1: Rhea (Our MC!)
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!
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9:08 A.M. July 1, Wednesday, 106 PH (Post Hoopa Event)
Events: The Joint Kanto and Johto Indigo Summer League is at its climax; the grand final for each bracket of the Summer Round Robin Cup is here, where Trainers from each Tier will be named Seasonal Best, and at 6:30 P.M. the momentous event to determine the fate of Vermilion Gym—Saria Surge vs. Visquez—will begin.
Our girl started her journey on the 9th of June—she’s been a Trainer for 22 Days (21 Officially; 22 since getting Maya and Nova).
Rhea jogged after Jason with Bianca, dodging around the small groups of tourists and locals. “Hehe, where is this bus?”
“Over here—hurry, oh, here are your tickets,” he hastily added, slowing a tad since Bianca was in a dress and Rhea wore a skirt. “It leaves two streets over in like twenty minutes, but seats are first-come, first-serve—I don’t want to go the whole trip next to a stranger.”
Feeling a little less pressured, Rhea smiled at her frantic friend before looking down at Alice, Sunny, and Nova running beside them. “Let’s hope we find a good spot.”
Bianca giggled, slowing to a more reasonable pace. “Wait, Jason, you just went ahead and bought our tickets? That was sweet of you!”
Rhea’s grin became forced upon seeing her cousin’s twinkling eyes as they moved to her. C’mon, Bi; it’s not like that!
Jason pressed the button to cross the street as they approached the intersection. “Well, I mean, Len and Lucian were gonna come with me, but they decided to head to a local Trainer get-together to strengthen their Pokemon.”
Rhea lifted an eyebrow at her cousin. See! It’s not a date!
“Ahem, wait—Len and Lucian—like, Len wasn’t forced or anything?”
“No, I told you before,” Jason yawned, seemingly not getting enough sleep, “Lucian isn’t that bad when it’s just us—he just gets kind of uptight around Amira.”
“Still don’t like the guy,” Rhea mumbled.
The wind picked up, pulling on her bun and making her glad Amira had tied her hair back and braid it; light turning green, a memory surfaced, causing her to change the subject. “Hey, Bi?”
“Mmh?” Her cousin’s green irises drifted to her as Jason led them into a power walk.
“I remember you used to do these braids when I was a little girl—the kind without a bobby pin or hair tie?”
“Oh, hehe, you always did love having super long hair—mmh, yeah, me? Not so much—when I was traveling around, it made keeping my bangs in check super easy. Ugh, plus, my hair has to be cut so often because of how fast it grows—curse you, Mom!”
Rhea giggled. “I love it.”
“For real … I hate haircuts, but every town we stopped in, I’d need to get one done,” Bianca growled, fidgeting with her bouncing locks. “Eh, with you having that crazy thick mane our family gets—and full-on—ugh, like how ridiculous my mom’s gets, you’d break a lot of hair ties.”
“Not this one,” Rhea grinned, pointing at the tie her aunt had given her. “It just might be useful, and I never learned.”
“Yeah, my mom’s special brand of tie, hehe—you know, she gets a commission for selling those.”
“I bet! She’s always maximized everything she does, but can you teach me?”
The conversation died down as Jason hissed upon turning the corner. Poking her head around his wide shoulders to follow his gaze, Rhea’s smile became strained. “How … popular is this tour, Jason?”
“Ugh … C’mon!”
Bianca laughed, walking with Rhea past the gathering crowds since Jason would hold the spot. “It looks pretty popular; I can’t say I know much about Kanto, so this will be fun.” Taking out her phone from the purse she’d brought, a hum rumbled in her throat. “I mean, I suppose we are cutting it close—ten minutes until it’s time to go.”
Rhea sidestepped those behind Jason to join him, looking up at the blue-themed two-story bus to see quite a few people settled in; it seemed to be pretty packed already, but by the little she could see inside, the seating appeared reasonably spacious.
The attendant checking tickets recited a line that he obviously said too many times by his monotone delivery while punching the receipts.
