B1 — 24. Lighting The Torch Pt. 1

Blacksmith In High School, 3x a week!!

Title:Blacksmith In High School | Tags: Time Skip
Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...

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POV:  Wow, a lot this time O.o

1:  Hannah (Redhead that was the sickest of the Wooloo Girls)

2:  Amber (Amira’s Shiny Fennekin)

3:  Hannah

4:  New Pokemon (What new Pokemon will Amira and Hannah get?)

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5:  Amira

6: New Pokemon

Pokemon Map: 

I loosely follow this map as a visual guide; the creator made it in paint?!?!  It’s insane!  Some errors here and there, but I follow its design for the most part.  Areas can be further apart, some cities are in the wrong places or not listed, and the regions aren’t nearly so close.  The best map I’ve found, though!

Recap:  

We beat the Nidorino!  He actually tried to kill Rhea!!!  Good thing Hilbert had him teleported away >.> Yeet!  Get outta here!

hen we meet Mepi, the floating pink-haired girl that Rhea gets strange vibes from; it’s like she’s a half-human/half-Poekmon.  Lyra shows up to Mepi’s horror, followed by Entei, and … Ho-Oh?!?!

The massive legendary Pokemon descends from the heavens, healed EVERYONE in Viridian City-State, and probably a bit beyond it before flying further up toward Mt. Silver.  Does this mean Rhea’s healed of her fortitude damage, too?!

It was for a purpose, as we learn in Lyra’s POV, he is concerned about the Ultra War starting up again, and we discover Mepi is actually Mesprit, and she is NOT happy with the current situation.  We discover there are legendary factions and long, long history between them.

Lyra says she’ll keep Ho-Oh up to date and they depart.

I’d like to thank my patrons for continuing to support me:

Useless, Endo, MadGod, Jeff, Iobe I, Owen, Grand Woodley, HeirofSparte, DustHurricane, and my other Patrons!


1:12 P.M. June 14, Monday, 106 PH (Post Hoopa Event)

Events:  The start of the 2nd week in the Joint Kanto and Johto Indigo Summer League Preliminaries.  1st of the 2 Days of Rest after the previous week’s battles.

Hannah held her breath, stomach squirming as the world instantly changed; she went from hanging over empty air to standing on grass and earth.  Her balance was the same, but the shock caused her to stumble back a little, and Limru, her Ledyba, hunkered closer to the ground.

Don’t fall!  Don’t fall!

The thought of embarrassing herself in front of her new idol was gut-wrenching, but she seemed preoccupied with other things. 

Amber was a little disoriented by the sudden shift, but the light gray Fennekin swiftly regained her balance.  The fox scanned for danger, and Hannah followed her gaze, regaining her bearings. 

They were in what appeared to be an ancient forest; she had no doubt many of the Pokemon nearby had never seen human life.  Moss and vines grew on the thick trunks, reaching far overhead.  The thick canopy only allowed sheens of light to illuminate the area they’d been transported to.

It was a bit magical, and the rich scent of the air made Hannah fill her lungs to relish the sensation it produced.  The chirping of various Pokemon filled her ears, likely spreading the word of their arrival out of shimmering rainbow lights.

Odd berries she’d never seen before and vivid flowers grew throughout the space; the high branches gave her a decent view of their surroundings, but the dense shrubs provided enough cover for most Pokemon to hide.  She saw the cute black floof of a foxtail vanish inside a bush, not far away, and dozens of others were taking cover, but the only Pokemon she recognized was Caterpie.

Hannah spun in a slow circle, neck craning back to take in the scope of Viridian Forest; it was enormous.  Pallet Forest had some big trees, but those were in some of the more remote areas she’d backpacked to with her dad a few years ago before he’d gotten too busy and on Night Watch, but even those were nothing like these ninety-meter giants.

On the other hand, Amira was a teleporting veteran because she simply unfolded her arms, unhooked her phone from its magnetic clip like it was any other day, and examined their surroundings; no big deal.

Amber and Limru were already on the grind, talking with a few Pokemon she didn’t recognize in a nearby tree.

“Hmm, we’re probably on the lower end of a mountain by Mt. Silver.  Let’s see,” she brought up a holographic image of their area; it took a moment to calibrate their exact location.  “Yup … wait, hold-up…”

Hannah cleared her throat, adjusting her backpack and purple sunglasses while scooting over to see what caught Amira’s attention.  “What’s up?”

Amira played with the device, zooming out and in on a few arrows.  “… My mom put us pretty far apart.  Rhea’s to the northwest of us and Mallory’s to the south.”

