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

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Spoiler

A new dawn was rising above the peaks of the Mt. Chimney, Flannery woke up peacefully. She got out of bed and pulled out her nightgown to put on her beautiful dress before to go downstairs and take her breakfast with her grandfather. This morning, the conversation was much more passionate than the other times.

 

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

Mr. Moore: “As always. Even if the cavalier attitude of my last challenger has left a bitter taste in my mouth, it did not prevent me to get some sleep in the end. And you, my child? Did you have a good night?”

Flannery: “Yes, mine was great. Looking at a sky full of stars from my room and taking deep breaths helps me to relax and get better, I was in peace with myself. But I didn’t forget for my training, it was stuck in my mind all night long.”

Mr. Moore: “Of course, your training. You care about this, don’t you?”

Flannery: “More than you can possibly imagine. Catching my first Pokemon was an immense source of pride for me. So, nothing could make me happier than making him stronger, and challenging all the trainers of Hoenn like you did. I would love to gain experience and become as skilled as you are. You’re going to teach me, right?”

Mr. Moore: “This is a good thing that you want to be someone like me, but you’ll need a lot of patience, temperament, and a great rigor to follow this path. Is that really what you want?”

Flannery: “For a long time now, I was a victim of my own powerlessness. I had a lot of energy to spend, but I never really knew where and how. I want to put an end to this period of questioning and move on to more serious stuff.”

Mr. Moore: “…”

Flannery: “Before to leave from Lilycove City, mother told me that she believed in me, that I was going to be fine. I don’t want to disappoint her. If sheer will power is really something written in my genes, so, I want to use it in a way which is the best for me. As long as I try hard, nothing is impossible for me. That’s the reason why I’ll be the new Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town one day.”

 

Mr. Moore stared at Flannery lengthily in an absolute silence without speaking. The eyes of the committed girl were glowing with a shining red, it was animated by ambition and determination. It seemed like she granted a great importance to the education from her grandfather. The old man could feel it, he was very sensitive to Flannery’s desire and squeezed out a smile.

 

Mr. Moore: “That’s the words I needed to hear. It’s always a pleasure to know that you’re still motivated, it’s like I had the opposite of your mom just in front of me at the moment. That’s droll, don’t you think? Additionally, Hoenn needs more talented trainers to get revealed.”

Flannery: “This is exactly what I was thinking, I’m sure I can be one of them. I want to be a part of these trainers.”

Mr. Moore: “Very good. When you’ll have finish your meal, go prepare yourself and be willing to bring only what you really need. Normally, you should only take Torkoal with you, but you can keep what is left in your saddle bag anyway, just in case. That night, I took the opportunity to check the weather forecast before to sleep, it said that there won’t be any wind blowing for today. As a result, you’ll be able to train with me at the summit of the Mt. Chimney. For my part, I’ll make some sandwiches and bring some water bottles before to leave. When you’ll be done with your preparation, come back here and take place next to the table. I’ll take care of the general organization of your training, you don’t have to interfere more than necessary.”

Flannery: “Are you sure?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, I’m telling you. Don’t bother with it.”

Flannery: “All right. We’ll do it this way.”

Mr. Moore: “Nice, sweetie.”

 

The little redhead continued to eat her breakfast once the discussion ended. Then, on the advice of her grandfather, she ran up the stairs to her room and prepared for her first Pokemon training, bringing her saddle bag with Torkoal’s Pokeball inside. Meanwhile, Mr. Moore took a big baguette out of the pantry and sliced it in half to make sandwiches. He garnished them with green salad, tomatoes, fresh eggs and smoked meat. Flannery went back to the living room a short moment after and sat on one of the cushions next to the table by watching the old man cooking. She still insisted on helping him, but her grandfather answered by telling her that he knew what he was doing, and didn’t need any assistance for this kind of thing. But, he respected the good initiative of the child nevertheless. He said it was just a matter of time-saving. When the sandwiches were made, he covered them with cellophane paper and then put it inside of a large rucksack with two water bottles. Afterwards, he caught a black belt with three Pokeballs bound to it. Mr. Moore attached the belt around his waist, put the rucksack on his shoulders, and turned to Flannery shortly after.

 

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Mr. Moore: “I think everything is done now, we can go. Are you ready?”

 

Flannery answered happily.

 

Flannery: “It feels like I was waiting this moment to come for too long. Of course, I am!”

Mr. Moore: “So, that’s perfect. Let’s hit the road to the Mt. Chimney.”

 

They went out of the house, Mr. Moore closed the door behind him and grabbed one of the Pokeballs on his belt.

 

Mr. Moore: “Pelipper, hear me and obey me. Take us to the highest heights of the mountain with you.”

 

After throwing the Pokeball in the air, Pelipper appeared. Flannery was still amazed each time grandpa’s Pokemon showed up to go into action. Pelipper landed on the ground next to their property, Flannery and Mr. Moore rode him. Then, the Pokemon rose in the air by flapping his wings vigorously, and flew over the roofs of Lavaridge Town towards the Mt. Chimney. The morning was quiet. The sky was painted by the orange-red color of the rising sun. As predicted by the old man, there was no wind, which made Pelipper’s travel easier than usual. Flannery, who hung his grandfather tightly, looked down at the ashen forest with leafy trees below.

 

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They were flying together to the North and were getting closer to the crater of the famous volcano. Once arrived at destination, Pelipper reduced his flapping frequency to land on a vast rocky field, allowing Flannery and her grandfather to put the feet on firm ground. Whereas Mr. Moore was taking the big Water Bird Pokemon back to his Pokeball, Flannery was approaching from the edge of the crater to get a better view on the deep of the volcano.

 

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Flannery: “This is lava! How beautiful it is!”

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, be careful! Don’t be too close from the edge!”

Flannery: “Don’t worry about me grandpa, I won’t try anything dangerous. Without knowing why, I feel all my senses awakening just by looking at this wonderful natural show.”

Mr. Moore: “I understand what it feels like, but even if it’s an enjoyable experience, you must never forget that the mountain is the only one to impose its law in here. The lava is boiling permanently, that’s a way for this place to express its vitality. Since I live in Lavaridge Town, these heartbeats of the mountain had never ceased.”

Flannery: “And that’s how it should be ever after too. There’s nothing worse than seeing the place we live dying just before our eyes.”

Mr. Moore: “Correct. By the way, I’m relieved we managed to get a clear sight today. It was impossible to hike in the surrounding area safely three days ago.”

Flannery: “You’re right, I was here when it happened. It was when I took the cable car with you, there was so many ashfalls. But… why did you choose such a place for my training?”

Mr. Moore: “I hoped you would ask me this question. Since we met in Lilycove City, I’ve learnt to know you better and better and I began to find out your true personality. In the end, you’re a bit like the Mt. Chimney itself. Impetuous, wild, radiant, and full of life… You’re an extraordinary person with a passionate fire burning in your heart, and I want to play my role to help you. We’ll control this fire together, in a good way. Additionally, we are in a favorable field for the development of Fire Pokemon like Torkoal, this chapter of your story will undoubtedly make a good poetry.”

Flannery: “Hihihi, you’re clearly a master of the art of well-made sentences. I could listen to you all day long if I wanted.”

Mr. Moore: “Thanks, my child. Well, how about we start to focus on the most interesting part of your initiation as a true Pokemon Trainer now? Take your position, seize your Pokeball and throw it on the battlefield in my direction. Don’t stress for the difficulty of the battle. Because it will be your first Pokemon fight, I will only use the weakest member of my team. If I must teach you the fundamental basis, it would be better for both of us to set the level of this battle at the same cap.”

Flannery: “Yeah, I guess that’s what we ought to do. Beware, I’m coming!”

 

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The two battlers moved to the opposite sides of the area, they prepared for starting the battle. In her haste, Flannery threw her Pokeball toward her grandfather. Torkoal appeared in the middle of the rocky field.

 

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Torkoal: “Toooorkooooal!”

Mr. Moore: “Okay, let’s go! Wingull, it’s time for you to show me what you can do.”

 

Mr. Moore threw his Pokeball confidently next to the point where Torkoal was standing. Wingull turned around into the sky and landed in front of his foe. The training could start.

 

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Wingull: “Wiiiiinguuuuuull!”

Mr. Moore: “Well, it seems like serious stuff can finally begin now. Flannery, I want you to make Torkoal attacking Wingull. Don’t worry about me, it’s not the first time I train this kind of Pokemon. Pelipper can testify.”

Flannery: “I would like to do it, but… I don’t have any idea of how to make Torkoal fight.”

Mr. Moore: “Don’t panic. Let’s see… hum… if I’m not mistaken… I would say that he never really had any advanced experience in battling before. As a result, for now, he’s just able to burn his enemies, poison them, and trap them in a fog. That’s it, his offensive abilities should be Ember, Smog and Smokescreen.”

Flannery: “Oh yes, all right! In this case… Torkoal, use Ember on Wingull!”

 

The holes on Torkoal’s shell were glowing with a blinding red light, he spat a medium size fireball on Wingull.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Wingull, dodge it and use Agility!”

 

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Wingull flew swiftly on his left and avoided Torkoal’s attack.

 

Mr. Moore: “Fine. Now, continue with Quick Attack!”

 

The Pokemon obeyed to the orders of the old man and crossed the hot battlefield to strike a blow to the face of the Coal Pokemon. Flannery looked distressed just by seeing Torkoal taking damages that fast.

 

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Flannery: “Oh no, Torkoal!”

 

But the Pokemon did not seem to be too injured either.

 

Torkoal: “Torkooooal!”

Flannery: “What happened? Did I do something wrong?”

Mr. Moore: “Absolutely not, stay safe. Even if you did, it’s often by doing a mistake that you end up improving your training techniques. Anyway, I could almost certify that the damages taken by Torkoal were superficial. This type of Pokemon is known to be naturally tough.”

Flannery: “Ah? Really? Does it mean that he did not receive too much damage?”

Mr. Moore: “That’s it, but it doesn’t mean that it will always happen like this for each turn. Torkoal is very good against numerous physical attacks, but when it’s a matter of ranged attacks, he won’t be able to counter them that easily. So, why don’t you tell him to use Curse, hm? I’m definitely sure that Torkoal knows this move.”

Flannery: “Curse? What is it supposed to do?”

Mr. Moore: “Normally, all the Pokemon using Curse become tougher, robust, and more powerful for the rest of the battle. But there is a drawback. Because it forces the user to exploit a great part of its own vital energy, their speed decrease considerably. This is how it works, that’s a way for your Pokemon to keep a balance to not get strangled by his own power. However, I heard that the effect of this move differed when the user was a Ghost Type. But… I never saw it with my own eyes.”

Flannery: “Um, interesting… a move with effects which depend on the Pokemon who use it… that sounds quite confusing, and a little bit risky, don’t you think?”

Mr. Moore: “Believe me kid. Torkoal is not famous for being the fastest Fire Pokemon of the world. Indeed, it would be the contrary. Regardless of what you would have did, he could have never avoided Wingull’s Quick Attack. There come the two first important notions to take into account; swiftness and defense. That’s very simple, if you know you can’t escape from a strong attack, do everything you can to soften the damages.”

Flannery: “You’re probably right, I should have done it this way. Seen from this perspective, it will make things even more easier. Torkoal, use Curse!”

Torkoal: “Tooooor!”

 

The head, the legs and the tail of Torkoal began to pulsate and turned red with the same color of the lava of the Mt. Chimney before to turn back to their normal appearance some seconds later. Flannery’s Pokemon was cumulating energy, getting stronger than he already was. He became less sensitive to physical injuries.

 

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Mr. Moore: “This is my turn. Wingull, use another Quick Attack!”

Wingull: “Guuuuuul!”

Flannery: “Let’s do this! Torkoal, use Smokescreen! Right now!”

Torkoal: “Tooorkoal!”

 

A noise was resonating deeply inside of Torkoal’s body, and even before Wingull managed to hit him again, the Fire Pokemon surrounded himself with a thick smoke to protect himself against his adversary and avoiding frontal attacks. This worked perfectly, Wingull was heading straight to Torkoal without being certain to tackle him and missed his target without even touching him. The result of this strategy was very satisfying for the redhead.

 

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Flannery: “Yeah! For once, I tried something, and it worked!”

Mr. Moore: “Ahah, good job, honey! You put a finger on another interesting method of defense slightly subtler, evasion by lowering of enemy’s accuracy. You’ll see, the more your Torkoal will create smoke all around him, the greater his chances of dodging the next attack will be. This can be extremely useful to hold on against a very resistant adversary.”

 

A malicious smile began to appear on the childish face of the little girl.

 

Flannery: “I don’t have a doubt about it. So, you won’t be able to catch me anymore. Torkoal, use Smokescreen once again.”

Torkoal: “Torkoooooal!”

 

The mist on the field became more and more invasive and thicker. The vapor emanation was followed by a sound of steam locomotive which harmonized grandly with the ebullition of lava in the fiery crater.

 

Mr. Moore: “Yep, I should prevent to give you too many tips. Even if I only got this Wingull two days ago and despite the fact of this match being not an official one, I won’t offer you the victory on a silver plate as if nothing was the matter. That’s why I’ll change my battling technique as well. Wingull, stop wandering in this fog and use Wing Attack.”

Wingull: “Wiiiiiiiiiing!”

 

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The new partner of the former member of the Elite Four began to beat his wings nervously and triggered a gust to clean the entire area from the smoke generated by Torkoal. The field of vision of Wingull became clearer, he found where his enemy was standing.

 

Flannery: “Hmmm… not so fast. Torkoal, use Curse!”

 

That’s what he did. The body of Torkoal was shining beautifully before to go back to its original color, giving him even more strength.

 

Mr. Moore: “You want to play tough, do you? Wingull, fly above Torkoal and shoot him with Water Gun.”

Flannery: “Eeeh?”

Wingull: “Wiiiiiingull!”

 

Wingull twirled above Torkoal and shot his Water Gun on his shell. This time, the latter took more critical damages. It already was too late to attempt a dodge. Flannery’s enthusiasm lowered drastically. It was super effective.

 

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Torkoal: “Toooor…”

Flannery: “Oh no, not this!”

Mr. Moore: “Do you understand now? When a Pokemon is on the battle, he may have a choice between two different categories of move. There are physical attacks to confront your foe in close-combat, and on the other hand, there are special attacks which consist of battling without coming into physical contact with your adversary. The shell of Torkoal may be harder than steel, it won’t necessarily resist non-physical attacks, no matter the number of times Curse has been used. Got it?”

Flannery: “Yes, I guess. But still, shooting him on the shell with water… it must not be a good thing to experiment, more importantly if it’s on fire.”

Mr. Moore: “Correct, this is the point of Pokemon Types. For example, Water Type Pokemon are strong against Fire Type but is weak against the Grass one. If you want to get a better representation of what I’m telling you, water extinguishes fire, this fact is inescapable.”

Flannery: “Exactly, everybody knows that.”

Mr. Moore: “Well. Somehow, plants can drain the water and gain strength thanks to it. This story is the same with Pokemon. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Also, when a Fire Type Pokemon focuses on Fire attacks, it will make it stronger and more destructive. However, you may encounter some difficulties if you ever have to face a Pokemon resistant to this element. Wingull’s typing is the main reason why Torkoal was in trouble from the start of this battle. So, using fire attacks such as Ember against him was not very clever.”

Flannery: “So, it works this way! I got it! Until now, everything is clear. I just hope that this Water Gun has not injured Torkoal too much.”

Mr. Moore: “Flannery, let me explain. As long as your Pokemon is not lying on the ground without moving, it means that he can’t continue to fight anymore. In this case, he’s considered to be knocked out and you must send another Pokemon to pursue the battle. If you don’t have any valid Pokemon in your team anymore, so, you lose the battle. There’s nothing hard to assimilate.”

Flannery: “Okay, I understood. Let’s go, Torkoal! Don’t give up!”

 

Torkoal turned towards Wingull and exhaled deeply. Two plumes of black smoke escaped from the nose of the determined Pokemon.

 

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Torkoal: “Tooooorkoooooooal!”

Mr. Moore: “Your Pokemon looks like he wants to get more from this match apparently. That’s good to know!”

 

Flannery did not need his grandpa to tell her anything to get further in the battle, she gave the following orders to Torkoal. She had to defeat Wingull.

 

Flannery: “Here we go again! Torkoal, keep it up and use Smog!”

Torkoal: “Toooooorkooooooooooooal!”

Mr. Moore: “Wingull, use Agility and dodge the projectiles.”

Wingull: “Winwinwinwinwinwinwinwinwinwinwin!”

 

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The Flying Pokemon was dancing in the air, nothing was attaining him. He avoided each of the small purple hazes expelled by Torkoal. The aerial ballet had last more than four minutes, Flannery felt the frustration growing inside.

 

Flannery: (There’s no reason to insist, I won’t be able to reach this thing. But it also prevents him to attack… um… let’s try something else.)

 

After a certain amount of time, the redhead regained control of the situation and ordered her Torkoal to stop shooting Wingull with his Smog.

 

Mr. Moore: “Finally! I was about to think that you would never stop. At this rate, your Pokemon will find himself short of combustible. The expanse of his potential is not limitless, that’s what happens during extended battles. A Pokemon who overused his moves can lose himself in the fight and ends up struggling in vain. You have to think of it!”

Flannery: “That’s what I realized just now. At least, I acted before it was too late.”

Mr. Moore: “Trying to get ahead over and over just made you fell behind. Torkoal can be very affected by water. If another Water Gun came to reach him again, I think it would sign the end of this battle.”

Flannery: “Eeeeh?!”

 

Wingull stopped flying around and got closer from Torkoal who looked exhausted from his efforts to target the Water Bird Pokemon. They were just less than one meter away from each other, it was the best moment for them to strike the final blow.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Wingull, use Water Gun!”

Flannery: “Torkoal… use Smog… just one more time!”

 

Whereas Wingull was gesticulating in front of the Fire Pokemon to prepare an aquatic attack, Torkoal spat on him the last toxic hazes he had in reserve, and succeeded. He trapped his enemy inside of a purple cloud… but it did not prevent Wingull to shoot a decisive Water Gun on the face of his adversary already shattered by tiredness. Flannery had to accept the facts, she was going to lose.

 

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Wingull: “Wiiiiinguuuuuuuuuull!”

Torkoal: “Tooooooooooorkooooooooooooal!”

Mr. Moore: “Forgive me kid, this is for your own good.”

Flannery: “Noooooooo, hold on!”

 

Easier said than done. It was so hard for Torkoal to stand in front of the Water Gun of Wingull, he was finally blown away by the water pressure. Flannery couldn’t do anything, she was soon nothing more than a spectator of her own defeat. But as Torkoal was still pushed backward by the water jet, it began to decrease in intensity sharply. The poisonous cloud in which the foe Pokemon was caught started to take effect. The Flying Pokemon stopped attacking and landed near the feet of his trainer, victim of the poison which consummated him slowly and painfully. The child rushed toward Torkoal, she cared about him and didn’t want to see him suffering anymore.

 

Flannery: “Torkoal! Are you okay? Please, answer me!”

 

But there was no response. Flannery began to panic.

 

Flannery: “Oh no. My… my Pokemon.”

Mr. Moore: “Game over. I think there’s no point in insisting, Torkoal is no longer able to fight. But… can you just look the other way for some seconds and watch what is next to my feet.”

Flannery: “Next to your feet?”

 

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Flannery, who embraced her dear fighting partner, watched in the direction indicated by Mr. Moore. Wingull was motionless, lying face down on the floor. Like Torkoal, he could not continue to fight anymore.

 

Flannery: “Wingull!? Did I… could it be… um… did Torkoal managed to… beat him?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes and no. This is the poison which made him succumb. If Torkoal had held the fight a bit longer, the victory would have been yours. It was just a matter of a few seconds which was separating the winner from the loser.”

Flannery: “Oh… too bad. That’s just so frustrating. By the way, I guess I’ve already seen Wingull in this state two days ago.”

Mr. Moore: “The day when I’ve caught him?”

Flannery: “Yes, that’s it.”

Mr. Moore: “At this moment, I used a different way to weaken him. There are several tricks to know which will make you able to finish a Pokemon off. Burning them, poisoning them, paralyzing them, making them fall asleep… all of this contribute to take advantage against your foe significantly and permanently. We call that ‘status problems’. Status problems are referred as long-term effects which aim to make the riposte of a Pokemon tricky and more complicated, they can also be the side effects of specific moves. Burns and poisoning are among the most redoubtable status problems, because they inflict damages on the target continually until it loses consciousness and faints. By the way, burns are especially handy to decrease the power of physical attacks drastically, that explains why Typhlosion didn’t take any damage when he fought against Wingull during your catching session Tuesday.”

Flannery: “Really? If that’s the case, that should be interesting to elaborate strategies from poison and fire… especially fire. Thank you for the advice.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re welcome, sweetie. I have to admit that even if you didn’t succeed in defeating me, I’ve really enjoyed this first battle with you.”

 

The child and the old man both made their Pokemon return into their respective Pokeball. Despite of it, Flannery was disturbed, Torkoal really needed to rest.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Come on, don’t be so sad. It was a good performance. You did it well for an eight-year-old child.”

Flannery: “For real? You don’t say this to please me?”

Mr. Moore: “No, there’s nothing but sincerity in my words. Even if it wasn’t the hardest fight of my career, you took the decisions you’ve considered as the best without hesitation. This ability of never doubt is an essential life skill far more important than you could imagine. I hope you’ll make good use of my advice.”

Flannery: “Of course. I’ll do my best to keep putting into practice all the things you taught me.”

Mr. Moore: “Very good. I’ve spotted a bench behind the cable car station. We can sit there to eat the sandwiches if you want.”

Flannery: “Why not? I was getting hungry. But, what are we going to do for Torkoal and Wingull? They must be healed.”

Mr. Moore: “Stay cool, Flannery. I’ll take care of them. We won’t have to get back to the Pokemon Center to do that. When we will be sat, I’ll try to get them back on their feet myself.”

Flannery: “Seriously?”

Mr. Moore: “Yeah, I’m very serious. This is something you may not have noticed before we leave, but I’ve brought everything we needed to make their recovery possible.”

Flannery: “What an organization! You’re awesome grandpa!”

Mr. Moore: “I know, that’s what my fans often told me. Well… it’s getting warmer in here. Don’t you feel hot? We should better go now.”

Flannery: “Go ahead. I’ll be right behind you.”

 

Without further ado, Mr. Moore moved away from the crater of the Mt. Chimney with his apprentice, they went down the volcano to the cable car station. The sky was clear, there wasn’t any ashfall floating toward them. They finally reached the bench next to the station and sat, allowing their Pokemon to get out of their Pokeballs. Mr. Moore pulled two plants with large green leaves out of the rucksack, and made them ingested by Wingull and Torkoal who chewed them slowly. Nevertheless, they did not seem to enjoy the bitter taste of the plant. The disgust was deforming their face, and their body looked like they were even stiffer than before.

 

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Flannery: “What's happening? What are you doing with that?”

Mr. Moore: “What am I doing? I’m healing our Pokemon of course.”

Flannery: “I think I don’t fully understand. You’re using plants to treat physical injuries?”

Mr. Moore: “Pchht! Stop talking, and see.”

Flannery: “What!?”

 

Even before Flannery could say another word, Wingull and Torkoal already felt more relaxed and in better shape. Their muscles were released from all tension as well as their face which became brighter, making them look much livelier. Only a couple of minutes later, the two Pokemon were fully healed.

 

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Mr. Moore: “Ahah, it took less time than expected. At least, that’s still working well.”

 

Flannery could not believe it. She was more surprised than relieved, and wanted to exactly know what type of plant her grandpa had used during the healing process.

 

Flannery: “What? Just… what?! Grandpa, what did you feed them? What is the name of this plant? Are you a magician or something like that? I want to know, what is your secret?”

Mr. Moore: “Me… a magician…? Flannery, you should have known it for some days now. I’m neither a magician, nor a miracle maker. I’m just a man naturally skilled in the art of well-made sentences, battles and remedies. This plant was a Revival Herb, this is a legume that only grow in the orchards along the slopes of the crater nearby. Among all the plants cultivated in the ashen lands of Hoenn, this is definitely the most bitter and time-consuming specimen to maintain. In spite of this, their virtues are simply mind-blowing, they allow a fainted Pokemon to revive and restore their health entirely like nothing happened, making them able to fight again. However, it only works on Pokemon.”

Flannery: “By listening to you, I will end up believing that all that grows in ashes has a bitter taste.”

Mr. Moore: “You’re not wrong. Even if I don’t really know any Pokemon able to eat Revival Herbs cheerfully, ingesting it can’t hurt them more than they already are. Great ills always require great remedies. That’s what ends up happening when you don’t have a choice anymore.”

Flannery: “I understand it. It sounds like a last resort remedy. This is amazing, I’m impressed. You know a lot of things about anything and everything. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll be able to memorize and inherit all of your knowledge someday.”

