, even a small town like Lavaridge or Fallarbor Town. So, she decided to settle in here. With time, she tried and managed to make some good friends, my wife was one of them. Since her death, she refuses to go away from home. In addition to provide her this service, I am sure she will enjoy seeing a new face.”

Flannery: “How droll it is, that’s exactly what I thought when I was locked in my house at Lilycove City all day long.”

Mr. Moore: “What a sad life… Well, I’ll knock on her door.”

 

The old man knocked on the wooden door and waited for his client to come out. After a short wait, an old lady of approximately 70 years old opened to the two hikers. She looked very enthusiastic.

 

Old Lady: “Oh, Mr. Moore! What a surprise! What brings you here?”

Mr. Moore: “Hello madam, I’m here to deliver you the medicinal herbs you ordered a few days ago.”

Old Lady: “Thank you my dear friend, that’s absolutely perfect! I was afraid you’d forgotten them.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t worry, it takes a lot to completely erase my memory. Despite of my age, I keep my head up and filled, ahah!”

 

They elderly woman did not cease to thank Mr. Moore for his courtesy. Then, she turned toward Flannery with an intrigued expression.

 

Old Lady: “Tell me, Mr. Moore, who is this charming young lady accompanying you? I feel like we already met somewhere, isn’t she a part of your family?”

Mr. Moore: “Oh yes, that’s true, I almost forgot. Madam, this is Flannery, my granddaughter. I invited her to see me at Lavaridge Town yesterday, everywhere I go she will follow me. She’s a nice obedient child and an absolute dynamo.”

Flannery: “Nice to meet you, madam.”

Old Lady: “How adorable she is! She looks so much like her mother.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s what I thought when I saw her for the first time.”

Old Lady: “If you did all this travel from Lavaridge Town by foot, you must be exhausted. Please, come in and take a seat.”

Flannery: “Thank you for your kindness, madam.”

 

Without further delay, Flannery and Mr. Moore entered the lady’s cottage and took place on small cushions disposed around a square table.

 

Old Lady: “This is not the best time of the year for walking on the mountains, it would be good for you to take something hot to warm you up.”

Mr. Moore: “You know, it’s not too cold outside with the Mt. Chimney being so close.”

Old Lady: “Maybe… but still. What can I get you?”

Mr. Moore: “An infusion with some mint leaves, if you have any.”

Old Lady: “That’s good, I still have a little bit more. And you sweetheart, do you want something to eat? I can give you some Lava Cookies, a local specialty.”

Flannery: “Oh yes, please, please! I love cookies!”

Old Lady: “I knew it, children always like these little treats.”

 

The old woman rushed to the cupboard to take the packet containing the famous Lava Cookies and tended it to the redhead.

 

Old Lady: “Eat, my child, eat as you like. You must be hungry after this long walk.”

 

Flannery took a cookie from the packet, and ate it in one bite. A good sweet taste invaded her entire palate, her stomach appeared to purr with pleasure. She closed her eyes to appreciate it better with a satisfied expression.

 

Flannery: “This is like a chocolate-flavored cracker, it’s delicious! I have never eaten anything that good. Can I have one more, please?”

Old Lady: “Of course, I love seeing my guests with such a smile on their face, that’s enough to make my day. Why don’t you keep this packet with you? I’m offering it to you. You’ll remember me each time you take one. Furthermore, an old woman like me don’t eat this kind of candy anymore. I kept it in reserve in the case where some starved people would make an appearance. But for you, I will make an exception.”

Flannery: “Oh thank you! Thank you so much! You have a heart of gold.”

Old Lady: “The pleasure is all mine, my child.”

 

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While the woman boiled some water to prepare the infusion for Mr. Moore, she asked him some questions about the latest rumors.

 

Old Lady: “And you, mister? What about the gym in Lavaridge Town? How many fights did you win since our last meeting?”

Mr. Moore: “Oh you know. That was, how shall I put it… very routine. All the challengers who have attempted to beat me have been defeated in short and predictable battles. However, the last one was about 12 days ago. Nowadays, it becomes increasingly scarce to fight trainers worthy in the name. They are more discrete, in my opinion. Also, so few of them are motivated to reach Lavaridge Town in this season.”

 

This confession rose serious questions and amazement in Flannery’s mind. She discovered one surprise after another about him.

 

Flannery: “Wait a minute! Is grandpa… a Gym Leader? I thought he was a member of the Elite Four. What’s all this about?”

Mr. Moore: “Aaaand that’s true, I have to admit that I didn’t go through all the details during my presentation in Lilycove City. I already told you, there was a time when I was a member of the Elite Four. But when I retired, there was no other option but to come back home to Lavaridge Town. Then, I decided to not let my training down and have maintained the gym of the town sometime after that. To be honest, I was, and I’m still the only standing person in the village who still have some knowledge in Pokemon battles as well as the only one to be able to develop their fighting skills. Sorry Flannery, I totally forgot to mention it before.”

Flannery: “It’s okay, better late than never. I’m glad to know more about you and your story. It’s always good for me to know who you are, grandpa. But still… member of the Elite Four, Gym Leader, Prince Charming… you’re a wonderful grandpa, hihihi…”

Old Lady: “Prince Charming!? Ummm… yes, he’s still quite seductive for his age. You should have seen what he looked like when he was in his mid-twenties. He was so beautiful, hehehe!”

Mr. Moore: “Thank you, thank you ladies, I feel flattered by your compliments. Anyway, is my infusion ready yet?”

Old Lady: “Yes, I guess. Stay here, I’ll bring it to you right now.”

Mr. Moore: “Thanks.”

 

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Flannery and her grandfather had a good time in the cottage of the generous woman. After spending some time to rest and discuss about miscellaneous things with each other, Mr. Moore was ready to return home to Lavaridge Town with her inseparable granddaughter. Even if the old lady insisted they stay, it was a priority for them to go home before nightfall.

 

Mr. Moore: “Thank you, madam. I always greatly appreciate your sense of hospitality. Don’t ever change.”

Old Lady: “Please, don’t worry about that. I doubt something like this would ever happen at my age. So, take care of yourself. See you soon!”

Mr. Moore & Flannery: “Goodbye!”

 

Filled with energy, the nice pair returned to Lavaridge Town. They had to retrace the same path they have come, attending a fight between two Pokemon in the wild.

 

Flannery: “Wouah! Grandpa, look! There are two Pokemon fighting each other just there.”

Mr. Moore: “Oh, these are Numel! If I believe what I see, I would say that they are quarreling for berries.”

Flannery: “I don’t have the habit of seeing this kind of stuff every day. Are you sure?”

Mr. Moore: “Absolutely, Fire Pokemon of this species are fond of Rawst Berries. The wind carries regularly ashes from west to east around here which can be deposit on fertile soil naturally. It plays an essential role in the growth of this kind of bitter plant.”

Flannery: “That’s fascinating! I would like to get my own Pokemon one day. In this way, I would feel more supported and protected than I’m now.”

Mr. Moore: “Of course, I can read your mind, Flannery. However, we should keep moving. I have all the good reasons to believe that the winner will come after us once the battle will be end. Even if they are extremely slow, Numel or any other Pokemon should be taken lightly or underrated, particularly if you don’t have your own Pokemon yet. Come on, we have to go home!”

Flannery: “I’ll be right behind you.”

 

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They continued their trip going down the path to the south, and took the road to the west avoiding the desert. They had to come across the misty tunnel for the second time.

 

Mr. Moore: “So, I suppose you know what to expect this time.”

Flannery: “For sure, the first time was probably the most intense, without a doubt. I just hope I won’t stumble over a rock or hurt myself.”

Mr. Moore: “If you don’t let go of my hand, that should be fine. Let’s go!”

Flannery: “Let’s do this together!”

 

Once again, Flannery and Mr. Moore entered the blazing cave, trying to not attract the attention to themselves. They walked silently in a straight line with a regular timing without ever looking back. Finally, the crossing went without a hitch. No sneezes, no screams, no chases, nobody felt on the ground, everything was fine. They already reached the other side of the cave and arrived at the mountain foot. But then, Flannery looked back to see if there wasn’t anything behind her. Much to her surprise, she noticed that a Pokemon followed her out of the cavern. It freaked her out, she jumped out and felt backward by screaming with her high-pitched voice.

 

Flannery: “Hiiiiiiii! What… what is this, grandpa!?”

Mr. Moore: “Calm down Flannery, you don’t have to be afraid. This is a Torkoal, an extremely rare Pokemon. From what I know, we can only find them in steamy areas, an area like this tunnel for example. Don’t worry, this one looks more harmless than anything else.”

Flannery: “If… if you say so. Well, he doesn’t seem like… an aggressive Pokemon after all. But… wouldn’t it be… the Pokemon that I saw before arriving at the cottage? His tail looks like the same that I saw at this moment.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s not impossible. But don’t stress, Torkoal will only attack you if he feels in danger. Otherwise, he won’t. This one seems to be relatively old and quiet, he is probably looking for some company... or something to eat, if you ask me.”

 

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Mr. Moore was very perceptive, Torkoal pointed the head at the packet of Lava Cookies that Flannery was holding in her arms, he was begging for food. Flannery seemed to understand, she took a cookie out of the packet and put it on the ground in front of her to feed Torkoal. She could watch with fascination the Coal Pokemon in the middle of the meal. His legs, his tail and his head were shining with an autumn orange color and his shell was darker than night. The more he ate, the more the holes on Torkoal’s shell were glowing with a red calming warmth and a little smoke plume escaped from its top. At the end of the meal, he moved closer from Flannery and rubbed his long neck against her legs.

 

Mr. Moore: “Ahah, I think he likes you.”

Flannery: “Hihihi, that’s true. He is good in the end. He may be old and lazy, he’s not scary. I find him really likeable… can we take him with us?”

Mr. Moore’s face wrinkled with a surprised expression.

Mr. Moore: “Hmmmmmmmm…! Listen to me Flannery, I don’t think it’s a good idea for now. You don’t know him that good, and then, we don’t have any Pokeball with us. Even if we let Torkoal follow us, the keepers of the cable car won’t allow him to go inside. However, it’s still possible to come back to see him again and tame him in the future, maybe. Deciding to take Torkoal with us to Lavaridge Town is more a hasty decision than anything.”

 

Flannery, disheartened by grandpa’s refusal, acquiesced with a sad expression.

 

Flannery: “Oh… so… too bad… okay, grandpa.”

Mr. Moore: “Cheer up, Flannery! That’s not so bad. We’ll come back another day.”

 

He turned toward Torkoal and told him to go back where he belonged.

 

Mr. Moore: “Come on, pal. It’s time for you to go back home, you belong in the mountains. We’ll come back to see you again very soon, I promise.”

 

Torkoal understood clearly what the old man was saying to him, he rubbed his neck against Flannery’s legs for the second time before returning to the hot den. He gone away in a sound of locomotive, the heart of the little girl started to hurt. She felt sad to see the Pokemon disappearing in the smoke, but without knowing why, she was convinced that their paths would cross again.

 

Flannery: “Goodbye, Torkoal!”

Mr. Moore: “Stay strong Flannery, we have to go home as well. The cable car is at the end of the road.”

Flannery: “Go ahead, I’ll be fine.”

 

While Torkoal was going to return among his friends into the cave, Flannery and her grandfather were headed to the cable car a bit further down on the road. That was the only way to reach Lavaridge Town without flying… or climbing. In fact, Mr. Moore has voluntarily let Pelipper at home to walk the extra miles. Once they arrived at the cable car station, they just patiently waited for their turn before to go abroad the next available cabin. Then, they went up to the Mt. Chimney. From the inside of the cabin, Flannery could contemplate the landscape appearing little by little as she kept more and more altitude. The sun was setting, the trees below looked smaller and lined up in irregular rows, and the desert became visible for the two adventurers.

 

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Flannery: “How high we are! The skyline is so beautiful, I don’t think we could have such a panoramic view from the top of the Mt. Pyre. The sun paints the sky with a mix of red, pink and purple colors, it’s like the clouds were bleeding. When I see straight forward, my heart is racing… and I feel good.”

Mr. Moore: “I’m happy to know that you manage to enjoy yourself with those natural gifts. Nowadays, there is so much people who stop paying attention to it, they are less sensitive to beautiful things, in my opinion.”

Flannery: “Maybe they should go up here? The more I think about it, the more I realize that Lilycove City was a jail for me. It’s so peaceful here, I would have never thought how beautiful the mountain was. We should all be able to get rid of our boring repetitive life to visit this place at least one time. But… eh!? I have the impression that my vision is blurry, why? Hm… there is something on the windows! Ashes?”

Mr. Moore: “That’s it. It can only mean one thing, we’re getting closer to the top of the Mt. Chimney. But I think it’s a little late to show you the edge of the crater. It seems like we’ll get an unfavorable wind tonight. Once arrived at the top, we will go through the descending path from North to South. Lavaridge Town is located near the end of the road.”

Flannery: “Fine, wherever you go, I will go!”

 

A moment after these few words, the cable car arrived at the final destination, the top of the Mt. Chimney. Since it would have taken too much time anyway, Flannery evacuated the cable car with her grandfather and took the opportunity to contemplate the sun going down behind the large rocky escarpment to the East. But they had to hurry up, the wind was blowing off the summit of the mountain strongly. The ashes were flying everywhere, providing an unpleasant sensation in the growing darkness. By combining agility and dexterity, they both took a tortuous passageway full of rocks and ashen trees down below. It took half an hour to reach the edge of the pale forest. But Mr. Moore was impressed, Flannery outspeeded him and reached the exit first without any difficulty. She waited for him a few feet away, and didn’t seem to have a single scratch.

 

Mr. Moore: “Well! You impress me, Flannery. I did not expect you to go through it so fast, you really seem to like this place, am I right?”

Flannery: “I have seen every footstep you made from the start of the hide, I have to admit that it’s really helpful to get good reflexes in this kind of area.”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, I guess. Just don’t forget to be careful, beware that your skill and your knowledge of the field do not outstrip your wisdom. The mountain is majestic and unpredictable at the same time, nobody can control it. Thinking otherwise is lying to yourself.”

Flannery: “Don’t worry about me grandpa, I’m not afraid of my own abilities and I’m certainly not a liar. Smelling this fresh air keeps me awake, it’s totally different from Lilycove City. Well, the night is almost falling and I am very hungry.”

Mr. Moore: “In this case, everything is fine. Don’t be in such a rush, the house is not much further now.”

Flannery: “No problem, let’s go home together!”

 

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That’s what they did. It did not take them very long before to finally return home, they hurried to enter. Once inside, Mr. Moore rushed to the kitchen to cook some vegetables steaks while Flannery was sitting on one of the cushion near the table to take a break during the cooking process. A few minutes later, she took the initiative to set the table all alone.

 

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Once the meal was ready, the generous old man disposed the steaks on white porcelain plates, so the dinner could start. In the middle of the dinner, Flannery asked several questions to her grandfather about his title of Gym Leader.

 

Flannery: “Grandpa? Did you say you were the Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town? I did not recognize the gym on the first sight yesterday. What does it look like?”

Mr. Moore: “The gym? This is the big white building located to the west of the village next to the Herb Shop, a place where numerous trainers come to test themselves, and not just those living in Hoenn. A battle against a Gym Leader is the best way for them to discover the result of their training. By the way, I can’t remember the day I’ve been defeated in here… maybe it did not happen yet, ahah!”

Flannery: “Woah, you must be very talented! When I grow up, I’m going to be a great trainer just like you. You should show me how to do that, maybe I’ll be able to become your replacement and take over the gym in the future.”

Mr. Moore: “If you succeed in catching your own Pokemon and once you’ll understand how to train them, maybe this day will come. But you have to know that it’s more complicated than that, I already received warnings for having put my functions of Gym Leader aside recently, so it could be a tricky assignment to fulfill if you don’t know what to expect. When you commit to be a Gym Leader, you must stay and take care of your battle area until a new leader has been officially declared by the League. This person must have already won a battle against the previous Gym Leader and needs the agreement of the seven other Gym Leaders to make it possible. Furthermore, he can’t be replaced by anybody else when he is not available. At this moment, he is authorized to close the gym temporarily, but it’s not recommended to leave the gym with more than two weeks off. If such a thing ever happens, the Gym Leader risks to suffer a penalty up to a dismissal… at least, that’s how it works in Hoenn.”

Flannery: “Hmmmmm… it seems like I’ll have a lot of things to learn.”

Mr. Moore: “I know. Said like that, that may sound a bit complicated, but a Gym Leader must have a good sense of responsibility and organization. At some point, we end up building an important reputation all over the region. But if you really want to succeed me, you’ll have to work hard. Before becoming a Gym Leader, you must be a good trainer first, that means that you’ll need to catch your own Pokemon. As far as I know, I have no battle planned for now. If you’re interested, we can go for Fallarbor Town tomorrow. There, we should be able to find some nice Pokemon to catch, I am sure. I’ll give you your first Pokeballs as well. So, what do you say?”

Flannery: “And how! I really want to know what you know about it. Teach me, please!”

Mr. Moore: “Be patient my child, be patient. Start by eating your dinner first. For my part, I swear I’ll take care of your training.”

Flannery: “Thank you grandpa, thank you for everything! You’re amazing! I promise I’ll do my best to not disappoint you, thank you so much!”

 

Flannery was overexcited, she hurried up and ate her meal with an astonishing speed. At the end of dinner, she moved to her grandfather and threw her arms around her waist by thanking him again. She kissed him on the cheek. Then, after the affection time came the shower time. The lovely girl rushed to the bathroom, throwing her clothes in the air, and took a nice hot shower removing the ashes stuck in her long red hair. When it was over, she put on a pink fluffy nightgown disposed on a laundry basket by her grandfather. He told her it belonged to her mother when she was her age, it fitted Flannery like a glove. She was all nice and clean, the old man was charmed by his beautiful and happy progeny. Flannery was ready to jump into her relaxing bed… and that’s exactly what she did. After hugging her grandpa for the last time in the living room and saying him good night, she sprinted to her bedroom on the upper floor very quickly and leaped up to the large bed across the room. She let her slip softly between the sheets to evacuate all the nervousness inside of her with the light off. Flannery could see the moonlight through the window, and fixed it for a long time until she fell asleep. Thinking about what could ever happen in the next day, the redhead closed her eyes imagining every possible story to sleep better.

 

Flannery: “zzzZZZZ… zzzZZZZ… zzzZZZZ…”

 

o5teQmW.png

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Thanks!

The entire childhood arc is almost complete, it was really amusing to do connections between Flannery and some miscellaneous elements of the game. I do my best to make the story pleasant to read as well as create a faithful story beside the manga with the relationship between precise characters, especially the Gym Leaders. It will continue as written at the end of the episodes :)

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Spoiler

It’s a new day in Hoenn. Flannery woke up early this morning. The redhead had slept well all night long to fully enjoy this beautiful day. She dressed herself quickly, replacing her nightgown by her famous purple dress, and rushed through the bedroom to go downstairs. She was going to take the breakfast with her grandfather. He had just woken up and finished to prepare a rich meal made of rice, miso soup and green apples. She greeted him cheerfully.

 

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Flannery: “Hello grandpa! Did you have a nice sleep?”

Mr. Moore: “For sure, I slept like an angel. What about you?”

Flannery: “It was a good night. Hmm, it smells good in here. May I start eating now?”

Mr. Moore: “Make yourself at home, honey.”

 

The little girl started to take the breakfast with her grandfather. They ate what they could until they were both completely satiated. When they finished the meal, they talked about today’s schedule.

 

Flannery: “So grandpa, can we go to Fallarbor Town today? I would love to be able to catch my first Pokemon.”

Mr. Moore: “Of course, this is where I decided to go this morning. But this time, we will try to save some time. That’s why we won’t go to Fallarbor Town by foot. I hope you don’t mind if we fly again on Pelipper’s back.”

Flannery: “No, no. In fact, I like when the ways to travel are not the same, I find it more fun. I just wish I won’t get sick like two days ago.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t panic, this flight will be shorter than the previous one. So, there’s nothing to worry about, and certainly not weather change. Furthermore, as soon as we get there, maybe we’ll go to Professor Cozmo’s house to visit him.”

Flannery: “Who is Professor Cozmo?”

Mr. Moore: “Professor Takao Cozmo, a brilliant man who studies rare stones from his home. He’s obsessed by meteorites and space rocks. As far as I know, he has the habit of doing numerous expeditions alone in the Meteor Falls to pursue his research, especially in the morning. The Meteor Falls is a huge cave in the mountain located to the west of Fallarbor Town near the Mt. Chimney. So, there is no guarantee that we will see him at home once on the spot. However, it’s worth a try.”

