Chapter 4: Training and battling
There were a lot of tourists on the way to the Lake of Purity. Mark knew the lake was famous, but he had never imagined so many people could be there to see it in one day. When he got to the lake itself, he looked at the water and saw why: the water was very deep, and very large, but the bottom could as easily be seen as the grass on the bank. And as the water was so pure, many pokémon preferred drinking that water, he remembered having read somewhere. So there were many pokémon living around the lake.
Mark saw a big tourist information sign. It had some boring stuff about the depth of the lake and all that, but it also had the full story of the Gyarados that disappeared. Mark stopped and read it with interest.
Once, not so long ago, but still quite a while, a Gyarados lived in the Lake of Purity. It had evolved from a Magikarp said to be actually powerful. It battled weak trainers who came to the lake to let their weakest pokémon battle Magikarps, and eventually evolved. In those times, the water was icky. The Gyarados caught fish fish pokémon for prey and could easily hide. No one could get rid of it and soon all the fish was hiding and didn’t dare to move when the people of the city were fishing. This made people hungry and in the end, everyone was making their own mixtures to kill the Gyarados and get the fish back. They poured them into the lake and even though each mixture was only supposed to kill the Gyarados, they made the whole lake poisonous when added together. All the fish pokémon were dying, and people who drank the water were dying, even after cleaning it as well as they could. The Gyarados, however, was not harmed at all. Then a woman prayed for help, and Suicune rushed to the lake, dipped one paw into it and it was perfectly clear in an instant. Then Suicune dashed away again.
The next day, Suicune came again to clean the lake, but this time stopped by the woman’s house and told her not to worry about the Gyarados, and also that it would come to Ouen to clean the lake every night after that, as long as Suicune could be there safe from any trainers who might try to catch it. The woman told everyone that, and because no one dared to disobey direct order from a legendary pokémon that had just saved them, they agreed. All trainers are warned to stay away from the lake in the evening because of this.
The next day, it was easy to see that the Gyarados wasn’t benefitting from the lake being so clean. All the fish pokémon could see it from the other end of the lake. And a few days later, the Gyarados just disappeared and hasn’t been seen since. Perhaps it just “flew” away using its Flying type!
“That’s interesting,” Mark said. “I never heard the story in full detail before. Anyway, we’d better start training...”
Just at that moment, he heard someone say: “A pokémon trainer? What about a battle?” He turned around and saw it was a blue-haired girl about his age. She had a pokéball in her hand and she was throwing it up and down. He could also see that at her belt there was one more pokéball.
“Great! Let’s begin!” he said, delighted.
“Butterfree, String shot!”
The Butterfree shot a long string from its mouth, and it wrapped around Charmander pretty much by itself so Charmander couldn’t move.
“Charmander, use Ember to get yourself out of this thread!”
Charmander mumbled something inside the thread and then managed to burn it away. Just then, the Butterfree tackled him, but Charmander managed to set the Butterfree’s wings on fire using his tail flame. The Butterfree fluttered around trying to put out the fire, but had no luck at it.
“Butterfree, Confusion!” the girl snapped at the Butterfree. The butterfly pokémon obeyed regardless of being on fire, glowed purple, and so did Charmander. He went all dizzy and then simply collapsed and fainted.
“Oh, no! Charmander, come back! Go, Eevee!”
The Butterfree was still fluttering around madly, but the girl didn’t even think of recalling it.
“Eevee, Tackle!” Mark shouted. Eevee shot at the Butterfree and tackled it down, causing it to faint as it already was on fire.
“Come back, Butterfree! Go, Skarmory!”
“Eevee, crouch to the ground, and that Skarmory can’t hurt you without crashing!”
“You think so!” said the girl and smiled evilly. “Skarmory, Swift!” The Skarmory fired a barrage of metallic feathers down at Eevee. The feathers were very sharp and Eevee got all cut.
“Eevee, don’t give up! Jump on top of the Skarmory and drag it to the ground!”
“Skarmory, fly higher!” the girl commanded.
Even though the Skarmory flew up as fast as it could, Eevee was quicker and caught hold of the Skarmory’s tailfeathers. They crashed. Both of them seemed to have fainted, when Eevee stood up and shook himself, then looked happily at Mark.
“I won! I won my very first trainer battle! Eevee, come back!” He recalled Eevee.
“Skarmory, return,” the girl said, rather disappointed. “You’re a pretty good trainer,” she admitted. “What is your name?”
“My name’s Mark,” Mark said.