Mr. Moore: “You have to believe in you and your future Flannery. If such a young girl like you doesn’t have faith in her future, where would this world heading? One day, you’ll get the same level as me, I’m convinced of that. As long as I’m alive, I will always be there for you to teach you all these useful little things you should know.”

Flannery: “I would like it to never stop. Anyway… can we take the lunch now?”

Mr. Moore: “Of course, we can.”

 

While Torkoal and Wingull were both taking a nap alongside their trainers, Mr. Moore pulled out the sandwiches as well as a full water bottle. He gave one of the sandwiches to Flannery. The belly of the redhead was grumbling since the end of the battle. Some minutes later, as they were going to eat their snacks, Flannery was tormented by serious interrogations. She could not resist and asked them to her grandfather. She looked rather pensive this time.

 

Flannery: “Grandpa?”

Mr. Moore: “Yes, honey?”

Flannery: “Did you ever… get… sick?”

Mr. Moore: “Why do you ask?”

Flannery: “You look so young and healthy for your age. So, I was curious.”

Mr. Moore: “Be reassured. I was and I’m still a very respected person in Hoenn, but it didn’t prevent me to get ill a few times in my life, nothing very serious of course. But still, why do you ask me such a question?”

Flannery: “…”

Mr. Moore: “Why are you looking so sad? Is there something wrong? Express yourself, my child.”

 

Flannery felt sorrow surfacing inside of her, she grabbed her mentor by the waist and began to cry her eyes out, letting the words erupting from her mouth like a geyser.

 

Flannery: “Because I love you grandpa! I love you more than anybody else, and I don’t have any idea of what I could do without you.”

Mr. Moore: “Oh… Flannery!”

Flannery: “You told me to have faith in the future. But in the future, there’s death too. I got attached to you a lot this whole time, and there’s no one to replace a person like you. I don’t want it to end! Do you hear me? I don’t want it to end!”

 

The old man held her granddaughter against him, giving her a sensation of protection. While she curled her head on his chest, he told her the following words.

 

Mr. Moore: “Listen, Flannery. I know what you feel like. Your state of mind… this is mine at this very moment.”

Flannery: “*Snif* …grandpa…”

Mr. Moore: “Time has always been my worst enemy, it has caught with me before I could finally find the answers to my questions. All these years spent in glory didn’t make me happier. I may have an unparalleled notoriety for decades, in the end, it wasn’t enough to fix a broken family and turn back to my solitude… we can’t escape from the past.”

Flannery: “But we can always try to fix the future.”

Mr. Moore: “Hmmm… you’re reasonable in your words. The only problem is that I didn’t know how to proceed at this time.”

Flannery: “And now, I am here by your side. Doesn’t it make you happier?”

Mr. Moore: “Of course it does. The last thing I would have feared above all was to end my days all alone in my home, losing my title of Gym Leader, and don’t doing anything else than strutting around Lavaridge Town by searching for new poetry subjects. There’s nothing worse than living an endless day.”

Flannery: “Who’d want to get such a life?”

Mr. Moore: “Not so many people, if you want my opinion. But with you, the things are not the same. With you by my side, I feel good and more inspired than I ever was. Beyond the fact of you being my student and aiming to become the next Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town, you’re my new reason to hang onto life. You’re my muse… and a poet separated from his muse is…”

 

The child pushed her face stronger against the chest of her grandfather.

 

Mr. Moore: “… a poet separated from his muse… is…”

Flannery: “…”

Mr. Moore: “… empty… and… dead. Without you… I’m nothing.”

 

The embrace between the two beings was so intense that nothing could have disturbed them. Neither Torkoal and Wingull who slept soundly, nor the responsible of the cable car station, nor the lava bubbling of the Mt. Chimney.

 

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Mr. Moore: “But tears can await. If you want to set yourself at the same level as me, you must redouble your efforts. If you fail once, twice… fifty times, don’t blame yourself for much. Just keep remembering that every defeat has something to offer to make you move on. If you win, try to identify what was the cause of your victory. If somebody tell you that you’re powerless, pathetic or insignificant, prove him wrong.”

 

Flannery stood up quietly, putting an end to the embrace, and watched her grandfather right in the eyes by listening to him carefully.

 

Flannery: “I won’t give up, I swear. You’ll see me in my best light!”

Mr. Moore: “That’s a good thing. I want you to prove me that the new Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town is here, just in front of me. One day, you’ll be better than me. I feel it, I know it. You’ll surpass myself, you’ll surpass yourself, you’ll surpass my Typhlosion. And when this day will come, Hoenn will already have taken your potential in consideration. My name will still exist through you and your performances. It’s just like writing the very last page of a great book to start writing the next chapter. The one of a hot-blooded fighter who doesn’t fear anything, nor anyone.”

Flannery: “I’ll become this woman, I’ll do all in my power to achieve this goal. And I’m determined to make it happen as long as you’re still alive.”

Mr. Moore: “You’ll do it Flannery, I have no doubt about that. Let’s finish these snacks, then we’ll go back to work together. The day is not over yet.”

Flannery: “Thank you for putting your trust in me.”

 

With these words, Flannery and Mr. Moore finished to eat their sandwiches before to go back to more serious things. No matter what could come up in the future, the two of them already knew what remained to be done. The sheer will of Flannery was going to get put in strain for several days, several weeks, several months, several years by her grandfather. The time when the novice trainer used to be a harmless child trapped behind the oceanic walls of Lilycove City was long behind. Without the intervention of the old man, nothing of what was going to happen next could have been possible. For him and for her, this day was going to mark the beginning of a new tale. The tale of a firehead!

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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This is probably my favorite Episode yet. You're doing a fantastic job on this. Can't wait for the next update. 🙂

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Thank you for the compliment! Indeed, it was quite emotional for me to do this as it was marking the end of Flannery’s past. The battle scenes were more simple to create this time, I was amazed myself during their creation. Also, it would be interesting for me to know if you prefer seeing videos of Flannery facing the Reborn Gym Leaders or rather battles with custom screenshots. I’m open to any advice and suggestions 🙂

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I started to read it calmly and I must say that as a story it is really well done! Congratulations and keep it up! I would have two of Fan Fiction but I never have the time to take them forward, so I will warmly follow yours and...the part that most struck me is the battle of Episode 8, that Swalot xD ...but also all the others are really beautiful! I wait for the next episode 😄

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Great work! As of yet, my favourite episode.

 

3 hours ago, Q-Jei said:

Thank you for the compliment! Indeed, it was quite emotional for me to do this as it was marking the end of Flannery’s past. The battle scenes were more simple to create this time, I was amazed myself during their creation. Also, it would be interesting for me to know if you prefer seeing videos of Flannery facing the Reborn Gym Leaders or rather battles with custom screenshots. I’m open to any advice and suggestions 🙂

 

I think that a few battles should be videos while a few are battles with cusrom screenshots. 

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Spoiler

Numerous events have taken place since the first battle between Flannery and her grandfather, Mr. Moore. For four years from this day, the redhead continued to cumulate excursions outside, assimilating various knowledge about Vermilava local customs. She used to spend some stays in Fortree City at Winona’s home, enjoyed baths in hot springs, and more importantly, she chained training sessions with her lovely grandfather. She never ceased to learn new battling techniques by his side during every battle. Against all odds, her team increased as well. One day, as she was hiking with the old man in the ashen path to the North of the Mt. Chimney to go to Fallarbor Town, Flannery caught two Slugma and called them respectively Mag and Meg. Those flames which intimidated the red-headed little girl in the past became friendlier to her, she had learned how to tame them and control them, without necessarily outperforming her tutor. However, that’s what she intended to do. Meanwhile, she also decided to come back to Lilycove City accompanied by Mr. Moore to know what happened to her parents all this time… but they were not at home anymore. It was an unfamiliar face who opened to them, somebody else was living in the same place. According to what the new residents told them, the Chief of Lilycove’s harbor would have retired to sell the business to the Deputy Head, Flannery’s dad. He reportedly won a contract with the Shipyard Manager from Slateport City leaded by Captain Stern with the aim to assist him in some new construction projects. He moved in there with Flannery’s mom. By his own admission, Lilycove City was nothing more than a nest full of bad memories, he would have preferred to leave it behind rather than dwelling on the past. This news was exceeding far beyond Flannery and Mr. Moore’s expectations, but they finally admitted that it didn’t make any sense to insist. A new page was definitely turned. During the following days, Flannery fell in a deep, silent melancholy. Hopefully, thanks to her heroic grandfather and Winona’s support who became her personal friend from the day of their first meeting, the young child managed to get over this emotional trauma. It made her even more determined to pursue the fight and follow her ambitions as a future Gym Leader.

 

No long after she turns 12 years of age, Mr. Moore thought it was better for Flannery to develop her theoretical basis about Pokemon training, he decided to register her granddaughter in Pokemon Trainers’ School from Rustboro City. At the beginning, it was difficult. The child didn’t like to go far from the person she considered as her all-time hero, but he made her understand that it was more a plus than a minus, the elderly tried to reassure Flannery by telling her that he will come all the days of the week at the end of the afternoon to pick her up. He explained her that the potential she had was considerably huge, she was on the right path to achieve her purpose. But without a good education, the result would have possibly not been the same than expected, which is why she had to be formed in a school environment with other students whose level was equivalent to hers. Additionally, as a former Member of the Elite Four, the old man had enough money in his possession to finance the most expensive curriculum of the school to Flannery, a preparatory education lasting no longer than three years about the advanced concepts of single and double battles, including an orientation allowing her to specialize in the mastering of one Pokemon Type of her choice. Without any surprise, Flannery had chosen Fire Type. She ended up joining a class of first year students who aimed to be high level trainers. But academically, it was hard for Flannery. She was forced to adopt a rhythm of life completely different by getting up earlier in the morning to stay concentrated each day of her student life and never be late. Her grandfather took her to Rustboro City on Pelipper’s back every day from Monday to Friday at 9:00 AM and then picked her up at school at 5:00 PM these days. It became more and more complicated for the young schoolgirl who began to develop an incredibly weak tolerance to mornings. As time went on, she was seen by most of her comrades as a quick-tempered and excessively high-strung person. The increasing difficulty of courses and term exams didn’t help, she didn’t have any alternatives but provide more significant personal work. By redoubling her efforts, her marks could be barely good enough to match the results of most of her schoolmates who were far less tense than her during the courses, they were revealed to have a better ability than Flannery to memorize a large amount of information. Flannery was desperate, she felt herself sinking in a deep frustration, her competitive spirit was always kept awake, but on the other hand, keeping a cool head became extremely complicated over time. She even had to endure very short nights because of it as well as skin rashes. Flannery was mistreating her inner clock at a point where she began to suffer and found herself sleeping for the rest of the day. But she refused to give up.

 

For three years, every day of every week, the young perfectionist remained faithful to her dreams of becoming a Gym Leader, like a Shellder bound to a Slowbro. One day, she literally snapped, afraid of never succeeding the final exams. But hopefully, Winona was aware of Flannery’s academic deficiencies and was regularly present in Lavaridge Town for the weekends. She cared of the redhead and taught her some suitable support courses when she wasn’t busy in Fortree City. The revision program being sometimes too heavy and theoretical for Mr. Moore who also had difficulties to find himself in there, Winona was the best person to help Flannery to make her retain the most important parts of every chapter. That’s what they did. Two heads were better than one. And finally, this learning method was paying off. Despite of several difficulties, Flannery succeeded. She successfully completed three years in Pokemon Trainers’ School in a row and the results to the exam of end of studies were slightly better than the average for her. Her exhausting life as a student had allowed Mr. Moore’s granddaughter to be officially recognized as an Ace Trainer. At this very moment, nothing would have made Flannery happier, she shared her enjoyment with her grandfather and Winona who both supported her from the beginning.

 

At 15 years old, Flannery became more mature and confident. All this time spent in Rustboro City had incited her to raise her standards of conduct. Some days after she got her school leaving certificate, she decided to challenge her own grandfather in an official single battle inside of his gym in Lavaridge Town. Winona was here as well, she was attending and arbitrating the match. The ultimate goal imposed by the old man to the redhead was to defeat Typhlosion. During the gym battle, Flannery sent Torkoal as well as her two Slugma on the battlefield to assist her. An oppressive tension could be felt throughout this fateful confrontation. But even if all the basic battle notions were still assimilated and very limpid for Flannery, it did not prevent her to watch each member of her team faint powerlessly in front of Typhlosion as soon as the battle started, even though Torkoal survived longer than Mag and Meg. The verdict was brought down, Flannery was always at a lower level than Mr. Moore. He noticed that the balance between theory and practice was still too tangible for her, Winona who saw the fight from the start to the end was sharing the same opinion. To prove herself differently and improve her skill even more, the elderly suggested Flannery to leave and meet the other active Gym Leaders in Hoenn like he did during his young years, challenging them and getting three of their badges at least. Flannery was disillusioned by grandpa’s performance, everything she worked for was blown away by some of Typhlosion’s attacks, it wasn’t enough to inherit the title of Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town. So, she followed the advice of her grandfather. The young teenager decided to take charge of her own destiny the day after the defeat, Flannery made her own path all alone in Hoenn animated by the only desire of toughen up to pursue her career as an Ace Trainer in more concrete circumstances.

 

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Flannery’s journey took her from the Mt. Chimney to Mauville City where she challenged Wattson, the local Gym Leader, and got the Dynamo Badge successfully at the conclusion of a passionate battle. After this glorious victory, Flannery gained more confidence, she felt even more determined than before. Her good will as well as her impulsive temper were bringing out her great sense of justice. She took heed of it and tried her best to polish this image of herself. She didn’t hesitate to live her own adventure by helping some people in need and gave them the benefit of her positive influence. As time went on during this trip in Hoenn, the childish little girl from Lilycove City was about to turn into a young glowing damsel, she was taller, filled with joy of life and responsibilities. But her resourcefulness was not going to be the only asset of the redhead. Flannery became more and more appreciated for her natural beauty. People in streets of big cities couldn’t stop looking at the foxy teenager to each of her appearances, especially men in general. The mere fact of being seen in return by the hypnotizing young lady would have been enough to make them happy. The beautiful redhead was aware of this asset quickly enough, she combined elegance, fieriness and training talents to catch the attention around her everytime she had the opportunity to do it. Somehow, Flannery kept cumulating various meetings and her number of Pokemon fight increased at breakneck speed. Even if she occasionally failed a battle sometimes, she always knew how to learn from losing and when she could, she fought the same person again to get a revenge, constantly animated by passion and love for battle.

 

But in the end, Flannery’s fiercest opponent was herself. Remaining true to her values and never go off the rails were the key for distinguishing herself from the others. Her encounters never really were the same, and as she has seen once during a gym battle in Lavaridge Town a long time ago, all the trainers are not always respectful or well-intentioned. Flannery understood this very well, she tended to cultivate a strong mental attitude each time she had to face these specific people. Then, she arrived at the port town in the South of Hoenn, Slateport City. Pretending to ignore the fact that her parents would have been somewhere in the vicinity, she tried her best to keep a lower profile as long as she stayed in the Pokemon Center of the port. Then, she hurried to get a boat to Dewford Town as soon as possible. Thus, she traveled to the extreme South-West of Hoenn, crossing the vast glistening ocean that separated the brave teenager from her next destination. After arriving at Dewford Town, she made her way to the gym of the island where she confronted the local Gym Leader. During this gym battle, the latter was unable to counter Flannery’s Pokemon attacks, she had adopted a method of combat increasingly aggressive. “Never let anything or anyone push you around.” This motto was the reflection of Flannery’s philosophy of life for a long time. After she left her opposing team burning down without any mercy, the young redhead of Lavaridge Town obtained her second badge. The desire of making her proof became stronger for her, which is why Flannery decided to spend two months in Dewford Town to improve her team, freeing her mind and looking at the sun going down behind the blue sea at every dusk. Wherever she was, there was always something beautiful to watch to comfort her spirit hammered by all the efforts she provided. It was still one of the only things that didn’t really change from the day of Flannery’s departure.

 

Obsessed by the mere idea of getting a revenge against grandpa’s Typhlosion, Flannery pursued her power quest by making her own way to Rustboro City this time. When the captain was ready to weigh the anchor again, Flannery got a boat to Petalburg City. During the navigation, she also heard some rumors about a group of anonymous environmental extremists who started to get talked about in Hoenn. Apparently, they were looking for new members to recruit and were delivering awareness messages about diminution of water resources all over the region. However, this kind of gossip was not of vital importance for Flannery who already had an accurate goal to achieve. There already was too much water that flowed under the bridge to change her priorities. Finally, she ended up disembarking on the mainland, and moved to Petalburg City to restore herself in the Pokemon Center of the town. Then, she headed up to the forest located behind the docks to reach Rustboro City, the place where she used to pass the exams to become an Ace Trainer after three years of ruthless academic studies in Pokemon Trainers’ School. There, she challenged Roxanne, the thinking head of the school and Gym Leader of Rustboro City. Normally, without passing a test to validate some specific knowledge points, the Rock Type specialist did not accept any battle from newcomers. Nevertheless, Roxanne was one of the persons who used to supervise Flannery’s courses, she also attended the school leaving certificate ceremony of the redhead herself. As a matter of fact, it already counted as a proof of Flannery’s success in the school, and as a result, she was exempt from Roxanne’s assessment and was allowed to challenge her in Rustboro Gym in a single battle. Filled with unfailing temerity, the fiery teenager confronted the young Gym Leader in a merciless, risky Pokemon fight, using only her Torkoal. To the great surprise of her adversary, the Coal Pokemon managed to finish off the whole team commanded by Roxanne, exactly like Mr. Moore did with Typhlosion. It was really impressive, the Gym Leader of Rustboro City told her that she rarely had the opportunity to face such a powerful trainer, and yet, she was convinced that Flannery would have been in a weak position because of her type. The lesson to learn from this battle was to not judge a book by its cover.

 

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The wonderful redhead got her third badge proudly. She finally managed to collect everything she needed to begin a new confrontation against her grandfather. However, she did not return directly to Lavaridge Town after her last performance. She continued to give some help to random people in Rustboro City and rented a room in the Pokemon Center of the town to prepare herself mentally, she kept training her Pokemon in the wild for several weeks. Flannery also took the opportunity to buy a PokeNav during her stay, a small electronic device produced by Devon Corporation to maintain contact with the next trainers she could meet. The other function of this gear was the map application which simplified greatly Flannery’s travels when she ventured outside, preventing her to get lost and reducing the time spent vainly by the redhead to wander in wrong directions.

 

Then came the day when Flannery went back on her footsteps by challenging a maximum number of trainers in her path to strengthen her team, this one included Torkoal and her two Slugma, Mag and Meg. The hot-tempered teenager took the initiative to expand her network of contacts, she reached a point where she didn’t lose a single battle anymore. The meaning of words like “losing” or “defeat” did not concern the red-headed woman for a while. In the end, all her hard work had taken effect. The day of her 16th birthday, she finally managed to return home in Lavaridge Town to find her grandfather, he welcomed his dear granddaughter warmly. She wished to challenge him for the umpteenth time after a well-deserved break at home. In the meantime, Mr. Moore hurried to call Winona to keep her informed about Flannery’s arrival as well as her next revenge against him. The Flying Gym Leader wouldn’t have missed this event for anything in the world, she also had turned into a grown-up adult during Flannery’s adventures herself. She found her childhood friend in Lavaridge Town in front of Mr. Moore’s residence. The two ladies both cherished this reunion together, they feared being forgotten by each other all this time. Having discovered that Winona had a PokeNav too, Flannery exchanged her contact details with her for a better communication in the future. The gym battle happened at night. To maximize her chances of victory, Flannery used her entire team to beat Mr. Moore’s Typhlosion. Unlike her other attempts, the Pokemon’s mastery of the two adversaries was practically the same. This confrontation lasted for more than an hour. Then, this incendiary face-to-face between grandfather and granddaughter came to its end, and the victory was won by Flannery Moore.

 

The ovation was to the max, Winona was shaking her head at the way that the redhead has handled this battle against her adversary, it could not be compared to her very first attempt last year. The old man was forced to admit that his granddaughter became strong, he did not remind of the first time he was put in a corner and defeated like this. Only Torkoal survived Typhlosion… he was exhausted, but always conscious. Winona managed to record the whole fight thanks to a video capture application integrated to the PokeNav she owned to keep track of this success. The proof of Flannery’s strength was real. This demonstration of power soon began to get spread to the Pokemon Association located in Lilycove City which decided to establish a conference at the end of the month in Petalburg City, reuniting all the other Gym Leaders. The consensus was very clear, Flannery was about to become the new Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town. For her, it was like living a waking dream. However, she made the other members of the committee know that she still had a lot to learn about the maintenance of a gym. Her grandfather who also attended the meeting emitted a suggestion who got everyone agree. For the next two years, all the trainers wishing to confront the Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town will have to pass a preliminary battle against Flannery before to challenge Mr. Moore who will keep his position until his apprentice is ready the day of her 18th birthday. This way, the young redhead could learn the fundamental basis on the upkeep and the control of a gym little by little. Additionally, if Mr. Moore wasn’t able to keep up Flannery’s guidance anymore, Winona would become her mentor instead of him. Indeed, she was among the only people who accompanied and help the red-headed novice the most in the past, and would have played a major role concerning her education during her studies to be an Ace Trainer. This fact was confirmed by Roxanne herself thanks to Winona who had kept her informed.

 

As a result, Flannery assisted Mr. Moore to maintain the gym in Lavaridge Town until she was 18. Her role was to judge and test the competences of the other challengers by subjecting them to a hot, dry battle to verify if they were competent enough to confront her grandpa in an official match. But even though the latter would have been defeated by some random trainers, the only interest in surpassing the old man was nothing more than the obtainment of the Heat Badge, because the succession place of the next Lavaridge Gym Leader was already assigned to Flannery. Meanwhile, he and the redhead both took advantage of these two years to renovate their gym as this one was getting old and ramshackle over time. With the precious help granted by Winona, they partly contributed to the building project of a new room for Pokemon Contest in Fallarbor Town as well. Somehow, it would have gave a new reason to this village to get revisited again and welcome new adventurers. In fact, the owner of the commercial center previously installed in this spot was shouldering an increasingly large debt burden. So, he didn’t have any option but close down. Time was passing by whereas the family ties between Flannery and Mr. Moore were going to be tighter than they ever were.

 

The day she just had 18 years of age, Flannery felt ready to fully assume her new function of Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town, and was now considered as such by the Pokemon Association. It also meant that her grandfather was free to dedicate himself to his other great lifelong passion, poetry. The elderly had told his granddaughter that he would have loved travelling the different regions beyond Hoenn to better stimulate his creative spirit, starting with Johto first. At this moment, Flannery understood quickly enough the reason behind this decision as she already adopted the habit of living her life to the fullest. She didn’t really know how long it would take for her before to see him again, but she didn’t seem disturbed for much. The brave little girl of Mr. Moore had built a lot of self-confidence, despite of her recent acceptation, she knew how to be heard when she had something to say. Additionally, she created her own identity, a kind of new character who was going to incarnate the future of Lavaridge Town. No more old-fashioned skirts and dresses, no more long tasteless hair. Flannery decided to turn into what she considered as the ideal woman of modern times. Suddenly, she opted for jeans and black t-shirts with a flame pattern which could externalize her youthfulness as well as her attractiveness for fire. She also brushed and styled her hair in a sort of big firework-like ponytail which made her even more good-looking and sparkling than before. Her new style was suiting her slender morphology perfectly well. By the way, she became at least as tall as Winona was. A new character was going to take action in the Hoenn League.

 

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As a matter of fact, because Mr. Moore wasn’t available to coach Flannery anymore, it was Winona who cared of it. The Pokemon Association also suggested the Flying Gym Leader to keep this title of Flannery’s mentor even if Mr. Moore had to come back. Indeed, the old man had ended up reaching a relatively advanced age, he was now in his middle eighties, which was about to make him one of the oldest high-ranked Pokemon Trainers from whatever regions. Furthermore, despite the fact that Flannery said she exactly knew what she did, Mr. Moore was not persuaded that easily. One day, although he was supposed to leave for Johto, he introduced himself under a different identity like he did in Lilycove City and pretended to be a judge, in order to be sure that Flannery had understood and applied what he told her about Gym battles. The fiery girl appeared to be quite clumsy and absent-minded this time, she even forgot where the badges were stored. The clever elderly was right, he revealed his true identity shortly after the battle. Flannery assumed that she still had a lot to learn and was set back on the right track by her grandfather for some days before the latter left once and for all. Then, Flannery was on her own with Winona as her only friend. She invested herself more and more in her new role of Gym Leader, improving her techniques in each match, enjoying clear victories and maintaining her knowledge of the mountain, with or without Winona. By the way, Flannery extended her team even more by catching a Vulpix during a long hike in the wild spaces of Hoenn with the angelic damsel, when they still had some time to spend to go somewhere else. But as time went by, Flannery heard another rumor about the same gang that people were talking about during the trip between Dewford Town and Petalburg City, when the redhead was in quest of the Stone Badge. This organization would have encountered an issue with a rival group whose primary purpose was to expand the terrestrial surface by producing more land. But nothing very serious was to report otherwise. At this moment, there was no factual stuff declared, and the two gangs seemed to bark more than they bit. Once again, Flannery did not grant any special importance to this rumor, she largely preferred to take care of her own business instead of surveying a bunch of fanatical smooth talkers.

