Chapter 1: How the adventure began

Mark was very interested in pokémon. He owned many shelves full of books on pokémon. And he was especially interested in legendary pokémon. However, he unfortunately happened to live in a tiny village in the northwest corner of Ouen that just had no pokémon near it. And of course some famous professor wouldn't come there to give out starter pokémon for kids. Mark's parents didn't want him to go alone to the next town with pokémon near it, and they had no interest in going with him. Mark simply thought he could never become a pokémon trainer.

Until that day, which just seemed to be a normal day in May.

Mark was outside with his friends when a thunderstorm started. They all hurried home because it started to rain heavily. But when Mark was about to reach the door to his house, he thought he saw a movement in the bushes along the road.

A pokémon? he thought. Can that be?

He rushed to the bushes and rattled the branches, but there was no sight of anything living other than the bush itself. Mark assumed he had been imagining it, and went inside.

After dinner, Mark sat down in the living room and looked out of the window at the weather. He suddenly remembered what he had thought to be a pokémon. Maybe it was a pokémon, after all. Looking better wouldn’t hurt.

The window was very wet, but through it, he saw the blurry image of the road. And there was indeed something moving out there. He rushed to the door and opened...

On the road was a real, living Charmander. Well, barely living. The flame at the tip of its tail wouldn’t last long in that weather. In fact, the flame was nearly extinguished. That was also the reason why it just fell unconscious. Mark did, of course, what anyone would do in that situation – picked up the poor pokémon and checked it out a bit. It was a male, and clearly young. The Charmander opened one eye with difficulty and caught Mark’s face, then fainted again. Mark hurried back inside and closed the door.

“Mom! Dad! I – I found a Charmander outside and it is dying!”

“Hahahahaha,”came his mother from upstairs. She obivously didn't believe him.

“No, really! Can you help me a bit!” Mark shouted angrily.

She came down the stairs, eyed the pokémon and stopped.

“Oh my god!” she said. “John, you have to see this! It's a Charmander!”

But his father was fast asleep, judging from the snores. Of course, he didn't really care and his mother didn't either. She hurried back upstairs, got a flame-proof garment from the kitchen and some extra pillows, and told Mark to place the Charmander on the pillows and put the tail on the garment so it wouldn't burn up the house. Then she advised him to put the pokémon near himself in his bed so it would get warm quicker. He did so, and fell asleep with his hand on the Charmander's body, in dreamy thoughts.

Maybe I can own it. Maybe it can be my pokémon, and I can become a pokémon trainer. Or, maybe a trainer lost it and I will get a lot of money for finding it...

He grinned and his thoughts changed into a dream.

Mark woke up the next morning and found his hand on the empty garment. The Charmander, however, was looking happily at his face, holding its tail carefully up.

“Charmander! You’re alive!”

“Mander,” said the Charmander and nodded.

Mark couldn't believe his luck.

That day, Mark checked out all the news and “lost pokémon” in the newspapers and on the internet, but no one had reported a lost Charmander. Meanwhile, Charmander seemed to be really thankful for being saved. Mark had been very good at Pokémonish at school, so he could usually understand Charmander pretty well. The basic thing he said was something around the lines of “Thanks for saving my life out there, I thought I’d never make it!”. Charmander was very nice as a friend, but as Mark now saw his chance to become a pokémon trainer, he couldn't stop thinking about that possibility. After a long debate with his parents, they finally allowed him to go on a journey and become a pokémon trainer.

And the next day, he started training pokémon. That means he started walking to the next city with a Pokémon Center, Cleanwater city. It was actually a pretty interesting city, according to some of the books on pokémon legends Mark had read. Near the city was a lake called the Lake of Purity. It contained 100% clean water, and the legend said it was because Suicune came every night and cleaned the lake by dipping its paw into it. Also, a Gyarados was said to have lived in the lake once, but it could never catch prey because it was so easy to see with the water that clear. But then it suddenly disappeared. No one knew where the Gyarados went, as there was no river in or out of the lake. But, at least, the city’s many pokémon legends attracted tourists, so many trainers came there, and many trainers need a Pokémon Center and a Pokémon market, so that was where Mark headed. And as he obivously had no pokéballs, Charmander just walked beside him for now.

“Charmander, I’ve been thinking...”

“Yes?” Charmander replied.

“What were you doing out there? You can’t be a wild Charmander, then you would know where to go when it’s raining. Besides, there are no pokémon around our village.”

“A... a trainer used to own me,” Charmander said and hung his head.

“What? Did your trainer just leave you there in the rain?”

“No, he traded me,” said Charmander.

“Traded you for what?”

“Quilava,” said Charmander bitterly.

“A Quilava? But people just don't do that! Why trade a pokémon for the evolved form of its counterpart? It's like trading a Milotic for a Magikarp!”

“Oh yeah, so I'm as weak as a Magikarp, am I?!” Charmander said offended.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean that, I...”

“And surely Quilava easily matches a Milotic in strength...”

“I... oh, sorry, I didn't mean that you were weak...”

“That's better.”

“Yes, but anyway, why did that Quilava's trainer accept the trade?”

“That Quilava was level fifteen. My trainer told the other trainer that I was also level fifteen.”

“Oh, and of course, Quilava evolves at level fourteen, but Charmander at level sixteen... what level are you really, anyway?”

“Five,” said Charmander lousily.

“Well, what did the other trainer do when they found out you were only level five?”

“Threw my pokéball away and went after my old trainer.”

“So you got out, then. But for what did you go to our village?”

“Looking for my old trainer, I guess.”

“Why? Your old trainer just wanted power and lied just to get rid of you!”

“Yes, that has dawned onto me by now. I have no interest in finding him now. But I guess there's some loyalty naturally built into me...”

“Just forget about him... Oh, a house!”

There was a house ahead. A farm, that is. Inside a fence, there was a lot of pokémon like Tauros, Miltank and Mareep. But a large sign intrested Mark the most. It said "PONYTA AND RAPIDASH FOR SALE". Under it, it said "Bed and breakfast".

Just as he read the sign, a middle-aged woman came out of the house. “How much is a Rapidash?” Mark asked her.

“40000,” was her answer. The way her voice sounded told Mark that she wasn’t ready to lower the price.

“Oh, I only have 10000. Aren’t the Ponytas any cheaper?”

“They’re 20000,” the woman said in the same tone of voice.

“Can they battle?” Mark then asked.

“No, of course not!” the woman said. “They are trained not to attack anything but in self-defense, and then they are not supposed to use their fire powers. But of course they can burn people that touch them,” she added nastily when she saw Mark’s hand was getting close to one of the Ponytas. He quickly withdrew his hand.

“Can I buy a night here for me my Charmander?” Mark asked when he remembered that it was still a long way to Cleanwater city.

“Charmander, eh?” said the woman. “Well, if it burns the house down, you'll have to pay.”

Mark walked inside with her.