Right … our map syncs to our teammates … helps us find each other if we get separated.  Sam should be with Rhea, but Jade’s with those other girls.  Where are they?

Pulling out her own phone, it took much longer to find a good enough signal to get the proper data; she kept glancing over at Amira as she played with her holographic map, getting an idea about their surroundings.  She couldn’t help but wonder what network Amira was on, but it was only a passing thought since it had to be RT&T, Rocket’s network.

“Uh … yeah, I see Sam further up on … is that a big hill they’re on?”

“Mhm…”  Amira replied, looking up to scan the Pokemon around them for a moment before returning to her far more detailed map.  The phone was beyond cutting-edge; Hannah hadn’t seen anything about it, which made her feel a little embarrassed with her three-year out of date model, and it was even Silph, not Rocket.

“That’s the biggest hill I’ve ever seen, judging by the picture,” she mumbled; of course, she hadn’t been outside of the Pallet area since she was a girl.  “… Jade’s actually a bit north of us.”

Hannah paused.  Amira was being as quiet as she was back at the Pokespring, causing her mind to wander; she didn’t want to be annoying or ask too many questions.  What was the right way to start a conversation?

She refrained from biting her lip, feeling it somewhat dry already, but one thought popped up more than any other … her health.  When she’d bonded with Limru, to say she was a wreck would be an understatement; she’d gone into full-on panic breakdown mode.  Rhea had seen her like that, and it was embarrassing enough, but she couldn’t imagine letting Amira see her so weak.

“So, uh … are we really going to catch our second Pokemon here?”  Hannah asked, glancing at the minimized Great Ball in her left hand.  “Do you think … can I handle it?”

Amira’s red eyes were barely visible behind her tinted sunglasses, and her tone was fairly neutral.  “If my mom gave you a pokeball, then probably.”  Flipping around her backpack, she took out a pack of gum, offering her a piece.  “Want some?”

“Yeah, sure,” Hannah forced a smile while taking the offered item and popping it into her mouth … spearmint flavor.  It had a strange familiarity as if she’d had something like it recently.  She pocketed the wrapper, pondering the answer.

Her mom would probably be one of the best authorities on the topic … she’s Mukin’ Champion-tier.  Although … what if I could technically handle it, but still get sick.  No, but wait, Rhea said it had to do with our immune system; so, as long as I don’t go to a place with a bunch of people real soon, then I should be good.  Right?  It sounds like it should work that way.  Okay, maybe it won’t be so bad!

She was starting to feel a bit better now that it was just the two of them and they weren’t around her superstar mother.  “Hmm … I’ve never seen some of these Pokemon before.  Your mom wasn’t kidding; there must be all sorts of various regional Pokemon around this place.”

She followed Amira’s finger as she pointed out a few, showing the difference in their education; Hannah doubted she was trying to sound smart, though.  “That’s a Yungoos, a Budew, Blipbug, Grubbin, and oh … a Nickit just went into that bush,” she mumbled, lowering herself to the ground a little to peer into the shrubbery.  “That might be a good addition to one of our teams’”

“The fox?  It was kind of cute,” Hannah grinned, catching Limru following Amber around as they talked with the Caterpie.  “What do you think we should do?”

Amira set her bag down, sitting on her side while smoothing out her skirt.  She gestured for her to do the same.  “Probably let Amber and … your Ledyba’s name is Limru, right?”

Hannah’s stomach squirmed with delight.  She remembered!

“Mhm.”

“Yeah, we should let them scout out the area and figure things out.  Amber seems to think this is a pretty safe spot.”

Hannah quickly questioned Limru, and she gave her the same response, apparently busy talking with the Caterpie.  She seemed to be enjoying her time with Amber, but Hannah was still finding it difficult to interpret Ledyba’s emotions into thoughts.  Her gaze returned to Amira; she was wearing a soft smile while watching Amber.

I bet she can understand Amber without even trying … why is it so hard for me?  Everything’s so hard … I just want to be confident.

The vibration from her phone brought her attention to a notification; it was from the group-chat she’d joined after being taken advantage of by Coral Kaylera, the journalist, and her mind returned to that horrifying incident.  She still felt like such a fool and the embarrassment came back.

Scratching above her left ear, Hannah’s eyebrows drew together with concern.  “Umm … Amira.”

The red-eyed girl turned her head to face her.  “Yes?”

“Uh … is Rhea really not mad at us … you know, for talking about her?”