 

But as Flannery was two months shy of her 20th birthday, Mr. Moore was back at home in Lavaridge Town… but not as healthy as she hoped. In fact, her grandfather was contracting a strange disease on site. The origin of this sickness was unknown, but the old man had all the good reasons to think that it was due to a bad preparation when he was crossing Ilex Forest on rainy days. Preferring not to try something rash, he chose to return to Hoenn on its own by riding Pelipper like he always did. Flannery was desperate, she cared about her grandpa, and reciprocally, he cared about her. The red-headed Gym Leader decided to put her activity on hold to nurse the old man. The poetic vagabond had reached a phase where he was too weak to heal himself. Flannery was haunted by the mere thought of losing him. Noticing no improvement of grandpa’s health status, she decided to call a medical team located in Mauville City one week later. They came at Flannery’s home to make a diagnosis, confirming the fact that the situation has got worse, but according to them, everything was still reversible. The general practitioner had administered a sedative to the old man, reassuring the young woman by telling her that her grandfather would be back on his feet in one month to the day. The poor redhead prioritized his recovery every day without ever leaving grandpa’s side… but things did not turn out as expected. One week before the day of Flannery’s 20th birthday, Mr. Moore succumbed. He passed away in his bed under the shocked look of her granddaughter in the afternoon. From this moment on, there was nothing to save the morale anymore. Flannery felt a terrible sense of helplessness growing inside of her, she had lost the last true parent she had, she did not even had time saying ‘Goodbye’, nor thanking him one last time for everything he did for her. He wasn’t breathing anymore. Flannery never felt that shaken at this time, she embraced the body of her grandfather and cried her eyes out without stopping, wetting his inanimate face with tears of desperation. The only thing she still could do after this tragedy was calling Winona and the medical team. She begged for them to come and help, but there was no way for her to escape the dead end. The Gym Leader of Fortree City was powerless in front of such a drama, she couldn’t do anything but sharing Flannery’s sorrow, Mr. Moore was dead. The funeral of her unforgettable grandfather was held two weeks later at the bottom of the Mt. Pyre. All of Flannery’s colleagues and friends were there to express their support to her as she was falling into grief, only her mother and father were missing. Flannery would have never forgiven them for that, ever. Everyone should respect the dead, and more importantly when it’s about a member of your own family. The poor girl was so upset and angry towards her parents that she couldn’t stop crying all alone in her home. She didn’t eat anymore, she didn’t smile anymore, she didn’t sleep anymore, she didn’t think anymore, and didn’t want to see anyone anymore. Everything was over.

 

But one day, without warning, Winona arrived at Flannery’s home. She was worrying about the mental health of the poor girl who starved herself to death. Hopefully, as she had the habit of spending time with her in Lavaridge Town, she occasionally got a duplicate key of the house from Mr. Moore when he was still alive. Winona moved to Flannery, and comforted her as best as she could. The angelic damsel told her that the past could not be fixed, but the most important was to focus on what was left to her. Without Winona by her side, Flannery would have been unable to get rid of her inexhaustible mental breakdown. She put all the trust in her faithful confident, savoring every hug, every sweet word and the exchange of every smile. The generous woman told her that she couldn’t stand seeing Flannery in this state, intoxicated by sadness and loneliness. It wasn’t what she was accustomed concerning her. The Flannery she knew was and will still be a strong soul, a true model of self-improvement. She said that Mr. Moore would always look at her from the sky, his granddaughter would still be supported by someone wherever she goes and whatever happens. Knowing that the death of her grandfather could stunt Flannery’s career and prosperity would have certainly been the last thing wanted by him. It took a certain amount of time for the red-headed Gym Leader to recover from these emotions and then go back to the top of the arena, like the fighter we all know today.

 

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Winona’s encouragements took effect progressively. Over the next five months, Flannery continued to chain performances, fight after fight, and kept up the winning streak thanks to her highly-trained Pokemon team. Meanwhile, Winona was proclaimed ‘Norman’s mentor’, the Gym Leader from Petalburg City, judging that the fiery mistress of Lavaridge Town had reached a level sufficient to go without her services. But as Flannery got her 199th victory in a row, the Pokemon Association became officially affected by a crisis centered around the two organizations who aimed to respectively dry up and expand the seas, Team Aqua and Team Magma. It didn’t take long for Flannery to realize that these people were part of the gangs she heard about before. The strong redhead finally found herself involved into this conspiracy in spite of herself. During this conflict, Flannery was at a point held hostage by Team Aqua due to them believing she knew about Sapphire Birch, another good trainer whose reputation had increased exponentially, this person would have interrupted their activity during a special operation in Slateport City. When the said trainer came to her aid, she found Flannery unconscious, severely injured, tied up and gagged. And much to the Gym Leader’s surprise, the two girls were trapped by the responsible of all the misery endured by Flannery’s poor family, Matt himself. The thug from Lilycove Museum locked them both inside of the cable car leading to the Mt. Chimney, and flooded it up to the ceiling thanks to Azumarill’s good will, using Hydro Pump to drown them. Even today, this experience left indelible sequelae of torture to Flannery’s spirit, mixed with trauma and endless rage, despite her having been rescued in extremis by Sapphire. Then, Flannery attended as a powerless witness to the death of the Mt. Chimney led by the criminals, and tried to reanimate the volcano thanks to the voluntary assistance of Tabitha, the only individual with Sapphire who didn’t look bad to her, until she discovered his true motives as well as his admin role among Team Magma. After that, the beautiful redhead began to act more irrationally and aggressively, animated by the only desire of destroying the two organizations.

 

At the same time, Flannery took the opportunity to hold a special fight against Sapphire in the hot springs, and lost at the result of a frantic battle between Mag, who had evolved into a Magcargo for a long time, and the Combusken of the brunette. She gave her the Heat Badge as a prove of Sapphire’s performance as well as all the respect she had for the talented trainer. Later, Flannery called Winona to suggest an action plan by creating an alliance with the other leaders to eradicate the threat posed by Team Aqua and Team Magma. Also, she talked about the recent feats performed by Sapphire to the Gym Leader of Fortree City, judging it was better to accept her in their ranks just like another good trainer: Norman’s son, Ruby. After a fierce war that involved the awakening of the famous two legendaries, Kyogre and Groudon, Sapphire and Ruby finally managed to smash both Archie and Maxie, the two respective leaders of the two gangs, freeing Hoenn from the chaos generated by their immoderate ambitions. Nobody else had ever achieved such a heroic action, not Flannery, nor Winona, despite they both had a significant role to play in the dismantling of these two organizations. Once Hoenn global situation restored, Flannery decided to not rest on her laurels. If she really wanted to protect people she cared about, she needed to get even stronger than she already was, even if it meant to surpass Sapphire who was revealed to be the only trainer able to defeat her in an official match from the day of Mr. Moore’s death.

 

She took up as much challenges as possible, defeating every newcomer in her gym in Lavaridge Town, from the most arrogant to the most modest, from the most stubborn to the most cunning. The number of victory owned by Flannery was so high that one day, as she was 23 years old, she made the bold decision to participate to the World Championship in Unova directed by the Pokemon Association, she was accompanied by all the other members of the Hoenn League. Once there, Flannery met a bunch of talented trainers from all the neighboring regions, she even had the occasion to confront the new Champion from Unova. But once again, she found somebody stronger than her. Eliminated from the tournament after two months of participation, she went back to Hoenn to treat more personal matters and chose to renovate the gym which still brought back too many painful memories to her. She made build a sumptuous paved path inside and planted several red trees which reminded her of the season she liked the most: autumn.

 

One year later, she came along with various people from around Hoenn to cooperate with Steven Stone who had requisitioned her to assist him in Sootopolis City to stop a gigantic meteoroid which threatened to destroy the planet, better known as Grand Meteor Delta. She combined her forces with the other Gym Leaders, the Members of the Elite Four, the Frontier Brains and Mega-Rayquaza, each launching their strongest attack at the meteoroid at the same time. In the end, the plan leaded by the ex-Champion of the Hoenn League was a success, and Grand Meteor Delta was shattered into pieces for the benefit of all the people worldwide. During this event, there wasn’t just one hero in particular. Someway, all those who had contributed in saving the humanity were a bit like a kind of hero. Then, to symbolize the union between all the great regions of the world, an ambitious project of railway track was signed by each representative of the Pokemon Association in each megalopolis to bind the different regions together. The project started in Fallarbor Town, where the Contest Hall was demolished and replaced by a train station, it was going to serve Hoenn’s closest regions such as Orre and Johto. Orre was the first place to get connected to Hoenn after a relentless work, while the project is still in progress in some more distant territories.

 

 

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ACTUAL TIMELINE

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Today, Flannery is almost 25 years old. Compared to the beginning of her career, she changed a lot. Now, she’s regularly wearing a red undershirt with flames and a black tied vest crop top over it. She also has on blue flared jeans with x’s down the sides with a white karate belt, as well as a pair of black and red shoes which matches her vest perfectly. Nowadays, Flannery’s reputation as a Gym Leader in Hoenn is pretty well-known. As always, she continues to chain wins at the end of passionate fights and continues to live in the property of her grandfather located to the East of Lavaridge Town. One day, as she returned from a gym battle similar to thousands other gym battles, she came back home to get some rest in the living room and sat lazily on one of the cushions with Vulpix next to her. They both looked like they needed to take a nap.

 

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Flannery: “Fouuaaaah! What a tiresome performance! This time, it’s rare to find trainers worthy of the name. I mean… seriously, where was the energy? This guy just looked like he was pretending to try. Obviously, with such a lack of good will, he should have not excepted to leave this gym victorious. There was no punch, no dynamism, nothing. This year, my challengers are clearly all the same. They come, they fight, they lose, they leave, and sometimes they whine.”

 

While Flannery felt bored by the lack of spirit from her last adversary, she saw Vulpix rubbing her head against her legs by squealing. Because yes, it was a female, one of Flannery’s most appreciated mascot along with Torkoal. The Pokemon tried to get the attention of the Gym Leader.

 

Flannery: “What is this Vulpix? Do you need something?”

 

The Fox Pokemon pointed her nose to the bowl displayed on the floor. It was empty.

 

Flannery: “Oh yeah, that’s true! Forgive me, I’ve totally forgotten that you didn’t have anything to eat. You must be hungry, right? Wait me here, I take care of everything.”

 

The redhead stood up, moved toward the kitchen, and opened the cupboard below the sink to grab a full packet of PokeFood. While she went back to Vulpix, she looked at the drawer on her left and stared at it carefully for a short time.

 

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Flannery: “Hm… *Sigh*”

 

The little Pokemon was very sensitive to her mistress. The Fire Pokemon felt that something was bothering her, she stood on her back legs and leaned against Flannery’s jeans with her front legs.

 

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Vulpix: “Piiix?”

Flannery: “Oh, sorry Vulpix! I was lost in thought… I’m coming right now.”

 

The redhead kept moving to the bowl and filled it generously. While Vulpix was eating her meal cheerfully, Flannery sat down on the cushion again. She remained silent and continued to stare at the drawer next to the stairs. For some reasons, she seemed to be more pensive than usual.

 

Flannery: “Five years… five years already… time is running too fast, I did not even see it coming… five years…”

 

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The pretty woman tried to tear her eyes away from the drawer and turned toward Vulpix whose head was nestled into the bowl. She was looking so innocent. Flannery got closer from the Pokemon and stroked her.

 

Vulpix: “Vulpix?”

Flannery: “You’re really adorable Vulpix. I’m glad to have lived all these years by your side, you know?”

 

The Fire Pokemon placed her head under the hand of her mistress to get stroked to the crest. She closed her eyes and smiled warmly. Flannery looked like she was needing some love.

 

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Vulpix: “*Purr* Piiiiiiiiiiiiix!”

Flannery: “Haha! Yes, I love you too!”

 

The simple fact of spending time with her Pokemon could maintain Flannery in a good mood. After this exchange of affection, she pulled her PokeNav out of her pocket to call Winona, pacing the floor in the living room. She had something specific in mind… something close to her heart. She needed to confess.

 

Flannery: “Hello!... Yes Winona, this is me. How are you doing?... Um… as we might say, it could be better. Today is quite a special day for me, I just realize it now… Yes, exactly. That’s what I wanted to talk about… What? Oh Winona, don’t worry for me, it could be worse. At least, I still have my Pokemon to keep me company… In fact, I would like to know if you’re free now. If you don’t mind, I need you to take me somewhere. I would not feel in peace otherwise, but I fully understand if you can’t do it right now… yes. Correct, you guessed right! So, are you going to pick me up?... Really? Oh, thank you so much Winona, you’re really a cool friend!… No problemo, I’ll be ready as soon as you’re here, thanks again… See you Winona! Ciao!”

 

When the conversation was ended, Flannery went upstairs to her room with Vulpix to play together as long as Winona traveled the sky and arrived at Lavaridge Town. Then, after she heard someone knocking on the door to the first floor, Flannery brought Vulpix back to her Pokeball and run down the stairs to open for Winona. She was here, just in front of her. The purpled-hair Gym Leader was accompanied by Skarmory just behind her.

 

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Flannery: “Winona! You arrived! I’m so happy to see you again!”

Winona: “Me too, Flannery! It pleases me as well to see you here. How was your last gym battle?”

Flannery: “Ah, you know. Nothing has changed. These days, another person challenging me automatically means another victory under my belt. The truth is that I don’t even know how many wins in a row I’m up to. But hey, I just hope it didn’t bother you to come at me.”

Winona: “Absolutely not. Flannery, you must have known for a long time that even if I’m quite busy taking charge in the gym of Fortree City, it doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with my social life either. Also, it didn’t take me more than fifteen minutes to land to you. You call me, and I’m coming. And after all, we are friends, right?”

Flannery: “Of course, we are friends. Sorry if I’m repeating myself, but you’re really a good person. As you guessed earlier, I would like to go to the Mt. Pyre.”

Winona: “Yes, I noticed the same thing myself. Today, it’s going to be five years since it happened.”

Flannery: “Precisely, it’s going to be five years from the day he left this world. I may try to do my best to not think of him… to do like none of this had ever happened… but…”

 

Flannery's face was wrinkling.

 

Winona: “Are you sure you’re fine?”

Flannery: “…but sometimes, the simplest thing in the house will remind me. You’re the only one to allow me to go near his tomb. I would like to confess and give him honor and respect which he well deserved. But I can’t do it without any assistance. Can you take me to him? Can you take me to my grandpa, just this time? Please?”

Winona: “Yes, of course I can. Not only I can, but I will. We’ll go to the Mt. Pyre together. But please, don’t put yourself in this state, I can’t stand to see you ill-at-ease like that. Sadness doesn’t suit you.”

Flannery: “Maybe you’re right. I should stop crying, I’m a grown-up adult now. So, when are we going to leave?”

Winona: “We can go whenever you want. Me and Skarmory are ready!”

Flannery: “Excellent, I’m coming!”

 

Without further ado, Flannery closed the door behind her while Winona placed herself on the back of the big Steel Pokemon. The aerial woman was waiting for Flannery to get installed correctly at the lower part of Skarmory’s back, she had to be careful and took all the necessarily safety measures, because she now had the habit of doing whirlwind trip on relatively long distances.

 

Winona: “Is everything alright back there?”

Flannery: “Nothing to report, I’m fine. We should go now!”

Winona: “All right! Hang on tight, it might shake a little bit.”

Flannery: “Understood.”

 

The Fire Gym Leader passed her arms around the belly of Winona who gave the following instructions to Skarmory.

 

Winona: “We’ll make it quick. Skarmory, take us to the Mt. Pyre, me and my friend.”

Skarmory: “Skaaaarmoryyyyyyyy!”

Flannery: “Let’s go!”

 

Thus, the great metallic Flying Pokemon moved forward, gaining momentum, then flew up to the sky with an incredible acceleration to the East with the two damsels on his back. They hovered above deserts and swamps, piercing through the clouds. Flannery’s state of mind was soothed by the mere view of the blue expanse of the sky around her as well as the sweet heat of the sun on her skin. She looked straight at the horizon, filled with hopes and dreams.

 

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Flannery: (Grandpa. I’m sure you can see me from somewhere in these heights. The day will come when I’ll be with you again. I promise, you won’t be alone anymore.)

 

Shortly after, Winona’s mount bent downwards progressively. The summit of the Mt. Pyre began to appear in front of the two Gym Leaders, coated by the mist. It only took approximately twenty minutes to reach this place where Mr. Moore was buried. The rocky sides of the mountain were bordered by the glistening water of the sea below.

 

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Winona: “Can you see Flannery? We almost arrived at destination.”

Flannery: “I knew I could count on you, good job! This flight was exceptional, really! It makes me feel even more alive than I ever was.”

Winona: “And it’s not over. I’ll try my best to land next to the entrance.”

Flannery: “Okay! Do it like you want.”

 

Winona pointed the finger to the small cavity which seemed to be the entrance passage leading to the heart of the Mt. Pyre. She ordered Skarmory to get closer from the grassy area hammered by waves to position themselves next to the cavity. The Flying Pokemon opened his claws to make the landing easier. Once on the ground, he retracted his wing, allowing Flannery and Winona to get off his back.

 

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Winona: “And voila! Here we are!”

Flannery: “I’ve forgotten how imposing this mountain was from down here. Finally, I can penetrate inside and bring my attention to my grandfather like it should have been each year from the day of his death.”

Winona: “I know what you feel like. But there was so much to do, so many things happened since you’ve been proclaimed ‘Gym Leader’ in Lavaridge Town. But somehow, I’ve felt that the sense of time was fading little by little after that.”

Flannery: “Maybe it was fading, but yet we are all hit by the passage of time, no matter what we do.”

Winona: “This is true. When we think on it… all these adventures you lived, this competition, your feeling at this very moment… your confession will be a bit like delivering a letter to an old friend forgotten for a very long time.”

Flannery: “But here is the thing: I’ve never forgotten my grandfather. By the way, I would like to enter now, if you don’t mind. Can we go?”

Winona: “Of course. Go ahead, I got you back.”

 

After Winona called back Skarmory, the two women both penetrated inside the sanctuary of the Mt. Pyre. It was a sacred place, a gigantic cemetery where the fallen Pokemon and humans were commemorated in Hoenn. The silence was complete.

 

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Flannery: “There are a lot of tombs in here.”

Winona: “So many people have left this world already. I can feel the weight of their souls bearing down on me… the emotion is palpable. How are we supposed to remain indifferent in a place like this?”

Flannery: “I wonder if such a question could have an answer… anyway. If I remember well, grandpa must be buried somewhere in the right corner of the ground floor.”

Winona: “Okay. Just keep moving.”

 

Flannery and Winona made their way among the gravestones which invaded their field of vision. Then, they finally found Mr. Moore’s one.

 

Flannery: “Winona, I found him.”

Winona: “So, here it is.”

Flannery: “Yes. It’s now five years from the day of grandpa’s death, this is where he rests, at this very spot.”

 

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The red-headed woman stared at the inscription written on the white funerary stele. Suddenly, all the strong moments of Flannery’s young years with her grandfather resurfaced.

 

Flannery: “I wished I could have changed the course of history just for him. As he told me a long time ago, time has always been his worst enemy. And it ended up precipitating his own death.”

Winona: “But it never prevented him from enjoying every single moment of his life. No matter what could have happened in the future, he has always been a bon vivant, living in the present moment permanently, just like you did. If you want me to give you an advice, everybody should have applied this philosophy of life.”

Flannery: “In fact, I’m partly one of them. I’ve always been animated by my own desires, following my heart since I was a child. It was convenient for me, so, I’ve decided to keep the same spirit ever after. It was a way for me to stay awake and move forward. I’ve always needed to feel… alive, even during the worst situations.”

Winona: “And today, when something goes wrong, I’m here for you.”

Flannery: “Yes, you are. And I thank you again for all the support you gave me. But over time, I’ve learned that things are not always what they should be. We are all dependent on a vicious system which can’t always grant us the possibility of doing whatever we want. This is why I’ve learned to harden my personal shell, this little something which allowed me to hide my solitude when nobody was here for me, when I needed to get better. Nobody knows how hard it is to pretend to be someone we’re not.”

Winona: “Oh, Flannery.”

 

The angelic woman placed her hand on Flannery’s shoulder. The redhead began to whine, gritting her teeth nervously.

 

Flannery: “When I didn’t feel good, I pretended to smile and feel better, simply for the look and happiness of people around me, melancholy is a feeling I hate showing. But I’ve grown tired of this, I began to act more aggressively, replacing moroseness by impulsiveness. This frustration of never being able to go back didn’t stop blackening my heart even more, just like an overused fuel. But whatever I tried, reality was always here to catch me up. I knew that this artificial facade of me wouldn’t last forever.”

Winona: “Flannery…”

Flannery: “Sometimes, even today, I’m still crying at night. My grandpa had so much to offer, nobody ever did one-tenth of what he did for me, except you Winona. He once told me that he couldn’t imagine a future without me, where I don’t exist anymore. But then, it did not prevent him to go for Johto on his own, leaving me alone in Lavaridge Town. I should have held him back. We could have still enjoyed life together. I can’t help but think that I’m responsible for what happened to him.”

 

The disoriented girl was confused. Winona tried to comfort her as tears began to roll down her cheeks. Flannery was revealing her true nature. She may like playing tough, she was emotionally sensitive and close to people she loved yet.

 

Winona: “You didn’t do anything wrong Flannery. As you said, you’ve followed your desires and remained faithful to your passions. Look at you, you’ve made your lifelong dream a reality, and ended up becoming a Gym Leader just like me, that’s not nothing.”

Flannery: “So, why? Why does his death still affect me that much? Why is it so painful?”

Winona: “Because it was written. Even if you can influence the course of history, certain things must happen, in one way or another, regardless of your previous decisions. Furthermore, yours is full of adventures, just imagine what your grandfather would think of it. If he was still among us at this very moment, he would be proud of you and your career, you can trust me.”

Flannery: “I agree with you. In any case, I had two options after the funerals, either staying all alone at home and lament my loss, or taking matters in my own hands and moving forward by assuming my duty as a Gym Leader. Personally, I don’t think I would have survived Hoenn’s crisis some months later if I’ve made the first choice.”

Winona: “Exactly. This is only when we choose to give up and lose ourselves in inaction that everything ends up vanishing around us. And your potential is considerable. As a result, it would have been even more regrettable to snap because of this type of facts of life.”

Flannery: “In the end, the woman I’ve become today would have never existed without him. I owe him everything. My grandfather was the best man in Hoenn.”

 

Nobody talked anymore. Winona removed her hand from Flannery’s shoulder who still stared at Mr. Moore’s tomb. Then, she put her hands on her belly and prayed in her head.

 

Flannery: (Grandpa. I hope that where you are now, you found peace. Me and Winona are always in good health. More than once, we fought together to protect our loved ones. After all these hardships, this world you loved keeps existing. I don’t know if you could have seen it through my eyes, nor if you can read my mind. But wherever you are, just know that I never forgot you. Even in death and beyond, nobody will fulfil the role of grandfather like you did. And above all… I love you grandpa.)

 

She kissed her right hand, and touched the white gravestone as a sign of love for him. After one extra minute of silence, Winona turned to Flannery and whispered.

 

Winona: “Was that all? Is your prayer over?”

Flannery: “Yes.”

Winona: “So… do you want to live now?”

Flannery: “Yes.”

Winona: “Okay… let’s go together.”

Flannery: “I follow you.”

 

The two girls backtracked straight to the exit. Winona wasn’t completely ignorant, she felt that Flannery was tormented. When they were outside, she suggested something to her, giving Flannery moral support.

 

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Winona: “Hey Flannery!”

Flannery: “Yes, what?”

Winona: “I know that things don’t go well for you these days, and to be honest, it would not help to just take you back home and leave like nothing happened. So, I have a proposition for you, something that could please you a lot.”

Flannery: “I know you too well Winona, you have something in mind. What is it?”

Winona: “Well, I want to organize a great party in Fortree City for the next week to celebrate your birthday. I’ll be in charge of distributing invitations during my free hours in every big city of the region, as well as keeping the other Gym Leaders informed. I’ll try my best to offer you the best birthday of your life.”

Flannery: “Really?! You… you’d do that for me?”

Winona: “Of course, I will. Making you happy is the least I can do. I care of you Flannery. Remember, 17 years ago, you gave me back my life. So, it’s all natural for me to make yours beautified in return.”

