Chapter 13: Battle for the Shining badge!

When Mark woke up the next morning, after those repeating nightmares, he recalled all of his pokémon, went and got Gyarados and then met May.
“Slept well?” she asked.
“No, not really... I was having nightmares... Scyther was too...something about eyes, pain and Mew... and I had no face... and Scyther saw itself killing me, and then battling other pokémon and neither had trainers... weird...”
“That’s what I thought... hey, Mark, I’m sure you will cheer up when you get your second badge! I think you should sleep some more, though. You look tired...”
“No, we should just go and get our badges... this gym will be a piece of cake...” Mark yawned. “It’s a Steel gym, isn’t it? It’ll be easy with Charmeleon.”
“I’m not sure,” said May. “After all, your pokémon are still level 22 or something like that... you haven’t gone out and trained in a while. Mine are level 34, but yet I have no Fire pokémon.”
“Hey, what was Scyther’s level again? Wait, I’ll check...” Mark took out the pokédex.
“At level 42, Scyther should know four of the following: Quick attack, Leer, Focus energy, Pursuit, False swipe, Agility, Wing attack, Slash and Swords dance.”
Mark stared. “Level 42???? Wow! No wonder Scyther could beat Fangcat!”
“I’ll bet Fangcat was at a high level, too,” said May. “And remember, it’s no good to have one pokémon much stronger than the others.”
“Yeah,” said Mark. “I’ll not use Scyther for the gym.”
“That’s good. Also, Scyther’s main strength is its scythes, and they are useless against Steel pokémon. Charmeleon will melt them down.”
They went on. When they came to the gym, the bright, shining feathers made them squint their eyes. Mark eyed a poster on the wall beside the door. He walked to the poster and May followed. It was about the pokémon league.

Here is how the Ouen pokémon league rules will be this year.
First, all trainers may enter the Elite four competion. The trainers who enter the Elite four competion cannot battle for the title of a League Champion, but they will all get an official pokémon league T-shirt. The requirements for competing are only that if you have five or six pokémon, they must all be higher than level 40, if you have three or four pokémon, they must all be higher than level 50, if you have two pokémon both must be higher than level 60 and if you have one pokémon, it must be over level 70. The trainers will battle to find the four strongest of them. Those four will get an official pokémon league Elite four badge. The one who was in fourth place is put as Elite first, the one from third place will be Elite second, the one from second place will be Elite third and the one who was in first place will be Elite fourth (or the leader of the Elite four). After the Elite four are decided, trainers have one month to challenge them and beat them. When the first trainer beats the whole Elite four without healing in between, that trainer will get the title of First League Champion. When the First League Champion is defeated, the new League Champion takes the old one’s place, the old League Champion becomes Elite fourth, the old Elite fourth becomes Elite third, the old Elite third becomes Elite second, the old Elite second becomes Elite first and the old Elite first is no longer a part of the Elite four. After one month, the current League Champion (if any, otherwise Elite fourth) gets a trophy, an official Unbeaten badge and the title of Unbeaten Pokémon Master. The current Elite four members will also get trophies. Then, the pokémon league is over this year.