Amira took a deep breath, full lips dropping.  “No, Rhea’s not mad; honestly, I’d bet money she’s forgotten about the whole thing.  It’s not like she can blame you three if she looked into that woman.  I don’t; you were just her latest victims.”

Hannah pulled around her braided hair, fiddling with the tip.  “I mean, she was really friendly, and I never would have thought she was trying to use us.  We get so many tourists in Pallet that random people asking you stuff isn’t that uncommon.

“Thinking back, though … there were a few things that should have raised a red flag for me sooner.  I just felt … I don’t know.  It’s like I let Rhea down.  The whole boyfriend thing was adding insult to injury…”

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Amira responded by pulling up her phone, sending her an article without explanation.  Hannah accepted the transfer and frowned at the title as it popped-up.  “… Coral Kaylera’s charges dropped from lack of evidence.  Huh … what charges?”

Amira put her phone back on its magnetic strip, staring at Amber and Limru; they were speaking to the cute Nickit that just crept out of the bushes.  “Have you heard of Naive Mint?”

“No?”  Hannah mumbled.  She didn’t like the name on instinct.

“Naive Mint is a naturally growing substance that originated in Galar but is easy enough to import; in fact, it often is through Viridian shipments.  If given to a Pokemon to smell, it can very temporarily change its Nature.  If given as a herbal tea, it can cause the effect to last longer.”

“Okay?”  Hannah whispered, shifting to a more comfortable position on the grass.  “I’m following you.”

“Now … what if it were given to a human?”  Hannah was repeating it in her head as Amira answered the rhetorical question.  “It will cloud their mind and generally make them more gullible.  And there you have it; it wasn’t really your fault.”

The dots connected in Hannah’s head; it was like a hot iron pressed against her chest.  “You mean she … she drugged us?  Then … no wonder we felt so strange.  That’s … that’s illegal!”

Amira shrugged.  “It’s not easily traceable through drug screening, and only lasts several minutes in small doses, which is why she hasn’t been prosecuted yet; I mean, she mainly operates in Viridian, and the Police there don’t mess around.

“I heard down the grapevine she was a pretty scummy journalist, so I committed her face to memory, and she knows it, which was probably why she didn’t approach us.”

Her cheeks turned in a somewhat sour expression.  “I only started looking into her when she came out with that article the other day; we’ll probably run into her again, but she won’t use the same tactic.  She’s careful, and buying Naive Mint to participate in battles is well within her rights.  If she ever was caught, then yes, she’d have some heavy crimes brought against her.  In the end, you just need to be more careful with what you accept from people.”

She pointed down at the gum pack in front of her with a forced smile.  “I’m just saying…”

A shiver ran down Hannah’s spine, the wad of gum stuck against the side of her cheek.  No-ho-ho … I look like an idiot again!

“Thanks…”  Hannah mumbled, face turning a bit red.  “Umm … yeah, I’ll try to think more … I just never had to consider that kind of stuff before.”

“No, no,” Amira chuckled, scooting her glasses up a bit further onto her nose, “I’m not trying to make you feel bad.  Honestly, it sucks thinking everyone’s looking to get something from you all the time.  I’ve kind of … well, envied normal girls.”

She sighed, focus shifting to the forest again.  “Don’t get me wrong … no, nevermind.”

Hannah gripped her left arm, extrapolating what Amira had said; she had no doubt that those words weren’t something she shared with just anyone.  It made her happy and sad at the same time.  She couldn’t imagine what it was like with one half of her family being universally infamous while the other was revered, and she was stuck in the middle.

Not wanting to make the exchange any more awkward than it had already become, Hannah returned to the previous topic.  “So, yeah … she drugged us.  That’s so slimy … so that waiter was in on it, too … wow, Muk.  Her embarrassing us was to make us not question why we felt so strange…

“She said she never even got past the fourth Bronze-tier Gym; so, how can she buy specialized Trainer Battle Items?  Does she do low-tier Bronze battles often to qualify?  Hey, maybe we can get our revenge on her!”

Amira lifted an eyebrow, focus returning to her.  “Eh … she’s Gold-tier; if she said she was Bronze, it was a lie.”

Hannah’s fingers closed into a fist in her lap, teeth clamping down on each other; she’d hoped they could just come up with an official battle condition and bait her into agreeing.  “You’re kidding … we can’t even challenge her to make her go away in a bet?  How … what can we do?”  The anger slowly fizzled out.  “Is there anything we can do to stop her in the future?”