Flannery: “Oh, please. We’ve sworn to never mention this incident ever again. However, I appreciate your compassion a lot.”

Winona: “If you don’t mind, we can talk more in detail about it tonight. If you’re interested, I would be glad to go to the Pokemon Center of Lavaridge Town with you for dinner. You know, I would feel bad to let you all alone when nothing important prevents me to spend some time by your side, especially today.”

Flannery: “Are you sincere? Oh, that would be totally awesome! If so, please, let me pay your share. If that’s really what you’re going to do, let me tell you that you’re the one invited in Lavaridge Town. Then, we’ll go to the hot springs together, just you and me… if you agree, of course.”

Winona: “Aaaaaaand… why not?”

Flannery: “Haha, I was sure you would accept to join me.”

Winona: “Haha! That’s it, I don’t know how I could say ‘no’ to such generous proposition. After all, I feel that my body needed a moment of well-being, and it’s not like hot waters were known to tone up tired muscles. So, don’t worry for your party, I promise I’ll take care of it.”

Flannery: “You know, if it’s a matter of delivering papers all over Hoenn, we can do it together. Obviously, I’ll let you deal with the rest of the organization.”

Winona: “Yes, it will be better this way. Otherwise, you’ll see the details of your birthday in advance, and it won’t be a surprise anymore.”

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

 

The fiery redhead was released from an unpleasant sensation of incompleteness, as if a part of Winona’s positive feeling had filled the mental void of Flannery. She looked at the sky above, the sun was about to set.

 

Flannery: “Hm, we’d better go now.”

Winona: “I agree. The night will fall very soon.”

Flannery: “Can you just drop me home before to go to the Pokemon Center? I would like to take a shower just before.”

Winona: “Yes, I can. If that’s what you want, no problem.”

Flannery: “Thank you Winona! Thank you so much!”

Winona: “You’re welcome Flannery! The pleasure is mine!”

 

The two Gym Leaders smiled at each other. They were both happy to spend the night together. This kind of event was the key to forget most of their worries, strengthening their relationship everytime. Then, Winona took a deep breath, grabbed her Pokeball, and freed Skarmory once again.

 

Winona: “Skarmory, hear my voice. We need your help again!”

 

The Flying Pokemon appeared into a blinding white light, and landed in front of his mistress by flapping his red-and-grey wings proudly. He bowed down with elegance, allowing Flannery and Winona to climb on his back.

 

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Winona: “Good to see you again. Come on Skarmory, take us to Lavaridge Town. The day is not over yet.”

Skarmory: “Skaaaaaarmory!”

 

The young lady knew how to make her mount obey her. Within moments, the hardy Pokemon flew high in the sky, gaining altitude before to go back to Lavaridge Town by air. Flannery was relieved. For her, the respect and commemoration of her deceased grandfather was a priority. She had to pay tribute to him this very day, because he was the only member of the family to pay attention to her, but also for all the good and love he gave to her granddaughter to make her a true combative woman. In a matter of twenty minutes, Skarmory was already hovering above the desert to finally find himself near the steamy Mt. Chimney, Lavaridge Town soon became visible down below while the sky color was turning orange. Then, Winona gave her Skarmory a sign to come closer to the ground to land as smoothly as possible, just like always. Flannery’s pilgrimage was over.

 

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Flannery: “Well done! Your skills as an aviator are truly unique Winona. I would have never been able to travel such a distance by foot. I don’t care if I’m repeating myself again and again, but thanks again!”

Winona: “You’re welcome Flannery! That’s what friends are for. When you’re happy, I am too. So… you said you’d like taking a shower before dinner, didn’t you?”

Flannery: “Yes, that was my attention. Don’t stress, I promise to do it quickly. And, why don’t you come inside? You’re free to put yourself at ease, you know.”

Winona: “If you said you’ll make it quick, so, maybe I’ll just wait for you outside. This sunset is so beautiful, I would like to enjoy it a bit longer. In addition, I wish I could use this wait to contact Steven and Wallace to inform them about the festival for the next week in Fortree City. They are undoubtedly in a better position to spread news, let alone Steven’s power of influence. This man is born to bring people together, Grand Meteor Delta can testify.”

Flannery: “Hey, I like when you make attempts at humor like that! I approve this idea. You’re free to plan the party as you like. And if you ever change your mind for going at home, just let me know.”

Winona: “Message well received. See you later, Flannery!”

Flannery: “See you later Winona! By the way, don’t hesitate to give my best regards to them.”

Winona: “I’ll think of it! You can take your shower in peace!”

Flannery: “Thanks a lot! I’ll be back very soon.”

 

With these fine words, Flannery hurried to go home while Winona pulled her PokeNav out of her pocket to keep her comrades informed about the party suggestion. During that time, the redhead run up to the bathroom, crossing the living room. It was time to make herself pretty for tonight. She undressed herself, removing each part of her outfit which was hiding her athletic body one by one, revealing her lovely figure. For some reasons, Mother Nature was extremely generous to Flannery, her very nice-looking physical appearance made her greatly admired by her challengers, both men and women. However, her quick-tempered attitude often made her difficult to get along with. She was a bit like a kind of elusive beauty in spite of herself. The hot-blooded Gym Leader untied the blue band which kept her ponytail up, letting her long hair falling along her back. As she was completely rid of this material which made her inner being suffocate, Flannery entered the shower to clean up herself, totally naked. She drowned all her negativity into the warm water which was running her slender body. After this day full of emotions, she finally managed to be at peace with herself. Then, after staying inside of the steamy cabin for ten minutes, she came out of the shower, dried herself with a white towel displayed nearby, and picked out some fresh clothes in the bathroom closet. She put them on, and brushed her hair to give it a great style again, retying it with the blue band. Flannery moved to the mirror to look at her reflection, she smirked.

 

Flannery: (No matter what happens to me in the future, I will always remain proud of who I am.)

 

Once this moment of self-confidence done, Flannery walked out of the bathroom, turning off the light on her way. While she was about to go outside, she stared at the famous drawer once again, and moved to it to take out a picture representing her grandfather. This image had been taken a long time ago, when he and Flannery were still together. The sensitive redhead held the picture close to her breast. Taking a deep breath, she said the following words.

 

Flannery: “Rest in peace, grandpa.”

 

She then put it back to its place by closing the drawer, and, to not make Winona wait any longer, she joined her out of the house. The charming aviator had finished to discuss the detail of her plan and hung up as soon as Flannery reappeared. The night was going to be fun for the two childhood friends. The project concerning the next festival in Fortree City finally began to take shape as long as the evening was passing by. Nobody would have known how much this single event was about to affect Flannery’s life. Yet, the unthinkable was going to happen.

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Wow. That was long. Took me hours to finish it. xD Very nicely done though. Lots of sad, happy and angry moments. This was worth the wait.

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I think so! Thanks again for having paid attention to this! It was the most energy-consuming episode I've ever written, as well as the longest. This time, I've combined information mentionned in the game, the manga, and the anime, because Flannery was quite absent-minded when she was confronting Ash. For the school part and beyond, I've slipped several references to Academy Life, because she was described as a pious individual in it, this mentality fits Flannery a lot in my opinion. Also, I would like to apologize for the length of this episode, but I wanted to proceed accurately. This is me, I always pay a high level of attention for almost everything 😉

 

The sky used in one of the pictures is directly based on the Temporal Tower from Mystery Dungeon, as well as Vulpix sprites. The hug part was my most favorite illustration section to design in this episode. So yeah, it was one chapter out of four concerning the Departure Arc, the festival in Fortree City will be really great, an unforgettable birthday in perspective 😉

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oh wow can't wait for flannery to come to reborn i wonder how will flannery get introduced to the reborn region can't wait for her to meet the characters especially charlotte d=====( ̄▽ ̄*)b

 

Flannery: Whoa... so you're a fire type gym leader too?

Charlotte: Yup.

Flannery: But you're like 16 !?

Charlotte: Yeah, awesome kinda runs in our family i have two sisters that is both a gym leader and an elite four respectively.

Flannery: Cool my grandpa used to be an elite four member too maybe we should talk about it someday...

Charlotte: Totally...after you break us out of this hell hole that people called it an orphanage of course.

Cain: Ladies~ less talking and more children kidnapping here (〃` 3′〃)

Charlotte: Whelp,you heard the princess now get me out of here.

 

Edited by Angelkitsune
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A little longer, no? Haha oh god, a chapter that really struck me, I continue to appreciate more and more her story... *start to cry...*

PS: I see you use a lot of image by Mystery Dungeon...sprite...and with Skarmory on fly, it's the part where you were going to reach Temporal Tower, really nice ❤️

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On 7/14/2018 at 10:52 AM, Celeby said:

A little longer, no? Haha oh god, a chapter that really struck me, I continue to appreciate more and more her story... *start to cry...*

PS: I see you use a lot of image by Mystery Dungeon...sprite...and with Skarmory on fly, it's the part where you were going to reach Temporal Tower, really nice ❤️

Thank you for the feedback!

And yes, I am a big fan of the Mystery Dungeon serie, and the graphic resources of this game were more than suitable for some moments of this episode. The Temporal Tower was among my favorite levels. Even though those Porygon were a pain to counter because of their Agility/Discharge combo, I loved replaying this level just because of the music. Concerning the main serie, until the fifth generation, the background of most of the Gym Leaders was, in my opinion, not developed enough to give them the interest they deserved. I realized it when I played Emerald Plus last year, a Rom Hack Version of Pokemon Emerald. The gameplay may have been improved, you still face nothing but trainers in their gyms, add them to your contacts with your PokeNav, and it’s over. So, creating a story run with Flannery as the hero was undoubtedly a good way to add some depth to her and get attached to this character even more. Describing and seeing the major part of her life passing by in such details was a touchy experience.

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dn8DIDm.png

 

Spoiler

After having spent a cozy night together, Flannery and Winona began to spread the news about the next party in Fortree City the following days. The information was quickly disseminated all over the region through the other local Gym Leaders. Steven whose power of influence had a significant weight in Hoenn, brought his collaboration with the voluntary assistance of Wallace who had succeeded in being the new Champion of Hoenn over time. One week has passed, the call of the Hoenn League members took effect progressively. Today, it’s 11:00 AM. A fresh breeze is blowing on the roofs of Lavaridge Town while Flannery waits for Winona to arrive as the Flying Gym Leader has told her that she would show up earlier in the morning. The redhead was standing patiently in front of her house, the heart pounding in her chest.

 

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Flannery: (I wonder what Fortree City looks like at this very moment. Calls… there were so many calls made this week. I really don’t know what to expect this time. I only hope that Winona will come soon. I feel my heart beating in my throat just by thinking of it.)

 

And then, at the moment which she least expected, high in the skies, a shade was drawing up above her head… the shade of Winona riding her Skarmory. The beautiful Gym Leader of Fortree City was overhanging the small village where Flannery was located and landed in front of her with grace. She came down off her mount to greet her dear friend.

 

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Winona: “Hello Flannery! Happy birthday!”

Flannery: “Oh Winona! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’m so glad to see you here!”

Winona: “It’s was my duty to be here for you today. I’m ready for anything to make you smile, you can count on me.”

Flannery: “That’s very thoughtful of you. How are you today?”

Winona: “Me? I feel like a little birdy, I finally finished the last preparations last night. Hopefully, it didn’t take me too long. And you Flannery, are you fine?”

Flannery: “Better than the last week, to say the least. I didn’t have the opportunity to fight in my gym from the day of my pilgrimage anymore because of the total lack of challengers, but it didn’t bug me that much. However, I feel I begin to run out of strong sensations these days.”

Winona: “I have the remedy you need. Today is a special day just for you! If you’re in search of simple pleasures or strong sensations, let me tell you that there should be enough to satisfy you in Fortree City at the present time. You won’t regret it!”

Flannery: “Your only presence here is already enough to make me happy. And if that’s what you say, I believe you. We should better go now!”

Winona: “I agree. Let’s not waste any time.”

 

Without further ado, Winona and Flannery sat both on the back of Skarmory who took his starting position by obeying to the instructions of his trainer.

 

pMsCRn4.png

 

Winona: “Well, it looks like everything is ready to start the festivities. Skarmory, take us to Fortree City, these are your mistress’s orders!”

Skarmory: “Skaaaaaaaar!”

Flannery: “Here we go!”

 

That instant, the two women have already lifted off to go to Fortree City. As usual, they went to their destination by flying in the air over the region. The trip was short but invigorating for the Fire Gym Leader. After ten minutes of flight, they hovered the marshes to finally find themselves above the west part of the town. Flannery swept Fortree City with a glance enthusiastically, what she saw downward seemed to amaze her even more. The surprise effect was real.

 

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Flannery: “Oh, my! That’s not the kind of thing we see every day!”

Winona: “You’re impressed, don’t you? It’s been like this for two hours this morning. Me and Wallace had worked very hard all the week to set up those stands as well as the rest of the decoration. Steven helped us for gathering volunteers and some extra persons to animate most of the attractions. What do you think of it?”

 

Flannery’s voice became more acute because of the emotion. She breathed deeply, and then expressed her thoughts.

 

Flannery: “It’s hard for me to find words worthy of your efforts. When you talked about a party in Fortree City, I wasn’t expecting such a big event to happen. Also, there are a lot of people down here!”

Winona: “We can say that our invitations have born fruits. And you’re right, that’s a huge number of people in the end! As you can see, you were not the only one to look for a moment of togetherness.”

Flannery: “I’m conscious of it. Thank you, Winona! You’re definitely the best person I can rely on!”

Winona: “Haha, you’re welcome Flannery!”

 

Shortly after, Winona wrinkled her eyes to see what happened down below. She managed to identify Steven and Wallace, they looked like they were talking to each other.

 

Winona: “Flannery, look! This is Steven, with Wallace!”

Flannery: “Really!? Where are they?”

 

The lavender-haired Gym Leader pointed the finger toward the two men, indicating their positions to Flannery.

 

Flannery: “Oh yes, I see them! So, what if we go down to greet them?”

Winona: “That’s what we’re going to do now! They must probably want to see you too. Just give me some seconds to make this landing as clean as possible, okay?”

Flannery: “Okay! I’m ready for it!”

Winona: “Don’t worry, will make it quick!”

 

Winona leaned forward with Flannery who hung her tightly by the waist, and showed her Skarmory a landmark to touch down on the grass in front of the crowd more easily.

 

Winona: “Skarmory! Land next to the entrance of the Pokemon Center!”

Skarmory: “Skaaaaaaaar!”

 

The big metallic bird went down vertically to the ground while Flannery and Winona held on strongly to not fall. Skarmory finally sat near the Pokemon Center, some people quickly surrounded them to better see the two famous Gym Leaders in the flesh. It had to be said, each of her had a true fan club, they were both respected and appreciated by all the civilians of the entire region. After letting themselves be photographed with their supporters and signing autographs for them, they moved to Steven and Wallace who both welcomed Flannery with open arms.

 

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Steven: “Flannery!”

Flannery: “Hello Steven! How are you today?”

Steven: “Couldn’t be better! It’s been quite a long time since we didn’t meet again in such an idyllic setting.”

Wallace: “Nice to see you Flannery! Yes indeed, it’s been a while since the opportunity for us to see each other didn’t happen again. Today, all of Fortree City has awakened for you! May this year be in your favor in all your endeavors. Happy birthday!”

Steven: “Happy birthday Flannery!”

 

The young Gym Leader felt supported by all the attention paid by the two gentlemen. She couldn’t keep her euphoria for herself any longer, and thanked them heartily for their devotion in the organization of this event.

 

Flannery: “Nothing forced you to push yourself as much just for me, thank you all!”

Winona: “Don’t be ridiculous, you should know by now that the Hoenn League is like a second family for all the members who belong to it. You’re one of them, and you deserve praise worthy of your kindness.”

Steven: “She’s right, Flannery. You’re a very nice person, and we would have never turned back to you. Not today, nor any other day. Never!”

Flannery: “Thank you for your sincerity and your friendliness, it means a lot for me! This is the best birthday that I ever had, you can be sure I won’t forget yours, ahahah!”

Winona: “I don’t doubt it, ahahah!”

Steven: “All right. You’ll admit it was worth a try. Fortree City has rarely been that festive and moving until now.”

Flannery: “Sure, it is! I am in awe of your efforts, there’s plenty to make my head spin. When Winona has talked of her idea of planning a party in the whole city, I wasn’t expecting something that huge to take place.”

Wallace: “And yet, that’s the case! When people want to make someone’s day, the concept of bound disappears far behind.”

 

The champion of the Hoenn League turned to Winona with a charming smile.

 

Wallace: “What do you think, Winona? Don’t you agree with me?”

 

The beautiful woman with the angelic face blushed, she stared down timidly.

 

Winona: “Um… it depends on what you mean by that.”

Flannery: “What!?”

Steven: “Ahahahah!”

All: “Ahahahahahahahahahah!”

 

This caused great hilarity among the quartet, they all laughed at the top of their lungs. Then, Wallace spoke, he built on what Winona said.

 

Wallace: “Be reassured, I only wanted to talk about your sense of creativity. Nothing more.”

Winona: “Of course, I understood. Thanks for the praise, Wallace.”

Wallace: “How droll it is… it reminds me a bit of the first day when we met each other.”

Winona: “Amusing, isn’t it?”

 

Meanwhile, Steven took the opportunity to check the time on his PokeNav.

 

Steven: “Hey! It seems like lunchtime has come. Aren’t you hungry?”

Flannery: “Really? Hum… I ate quite lately this morning. So, I think I’ll take something to eat, but not for now.”

Winona: “It’s all the same for me. However, it seems rather warm in the air. I’ll certainly move to get an ice cream if you don’t mind.”

Wallace: “Okay. We’ll go to the Pokemon Center if you change your mind. Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?”

Winona: “I appreciate your proposal, Wallace. But concerning me, I would also need some time to prepare myself for the aerial ballet this afternoon.”

Wallace: “Oh yes, that’s true. I totally forgot about it.”

Winona: “Don’t bother with this, it’s just a matter of some details. If I ever have some extra time left, perhaps I’ll meet you later.”

Steven: “That’s all fine for me.”

Flannery: “Hey Winona! Can I go with you?”

Winona: “Aaaaand… why not? There is an ice-cream vendor at the opposite of the town, we can go there together if that’s what you want.”

Flannery: “I like this idea. Let’s go around, just you and me.”

Steven: “Very well! If you need us, you know where we are.”

Flannery: “No problemo! Just let me still have some more time with Winona, I’ll see you back to the Pokemon Center then. And don’t worry about me, I’m a mature girl now.”

Steven: “Yes, yes, of course. Do the things as you wish. Today, you’re free to decide what you want, but please, be reasonable.”

Flannery: “Thanks for the advice Steven. I’ll remember that. *Wink*”

Winona: “We should go now. See you later, boys!”

Wallace: “Choice is yours, you can do all that you want at your convenience, just keep up the festive spirit. And happy birthday again, Flannery!”

Flannery: “Thank you Wallace, your attention touches me a lot! Bye!”

Steven: “See you ladies! Have fun!”

 

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After these words, the group was split in half, they left in opposite directions. Steven and Wallace both moved to the Pokemon Center to rest while Flannery and Winona crossed the city together to better enjoy the atmosphere of the party girl-to-girl. Clowns, jugglers, and some various fairground attractions were part of the general amusement in Fortree City. The two damsels kept moving in the festive wave, deciding to lose themselves in the game on their road. The entertainment was to the max. And then, after having plentifully enjoyed the party in absolute good mood and hedonism, they continued to make their way to the ice-cream vendor at the other side of the city. They finally arrived at destination. Luckily, there was almost nobody queuing there. However, Flannery and Winona both saw a tall young man who was about to buy a strawberry ice cream. He looked as if he was in his mid-twenties, he had black hair brushed in a very simple haircut, light skin, gray eyes, wore a pair of glasses, long black pants, as well as a dark brown business-like suit with a blue tie, and a pair of shoes of the same color of his eyes. The two women lined up behind him.

 

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Ice-cream Vendor: “Well! That will be 100 Pokedollars!”

???: “Really? Um… I mean… I picked three scoops, that’s it?”

Ice-cream Vendor: “That’s correct. Why are you looking so surprised?”

???: “For… for nothing, be reassured… just forget it.”

 

For some reasons, the young man was very confused and relatively tormented. Without saying a word, he pulled out a bill of his pocket and held it to the vendor who didn’t know what to think of the reaction of his awkward customer.

 

???: “Take it. And thanks again!”

Ice-cream Vendor: “You’re welcome, this is on the house!”

 

The vendor gave him the strawberry ice cream in exchange of the bill.

 

Ice-cream Vendor: “Enjoy your stay in Fortree City!”

???: “Thanks a lot, you too. Goodbye!”

 

At this very moment, the young man just turned around, he saw Winona and Flannery who waited quietly behind him. All of a sudden, the unknown person took a deep breath, and his face turned white and stiffen just like the rest of his body. His eyes were wide open and round like the scoops of ice cream he was holding. He covered his mouth with his free hand, bled dry by surprise. Obviously, such an unusual reaction wasn’t letting the two Gym Leaders indifferent. Whereas the strange individual was coming to his sense, Flannery asked him if he was alright. He almost dropped his ice cream.

 

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Flannery: “Are you… okay?”

 

The young man answered.

 

???: “It’s alright… it will be alright…”

 

He felt surprised and intimidated at the same time just by looking at the red-headed trainer. It was one of the rare times that the two Gym Leaders have met such an expressive person. Afterwards, he said the following words with a stunned expression.

 

???: “Oh my God! I can’t believe this! You’re Flannery and Winona, the Gym Leaders of Lavaridge Town and Fortree City, in flesh and blood! May my eyes not be blinded by some magical tricks, you’re really here. Praise be to Arceus!”

 

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Winona, who felt a bit uneasy, replied. She was relatively disturbed by the behavior of the tall man.

 

Winona: “Hum… yes, that’s ourselves. You must be… very… happy to see us here. Nice to meet you, I guess.”

???: “Me too! And yes, I heard something about a big festival held somewhere in Hoenn in honor of the Gym Leader Flannery in person. Seeing you both reunited in such an enchanting site makes my heart melt. You’re at least thousand times more gorgeous in real than in the newspapers.”

Flannery: “Newspapers!? What are you talking about? And who are you exactly?”

???: “Oh, my apologies. Please forgive me for my cavalier manners, it’s hard for me to hide my feelings in such a moment. My name is Besson, Jacques Besson. You don’t have to tell me yours, I would have recognized you from thousands anyway.”

 

Curious and eager to get more answers to her interrogations, Flannery decided to question Jacques again.

 

Flannery: “Why? What does this all mean?”

Winona: “Hm, that’s strange. You’re reacting as if you were not from the region, am I right?”

Jacques: “Hehe, you’re right… and very perceptive too! I don’t live in Hoenn. But it’s not for this single reason that I should not keep myself informed of what’s happening here and there, especially with all the massive events that occurred the last few years. I’m not unaware of it, you’ve been involved into them, and it wasn’t nothing at all. Criminal organization’s demolition, the confrontation against the insanely forgotten and yet very feared Kyogre and Groudon, the total disintegration of Grand Meteor Delta… sooner or later, this type of information ends up reaching the ears of almost everyone worldwide. And, between you and me, I’m very admirative, really. Maybe you don’t need to know that, but it has to be said now: you’re my favorite heroines of all time, both of you!”

 

This sentence went straight to the heart of Winona and Flannery, such a direct declaration full of admiration and recognition was warmly received by the two Gym Leader. Flannery couldn’t retain herself and blushed.

 

Winona: “Wow! Thank you for this compliment, Jacques! Many people have already showered us with praise, but somehow, you got to know that we were not the only ones to put an end to this relentless series of natural disasters.”

Flannery: “Yeah, but still. If you and me were not here to push back both Team Aqua and Team Magma, or even just try, perhaps the course of history would have been different, and not necessarily in a good way. I love this world, and I feared for it to end.”

Jacques: “I totally understand your point of view Flannery, and I agree with you. When the whole world is in peril, even the most unexpected human on earth becomes important to ensure its safeguarding. Even if it wasn’t written at the start, you don’t have to read between lines to understand that you can shine like a true hero one day. We are all concerned by the protection of something on this planet. If only I were here the days it happened… I would have loved to be here with you and fight by your side.”

Winona: “I can imagine what you feel like, but hey. It’s done, once and for all. And I’m more than satisfied to know this story is far behind now. In any case, if you’re talking about the devastation generated by Team Aqua and Team Magma, all the rescue stuff was only reserved to the members of the Hoenn League at this time, exception made for some other powerful trainers. In my opinion, it was just as well. Casualties would have been worse otherwise.”

 

Remaining silent, Jacques began to wince weirdly. Flannery interfered, she feared he felt bad by taking Winona’s remarks as a personal offense.

 

Jacques: “Mmmmmmmmm.”