“Please be courteous to other passengers—no more than two Pokemon out, each one meter—don’t hang out of the windows for your safety, and if you need to stop for any reason, please be respectful and give the driver at least a ten-minute notice. I hope you enjoy your tour, brought to you by Cerulean Paper Inc.”
They soon boarded, the line thinning fairly quickly, and Rhea climbed the steps behind Bianca, Jason taking the rear. Moving down the aisle, her cousin couldn’t find a place for them, so she took them up the stairs in the back to the second level.
Near the back were three empty booths, and Bianca selected the furthest left, plopping down with a big grin. “See, we found a spot.”
Jason grimaced as Rhea sat across from her cousin, both taking the window seats; he glanced at the free booths that the groups behind them were filling. “Wow—we’re gonna be the last one’s out every time we stop—but at least we’re together.”
He sank into his seat beside Bianca, watching Nova smugly take the seat beside Rhea. “Man, finding stuff in cities is so complicated.”
“We got here, so it’s not that bad,” Rhea laughed, allowing Sunny and Alice to jump on her lap to look out of the window. “Hehe, why do you seem so nervous?”
Bianca shifted to look between them, adjusting her dress. “Hmm-hmm … I wonder?”
“Wonder what?” Jason cluelessly asked, vision shifting between them.
Rhea glared at her cousin’s sparkling emerald eyes, somehow even more brilliant and evident without her red glasses. You’re never going to drop it—I swear, I’ll be married someday, and you’ll still give me that Sprigatito-like smile. Two can play that game…
Rhea plotted her revenge as Bianca went on with her analysis. “I certainly can’t blame him; you’d be the same way, Rhea, if you were the one planning everything and trying to make specific times. It’s stressful stuff.”
“Ugh—tell me about it!” Jason grumbled, scanning through information on his phone. “Len and Lucian usually handle all the city planning—I’ve never been so lost in my life the last few days in Cerulean—it’s huge!”
Knowing this was probably the real reason her best friend was having a hard time, Rhea nodded, following Sunny’s gestures as he directed Alice’s enthralled gaze to the skyscrapers, poking above the nearby buildings in the distance.
“Hmm, I guess that’s true … Amira kind of does that for us, too—she knows exactly where to go, so … I guess I haven’t thought about how stressful that might be.”
Her cousin’s hair bounced a little as she agreed. “You’ll learn—believe me! When I first started out with Hilbert, Hilda, and Cheren, Hilbert and Cheren kept us on track—heh, mostly Cheren—Hilda and Hilbert were like ice and fire!”
A big grin spread across Rhea’s lips, finding her attack point. “Hehe, Hilda is more the fire, but I wouldn’t call Hilbert ice—he’s too clumsy to be slick like ice.”
Bianca’s defenses were instantly up, steam practically puffing out of her nose. “Hey, why do you always gotta be bashing my hubby like that?! Hilbert can be so smooth—super romantic!”
Rhea snickered. “The keyword here being ‘can,’ cuz. What do you think, Jason? You’ve met Hilbert.”
Jason puffed out a long breath, not wanting to get drawn into the conversation as he dropped his phone in his lap but knowing she was looking for backup. “No offense, Bianca, but I’ve seen Hilbert almost trip more than once when I’ve seen him around—he’s totally awesome; don’t get me wrong—but yeah … a bit clumsy.”
Rhea grinned while stroking Nova’s side, causing the Eevee to chirp. “Heh, even Jason sees it! Wait, hehehe, isn’t it usually when Hilda comes around. Hmm?”
Bianca’s eyes narrowed. “Hmm … What are you saying, Rhea? Hilda and Hilbert traveled all around the world together.”
“I’m not saying anything—just saying, Hilda trips him up! So, he may be the smoothest guy in the world with you, but whenever Hilda comes up, he falls on his face.”
“Yeah, well—Hilda just knows too much about him, so she teases him,” Bianca grumbled. “She’s a tease and knows it, but heh, you should see how she gets around N! I’ve seen her walk straight into a pole before! Eh, naturally, the pole took the beating, but her face was redder than Amira’s hair! ”
“Oh? Do tell!” Rhea chuckled, happy to have these kinds of conversations with her cousin again. “I’ve never met him, but I know you’re friends.”
