The Quest for the Legends (ILCOE)
The Full Story
May watched intensely as Metapod went stiff and fell to the ground with a clunk. The Pokémon’s eyes closed heavily. The cocoon started rocking to the sides, and suddenly a large tear split through its shell. Blinding white light shone out of it. A crumpled, glowing shape squeezed itself through the rip. The bright light faded. On top of the green, lifeless shed was a small, dark blue creature. Slowly, it spread out the great, silky white wings that were folded around its body. A few flaps dried them; then the Pokémon took gracefully off into the air.
“Free,” sounded the Butterfree’s cry.
May was pleased; finally after all this training with a braindead, immobile cocoon, it had evolved into something of worth. Not the most statistically powerful Pokémon out there – Butterfree were very fragile, and it was more the exception than the rule if it survived a single blow – but very adept at strategically disarming its opponent with poisonous powders.
“Like flying, Butterfree?” she asked fondly. This Pokémon would bring her many a victory. Her freshly caught Skarmory would, too. Unlike Cyndaquil. May had picked her first Pokémon only for being a very valuable female starter. But Cyndaquil was, and had always been, a very unattractive Pokémon to her. A hedgehog/anteater cross was the first thing that came to mind when she saw it for the first time. That long snout, squinted eyes, tiny legs…
May had therefore, much to her own dismay, never been able to appreciate her starter, despite being female. Of course, Pokémon tended to pick up their trainer’s feelings towards them very quickly, and Cyndaquil had soon grown to despise her too. It was a no-win situation.
“Hey! You there! Girl!” called a voice. May turned around. It was a boy of around twelve or thirteen, a little older than her, wearing red shorts with a lot of pockets and a black T-shirt. Long, fiery red hair surrounded his face, falling a bit into his big, gray eyes.
“What?” she asked.
“Could you battle me?”
May shrugged. She held up Butterfree’s Pokéball lazily, recalling the butterfly Pokémon. “One on one?”
“Go!” the boy said, throwing forward an odd, black and red type of Pokéball that May had never seen before. It opened to reveal some kind of a Pikachu.
Yet, the Pikachu didn’t look right. The yellow, mouse-like body was familiar, just as the long ears – but not the blue, shiny balls that tipped them. Its claws also looked greatly extended from what she would have labeled as a normal Pikachu, and also shiny blue. Its tail was not the lightning-bolt shape it was supposed to be, but rather a jagged, black thread, ending in a blue triangle.
“Pika,” it hissed in a deep-toned, menacing voice that could at the very most belong to a Pikachu with a very bad case of cold. Suddenly, bright blue waves of electricity started streaming between the balls on its ears.
May knew her types. Electric attacks would be very effective on both Butterfree and Skarmory. She couldn’t risk that, even if that meant sending her starter out.
“Cyndaquil, I choose you!” The Pokéball burst open, sending forward a beam of red energy that formed into May’s first Pokémon.
On Cyndaquil’s shiny black back, flames sprouted out as she resentfully cried out her name. She didn’t like battling for May very much, but she still did. Probably she had some loyalty gene in there.
The boy smirked. “Shock Charge!”
May, despite having studied carefully up on Pokémon attacks, had no idea what Shock charge was supposed to be, except that it obviously was an Electric attack.
The strange Pikachu got down on all fours with another menacing hiss and leapt towards Cyndaquil. She was caught in the middle of the electric current between its ears and froze with a pained scream of “QUIIIIL!” The Pikachu stood back up, grinning so that two vampire-like fangs glinted in its mouth. Cyndaquil’s flames died down in an instant as she fell down on her back, unable to move.
“Darn it!” May drove her foot into the grass, biting her lip. Shock Charge seemingly paralyzed the target.
The Pikachu nodded, wrapped its odd, thread-like tail around Cyndaquil’s immobile body, and slammed her between two rocks a few times, seemingly enjoying it.
Suddenly, it let out a cry of pain, releasing Cyndaquil as she started glowing bright white. The boy stared wide-eyed at what was happening, but May wasn’t moved. She had expected it.
Cyndaquil’s shape changed, her head becoming more distinguished from her body and turning into more of a triangle shape as it grew ears. Her stubby legs lengthened into fully-fledged paws. Her overall outline became more elegant and less chubby, just as her whole shape went larger. Finally, the glow subsided, replaced with an evolved Pokémon.
“Quilava!” she announced as flames flared up on her head and backside, looking at May with newly-opened eyes. The girl found a certain feeling of trust for this Pokémon.
“Quilava, Ember!” she commanded, clenching her fist. Quilava spewed a blast of brightly-colored flames at the unsuspecting Pikachu, leaving it scorched on the ground.
May looked triumphantly at the boy. Without words, he recalled the Pikachu back into its Pokéball. He seemed to be about to leave when he suddenly asked: “Hey, I have a Charmander. Want to trade it for your Quilava?”
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