Flannery: “Why not? After all, it’s always a good thing to meet more people. But when it’s done, I will have my first Pokemon.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t worry. Firstly, we will go to the Pokemart next door. Then, we’ll leave to Fallarbor Town and see if the Professor is at home. If that’s not the case, we’ll move to the road along the lake located on the west of the town where I’ll show you some catching demonstrations. Are you okay with it?”

Flannery: “It seems to be a good plan. That’s fine with me.”

Mr. Moore: “So it’s perfect! I let you wash your face before to go, maybe we’ll head to the Pokemon Center in Fallarbor Town for the lunch later. Come on Flannery, it’s time to get ready.”

Flannery: “That’s what I’ll do right now.”

 

Flannery helped her grandfather to clean the table, washed her hands, and equipped herself with a little saddle bag with a shoulder strap that Mr. Moore removed from the drawer before to go to the Pokemart in Lavaridge Town.

 

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Outside, Flannery was very excited, Mr. Moore took her with him to buy her first Pokeballs. They both headed to a building with a blue roof and a Pokeball pattern in the middle, and entered inside the shop.

 

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Flannery: “Hm, it’s quite different from the Herb Shop. The products on the shelf are very varied. I don’t have any idea of what it is.”

Mr. Moore: “In fact, it’s here that trainers go to buy general goods, supplies and essential equipment for their travels. They sell everything in there. Pokeballs, Pokemon medicines, exploration equipment… the list goes on.”

 

He pointed his finger on the display case in which several small white and red spheres were lined up.

 

Mr. Moore: “Do you see this? This is Pokeballs. That’s what people use to catch wild Pokemon.”

Flannery: “Oh, it’s so pretty! Can you buy me some of these, please?”

Mr. Moore: “Of course, that’s what we’re here for, right? I’ll buy you three to begin with. You’ll see, it’s better to keep more than one Pokeball with you. Do you want to know why?”

Flannery: “Tell me everything!”

Mr. Moore: “In fact, if you decide to catch a random Pokemon in the wild, it won’t automatically work on the first try. That explains why a trainer should have two Pokeballs, at least. Then, you’ll have to weaken your target enough before to throw a Pokeball on it. But as you don’t have any Pokemon with you, I’ll be the one who’ll do that. I will inflict damages to them for you, and everything you’ll have to do is throwing one of your Pokeball on them when they are about to faint, do you understand?”

Flannery: “In sum, we must hurt Pokemon to increase our chances to catch it… that seems logic… but very barbarous at the same time.”

Mr. Moore: “I know, but there’s no other way to make it work. Your Pokemon will love you more and more depending on the time you spend with it and the fight you win by its side. Little by little, the time ends up dressing this kind of wound, but I think it’s more appropriate to tell you more once there.”

 

Mr. Moore went to the cashier to buy the famous Pokeballs coveted by his granddaughter. The woman at the counter took his order into account and distributed them to him. The old man gave the Pokeballs to Flannery who put it inside of her saddle bag. They both exited the Pokemart, satisfied with their purchase.

 

Flannery: “Waaah! My first Pokeballs! Thank you very much grandpa, I’ll do my best to not waste them.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s fine. But remember, your enthusiasm must always be tempered with caution, or else disaster is inevitable.”

Flannery: “No problem, I’ll remember that.”

Mr. Moore: “So be it. Pelipper, come to me and obey me! Bring us to Fallarbor Town with you!”

 

Mr. Moore threw the Pokeball containing Pelipper straight forward, the Flying Pokemon appeared and moved towards its trainer. Flannery and the old man rode Pelipper without any hesitation, and soared through the sky before to head straight to the North above the forest. They flew along the west side of the Mt. Chimney, avoiding the ash falls artfully. Half an hour later, they came closer from their final destination. Fallarbor Town was not too far from the volcano, there was so many perennial trees bordering the village. Aside from a Pokemon Center, a Pokemart and a general grocery store, only a few wooden houses were installed. The landscape was essentially made of agricultural land with some little gardens. Flannery contemplated the village from the sky with an amazed expression.

 

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Flannery: “What a surprise! Is that Fallarbor Town?”

Mr. Moore: “Correct. In fact, Professor Cozmo lives somewhere down there.”

Flannery: “That’s droll. The soil looks darker here than in Lavaridge Town. Is it due to the Mt. Chimney?”

Mr. Moore: “Exactly! The ashes dispersed by the wind nearby make the soil more fertile here than somewhere else. It provides to the plants special nutrient supplements, offering them the ability to withstand climate change naturally.”

Flannery: “Every time I go with you, I get the sensation to walk between different worlds. By your side, I feel like a true adventurer, hihihi.”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah, so many adventures, isn’t it? It might give me ideas for a new poetry project. Well, I think we’ll land very soon. Pelipper, can you go down next to the Pokemon Center softly, please?”

Pelipper: “Peeeeeelipper!”

 

The Pokemon executed the old man’s orders, and landed slowly on the ground in front of the entrance of the Pokemon Center. The two travelers went out of Pelipper’s back and Mr. Moore brought him back to the Pokeball, giving him some rest.

 

Mr. Moore: “Well, let’s see if Professor Cozmo is at home. He lives right there, I’m going to knock on his door. Do you come with me?”

Flannery: “Of course, I’m coming!”

 

The girl and the elderly walked to the property of the scientist to meet him. Mr. Moore knocked on his door three times and waited quietly near the entrance… but nobody came.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Hmmmmm… he doesn’t seem to be here… whatever. I think we’re more likely to find him on the road leading to the Meteor Falls.”

Flannery: “Yeah, probably… so, can we go now? I can’t resist the thought to catch my first Pokemon.”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, my child. Let’s go! I won’t let you wait anymore.”

Flannery: “Hihihi, great!”

 

They moved to the West, leaving Fallarbor Town to pass through a small path lined with broad-leaved trees and a large lake with a small island at the center. They both crossed the bridge leading to the other side dominated by the Meteor Falls a bit further. Flannery was about to get into the tall grass accompanied by Mr. Moore.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Here we are! How do you feel Flannery?”

Flannery: “I’m in shape. The view of the lake is wonderful, seeing these wild lands makes me feel even more alive.”

Mr. Moore: “I’m glad to hear it, because I’ll need all your attention this time. In case you didn’t know it yet, let me tell you something. When your outside, wild Pokemon have the habit to hide among the tall grass. It allows them to live out of wanderer’s sight. The more you walk around the tall grass, the more you have a chance to find a wild Pokemon. Nevertheless, I can’t allow you to go alone. Walking straight in the tall grass without any Pokemon to protect you is nothing but total recklessness. You need me for that.”

Flannery: “You’re right. I don’t know what to expect in there, and without Pokemon on my side, I won’t have any chance to catch anything.”

Mr. Moore: “Exactly. Please, let me assist you in your quest.”

 

Mr. Moore grabbed a Pokeball on his belt, and threw it straight in the air vigorously.

 

Mr. Moore: “Typhlosion, come to me. My family… your family needs your help. Bring us your support and your strength.”

 

In the old man’s poetry, the figure of a big bipedal Fire Pokemon started to appear in front of the tall grass, the figure of Mr. Moore’s Typhlosion. Flannery looked at the majestic Pokemon who accompanied his grandfather for all these years with an enthusiastic expression.

 

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Flannery: “Waaaah! This Pokemon is huge! I’ve never seen such a thing before!”

Mr. Moore: “This is certainly a first for you, right? This is Typhlosion, the most faithful member of my team. He is the first Pokemon I caught, as well as the one who helped me the most to start my career as a Member of the Elite Four in Hoenn, my mascot in some way. He will ensure our safety in the tall grass. If you want, we can start now, Typhlosion’s got your back.”

Flannery: “I’m ready, grandpa!”

Mr. Moore: “Well, here we go!”

 

Followed by Typhlosion, they entered the grassy realm. After going around in circles for 10 minutes in the tall grass, Mr. Moore and Flannery finally found themselves face to face with a Wingull. The old man decided to show her how to catch it by reminding her of some important tips while Wingull looked at them with a cheeky expression.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Ah, a wild Wingull appeared. I think it’s time to translate theory into practice. Allow me to make a little demonstration just for you. Look!”

 

The little girl watched her grandfather carefully. He told to Typhlosion to weaken Wingull in order to simplify the operation.

 

Mr. Moore: “Typhlosion, use Will-O-Wisp on Wingull, now!”

 

Dark flames escaped from the blazing Typhlosion’s mane to reach Wingull’s wings and burn it. The wild Pokemon was defending itself, but the pain became more and more unbearable, Typhlosion took all its strikes without flinching a single time. He seemed to not have any damage, Wingull was fighting in vain. A short time after, the Flying Pokemon landed to the ground, it was too weak to move.

 

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Then, Mr. Moore seized a Pokeball on his belt, threw it on Wingull and ended up catching it without any difficulty. However, Flannery looked quite disturbed by his grandfather’s demonstration.

 

Flannery: “What a violent experience! Was there no other way to do that?”

Mr. Moore: “There was still a way to catch it without inflicting all that damages, but our success rate would have been lower.”

Flannery: “It seems logic, but cruel at the same time. I’m not sure this was the right thing to do. I have to say, it makes me uncomfortable.”

 

The old man did a facepalm and tried to explain her the situation as best as he could.

 

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, Flannery, Flannery… if you really want to be a Pokemon Trainer one day, you have to make them know who is the master. For most of them, it may be the darkest day of their life, but believe me, this feeling is very temporary. The more you share your stories and your adventure with them, the longer this day is gone… like a wound which heals by itself.”

Flannery: ”Yes, but still. Is there really no way to catch Pokemon on the first try without inflicting them any damage?”

Mr. Moore: “This is possible, but it’s extremely unusual. Unless a strong trusting relationship between a trainer and a random Pokemon is built, this kind of thing is really unlikely to happen. One thing is certain, this Wingull has become a new member of my team from the time I caught it. Now that you know how it works, you’ll be able to do the same. This is your turn now.”

 

Flannery and his grandfather got out of the tall grass with Typhlosion behind them. They stood silently in front of a flock of Flying Pokemon from several different species passing above the lake.

 

Mr. Moore: “As you probably guessed, this place is full of Flying Pokemon. If you’re interested in one of them, don’t hesitate and point your finger on it. I’ll tell Typhlosion to use Will-O-Wisp on the Pokemon in question and you’ll just have to throw a Pokeball on your target.”

Flannery: “That seems easy as pie, I’ll make my choice right now.”

 

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A careful observation happened. Flannery was thinking about the Pokemon she would have, but none of them seemed to really interest her. The only one able to catch her attention a little bit was the one with a blue body and cloudy wings, a Swablu. The redhead was pointing to the Cotton Bird Pokemon, Mr. Moore immediately ordered Typhlosion to use a flaming attack on it.

 

Mr. Moore: “Typhlosion, use Will-O-Wisp on the Swablu.”

Typhlosion: “Tyyyyphloooooo!”

 

The accuracy of the Fire Pokemon was perfect, he managed to hit Swablu on the first strike. The wild Pokemon was burning and began to lose altitude. Swablu flew away from his friends to land on a rocky edge, that worked on Flannery’s favor. However, even if she knew it was better to wait while the flames inflicted more damages, she couldn’t stand to see such an outburst of agony. Flannery decided to come close to the poor Pokemon broken by suffering.

 

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She seized a Pokeball inside of her saddle bag, and threw it on Swablu powerfully, thinking she could put an end to its pain. Unfortunately, after a short delay, the Pokemon escaped from the Pokeball and became agitated, flapping its wings to protect itself. A dense fog invaded the area in an instant.

 

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Flannery: “Aaah… what happens?”

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, what have you done? Come back, right now!”

 

Unfortunately, it just took a few seconds before the whole field get totally submerged by mist, and Flannery who was too far away from Mr. Moore could not go back to him at time. Worst yet, blinded by the fog, the little girl lost all sense of direction and was going straight to the tall grass all alone instead. Without realizing it, she became prisoner of the grassy field and disappeared from Mr. Moore’s sight. Disoriented in the pale territory, she panicked and cried for help… but nobody answered. Flannery was terrified.

 

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Flannery: “Hiiiiiii… grandpa!? Where are you!?”

 

The child kept going in circles, repeating the same sentence again and again by hoping her grandfather could hear her… but no success. She could not even get out of the tall grass. After desperately looking for an exit, she began to weep. Then, by moving straight forward, she stumbled over something cold and flabby. She felt on the ground and got back up immediately. At this moment, the mist vanished, revealing a dreadful figure who froze the blood of the little girl. A kind of big black spring with golden pattern looked down on her with piercing eyes and long fangs oozing with purple liquid.

 

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Flannery was standing in front of a Seviper. She remained motionless, her eyes wide open. She gazed at the impressive beast. But as she heard a male voice calling her name, Flannery wasn’t lost anymore, she knew where Mr. Moore was. Without making sudden moves, she slipped her hands inside her saddle bag, grabbed one of her two remaining Pokeballs and threw it briefly on the creature to slow it down. Then, she rushed like a rocket through the tall grass where she heard the voice of her grandfather. Frightened at the mere thought of looking behind her, she ran so fast she felt like her feet didn’t touch the ground anymore. Flannery was about to leave the tall grass once and for all. But as she managed to get out of the merciless labyrinth, Mr. Moore screamed as he saw Seviper jumping out of the grassy field. The vile creature swooped down from the sky to swallow Flannery alive, jaws wide open. The child saw it at the last moment. She crouched down with her hands over her head, and closed her eyes.

 

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Flannery: “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!!! LEAVE ME ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!!!”

 

She thought her fate was sealed. But then, as she burst into tears of fear, a deafening fiery explosion resounded in the air with incredible noise, like a firework… but… bigger. A strong orange-red light covered the sky, and she felt an intense wave of heat floating above her head.

 

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Typhlosion: “TYYYYPHLOOOOSIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!”

 

Mr. Moore’s Pokemon sent out his most fierce attack on Seviper who was propelled like a comet to the Meteor Falls, leaving a blazing trail of fire behind before to finally crash on the northern mountain side with an unprecedented speed. Everything was clear for Typhlosion, all those who attack even one member of the Moore family will be silenced by the wrath of flames.

 

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The old man called back the brave Pokemon, whereas the child, shocked by the infernal scene, got up and rushed to her grandfather who embraced her strongly. They hugged each other in great relief, Flannery’s eyes were still filled with tears, she pressed her head against his chest.

 

Mr. Moore: “Oh, Flannery… sweetheart… are you alright?”

 

The child was suffocating by fear. Her mind was totally messed up.

 

Flannery: “I’ve… never… been… so scared… in my life. I thought… I was going to die.”

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, it’s over now. Do you hear me? It’s over. Take your breath, there’s nothing more than the sound of my voice, my child.”

Flannery: “I’m… I’m stupid… and… weak.”

Mr. Moore: “Now you see why it’s important to not give in to precipitation. This is at the root of our faulty actions. If you can’t control it, it could drive you to your own end. As long as I am still alive, I won’t allow it to happen. We need to think before acting, this is the key for getting around life’s obstacles.”

Flannery: “Sorry, grandpa… I’m so… so sorry. I just had one thing to do… and I failed pathetically.”

 

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He passed his hands through her long red hair, Flannery was sobbing. The old man rested his hands on her shoulder, and whispered.

 

Mr. Moore: “Don’t let failure bring you down. You’ll fall, get up, fall again, then get up again… but never backtrack. Just keep move on.”

Flannery: “Thank you for having faith in me, grandpa. I promise I won’t repeat my mistakes ever again. I swear to find my balance one day. Please, forgive me.”

 

But while Mr. Moore was comforting his granddaughter, they were both interrupted by the complaints of a flustered man in hiking outfit and big glasses. He was walking down the Meteor Falls.

 

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???: “God damn it! I was almost sure to finally find one.”

 

Flannery turned back and saw a strange man, a scientist apparently. Mr. Moore recognized Professor Cozmo fairly quickly. He did not seem to be in a good mood.

 

Professor Cozmo: “I can’t believe it! Yet, it looked like a meteorite fallen from the sky in every way. Of course not! There was nothing but the calcinated corpse of a petty Seviper. Life is simply not fair for meteorite lovers in this world. First a decrease of sea levels, then flying Seviper... if good luck happens three times, bad luck also gives three signs.”

Mr. Moore: “Calm down Professor, calm down. It sounds like your excavations were not that generous this morning. You should know that for a long time ago, it often happens for people to come back empty-handed when they are searching for space rocks on Earth.”

Professor Cozmo: “Oh, Mr. Moore? You there!? What a surprise! I’m glad to see you.”

Mr. Moore: “I’m pleased to see you as well, Professor. I would like to apologize for giving you false hopes, I just introduced my granddaughter to Pokemon catching.”

 

The Professor turned to Flannery.

 

Professor Cozmo: “How cute you are! I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before. My name is Takao Cozmo, but you can call me Professor. And you, what’s your name, my dear?”

Flannery: “I’m Flannery. Nice to meet you, Professor. Grandpa, told me about you.”

Professor Cozmo: “Rea… really? Is that true!?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes!”

Professor Cozmo: “Ah! I’m delighted to hear it. Beyond my quest for space rocks, I also do extremely important research on other wider topics, I assure you. The impact of our activity on the environment, the level of seas, I could tell you about that for hours… but…”

 

The Professor took the opportunity to adjust his glasses and looked at his watch.

 

Professor Cozmo: “Damn! It’s almost noon. Did you plan to eat somewhere?”

Mr. Moore: “Maybe at the Pokemon Center, we did not really have any other plans.”

Professor Cozmo: “Hm… don’t be so shy, you can come to my house for lunch. Even if my activities may be quite time-consuming, it never stopped me from opening my door for people I care about. Today, you’re my guests!”

Mr. Moore: “Thank you, Professor. That’s very kind of you!”

Professor Cozmo: “You’re welcome, this is the least I can do.”

Flannery: “Thanks mister!”

 

After this unexpected meeting, the small group walked along the lake towards Fallarbor Town. On the way home, they shared some discussions about their own adventures in the morning.

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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This was great! Loved the whole teaching Flannery how to catch a Pokemon scenes. Although, I will say that the flames you used as Will-O-Wisp were really shocking. They looked like they were burning alive. XD Then again, I guess none of us really know how it looks when a Pokemon has been burned. Anyways, nice job on this 1. Can't wait for the next update!

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Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Concerning the flames, that's the best way I've found to show the Pokemon burning. As long as there are people to comment and appreciate the story, I'll keep working on Flannery adventures. Without readers, I would feel empty and demotivated quickly. After all, what's the point of creating arts and stories if there is nobody to contemplate them? Furthermore, I apologize if the story does not happen in Reborn for now, but I have not resisted to the idea of writing a good prologue. It's a way for me to make it attractive as the player already know (or not) what Reborn is made of, but I also wanted to add some depth to the characters background. In almost every game made by Game Freaks, the MC's mother does not have a great role to hold. For Flannery, the things are not the same with the knowledge she inherited from her grandfather. That explains in part why I spend so many time polishing her childhood. I invite people to come and give their opinion about the childhood arc as four episodes remain before the actual timeline.

 

Thank you again! Without your support, I am nothing.

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1 hour ago, Q-Jei said:

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Concerning the flames, that's the best way I've found to show the Pokemon burning. As long as there are people to comment and appreciate the story, I'll keep working on Flannery adventures. Without readers, I would feel empty and demotivated quickly. After all, what's the point of creating arts and stories if there is nobody to contemplate them? Furthermore, I apologize if the story does not happen in Reborn for now, but I have not resisted to the idea to write a good prologue. It's a way for me to make it attractive as the player already know (or not) what Reborn is made from, but I also wanted to add some depth to the characters background. In almost every game made by Game Freaks, the MC's mother does not have a great role to hold. For Flannery, the things are not the same with the knowledge she inherited from her grandfather. That explains in part why I spend so many time polishing her childhood. I invite people to come and give their opinion about the childhood arc as four episodes remain before the actual timeline.

 

Thank you again! Without your support, I am nothing.

Curious enough, I just told Awesome_One the importance of the readers earlier today xD Let your imagination run wild, and don't apologize for doing so :P I look forward to seeing how Flannery decides to leave Hoenn~

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Spoiler

Flannery crossed the bridge above the lake and walked back to Fallarbor Town. Professor Cozmo invited her and her grandfather to join him at home for the midday meal. The rest of the road was safe and unhindered, the two men were discussing about what happened earlier in the morning, especially the Pokemon catching attempt in the tall grass.