Flannery: “Um, sorry. Please, excuse my friend Mr. Besson, she didn’t want to say you were weak or anything like that. No matter what your level is, you should not complex on this kind of detail.”

Jacques: “Don’t worry, I can’t blame you for so few. To be honest, it’s not that a big deal. On the contrary, I’m fine with this, I have to admit that I simulate my identity of ordinary traveler better and better over time. Don’t you see? I’m a Gym Leader myself too, or at least… in part.”

Flannery & Winona: “What!?”

Jacques: “Here comes my true identity. I’m Jacques Besson, the Reserve Dark Type Gym Leader of Reborn City. That’s a pleasure for me to meet you!”

 

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Flannery and Winona were both very surprised. But in fact, they were almost more puzzled than impressed. This stranger who was passing through Fortree City to buy an ice-cream was indeed a sort of ‘Gym Leader’ of a region they never heard of. Nobody had seen it coming though. Against all odds, the two women wanted to learn more of this person to know who he exactly was, and where he came from.

 

Flannery: “Reserve Gym Leader? Reborn City? Here come two things I’ve never heard of. What is all this about?”

Jacques: “You’re asking a lot of questions, but I guess that’s part of the role assigned to the Pokemon Association’s members to know what actually happens in far-off lands and megacities. In addition, most of people tends to not take any interest in Reborn. This said, I’m pleased you asked me this question in particular.”

Flannery: “Come on, I want to know! Please, tell me… hum, I meant to say… tell us everything.”

Jacques: “Excellent. Well, what type of topic are we going to tackle first? Reborn City, maybe? Our region is large, vast and unpredictable, bordered on the northwest by dry canyons and steep cliffs of Orre, and the south by Azurine Lake with a small green island at its center. To give you a better idea of the size of the territory, the ward served by the regional railway station is bigger than Mauville City and Lilycove City joined together.”

 

The redhead had sparks in the eyes just by listening to the description of the young man.

 

Flannery: “Waaah, that sounds totally mind-blowing! Do you hear this, Winona? It must be really enormous!”

Winona: “I don’t know what to think about this. Lilycove City is already a great place. As a result, it’s hard for me to imagine something even more impressive to exist. And yet, it’s not like I already went to Unova with Flannery two years ago.”

Jacques: “Yes, I’m aware of this too. You both went there to participate in World Tournament, and you Flannery, you went back home in Hoenn after two months of participation.”

 

All of a sudden, everything was silent. The Fire Gym Leader turned white as a Swablu wing. Jacques’s statements didn’t cease to surprise her. Meanwhile, Winona was confused. For her, those words raised serious questions about him.

 

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Flannery: “Eh? What did you just say? Maybe I misunderstood.”

Winona: “How do you know that? Did you participate to the tournament yourself?”

Jacques: “No, not at all. It’s just that… um… somebody told me about that. Nothing more.”

Flannery: (This is insane! I do not remember having surpassed myself more than everyone at this time, and yet, there are people aware of my success, even in places I’ve never been to. Did I just become that famous? If so, it definitely rocks!)

Winona: (Hm… he’s lying to us. Or perhaps… maybe, maybe not… but… it’s as if he was very informed about Flannery. What is his secret? Is he aware of something we shouldn’t know? This is weird.)

Jacques: “Sorry for getting off the subject. Let’s keep talking about Reborn. A growing and vibrant community had built all around the central core of the town over the years, Opal Ward. It was a meeting point for numerous youthful trainers. For this reason, the Reborn League is essentially made of young talents and child prodigies in Pokemon mastery, each having unique battle skills with one specific type of Pokemon. Because yes, there is an Elite Four in Reborn, but also and above all, eighteen Gym Leaders throughout the whole region. That’s what has made the difference between the classic leagues we all know, and the Reborn League which is considered as a pure elite in the literal sense. Needless to say, taking on such an organization is a challenge whose difficulty exceeds far beyond everything you can possibly imagine.”

 

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Flannery and Winona were blown away as Jacques was mentioning the considerable number of Gym Leaders living in Reborn. The two friends had never heard such a staggering information since the beginning of their personal career.

 

Flannery & Winona: “WHAT!?”

Jacques: “It looks like I’ve found a way to get a reaction of you both simultaneously! Eheh, I’m quite proud of myself this time! And yes, the Reborn League has one Gym Leader per Pokemon Type to ensure the balance in its entire inception. This concept also applies on alternate Gym Leaders who play the role of substitute if the first ones were running into a major impediment. This way, everything works well at the organizational level and that’s a win-win situation for all concerned. By the way, I’m fine with my present position. Being a Reserve Gym Leader myself, I’m used to enjoy life with more freedom.”

Flannery: “It seems to be a very practical manner to proceed, we should have thought about that!”

Winona: “I agree. If everything you said is true, so, all the regions should adopt this same policy as well.”

Jacques: “Hopefully, this trend is currently in development with our neighboring region, Orre. One day, they gently paid attention to what the Reborn League became, and thanks to our advice, they finally decided to develop their own league as well with a true hierarchy in regard of potential Gym Leaders and replacements rightly based on Reborn’s organizational pattern. As a result, even though things are not like they used to be in Reborn, we still get along well with Orre.”

Flannery: “Why do you say that? What’s wrong with Reborn?”

Jacques: “Hm… the question is: ‘What isn’t wrong with Reborn?’. The situation has worsened considerably around town over years, whether on the economic front or on the environmental one. Sadly, Reborn City had faced a critical financial crisis, everybody was seriously affected at this period. Even with the best efforts of all the subsidiaries located in street, we never managed to wake of this tragedy since then.”

Flannery: “This is unfortunate. I feel sorry for you.”

Jacques: “Yeah, it’s terrible, even to think about. Little by little, middle and lower-class people became lazy and rude. Everyone of them. Because of this bad state of mind, civilians began to stop caring about anything except themselves, and then came misery. Consequently, it’s not unusual to meet a street rat or a young thief who’s barely eighteen on every street corner. But I won’t tell you more, it’s precisely because of this type of stigmatizing picture that the number of newcomers has decreased drastically in Reborn today.”

Winona: “By listening to you, it sounds like Reborn City’s reputation is more than ruined. How long has it been going like this?”

Jacques: “Months, years… who knows. I’ve been so used to live in desolation and pessimism that I’ve been blinded to the perception of time, I almost lost my ability to appreciate beautiful things. That’s why I’ve been shocked when I heard how much a triple strawberry ice cream cost in Hoenn. Life is far less expensive here than in my beloved Reborn City.”

Flannery: “Okay, that explains everything! I feel very bad for you, Jacques. I wonder if I would have not reacted the same way in the end.”

Jacques: “You would, probably. And thank you for your support, Flannery. It brings some heat to my heart. I may be naive by saying this, but your positiveness is undoubtedly what is missing to the vast majority of the population eroding Reborn. The people I’m referring are rotten to the bone, greedy, selfish. As I said, their only point of interest is themselves, and if they have the opportunity to make money from other people’s misfortune, they’ll seize it. But yet, I can’t completely blame them.”

Flannery: “You can’t… blame them?”

Jacques: “No, I can’t. What would be the point of that? Authorities are under pressure, and life has put a lot of good people in circumstances they didn’t choose. All this combined has inevitably darkened the future of the town, and we’re about to lose the only thing worthy of interest in there, the Reborn League. Nowadays, no one bothers taking the train to Reborn for any other reason.”

Winona: “Am I assume that you came to Hoenn by train?”

Jacques: “Correct! Orre and Reborn being two adjacent regions, it wasn’t that a surprise to see them connected by a railway at some point. And then came this recent ambitious project of railway axis all over the regions further away. As a result, people in Reborn can now reach Hoenn on their own by train if they want, and vice versa. Today, I fully enjoy this moment of original purity, emptying my head of all my mental burdens during my trip. I even took the opportunity to stay at a lovely hotel located along the beach in Lilycove City for three nights. But despite my happiness, I know my stay can’t last forever. In every sunset, in every dawn spent in Hoenn, I see Reborn City getting closer to me.”

Flannery: “This is horrible! Good times soiled by bad memories, people turning bad because of the place they live… it’s just too sad. I hear by your way to speak that you definitely don’t want to return there. Can’t we do something to help?”

 

Winona reacted to Flannery’s proposal instantly.

 

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Winona: “Do you have something in mind, Flannery? Even if you wanted to leave, you won’t go further as long as you’re a member of the Hoenn League.”

Jacques: “That’s true. But on the other hand, I’m also in search of potential volunteers interested in the challenge of the Reborn League. Our land’s heart may have scars, I’m sure we can stop the bleeding someway. Even when life gets hard and stressful, some things never change, especially the talent of Pokemon battlers. I don’t lie when I say that Reborn is full of prodigious trainers. Indeed, their potential is such that almost any random trainer there might be a Gym Leader in any other region such as Kanto or Johto. Also, the time when we kept searching for young souls to take on the Reborn League among the locals comes to an end. Thanks to the brand new railway built between Orre and Hoenn, Reborn has still a chance to shine again and be fully recognized as the world capital of battle.”

 

The eyes of Flannery began to sparkle brightly at the very end of this speech. She seemed very curious and started to imagine herself being in Reborn. She really wanted to discover this region just because of it.

 

Flannery: (World capital of battle! I can’t pretend to ignore what I’ve heard. Seriously… eighteen Gym Leaders and tons of trainers able to be considered as such, no less. If Reborn should ever come to the light someday, it will happen by MY flames, I’m sure. If there is a way for me to go there, these people will see me and they’ll all bear witness to my success.)

Winona: “In that case, I just hope you’ll be lucky in your research Mr. Besson.”

Jacques: “Thank you for your encouragement, Winona. And hey, I’m not worrying that much about this. As they say in Reborn, good things come to those who wait.”

Winona: “If you say so.”

 

Filled with hopes, Jacques smiled. He looked at Winona and Flannery’s face with emotion. Without realizing it, he managed to caught the attention of the fiery Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town, she didn’t take her eyes off that boy. She understood him and wanted him to feel better. And then, a strange sensation made the foxy redhead vibrate from the inside.

 

Flannery: (What? My heart… what’s happening to my heart… it sounds like it’s accelerating… I can’t control my heartbeats anymore… what could it be? The taste for adventure which is resurfacing? This sensation… I didn’t feel like this from the day when my grandpa and I had met for the first time… Why is it so familiar? What happens to me?)

Jacques: “Well! Please accept my apologies for this long talk, my ice is melting. If you ever want to see me one last time, I’ll be to the Pokemon Center. I won’t go back to Lilycove City before the end of the festival.”

Flannery: “That’s okay, we’ll remember that!”

 

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She winked to Jacques very quickly. Unfortunately, he didn’t see anything.

 

Winona: “Okay, Jacques! May you live happily! And as long as I’m here, don’t hesitate to see me during my aerial show this afternoon.”

Jacques: “I won’t forget, thank you Winona.”

Winona: “You’re welcome!”

Jacques: “That’s great! See you next time, ladies!”

Flannery & Winona: “See you, Jacques!”

 

He headed straight to the Pokemon Center while Winona finally bought her ice cream with Flannery. But shortly after she got her treat, the Gym Leader of Fortree City made a comment to her friend about Jacques's talk.

 

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Winona: “Hey, Flannery! You seemed quite excited by his speech, am I right?”

 

The beautiful redhead answered timidly.

 

Flannery: “Um… yes. I… must say that it was a lot of information at a time. Reborn City… a region populated by eighteen Gym Leaders… You can think what you want, it’s worth a try.”

Winona: “Yes, but still. Did you hear what he said? According to him, the city is corrupted, and there’s a bunch of mean-spirited folks leaving there. I don’t think that’s a good idea to go there… at least, not for now.”

Flannery: “Oh Winona, please. Try to understand me, you always used to worry sick for nothing. Why are you still so protective with me?”

Winona: “Because I love you, Flannery. You’re one of the only good things that happened to Hoenn in a long time. I don’t know what I’d do without you, I would certainly not feel the same anymore, and I doubt I will be the only one concerned if such a thing had to happen. Nevertheless, this idea of Reserve Gym leader sounds like an excellent idea which deserves to be analyzed more deeply.”

Flannery: “At least, we’re both agree on that point. If it was possible to get this rule passed and apply it on the Hoenn League, it would be convenient for everyone involved. All the Gym Leaders in Hoenn would benefit from a more flexible schedule. I mean… you know, Winona. Did you never feel frustrated to constantly have to stay sharp and control the arrival of new possible challengers the days when nobody came?”

Winona: “Of course I was. But if I had to share my opinion, this rule should not be overused by anyone. And between you and me, you did too much sacrifices for reaching your title of Gym Leader. It would be a shame to let it behind.”

Flannery: “Yes, I’m conscious of it. But on the other hand, staying bound to my grandpa’s gym till the day of my death is not what I wish either. Because of this old maintenance policy, he couldn’t live long enough to fully enjoy his other long-time passion. I don’t want to end like this, I’m still young after all. I refuse to feel like a Houndour in a cage, and I don’t understand why women like me should not have fun like anybody else. Would you care to comment on that, perhaps?”

Winona: “*sigh* Well… you got a point there, I would not oppose against your desire. But this whole story of alternate Gym Leader is still kind of vague to me though. First of all, we should make a report to either Steven or Wallace. If such a decision could improve our daily lives, then maybe they would have to listen.”

Flannery: “In any case, I don’t really know how to keep the others informed without them.”

Winona: “That’s exactly what I thought! And if you ever want to go to Reborn, I largely prefer to talk about it with all our colleagues reunited around the same table. I’m not dumb, I know that’s what you want, and I know how hard it is to change your mind too.”

Flannery: “Bah, don’t go overboard, the fact that I’m hot-tempered doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m stubborn. As time went by, I’ve learned to take my imperfections into consideration. I just don’t want to hurt you with my decisions.”

 

Overwhelmed by angst, Winona took Flannery by the hands. Then, she put her face close to her and whispered.

 

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Winona: “If you ever leave, please promise me to always keep your guard up. I’m very serious when I say that I wouldn’t know what to do if you were to disappear. Indeed… I would definitely retire from the world if such a day must happen.”

Flannery: “Oh, Winona.”

Winona: “More than once, you’ve put your life in danger. Even today, I still remember everything. I will never forget this day when I heard that you almost drowned in that cable car as well as the day when this bitch from Team Aqua was about to strike a fatal blow on you during your intervention to protect the city with Wattson. Hopefully, I was here.”

Flannery: “Oh, please…”

Winona: “You’re everything to me, Flannery. There won’t be any sense to my life if you don’t exist anymore. Can you understand this?”

Flannery: “Hm… yes… yes Winona… you’re everything to me too.”

Winona“Come here.”

 

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The bodies of the two girls got closer from each other. Winona pulled her face against Flannery’s shoulder while the latter let her hands sliding along the back of the angelic woman. They embraced strongly in the middle of the party, overcome with happiness and love. Then, slowly and progressively, the cuddle was over.

 

Winona: “I only want you to be happy and healthy, Flannery. Take this encouragement to undertake anything you wish as a gift from me.”

Flannery: “Really? Oh Winona, you’re really an exceptional friend, a true sister of mine. I want you to smile and feel good as well.”

Winona: “You’re so gentle… thank you. But I’m sorry, I have to go. I still have to prepare myself for my representation and I don’t have much time left. Sorry, Flannery.”

Flannery: “Okay, you can go! Meanwhile, I’m going to talk about all this story to Steven and Wallace. And if it’s not too late, I’ll try to catch Jacques up, I still have some extra questions to ask him.”

Winona: “Fine! If that’s what you want, I won’t keep you anymore. See you later, my beauty.”

Flannery: “Thank you! See you in a bit, and good luck with your representation!”

Winona: “Thank you! I’ll need it!”

 

After this little girl time, Flannery ran quickly in Jacques direction to catch him up. She hoped she could find him somewhere in the city before he entered the Pokemon Center. And, to her greatest delight, she managed to go to him as he was just a few meters away from his destination. The red-headed Gym Leader called him by his name in order to catch his attention.

 

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Flannery: “Jacques!”

 

He turned back, the ice cream cone in his hand.

 

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Jacques: “Yes? Oh, it’s you Flannery! What do you need?”

 

After catching her breath, Flannery talked to him.

 

Flannery: “Sorry for disturbing you, Jacques… or should I say… Mr. Besson perhaps?”

Jacques: “You can call me ‘Jacques’, just ‘Jacques’. It makes me feel a little older when you call me ‘Mister’.”

Flannery: “Okay, if you say so. In fact, I wanted to know if you were in search of specific people before to go back to Reborn.”

Jacques: “Absolutely not. Do you see Flannery? Any trainer can freely take the decision to join us in Reborn or not, even if the truth is that we favor those who already have an advanced experience in battles. But… why do you ask?”

Flannery: “I wondered if it was possible for a Gym Leader from Hoenn to go to Reborn. Do you think a person like me could pretend to challenge the Reborn League just like anyone else?”

 

Flannery was anxiously listening for Jacques’s answer, he took this opportunity to look at her quietly. Then, after some silent seconds, he spoke.

 

Jacques: “I don’t know why… but as soon as I saw you… I already felt something vibrating inside of you.”

Flannery: “Inside of… me?”

Jacques: “Yes, inside of you.”

 

Jacques pointed his finger to Flannery’s chest.

 

Jacques: “This little heart beating inside of you… this is the one of an authentic person burning with an all-consuming passion… this heart… this is the heart of someone who didn’t hesitate to risk her life to save the world. Not just one, but two times. And as we might say, things always do come in three.”

Flannery: “Yes, I guess we can say that. By the way, I’m still motivated for a third round if it were to happen again. But it’s droll, you seem to attach a great importance to me, am I right?”

Jacques: “It’s… hard to describe. I’ve met a lot of Gym Leaders and good trainers in my practice, I’ve learnt to love and hate some of them over time. But unlike them… you… you’re emanating something which makes you even more unique compared to them. There’s like a positive vibe resonating in you. I feel it, I know it.”

 

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Flannery blushed. She didn’t know if she should have interpreted it as a compliment or a flattery. At least, she felt like she was highlighted and seemed very satisfied by these words.

 

Flannery: “Thank you very much, Jacques! It pleases me a lot to hear such a thing… but hey. Am I eligible to take on the Reborn League?

Jacques: “Of course, of course. This is… entirely possible. However, I’m aware of your current position as a Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town, you know?”

Flannery: “Yes, I got it! And as I understood, you would have granted the representatives of Orre a favor allowing them to adopt a different way to work, yours. I would like to know if it was possible to do the same with Hoenn as well. You know… getting my own Reserve Gym Leader, making my schedule less tricky, etcetera. I need to know how it works. Otherwise, I clearly think that my chances of traveling to Reborn are non-existent, at least without a general agreement. So… can you help me this, Jacques? Please?”

Jacques: “Yes, I would be glad to offer you my services. But you know, as long as you’re the current Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town, it’s preferable to not… um… skip the steps. First of all, I would like to know more about your motives. Also, you have to be totally sure of what you want, I guess you realize that it’s not a decision to take lightly.”

Flannery: “Believe me, Jacques! I would have not suggested it if it wasn’t a decision close to my heart. Is it just reversible? I mean… just imagine I choose to come back after my journey. Do you think I’ll still be able to reassume my role of Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town?”

Jacques: “Yes, except if you’re in a very serious accident which makes you definitely unable to maintain your gym. If this were to happen, so, the Reserve Gym Leader will take the lead and become the new official Gym Leader instead of the previous one. It’s as simple as this.”

Flannery: “So, if I temporarily leave to take on the Reborn League…”

Jacques: “…you’ll still be able to regain control of your gym in Lavaridge Town later, yes.”

 

A suffocating weight escaped from Flannery’s mind. Even if she decided to leave Hoenn for a moment, Jacques claimed that she would normally still be assigned to the Hoenn League in spite of it. That was all it took to relieve the redhead.

 

Flannery: “Pchiou, I feel reassured.”

Jacques: “You’ve nothing to worry about, it will be alright. Could you just explain me your motives? Not that I need it, but I’m quite curious to know why you’re so interested in going to Reborn instead of simply staying in this beautiful Hoenn region.”

Flannery: “In reality, this need to get new feelings was becoming more and more crucial to me, everybody would not understand. These last months, I find it rare to confront very powerful trainers. Yet, there was a time when battling against trainers of all levels and winning several consecutive victories was still an enjoyable experience… but I’ve grown tired of this. Today, I tend to take it as a routine of life.”

Jacques: “A routine? Really!? Please, continue.”

Flannery: “I actually don’t know what’s happening with the other Gym Leaders, nor how they manage to live through this. But concerning me, the few newcomers walking around my gym are almost all the same, they barely represent a challenge to me. No matter what’s awaiting me for the next few days in Hoenn, everything became… too predictable. They’re just too weak. All of them. Or maybe… maybe it’s just me who became too strong. In both cases, Reborn seems to have more to offer me. Going there would be a golden opportunity for me to prove my worth and push my limits even further than I already did under extreme conditions. That’s exactly what I needed. I love my region, but I’m getting bored of this easy-win situation.”

Jacques: “For real!? You must have certainly won several times to feel that bored. How long have you kept a winning streak alive like that?”

Flannery: “Haha, I’m happy you asked me that question! I have not suffered a defeat for almost two years now. The last defeat I can remember dates back to the day when I lost against the Champion of Unova.”

Jacques: “Two years!?!? How is it even possible!? Are you joking !?”

Flannery: “If you think I’m joking, just look into my eyes. Then, you’ll know who I really am.”

Jacques: “…”

Flannery: “…”

Jacques: “… … … … … … …”

Flannery: “… … … … … … …”

Jacques: “… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …”

Flannery: “… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …”

 

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The black-haired trainer stared at Flannery’s red eyes. He was impressed and amazed by the fiery girl. After standing still in front of her for a few seconds, Jacques was forced to recognize that the talent of the feisty Gym Leader was probably what he was looking for since he arrived in Hoenn.

 

Jacques: “Wow… I don’t even know what to say. Almost two years without losing one single battle… words fail me… this feat is so rare for those who do not belong to Reborn.”

Flannery: “So, do you trust me?”

Jacques: “Of course, Flannery, I trust you! And, if I may say so, I would gladly bow before you.”

Flannery: “Don’t go overboard either… hey! Why won’t you just fight me in my gym at the end of the party? Only then, I’ll let you bow before me.”

 

Even as Flannery uttered those words, Jacques straightened his glasses and answered her.

 

Jacques: “You? Fighting against me!?”

Flannery: “Yes, me against you! This will make a good practice for me to confront against someone from the ‘World capital of battle’. Don’t you agree, Jacques?”

Jacques: “Um… I think it’s part of the steps you shouldn’t skip. Far be it from me to boast about my aptitude of potential Gym Leader… it’s just that I…”

Flannery: “That you what?”

Jacques: “…that I… prefer to postpone this for another day. To be honest, I don’t feel… um… mentally ready for it now.”

 

Flannery sighed, her face was stained with spite and frustration.

 

Flannery: “Oh… too bad.”

 

Then, she raised her head with trust.

 

Flannery: “But I can understand. You’re hesitant because you’re afraid of failure. I’ve already experienced that when I was younger, you know?”

 

Jacques, who felt a little uneasy by Flannery’s attitude, tried to pretend to agree with her… even though the reason behind this refusal was actually elsewhere. Then, he smiled at the pretty redhead.

 

Jacques: “Yes… I guess we can say it like this. I must learn to better face my adversaries head on. After all, it’s not like you were my all-time example. I wouldn’t feel right to disappoint you, hehe.”

Flannery: “Haha, that was nicely worded! Thank you!”

 

The two people stared at each other timidly. Jacques was feeling better and better while Flannery continued to look at him with amusement. Shortly after, the Reserve Gym Leader spoke again.

 

Jacques: “All right! Before we do anything directly or indirectly related to Reborn, we should probably explain all about this story of alternate Gym Leader to your superior. Do you have any idea where we can find Wallace or Steven Stone?”

Flannery: “Yes I have! They’re both inside of the Pokemon Center! Actually, I was planning to see them and tell them everything you said to me during our first encounter.”

Jacques: “How convenient! Was that really your intention?”

Flannery: “Yes.”

Jacques: “Splendid! That’s more good news for Ame!”

Flannery: “Who is Ame?”

Jacques: “Oh, excuse me! I often forget to talk about the essential when I get bogged down with details, I didn’t tell you everything. Ame is the Champion of the Reborn League. She’s a beautiful young lady just like you, talented and generous. She’s a kind of second mom for the entire league. And guess what?”

Flannery: “What?”

Jacques: “We hit the road to Hoenn together!”

 

Surprises continued to pop up at every corner of Fortree City. After she met a complete stranger who was revealed to be an alternate Gym Leader from the Reborn League, Flannery then discovered that the Champion herself was traveling in Hoenn as well. Jacques had accompanied her on her trip.

 

Flannery: “Really!? The champion of Reborn is here!?”