“Of course,” Amira smiled at her.  “Look, you three got taken advantage of by a horrible journalist that gets her money off click-bait, blackmail, and drugging her victims.  Learn from the experience and be more careful.  If anything, I should have warned you about the possibility at the spa and that the paparazzi is targeting us, and thereby, you three.”

Amira brushed her extremely thick triple-braided red hair behind her while standing and straightening her triple-tiered skirt.  “Anyway, that’s in the past.  For now, we need to find some strong Pokemon that want to join us; who knows, maybe in time you’ll be able to get your revenge against her.”

A new goal lit in Hannah’s breast.  “You know what, you’re right!  If we try hard enough, we can make it to Gold-tier and beat her.”

“Don’t stop there,” Amira chuckled, pointing at her Pokemon.  “First, we need to get you a good team.  Amber’s got a lead.  Ready to go?”

Warm fuzzies swarmed Hannah’s heart; Amira was the best!  If there wasn’t a fan club started for her, she’d start one tonight; of course, she had to use an alias because it would be too embarrassing if Amira discovered she was the leader.

They followed behind their Pokemon as the Caterpie led the way.  The little insects seemed to be somewhat angry, or they appeared that way to Hannah.

* * *

Amber released a low hum as they entered a very large forest; the trees were so tall that it hurt her neck to try and look high enough to see where they ended.  Pokemon could be heard chatting across the area and many were easily spotted, but this was something like the other wild areas they’d been; it was too peaceful.

Pokemon were laughing, talking with one another about recent events, and playing games; that all slowly changed when they appeared, word spreading about their invasion.

“Humans?”

“Tell Butterfree!”

“Are they here to take Butterfree?”

“No!  They can’t!”

She sighed, walked up to a nearby tree where a few Caterpie were latched onto.  “Hello, we’re not here to start trouble.”

One of the Caterpie responded in a high-pitched male voice.  “We have heard tales about the humans; Pidgey tell us about the battles and conquests … Sparrows lie, and Hoothoot cannot be trusted.”

“Right,” Amber mumbled.  “So, we are looking to find two Pokemon that like to battle and want to get stronger.  Is there anyone nearby like that?”

“I knew it!”  A female Caterpie growled, leaning over to whisper to another as if she couldn’t hear them.  “They’re here for Butterfree!”

Another gave her a quizzical stare.  “You sure?  Butterfree doesn’t like to fight; it’s too much work.”

The female Caterpie’s eyes narrowed.  “True … remember what the Pidgey say, though?”

“… Which one?”

“The one that said the thing!  The thing about humans fighting Pokemon up the mountain.”

Limru scuttled over to Amber, causing the Fennekin to glance her way.  “Hey, Amber, umm … do you really think they’ll help?  Pokemon where I’m from were pretty cautious of humans.”

Amber frowned; she could already hear a few male Pokemon talking about how pretty she was.  She debated using it to spark up the proper conversation; it usually tended to work, but it didn’t seem necessary as one of the Caterpie descended.

“Wait … you’re here to take two Pokemon that love to fight?”  He asked with bright eyes.  The guy appeared to be fairly young by his size.  “Even if they’re battle junkies?”

Low mumbles swept the throng, carried further by several other Pokemon that heard.

“Could they get rid of them?”

“Finally!  They’re so rude…”

“Not the pretty one.”

“She does whatever the stupid one says, though…”

Amber listened to the babble for a minute, letting Amira know that things were safe in the area; she didn’t hear a single fight happening at all around them, not even over berries, which was odd.  Many of the Pokemon around them were a lot stronger than what she’d seen on Route 1 or in the Pallet Hills.  Several Metapod could be seen further up the tree, glaring down at them.

From what she could tell, there were two Pokemon that the area occupants thought of as hoodlums, causing trouble in their peaceful neck of the woods, and the big plan was to get the two humans to take them away.

Limru was starting to get a bit nervous because of something to do with her Trainer; Amira and her were talking, but the conversation wasn’t really that appealing to Amber.

The young representative of the Caterpie inched down to the ground, looking up at her with big eyes.  “Can … if you are taking two Pokemon, then there are some we can take you to!”

“Hmm … what kind of Pokemon are they?”  Limru asked with a nervous smile.

A soft-spoken male voice came from a nearby bush.  “The kind you’ll like.”

Limru glanced between several of the Pokemon that started coming out of the undergrowth; Amira and Hannah had sat down a bit ago to talk.  “… I don’t know, Amber … it could be a trap.”   

“No, it’s not…”  Pleaded the Nickit.

By his tone, he was somewhat infatuated with the shiny fox; Amber was used to vocal strain by now.