 

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Professor Cozmo: “Well, I have to say that your kid is a lucky one. This mist can be very treacherous for imprudent travelers.”

Mr. Moore: “I know, but I couldn’t remember how umbrageous and vigilant these Swablu were.”

Professor Cozmo: “That’s what I have been noticing more and more often these last few years. The behavior of the Pokemon living around the lake changed progressively, making them more aggressive and suspicious of humans adventuring in their territory. In my observations, I would confirm that this kind of change is mainly due to our own activities. In some way, it’s generating a lowering of sea level as well as a rise of global warmth.”

Mr. Moore: “I guess you’re right, Hoenn doesn’t really look like what I’ve known twenty years ago anymore. It does not seem to get better with time. If only people in big cities could be more aware of our environmental vulnerability, maybe we can prevent the phenomenon to spread.”

Professor Cozmo: “That’s easier said than done. Even if people of goodwill are ready to make efforts, there are still far more to sensitize.”

 

As the two men continued to discourse on Hoenn’s future with Flannery behind them, they finally arrived at Fallarbor Town. Professor Cozmo’s cottage was just located to the end of the road, it was an unpretentious little house, a wooden shelter like the other residences of the village. The redhead and her grandfather entered the house and sat down quickly while the scientist hurried to put off his brown jacket and prepared them his favorite dish, mixed salads made of rice, mayonnaise and fresh vegetables harvested at the beginning of the month. Once the preparation ended, he filled three porcelain plates and served his hosts generously before to join them at the dining table.

 

Professor Cozmo: “Enjoy your meal, my dear guests!”

Mr. Moore & Flannery: “Enjoy your meal, Professor!”

 

They all feasted on the salads quietly, satisfying their hunger, especially Flannery who savored every bite by trying to forget everything about the dark side of the day. Everybody was satiated, Professor’s food was tasty and well-seasoned. At the end of the meal, there was nothing left on the plates, it would almost have been no need to wash the dishes after that.

 

Flannery: “Thank you again for the meal Professor, it was delicious!”

Professor Cozmo: “I knew it, simple things are always the best. There’s nothing better than fresh and natural products from Fallarbor Town to fill an empty stomach. Would you like a dessert? I still have plenty of time to serve you.”

Flannery: “Hm… no, thanks. But it’s really nice of you to offer.”

Mr. Moore: “Same here, we already had a rich breakfast at the start of the day. So, it should be enough for both of us, I guess.”

Professor Cozmo: “No problem. Choice is yours after all, make yourself at home! By the way… would you like me to tell you the goal of my work in more details?”

Mr. Moore: “I have a better idea. Why don’t you explain it to Flannery? Some biology courses should not bother her anymore. Isn’t it, my child?”

Flannery: “That depends… is there a lot of talk about Pokemon in biology?”

Professor Cozmo: “Hmmmmmmm… sometimes yes, sometimes no. In our case, I would like to talk about my research concerning meteorites and explain how it had impacted our world in the past.”

Flannery: “Ah… why not? That seems quite interesting. And if there is a chance for me to retain something useful, I would not say ‘no’.”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, this is certainly better for you. As long as you don’t put your life in danger, that’s fine for me. Meanwhile, I will go to the discount shop outside. It might take a while for me before to come back. So, if you need me, you know where I am.”

Flannery: “Don’t you take me with you? What are you going to buy?”

Mr. Moore: “In fact, I want to make you a surprise.”

Flannery: “Yippee, I like surprises!”

Mr. Moore: “I don’t have a doubt about it, I just hope it’s still available. Don’t squeeze your mind to know what it could be, you’ll get an answer very soon. Also, Professor’s discoveries are always fascinating.”

Professor Cozmo: “When it’s not a charred Seviper, yes, I agree.”

Mr. Moore: “Well. Sorry Flannery, but if you want to enjoy what I’ve planned for the rest of the afternoon, I must hurry and go now. I should be back in half an hour. See you, honey!”

Flannery: “See you grandpa!”

 

After these words, Mr. Moore took the opportunity to leave the cottage to go to the discount shop in the northern part of Fallarbor Town, he really wanted to make his precious granddaughter a surprise. In the meantime, she stayed at home with Professor Cozmo who looked enthusiastic to the mere thought to share his knowledge on the Meteor Falls with her.

 

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Professor Cozmo: “So, did you never hear of the Meteor Falls before?”

Flannery: “Never, everything I know about the Meteor Falls is that it’s a big mountain located next to the Mt. Chimney, nothing more. Sorry.”

Professor Cozmo: “You don’t have to blame yourself for this, you know. The story hidden behind the mountain is huge as well, it doesn’t mean that people necessarily know everything about this subject. In fact, several million years ago, a gigantic meteorite crashed on our planet with an unbelievable strength, devastating everything in its path.”

Flannery: “There?”

Professor Cozmo: “Yeah, there. This mountain is a true vestige of the past. Even if this event has played an important role in the development of life in the whole region and beyond, when the meteorite crashed, it mainly affected the north-western part of Hoenn, turning the landscape into something totally different with radical changes. Long before the phenomenon happened, this place was an arid land of deserts and savanna. Thereafter, it was replaced by huge mountains with dizzying heights and a severe climate occurred for a long time. Apparently, it would have been impossible to put the feet on the ground, the floor was searing and lava rivers were formed just after the collision.”

Flannery: “Yet, the life has developed after the crash, right? How was it possible for Pokemon and humans to survive in such an inhospitable place?”

Professor Cozmo: “The meteorite itself brings the answer to the question. After several analyses, I have every reason to believe that it was containing an extremely high quantity of energy as well as a lot of extraterrestrial minerals. During the crash, the morphology of the land was heavily altered, rock walls emerged from the depths of the ground and the few water points around started to boil, the air was harder to breath. At this time, the nonexistent minerals spread everywhere on the continent, allowing the first human beings to see the light of day, as well as new Pokemon species.”

Flannery: “New Pokemon species!? Does it mean that Pokemon already existed before the collision?”

Professor Cozmo: “According to a popular myth transmitted from generation to generation in Hoenn, the creation of the first continents is supposed to be the work of one unique Pokemon. Its name is Groudon. On the other side, to the extreme East of Hoenn, among the waves and deep seas, its long-standing rival was residing. Kyogre, a legendary Pokemon able to trigger torrential rains. As I said before, the meteorite would have brought radical changes to the ambient temperature and flat lands above which Lavaridge Town and Fallarbor Town are standing nowadays, making them abnormally irregular. Once the meteorite has hit the planet, the two legendaries felt it. The impact of the large space boulder was the trigger of a chaotic confrontation between Groudon and Kyogre, instigating them to go over their own boundaries to fight, and generating a new world in the heat of battle. Days, weeks, months, years passed… but their strength was practically the same. After this endless clash, they both disappeared in the underground of Hoenn, letting behind them this beautiful landscape as a proof of their existence.”

Flannery: “So, the origin of Hoenn is a fight between two mythical Pokemon. Our region would be the result of a quarrel… I don’t really know what to think about it. That’s quite intimidating and fascinating at the same time.”

Professor Cozmo: “Do you understand now? Our history is richer than it’s supposed to be. Part cosmology, part mythology. Without these unexpected series of events, there would not be a single human being on Earth today. We are all stardust.”

Flannery: “That must make us think. Life is precious, I don’t want to waste it. And… what about the meteorite?”

Professor Cozmo: “By cross-referencing my research with the information gleaned by the team of scientists from Devon Corporation, we’ve now confirmed that during the fight against Kyogre, the rain he triggered filled up the faults of the Meteor Falls shortly after the collision. The meteorite fragments might be hidden somewhere on the heights, that’s a fact. But now, I have all the reasons to think that the main part of the shards remains underwater, into the depths of the mountain. Today, I still continue my investigation in the Meteor Falls to find these fragments in hopes of learning more about some unrevealed mysteries of life, and maybe putting the finger to the answers related to the most popular questions people keep asking. Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”

Flannery: “If only those rocks could speak… they would certainly have a lot of stories to tell us.”

Professor Cozmo: “That’s nicely worded, you speak very well for your age.”

Flannery: “Thank you, hihihi.”

Professor Cozmo: “You’re welcome. Anyway, if I want to find these famous answers, I have to work hard, and by myself. This is my job, I’m an experienced explorer as well as a perfectionist scientist. I swear that one day, I’ll achieve my objective. I promise, it’s just a matter of time.”

 

An hour has passed from the start of the conversation. Flannery was very captivated by Professor’s knowledge, and it makes sense. Meteorites come from space, and space is a topic on which sensitive people like to dream. Then, Mr. Moore came back from the discount shop. He anguished at the mere thought of spending too much time in there.

 

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Mr. Moore: “My apologizes for this wait, I’ve just realized that I left for a while. But there was just so many items to buy in this shop, I thought I would go mad. I lost all tracks of time in there.”

Flannery: “Don’t worry grandpa, it’s wasn’t boring at all. I have to say that it’s really impressive how time goes on when we speak with the Professor.”

Professor Cozmo: “I will take it as a compliment.”

Mr. Moore: “Really? It’s good to know how the young generation can be curious. But I’m sorry, we must return to Lavaridge Town immediately. Flannery, I have to show you something very special, and it’s better if we can do it at home. I think the time has come for you to say Professor Cozmo ‘Goodbye’.”

Flannery: “Oh… okay.”

The child turned to the young explorer, thanking him for all the time they’ve spent together. She seemed to really like him.

Flannery: “Thank you Professor, thank you for talking to me. When I want to see you again, I’ll be back.”

Professor Cozmo: “Thanks Flannery, it’s a pleasure to meet open-minded people like you. My door will always be open for you. Goodbye!”

Mr. Moore & Flannery: “Goodbye Professor!”

 

Flannery and her grandfather left the home by thanking their dear friend for the last time before joining Pelipper who was waiting for them just a few steps from Professor Cozmo’s property. They rode him, and moved straight to Lavaridge Town after getting enough altitude. During the flight, Flannery took the opportunity to look at the Meteor Falls to the right, it reminded her of what Professor Cozmo was saying to her. The biggest mystery of the history might be sealed somewhere in this mountain range. But she assumed that only experts have time to resolve it. Otherwise, it did not seem to prevent the little girl to appreciate this exceptional sight.

 

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They flew above the forest which separated Fallarbor Town from Lavaridge Town, Pelipper was getting closer from the Mt. Chimney, but there wasn’t any ashfall to dodge this time. As a matter of fact, the heights were not as windy in the middle of the afternoon. It explains why the way back was quieter than the departure in the morning. Finally, Flannery and Mr. Moore arrived at Lavaridge Town without any incident, Pelipper has landed on the ground softly in front of his master’s house. The old man brought him back to the Pokeball, giving him a well-deserved rest as usual.

 

Mr. Moore: “There we are! How do you feel, Flannery?”

Flannery: “I’m fine. I think I’m getting used to it now, hihihi.”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah! I don’t know why, but I can feel it boiling in your blood. Despite of the accident in this morning, I can feel the determination inside of you. You have a lot of energy to spend, but you don’t know how. I want to be the one to help you to control it and use it in the best way. Also, I’ve taken my time in this shop, you’ll certainly like what I have bought for you. I’m sure, you won’t regret this. Let’s go home, honey!”

Flannery: “Oh yeah, I can’t wait! I’ll be right behind you.”

 

They both returned home. Once inside, Flannery was in a hurry, she could not wait to see what her grandpa had to offer. He was carrying a shopping bag and put it on the table in the middle of the living room. It was like he purchased several articles, there was clearly more than one single gift for the redhead.

 

Flannery: “What is this? What is this?”

Mr. Moore: “Why don’t you see by yourself? There should be enough to make you more than happy.”

 

Flannery rushed to the bag and looked inside with bright eyes. After moving her hands to the surface of the bag, she pulled out a cute Pokemon doll.

 

Flannery: “Oh, a doll, no way! This is so cute!”

Mr. Moore: “This is a Torchic doll, I wanted to give you a little something to console you, I don’t like to read sorrow on your face, it makes me sad too you know. Also, this Pokemon reminds me a bit of you. Small, radiant, energetic, and sensitive at the same time… what do you think about this?”

Flannery: “It’s just too adorable, I’ll put it on my room later. Thank you so much!”

Mr. Moore: “And it’s not over, I have two extra gifts just for you. Watch.”

Flannery: “Eh?”

 

The child put the hand deeper in the bag and felt something made of plastic inside. She seized it and pulled it out briskly.

 

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Flannery: “Is that… goggles?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, protective goggles to be exact. It will make you able to venture into the desert located to the east of here. This is really useful to prevent sand to get into the eyes when you go in this area.”

Flannery: “What!? Did you plan to take me to the desert?”

Mr. Moore: “Hmmm… yes but, probably not today. Further in the desert, there is a strange monument called ‘Mirage Tower’. That’s what I’ve seen… or so I think. Sometimes, it appears in full view to the wanderers. And then, suddenly, it disappears, or should I say ‘vanishes’… a bit like a mirage. If you ever want to go, we can always take a look and go around the day you feel ready for it.”

Flannery: “Interesting… yes, when the time comes and if I want to give it a try, we will go together. However, I just feel like I need more rest, I don’t want to leave anymore. Not yet. I would like to forget about what happened earlier in the morning, but it’s like this memory was still stuck in my head.”

Mr. Moore: “And that’s where my last present plays its role. I just hope I didn’t make a mistake when I chose it.”

Flannery: “Let’s see…”

 

The little girl inspected Mr. Moore’s bag for the last time, grabbed the remaining content, and pulled it out. She discovered with astonishment a nice little black one-piece swimsuit.

 

Flannery: “A swimsuit?”

Mr. Moore: “Exactly, a swimsuit. As you didn’t have anything to wear to go in the hot springs, I wanted to see if they still had something in stock for children of your age. I was lucky, there was only one left. However, I hope I didn’t choose an inappropriate size, that could be quite embarrassing. I have to admit that it’s very tricky to make this kind of surprise.”

Flannery: “Don’t worry about it, I’ll superpose it on me. We will see if it fits me soon enough.”

 

Without removing her clothes, Flannery pressed the swimsuit against her body to verify if it wasn’t too big or too small. In the end, it seemed to be the perfect size.

 

Flannery: “I think it suits me pretty well. Also, it’s very soft, I love it.”

Mr. Moore: “Well, I feel better now. So, everything should be convenient for us to go around the hot springs.”

Flannery: “Ah, finally! The famous hot springs of Lavaridge Town!”

Mr. Moore: “That’s it. I guess it’s not that easy for you to draw a line under the fiasco you experienced this morning near the Meteor Falls. That’s why I’ve meditated on a way to make you forget all of this, or at least try. A moment for yourself in the hot springs should be the best choice to make.”

Flannery: “I… I don’t know how to refuse that. It should clearly be the best suggestion you could ever do. And when are we supposed to leave? Indeed, I’m quite excited.”

Mr. Moore: “If you really want, we can go now.”

Flannery: “Of course I want! Just give me a minute to put these things into my room!”

 

The redhead rushed through the living room straight like a reduced-sized model of rocket to go upstairs and reached the room by putting her goggles, her doll and the saddle bag beside her bed. Then, she went down the stairs, leaving as fast as she came. She joined her grandfather on the ground floor with a big smile on her face.

 

Flannery: “Everything is fine, I’m ready!”

Mr. Moore: “Perfect, I’ve put your swimsuit on a bag, I have mine, you have yours. We can go out, sweetie.”

Flannery: “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me grandpa. I’m following you.”

 

After they both took their bags on their shoulders, the old man and the little girl left the home and walked down the village to go to the Pokemon Center in Lavaridge Town. In fact, the hot springs were only accessible from the inside of the Pokemon Center which served as spa for the citizens and newcomers. Once inside, Mr. Moore questioned the owner of the premises, the nurse herself.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Good day Madam!”

Nurse: “Hello Mr. Moore! Nice to see you!”

Mr. Moore: “Me too! Have you been aware of any new visitors in here these days?”

Nurse: “By ‘new visitors’, I suppose you mean ‘new challengers’, right? Sorry, we have not seen the mere participant for a while. Neither today, nor yesterday… even the days before.”

Mr. Moore: “So be it, I feel better now. Are there still some free individual locker rooms? Me and my granddaughter would like to change our minds for a moment.”

Nurse: “For sure! Please, take the corridor on your left.”

Mr. Moore: “Thanks!”

Nurse: “You’re welcome!”

 

After the young woman gave them the keys for their respective rooms, Mr. Moore moved into the hall, followed closely by Flannery. There were locker rooms on the left and the right of the alley leading to the hot springs.

 

Mr. Moore: “Well, I will be in the room number 12, you can take the one right opposite.”

Flannery: “Understood. Don’t worry about me, even if I don’t always succeed in finding my way back, that does not necessarily mean that I have a bad memory.”

Mr. Moore: “Well, if you say so. Now let’s go, you have to get dressed. And please, don’t forget to lock the door with the latch.”

Flannery: “No problem!”

 

They entered their room and locked themselves inside before to get out a few minutes later in an appropriate swimwear. Mr. Moore was wearing grey wool underpants. Concerning Flannery, her black swimsuit fitted her like a glove.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Oh my… it seems like I’ve chosen well in the end. You’re gorgeous Flannery!”

Flannery: “Thank you grandpa, it’s my pleasure. By the way, I did not expect you to be that muscular.”

Mr. Moore: “Hey, what did you expect? Comes with living in the mountains. Those walks around the volcano tend to keep my body young and strong, let alone my job of Gym Leader. I’m not the kind of person to walk in circles in a retirement home aimlessly. If you want me to give you an advice, it’s much better this way.”

Flannery: “I have no doubt about that. I guess I still have a lot to learn about you.”

Mr. Moore: “Of course cutie, ahah! Well, hurry up! We’ll catch cold if we don’t end this conversation right now.”

 

After putting an end to this exchange of compliments, they walked hand in hand toward the steamy exit. The place was filled up with a thick smoke, it reminded Flannery of the path under the Mt. Chimney she took yesterday, except that the area she was going to visit was rather peaceful and not suffocating. There were not many people in the hot springs today, only two elderlies sat to the extreme opposite of the pool. High rocky walls were bordering the external edges of the pool, so people could relax as they wish, regardless of the villagers outside. Mr. Moore was the first to enter the warm waters, Flannery watched him moving forward.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Sweet! The temperature is exactly how it should be.”

Flannery: “Rea… really? Are you sure?”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t stress Flannery, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well. The heat emanating from this place clears the head of the bathers, it blows their negative thoughts away, appeases their spirits, rejuvenates their tired muscles, and helps them to feel good. So, I think I’ll join these damsels just there. Don’t be so shy, go to the corner on your right and relax. You won’t be bugged by anyone.”

Flannery: “Hmm… okay… if you say so.”

 

The little girl was hesitant and dubious, she looked at her grandfather who moved away and fixed the opaque waters of the pool. Then, she finally decided to put the right foot on the water. A very comforting feeling began to invade her from the toes to the fingertips.

 

Flannery: “Oh… hmm… this is… very… pleasant here.”

 

Seized by the sweet warmth of the hot springs, Flannery put the two feet into the pale pool and moved to an edge made of stone on her right. It wasn’t too deep, she felt the steamy water tickling her belly. Then, she lazily sat on a bench positioned under the water surface, and leant against the wall. The silence started to be absolute around her, there was nothing to disturb this moment of well-being which was more and more intense. Flannery let her back slip against the wall in a great nonchalance by closing her eyes as the water was caressing her childish body. She abandoned herself in this place where nothing could affect her, the water was about to reach her neck. Flannery felt safe, protected by the steam and lulled by the sweetness of water, a sensation of invulnerability, freedom and playfulness occupied her purified spirit. Enveloped by comfort, she remembered this sentence the Professor said earlier in the afternoon.

 

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Flannery: (We are… all… stardust.)

 

Flannery was thinking about what might possibly exist beyond her planet, among cold darkness, somewhere in space, by pointing her nose to the sky, and letting her red hair waving into the waters of the hot springs. Time passed, she was meditating silently. For the first time in her life, she was happy to feel herself cut off from the world. From now, the fight between Typhlosion and Seviper was nothing more than a blurry picture lost in the past, she was feeling good.

 

Flannery: (Nothing can hurt me now… I’m not afraid of anything... not anymore.)