Jacques: “You’re surprised, right? We both took the train together to Hoenn yesterday in the afternoon. Unfortunately, she’s actually in Lilycove City. I asked her if she wanted to go with me to see the festival in Fortree City, but…”

Flannery: “She refused?”

Jacques: “Um… let’s just say that she told me she had some… personal business to deal with on site. By the way, if I’m here in Hoenn today, that’s mainly because I got this permission from Ame. It took me some times to convince her that Hoenn was a region dear to my heart. Hopefully, she nicely accepted my request.”

Flannery: “What a crazy story! This scenario sounds just too improbable to me. I’m starting to wonder if all of this is real.”

Jacques: “Do you think that’s a dream you’re living in?”

Flannery: “In all sincerity… yes.”

Jacques: “And yet, nothing is more real than what I told you. This is at least as real as all those trees surrounding us.”

Flannery: “I can’t believe my own ears! This is amazing! Absolutely amazing!”

Jacques: “Hehe, and it’s not the half of it! So, are we going to meet Steven and explain him the whole situation? I would love to see him too.”

Flannery: “That’s what I wanted to do from the beginning! Let’s do this!”

Jacques: “So be it. Onward!”

 

Without further ado, the two trainers kept moving to the Pokemon Center and entered in. Inside, they both saw Wallace and Steven seated next to the table in a corner to the right. They were chatting over a cup of tea. Flannery approached them with Jacques by her side. He just finished to eat the rest of his ice cream cone.

 

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Flannery: “Hello again boys! I’m back!”

Steven: “Hey Flannery! How do you feel? You’re just in time for tea!”

Wallace: “Winona’s not with you? Did she left for preparing her performance already?”

Flannery: “That’s it, she needed a little more time to finalize some details about that.”

 

Steven took a look at the tall man accompanying Flannery. He asked her the following question.

 

Steven: “You’ve made a new friend, Flannery? Who is this person behind you?”

 

Even before Flannery said anything else, Jacques moved toward the table and introduced himself to the former Champion of Hoenn and Wallace.

 

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Jacques: “Please, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Jacques Besson, the Reserve Dark Gym Leader of Reborn City. I’m glad and honored to meet you, Mr. Stone.”

Steven: “Mr. Stone? How quaint! And yes, this is myself, you can also call me ‘Steven’ if you prefer.”

Wallace: “Greetings! I’m Wallace, the current Champion of Hoenn, at your service. I’m glad to see a new face in Hoenn as well. May your stay be good!”

Jacques: “Well, what a warm reception. Thanks!”

Steven: “You’re welcome! What brings you to Fortree City?”

Flannery: “Uh… indeed, me and Jacques wanted to see you, because we have something a bit special to ask you.”

Wallace: “What is this?”

Jacques: “Hm… this kind of subject might require my presence. Would you have some time to spend to let me lay out the situation in detail?”

Steven: “Of course, yes. Any friend of Flannery’s is a friend of mine. Express yourself!”

Jacques: “Very well!”

 

After they made introductions, Jacques talked to the two gentlemen about Reborn, describing how the league was working there, and told them about the Champion Ame as completely as possible, while Flannery was revealing them her motives and her will to go there by train to join and take on the Reborn League. Obviously, she didn’t forget to mention the small debate with Winona of a few minutes ago.

 

jkKaaf5.png

 

Steven: “Hm… I see… that’s very interesting. But I have to admit, your decision is very tricky, Flannery. You can imagine that I can’t let you go as if nothing was the matter. You’re an important element among the other leaders in this region. If you leave, it’s all the Hoenn League that will be affected by your departure.”

Flannery: “I already know all this… and yet… I believe that there might be a way to make everybody agree. Can you explain them, Jacques?”

Jacques: “For sure! You could adopt the same concept used by the Reborn League by suggesting each Gym Leader a potential successor also called ‘Reserve Gym Leader’. This way, the missing Gym Leaders would be systematically and temporarily replaced by their substitutes and this will cover the interests of everyone. This opportunity to take turns would allow the league to remain operational and 100% active at all times. And in case you didn’t know, it’s thanks to this operating method that I’m here at this very moment. What do you think of it?”

 

Steven remained skeptical, he looked like he was lost in mind while Wallace was about to give his personal opinion on this subject.

 

Wallace: “Well… that gives me a lot to think about. I can’t say that I haven’t experienced something similar myself. After all, it’s true that my own mentor became the new Gym Leader from Sootopolis City himself the day I had to retire to help the region as the new Champion. Even though he’s not here to discuss it, I’m convinced that Juan would have approved this method. Don’t you agree, Steven?”

Steven: “Hmmm…”

Flannery: “Steven, please?”

Steven: “*sigh* Yeah, I guess you’re right. In the end, I don’t see why we should exempt the other Gym Leaders from this advantage.”

 

Flannery’s face looked more relaxed, she got rid off all anxiety. There was still hope for her to successfully pass this new rule.

 

Flannery: “Do you really believe what you’re saying, Steven?”

Steven: “Yes, I do. As far as I know, Hoenn had been in peace for a while now. Me and Wallace are ready to give you carte blanche, if that’s what you wish.”

Wallace: “I confirm and approve this idea.”

 

Filled with happiness, Flannery smiled. She was halfway done.

 

Flannery: “Really!? Oh, thank you so much!”

Steven: “But that being said, I didn’t mean that I allowed you to leave for Reborn.”

Flannery: “Eh!?”

Steven: “In fact, this decision doesn’t really depend on me. The verdict will be definitely handed down once the eight other Gym Leaders will have all either approve or disapprove your proposal. Also, you need to seriously meditate on what you want to do with your future. It’s still a decisive choice with considerable consequences! We’ll discuss the preparation of a possible reunion at the end of the party, if you didn’t change your mind by then.”

Wallace: “I can take care of it! It sounds like a fair deal. Also, it’s been a while since the operation of the Hoenn League needed a makeover. If you still want to go to Reborn, I’ll contact Winona, Norman, as well as all your other comrades, and I’ll summon them around a council which will be held tomorrow inside of the gym in Petalburg City. I you don’t mind, Steven will be one of the guests too. Jacques, will you give this message to… your Champion? What’s her name again? Ame?”

Jacques: “That’s correct. And sure, I can. I’ll tell her to join us in there with all the other people invited. Could I attend the council too?”

Wallace: “Hm… yes, why not?”

 

Wallace caught his breath, and continued his speech unabated. He needed to be clear on one last element concerning the setup of the council.

 

Wallace: “So, we’re good! Flannery, I have a last question for you. Do you have an idea of the person who will assume the role of Reserve Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town? I imagine you would certainly not have decided to let your legacy behind without bequeathing it to someone trustworthy.”

Flannery: “Don’t bother with this. I already have an idea in mind. If things go well, I should be able to call this person tonight.”

Wallace: “I trust you. So… you all know what to do, then?”

Flannery & Steven & Jacques: “Yes!”

Wallace: “Perfect!”

 

Just at the very end of this conversation, they all heard the sound of a crowd cheering from outside.

 

OZK3XVf.png

 

Flannery: “Did you hear it? Sounds like there’s movement in the city.”

Jacques: “Winona’s parade, maybe?”

Wallace: “Oh God, I forgot! Her aerial ballet must have already started.”

Steven: “So, what are we waiting for? Hurry up, everybody outside!”

Flannery: “I’m so excited! Let’s just see this with our own eyes!”

 

They left the Pokemon Center quickly and stood up in the middle of the crowd looking towards the East of the town, Winona’s show had just started. There were even more people than before, all Fortree City was hypnotized in front of the stunning lavender-haired lady who was rising into the air. Flannery and her friends raised their heads to better see Winona in action.

 

thzz4BX.png

 

Steven: “She’s up there!”

Flannery: “Yes, I see her!”

Jacques: “What a great audience! There are so many people around us!”

Wallace: “That’s what she deserves for having endured such a work of organization.”

 

They all stopped talking and focused on the aerial choreography of Winona. Then, right in front of her audience, the angelic beauty let herself falling forward from the back of one of her Pokemon, and dove proudly to land on her Altaria, making several artistic figures during the fall. Her movements were swift and meticulously calculated, she combined lightness, elegance, braveness, and excellence. Everybody approved, diving into the void like she did was not an easy thing to come by. All the people reunited were in a deep state of trance and admiration. Wallace couldn’t hold back his feelings in front of Winona’s acrobatic skills.

 

nCBxMYT.png

 

Wallace: “She’s so… so… marvelous. A pure goddess in human form with an angel’s heart. Seeing her dancing and floating with as much flexibility and grace among the clouds makes me want to turn into a celestial creature just for a look of her. Isn’t she beautiful?”

Jacques: “Sure, she is! Such a presence reminds me a lot of the performances orchestrated by our local Flying Gym Leader from Agate Circus. I’m terribly happy to have the opportunity to attend such a show in Hoenn. Winona is a perfect beauty!”

Wallace: “Ahah, it seems like we both agree on the same thing once again!”

Jacques: “Hehehe, how could I not be?”

 

Only Flannery remained totally silent in the middle of the crowd. She stared at Winona in the sky, the redhead was literally seduced and captivated by the natural charm of the one she considered as her ‘big sister’. Always animated by this idea of leaving for discovering Reborn, she whispered the following sentences in her head.

 

Flannery: (Winona. Whatever happens, I don’t want you to be mad at me. The world is big, why should I turn back on it? I grew up, I followed my goal, and I became strong… but in the end, what’s left of me? Life is way too short to get wasted in a flat circle, I want to make things different. Overtime, challenges and action became my new reasons to live. So, I’m begging you, Winona. Whatever I decide in the future… please understand.)

 

Flannery didn’t want to have to choose, she loved Winona. But as she became an adult, she learned how to listen with her heart. The only thing she still feared was to offend people she cared about indirectly. Otherwise, she wanted to break this banner which was keeping her away from the outside world. The red-haired Gym Leader has always been inspired by her grandfather and all the greatest trainers from Hoenn. For her, it was an opportunity she couldn’t ignore. After having proved her values to her home region, she wished to engrave her name in Reborn next. For the first time in the history of the Hoenn League, one of its most iconic female members was probably about to revert back to an authentic adventuress. The council with Ame and Flannery’s colleagues was exactly what’s been missing to make things clearer to everyone.

 

IxEB2eZ.png

 

QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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Probably 1 of the best, if not, THE best Episode that I've read. I got really interested when Jacques started to explain to Winona and Flannery about Reborn and it was just really exciting. Nice job. 🙂

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Just like as J-Awesome_One said this is a great episode.Never though of Jacques as the Reserve dark type,hmm....will Flannery fight him someday if yes then I am HYPED!!

(☆▽☆) I like Flannery's and Winnona's reaction the best as they eagerly learn about the Reborn region d=====( ̄▽ ̄*)b

 

ppffffhh.....wanna bet that when they reach Lilycove city it will be snowing because of Ame's A-Ninetails again ( •̀ ω •́ )✧

 

can't wait for the next episode Gambate Q-Jei!!!   also @J-Awesome_One aren't you a little salty that you almost got Jacques name right (≧∇≦)ノ

 

also just to satisfy my curious shipping heart,will there be any love interest for Flannery (o′┏▽┓`o) 

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11 minutes ago, Angelkitsune said:

Just like as J-Awesome_One said this is a great episode.Never though of Jacques as the Reserve dark type,hmm....will Flannery fight him someday if yes then I am HYPED!!

(☆▽☆) I like Flannery's and Winnona's reaction the best as they eagerly learn about the Reborn region d=====( ̄▽ ̄*)b

 

ppffffhh.....wanna bet that when they reach Lilycove city it will be snowing because of Ame's A-Ninetails again ( •̀ ω •́ )✧

 

can't wait for the next episode Gambate Q-Jei!!!   also @J-Awesome_One aren't you a little salty that you almost got Jacques name right (≧∇≦)ノ

 

also just to satisfy my curious shipping heart,will there be any love interest for Flannery (o′┏▽┓`o) 

Shush! Do not remind me! Haha. xD Btw, I know they have like a sister relationship but my mind keeps making me think that they secretly have a crush on each other and Idk why it's doing that. Haha.

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10 minutes ago, J-Awesome_One said:

Shush! Do not remind me! Haha. xD Btw, I know they have like a sister relationship but my mind keeps making me think that they secretly have a crush on each other and Idk why it's doing that. Haha.

Yeah I don't mind lesbian relationship but im leaning toward WinnonaXWallace and Flannery with maybe someone in Reborn.Dammit my mind would not stop shipping everyone

<( ‵□′)───C(<─___-)||   <==my friends telling me not to ship anymore characters XD 

 

 

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On 8/25/2018 at 7:55 PM, J-Awesome_One said:

Probably 1 of the best, if not, THE best Episode that I've read. I got really interested when Jacques started to explain to Winona and Flannery about Reborn and it was just really exciting. Nice job. 🙂

Thank you, it's always a pleasure for me to read heartwarming comments like this! I can understand it, I've invested a heavy work in the illustrations this time, especially the party ones. The length of the story was almost the same as episode 10. Also, this episode is very big (Because there is many things to say about Reborn too 😉) And yeah, Jacques Besson is one of the OCs I've planned to introduce in the story. He successfully caught the attention of Flannery and Winona, and it's enough for me to be at peace with myself, because explaining them about Reborn was quite tedious the first time I tried. Everything is improvised, but that's what I like when I develop storylines like this. We're already halfway done with the Departure Arc, the next part will be about the council in Petalburg City. But you can still tell me what you thought about the party and Jacques, I'll show his true spriteset later 😉

 

PS: It was just a matter of two letters. I hope you won't be mad me for having mistaken in Jacques's name 🙏

 

On 8/25/2018 at 8:39 PM, Angelkitsune said:

Just like as J-Awesome_One said this is a great episode.Never though of Jacques as the Reserve dark type,hmm....will Flannery fight him someday if yes then I am HYPED!!

(☆▽☆) I like Flannery's and Winnona's reaction the best as they eagerly learn about the Reborn region d=====( ̄▽ ̄*)b

 

ppffffhh.....wanna bet that when they reach Lilycove city it will be snowing because of Ame's A-Ninetails again ( •̀ ω •́ )✧

 

can't wait for the next episode Gambate Q-Jei!!!   also @J-Awesome_One aren't you a little salty that you almost got Jacques name right (≧∇≦)ノ

 

also just to satisfy my curious shipping heart,will there be any love interest for Flannery (o′┏▽┓`o) 

Thanks! Yes, as a Reserve Gym Leader, Jacques is quite... um... reserved. I had to bring him to life in Hoenn as he was the trigger to captivate and motivate Flannery to pay interest in Reborn. As the story is fully improvised, I don't even know if Flannery will fight him and even less where and how. Nevertheless, it would undoubtedly be a good battle if it had to happen! And yeah, seems like Lilycove City will still have to deal with hail for the next two days 😄

Concerning Flannery's love interests, let's draw up a list of her potential boyfriends:

 

  • Cal: According to the fact that Victoria is unlikely to forgive him for being reponsible of Kiki's death, his chances of getting along well with Flannery might exist. However, the conditions in which she will see him on their second encounter risk to remind her a lot of Tabitha during Hoenn crisis. Only the future will tell us if she will be in love with him or not. The event with the ruby ring in Ametrine City will probably help though.

 

  • Taka: Personally, I'm a big fan of Taka. But somehow, the fact he's a Meteor Admin will make the contrast between him and Tabitha even more obvious, let alone the fact that he can potentially help her in Rhodocrine Jungle. Tabitha was precisely in this same line of character: being on the dark side without being completely detestable either. For those who have not read the manga, Tabitha gave Flannery a charcoal to empower her Magcargo when they both tried to revive the Mt. Chimney, which leads to make us think that Tabitha is not completely evil. It's tight between Cal and Taka, but Cal's specialization in Fire Type might have an influence on Flannery's will too. The answer concerning Taka as a potential boyfriend for Flannery will be quite easy if I choose the Reshiram Route.

 

  • Jacques: He's the first man of Reborn to interact with Flannery and, for some reason, he seems to be well-informed of Flannery and her current position. Even more, he's aware of her success during Unova's Tournament and managed to find her during a festival dedicated to her. He's ready for help and already told Flannery a lot about Reborn. However, his role and impact during the main storyline need to be more developed and significant to make sense to a potential romance between him and our dear redhead. In both cases, he will definitely be a good friend to her.

 

  • Cain: Let's be serious for a short time, Flannery is so hot that she can probably steam up a locomotive just by getting close to it. This can definitely work with Cain. If he already suggested Charlotte to be his prince, Flannery can easily become his king. However, I can't confirm if this feeling will be reciprocal.

 

  • Fern: Should I really argue on that. Their first encounter will be... relatively explosive, I agree. Flannery can potentially set him on fire... but it's gonna hurt.

 

  • Samson: He's the strongman of Agate Circus, and all the ladies are a sunlight to him. I don't expect something very special to happen between Flannery and Samson for now, but if it must happen, I don't think it will be on Ciel's taste.

 

  • Hardy: Another redhead, a rockstar to be correct, yeah! It would have been a very interesting shipping if he wasn't already in love with Aya. In any case, they will enjoy beating Meteor's butt together.

 

  • DJ Arclight: They will be friend, this is inevitable! The raid in Meteor's hideout will make the bound between them tighter, but beside it, his role is not that huge. However, as Flannery can't stand seeing ill-treated Pokemon, they will share a common opinion about the Pokemon seller from 7th street.

 

That's an interesting point to underline, if you ever have someone else in mind, just tell me. Also, I wonder what you thought of the screenshots this time, it was a matter of four days. These people, these dialogues... I'm especially proud of the jugglers from the fourth pic. This psychic guy with the floating Pokeball was very fun to edit 😄

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Naw. I ain't mad. As soon as I read the name, I was upset at myself that the e and o were switched. xD Yea. The screenshots were nice. Felt like something big was happening. And I see them battling maybe once sometime near the end of the game. Stuff keeps coming up making Flannery unable to battle him. But when she's done with everything and is about to go onto Victory Road, he shows up and is like, "you know, way back when we 1st saw each other, we wanted to battle. I know there were a lot of stuff that you had to do to save Reborn and everything but before you go to Victory Road, why not finally have that battle with me right here right now." And I think she'd fit well for either Taka or Cal.

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You have the right to be proud d=====( ̄▽ ̄*)b I can tell you put a lot of work in it just by looking at the small details like the banners and jugglers,I was wondering if you will give Flannery a new look like Ash Ketchum getting new clothes everytime he went to another region (。・∀・)ノ.

 

Well I think shipping Flannery with Cal,Jacques,Taka and Cain might be possible. I don't know if Flannery will hold grudges like Victoria but I can tell if Cal redeem himself those two fire type specialist will get along well.

 

Jacques....Hmm....I don't know what kind of person he is ,maybe a nerd...?But since he is the first person to introduce Flannery to the Reborn region I bet they can get together but don't know how...like make Jacques tag along with Flannery on her journey,I mean since Luna is active and not er...ded he is basically off duty right (o′┏▽┓`o) 

 

Heck yah Best boy Cain i luv him (´▽`ʃ❤ƪ) I don't know how will react to being flirted with hopefully she doesn't get turn off by Cain's innuendo (○` 3′○) I hope that Flannery can set Cain straight haha get it?oh fak my life

 

TTAAKKKAA.....Best boy no.2 my cute Cinnamon roll why do you have to DIE ヽ(*。>Д<)o゜EP17 and 18 ruined me man*sob*I don't know which route you will go but hopefully Taka is alive in both route of your story...Just...don't know how Flannery will react if Taka died (っ °Д °;)っ

 

FERN DOES NOT DESERVE LOVE THAT SON OF A BIT*H i hate him soo...much 

 

If Flannery gets together with Samson then she has to deal with living in the circus and Terra...I hope they get along pppfffhh as if also Ciel and Samson used to date so that is going to be awkward we also get to see how much Ciel cares foe Samson in EP18 my heart it hurtsssa...

 

NO.Hardy belongs to Aya and Aya only Q-Jei!!!! don't ruin my OTP wahh!!! ヽ(*。>Д<)o゜

 

I guess FlanneryXDJ Archlight is good too but he definitely didn't get much screen time so their interaction is kinda scarce 

 

IDK about you,what do you think? which of these gentlemen get to steal Flannery's heart ;3 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Angelkitsune said:

I guess FlanneryXDJ Archlight is good too but he definitely didn't get much screen time so their interaction is kinda scarce 

Well he can always make DJ Archlight a regular character. I mean that's what I did with Laura in mine. 😛 Hell. I even had her come BEFORE you actually like talk to her at the mansion.

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9 minutes ago, J-Awesome_One said:

Well he can always make DJ Archlight a regular character. I mean that's what I did with Laura in mine. 😛 Hell. I even had her come BEFORE you actually like talk to her at the mansion.

Oh yeah I guess I kinda forgot about that*facepalm* The power of the author can make even minor characters important ╰(*°▽°*)╯

also*squint* 'HE' I...didn't know Q-Jei is a boy I always though he is a girl whoops (*/ω\*)

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46 minutes ago, Angelkitsune said:

Oh yeah I guess I kinda forgot about that*facepalm* The power of the author can make even minor characters important ╰(*°▽°*)╯

also*squint* 'HE' I...didn't know Q-Jei is a boy I always though he is a girl whoops (*/ω\*)

Ohh yea. Uhh… I'm not sure the gender of Q-Jei. My mind just always goes to a person being a male if Idk what they are. Haha.

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On 8/26/2018 at 8:03 AM, Angelkitsune said:

'HE' I...didn't know Q-Jei is a boy I always though he is a girl whoops (*/ω\*)

Missed, I’m a boy 😄

I agree concerning the ability of the writers to adapt characters in different situations to better develop their background story and personality. It will be 11 episodes since I did it with Flannery, and it’s not over yet 😉 And don’t worry about FernXFlannery. When I said she will set fire to him, it will only happen in the literal sense of the word. Flannery is way too good for him.

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j8WM7Ho.png

 

Spoiler

Flannery was in ecstasy for the rest of the afternoon, she attended the aerial performance of Winona in Fortree City alongside with Steven, Wallace and Jacques in the hope of being able to leave for Reborn. When the party was over, she confirmed them her will to go there on the next train. So, they decided to plan and hold a council in order to bring all the Gym Leaders of the region together for two reasons. First, to explain and get the concept of Reserve Gym Leader approved by them to implement it on the Hoenn League. And then, providing a process of voting to grant Flannery a temporary decline in view of her departure for Reborn or not. Concerning the conditions of this meeting, it would be held tomorrow in the afternoon at 2:00 PM inside of the Gym in Petalburg City. For obvious reasons, Norman and Winona were the first to be informed of that. For his part, Jacques took note of these conditions and hastened to make his report to Ame by heading back to Lilycove City at the end of the afternoon. Also, Flannery took the opportunity to contact Sapphire via her PokeNav in the evening, she asked her if she was interested in being the alternate Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town after she told her what it consisted in. Additionally, the redhead spent some time to explain her why and what have pushed her to take such a decision. Against all odds, the brunette understood and sounded quite excited by Flannery’s offer, she confirmed her attendance to the council in Petalburg City for the next day.

 

Today, it’s 1:40 PM. Flannery is at home in Lavaridge Town, she just finished her lunch with Vulpix and Torkoal by her side in the living room. As the pretty red-headed woman was about to stand up to leave the table, she yawned. The Coal Pokemon had still the head stuck in his bowl while the fiery Fox Pokemon was taking a nap next to him. Flannery looked at them both with a touched expression.

 

l1t6SoI.png

 

Flannery: “Oh, you! You’re so cute when you’re both together like that.”

 

Torkoal rose his head to look up at his mistress with half-closed eyes. He just finished his meal too.

 

Torkoal: “Toooor!”

 

Torkoal’s cry startled Vulpix who woke up suddenly by coming back to herself. She stretched by looking at Flannery who was sitting cross-legged on her cushion. She smiled broadly.

 

Flannery: “Haha, yes. I’m talking about you two. I’m so happy to be here with you. You go well together. I love you both!”

 

As she said kind words to her Pokemon, Torkoal wagged his tail from the left to the right and moved to the young lady by placing his head against her legs. Vulpix jumped on her thighs to get some hugs.

 

Flannery: “Aaawwww! You’re so endearing! At least, I can always count on you when I need to feel better. You’re everything to me.”

Vulpix: “Piiiiiiiiix!”

Torkoal: “Tooooorkoal!”

 

The gentle trainer cuddled each of her dear Pokemon on the top of the head by checking the time on her PokeNav.

 

Flannery: “Oh! Looks like time to get out has almost come. Hey you! Are you okay to go with me to Petalburg City this afternoon?”

 

Torkoal and Vulpix both nodded. They agreed.

 

Flannery: “Yay! I like your spirits. Please, come here.”

 

The Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town grabbed her Pokeballs to make Vulpix and Torkoal coming back in before to stand up and leaving her house to watch for Winona’s arrival. After a very short time outside, she saw the Gym Leader of Fortree City riding in the air, overhanging the village on the back of her Altaria. The lavender-haired airwoman was here, she landed next to Flannery’s position slowly and greeted her.