Swapping directions, she faced the overgrowth with a small smile, wagging her tail ever-so-slightly.  “Hello, my name’s Amber.  My Trainer says you’re a Nickit, which is fairly rare around Viridian; that’s really cool.  How are you?”

His big black ears and red nose popped out for a moment.  “Umm … hi.  I’m okay.  I, eh … I don’t really have a name.  Pokemon just call me Nickit.  Oh, it’s, uh, nice to meet you, t-too,” he stammered, ducking back into the bush.

Amber refrained from smirking.

Is this an act?  Could this be a play to break the ice with me, pretending to be shy and cute?  I guess I could tug the line.

“Hmm … well, I hope you have a good day.  Now, Caterpie…”

Caterpie’s confused eyes darted to the bush as the Nickit jumped out.  “Wait, umm … hey, so, how long are you going to … you know, stay around here?”

Amber returned her smile to him.  “How long … I can’t really say,” she mused.  “Probably overnight, if you know of a good open space.”

“Uh-huh!  Yeah, I do, eh … there’s a clearing not too far from where I like to hang out, actually.”  He said with an innocent smile.

“Mhm,” Amber hid her smirk.  “Maybe we’ll have time for you to show me the best spots … of course, we first need to find these Pokemon these Caterpie were talking about.”

“Yeah, uh … I know where they are, too!  They practice in that field I was talking about, but … yeah, the one guy isn’t all that interesting, and the girl isn’t as pretty as you.”

Amber pulled her flaming tail around to hide her face.  “Oh, am I really that pretty?  I mean … I know my tail flame looks nice, but … I don’t know…”

Limru had a forced smile on her face, but this Nickit needed clear hints; he was obviously new to the flirting game.

“Yeah, yeah!  I’ll, umm … yeah, follow me!”

Crouching a little, Amber kept her tail close to her face, ears releasing mesmerizing flame patterns that caught the yellow-eyed fox’s gaze.  She didn’t even need Hypnosis for the young Nickit.  “One second … my Trainer’s almost done.”

“Y-Yeah … uh, so … where do you come from?”

“Mmh, probably a place you haven’t heard of before,” Amber giggled.  “It’s pretty far away.  By the way, you wouldn’t be interested in joining us, would you?”

He crept closer, vision darting to Limru for a moment before returning to her; the Caterpie seemed somewhat annoyed by his appearance, speaking before he could extend the conversation.

“Hey, Amber, Nickit doesn’t want to go … you need to take the other two Pokemon away before Butterfree comes back.”

Nickit chuckled softly.  “Yeah, uh … I don’t know if I’m ready to go with humans … it’s not really something I can see myself doing.”

Amber’s red eyes turned to the bug.  “Oh?  Too bad,” she sighed with disappointment.

Amira let her know they were ready.  “We’re in luck; our Trainers are ready.”

The Pokemon began to lead the way, and the Nickit and Caterpie bounced back and forth; the Caterpie just wanted to be rid of the area’s troublemakers, but Nickit just wanted her attention.  She placated both, probing for more information about the area.

Limru suddenly took to the air; she was becoming visibly agitated with what their Trainers were discussing, and from what bits she understood, it would be difficult to hear.  They were reading Trainers reviewing Ledyba and how bad they were.

Amber had to focus on the attention-needy Nickit and the annoyed Caterpie; the Pokemon they were being led to were currently getting ready to battle the Area Boss, a Butterfree, which was apparently something of a daily occurrence for the pair, and these Caterpie were done with it.

Their guardian idol needed rest, but by the sounds of it, some battle-crazed egg wouldn’t give him a break, and a string of flowers always hyped the egg up, although Amber didn’t know what to make of the descriptions exactly.

They were coming up on the site; their Trainers seemed to have come to a conclusion with their discussion, and Limru looked a lot happier by the results.

“Feeling better?”  Amber asked, jumping on a large root to stare at the hovering Ledyba.

Limru was smiling.  “A bit … it’s just hard hearing how terrible you are.  It’s not like I wanted to be born weak.”

Amber shrugged, hopping down as their Trainers worked themselves over the massive chunk of exposed wood; Nickit landed beside her, listening intently.  “Every Pokemon has weaknesses.  Humans help us learn how to overcome them.”

“Really?”  Nickit asked.  “I, uh … I heard humans are really savage.  We don’t see too many battles here.”

Ah … that makes sense.  This Butterfree must be really powerful if they keep the peace in the entire area.

Her attention shifted to the field as they exited the woods.

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