 

Armed with courage and temerity, Flannery took a deep breath, filled her lungs and let herself completely sink to the bottom of the hot springs, she totally disappeared from the water surface. All she wanted was melting underwater, fusing with this place, she felt like she was being born again. In fact, she imagined her wandering in space. No more noise, no more life, no more angst, she didn’t have any reason to stress anymore. Flannery opened her mouth slightly, she let bubbles escape at regular interval of time, testing her apnea. She didn’t want to stop, seconds did not cease to pass, it was a way for her to clean her mind. After a certain amount of time, she decided to not try something unwise, and pulled herself to the surface to breath. She had a satisfying feeling of turning a dark page of her life stained with bad memories. At this very moment, she saw her grandfather standing in front of her with a puzzled expression.

 

Mr. Moore: “What are you doing Flannery? Are you alright?”

Flannery: “I want to start all over again. I let my demons leaving my spirit.”

Mr. Moore: “I hope it was effective. You stayed underwater for more than two minutes, I thought you were about to commit suicide. Please, don’t ever do something like that again. You promise me, right?”

Flannery: “I promise, but nobody is rich enough to pay back my past. Nobody can change the past, but if we really want, we can all decide of what our future will be made of. Today is the first page of a new book, I want to write it well.”

Mr. Moore: “By drowning the last one into the hot springs? This is a weird manner to proceed… but it should make a nice poetry too… you seem to be highly inspired… anyway. Listen to me Flannery, if you want to test your lung capacity, just tell me first. Then, the fight against our own anxieties is a challenge to take up every day. If you really want to know how to tame them and be at peace with yourself, please, stop doing anything rash and let me guide you to reach your objective in a fairer way.”

 

The little girl felt reassured, but a little bit confused. Her old and new thoughts were interweaving inside of her. She just needed to stay proud of herself to feel better, and concentrate fully on what she had to do. In the end, she realized how meaningless it was to live in doubt, regrets and hesitation. After some extra bathing time, Mr. Moore stood up and went to Flannery to tell her that the time for returning home has come. The whole sky was brightening up with purplish colors of the dusk.

 

Mr. Moore: “Get up sweetie, we have spent enough time in water today. We should go home now.”

Flannery: “That’s fine for me, I started to get hungry. Also, we must really come back here one day, this place is a true earthly paradise! I’ve never feel as much at ease in the hot springs than anywhere else!”

Mr. Moore: “If you really want and if we ever have time to do it this week, we will come back. You can trust me.”

Flannery: “Thank you grandpa, thank you so much! I think I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me so far! You are the best!”

 

As a traditional ritual, she hugged her grandfather by gripping him tightly by the waist with her arms. They went out of the hot springs and felt them reviving. Flannery reached her locker room which was in front of Mr. Moore’s one, they’ve both let their bags inside. She dried herself, put on her dress and picked up all her stuff at lightning speed. Then, she waited several minutes for her grandpa who was still inside of his room to change himself.

 

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Flannery: “That’s good grandpa, I’m already done!”

Mr. Moore: “Seriously!? You’re very fast, you know! Just give me a minute to change myself.”

Flannery: “No problem!”

 

Three minutes later, he finally went out of the room.

 

Mr. Moore: “Well, we can leave now. Come on, it’s time to go home!”

Flannery: “Here we go!”

 

Flannery and her grandfather walked along the corridor and gave back the locker rooms keys to the nurse on the counter before to leave the Pokemon Center. They both crossed the village to reach their house near the forest at the entrance of Lavaridge Town. The wind was rising. Once they entered, they found a spot in their respective rooms to put down their bags. In the process, Mr. Moore rushed to the kitchen to prepare some vegetable steaks for the dinner while Flannery was setting the table and watching TV.

 

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Flannery: “Is it ready yet?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, I think it is. Give me your plate Flannery, you’ll be the first one to be served. If you don’t mind, I’ll go boil some water. I guess you would not be mad at a cup of ash flower tea, right?”

Flannery: “Right. Even if it’s not the tastier thing to drink, staying healthy is more important for me.”

Mr. Moore: “Wise decision. I’ll go boil the water right now.”

Flannery: “Do you want me to bring your plate as well, grandpa?”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t bother with it, sweetie. I’ll do it myself.”

Flannery: “Okay grandpa!”

 

Flannery’s grandfather was letting the water boiling in a small red kettle. In a meanwhile, Flannery was bringing him her plate to get her piece of vegetable steak, the old man served her before him. After that, he joined her granddaughter on the table. During the dinner, they talked about what they could possibly do tomorrow.

 

Mr. Moore: “So, Flannery. As you still not have your own Pokemon with you, you still can’t prove yourself as a Pokemon trainer. It’s like we need to restart all the process.”

Flannery: “Yeah, seems so. But… do we really have to return to Fallarbor Town to do that?”

Mr. Moore: “Not at all. You see, I’m even prepared to let you decide of the place we will explore tomorrow. The path behind the village, the desert, or even the cave under the Mt. Chimney… choice is yours. Regardless of what you decide, I’ll be there to keep you safe.”

Flannery: “I can choose any location? Really?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes. During our trip yesterday, you already had a good overview of the areas surrounding the volcano, and what they had to offer. In addition, as you have protective goggles in your possession, you can explore the desert safely now… as long as I am on your side, of course. The rest only depends on the choice you’re going to make. You may have one Pokeball left on your saddle bag, you basically know everything about the conditions that must be met to optimize your chances of catching a Pokemon in the wild.”

 

The child started to think, she didn’t have any idea about the place to explore, let alone what she could possibly caught. She preferred to not give an answer too fast, so she told her grandfather something.

 

Flannery: “I need to reflect longer before to tell you. I would like to not make a hasty decision, especially when it’s about my first Pokemon.”

Mr. Moore: “I rely on your judgement, my child. You’ll certainly get better inspirations if you sleep on it. Choose well, this is the most important.”

Flannery: “I agree, it should be better this way.”

Mr. Moore: “I’m sure it will… well, now the water should be hot enough. Stay here honey, I’ll take care of your tea.”

Flannery: “Hihihi, thank you grandpa!”

 

Mr. Moore and Flannery drunk their infusion on their cushion by watching the news. There was a broadcast interview showing the last performance of Drake, a member of the current Elite Four in Hoenn. He managed to win a new victory against a challenger who was about to claim the title of new Champion. In the end, his consecration did not happen. The member of the Elite Four was accompanied by his Salamence.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Drake deserves his position, to say the least. Another great model for the new generation.”

Flannery: “For sure, he looks strong. What’s the name of the Pokemon with him?”

Mr. Moore: “This is a Salamence, a Dragon Type Pokemon. This type of Pokemon is considered by many trainers as the rarest and strongest of modern times. It’s also said that they are the hardest to train as their sturdy character makes it very time-consuming.”

Flannery: “Dragon or not, I just want to get my own Pokemon, nothing more. I will be the one to make them strong, and people will come to respect me, and even maybe admire me.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s a very positive point of view. Don’t be jealous of anybody, be true to yourself instead.”

Flannery: “That’s exactly what I was thinking about.”

Mr. Moore: “Fine, my child.”

 

When the television news ended, Mr. Moore turned off the TV and Flannery went to her room, just like him. Before to go to bed, Flannery opened her saddle bag and took her last Pokeball out. Then, she looked at the red-white sphere for a long time by wondering who could finally be her first fellow traveler. The more she fixed it, the more her thoughts became clear. After several minutes of reflection, she expired slightly and lowered her eyes with a little smile on her face… she had something in mind. She put the Pokeball back in the saddle bag, and crawled comfortably into her bed. Flannery seized her Torchic doll and pressed it strongly against her chest by closing her eyes. She repeated the same sentence inside of her head again and again.

 

Flannery: (I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again. I won’t fail ever again…)

 

Aware of the breathing, she soothed her mind. The words in her head became more and more silent, her muscles were totally relaxing. And then, in complete darkness, Flannery fell asleep peacefully.

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Wasn’t expecting that being underwater thing but you’re doing very well. Can’t wait for the next update! :)

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You're welcome! And yeah, this bathing scene was a nod to a chapter in the manga. As a respect for those who never read Pokemon Adventures Sapphire & Ruby, I'll put a spoiler below.

 

Spoiler

At one point, in a chapter entitled "Bubble bubble Toil & Azumarill", Flannery get trapped by Team Aqua with Sapphire (The manga version of May) in a cable car. They used the poor Gym Leader as a lure to find Sapphire, and then get rid of them both. In fact, Matt ordered his Azumarill to use Hydro Pump on Sapphire and the cable car started to flood up to the ceiling with the two girls inside. Matt, who was prepared for this, managed to protect himself in an air bubble, leaving Flannery and Sapphire to drown. This scene lasted for 7 minutes, and I was not expected Flannery to survive that long. That's one of the reason why I wanted to introduce a breatholding scene in the story, she might already had some experience on it before ^_^

...but still, I lost my sh*t the first time I saw it :(

 

If this part was unexpected for you, let me tell you that the content of the chapter number 7 is absolutely nuts beside. I don't even think that anybody has an idea of what will exactly happen next. Stardust was quite time-consuming to write, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Spoiler

A new dawn was rising over the sleeping lands of Lavaridge Town. Flannery was lying on her bed, she kept the Torchic doll against her. When the sun was about to show up, the childish face of the little girl was shining, waking her from her sleep. She had a good night.

 

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Flannery: “Fouuaaaah… I’d better go down to see if grandpa is awake.”

 

She looked back at the wall clock to see what time it was.

 

Flannery: “9:45 PM… once again, I slept round the clock. I can’t believe how good I feel. Let’s go, breakfast can’t await.”

 

Flannery put on her clothes quickly and rushed to the living room by running down the stairs. Then, she saw her grandfather sat on a cushion next to the dining table. In her haste, she joined him.

 

Flannery: “Good morning grandpa!”

Mr. Moore: “Good morning Flannery, did you have a nice sleep?”

Flannery: “Yes, as always. The fresh air of the mountain and all these flights on Pelipper’s back tend to make me exhausted in the evening, I must say that it greatly helps for sleeping better at night.”

Mr. Moore: “I understand that, living near these volcanic peaks is a true therapy. By the way, did you think about our last conversation, do you have an idea about the place we could explore to continue your initiation as a Pokemon trainer?”

 

Against all odds, this question seemed to amuse Flannery more than anything else. Obviously, she already had a precise idea of the place to visit for her next catching attempt.

 

Flannery: “I’m glad you asked me that question. I’ve meditated on it all night long, but the choice was not that hard to make in the end. I would like to go back to the fiery path under the mountain we took this Monday.”

Mr. Moore: “Well, you didn’t choose the most secure place, you know. But it’s okay, you would certainly not have decided to go inside of this cave for a second time without a good reason.”

Flannery: “Going inside? I’ve let several scenarios fuse in my mind before to sleep. We will go there without necessarily wandering inside. Indeed, I think I have a better idea.”

Mr. Moore: “Really? What are you thinking about?”

Flannery: “Let me explain.”

 

The kid approached her grandfather to whisper her plans into his ear. She really wanted to avoid another failure, that’s why she thought and imagined lots of specific cases on this subject last night before falling asleep. Among her plans, there was one which was above all the others. This time, Flannery had nothing to hide, she gave her grandfather all the details concerning the way to proceed. Mr. Moore was intrigued by what her granddaughter had to suggest.

 

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Mr. Moore: “I see… that’s very interesting. You know what, you caught my curiosity.”

Flannery: “For real!?”

Mr. Moore: “Yep, for real! I even think that it would be an incredible waste to not further exploit this piece of your mind. We will do things your way, but I should warn you. If anything goes wrong, my Typhlosion will put things back to normal, you can trust me.”

Flannery: “Oh thank you! Thank you for giving me a chance to try. I can’t wait to see if it could work.”

Mr. Moore: “As long as you remain faithful to your convictions, you must try. Well, now, why don’t you eat what I’ve cooked this morning? Oh, and if you want to go, don’t forget to put all the stuff you need in your saddle bag before, then join me outside. In all the cases, we will come back home for lunch.”

Flannery: “That’s exactly what I’ll do right now. My stomach did not stop to growl since I’m awake.”

Mr. Moore: “Perfect! And above all, be sure to bring your protective goggles with you. If we still have some time, maybe we’ll go near the desert to verify if the Mirage Tower is visible today.”

Flannery: “Oh yes, the Mirage Tower! I agree, we should definitely give it a shot, especially if this kind of opportunity does not represent every day. As long as I’m filled with adrenaline, I feel ready for everything. But in the meantime, I need to focus on my main objective: finding a new member to our family.”

Mr. Moore: “Very good my child, it’s better for you to not skip the steps. So, I will let you enjoy your breakfast. Be strong, you’ll need it.”

Flannery: “See you later.”

 

The old man, who just finished his meal, went outside the house to breath some fresh air while Flannery was enjoying the breakfast made with love by her grandfather. Grilled fish, rice, apples, the child savored the food heartedly, and felt herself satiated little by little after every bite. At the end of the meal, she stood up and cleaned up the table by putting all the cutlery into the sink before to go upstairs. She went to her room to make an inventory of what she could put into her saddle bag before to leave.

 

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Flannery: “Pokeball… OK… goggles… OK… doll…!? Hm, I don’t think I’ll need it that much. However, there is still something left to carry out. I should go the kitchen, it must still be out there.”

 

Flannery closed her saddle bag and rushed to the ground floor to pick up the packet of Lava Cookies which was stored in a cupboard. She opened the packet to be sure she would not be out of treat, and counted them.

 

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Flannery: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8! Fine, that should be enough. I don’t know why it should not work this time.”

 

Enthusiasm started to grow inside of the little redhead, she put the packet inside of the saddle bag before to find her grandfather outside with an excited expression. He was leaning against the front facade of the house. He seemed very thoughtful.

 

Mr. Moore: “Did you have a nice meal, my child? Are you ready yet?”

Flannery: “Yes and yes! I’m more than ready! If it still misses, it just means that luck is not on my side. But I refuse to admit it. Otherwise, I would not have met you in Lilycove City three days ago. So, I don’t really know why it should let me down now.”

Mr. Moore: “At least, you know how to relativize, I like it. But will you still be in a good mood once the next failure will occur.”

Flannery: “Failures can await. I decided to make my next catching attempt a success and that’s exactly what will happen. I feel the determination boiling inside of me.”

Mr. Moore: “Keep your determination, that’s what we need as humans to move forward. By the way, we should hurry now, don’t you think?”

Flannery: “You’re right, let’s keep moving!”

 

Flannery and Mr. Moore went straight to the east through the rocky path, away from Lavaridge Town. The young kid remembered the whole way by heart, she stepped ahead of the old man. The travel leading to the cottage of grandma’s best friend was still very recent, Flannery has kept all her good walker reflexes. She moved faster by watching carefully where she put the feet to not stumble in her haste. The pathway was not too long to cross, the steamy grotto was just some steps away from their actual position.

 

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Mr. Moore: “You don’t need to go so fast Flannery!”

Flannery: “Don’t worry grandpa, I know what I’m doing.”

 

The old man sped up to not lose sight of her granddaughter. Even if she pretended to know the rest of the path perfectly, he refused to stay away of the child. Nevertheless, that was just a rush of short duration. They soon arrived at the entrance of the famous steamy cave. Flannery was standing in front of the fiery road under the mountain, her grandfather joined her quickly enough.

 

Mr. Moore: “At least, I can say that this walk stimulates your senses. I have to admit, I was wrong when I thought that the young generation was slow and lazy… my negligence is going to cost me a lot.”

Flannery: ”Didn’t you say that determination was part of my genes? It’s just natural for me. I’m relax when I need to relax, and awake when I need to be awake.”

Mr. Moore: “And this awakening is powered up by desire. By following our own convictions and achieving our goals, we all have a reason to hang onto life.”

Flannery: “Correct. And now, I am going to achieve mine.”

 

Without wasting time, Flannery opened her saddle bag and pulled out the packet of Lava Cookies. She has planned everything down to the last details, she wished to do it like she was holding all the aces, and was very well-prepared. After she put one of the cookie on the ground just a few inches further, she called the Pokemon she wanted to see by its name.

 

Flannery: “Tooooorkoooooooal! Are you here?”

 

After the calling, Flannery waited for a certain amount of time without making any noise, her grandpa was right behind her, ready to interfere if anything was wrong with her plan. But this time, he was confident towards the kid, he wanted to assist to the event more like a spectator than an actor. Then, one minute later, a locomotive sound reverberated from the deep of the cloudy cavity. In the mist, a low body with a long neck started to appear, the figure of Torkoal emerged out of the ghostly tunnel. He walked to Flannery slowly, in small steps, leaving the white smoke blown by the hot air of the volcanic underground and stared at the little girl in purple dress.

 

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Flannery: “Hello Torkoal… do you remember me? I came back for you.”

 

Flannery and Torkoal both stayed motionless, sharing a tender look into each other’s eyes. The Pokemon nodded. He bypassed the cookie by avoiding squashing it, and got closer from the girl by smiling. He was fascinated by the child, he didn’t pay attention to the treat behind, and rubbed his long neck against the right leg of Flannery. Mr. Moore didn’t do any movement, he just watched the scene carefully, he trusted his granddaughter.

 

Torkoal: “Tooooorkoal!”

Flannery: “Hihihi, I knew you couldn’t forget me. I’ve brought you some cookies, the same I gave you during our first encounter. As you seemed to like them, I kept the packet with me. Enjoy your meal, buddy!”

 

The Pokemon understood and turned to the cookie on the ground. He stretched its neck and seized it with the mouth before to eat the snack with gusto. His stomach was purring with pleasure, he seemed to really appreciate the treat, Flannery watched him. Once it was done, Torkoal asked for a second one by pointing his head to the packet in Flannery’s arms.

 

Torkoal: “Tooorkooooal!”

Flannery: “You like it, right? Don’t worry, I have seven more. Take this one, eat as you like.”

 

This time, Flannery grabbed another cookie and put it in the hollow of her right hand. Torkoal leaned over the little girl’s hand to eat the snack, enjoying his meal once again. He was really happy to get some food. Indeed, traditional Torkoal’s meal were essentially made of plants and cereals, that’s why it forced him to travel long distances for a good part of the day. When Torkoal finished to eat the treat, he put his head under the hand of Flannery.

 

Flannery: “Oh! What do you want? Hugs? No problem, let me give you some hugs. Come here, and relax.”

 

Flannery turned over her hand to stroke Torkoal’s forehead. The Pokemon trusted the child and made himself comfortable by feeling the sweetness of Flannery’s gesture. He let a steam jet escape from the top of his shell. Flannery continued to caress Torkoal, the happiness became more and more important, he started to get excited and let another steam jet leaving his oven-like shell. Then, Torkoal stood on his hind legs and leaned on Flannery with his front legs, the Pokemon wanted to play with the child.

 

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Torkoal: “Toooorkooooal!”

Flannery: “Hihihi! Softly Torkoal, softly!”

 

He unconsciously made Flannery fall backwards without hurting her. Torkoal landed flat on his belly, the head pointing forward. At this moment, Mr. Moore was ready to intervene, he held the Pokeball containing Typhlosion in his hand, guessing something bad was about to happen. But Flannery got up quickly enough, she gave him a sign to make him understand to stay out of it.

 

Flannery: “Please, grandpa! Don’t do anything! I keep the situation under control, everything is fine.”

 

Mr. Moore obeyed and put his Pokeball back in his pocket while Torkoal smiled at Flannery with a playful expression by wagging his tail from the left to the right. She moved back to stroke him again. The more she stroked Torkoal, the faster his tail wagged.

 

Flannery: “You seem to really love me, I guess. Do you want to come with me? I promise to treat you with all the love you deserve.”

 

Torkoal propelled a huge steam jet straight in the air by hitting the ground hard repeatedly with his tail, there was nothing but happiness and excitation all over his face.

 

Torkoal: “Torkooooooooooooooooooal!!!”

Flannery: “Hihihi, I take it as a yes.”

 

Flannery answered by returning his smile. She put the packet of Lava Cookies back in the saddle bag and slipped her hand inside to grab her last Pokeball. She showed it to Torkoal.

 

Flannery: “If you join me, you’ll have a true family. Are you ready to be a part of it? Regardless of what you decide, I’ll respect your choice.”

 

The Pokemon nodded with a very satisfied expression. In fact, Torkoal was waiting for Flannery to see her throwing the Pokeball.

 

Flannery: “So be it. Even if life may be hard in Hoenn, we will face it together. Let’s go Torkoal!”

 

Flannery thrown her Pokeball on Torkoal’s shell, paying attention not to hurt the Coal Pokemon. His body turned white in a strong light before to vanish and enter in Flannery’s Pokeball. During a short wait of ten seconds approximately, she hoped the Pokeball wasn’t about to explode when her back was turned, she feared for Torkoal to flee at the most unexpected moment. But none of that happened. Torkoal was caught. The heat wave next to Flannery turned into an intense wave of happiness and relief as she planned everything to not fail ever again. She succeeded in catching her first Pokemon. Despite of this achievement, she managed to control her feelings. She took the Pokeball back on the ground and placed it carefully into the saddle bag.