 

DDVDBZG.png

 

Flannery: “Hello, Winona!”

Winona: “Hey, Flannery! How are you doing?”

Flannery: “I’m fine! Well… it’s been a long time since I didn’t see you flying on your Altaria to pick me up. A desire for change, maybe?”

Winona: “Yes, we can say that, I suppose. My little show of yesterday had reminded me of how fluffy and comfortable Altaria’s wings could be. In fact, I’ve completely forgotten how nice it was, especially when I feel tired and exhausted… like today for example.”

Flannery: “That’s not surprising. After all your efforts invested into the organization of this party, that’s what ends up happening.”

 

Then, Flannery asked her the following question.

 

Flannery: “Um… Winona?”

Winona: “Yes.”

Flannery: “Does that bother you that much to know that I could leave from Hoenn?”

 

The Flying Gym Leader attempted to reassure her and answered.

 

Winona: “Of course not! As you said yesterday, you’re a mature girl now, so you’re free to decide what you think is right for you, provided that you always remain reasonable in your choices. And by the way, wasn’t it me who said it would be a better idea to discuss of it around the same table together yesterday?”

Flannery: “Sure you did.”

Winona: “So there’s no problem. That’s precisely what we’re going to do today. So please, trust yourself and don’t worry. Also, I bet you didn’t even think that I could eventually get my own alternate Gym Leader myself. If it ever came to happen, so maybe I could be there as well and see you again in Reborn. Who knows?”

Flannery: “Hey! That’s a very good idea you’ve there! Why didn’t I think of it before?”

Winona: “You know… we can’t always think of everything, I don’t blame you. Anyway, this kind of new rule must probably be more a plus than a minus under the current situation.”

Flannery: “Yeah, for sure… but hey! Can we go now?”

Winona: “Yes, of course! It would be a shame to be late for this council.”

 

Without hesitation, Winona and Flannery placed themselves both on the back of Altaria. The Humming Pokemon was waiting for its mistress to give the start signal patiently.

 

Z3QJ4zG.png

 

Winona: “Let’s go Altaria! We still have a long way to go.”

Altaria: “Altariaaaaaa!”

Flannery: “Here we go again!”

 

Obeying to Winona’s instructions, Altaria flapped his wings vigorously and left the ground with a sound of whistling wind. After having gained enough altitude, the cloudy Pokemon flew up to Petalburg City with the two passengers on its back, the two Gym Leaders were on the road to attend the council with the other Gym Leaders. They rounded around the mountain between Verdanturf Town and Rustboro City and hovered over the dense forest further south. In a short period of barely ten minutes, they were already about to reach Petalburg City. By looking on the right, Flannery saw Steven who was talking with a young woman with white hair next to Norman’s gym. Jacques and Sapphire were there too.

 

CeeNEr3.png

 

Flannery: “Hey! Did you see it, Winona?”

Winona: “Yes, Steven is here! And he’s not alone apparently.”

Flannery: “He’s with Sapphire, Jacques and… another person that I never met before. This woman… could it be Ame?”

Winona: “I can’t tell you, because I’ve never seen her with my own eyes either. We’d better land on now.”

Flannery: “Certainly! If we can make introductions before to tackle the reunion, I would not say ‘no’.”

Winona: “So be it.”

 

The beautiful acrobat hurried to tell her Altaria to land in front of the entrance door of the gym next to the little group who was standing outside. The milky wings Pokemon executed its trainer’s orders and moved to the ground progressively to finally reach the exact spot indicated by her. Once the landing was over, she and Flannery had greeted Steven as well as those who were accompanying him.

 

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Flannery: “Good day Steven! How are you today?”

Steven: “Greetings Flannery! You finally arrived! I’m fine, thank you.”

Sapphire: “Hello Flannery! Hope everything was going right with your flight. We just talked about you. We came a little earlier to get better acquainted with each other.”

 

The white-haired woman turned towards Flannery and Winona, she said hello to them.

 

???: “Hello! Nice to meet you!”

Winona: “Oh, hello! You must be the Champion we heard of yesterday.”

Jacques: “This is herself. Winona, Flannery, I’m glad to introduce you to Ame, the person in charge of the Reborn League. We’ve made the trip to Petalburg City together just for you!”

 

As Flannery was shaking Sapphire’s hands, she hurried to turn back quickly and introduced herself to Ame with excitement.

 

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Flannery: “Hello there, my name is Flannery! And you, you’re the Champion of Reborn, that’s it? Jacques told me about you yesterday, but we didn’t have the opportunity to see you in the party. Are you visiting? What do you do?”

Ame: “Yes, this is me. I’m Ame, the Champion of the Reborn League, as well as the director of the Grand Hall in Opal Ward. I am the one responsible of all the important matters in the city. I came to Hoenn for professional business, trying to establish a better understanding between the Pokemon Association and Reborn City. In fact, Jacques told me some interesting things about your motives. I’m really touched by the attention you’ve paid to us and our region, this goes straight to the heart of both of us.”

Flannery: “You’re welcome! In fact, I must say that it’s just very impressive. I still find hard to realize that all this does actually exist.”

Sapphire: “Same here! For the little time we’ve spent together, I’ve been struck myself too. Reborn, a region made of eighteen Gym Leaders… who would have believed that?”

Jacques: “Yeah, this is true. You’re not the first to react like this. The few people having heard about this type of information were either totally amazed or confused to the point of thinking it was nothing but a bad joke to attract and retain attention.”

Flannery: “Be reassured, I’m not this people. Indeed, this is truly a great shame for them. They don’t even know what they’re missing.”

Jacques: “You can say that again, hehe!”

Steven: “Sure, without the shadow of a doubt… well! Everybody is already inside to start the debate. You and Winona were the last ones to come.”

Winona: “Can we go in?”

Steven: “Why not? Better now than later.”

Flannery: “Very good! So, let’s go!”

Sapphire: “Come on!”

Jacques: “Finally, the decisive moment has come.”

 

Without further ado, everybody entered inside of Norman’s gym. It was a very intense moment for everyone involved, especially Flannery who had difficulty to keep quiet at the mere idea of discovering Reborn on her own. Once they entered the main room, she noticed that Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, Liza, Tate, Juan and Norman himself were present to participate in the debate as well. They were all sat around a big rectangular table settled in the middle of the space dedicated for gym battles. Wallace, who was waiting peacefully for the arrival of Flannery and Winona, was delighted to be able to start the council with the two girls. He welcomed them warmly.

 

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Wallace: “Ah! Welcome to both of you!”

Winona: “Hello Wallace! Are we late? I would like to apologize if we are.”

Wallace: “Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong. You’re perfectly on time. How was your trip by the way?”

Winona: “Perfectly fine, nothing bad to report. Our little flight from Lavaridge Town went off without a hitch, as usual.”

Wallace: “Excellent! Please take your seats.”

 

The rest of the committee hurried to sit on a chair, allowing Wallace to start the debate about the new rule for the Hoenn League.

 

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Wallace: “Well! Now that everyone is here, can we begin? I guess that you all know why you’ve been invited in here today.”

Brawly: “Yep! Yesterday, you told us that this meeting was aimed to add a new rule in order to amend and lighten our schedule. That’s it?”

Wallace: “Yes, but… that’s not exactly what I’ve said. Can someone give me a more accurate answer?”

Roxanne: “You wished to introduce a new concept to the policy code of the Hoenn League to grant us the possibility to hand over our responsibilities to some alternate Gym Leaders also called ‘Reserve Gym Leaders’. As I understood, it could be particularly useful in cases in which the current Gym Leaders would not be able to handle their maintenance. You also told us that this practice was very common in the region of Reborn which you described very briefly.”

Wallace: “You summarized it well, Roxanne. This idea would be a considerable addition to the policy of the Pokemon federation in Hoenn. However, it’s not an exclusivity. It’s not mine. You who are all reunited around the same table this very day, I would like you to meet Ame on my right, the Champion of the Reborn League. She came a very long way with Jacques who is the Reserve Dark Type Gym Leader of this region himself. Perhaps you could tell us more about the role of Reserve Gym Leader, Ame. The floor is yours.”

Ame: “Of course! By the way, I would like to thank you for these introductions, Wallace. I’m always glad and proud to see that our methods arouse the curiosity of other great trainers beyond our boundaries. With regard to the role played by the Reserve Gym Leader, I can claim that Roxanne has hit most of the highlights concerning this title. When the main Gym Leader is no longer able to ensure his role to keep the gym open, so it’s the Reserve Gym Leader that replaces him. Reversible replacements in case of prolonged absence are also possible, allowing the original owner of the gym to take back the control of it whenever he wishes. These being said, it’s stated that only trainers who have a minimum of experience in the mastery of the Pokemon Type related to the Gym Leader in question are eligible. But on the other hand, trainers who already are highly skilled in training in general should normally be more likely to train almost any Pokemon of any type, which makes them potential recruits as well. Finally, there comes another very important point: regardless of their battling style, Reserve Gym Leaders must be trustworthy people with a degree of autonomy and initiative high enough to maintain the arena permanently. In other words, don’t be afraid to pass on the baton to a potential successor, but do it wisely and choose with discernment. That way, you’ll all benefit, and the league will still be operational in any circumstances.”

 

Several whispers could be heard shortly after Ame had finished to explain them how the assignment of Reserve Gym Leader was working. The other Gym Leaders were exchanging their ideas and opinions with each other about this subject seriously. And then, everything was silent.

 

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Ame: “So… what’s your opinion? Would you consider applying this new option on the Hoenn League?”

Steven: “Any advice or comment is welcomed. Don’t be shy, and tell us what you think of it. Each of you.”

 

Norman was the first to share his thought. He spoke.

 

Norman: “Hm… from this perspective, it sounds like a reliable way to proceed. At least, for me. If such a rule could ever come into effect, I would certainly get more time to spend with Ruby. I may be a Gym Leader in Hoenn myself, but otherwise and above all, I’m a family man. After all these misadventures that led me to protect the city and training myself in my gym continuously, I would feel ready to adopt and recognize this rule as a new element of the league policy even today.”

Liza: “Me too! Our grandparents used to be the legitimate protectors of the orbs in the Mt. Pyre. It would make sense to opt for the possibility to find and register a Reserve Gym Leader in Mossdeep City, so we could continue to keep an eye on them more often.”

Tate: “Easier said than done sis! Finding someone worthy enough to replace a brother and a sister stick together like both of us might be a really hard task to deal with. However, I don’t know why I shouldn’t be hopeful either, and I agree with you, Liza. With any luck, we could also have some new opportunities to keep watch over the space center with father more often as well. As a result, I would not say ‘no’ to Ame’s proposal.”

Wattson: “Well… I don’t actually know how the Gym Leaders of Reborn live with this, but I must admit that it’s a very tempting offer! Thanks to this new law applied, it will surely be a win-win situation for everyone involved. Having my own substitute will make me able to ensure a better maintenance of New Mauville by keeping an eye on the generator more permanently. I have all the good reasons to be confident. That’s why I approve this rule, ahahah!”

Brawly: “Ironically, it’s just the kind of change I hoped to see comin’ someday. Less time spent into my gym would mean more time maintaining my body and sliding on the waves along the beaches of my village. For me, it’s more than a new rule. It’s a golden opportunity to live my life to the fullest. So yes, I want to get my own Reserve Gym Leader as well!”

Roxanne: “Personally, I took some time to think ahead before to come. Getting an alternate Gym Leader like this might have its advantages. Somehow, I could invest myself even more into the teaching and the coaching of the Trainer School in Rustboro City than I already did. Also, what would life be without a few expeditions alongside with Professor Cozmo? The Meteor Falls have still an abundance of rare stones and strong wild Pokemon. Adventure and Pokemon training are two things that fit together very well. In the end, there are certainly more positive than negative points to be gained with this, so it would make sense. I approve the acceptance of this concept of Reserve Gym Leader in Hoenn!”

Juan: “I can comprehend why there is such an unanimous approval of this decision. To be honest, I can’t say that I didn’t experience something similar myself.”

Wallace: “What a symbiosis of mind, Juan! That’s exactly what I said yesterday!”

Juan: “So, we must both have the same idea on the subject at this very moment. In case some of you didn’t notice or just missed it, I used to be the Gym Leader of Sootopolis City far before Wallace. But the fact that I had to reoccupy this post some years later was not exactly a choice.”

Jacques: “I presume you’re referring to the time when the two legendaries Kyogre and Groudon have been awaken during Hoenn crisis, aren’t you?”

Juan: “That’s exactly about it! You’re definitely well-informed of what happens in this region Jacques, that’s good. I have a lot of respect for you, as well as for Ame for having suggested us to adopt this reformation so kindly.”

Ame: “Pleasure is mine, Juan.”

Juan: “You’re welcome, madam. As a consequence, if I am back to my position of Gym Leader today, it’s because once upon a time, Hoenn needed a new figurehead for its preservation. Wallace was the perfect element to assume the role of Champion of Hoenn at this time, even though he had rejected this title the day of his victory against the league.”

Wallace: “If we had to give an explanation for this decision, it’s because my heart was too submerged by modesty to handle it… as it has always been.”

Juan: “You’re a man of righteousness, Wallace. Hoenn would actually need more people like you. But so be it. The Hoenn League has been built and is based on values that mutate and pass down from people to people over generations. I know that we’ll find someone as worthy as Wallace was in the case where I should retire for some reason. That’s why I approve this suggestion of Reserve Gym Leader!”

 

After a silent wait to make sure that Juan didn’t has anything else to say, Winona finally expressed herself as well.

 

Winona: “Okay, I think it’s my turn now.”

 

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She took a little breath and gave her opinion then.

 

Winona: “I… I know about this idea of Reserve Gym Leader. To tell the truth, me, Jacques and Flannery have already talked at length about that during the party in Fortree City yesterday. And honestly, I don’t know how I could not agree with such a proposition. I’m convinced that there will be much to gain from this process for all of us in the future.”

Wallace: “It seems like you all agree.”

 

The Champion of Hoenn stood up, delivering the council’s verdict.

 

Wallace: “So be it! The notion of Reserve Gym Leader is now an integral part of the Hoenn League policy. Hence, I grant all the regional Gym Leaders the permission to choose their own potential successors. From now on, you who are here in this room, the composition of a new generation of battlers is about to see the light of day, and it’s up to you to decide who is more likely to represent the future of the league. If any of you wish to make someone a Reserve Gym Leader someday, just let me know. Then afterwards, me and Steven will communicate information to the Pokemon Association if necessary.”

 

Proud of having played a role in the change of the organization of the Hoenn League, Jacques seemed very pleased with himself, while Ame was listening to Wallace’s speech carefully by smiling in approval. In the meantime, Wattson made a brief comment after having noticed that Flannery was the only one left to not have given her opinion about the topic of Reserve Gym Leader yet.

 

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Wattson: “Do we really all agree? Don’t you have forgotten someone, Wallace?”

Tate: “Hey, that’s true! You did not let Flannery express herself yet.”

Wallace: “Oh, don’t worry for that. Flannery already knows what she wants. Am I right?”

 

The redhead uttered the following words confidently.

 

Flannery: “That’s actually the case. I approve this rule.”

 

And everything was silent again. A few seconds later, Liza questioned her.

 

Liza: “Was that all? You seem quieter than usual, Flannery. What does it mean?”

Roxanne: “I agree with Liza, it’s not like you. Not at all. Hm… I wonder…”

 

The Rock Type specialist turned to Wallace and looked at him in the eyes.

 

Roxanne: “Wallace… you’re hiding something to us. You prevented to tell us the details about this reunion in their entirety before to come, didn’t you?”

Wallace: “Nice shot Roxanne, that’s precisely what I did. Approving or disapproving the concept of Reserve Gym Leader in Hoenn was just one of the reasons why this council has been held this afternoon.”

Brawly: “Why the secrecy? What is the second reason about?”

Wallace: “I suppose that Flannery will be more likely to answer than I am. Most of you may ignore it yet, but it’s in response to Flannery’s request that we’re actually holding this conference together around this table.”

Brawly: “Ha? Really? What’s the main idea?”

 

Wallace gave Flannery a sign, inviting her to explain her motives to the other Gym Leaders.

 

Wallace: “Flannery? Could you explain them everything in detail?”

Flannery: “Aaaaaaand that’s what I intended to do!”

 

The Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town gazed across the room with an uncomfortable feeling. She waited for the silence to be complete. Only then, she spoke.

 

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Flannery: “So, I… I’m not used to talk in front of so many people like that, but… I hope that you’re all ready to hear what I have to say, at least.”

Juan: “Sure we are! We would all like to know what’s this unknown reason that has brought us in here today. Don’t let shyness dictate your actions, Flannery.”

Roxanne: “Juan is right. Come on Flannery, we want to know! Tell us everything!”

Flannery: “Okay! So… um… dear colleagues, hum… no wait. I wish to say to all my friends in here… hm… no, it doesn’t work either… anyway. I’m pleased to announce you that… uh… that I decided to take the train tomorrow to go to Reborn City and challenge the Reborn League. Thus, I wish to retire from my position of Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town temporarily.”

 

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All the people invited were shocked by such an unpredictable declaration from the fiery redhead. Except Ame, Jacques, Steven, Wallace, Winona, and Sapphire.

 

Winona: (That was bound to happen. When information of such magnitude is revealed and submitted during important moments like this, there is enough to have spirit flipped upside down.)

Tate: “What!? Did I hear right!?”

Liza: “You did, I heard the same. That’s something!”

Brawly: “Hellooooo!?!? Are you serious!? What the hell is going on!?!?”

Roxanne: “Impressive, really! I am literally flabbergasted!”

Norman: “My goodness! I didn’t expect to hear such a thing from you, Flannery!”

Wattson: “For Christ’s sake! What a spine-tingling discovery! I didn’t see it coming. Absolutely not!”

Juan: “What a surprise, Flannery! I knew for a long time that your thirst for power was inexhaustible, but to leave your own gym as well as your home area… Is that really what you want!? I am mystified!”

 

Flannery answered to Juan, she exposed her mind by telling him how she felt and what she lived as a Gym Leader during these last few weeks.

 

Flannery: “I can understand if some of you are surprised, but… yes, this is what I want.”

Roxanne: “I can’t believe it.”

Flannery: “I have no wish to hold it back, so I’ll go straight to the point. I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, I don’t get the same pleasure than before from gym battles anymore. Things have changed. As you said Juan, I’m used to enjoy dares and challenges, you’re right. But where are challenges when there’s no one strong enough to compete with you in your own battle zone?”

Wattson: “Hm… not wrong. I myself recognize that the level of competitivity has fallen drastically for a while in Hoenn.”

Flannery: “And it’s been two years now! Two years since I came back home from the championship in Unova! This came to a point where I totally forgot what it feels like to lose. What is the point of continuing to gain experience if you can’t directly show to the rest of the world what you can do? Taking on a Pokemon League in another region sounds like an excellent exercise to me. It would make me able to test my training skills by travelling the world just like Sapphire and Ruby did. And as far as I heard, even Gym Leaders like us would be allowed to face the Reborn League.”

Norman: “Even a Gym Leader? Interesting. Are you sure? If so, I can understand why you’re so hurry to leave. In fact, I guess it would be a great opportunity for any people in quest for power and self-surpassing. That’s something we have to reconsider seriously.”

Flannery: “Everything is true, I swear. Wasn’t it what you told me yesterday, Jacques?”

 

The man in brown coat looked like he was lost in thoughts, but he came back to his senses quickly to answer Flannery’s interrogation.

 

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Jacques: “Oops, sorry! Could you speak louder, please? I am a little deaf in my right ear.”

Flannery: “Oh, okay! I wanted to be sure. You’ve said that everybody was permitted to defy the Reborn League, didn’t you?”

Jacques: “Sure, I did! In the case where you’ve thought of a backup solution and as long as you’re ready to pass on the baton to someone suitable enough for the post of Gym Leader to preserve Hoenn’s League activity in Lavaridge Town, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. But as Wallace truly said, it would be better to go further in your process of admission only with a general agreement of your friends here.”

Wallace: “And that’s the second reason why I launched a call with Steven last night for this afternoon. However, before to deal with more details related to a possible departure, I have a little question for you Sapphire.”

Sapphire: “For me? What do you want from me, Wallace?”

Wallace: “Nothing special, really. I just wanted to know how many Fire Pokemon you had in your possession.”

 

After a short time of reflection to refresh her mind, Sapphire answered to Wallace.

 

Sapphire: “Hum… only one, I think. I have Chic, my Blaziken.”

Wallace: “And… don’t you have any others?”

Sapphire: “No. Just one.”

 

Then, Wallace turned to Flannery. The redhead just came to understand why he asked Sapphire such a question, and it didn’t seem to delight her at all.

 

Wallace: “Hm… Flannery. I don’t want you to take this wrong, but… we may have a problem here.”

Flannery: “Yikes! I actually know what you mean by that.”

Winona: “Me too. According to one of the first rules established within the Hoenn League, every Gym Leader must have at least three Pokemon of the same type at his disposal to be considered as such.”

Wallace: “You got it, Winona. And unfortunately, this rule can’t be violated in any way.”

Flannery: “Does it mean that… Sapphire… can’t replace me in my gym?”

Wallace: “Yes… it’s hard to tell, but that the case.”

 

Flannery was really disappointed. This reminder of the requirement for being promoted as a Gym Leader just ruined all her plans. She lowered the eyes and whined, the heart in the throat.

 

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Flannery: “Aaaaw!”

Winona: “That’s too bad.”

Jacques: “*sigh*”

Wallace: “Nevertheless… there might be a way to make Sapphire eligible among the candidates to replace you, despite of the lack of appropriate Pokemon. But it will involve a certain level of commitment on your part, Flannery.”

Flannery: “Really? Are you serious?”

Wallace: “You think I’m not?”

 

The face of the impetuous redhead began to shine again. She got her hope back.

 

Flannery: “Yay! Thank you! You scared me for a moment. So, what’s this commitment you’re talking about?”

Wallace: “In fact, I wanted to talk more specifically about a borrowing. Two of your Pokemon… if you choose and lend them to Sapphire, so I can grant her the title of Fire Gym Leader. What do you say?”

Flannery: “Wait, what!?”

Winona: “…”

Brawly: “Of course… it would have been too easy otherwise.”

Roxanne: “Brawly!”

 

Appalled by Wallace’s suggestion, Flannery tried her best to keep quiet and better understand what he had in mind but to no avail. She was extremely confused.

 

Flannery: “Are you telling me that my place of Gym Leader can’t be occupied by Sapphire as long as I don’t give her two of my mons? I hope that’s a joke!”

Wallace: “Flannery, you should have known for a long time that as the Champion of the Hoenn League, I don’t get a lot of opportunities for pleasantries. And by the way, I never talked about “giving” but “borrowing”. You won’t leave your fighting partners forever, and you know very well that you won’t draw a line under your career of Gym Leader in Lavaridge Town once and for all either.”

Flannery: “Sure, but still. You force me to take an important decision. Using two of my team members as terms of a negotiation to go to Reborn is kind of a big deal, Wallace. They’ve grown up with me. That’s quite a sensitive point we’re going to tackle here, don’t you think?”

Sapphire: “Hey Wallace! Worst case, I can always catch some of them in the wild. After all, there are plenty of Fire Pokemon in Hoenn, especially around the Mt. Chimney.”

Wallace: “I’m not doubting you and your trainer skills Sapphire, but at this point, it would take too much time to turn some random Fire Pokemon into fighting machines. Even for the best of us, this kind of thing would be too much to ask.”

 

Jacques, who knew how to stay diplomatic in any case, responded to Wallace’s words.

 

Jacques: “Hum… if I may say so, that’s typically the type of practice we tend to see in Reborn.”

Wallace: “Perhaps, but unfortunately, we belong to Hoenn. And here, making a wild Pokemon stronger that fast is quite a difficult task to undertake.”

Juan: “There’s no reason to blame Wallace for this. To be honest, I was the one to have taught him this principle during the days when he was still an apprentice of mine. And somehow, we are forced to face reality. Trying something rash like this would make us unlikely to get satisfying results.”

Jacques: “So, it seems like we’re in a dead end.”

Wallace: “It’s up to you Flannery. What are you going to do?”

 

Old and new decisions were jumping left and right inside of Flannery’s head. She wished that the circumstances of this negotiation would have been different. But in the end, it couldn’t be otherwise.

 

Flannery: (I must think about it. This decision can’t be taken lightly. I hate separations, I always did. And yet… from there to defying the Reborn League myself isn’t a big step to take. So maybe I can do it, but… there’s still something bothering me about that. I should discuss of it with the others.)

 

After careful consideration, the feisty Gym Leader expressed herself.