“My name’s May. Are we friends, then?”
“Friends!” They shook hands.
“Anyway, I need to go. I have to train a lot.” May hurried in the direction of Cleanwater city to heal her pokémon. Mark took out his pokédex to check on Eevee’s level.
“Eevee, evolution pokémon. It has many possible ways to evolve, as its genetic code is very unstable. At level 9, Eevee should know Tackle, Tail whip, and Sand-attack,” said the pokédex voice.
“Level nine? I need to train Charmander as soon as I’ve healed him... guess that Confusion really hurt.”
Then he also went to the Cleanwater pokémon center.
After healing Eevee and Charmander, Mark went straight back to the lake.
“Wait, Mark. Aren’t you going to ask Eevee if he wants to evolve?” Charmander asked on the way.
“Oh, that’s a good idea. Eevee, come out for a minute.” Mark let Eevee out of his pokéball.
“I asked Charmander, so it is just fair that I ask you too. Do you want to evolve?”
“Vee?” Eevee looked puzzled.
“Yes, you can evolve. Didn’t you know?”
“Eevee.” He shook his head.
“Well, you can easily evolve into Vaporeon, Jolteon, or Flareon using evolution stones. Vaporeon,” Mark recited from his Pokémonology textbook he had pretty much learned by heart, “is a water pokémon that can turn itself into water and then back to its normal form. Jolteon is an electric pokémon covered with spikes that it can shoot at the enemy. Flareon is a fire pokémon that can blow fire over 5,000 degrees. And then, you can evolve into Espeon or Umbreon, but that is much more difficult, you’d have to go through a lot of battles and trust me really well... Espeon is a psychic pokémon that has a glowing crystal on its forehead. Umbreon is a dark pokémon with glowing yellow rings on its body. Well, do you want to evolve or not?”
Eevee looked down for a second, then looked back up, nodded and said “Vee.”
“OK then... Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon or Umbreon?”
“Well, since you don’t mind... I’m not going to try for Espeon or Umbreon, it would take ages. I already have a Fire pokémon, so not Flareon. That means Jolteon or Vaporeon. Um, better get back into your ball, shouldn’t you?” Mark recalled Eevee.
“Well, the question is: Where are the pokémon?” Mark asked impatiently when they were back at the lake. Just as Mark said that, a wild Sandshrew peeked out from behind a tree.
The Sandshrew was ready, charged towards Mark and scratched Charmander as soon as he came out of his pokéball.
“Charmander, Ember!” Mark ordered.
Charmander shot some flames at the Sandshrew. It didn’t seem to be damaged much, but Mark decided to try to catch it anyway.
The ball wobbled once, it wobbled twice, and...
“Shreew!” an angry Sandshrew popped out and kicked a bunch of sand in Charmander’s eyes.
“Darn... Charmander, use Ember and try to hit if you can!”
Charmander blew fire in a random direction, which unfortunately was not Sandshrew’s.
“CHAAR!” A really angry Charmander used Ember on the Sandshrew.
“Pokéball, go!” Mark shouted and threw another pokéball at the Sandshrew, absorbing it inside. It wobbled once, it woobled twice, it wobbled three times, it wobbled for the fourth time, and...
“YES! YES! I caught a Sandshrew!” Mark picked up the pokéball and pointed the pokédex at it.
“Sandshrew, mouse pokémon. This pokémon can dig very fast and can also curl up in a ball so that almost no attack can hurt it. At level 13, Sandshrew should know Scratch, Defense curl, Poison sting and Sand-attack.”
“Level thirteen! No wonder it popped out of the ball! Charmander, we need to find another pokémon if you’re to gain any experience...”
After a long search, they found a Pidgeotto resting in a tree. It didn’t like being disturbed like that and shot down to attack.
“Charmander, go! Ember!”
Charmander fired a blast of flames at the bird pokémon, which took the damage and looked very angry. It flapped its wings rapidly, using Gust. Charmander managed to withstand the powerful wind and retailated with another Ember. Pidgeotto then used a Quick attack on Charmander.
“Charmander, one more Ember, and you’ll win this!”
Charmander blew more fire at the Pidgeotto, causing it to fall down to the ground, all charred with spirally eyes.
“Good, Charmander! You really did great!” Mark pointed the pokédex at Charmander.
“At level 10, Charmander should know Scratch, Growl and Ember.”
“Level ten already? Then it’s time to train Eevee...”
And so he trained all that day and didn’t notice at all it was getting dark.