 

Flannery: “Welcome home!”

 

Mr. Moore has watched the entire scene himself, he was proud and very impressed by Flannery, her catching strategy was flawless. He praised the redhead.

 

Mr. Moore: “There’s no way! I’ve never seen such a thing in my whole career of Pokemon trainer. Obviously, the bond that links you to this Torkoal is very strong. I’m sure he will be happy to share his adventures with you.”

Flannery: “I have no doubt about it. From this day forward, I’ll consider him as another part of myself. Everybody needs a home, I want to share mine with Torkoal, he deserves to get some affection.”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, that’s true. This catching session helped me to understand that the slavish maintenance of aggression is not always the best solution for it. I can only admire your ingenuity as well as the kindness you showed.”

Flannery: “Thank you grandpa!”

Mr. Moore: “You’re welcome! Concerning your first Pokemon training, it would be better to talk about that later. Well, there should still be enough time left to go to the desert. I brought Pelipper with me before to leave, so we won’t have to make a big detour with the cable car to come back home for the lunch time.”

Flannery: “Yeah, we will fly again! I like it, that seems to be a good plan. I’m in good mood for now, so a little walk in the desert in your company should not bother me at all.”

Mr. Moore: “It’s used to be an addiction for me to see you enthusiastic like that, you know. Let’s go down there and take the road to the East, we will see soon enough if the Mirage Tower is visible today or not.”

Flannery: “Okay, let’s go!”

 

But as they were about to hit the road again, Torkoal went out of his Pokeball by himself and appeared in front of Flannery with a cheerful expression. That was a way for him to express his gratitude. He looked like he wanted to be pampered.

 

Flannery: “Oh, what’s up Torkoal? Don’t you want to stay inside of your Pokeball? Do you want more hugs?”

Torkoal: “Tooorkoooal!”

 

The Pokemon smiled at her and let himself be spoilt by the kid. Flannery knelt down next to Torkoal, the cheek against his head, she let her hands slip against his long orange neck. Torkoal blushed by propelling steam jets by the nose and his shell. This embrace filled them both with positive energy, they wished this moment to never end. After this touching scene, Flannery gave another cookie to Torkoal before to make him return inside of his Pokeball. It was time for the redhead to get back on the road.

 

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Flannery: “Take a rest Torkoal.”

Mr. Moore: “This is adorable… but hey, the time to tackle most serious things has come. We still have a tower to investigate. Flannery, will you be able to follow me everywhere I go?”

Flannery: “Of course, that’s what I’ve done so far after all. I won’t stop that easily, I want to see this tower with my own eyes as well.”

Mr. Moore: “Wonderful! Come with me.”

 

Flannery and the old man went down to a small paved path leading to the lower part of the mountain and crossed the road to the East in hopes of spotting the Mirage Tower today. They passed through a quite linear way, noticing some wanderers during the trip before to find themselves in front of a crossing. The passage to the South led them to Mauville City whereas the one leading to the North ended in front of Hoenn desert.

 

Mr. Moore: “Here we are!”

Flannery: “So, are we really going to explore these sandy dunes?”

Mr. Moore: “If we can see the tower, yes, it’s worth the try. Otherwise… hm… we will come back home with the cable car. After all, walking is still the best way to eliminate the extra calories, don’t you think?”

Flannery: “Yeah, I think so. But… what you said before… does it mean that we don’t need to directly go to the desert to see the tower? Can we identify the tower from here? Perhaps I have misunderstood.”

Mr. Moore: “Let me reassure you, you’re right. The goggles I gave you will protect your eyes from the sand blown by wind in the desert, but it will also make you able to see through the sandstorms. This is an exclusive technology created by Devon Corporation. These engineers will never cease to amaze me.”

Flannery: “Waaah! That sounds totally awesome, I really need to try them on… and that’s exactly what I’m going to do now.”

 

Without wasting any time, Flannery hurried to put on the protective goggles she brought into her saddle bag. It gave her the impression to find herself inside of an old spaghetti western with sepia-toned landscapes. But most importantly, the sight on the desert became far clearer. At approximately fifty meters from her position, she could see a sort of large pillar made of clay pointing to the sky. The color of the monument was the same of the background, which explained why it was so hard to identify it, even with protective goggles. It was a bit like trying to find out a Kecleon in a tropical forest. She warned her grandfather immediately by giving him a very detailed description of what she saw.

 

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Flannery: “Grandpa, grandpa! I think I found it out!”

Mr. Moore: “What? For real!? Can you describe it accurately, please?”

Flannery: “For sure, I see a huge building with several floors, three to be exact. The color of the structure is the same as the rocky background behind, an orange-red color. Also, the architecture of the exterior walls seems to be very ancient. The Mirage Tower, perhaps?”

Mr. Moore: “Judging by what you’ve seen, there’s no reason to think any longer. That’s definitely the Mirage Tower. Can you point it with your finger? I would like to get a better idea of the orientation to take.”

 

Flannery shown him the edifice by pointing the finger to the Northeast. Her grandfather put his protective goggles on as well, he needed to be sure of the exactness of the tower location. He wrinkled his eyes in the direction indicated by the little girl before to get it in sight after a short amount of time.

 

Mr. Moore: “Well Flannery, nicely done! You have a good eye, it’s like chance were ours today. Such an opportunity doesn’t show up every day. Are you ready to see this tower more closely, and by yourself?”

Flannery: “Of course I am. That’s what we’ve planned from the start, don’t we? I won’t move back just like that.”

Mr. Moore: “I got it. Follow me and cover your face. This sand has an unfortunate tendency to get everywhere, even into clothes. I would not like you to get hurt during the crossing.”

Flannery: “I’ll be fine. Let’s do this!”

 

Without further debate, the two adventurers went straight ahead before to find themselves right in the middle of the desert. They continued to cross diagonally towards the tower. There was nobody around them, neither explorers, nor Pokemon. Only the stressful sound of the sand flying in the air could be heard. Easing off was just out of the question. Contrary to Flannery’s habits, she held her grandfather by the hand as she did not want to get lost, and protected herself by covering her face with the left forearm. The sand stuck into her hair filled the redhead with a very irritating sensation. It was as uncomfortable as when the volcanic ashes of the Mt. Chimney were falling on her. After this harsh cross of the desert, Mr. Moore and his granddaughter finally managed to reach the Mirage Tower safe and sound, they both entered inside. At least, as the sandstorm could not penetrate the mysterious building, there was nothing to be afraid of, the shelter was very resistant. They removed their respective goggles to see better.

 

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Mr. Moore: ”What an adventure and what a success! This wind, this sand, these dunes… I forgot how hard this desert was to explore, a pure challenge for any adventurer in search of self-surpassing. Anyway, I’m relieved to see that we managed to tackle this challenge together. So, what do you think about it Flannery?”

 

Flannery who got upset by the sand stuck in her hair and shoes answered angrily by gritting her teeth.

 

Flannery: “Grrrrr, I much rather flying over this place than passing through. All this sand in my hair makes me feel like I had dandruff, I truly think that nothing could have bothered me as much. That’s really unpleasant, I hate that!”

Mr. Moore: “Control your temper Flannery, everything is fine now. You’ll have all the time you need to shower yourself when we’ll be back. Try to appreciate the present moment instead, we are so few to get the chance to come into these vestiges of the past that so many people thought unreal.”

Flannery: “You’re right, I’ll make efforts to control my temper, but still! Whatever happens, I don’t have Pokeballs anymore, so I won’t be able to catch anything in here.”

Mr. Moore: “There is a time for catching Pokemon, and a time for exploration, Flannery. Just try to imagine what kind of undiscovered wonders this tower has kept secret from the rest of the world all this time, I would really like to find out what it’s all about.”

Flannery: “So, what are we waiting for? Let’s see this together. Wherever you go, I’ll go too… even if my hair is not always of the same opinion.”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah, I trust you Flannery, I trust you! Come here sweetie, stay close to me.”

 

Flannery followed her grandfather along the walls of the ruins. Strange shapes and symbols could be seen on the different sides of the lost maze, it was written in a sort of complex language dating back to the ancient era. Flannery felt herself walking into a kind of waking dream.

 

Flannery: (If only these walls had a mouth… I would love to hear their fine words and knowing more about this place… this place… that so many people still ignore the existence today… but… eh?!)

 

The engravings on the wall started to fade right before the eyes of the child. Something questioned her, Flannery began to worry about something. She took her eyes off the wall to ask her grandpa a quite relevant question about the Mirage Tower.

 

Flannery: “Grandpa, may I ask you something?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes my child, I’m listening.”

Flannery: “If the rumors about this place are true… if this monument can pop up in the eyes of people in an instant like a mirage… does it mean… that… it can disappear from their sight as well? And if such a thing would have to happen, do you think that the tower will disappear with both of us inside? What would become of us?”

 

This comment intrigued Mr. Moore a lot, he didn’t seem to feel at ease anymore after such a question.

 

Mr. Moore: “Ah… I didn’t think of that. To be honest… I don’t know. And I don’t want to experience it either. If I had to tell you everything, I don’t remember having met anybody who ever came back from here to testify it. If you want me to give you an advice, we shouldn’t go further than this corridor right here. That should be enough… for this kind of expedition.”

Flannery: “Yeah, I’m not opposed to that.”

 

Suddenly, as the two explorers were about to turn back, they were both interrupted in their rush by a panic scream behind them. A female voice was resonating from the end of the corridor.

 

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???: “HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP !!!”

 

This yelling… it was mixed with sadness, desperation and terror. It had inevitably frozen Mr. Moore’s blood… but not Flannery’s. She was curious, she needed to find out who was the person in distress. The simple mind of knowing someone in danger in this unpredictable place filled her with adrenaline. She decided to take actions and headed for the extreme opposite of the corridor, even if she knew she was going to regret this decision in the process.

 

Flannery: (There is someone is in danger in here, I refuse to go out just like nothing happened.)

Mr. Moore: “FLANNERY! COME BACK!!!”

 

A loud sound was combining to the cry of the unknown person. It became deeper and deeper. Expecting the worst, Mr. Moore did not hesitate any longer seeing her granddaughter running through the ruins, he had to go catch up. In the end, the Mirage Tower was clearly not a safe place.

 

???: “PLEASE, IF SOMEONE HEAR ME, I’M BEGGING YOU! DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!”

 

Flannery raced like she never did, the heart beating hard, outrunning her grandpa in her haste. She didn’t stop and continued to run through the passage which deviated a bit to the right before to finally find the origin of the lamentations. A girl with lavender hair tied up in a long ponytail wearing a blue dress was crawling face on the ground. Her cries stopped as she saw Flannery arriving. She looked up at the redhead, revealing her sweet angelic face.

 

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Flannery: “Oh my God! Are you alright?”

 

The young woman whispered weakly. Every word she said was punctuated by a suffocating pain.

 

???: “Who… are… you?”

Flannery: “My name is Flannery.”

???: “Did you… come… to… save me?”

Flannery: “Yes, of course! I heard you crying for help further, so I ran to you. What happened there? How did you end up in this state?”

???: ”I… I fell from the upper floor. The ground… the ground was collapsing under my feet during my investigation. I… don’t… feel my legs anymore. The mere fact of moving… makes me hurt.”

 

The poor lady had the two legs paralyzed, it was impossible for her to walk to the exit right now. Flannery couldn’t stand to assist at this horrific scene any longer. For some reasons, she reminded her of the burning Swablu from yesterday. She had to save her.

 

Flannery: “That must have been quite a fall! Let me help you to get out of here. I won’t let you down.”

???: “Thank you, Flannery! If we ever manage to leave… I swear… I won’t forget your help.”

 

As the damsel in distress laid on her back, the brave kid placed her hands under the shoulders of the young woman. Flannery moved backward and dragged the lady with her to the exit. She had to be swift, all the writings on the wall have disappeared, sand began to fall from the corner of the ceiling, and the walls started to shake in a more and more threatening noise. Mr. Moore saw them quickly enough and caught them up. He needed to be informed to understand what happened further.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Ah Flannery! You’re here! I was afraid of losing you, what are you doing?”

Flannery: “This lady was unable to move, so I’ve decided to save her. Would you have done something else in my place?”

Mr. Moore: “What!? Are you insinuating that there was somebody else in these ruins? Who is this person with you?”

Flannery: “I don’t know. Take a look for yourself.”

 

The old man inspected the face of the woman dragged by Flannery all along. In fact, this person looked quite familiar for him, he discovered her identity instantly with stupefaction.

 

Mr. Moore: “No… you… you can’t be… b-but… why?”

???: “Mr. Moore… is that you?”

Flannery: “Wait, what!? Do you know each other? Who is it, grandpa?”

???: “Oh, mister! I’m… elated to see you again. Is that little angel… your… granddaughter or something?”

Mr. Moore: “Hmmmmmmm… even if I try to make it short, I think it will take too much time to explain that. Flannery, I promise to tell you more about all of this once we’ll manage to escape from this cursed place. For the moment, time is running out, we have to get out of here. Please, let me carry her, I can do it by myself.”

 

After putting an end to this discussion briefly, Flannery obeyed and let the old man carrying the young lady on his back. He still had enough strength left to do that.

 

Mr. Moore: “That’s much better. Let’s reach the exit.”

Flannery: “Got it.”

Mr. Moore: “Well, so… RUUUUUUUUN!!!”

 

Flannery and the former Member of the Elite 4 rushed straight to the exit of the desert tower along with the mysterious damsel. They sped up as an earthquake sound was rumbling all over the corridor, walls started to sink into the sand and the high ceiling came closer from the ground floor progressively. From now on, every second spent inside of the Mirage Tower was separating the trio from the light of the day, making them closer from the same tragic fate. Hopefully, the main entrance was large enough, so there was still a little chance for them to reach the desert in one piece, a ray of hope was continuing to shine. In less than fifteen seconds, they saw the exit forward, the space between the top of the entrance and the upper floor had decreased considerably. Without losing any instant, Flannery and Mr. Moore refused to give up and raced straight in front of them to get out of the cursed monument before getting trapped. The little girl feared for Torkoal to get out of his Pokeball at the most unexpected moment… but none of that happened. Finally, everybody managed to pull themselves out of the Mirage Tower in time. Everyone, even the young lady with the lavender hair. She got off Mr. Moore’s back and sat down in the sand with a heavy heart. That was still very difficult for her to stand up.

 

Mr. Moore: “We did it! That’s finally over, we should be out of danger now. Is everybody alright?”

Flannery: “I’m fine. Seeing the light of the day has never been such a relief. Just a few seconds left, and we’d have been squeezed between the ceiling and the ground. I’ve never felt myself so lucky!”

 

As they were all in the middle of the desert again, they watched the Mirage Tower sinking entirely into the sand. The hot temperature outside may have warm the hearts, the woman in blue dress felt a horrific chill running down her spine just by attending this morbid show. She felt her improbable chance weighing on her as the merciless edifice disappeared into the depths of the desert. The sandstorm ceased.

 

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???: “Oh Lord! I can’t even imagine what would have left of me if you didn’t come, you’ve given me my life back. Thank you very much, I owe you everything!”

Flannery: “It was the least we could do, turning back on someone in danger would have been a crime for me. I did it… because I had to. But… what’s your name? And most importantly, how do you know my grandpa? Did you already meet somewhere?”

Mr. Moore: “I guess there’s no reason to keep you in suspense any longer. Flannery, this is Winona, the Flying Gym Leader of Hoenn.”

 

The redhead jumped backward and fell into the sand by hearing this revelation. She was absolutely not ready for this. All this time, Flannery has lent assistance to a Gym Leader without even knowing it.

 

Flannery: “What?! Are you really a Gym Leader? But… I never saw you in Lavaridge Town before?”

Winona: “Lavaridge Town? No, I am sorry, I don’t live in Lavaridge Town. My home is in Fortree City, somewhere behind the mountains, beside the marshes. In fact, I became a Gym Leader very recently. I inherited this title by defeating my own mother in a single battle during a tournament for celebrating my 18th anniversary two months ago. I hold an important position among the best trainers of Hoenn ever since. Also, I do my best to maintain my skills, strengthen my team and polish my reputation… even if I almost lost everything in one day. Thank you again Flannery, without you, I would be dead by now.”

Flannery: “You’re welcome, this is an honor for me, but still! Why did you leave so far away from your home? Fortree City is a long way from here.”

Winona: “Last night, after a pretty tough battle against a high-level challenger, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some little reading as I was very exhausted, and something has caught my curiosity. I’ve read between two lines in my book an interesting thing about a special Pokemon called “Flygon”. He’s known to have several different names such as “Spirit of the Desert”, and everything seemed to indicate that it was living at the top of the Mirage Tower. I wanted to put all the odds on my side to reach it and catch it, because such an add to my team would have been an immense source of pride for me. However, a rumor was speculating in Fortree City and said that all the people who entered this place were swallowed alive, which would have explained why nobody never returned to tell what they could have seen inside of these ruins. From the beginning, I thought it was just folklore for frightening villagers and justifying the fact that nobody had seen the tower for a long time ago… but I was wrong. I even managed to find it out at the first glance this morning. I went inside and pursued my progress without any difficulty until this moment when the ground on the upper floor was crumbling beneath my feet. As I had the habit of doing aerial acrobatics since I was a very young child, I tried to cushion my fall by adopting the most appropriate position… but… my luck has left me this time. I could only evaluate the distance with the floor below at the last moment, so I didn’t have the time to prepare my landing. Then, I broke my legs. That was so painful, the lower part of my body wasn’t responding anymore, using my own Pokemon in such a narrow and unstable place could have made the things even worst, let alone my weaken body. Unable to move, I panicked. I tried to crawl to the exit, and cried for help hoping that someone could come to me and get me out of the Mirage Tower. And… you found me… and I’m still alive… thanks.”

Flannery: “That’s really impressive! But there is something that impresses me even more. How did you come here in one morning?”

Winona: “The answer is quite obvious, I just flew up.”

Flannery: “Ah yes, that’s true. You said you were the Flying Gym Leader of the region so you must be very skilled with Flying Pokemon, what a fool I am. I suppose you told them to bring you here, right?”

Winona: “Indeed, I am an aerial lover and a queen among the heights. The sky is like a second home for me. My mother and I tend to organize festivals in Fortree City regularly. We spend a large amount of time to repeat and work on new elaborate choreographies for some parades with Flying Pokemon. As a matter of fact, passing these mountains was a piece of cake for me."

Flannery: “Yes, it seems logic… and I find it very interesting. You’ll have to invite me someday, I already heard of these parades before, but I never saw it with my own eyes. I would love to come and see what a festival in Fortree City looks like.”

Winona: “You can count on me to keep you aware. You can come whenever you want. I can even come to you and pick you up if you like.”

Flannery: “That’s too kind of you. Thank you, Winona!”

Winona: “The pleasure is all mine, Flannery.”

 

Mr. Moore remained silent during the whole conversation, looking at the sun to get an approximative idea what time it was. Once he finished keeping his eyes on the sky, the old man spoke.

 

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Mr. Moore: “That’s a generous proposal Winona. However, I think the time for lunch has come. I have no food on me, so we should go home. In your condition, that would be wiser for you to join us in Lavaridge Town to eat something and take a nap. Flannery and I will ensure your recovery.”

Winona: “You’re a real gentleman, I accept to come with you. That will also be a great opportunity to know each other better. I start to feel my legs a little more than before and I’m back to open air again. So, despite of what happened inside of the tower, I should be able to fly on my Pokemon’s back again. You must probably expect that, me and my partners need some space to take action. Concerning me, don’t worry for the transport.”

Mr. Moore: “In this case, that’s perfect. You, young people, you always know what to do in all the situations. That’s great to know that the young generation can develop such an autonomy.”

Winona: “Thank you for the compliment, mister.”

Mr. Moore: “That was not a compliment, just an observation.”

Winona: “Well, thank you anyway.”

 

She let her hand slip on her dress to reach down a Pokeball inside. She grabbed it and threw it in the air.

 

Winona: “Skarmory, hear my voice!”

 

A large Flying Pokemon made of steel with metallic feather shining in red and gray appeared in the sky, and landed majestically on the warm sand beside Winona who was still on the ground. He was shocked to see his mistress in such a bad shape and stared at Flannery and Mr. Moore with an intimidating look. He thought she was being attacked by them.