 

Flannery: “So… let us suppose that I would actually lend my Pokemon to Sapphire. Doesn’t that make me suffer a penalty even before my arrival in Reborn? I mean… my team would be reduced from the beginning of my journey, right? I could still settle for what’s left of it. But once on the spot, it will be a completely different kettle of fish to me.”

Jacques: “I have anticipated this question!”

Wallace: “What?”

Jacques: “Yes, I know that it could seem banal when I put it like that, but it would still be possible to give Flannery a starter as soon as we arrive in Reborn just like we always did with the other newcomers. What do you think, Ame?”

Ame: “That’s entirely possible. Usually, every trainer follows this step when they visit the region for the first time. Consequently, no exceptions will be made. Flannery will receive a new traveling companion in addition to her current team after she has registered as a Reborn trainer despite her affiliation with the Hoenn League. This should ensure a reasonable balance in spite of the three mandatory Pokemon rule which has been imposed on her.”

Flannery: “You’d do that for me?”

Jacques: “Sure we will!”

Flannery: “Wohoo! That sounds great! Thank you both, it really helps me a lot!”

Sapphire: “Maybe, but before to go, you still have to choose who will be the Pokemon that you’re going to entrust to me.”

Flannery: “Hmmm… yes. But in any case, I trust you, Sapphire. After all, it’s not like your father was a scientist himself. The protection of Pokemon runs in your family. If I really have no other choice, so that’s certainly the best choice to do.”

Winona: “You should reconsider what it means, Flannery. This is your own Pokemon you’re talking about. Mine are like full members of my family, I guess that’s the same for you. Can you just imagine how they could feel if they ever realized what’s going to happen here? For me, this negotiation is like sending some of your children to an orphanage while keeping the remaining ones. I don’t even know how you’re suppose to make such a decision.”

 

Caught up by the notion of choice, Flannery was confused. She felt herself torn apart by hesitation again.

 

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Flannery: “Argh… so… I’m not sure myself… I love them all… this is... so hard…”

Steven: “Maybe not as hard as you think in the end.”

Flannery: “Why do you say this, Steven? How long have you known what is good or bad for my Pokemon?”

Steven: “Don’t worry Flannery, I just want to help and present my view on this issue. Then, you’ll be free to agree with me or not.”

Flannery: “Okay. So, what do you have in mind?”

Steven: “To tell the truth, this borrowing might actually happen in a way that could even please your own Pokemon. Do you see Flannery? I’ve been informed of the conditions in which your gym battle against Sapphire was held five years ago.”

Flannery: “Yeah, I remember. This happened in the night. We had fought in a special match while we were both bathing in the hot springs in Lavaridge Town.”

Brawly: “What a story! If only I could have seen it myself…”

Roxanne: “Braaaaaawlyyyyyyyy!”

 

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Wattson: “AHAHAHAH! That’s one hell of an anecdote you’ve there!”

Wallace: “Please, keep calm! We are gathered here today for something serious, I remind you.”

Steven: “It’s alright, Wallace. At least, this will enliven the debate a little more.”

Wattson: “I kinda agree with this!”

Brawly: “Me too, but hey! Why are you quoting this fight in particular?”

Steven: “For… for nothing very important indeed. It’s just that I understood from Sapphire that she had used Chic to defeat Flannery’s Magcargo when it was still a Combusken.”

Flannery: “That’s correct. She beat Mag, and I gave her the Heat Badge.”

Steven: “So, what if you let this same Magcargo out just in front of Sapphire? Even today, I’m sure that Sapphire’s face will be quite familiar to it.”

Flannery: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I just figured out what you’re getting at!”

Steven: “So you did! Pokemon like and recognize people who have a certain gift for battles, especially those who managed to collect all the badges from one specific league. Sapphire is one of these people. When Mag sees it, it will undoubtedly recognize the trainer it fought against in the past. Even though it’s not supposed to last forever, it will certainly be more likely to get along well with the other members of Sapphire’s team.”

Flannery: “That makes sense! I should have thought about that when I called her last night. Additionally, the fact that Mag and Meg both belong to the same Pokemon species will definitely make their adaptation easier.”

Steven: “You got it!”

Flannery: “So basically, in terms of Pokemon to entrust to Sapphire, it would be better to lend Mag and Meg.”

Steven: “Yes, that was my point.”

Flannery: “Hey! Sounds like a very good deal to me. I agree with that!”

Sapphire: “I agree as well. This way, the terms of this negotiation seem to be relatively fair and balanced. I’m in favor of this!”

Juan: “You’re a smart person, Steven. I did not see things under this perspective myself.”

Steven: “Thanks, Juan!”

Wallace: “Proof that we should all believe in miracles. Every situation has always its own solution.”

 

Then, Wallace hurried to speak to the other Gym Leaders.

 

Wallace: “Now, I let you debate and agree with each other, all of you. Take your time before to pass judgement.”

 

Steven, Wallace, Jacques and Ame were discussing silently what could potentially represents the fact of welcoming a Gym Leader from Hoenn to Reborn. In the meantime, Flannery’s colleagues were all confronting their respective points of view on this decision with each other. Only Winona had seemed to remain dubious. The ambitious firehead was watching them all, she was eagerly awaiting the result of this concertation. It was only when all the conversations were over that Wallace spoke again.

 

Wallace: “Well, should I interpret this silence as the end of your concertation?”

Roxanne: “Probably.”

Wallace: “Excellent. But before we go any further, I think that Ame has something to tell you.”

Ame: “Can I start now?”

Wallace: “It’s up to you, my friend.”

Ame: “Great! So, we had a little discussion while you all tried to reach an agreement. Me and Wallace believe that welcoming Flannery to Reborn, if it ever came to happen, would be an excellent occasion for the two regions to create and share a major axis of communication to improve their respective development. Reborn needs to receive more people of goodwill to stand up again, and we both think that Flannery would be the perfect leading figure to encourage the good execution of this process. Thus, we would be proud to greet her among us, not just as a random trainer, but as the Ambassador of Hoenn in Reborn.”

 

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Tate: “What!? Ambassador of… Hoenn?”

Liza: “Ambassador of Hoenn… in Reborn? Someone that could represent all of us in foreign territories, that’s it?”

Ame: “Exactly!”

Tate: “Waaah! That’s an important role to assume!”

Liza: “Absolutely! And to be frank… I find it really interesting. I would say even exciting!”

 

The charming redhead was in full jubilation. She felt herself shining like a Christmas tree in the middle of Norman’s gym just by listening to Ame’s talk.

 

Flannery: (That rocks so hard! Me, Flannery Moore, Ambassador of Hoenn in Reborn… I just can’t believe what’s going to happen to me. This is crazy! If I ever come there, I have to do everything in my power to leave a positive impression of myself like I did in Hoenn… Oh my God!)

Wallace: “And voila. Now, you all know what’s awaiting Flannery if she ever leaves for Reborn. But it’s only once you have all given your consent that we could actually make it happen… or not. I submit this decision to the vote by show of hands. What have you chosen?”

Flannery: (Please… my friends… be on my side!)

 

Flannery was still in shock emotionally, she implored the other Gym Leaders to support her. She hoped she could have attracted their clemency as well as their understanding. The tension was already to the max, everything was about to come down at this very last moment. Then suddenly, to Flannery’s greatest satisfaction, the first hands began to raise for her.

 

Norman: “In any case… you have my support, Flannery. Ambassador or not, I’m sure this initiative would have been to your grandfather’s taste. You’re following his steps now. If there’s nothing holding you back in Hoenn anymore, so… what would be the point of refusing?”

Flannery: “Oh, Norman!”

Liza: “I’m sharing Norman’s opinion. I would be so happy for you to see and discover new horizons that I would feel quite uneasy to deny you from such an opportunity, let alone all these new dares awaiting you.”

Tate: “You took the words right out of my mouth, Liza. That’s exactly what I was about to say.”

Flannery: “Liza, Tate! Thank you!”

Wattson: “Ahahah, Flannery. If only I were younger, I would have certainly done the same too. You’ll dazzle them just like you dazzled me ten years ago, I am sure. Bring it on, sweetie!”

Flannery: “Yay! Thank you very much, Wattson!”

Brawly: “Yes, yes, yes, and yes. For me, it will be several thousand tons of ‘yes’. Gym Leaders fighting against other Gym Leaders… that’s what I’ve always wanted to do in my life… after surfing, of course. Show them what you got, Flannery! Don’t hold back!”

Flannery: “Haha, thanks Brawly! You can be sure that I’ll do my best. *Wink*”

Roxanne: “Wow! It’s all happening a bit too fast to me. But on the other hand, I’m convinced that you’ll gain more experience on the ground than just by staying at home. And between you and me… that sounds pretty well… ‘Ambassador of Hoenn’. You have my support, Flannery!”

Flannery: “Thank you Roxanne, you’re fantastic!”

Juan: “You’re fantastic too, Flannery! This is droll. I remember the first day we met each other. I used to enjoy comparing you to a living torch, always ready to bring your light to your friends, where all the other lights were turned off. You’ve grown in maturity and self-confidence, and I wonder if you won’t reach the same level as Wallace someday… but so be it. You’re free to wander and live your life wherever you want. As long as you do it in a good way, I won’t oppose to your request.”

 

Never being able to hide her feelings in front of such declarations from a gentleman, Flannery answered timidly and turned red.

 

Flannery: “Hihihi Juan! You’ve always been a good guy. I thank you a lot for your kindness!”

 

Praises and encouragements of her companions made Flannery happy. She, who was so excited to confront a Pokemon League herself, she was about to be fully satisfied. Everybody had delivered its own opinion. Well… almost. Winona who was listening to everyone’s talk finally decided to raise her hand as well. However, her movements were slower than usual, just like she was afraid of speaking. For some reason, she was overwhelmed by melancholy. It was present in her words.

 

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Winona: “I… I am… I’m very… I’m very proud of you Flannery.”

Flannery: “You look anxious, Winona. Something’s wrong?”

Winona: “I’m fine… I’m fine. It’s just that… it’s hard for me to see people that I care about leaving.”

Wallace: “You know, Winnie. Nobody’s forcing to agree with the others.”

Winona: “I’m not sure that you’d understand, Wallace. This angst has always been something natural to me. It’s part of myself. But Flannery… she’s someone to whom I owe a lot. Even if it’s hard for me to get used to the approval of her departure, I could not stand to be a burden to her happiness too.”

Flannery: “Oh please. Don’t put yourself in this state just for me. It sounds like you’re talking about me just as if all the traces of my existence were fated to disappear with me.”

Jacques: “…”

Winona: “This is how I’m starting to feel about you. And sincerely, I would love to leave for adventure with you in Reborn. That’s possible for you… but not for me. At least, not this time.”

Flannery: “Yikes! I understand what you mean by that.”

Winona: “A new story is about to begin for you. Mine is keeping me here. But if you ever manage to… um… save a little space for me in yours… so… maybe… I would be at… peace… with myself.”

 

The beautiful aeronaut was making considerable efforts to mask her emotion. Flannery was the one who had helped her to rebuild her entire life. The departure of the redhead was inevitably about to leave a great void in Winona’s existence. Despite this, Flannery tried to reassure her dear friend.

 

Flannery: “I’ll do it, I promise. Wherever I go, wherever you go… we’ll still be friends.”

Winona: “Fight for you… fight for me… fight for both of us.”

Flannery: “You’ll be unique in this world for me. I will fight, and I will win. You can count on me.”

Winona: “*Snif* Thank you, Flannery!”

 

Tears began to run down the cheeks of the angelic girl. It was like she was bound to Flannery, and Flannery bound to her. One could not exist without the other. They already had the habit of supporting and protecting one another since they were children. Even through time, the intensity of this osmosis was still the same… but there was room for only one ambassador. Shortly after, Wallace spoke.

 

Wallace: “Was that all, Winona?”

Winona: “Yes, that’s fine.”

Wallace: “Well. Seems like we finally found a general agreement.”

 

He stood up and provided the closing assessment of the debate.

 

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Wallace: “So, the verdict is in. Here come the true terms of the council. From now on, all the Gym Leaders in Hoenn, as well as those who will succeed them in the future, have the right to adopt and select their own Reserve Gym Leader whenever they want. Just take note that it’s preferable for the potential recruits to already have three Pokemon of the same type to make it possible, at least. Also, I’m proud to officially make Flannery ‘Ambassador of Hoenn’. As of today, she temporarily retires from her position in favor of Sapphire Birch who becomes the new Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town. The latter will keep this title until Flannery’s return. Of course, only the gym is bequeathed. The residence and all the other goods belong to the former Gym Leader of the town. They’ll still remain in Flannery’s possession anyway.”

 

There was silence in the room at the end of this sentence. Then, Wallace asked.

 

Wallace: “Do you all agree?”

Roxanne: “Sure, that’s what we’ve all said earlier. However, I noticed that you forgot to mention one last detail, Wallace.”

Wallace: “Really? Which one?”

Roxanne: “The departure time of the next train to Reborn.”

Wallace: “Ah yes, you’re right. How silly of me! I apologize for this moment of weakness. Um… Ame? What time are you leaving tomorrow?”

Ame: “At 10:15 AM.”

Wallace: “Thank you! Very well.”

 

The former Water Type Gym Leader turned to Flannery.

 

Wallace: “Flannery. Do you think you’ll be ready at 9:30 AM? You’ll have to be outside to give Sapphire the magnetic card of your Gym as well as the Pokeballs containing Mag and Meg.”

Flannery: “Certainly. I’ll be ready to go at this time.”

Wallace: “Great! Sapphire? Is that okay for you?”

Sapphire: “Of course! I’m fine with this.”

Winona: “Um… would you allow me to escort Flannery to the railway station?”

Flannery: “…!”

Wallace: “Sure Winnie, you can! In addition, I’m convinced that it will please her a lot to see you one last time. You certainly won’t have a lot of opportunities for this for a while after that.”

 

At this very moment, Flannery just remembered something she had forgotten to mention.

 

Flannery: “Wait! There’s still something I would like to know.”

Wallace: “What is it?”

 

The redhead pulled her PokeNav out quickly before to ask a very specific question to Jacques and Ame.

 

Flannery: “Sorry about that, but I just realized something. Do you think I’ll still be able to call someone with my PokeNav once I’ll be in Reborn? You understand… I have golden friends here in Hoenn, and I could not stand them being worried about me.”

Winona: (…Flannery…)

Ame: “Yes, we understand. Unfortunately, as far as I know, the region we live is not covered by any PokeNav network. Consequently, I regret to say that this device will not be of any use for you in Reborn.”

Flannery: “Aaaaw… too bad. It was a long shot after all.”

Ame: “That being said, we have many postal workers working alongside with us within the Grand Hall in Opal Ward. So, if you ever want to write and send some letters to someone, you can always count on them. We’ll do our best to meet your needs, Ambassador of Hoenn.”

Flannery: “Yaaaay! Thank you for telling me that. It’s one less thing to worry about to me.”

Jacques: “Hehe, you see now. With us by your side, there’s nothing to worry about at all. Believe me Flannery, you can rest easy tonight.”

Flannery: “Haha, you’re so cool. Thanks to both of you!”

Ame & Jacques: “You’re welcome!”

Wallace: “Splendid! So… does anyone else have something to add?”

 

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Silence became thick once again.

 

All: “…”

Brawly: “…Sounds like no.”

Wallace: “Wonderful! That should conclude the council. I now declare the debate closed.”

Steven: “Thank you all for your attendance, you can leave.”

 

And so they did. Flannery said goodbye to all the people who had participated to the reunion by thanking them again from the bottom of the heart. All of them were revealed to be very enthusiastic at the idea of seeing her taking on the Reborn League. Then, Flannery reached the exit, leaving before the others alongside with Winona. This meeting was at least as important for the latter as for the Gym Leader of Lavaridge Town who was now officially recognized as the legitimate representative of the Hoenn League in Reborn by her peers. Finally, this whole story became clearer for everyone. But just before she crossed the threshold of Norman’s arena, Winona who didn’t say one single word since the end of the council was interrupting Flannery in her rush. She needed to talk to her.

 

Winona: “Flannery?”

Flannery: “Yes, Winona?”

Winona: “I wanted to… ask you something.”

Flannery: “What is it? Does it have something to do with me?”

Winona: “Sure it is. Earlier, when you talked to Ame, you mentioned something about golden friends… people who could possibly worry for you. Did you… did you think about me when you said that?”

Flannery: “Yes, that’s exactly it. During the whole meeting, I felt you troubled. So, it was all natural for me to suggest a solution to appease your mind. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my departure. But still, you must realize that we did everything we could to avoid that. And between you and me… we can eventually replace Gym Leaders in Hoenn, but it doesn’t mean we do the same with friends. It’s not my habit to do so. It never was. And it never will.”

Winona: “If there is one quality that I really like about you Flannery, it’s definitely your generosity. You’ve always had so much to give to the others.”

Flannery: “I think so. And it seems like I’m not the only one here. There are so few people that would have had the patience and the kindness to organize and celebrate a party like you did. I won’t be able to thank you enough in one life for everything you did to me. And no matter who I’ll meet in Reborn, nobody will be cool enough to replace a friend like you.”

 

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Winona’s face was squeezed by emotion. She felt happiness growing inside of her while she thanked the redhead tenderly.

 

Winona: “Thank you Flannery! That’s very touching. I promise to get better with time. Whatever happens, live your life the best you can. Sometimes, taking some distances is the best thing to do for restoring a proper balance.”

Flannery: “Don’t worry about me, it will be alright. ‘’Falling, getting up, never backtracking’’ has been grandpa’s motto for quite a long time. I’ll do the same. I’ll keep writing our family’s history, and I’ll honor him through my feats. Him, you, as well as all the members of the Hoenn League.”

Winona: “I like it when you talk like that! That’s the spirit! Give your best, and never forget. When you no longer know where you’re going, just remember where you come from.”

Flannery: “Haha, thank you! I won’t forget it.”

Winona: “Haha, I have no doubt about that!”

 

While the two women were discussing among themselves next to the exit of the gym, Jacques appeared. Flannery saw him behind her and used this opportunity to talk a bit to him in the presence of Winona.

 

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Jacques: “Hello again girls! How are you?”

Flannery: “Hey Jacques! I could ask you the same thing. I was comforting Winona, but other than that, everything is fine.”

Jacques: “Ah, good! Ame is in the meeting room, she’s still in the middle of a conversation with Steven. For my part, I’ve discussed a little bit with some of your comrades. All of them seemed more than satisfied by the conclusion of this council. They didn’t stop telling me over and over how proud they were of you and your career. You’re really lucky to have such a considerate entourage, Flannery!”

Flannery: “I know it. With such good friends, I must admit that I’m a woman rich in love. And while I’m at it, I would like to thank you for your contribution during the second part of the debate. This whole thing about giving a starter to newcomers sounds like a really good idea to me.”

Jacques: “Believe me Flannery, and I insist on this. No matter who the newcomers are, we’ve always treated them right on arrival in Reborn. Their reception has always been carried out under the best possible conditions. I wish to play my role in yours, and I don’t want you to stress even for one single second. All I want for you is just to be happy.”

 

The redhead really appreciated Jacques’s attention and cordiality. She answered with a big smile on the face.

 

Flannery: “That’s awesome, really! I love what you’re doing for me! You’re really a good guy, Jacques!”

 

That was all it took to please the Reserve Dark Type Gym Leader. The black-haired boy returned Flannery’s compliment to her, in all humility.

 

Jacques: “Thank you for making me realize it, Flannery. Being good and helpful has always been a second nature to me. And as you feel very strongly about Reborn, I would be glad to tell you more about what you have to look forward to. We can always do it during the train ride tomorrow.”

Flannery: “Oh yeah, that’s definitely what we should do! Hey! Why won’t you side with me and show me what the different wards of the city are looking like when I get there? As the Ambassador of Hoenn, I will certainly need a guide to not get lost as soon as I arrive, don’t you think?”

Jacques: “Actually, I have to say that I don’t really know what could prevent me from doing so. That should be possible!”

Winona: “If it happens, please promise me to always protect her. She’s the most important thing in my life. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing her.”

Jacques: “Don’t panic Winona, I swear I’ll never let such a thing happen! Also, my local knowledge is relatively good. After some walks in downtown, I’m sure that Flannery should be able to find her feet in Reborn quite easily. The only thing I’m afraid of is being considered as a burden by then.”

Flannery: “Don’t say it Jacques, we never said you were a burden. You’re absolutely not. I would even say that you’re all the contrary of a burden. And by the way, I would have never asked you to grant me your guidance if I did not consider it as a necessity.”

Jacques: “Hehe, you’re not wrong! You’ll see. I’m like a Nosepass, I never lose sight of my bearings!”

Flannery: “Haha!”

Winona: “Hahaha!”

All: “Hahahahahaha!”

 

Then, while the three people had fun together, Roxanne showed up, leaving the meeting room as well.

 

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Roxanne: “Hello! Who was talking about Nosepass?”

Flannery: “Ah Roxanne, this is you!”

Winona: “Don’t worry, Roxanne. It was nothing special. We simply talked about the person who was going to ensure Flannery’s guidance in Reborn.”

Roxanne: “Really? Do I know this person? Who were you talking about?”

Jacques: “It’s me. I accepted to lend my support to Flannery and ensure her security once we arrive on the town.”

Roxanne: “Hey, that’s good news! But then… why did you talk about Nosepass?”

Jacques: “In fact, it was just myself. All this was nothing but an allegorical figure based on my sense of orientation.”

 

Unexpectedly, Jacques began to speak in a robotic voice to amuse them.

 

Jacques: “THIS IS ME. I AM FLANNERY’S PERSONAL NOSEPASS. AT YOUR SERVICE. *bzzzzzt*”

 

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Sensitive to his offbeat humor, Flannery covered her mouth with her hands to hide laughter with puffed cheeks.

 

Flannery: “Pfffrrrtr!”

Winona: “Are you okay, Flannery?”

Flannery: “Of course I am! It feels so good to finally meet someone who have something funny to say like this. I like it!”

Jacques: “Thank you Flannery! It always makes me feel good to know that there are still people able to enjoy my humor. I must say that this little trip in Hoenn has been really helpful at this level. It was great to clean my spirit.”

 

Then, Roxanne politely suggested something to Jacques.

 

Roxanne: “I have an idea, Jacques. Why won’t you go with us in Rustboro City for the rest of the afternoon?”

Jacques: “Me?”

Roxanne: “Yes, you.”

Jacques: “Hum… I would love to… but… I’m sorry, I have to head back to Lilycove City with Ame. She said she still had a lot of work to do and I would not feel right to turn back to her just as if nothing mattered. In fact, I’m convinced that she will need my services once again.”

Roxanne: “Really? Well… so… if it’s part of your obligations, I understand.”

 

And coincidentally, Ame showed up from one of the back doors in turn.

 

Ame: “Jacques!”

Jacques: “Ame, you’re here!”

Ame: “Yes. We have to go now, I still have some paperwork to do, and I doubt I’ll be able to deal with this all alone. If that’s okay for you, I’d need your help.”

Jacques: “So be it. I’ll be there to assist you, Ame.”

Ame: “Wonderful! I knew I was right to count on you.”

 

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The Champion of the mysterious league left the room by saying goodbye to the three Gym Leaders while Jacques turned to Flannery, Winona and Roxanne with an apologetic expression.

 

Jacques: “Flannery, Winona, Roxanne… I’m sorry. But being Gym Leaders yourselves, you must certainly know what it is to have the sense of duty.”

Flannery: “Of course we know. Don’t feel bad Jacques, you’ll see me tomorrow.”

Jacques: “Thank you Flannery. Yes, I’ll see you tomorrow. But for the moment, please enjoy your girls’ day out. The designation of an ambassador does not happen every day.”

Winona: “For sure, today is an important day to celebrate!”

Roxanne: “So, what are we waiting for? How about we take a walk around the town, girl-to-girl?”

Flannery: “I’ll go for it. It will revitalize me a lot!”

Winona: “Me too. A great revitalization in perspective!”

 

They all left the arena. Ame was waiting for Jacques in the middle of the city. The latter was accompanying by the three damsels on the way. Then, he moved in Ame’s direction, and turned to the group of girls behind him.

 

Jacques: “Our ways part here. Ladies… it was nice to meet you.”

Flannery & Winona & Roxanne: “Goodbye, Jacques!”

Jacques: “Hehe, thank you very much! Take care of yourselves!”

Ame: “Bye!”

 

While the trio was moving forward happily on the west side of the road to Rustboro City, Jacques and Ame waved at them, wishing Flannery and her friends to fully enjoy the rest of the afternoon together. The change in status of Flannery finally happened once and for all, news roles were defined. This time, she was shouldering the honor and pride of the Hoenn League herself. In the end, she managed to get rid of her anxiety. She stopped wondering about what her fate was made of. The confused mind of the foxy redhead was finally as crystal clear as spring waters. The future of Mr. Moore’s granddaughter was sounding prosperous and promising. For her, nothing was over yet!

 

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QUICK LINK TO NEXT EPISODE

 

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