“So there will be an Elite four system on this year? Interesting... most of the time they have just the normal system with those rounds and stuff... but with the Elite four system, it’s easier to determine second, third and fourth place and so on,” said May, reading over Mark’s shoulder.
“Well, I guess we’re pretty far from the league now... one badge out of eight isn’t much. We better go and get our second one,” answered Mark and they went into the building.
As much as Mark had been hoping the walls didn’t shine so brightly on the inside, they did. The lights were very bright too, so he could barely see anything. Like he could not see the man wearing sunglasses who walked up to him.
“Hello, I’m Christopher, the Metal city Gym leader. It’s a pleasure to meet you. You will use two pokémon maximum, I will use two. So, which of you will battle first?”
Mark looked at May, or tried to, but he couldn’t see her properly. Only the outline of a girl.
“You can go first, Mark,” she said and went to the corner.
“Go, Charmeleon!”
“Go, Steelix!”
“Charmeleon, this will be easy for you! Fire blast now!”
Charmeleon blew a blast of flames, but missed Steelix due to its metal shine that matched completely with the walls and made it almost impossible to see, as it seemed to be trained not to move at all.
“Steelix, use Earthquake!”
Of course. Christopher was using attacks that really can’t miss even though the pokémon can’t see. Steelix lifted its huge metallic tail and slammed it on the floor, causing it to shake. Charmeleon fell down.
“Steelix, Iron tail!”
Steelix slammed its tail at the ground trying to hit Charmeleon, but missed, as it blinded by the light.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
Charmeleon got up and blew an even massiver blast of fire in the opposite direction and it actually hit Steelix. It roared in pain.
“Steelix, Iron tail again!”
“Charmeleon, another Fire blast when it comes!”
Mark’s caculation was right. When Steelix was using Iron tail, it cast a shadow at Charmeleon, giving it some accuracy. Charmeleon hit Steelix easily with the Fire blast now. It roared loudly, then fell to the ground, fainted.
“Steelix, return! Go, Scizor!”
A shiny Scizor popped out of the ball – a real shiny one. A green one. Scizor flew up to the air instantly, and waited.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
“Scizor, Double team!”
Seven copies of Scizor appeared in the air. Both this and being blinded made it almost impossible for Charmeleon to hit. It managed to hit a copy, though, and it dissolved into the air.
“Scizor, use another Double team, and then strike!”
Each copy of Scizor now created more copies, and the true Scizor flew down quickly and grabbed Charmeleon hard by the arm with its claws. Then it flew up and joined the copies again. Charmeleon was bleeding.
“Charmeleon, another Fire blast!”
Charmeleon used Fire blast and managed to hit three copies with it, but none of them was the real Scizor. Scizor then flew down and grabbed Charmeleon in its claws again, and flew upwards.
“Charmeleon, use Fire blast on it now!”
Charmeleon tried, but it couldn’t. Then Mark remembered Charmeleon had already used Fire blast five times, Charmeleon had to rest before using it again...
Scizor was now almost in the ceiling, and dropped Charmeleon, which fell down... and down... and then landed on the ground with a weak “chaaaaar...”.
“Charmeleon, return. What can I use now? I guess Jolteon would be good...”
But before Mark had sent out Jolteon, one of his pokéballs popped open. It was Scyther’s.
“Scyther, what are you doing!? I was not going to use you in this battle!”
“Scyther scyther scy scyther!” Scyther said and turned at Scizor.
“What do you mean ‘you’re going to battle for all Scythers still around’?”
“Scyther scyther scyther!” Scyther said angrily and looked at Scizor with disgust. Then Mark remembered the pokédex. Scyther has been overhunted by trainers and evolved into the much-preferred evolution, Scizor. But Mark knew Scyther was the strongest of all not fully evolved pokémon. In fact, Scizor wasn’t stronger than Scyther at all. And Scyther wanted to battle Scizor, just for the pride of all still existing Scythers that had not been evolved. Mark also remembered reading something like that. About a Pikachu which battled a Raichu and won, some twenty years ago in Kanto. And now he, Mark, was in the same position – just with a Scyther against a Scizor. And the Scyther was surely at least double the level of Scizor. Mark smiled when he thought of that. This would be an easy victory for Scyther.
“Okay, Scyther, just this once!” he said. “Go and Slash it!”
Physical attacks would be much better in this gym, as they are not as likely to miss as other attacks. Scyther flew up.
“Scizor, don’t let it catch you!” Christopher shouted. Scizor flew forward, but its Steel type slowed it down, and its level was much lower than Scyther’s. Scyther caught up with it in a few seconds, reached forward with a scythe and Slashed blindly. Something fell down to the ground – it was one of Scizor’s wings. And Scizor was falling too. Scyther dived down and Slashed Scizor again with hate in its eyes. When Scizor fell to the ground, Scyther wouldn’t stop Slashing and roaring “Scyther... Scyther... Scyther!”. Mark then recalled it, having won the battle. Christopher took the wing off the ground and recalled Scizor, then gave Mark a metallic badge.
“This is the Shining badge. Now, I’ll battle the young lady... with those of my pokémon that are still in one piece.” He gave Mark a nasty look and put one of his pokéballs, which Mark assumed must be Steelix’s, in a pocket healer as May walked towards them. Mark went to the corner to watch the battle.
“Go, Steelix!”
“Go, Skarmory!”
“Steelix, Iron tail!”
“Skarmory, Swift!”
Skarmory fired a bunch of stars at Steelix, but the stars just repelled off it. Steelix then swung its tail forward and it hit Skarmory, causing it to fall to the ground. It then used Rock slide and Skarmory, all wounded and battered, was recalled into its pokéball by May.
“Go, Lapras! Use a Surf!”
The beautiful pokémon beat Steelix easily with a Surf, Steelix being a Ground pokémon.
“Return, Steelix! I have a Skarmory too, girl... go!”
Christopher’s Skarmory emerged from the ball.
“Lapras, Surf!”
“Skarmory, do what you must!”
Skarmory flew up and did what seemed like a Drill peck on the ceiling. The sharp Skarmory feathers it was made of rained down, and on top of all things, they shone even brighter now as the sun burst through the gap. Mark couldn’t see anything, but he heard May and Christopher shout commands at their pokémon, and once he heard a Skarmory feather land righ next to him with a lot of noise. But after that, nothing was heard, and he could see again by putting his hand over his eyes.
“Great battle,” Christopher said and shook May’s hand. “You are worthy of the Shining badge!”
He handed her a badge like Mark’s, a shiny metallic one. She took it and walked over to Mark.
“Come. Let’s get away from this shine.” Mark nodded and they walked out of the gym.
“Wasn’t Scyther a little violent in your battle?” May asked.
“Well, a little, I guess... but Scyther seems to hate Scizors...” Just then, Scyther popped out of its ball. “Scyther scyther scy scy scyther!” it said.
“Well, I guess I won’t have to ask you if you want to evolve...” Mark said.
“Scyther scyther scyther scy!” Scyther growled and went back into its ball.
“Okay, Mark. I need to practise. Scyther said first “All real Scythers with some respect for themselves know their scythes are more important than a Steel type” and then it said “Of course not, that Scizor must have been a Scyther with no respect for itself, or it wouldn’t have let its trainer evolve it”. Right?” said May.
“Yes, that’s exactly what Scyther said. You’re not too bad at it after all,” said Mark and smiled.
“Nah, I think it’s just Scyther’s way of talking,” she said. “It’s very special, isn’t it?”
Mark remembered Scyther’s calm and unclear answers only too well.

However, when back at the hotel, Mark noticed two things. Charmeleon was twice as mad at Scyther now than before, and neither he nor Scyther were depressed anymore. Scyther was proud of having defeated a Scizor, and Mark was one step closer to the pokémon league.

Chapter fourteen

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