 

Skarmory: “Skaaaaaarmory!”

 

The young lady, who held her saviors in high esteem, defended them.

 

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Winona: “Stop Skarmory, calm down! These people are not animated by bad intentions, they are here to help us. Come to me, I would like to reach your back.”

 

Skarmory, who had a blind truth in Winona, obeyed to his mistress and leaned forward as she crawled to his back. Because she had some difficulty to do it all alone, the former Member of the Elite 4 assisted her. In the meantime, he seized one of his Pokeball inside of his pocket, the one containing Pelipper, and threw it in the air like she did. Pelipper appeared proudly in the sky before to reach the ground carefully by returning to the old man with a friendly expression. Flannery seemed very excited at the mere idea of riding him once again.

 

Mr. Moore: “Hello Pelipper, today is a new day for you to touch the sky. Take us to Lavaridge Town with Flannery, this is a request of your family.”

 

The gentle Pokemon answered in the affirmative by nodding. He leaned forward, allowing Mr. Moore and his granddaughter to ride him. The old man was waiting for everybody to get ready before to give the starting signal.

 

Mr. Moore: “Fine, are you both ready for hitting the sky?"

Winona: “I’m ready!”

Flannery: “I’m ready too!”

Mr. Moore: “So let’s go. Pelipper, take us home!”

Winona: “Here we go Skarmory! Follow the Pelipper.”

Flannery: “Next destination, Lavaridge Town!”

 

The two Pokemon both rose up into the clear sky high above the desert of Hoenn. After they took enough altitude, they took a great impulse to the West, where the village was located. Mr. Moore and Flannery went straight forward, Winona was just behind them. They all had the same desire, taking a well-deserved nap with a fresh meal by savoring their victory against the desert itself. The tower of sand was falling down whereas the queen in the sky was returning to her throne. And most importantly, Flannery had managed to establish a strong relationship with two dear friends in the same day.

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Awesome job! I wasn't expecting Winona to be in this. Let alone in this way but wow. 1st Pokemon capture and new people to meet! But I'm a bit confused. Are her legs broken or they're just hurt so badly that she can barely move them?

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On 3/30/2018 at 8:52 PM, J-Awesome_One said:

Awesome job! I wasn't expecting Winona to be in this. Let alone in this way but wow. 1st Pokemon capture and new people to meet! But I'm a bit confused. Are her legs broken or they're just hurt so badly that she can barely move them?

Thank you for the feedback! Yeah, I could not dare talking about Flannery's past without ever quoting people who changed her life. Winona is one of them. Indeed, if Flannery did not exist, Winona would have been my favorite Gym Leader from all regions. Despite of her importance in the manga, she's still too underrated in my opinion. It almost makes me want to see her interfere further with Flannery in Reborn. And don't worry for her legs, she won't keep it for her whole life, Mr. Moore has some plans for her. Her recovery will take place in one of the two last chapters of the childhood arc ;)

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Spoiler

After exploring the desert most of the morning, Flannery was going back home to Lavaridge Town with her grandfather on Pelipper’s back, both followed by Winona and her Skarmory. The wind was rising, removing some sand stuck in Flannery’s hair. They all flew along the South side of the Mt. Chimney, the village started to appear in front of them. Suddenly, without warning, Winona sped up and flew over Flannery who used this opportunity to admire the long lavender hair of the young Gym Leader fluttering in the breeze. She envied her to be so elegant and gracious.

 

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Flannery: “Winona is so beautiful!”

Mr. Moore: “I agree. You’re not the only one to think so.”

Flannery: “This is true, I would like to be as beautiful as her in the future. By the way, how did you meet each other the first time? I don’t remember her answering this question before.”

Mr. Moore: “I’ll tell you everything, my child. In fact, I was here. I was here the day of her coronation. Winona has obtained the official title of Gym Leader of Fortree City at the conclusion of a council with all the other leaders in Petalburg City, everybody has welcomed her as a new member of the Hoenn League this day. Even if I didn’t see her taking the action during the battle against her mother, I was glad to see such a devoted person joining us, this delicate little sprout has seemed to have a lot to prove to herself and the others. After she got the favors of the 8 Gym Leaders, the emotion ran high, this announcement was very unexpected for her, she couldn’t hide her feelings, and cried of happiness in front of us. At this moment, I couldn’t stop to remember your mother… if only I had a child like her… but hey, just because something is, doesn’t mean it must be. Perhaps that’s no bad thing after all.”

Flannery: “Regardless of what she decided in the past, I’ll still love my mother as she is. I just hope that she will become again this happy woman that I’ve known before the incident of the museum over time.”

Mr. Moore: “Only time will tell. We can’t change the past, but we can all influence our future. That’s what you said yesterday.”

Flannery: “You’re right.”

 

As they were talking together, Mr. Moore put an end to the discussion to take the lead and catch Winona up to give her some instructions concerning the landing. The caress of northern wind wasn’t enough to ease the pain, her legs were still making her suffer nevertheless. Grimaces were written all over her sweet face by the pain itself.

 

Mr. Moore: “Hey, Winona! Listen to me! Can you see this house on your right down there?”

Winona: “Do you mean this one? Yes, I see it.”

Mr. Moore: “Perfect, this is where we go. I’ll take care of your wounds myself, I should have everything you need at home to brew a special remedy and make you stand up again by today. If you can ask your Skarmory to slow down a little bit from now, that would help to synchronize our landing better.”

Winona: “Okay mister, I trust you.”

The young woman gave her Skarmory the following orders to land next to Mr. Moore’s house.

Winona: “Skarmory, prepare for landing there, just in front of the house next to the entrance of the forest.”

Skarmory: “Skaaaarmory!”

 

The Pokemon obeyed, reducing his wing beat frequency to approach the ground diagonally, at the spot indicated by the young Gym Leader. A few seconds after, Skarmory touched the ground with his claws before to stop and pull in his legs by leaning forward, allowing his mistress to get off his back. Flannery and Mr. Moore in turn landed next to their house, catching Winona up. She already made her Pokemon return into his Pokeball. The old man did the same, and lifted Winona by carrying her into his arms, she was lying on the floor. He hurried to open the front door. But the little redhead wanted to get a role to play as well. Seeing her new friend agonizing like this without doing anything filled her with frustration.

 

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Mr. Moore: “So, Winona. Do you see these cushions? You will lay on them while I’ll prepare you a remedy of my own composition to stop the pain. Is that okay for you?”

Flannery: “Why don’t we take her to my bedroom? I’m sure she will have more room for her legs with one of my sofas.”

Mr. Moore: “Hm… I agree with you, she might be quite limited concerning the comfort in the living room. So be it. Flannery, let’s take Winona to the upper floor.”

The young lady in blue dress looked Flannery in the eye by smiling, this proposition warmed her heart.

Winona: “Thanks Flannery.”

Flannery: “You’re welcome. I don’t like seeing people I care about in such an unpleasant situation. I want to take part in your recovery. I don’t care how many time it will take, my room is yours as long as you’re not back on your feet. Rest well, this is the most important for you for the moment.”

Winona: “How kind you are. I’m… sent into raptures.”

 

She thanked the child a second time, which was very gratifying for Flannery who returned her smile. Mr. Moore crossed the living room and went up the stairs with Winona into his arms, the redhead followed them. Once in Flannery’s room, he lied the Gym Leader down on the first cushion on his sight, and told Flannery to go to the bathroom while he was going to prepare an anti-inflammatory ointment to treat Winona’s wounds. That’s what she did, the little girl rushed to the bathroom like a mini-rocket. There, she removed her shoes, her socks, her dress and her underwear before to take a nice hot shower for getting rid of the sand which has remained into her hair once and for all. Meanwhile, Mr. Moore went down the stairs to go the kitchen, he was going to brew a mixture of his personal composition which had for main characteristic to cure knees and joint pain. He was knowing a special recipe to make an anti-inflammatory ointment from milk, wheat flour, castor oil and turmeric powder. The mixture was made in half a glass of water and must have a doughy consistency to be spread once it was cool enough. By following the recipe accurately, he ended up getting the highly coveted miracle cure, whereas Flannery was about to get out of the bathroom completely dressed. She still had the same wish in mind, helping and supporting Winona.

 

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Mr. Moore: “I can’t believe you managed to wash up so fast. You’re incredibly swift, you know.”

Flannery: “That’s often the case when something dear to my heart tends to happen. Somebody up there needs some cares, it means a lot for me. It was a long time I didn’t feel this sensation, this need to be essential to someone. I don’t want to disappoint her.”

Mr. Moore: “Oh dear, what are you talking about? You won’t disappoint anyone. This feeling you get is only natural. Certainly, you’ve lived all this time in your home in Lilycove City caring for the good sake of your parents for a very little recognition, but it doesn’t mean that all the people underestimate your good will. If you want my opinion, you’re worrying too much, and for nothing. So, relax, everything will be fine. And if you really want to be useful, you just have to take the green towel beside the sink, we will use it to cover the couch in your room. It would be a shame to soil it during the process. Hopefully, I already prepared the mixture for Winona.”

Flannery: “Good job, grandpa! You definitely know a lot about cures and plants.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s what happens when you live in Lavaridge Town for a while, our knowledge on natural benefits and local therapy does not cease to grow. At one point, you end up doing everything by yourself, providing you to take care of your own without depending on anyone else, even during the hardest moments.”

Flannery: “That’s the spirit! I would love to know everything about you and your know-how. Someday, I will be like you grandpa, hihihi.”

Mr. Moore: “Maybe it might actually happen, my child… one day.”

 

After the child and the old man brought their conversation to an end, they went back to Flannery’s room to help Winona. She stayed immobile in a fetal position in the couch, her legs were very swollen. She still had a lot of difficulty to stretch them, so she could hardly ignore the pain. Mr. Moore came to comfort her.

 

Mr. Moore: “Are you alright, sweetie? Don’t worry, we’ll take care of your legs right now. I finally managed to prepare your special ointment. A soothing cream essentially made of healthy product. Let me apply it on your knees, you’ll feel yourself as fresh as a fiddle even before sunset. I know that what I will ask may be hard for you, but I need you to stretch your legs to proceed further. Do it slowly to not awaken the pain too fast."

Winona: “Understood, mister.”

 

Winona obeyed him and put her feet at the opposite of the couch progressively. She did her best to make it look like the pain did never exist, but it was very present yet, like her leg muscles were torn apart. Just after that, Mr. Moore turned to Flannery.

 

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, listen to me. I will take her feet and lift her legs. When I give you my signal, you’ll place the towel on the couch just under the legs. I can’t apply this ointment by taking the risk of soiling everything.”

Flannery: “It’s no problem. I’ll be waiting for your orders.”

Mr. Moore: “Very well.”

 

The old man went to the other side of the couch by moving the plant behind him. Then, he seized Winona’s feet before to start a countdown.

 

Mr. Moore: “Are you ready?”

Flannery: “As always!”

Mr. Moore: “Okay! 3, 2, 1… go!”

 

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Winona: “Wwwwaaaaïïïïïïe!”

Flannery: “Hold on!”

 

Mr. Moore lifted the poor lady’s legs while Flannery covered the right part of the sofa with the towel. Once she did it, Mr. Moore laid down the feet of the Gym Leader softly on the arm of the couch.

 

Mr. Moore: “That’s good Winona, this is almost done.”

 

Winona was not pronouncing one single word, she just waited for the next part of the treatment. Mr. Moore told her to stay relaxed to better heal her legs. He started to spread the famous anti-inflammatory ointment on the knees of Winona with his hands, from the lower calves to the upper thighs. Flannery watched him processing, that was like giving massages at home. Winona felt herself completely relaxed.

 

Winona: “It’s warm and comfortable… I feel so much lighter… this is like a weight has escaped from my body… this is so nice.”

 

The elderly was very silent and focused on the massages for a good quarter of an hour. Winona felt even more alive than she ever did, nobody ever massaged her before.

 

Mr. Moore: “And voila! I think you’re good now. You should be able to walk again in an hour or two.”

Winona: “Thank you mister. Your hands are full of revitalizing energy, I felt it coursing through my body for the entire operation.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re welcome! It’s a great pleasure for me.”

Flannery: “So, what are we going to do now?”

Mr. Moore: “First, I must call Winona’s parents to keep them informed about her health status, they have to know where she is, how and why. Then, I will make you some sandwiches. Considering the present time, you must be hungry.”

Flannery: “Yes I am. And yeah, that’s fine for me. Meanwhile, I’m going to stay with Winona, I refuse to leave her alone in my room. Would you allow me to look after her while you prepare the food?”

Mr. Moore: “Of course. You’ll be in charge of Winona while I’ll be downstairs. Okay?”

Flannery: “Okay!”

Winona: “What a friendly family!”

 

As the nice man went downstairs to prepare the meal after washing his hands abundantly, Flannery decided to stand by Winona to cheer her up. She also wanted to talk with the young Gym Leader to get to know her better.

 

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Flannery: “Are you okay?”

Winona: “Yes, you don’t have to worry about me anymore. Even if it doesn’t seem, I feel good already.”

Winona looked around Flannery’s room, she seemed to really appreciate the decoration.”

Winona: “So, this is your bedroom, right?”

Flannery: “Yes, it is.”

Winona: “This is… very beautiful. I love it!”

Flannery: “Thank you.”

Winona: “You’re welcome. Indeed, I didn’t know Mr. Moore had a granddaughter.”

Flannery: “And yet, this is the case. To be honest, I’ve only been here for a short while. Before that, I was living in Lilycove City.”

Winona: “Wow! Really? But Lilycove City is far away from here. How did you end up there? What just happened?”

Flannery: “I promise to tell you everything down to the last detail, you should understand quickly enough. Are you settling in okay?”

Winona: “Yes, I’m fine. I’m listening to you.”

Flannery: “Very well.”

 

Flannery began to talk to Winona about her past, describing her old life in Lilycove City when she was still living with her mother and father, let alone the day when her grandfather who pretended to be a worker in the cove just popped up from nowhere to see her and decided to take her away from her misery, reaching Lavaridge Town together.

 

Winona: “What a surprising story! I feel sorry for your parents, especially your mother, but I suppose it’s just how it goes. If I understand well, you don’t have any experience as a Pokemon Trainer. It must be a great change for you, I guess.”

Flannery: “That’s saying a lot, I feel relieved to have turned the page. Even if everything wasn’t completely dark in my previous life, it doesn’t prevent me to see it as a draft part of me. Additionally, I managed to catch my first Pokemon this morning, just before to meet you.”

Winona: “For real? What Pokemon is it?”

Flannery: “Check it out yourself.”

 

The child grabbed the Pokeball in the deep of the saddle bag on her, and made Torkoal appearing in her room, next to her. The angel-like Gym Leader was impressed by Flannery’s catching performance.

 

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Torkoal: “Tooorkoooal!”

 

Torkoal noted that he wasn’t to the Mt. Chimney anymore. He curiously discovered his new home by walking around the room. He seemed to really like the red ornaments which decorated the place. Then, he turned to Flannery cheerfully.

 

Winona: “This Torkoal looks full of joy with you. This feeling of happiness is quite familiar to me… it reminds me of the time when I played with my first Pokemon myself, and it was a long ago. There’s nothing healthier than a strong osmosis between a trainer and his Pokemon.”

Flannery: “I don’t doubt about it for any second, all the Pokemon must be treated with respect. Also, this kind of company makes me feel better, helping me to forget most of my recent troubles.”

Winona: “I’m conscious of it. You got through a lot, and I plenty understand your state of mind. But you have to know that we can’t erase all our problems simply with one smile. We would live in a better world if it did. Nevertheless, it can help us to gain more self-confidence.”

Flannery: “This is true. But whatever people could think of it, I feel in peace with myself today. Grandpa did more for me in three days than my father in his entire life.”

 

As they were in the middle of their conversation with Torkoal by their side, Flannery and Winona were interrupted by Mr. Moore who went up the stairs, carrying a big silver plate on which were displayed long sandwiches garnished with veggies and fresh eggs. He noticed that Winona was still laying on the couch.

 

Mr. Moore: “Watch out ladies, sandwiches are coming. There should be enough for satiating you both.”

Flannery: “Thanks a lot grandpa! Me and Winona have talked for such a long time, we almost forgot that we had to eat something.”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah, these things happen sometimes. And… you’re welcome, my child.”

 

At the last moment, he saw that Torkoal was also in the party. The Pokemon was captivated by the food on the plate carried by grandpa.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Should I notice that you’ve already shown our palace to Torkoal?”

Flannery: “Yes, I wanted to present him to Winona, because she wanted to see who could be my first Pokemon. So, I let him out.”

Winona: “I guess this catch did not happen in such a hazardous way. Pokemon like Torkoal often tend to take things easy, and enjoy human presence sometimes. That’s even more true when they reach an old age.”

Mr. Moore: “Absolutely, Winona. By the way, when I was down there, I took the opportunity to call your parents. Rest assured, I’ve prevented to get further in some details to not worry them. You’ll have all the time you need to tell them the whole story once you’ll come back in Fortree City.”

Winona: “Oh thanks, that’s very kind of you to do it. What did you tell them?”

Mr. Moore: “Nothing more than what they needed to know. The fact that you suffered a ligament rupture, but we found you a short time after that and decided to keep you with us in Lavaridge Town to care of your recovery. Concerning your getaway in the Mirage Tower… you’re free to explain what happened there the way that seems best to you. Also, I made them know that you’ll probably be able to go home in the late afternoon.”

Winona: “In the late afternoon!? Do you really think that I’ll be able to walk again by then?”

Mr. Moore: “I can fully guarantee that. My remedies always work, and I’ve never mistaken with medical prognosis.”

Winona: “If it does as you said, so, I trust you. In any case, I’ll see the final results soon enough. Thanks again for everything you did for me today, I promise to never forget.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re welcome, sweetie.”

 

Winona was over the moon, she was surrounded by people who supported her and cared for her. Mr. Moore disposed the plate on the coffee table next to the couch.

 

Mr. Moore: “Here it is! I must go now. I’ve met someone knocking on the door just before to get to you. He told me that he would be waiting for me at the Pokemon Center, it was for very important business apparently. I must find him back there to know what he was talking about. In the meantime, eat as you like, you should regain your strength, especially you, Winona.”

Flannery & Winona: “Thank you, see you later!”

 

While Mr. Moore left the house to meet this man in the village to know what he wanted, Flannery and Winona stayed at home and enjoyed the sandwiches made with love by him. There was more than enough to satisfy the hunger of the two girls. Winona has already swallowed her entire sandwich whereas Flannery had some difficulty to finish hers, there was just one quarter left. As Winona was fully satiated, Flannery decided to give the rest to Torkoal. He ate the food slowly but surely, there was nothing to waste, everything to consummate. Against all odds, everybody loved Mr. Moore’s cooking. At the end of the meal, Torkoal returned into Flannery’s Pokeball. The redhead could continue to discuss with her new confidant. She still had a lot of question to ask her.

 

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Flannery: “So, you’re a Gym Leader from the Hoenn League, that’s it?”

Winona: “Yes, I am. As I said before, I managed to get this title by defeating the previous Gym Leader of Fortree City who was neither more nor less than my own mother. It was a very tough battle as we shared the same life together, including my initiation as a Pokemon Trainer. Hence, she knew most of my techniques by heart, and it wasn’t that hard for her to anticipate my Pokemon attacks.”

Flannery: “It seems logic, but she must have shown you some tricks and gave you experience in this field. Did you managed to defeat her on your first try?”

Winona: “Absolutely not! Don’t be mistaken, even if I’ve learnt a lot by her side for each session, it was simply impossible to knock her first Pokemon out when I challenged her for the first time. It took me so much tries to achieve this feet that I’ve lost count of it. However, I did not just do it for myself.”

Flannery: “You did not just do it for yourself? What do you mean?”

Winona: “Winning a title as honorific as the one of Gym Leader was not my original purpose. There was something else who urged me to do that. Without it, I would probably have given up a long time ago. Did you already heard of a trainer called Wallace?”

Flannery: “Wallace? Sorry, but I never heard of him. Who is Wallace?”

Winona: “A Pokemon Trainer living in Sootopolis City, he’s a young, elegant and a very talented man specialized in Water Type. He has the habit of coming in Fortree City every year when my mother organizes parades and festivals. I was nothing but a pure novice the first time I’ve met him, my knowledge on Pokemon training was very limited. One day, he came to my house and praised my mother for her sense of organization and showmanship. And guess what?”

Flannery: “What?”

Winona: “I was here when he did it, and he didn’t stop to pay attention to me as long as he was there.”

Flannery: “How lovely! And are you… interested in him?”

Winona: “Um, what? Me? I would say that he’s the one interested in me. Listen Flannery, Wallace is a very mature and open-minded person for his age, but it doesn’t mean that I necessarily share his feelings.”

 

The shy redhead felt embarrassed and blushed.

 

Flannery: “Oh, um… sorry. I thought you did. Excuse me… I should have not asked you such a personal question.”

Winona: “It’s nothing, dear. You don’t have to excuse yourself that much. After all, we’re friends, right?”

Flannery: “Yes, of course… we are friends. Thank you for considering me as such, I’m so touched.”

Winona: “You’re welcome, honey. In fact, I see Wallace more like an example to follow than a boyfriend. Even if he told me something like “I love spending my time on contemplating beautiful things when I can!”, I know it was just for a smile… or more. At that time, I was not that committed and devoted into aerial choreographies than today. Furthermore, did you know that he also asked for a gym battle with my mother at the end of the party? It was sure worth it!”

Flannery: “He did a Pokemon battle… against your mother?! And… what was the outcome? Who won the battle?”

Winona: “Do you really want to know everything about the outcome? Well… I have to say… that… it was really beyond my expectations. Wallace has challenged my mother, he defeated her at the end of an honorable battle. Believe me Flannery, she told me herself that she didn’t remember the time when she lost a gym battle. But Wallace was not interested in replacing her as a Gym Leader, at least not in Fortree City. He told us that he was belonging to Sootopolis City, to the heart of waves and seas, and explained us that mother’s place and mine was in Fortree City, among the heights through the clouds. Otherwise, this man was not in selfish needs of power and glory by mocking his foes, he just wanted to have fun with my mother while testing his skills and entertaining us. I already saw a lot of people coming and leaving from Fortree City after facing her, but Wallace was not a casual trainer like them. He was by far the most respectful person she ever met. I would like to be as smart and talented as him someday.”

Flannery: “So, that’s the reason why you decided to be a Gym Leader. You wanted to replicate his success by surpassing your mother in your turn. Somehow, you would have been praised and loved for something else than your performances in aerial choreographies.”

Winona: “Um… I won’t say that’s only reason, but one of the reason which incited me to do that. However, I guess you have a point. I always had a highly developed competitive spirit. But Wallace is a very persistent person. It would not surprise me to see him becoming a great Gym Leader in his own city, or more perhaps. But whatever happens in the future, I’m actually very busy with my new duties as a member of the Hoenn League. It risks getting harder to meet each other over time. But still, he has so many virtues. A few times after this event, I knew what I had to do. And you Flannery? What are you going to do? Are you going to train yourself and your Pokemon to become the new Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town? If yes, what are your motives? Is that for the pride of your grandfather or more like a revenge against your faulty past? Or… could it be… something else? You can tell me everything!”

Flannery: “Um… I…”

 

Even before Flannery could answer Winona, Mr. Moore was back again. He irrupted from the stairwell very fast. He looked like he had an important information to deliver for the two girls. He was breathless.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Flannery! Winona! Sorry if I took my time, but I have something really important to tell you.”

Flannery: “What is this about, grandpa?”

Mr. Moore: “It’s about the person who came in just before. He’s meant to be a new challenger, and wish to confront me right now. Of course, as befits a Gym Leader, I accepted his request, and I absolutely had to tell you about this. Flannery, will you come with me to attend my gym battle?”

 

Flannery was surprised and overexcited at the same time. She answered briefly to the old man.

 

Flannery: “Of course I will! It would be a great pleasure for me to see you in action. I don’t want to miss that!”

 

Mr. Moore who obviously knew the answer in advance smirked at her with a tender look full of satisfaction.

 

Mr. Moore: “I don’t know why, but I knew you were going to say that. Come, sweetie.”

 

Then, he turned to Winona.

 

Mr. Moore: “And you, Winona? Are you getting better? Do you think you can follow me to the gym now?”

 

The young woman answered with a forlorn voice.

 

Winona: “I would like to join you outside, but my legs don’t seem to feel the same way. Unfortunately, I think I’m just going to stay on this couch for a while, and meditate before to walk up again. I’m sorry, I need more rest.”

Mr. Moore: “Too bad.”

Winona: “But it’s not that bad, you know? Concerning me, I already have the habit of seeing people challenging me and battling with each other. I think this battle has much more to offer to Flannery rather than to me.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re right. Well, Flannery, time is running out. For what I’ve seen, our new host does not seem to be a very patient one.”

Flannery: “That’s good, I’ll be right behind you.”

Mr. Moore: “So, here we go. See you later, Winona. We will come back quickly enough.”

Winona: “Don’t worry for me, I can take care of myself. After all, it’s not like I would be able to go anywhere for the moment.”

Flannery: “Yes, seems so.”

Mr. Moore: “We must go now! See you!”

Flannery: “See you, Winona!”

 

While Winona was going to stay all alone in Flannery’s room, the redhead left the house with her grandfather to meet the newcomer at the gym of Lavaridge Town located down the street. Once arrived, they saw a young adult with blond hair, black jacket and glasses standing against the entrance of the gym, he looked quite irritated.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Tadaaa! Don’t you see? I told you that I would not be so long.”

Challenger: “It’s about time. I was wondering how much time it would take for you to show up again.”

Mr. Moore: “And then, I’m here, and it’s all that matters, right? I’m not the type of person to miss a meeting that easily, you know.”

Challenger: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, if you say so. Nevermind, a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later won’t change the result of this battle. It will be the same.”

 

Mr. Moore answered ironically.

 

Mr. Moore: “Because you already know what the results will look like? Really!? Do you have some psychic talents or something like that? While you’re there, could you tell me what will be the next winning numbers of the drawing in Lilycove Lottery?”

Challenger: “What next? If I knew it, I would not tell it to anyone. You can believe what you want, I don’t need to read your future to know that I will defeat you this afternoon.”

 

Flannery let a small laugh escaping from her mouth with her high-pitched voice. The discrepancy between grandpa’s lazy reaction and the frustrated challenger was lightening the mood.

 

Flannery: “Hihihi…”

 

The trainer with the black jacket heard Flannery’s laugh, which made him infuriated.

 

Challenger: “Do you think it’s funny?! Are you mocking me?  I am very serious, I said. The last Gym Leader, the one from Mauville City, he was completely down. I humiliated him. It didn’t take me more than one single Pokemon to wreck his whole team.”

 

Mr. Moore was still relaxed. Nevertheless, he was intrigued by what his challenger had to say.

 

Mr. Moore: “For real!? Did you really managed to win your last badge this way? If that’s the case, I take my hat off to you. There are so few trainers who can boast about such a promising feat.”

Challenger: “Everything is true, I swear. Now stop dithering, let’s begin.”

Mr. Moore: “So be it. But before to go inside… I would like to bring some accuracies about our Gym Battle.”

Challenger: “Accuracies? What do you mean by that, mister?”

Mr. Moore: “Actually, I will just send my ace for this fight, so you’ll be free to use as many Pokemon as you want. If you beat me, regardless of the number of Pokemon you’ve send during the battle, you win the Heat Badge. Otherwise, you’ll have to come back to try another day.”

 

The silent took place for a while. Then, the challenger began to smirk nervously. Mr. Moore remained impassive, whereas Flannery was quite intimidated. She couldn’t keep looking at him any longer.

 

Challenger: “Wait… are you serious? If so, you don’t have any chance to face me. You won’t hold this fight for more than one minute.”

Mr. Moore: “You look so surprised. Did I say something wrong? I would like to experience it by putting myself in your position, and knowing what it feels like when the outcome of a battle only depends on one single Pokemon. Now that you mention it, I just realize that I never tried before.”

Challenger: “Very well. You’re the Gym Leader, you can do what you want. It’s not like it was going to make things easier for me after all.”

Mr. Moore: “We will see that soon. Just let me open this door.”

 

The respectable man took out a magnetic card from his pocket and slid it into the slot of a kind of highly sophisticated safety device. The opening system of the gym was reactivated.

 

Mr. Moore: “The door is unlocked. You can come in whenever you want.”

Challenger: “So, what are we waiting for? If you don’t mind, I would be glad to go first.”

 

As the trainer stepped forward and entered the gym, Flannery stayed outside to talk with her grandfather. There was something bothering her.

 

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Flannery: “What do you want to prove with this crazy decision? If this man is as strong as he says, how are you supposed to win with just one Pokemon?”

Mr. Moore: “Pchht. Don’t be afraid, my child. Did I not tell you that I always knew what I did the first time we met in Lilycove City? Also, it seems like he’s boasting too much about his last victories, he presumably lost sight of who he was dealing with. Believe me Flannery, this battle might be far more… predictable than I thought.”

Flannery: “How can you be so confident, grandpa?”

Mr. Moore: “What I’m saying is that the attitude of someone in his daily lives can tell us a lot about his training techniques. You don’t need me to tell you more.”

Flannery: “In this case, I really have to see this battle with my own eyes.”

Mr. Moore: “Let me give you this privilege, my child. Come with me, it will begin soon.”

Flannery: “Go ahead, I’ll be with you, grandpa.”

 

They both entered the gym and joined the challenger in the main hall. Flannery chose to stay with Mr. Moore for the whole fight. The two battlers were standing to the opposite ends of the room.

 

Mr. Moore: “Very well, we’re going to start. How many Pokemon do you have, my boy?”

Challenger: “Um… three, mister.”

Mr. Moore: “Okay. So, it will be a single battle 3 VS 1, with no holds barred. I have nothing to add, just give the best of you! May the best man win, dazzle me!”

 

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Mr. Moore threw his only Pokeball in the air. Typhlosion, Flannery’s savior, appeared with his fiery mane. The little girl was going to see a true battle between two trainers for the first time.

 

Challenger: “Haha! It’s not like I was not prepared to confront a Fire Type specialist.”

 

The challenger seized one of his three Pokeball on his belt, and threw it straight forward in a haughty manner.

 

Challenger: “Come on Swampert, show them what you got.”

 

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A large Swampert appeared in the middle of the field in front of Typhlosion. He was very corpulent and far more muscular than Mr. Moore’s Pokemon.

 

Mr. Moore: “Typhlosion, jump and use Headbutt!”

Challenger: “It’s all good. Swampert, positions.”

 

While Typhlosion was about to land on the Water Pokemon from the top of the arena, this last one remained motionless. Swampert waited for his opponent to get close enough for using one of his most powerful attacks.

 

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Typhlosion: “Tyyyphlooo…”

Challenger: “Use Hydro Pump, now!”

 

A big water jet came out from Swampert’s mouth, it was projected toward Typhlosion. The mere thought of seeing Typhlosion getting hurt gave Flannery chills. She gritted her teeth anxiously.

 

Mr. Moore: “Dodge!”

 

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Typhlosion deviated to the left, avoiding getting touched by Swampert’s Hydro Pump, and struck a strong frontal attack with the top of his head against his foe. Swampert fell backward with all his weight.

 

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Typhlosion: “…sioooon!”

Challenger: “What!?”

Mr. Moore: “Now Typhlosion, stay standing and prepare for using Solar Beam.”

 

Mr. Moore got it right, Swampert may have been a tenacious opponent, he neglected his movement speed heavily and was slow to get up. This mistake was going to cost him a lot whereas a light orb began to shine into the mouth of Typhlosion.

 

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Challenger: “Swampert, don’t let them get you down! Use Protect immediately!”

 

But Swampert didn’t do anything, he wasn’t expecting to take such a violent hit as early in the battle, and was still getting up with difficulty. Meanwhile, the size of the orb increased and became more and more luminous.

 

Mr. Moore: “If your fighting partner doesn’t get up quickly enough, I fear that it may already be over for him. Three…”

Challenger: “Hurry up, Swampert. Do something.”

Mr. Moore: “Two…”

Challenger: “What are you waiting for? You can’t hear me or what?”

Mr. Moore: “One…”

Challenger: “Use… Protect… right noooooooooow!!!”

Mr. Moore: “Typhlosion… attack.”

Typhlosion: “Typhlooooooooooooo!”

 

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Then, in the heat of the action, a ray of light was emanating from the mouth of the fiery beast while Swampert finally used Protect, creating a large water shield against Typhlosion’s Solar Beam. But the Water Pokemon could not take it anymore, Typhlosion managed to destroy the shield with the beam, making it blow in pieces to finally reach the breast of Swampert. The walls of the gym were shining with an extraordinary dazzling illumination and a spring warmth invaded the entire room. The challenger ordered Swampert to fire another Hydro Pump for the second time.

 

Challenger: “Swampert… can you listen to me? Use Hydro Pump, shoot him again. He’s just there, you can’t miss him.”

Mr. Moore: “Um…”

 

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Challenger: “… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …  … … … … … … … … … … … … …”

 

But there was no response. That started to worry the black jacket guy, as well as Flannery. She may have seen Typhlosion fighting with wild Pokemon already, she still had some difficulty to deal with the violence of Mr. Moore’s Pokemon attacks.

 

Challenger: “Hey… Swampert?”

Mr. Moore: “I think… the battle is over for him.”

Flannery: “Is he… dead?”

Mr. Moore: “No, it takes more than one hit to take the life of a Pokemon, my child. This Swampert has lost consciousness, but it has endured critical damages. In the present condition, he won’t be able to fight anymore.”

Challenger: “What!? How dare you? What have you done? »

Mr. Moore: "What have I done? That’s quite simple, I beat you. In the end, it seems like you’ll have to use more than just one Pokemon if you want to have a chance to get your fourth badge. Do you really want to pursue this battle?”

Challenger: “What next, turning back to the Hoenn League? I won’t forfeit as easily.”

 

Without hesitation, the trainer called the poor Swampert back and made him return into his Pokeball. He sent out another of his fighting partners with anger in his heart.

 

Challenger: “Sandslash, come here! It’s time for you to prove your worth. Don’t disappoint me.”

 

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And Sandslash appeared, his claws and dorsal spikes made him a threatening foe as he was immune against numerous physical attacks. Despite of it, Typhlosion was not impressed by his new adversary. Despite of being a Fire Type Pokemon, he knew how to keep his head cool.

 

Challenger: “Sandslash, go under the ground and use Dig!”

 

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Mr. Moore remained totally silent while Typhlosion watched his foe digging into the ground, vanishing before his eyes. Sandslash was now out of sight, he could be anywhere, even below his own feet. Hopefully, silence was part of the strategy adopted by the Gym Leader. In this way, Typhlosion could remain attentive to the sound generated by Sandslash as well as his current position underground. The noise became louder and louder, as if Typhlosion’s foe was about to emerge from the bowels of the gym to attack.

 

Challenger: “…”

Flannery: “?”

Mr. Moore: “…”

Challenger: “…”

Flannery: “??”

Mr. Moore: “…”

Challenger: “…”

Flannery: “???”

Mr. Moore: “…”

Challenger: “…”

Flannery: “????”

Mr. Moore: ”Typhlosion, dodge.”

 

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Following the orders given by his master, Typhlosion sped up to the middle of the room, whereas Sandslash jumped out from his previous position with an unbelievable strength to tackle him. He missed his target, and rose into the air.

 

Challenger: “How the hell did he do that? This thing is unattainable. Sandslash, don’t let him get to you and use Double Team.”

 

The Mouse Pokemon hurried to create eight replicas of himself around the center of the gym. They surrounded Typhlosion who was unable to spot the difference between fake Sandslash and the true one.

 

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Challenger: “Perfect. Now Sandslash, execute. Find your target, and slice it into pieces!”

 

The Sandslash team glided toward Typhlosion. Mr. Moore’s Pokemon was looking around as the replicas were getting closer and closer from him. Flannery could not resist, she hid her eyes to not get haunted by another traumatic vision.

 

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Challenger: “Sandslash, end it!”

 

Suddenly, Mr. Moore told his Pokemon the following instructions.

 

Mr. Moore: “Typhlosion, jump. Then use Flamethrower vertically to the ground.”

 

That’s what happened. Typhlosion waited for both fake and real Sandslash to get close in one point before to avoid the attack at the last moment, then using Flamethrower on him. Even if Sandslash’s back allowed him to get immune against physical strikes, it could not protect him from fire. In the meantime, he got prisoner from the flames, taking considerable damages without being able to counter it.

 

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Challenger: “Oh no, Sandslash!”

 

As Typhlosion was landing in front of his foe in fire, the flames began to dissipate, revealing the body of Sandslash lying on the ground, suffering from several burns. His eyes were closed, he was shaking weakly. The fire had made Sandslash unable to move. During this time, Flannery opened her eyes. She remembered the burning Swablu scene which happened near the lake next to Fallarbor Town yesterday. And finally, Sandslash lost consciousness as well.

 

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Mr. Moore: “That was… a nice try… but it wasn’t enough… to survive the flames.”

Challenger: “Why? Why does this happen to me? I can’t lose, this is impossible.”

Mr. Moore: “Strength is just an illusion. Whoever you are and wherever you fight, be strong doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to win every single time.”

Challenger: “Wrong… that’s wrong… that’s not the way it works… that’s not the way it WORKS!”

Mr. Moore: “Hey, calm down! Until now, I’ve just seen that you always face your opponents too directly. By focusing on power attacks, you’ve lost speed and accuracy all along. By pursuing the battle in this manner, it won’t be that hard to anticipate your moves."

Challenger: “STOP teaching me your lessons!”

 

The black jacket challenger became mad and refused to listen to the old man’s advices. The agitation he showed reminded Flannery of the numerous times when her father yelled at her. He was too blinded by ambition and anger to care of the arguments of the Gym Leader, the man just made Sandslash returning to his Pokeball before to send out his last valid Pokemon to the battle field.

 

Challenger: “Swalot, dinner!”

 

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A large Swalot took place next to the challenger. But this one was very different from a simple Pokemon of his species. He was clearly higher than just an ordinary Swalot with a height far exceeding 1m90. He didn’t cease to lick his long yellow barbels by gazing at Flannery with his small eyes shining like two little pearls. The little girl was intimidated by the beast, there was nothing to read in this look, everything was empty and soulless. Beyond his desire to fight, only one thing was interesting the big Pokemon: eating something… or someone.

 

Swalot: “Swaaaaaloooooooooot.”

Flannery: “He doesn’t stop to look at me… I do not feel… very comfortable.”

 

Flannery felt the angst growing inside of her whereas a toxic idea came to the mind of the challenger. He gave Swalot the following orders.

 

Challenger: “Swalot… move… to the girl.”

Flannery: “Eeeeh?!”

 

Swalot obeyed. The dumb-looking Pokemon began to crawl slowly toward the redhead by continuing to lick his barbels. The heart of the little girl became heavier and heavier, she started to fear the worst.

 

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Flannery: (He’s approaching to me. Is he going to eat me?)

Swalot: “Swaaaloooooooooot.”

Flannery: “You there… get… get away from me.”

Swalot: “Swaaaloooooooooot.”

Flannery: “Stop getting closer.”

Swalot: “Swaaaloooooooooot.”

Flannery: “STOP IT! *gulp*”

Swalot: “Swaaaloooooooooot.”

 

Nothing happened, the little girl began to panic and cried nervously while Swalot obeyed faithfully to his trainer and continued to move toward her. This was definitely not to Mr. Moore’s taste, he got upset.

 

Mr. Moore: “You. What do you intend to do? You should better not touch the kid. Otherwise, you’re going to have a bad time.”

Challenger: “Oh, really… so…”

 

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Typhlosion: “TYYYYYYYYYYYYPHLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

Challenger: “Swalot, use Minimize!”

Swalot: “Loooooot.”

 

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Typhlosion rushed to Swalot, he was about to use one of his most powerful attacks independently of Mr. Moore. He did not seem his master to tell him anything to intervene, he cared too much about Flannery to do like nothing happened. He raced through the gym, full-speed ahead. But as he was going to take a critical hit to his foe, Swalot turned into a tiny version of himself. Typhlosion missed him and smashed his head against the wall of the gym instead. The collision was very violent, the Fire Pokemon was badly injured and fell to the ground on his back. He was moving weakly.

 

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Flannery: “TYPHLOSION! NO!”

Mr. Moore: “Oh, no! Hey, what’s wrong with you?”

Challenger: “At the beginning, didn’t you say that it was a no-holds-barred battle? It’s only one strike out of many others, you know.”

The challenger answered arrogantly. Despite of the trickery set up by the latter, the Gym Leader had to admit that he was not completely wrong this time.

Mr. Moore: “If you say so, but still… you tried something, and it worked, at least… even if it’s not what I would call a ‘clean technique’.”

Challenger: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know the drill. I told you, I’m going to win this battle. No matter what happens, it’s not like an unsuspected event was going to occur at the last moment. I believe we’re done.”

 

Mr. Moore’s adversary was revealed to be crueler than he was expected. When this man wanted something, he was ready for everything to achieve his goal, even if it implied to use the less conventional strategies. He looked at Typhlosion from above in a mean haughty manner as this last one was left paralyzed by the violence of the impact. Flannery felt disarmed, she wanted to share his pain. The mere fact of looking at the blonde guy made her ill at ease.

 

Typhlosion: “Tytytytyty… phlooooo…”

Flannery: “Poor Typhlosion, he must have seriously hurt himself. This is not fair. This kind of thing should be forbidden.”

Challenger: “Haha! Look at you. You have a convulsion poor little thing? Don’t you realize? I’m almost going to show a sign of pity for you. Seeing you in such a bad state almost makes me want to help you… and that’s exactly what I’m going to do now. You’ll have a sweet treatment, something worthy of you, oh yeah.”

Typhlosion: “phloooOOOoo…”

Challenger: “We’ll make it quick. Swalot, use Yawn on Typhlosion.”

 

The Poison Pokemon returned to his normal size and took a deep breath before to yawn lazily.

 

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Swalot: “LOOOOOooooooooot.”

Typhlosion: “Typhlotyphlotyphlotyphlo… ty… phlooo… zzZZ… zzZZ…”

Challenger: “Checkmate.”

Flannery: “Did he… fall asleep?”

Challenger: “Exactly, he fell asleep. That’s just crazy how good it works. By the way, if you want to say him ‘Goodnight’, you would better do it now.”

Mr. Moore & Flannery: “WHAT!?”

Challenger: “Swalot, swallow him.”

Swalot: “SWAAAAAAAAAL…”

 

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Swalot arched forwardly over the sleepy Typhlosion, caught his head with the mouth, and leaned backward, the mouth toward the ceiling, and started to make his prey slipping inside of his belly by undulating. The big Pokemon opened and closed his mouth repeatedly to simplify the descent of Typhlosion into his giant throat. First the neck, then the front legs. Flannery was horrified.

 

Swalot: “*Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb*”

Mr. Moore: “It seems like we’re dealing with a kind of psychopath in the end. I always wonder how people like this can be as mean and heartless in one life.”

Flannery: “What!? Is this monster eating… Typhlosion!? No… this can’t happen… it can’t be possible. SPIT GRANDPA’S POKEMON RIGHT NOW, YOU UGLY BEAST!”

 

Flannery was distraught, she felt so revolted and powerless in front of such an atrocity as Swalot was going to swallow up the lower abdomen of Typhlosion. The situation became unbearable, the mere thought of seeing her savior disappearing into the stomach of the purple monster began to fill her with terror. She soon realized that she had to take matters into her own hands to wake him up, Flannery cried and screamed in hope of being heard by Typhlosion.

 

Flannery: “Typhlosion! If you can hear me, please, don’t let them get you and wake up! I don’t want to lose you, I’m begging you! Please, wake up!”

Swalot: “*Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb* *Grloumb*”

 

But nothing happened.

 

Challenger: “What a shame! It seems like this battle is over yet. That’s probably the most stupid end for a Pokemon that I’ve ever seen… as well as the most exciting, without a doubt.”

Flannery: “WAAAKE UUUUUUUUUUUP!!!”

 

Suddenly, just when Typhlosion was about to get devoured alive entirely, Swalot began to get increasingly fatter by the second while a heat wave could be felt everywhere in the room. Typhlosion stopped slipping into the mouth of his predator, he struggled, the feet moving in the air. Flannery and Mr. Moore were both relieved, they were almost convinced that their mascot would not get out of here.

 

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Flannery: “He’s waking up! Yippeeeee!”

Challenger: “Nooooooooooooo!”

Mr. Moore: “Pchiouu… it was so close. Well, I guess he can listen to me too, isn’t it?”

 

Flannery nodded.

 

Mr. Moore: “So be it. Typhlosion, grab his lips with your feet and use Flamethrower to finish him and get out of here.”

Typhlosion: “*mmmMMMMMMMM*”

Flannery: “Sorry buddy, but your meal might be a bit too hot for your taste.”

Challenger: “You little brat! Swalot, open your mouth wider, you fool! Take that thing down, and give it a sweet bath of acid as it deserves. Come on, WIIIIDEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!”

Swalot: “Swaaaa… aaaa… aaaa…”

 

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But Swalot was not responding anymore. His whole body became as hot as the embers of the Mt. Chimney. Typhlosion managed to pull himself out after throwing a strong shot of Flamethrower inside of the foe Swalot. The poor purple Pokemon had tears in his eyes, but Mr. Moore’s trick was the only way for Typhlosion to escape from his tragic fate safely. A few seconds later, Swalot fell heavily on the ground, head backward. Meanwhile, a thin plume of black smoke went out of his mouth. He lost consciousness and couldn’t fight anymore.

 

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Flannery: “Roasted!”

Mr. Moore: “Now you see, my child. Don’t have mercy for bad people, they won’t have any for you.”

Flannery: “I agree with you grandpa, I suppose. By the way, Typhlosion is really tough, this is incredible. Hopefully, there’s no reason to stress anymore, that’s finally over.”

 

Mr. Moore turned toward the challenger.

 

Challenger: “That’s garbage! I lost!”

Mr. Moore: “And the biter is bit… and beat. Moral of this story, never try to sell the bear’s skin before you have caught the bear. That bear was my Typhlosion.”

Flannery: “But hey! If he was eaten, there would have been nothing left to sell. In any case, nobody sells or eats grandpa’s Pokemon!”

Challenger: “Stop saying bullshit! Hunt and money don’t interest me, I only care about power. Everything else is your problem.”

Mr. Moore: “Before to think about power, you should try to act with more respect and self-esteem. Do you want me to tell you why you failed to beat me?”

Challenger: “No, keep it for yourself! I’m tired of you and this place anyway!”

Mr. Moore: “Okay… but it won’t prevent me to explain it to you. You were so obsessed with your quest for conquering the Hoenn League that you completely lost sight of yourself. When I defeated your Sandslash, you’ve done everything wrong. From the beginning of my career as a Gym Leader as well as a Member of the Elite 4, I don’t remember I’ve met somebody sick enough to threat children for achieving purposes, you should be ashamed of yourself. And if you don’t stop acting like that with people, regardless whether they’re Pokemon trainers or not, you’ll never get anything in your life. And… between you and me… your battling style was not that exceptional in the end. Anyways, the efficiency of your way to train won’t make you a sociable or likable person. You do well remember that for your next gym battle.”

Challenger: “Stop it, stop it! This is too much for me, I can’t listen to you anymore!”

Mr. Moore: “And learn how to put yourself in question. Normally, I should say ‘See you’. But because I don’t have any desire to see you again, I think I’ll simply say… ‘Farewell’.”

Challenger: “This is enough, I submit. I get out of here!”

Swalot: “Swaaaa… Swaaaa…”

Challenger: “Yeah, that’s true. I almost forgot about it. You, come here!”

 

The trainer called back his Pokemon, making him return into his respective Pokeball. Shattered by hate, the man was overwhelmed, he rushed to the door at the entrance, leaving the gym in his haste. Mr. Moore brought Typhlosion back to his Pokeball as well, Flannery was appalled by the repulsive behavior of the challenger.

 

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Flannery: “This guy is disgusting. You talked very well, grandpa.”

Mr. Moore: “I just told him what he had to hear. If he behaves the same way with his Pokemon, so, they should have a pretty miserable life.”

Flannery: “Finally, it seems like all the trainers are not always responsible people.”

Mr. Moore: “By Jove, you’re more than right! Among good and talented trainers, a lot of them go wrong, and they are more numerous than you think. Life is not a long steady river, and it’s even more the case when you’re a Gym Leader. You can choose your position, but not your adversary. If you ever come to succeed me as a new Gym Leader, you might be confronted to this type of person more than once. That’s the reason why the Hoenn League needs more responsible and trustworthy people in its rank, people like Winona for example. Otherwise, we would look like fools compared to the other regions. A few bad apples could be enough to spoil the entire bunch.”

Flannery: “I see what you mean. But I’m not like that man, and I refuse to be like him someday. I must toughen up. Someday, I’ll be strong enough to deal with them, grandpa.”

Mr. Moore: “That’s good, Flannery. We will see the details of your training soon… very soon…”

Flannery: “And… for Typhlosion?”

Mr. Moore: “We will take him to the Pokemon Center. He must be healed and get some rest.”

Flannery: “So, we should hurry now, come on! I’m worried about him.”

Mr. Moore: “Please, stop worrying, we have the situation under control now. Let’s go together!”

Flannery: “Onward!”

 

Flannery and Mr. Moore left the arena and moved to the Pokemon Center in the village with a heavy heart. But as they were going to leave, they found Winona waiting for them behind the door.

 

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Winona: “Hello there!”

Flannery: “Hey, Winona! I’m so glad to see you again. It seems like you’re getting better.”

Winona: “Yes! I owe it to the magical hands of your grandfather. This ointment was exactly what I needed to get better, I feel the difference along my legs. Now, I can walk again. Thank you very much mister, you’re a genius.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re welcome! I didn’t lie when I told you that I was always right with my prognosis. We are at the end of the afternoon and you’re back on your feet. Didn’t you find the time quite long all alone at home?”

Winona: “No, not really. In fact, it was rather a good thing to get some time for myself. I’ve managed to leave the couch and get up without missing up anything in the room, and I washed my legs in the bathroom. You’ll find the towel I used folded on one of the laundry basket in there.”

Mr. Moore: “I knew you were a clever girl, I was right to trust you. You’re definitely a very mature person for your age.”

Winona: “That’s what some adults tell me sometimes, thank you. It’s just too bad for me to not have attended your battle in the gym. However, I’ve come across a strange man with a black jacket in my way. He looked like he was grumbling something about a revenge or something, the rest was incomprehensible.”

Mr. Moore: “Ah yes, I guess you got a short preview of who was my challenger.”

Winona: “Probably. I don’t know what happened there, but it seems like you managed to really piss him off.”

Flannery: “Oh, you know, you didn’t miss something exceptional. This guy was in a foul mood even before to lose.”

Winona: “You’re serious? If that’s true… so, I think I was fine in your couch in the end, hahaha!”

Flannery: “Hihihi!”

Mr. Moore: “Ahaha oh yes, you’re probably right! By the way, I guess you’re going to have to go back in your home in Fortree City. The sky is turning dark now.”

Winona: “Yes, unfortunately, it seems. I would have loved staying a bit longer, but I don’t have a choice. At night, the blow of the wind becomes strong, and I don’t want my parents to get worrier than they already are.”

Mr. Moore: “Logic. However, would you mind if you could let me some seconds to take my camera. I’ve kept it with me to immortalize the best moments of the Gym Battle just before to leave the house, and I completely forgot to use it. Why won’t you stand by Flannery just there? The angle of view can’t be better from where I am.”

Flannery: “Hey, good idea you’ve there!”

Winona: “Why not? I’ll keep remembering this day when two strong souls have stretched out their hands to me, forever.”

Flannery: “And ever.”

Mr. Moore: “Excellent! With this sunset, it will make a great souvenir.”

 

Flannery and Winona moved together and lined up next to the wall of the gym while Mr. Moore took out and activated the camera he kept in one of the pockets of his jacket.

 

Mr. Moore: “Ready… smile… 3… 2… 1…”

Camera: “Click, click!

 

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Mr. Moore: “Perfect sweeties, absolutely perfect! You’re simply stunning on these pictures. Take this one, Winona. This is a gift from me!”

 

Mr. Moore tended the picture to Winona. She took it and watched.

 

Winona: “Thank you mister. You’re really a good person. How beautiful I am!”

Flannery: “It’s true, your beauty is real. And me, how do I look?”

 

Winona showed the picture to Flannery.

 

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Winona: “Look Flannery, this is you and me!”

Flannery: “That’s awesome, we look like two sisters sharing a good time. Also, the dusk behind adds something really appeasing. I could continue to look at it for hours. But I’m still disgusted for you to leave, Winona.”

Winona: “But I must. Fortree City is where I live. You can come and see me whenever you want, I would be glad to welcome you as you deserve.”

Flannery: “But… but… hihihi, I was joking, there’s nothing bad about it. You’ll still be welcomed as well in Lavaridge Town, you can visit me or pick me up as you like.”

Winona: “That works for me, we’ll keep in touch. You can also call me if you prefer.”

Flannery: “Thank you, I’ll think about it.”

Winona: “You’re welcome.”

Flannery: “Can you give me a hug before to hit the road again… or should I say, the sky?”

Winona: “Haha, why not? Come here.”

 

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Flannery went to Winona and wrapped the hips of the gentle Gym Leader with her arms by looking at her. The beautiful lavender-haired woman stroked the long hair of the foxy redhead with a large smile on her face. They were both happy, like two sisters. Once they finished to hug each other, Winona moved toward Mr. Moore, grabbing the hand of the child.

 

Winona: “Take it. This is a duplicate key for your house, I’ve found it on the table of the living room. Don’t worry, I’ve locked the front door behind me before to leave.”

Mr. Moore: “Thanks again Winona. You have clearly thought of everything.”

Winona: “Yes, we can say it. Well, now I have to go home.”

 

The young lady seized the Pokeball containing Skarmory, she made him appear in front of her.

 

Skarmory: “Skaaaarmoryyyyyyyyy!”

 

The young Gym Leader let go of Flannery’s hand, she placed herself on the back of the metallic bird and rode him dynamically.

 

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Winona: “Come on Skarmory, take me back home. We still have a long way to go.”

Skarmory: “Skaaaaarmory!”

 

And Skarmory started to rise to the heights with Winona above him. Then, they took the direction leading toward the northeast to return to Fortree City.

 

Winona: “Thank you all! I’ll come back very soon, I promise!”

Mr. Moore & Flannery: “You’re welcome, Winona! Be careful, and stay safe!”

 

Shortly after seeing the gracious damsel taking flight and disappearing into the purple sky, Flannery and Mr. Moore headed up to the Pokemon Center for healing Typhlosion. Once there, the nurse welcomed them and accepted to examine the extent of the damages suffered by the Pokemon. She confirmed that there must have been more fear than harm at the moment of the impact, there wasn’t any lethal wounds diagnosed on the skull of Typhlosion. This news was very reassuring for Mr. Moore and his granddaughter who was fearing the worst until the announcement. The nurse decided to apply a special balm on the Pokemon as well as some pads for relieving the pain. After one hour of waiting, Typhlosion fully recovered. Mr. Moore and Flannery thanked the tenant of the Pokemon Center for her precious help, and left the place to return home. The sky has already turned from purplish pink to dark in the meantime. The night was taking place in Lavaridge Town.

 

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Flannery: “Wow! What an unexpected change of scenery! Time is running out so fast, I just didn’t pay attention. I hope that Winona is not that far from Fortree City now.”

Mr. Moore: “Personally, I’m not that anxious about the trip of our dear airwoman. As she told us, passing these mountains would be a piece of cake for her. If you want my opinion, she must not be that far away from her home at the present time. Concerning us, we should better do the same.”

Flannery: “I agree. Let’s go home!”

 

Flannery hurried and moved to east of the village accompanied by her lovely grandfather, the house was just a few meters away. They finally reached their destination and entered inside, it was time for dinner. Mr. Moore was preparing some pasta with dried tomatoes while the little girl was setting the table. Once the pasta was ready to be served, the old man filled up two shallow bowls, he placed them on the table in the middle of the room. The dinner could begin. Flannery was as hungry as an ogress, she swallowed all the content of her plate with appetite, her sunken cheeks then looked like Rattata cheeks. Mr. Moore was so pleased to share his life with the redhead, he couldn’t stop to focus on Flannery. She seemed so innocent and so happy to have such a pleasant life. When the dinner ended, he tried to tell the redhead about the training.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Flannery? May I ask you a question?”

Flannery: “Of course! I’m open to any type of question. You can ask me what you want.”

Mr. Moore: “So, that’s great. I would like to talk about your upcoming training session.”

Flannery: “My… training session?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, your Pokemon training session. Now that you have one with you, I’ll able to accurately explain you the basis of a good training from tomorrow, if you’re okay.”

Flannery: “Of course I am. I think I already told you several times that I’ll be ready to make a great commitment to succeed you, I want to know what it feels like. Maybe I don’t know anything about the way to send my Pokemon to the battle, and even less how to handle a gym. But somehow, it doesn’t scare me at all. I guess that almost everybody has started at the same level as a Pokemon Trainer, right? Also, as the last Moore offspring, I feel very concerned by the future of the gym. Anybody could replace you, but I don’t want to see everything you’ve worked for belonging to untrustworthy people or disappearing with you like nothing happened. And I already did my first footsteps in this discipline, it would be a big waste to stop suddenly.”

Mr. Moore: “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. So, that’s perfect! I just want you to know one thing Flannery. You have a Torkoal with you, and he loves you a lot. But without a good training, it won’t be well-prepared for overcoming multiple challenges in this world. Having a Pokemon by your side is a thing, but it will be better for you both if you get stronger. In that way, he will even be able to protect you if you’re in danger, do you understand?”

Flannery: “That’s very clear. You really make me want to translate it into practice grandpa, hihihi.”

Mr. Moore: “Keep your enthusiasm, my child. You’ll still need it tomorrow.”

Flannery: “I don’t doubt about it. It should be better for me to go to bed right now, the night has fallen for a long time now.”

Mr. Moore: “I’m kinda agree with it, that’s probably the wisest decision you could have made. Before to go upstairs, would you just accept to… clear the table with me?”

Flannery: “What a question! Sure, I will, hihihi!”

Mr. Moore: “Ahaha!”

 

Then, Flannery and Mr. Moore cleaned up the table and did the dishes just after. A good mood was waving above these two people who had learned to appreciate every single moment side by side. Once they finished the housework, Flannery went up to her room, put on her pink nightgown and pulled the Pokeball containing Torkoal out of the saddle bag she placed next to the bed. She caressed the Pokeball softly by pronouncing kind words to her Pokemon.

 

Flannery: “…Goodnight Torkoal.”

 

The moment she said this, the Pokeball started to heat up from inside, the child felt the sweet sensation given by the sphere in her hands, it was like Torkoal wanted to bring her mistress comfort in return. Then, after that some minutes passed with the Pokeball between the palm of her hands, Flannery didn’t say anything. The Pokeball returned to its normal temperature, and the child put it back into the saddle bag. She turned off the light in her room, moved to her big red bed, and let her slip lazily between the sheets by squeezing her pillow strongly. Flannery took several breaths and exhaled by laying on the back. In through the nose, out through the mouth. She evacuated all the tension she had cumulated today, and fell asleep deeply by closing her eyes. Everything was silent, there was nothing but peace and bliss, the night had put on her black coat all over the wild lands around the Mt. Chimney once again, and the full moon stroked each roof of each house in Lavaridge Town with her purifying light.

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Thanks! Hey, what’s a Gym Leader such as Mr. Moore without a Gym Battle worthy of the name? The way he fought against the challenger was inspired by Solaris, and the latter was an alternate version of Fern, he might have a greater importance later in this run. All the design of the gym was an idea of myself. The first meeting implying Flannery and our dear top dog in Reborn will be priceless 😏

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Nice battle scenes~ and creative battles too 😄 that swalot got me scared there

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On 5/16/2018 at 8:53 PM, Candy said:

Nice battle scenes~ and creative battles too 😄 that swalot got me scared there

Thx! I'm glad you enjoyed the battle! It took me two days to get all these battle scenes done. Lots of them include sprites from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Then, I added some random effects that I reshaped myself to make it more immersive. And yeah, Swalot was quite spooky in this episode. But somehow, I couldn't blame Typhlosion's foes. It was all the fault of their tutor who trained it in a bad way. I promise to make the scenes of the next chapter at least as awesome as for this one. You won't be disappointed 😉

 

On 5/18/2018 at 11:34 AM, Lost Swordsman said:

I almost thought that Typhlosion would lose/die.

None of Flannery or Mr. Moore's Pokemon is gonna die in the childhood arc. But I decided to add some specific features on the Reborn run of Flannery, including brand new sprites and custom battles like @Mr. Finn planned to do with his own playthrough. I already managed to get some of these features done, more especially a full extra animated scene in Shade’s Gym. But I can't show it before the time for this was coming. I could understand if that would be the case later, but I hope that nobody will reject my work because of some creepy stuff. I can only but thank you all for the attention you paid for my story.

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