“N? He’s a pretty smooth guy, too—not unlike Hilbert,” Bianca defended with a proud huff. “You know, he comes from ancient royal blood and is actually Champion-tier.”
Fixing her skirt with Sunny and Alice’s bouncing movements, Rhea reflected on what she knew about the man. “Hmm, can Hilda and Hilbert beat him?”
“Eh, well,” Bianca smirked, looking to the left, “actually, N beat Alder, Hilda beat N, and then Hilbert beat Hilda … eh-heh, all in the same day. It was such an insane event that they just named Hilbert the Champion … Of course, Hilda took it back a week later, but we don’t need to talk about their weekly battles.”
“Humph, you know I’m not—Green, though … I don’t know about that woman, mmgm … or what she could be doing to my husband right now—Hilda and Hilbert are just best friends and rivals, though.”
Rhea was also a little leery-eyed at Leaf’s mischievous older sister; she was just too unpredictable. Her attention snapped back to her cousin as she tried to pull her focus away from her husband to a juicer topic.
“Besides, Hilda and N have been crazy about each other forever; they’re just too proud to be the first to admit it and take the next step … Ugh, the number of dates I set up for them that turns into just another training session or date that they refuse to admit is a date…”
Rhea snickered. “Didn’t Shauntel write a book about your adventures—like anonymously as White and Black—and White and the king ended up together?”
“Wait, really?” Jason asked, glancing between them. “When was this?”
“A while ago,” Bianca smiled, looking into her past. “Some fictional parts, of course—I mean, they aren’t an ‘official’ couple—but Hilda has a 1st Edition copy and blushes while rereading certain parts … hehe, I’ve caught her a few times!”
Rhea figured there was more her cousin was leaving out by that ‘caught’ detail and the amusement in her voice but figured it would be best to let Jason’s innocent mind skate by those finer points. “Hmm, that being said, I’ve always wondered why his name is just … N … Like, what’s the story behind that?”
“Oh, that’s simple,” Bianca blinked, “you don’t know?”
“Is it short for Nathan or something?” Jason questioned.
Rhea’s gaze shifted to Jason, both confused. “Eh, as in, his name is Natural?”
Bianca nodded. “Natural Harmonia Gropius—as in, he is a Natural king, heh, we joke about that—it’s from the ancient royal family, Gropius, but he hates the name, so he just goes by N.”
“Huh, the more you know,” Rhea muttered, sitting back and looking out of the window as the attendant’s voice came over the speakers, preparing them to leave.
Conversation dropped, they listened to the instructions and general information the guide gave them as the bus started, slowly taking them on a quick tour around the colossal centerpiece of the city, Cerulean Gym’s new artistic masterpiece.
Rhea already saw a good portion of it from the festival performance the night previous from the Gym’s Masters, so she took the chance to catch up on a few things on social media, contact her friends, and party.
9:46 A.M. Rhea: Hey, Amira, so I didn’t ask when I left, but what are you guys up to today?
9:46 A.M. Rhea: Oh, besides the package at the Center.
9:47 A.M. Amira Rocket: Lori wanted to go shopping to find a cheap dress for some party that’s taking place in two days. Casey will be making it here, and she promised to find something in her size … I think she wants to use it as an excuse to find me something, too. I bet she’s going to go through your clothes before we go to see your size so she can surprise you.
9:47 A.M. Rhea: Haha, it does sound like Lori. I bet she’ll find something suitable.
9:48 A.M. Amira Rocket: Wait, you’re fine with her just going through your bag?!
9:48 A.M. Rhea: It’s not like I have anything to hide? I’ve never really had a problem with that back home. When I was younger, I was pretty lazy and would feel drained all the time, so my brother would take care of my laundry and stuff.
9:48 A.M. Amira Rocket: …
9:48 A.M. Amira Rocket: Rhea, you’re a little weird. No offense.
A giggle shook her stomach as she read her teammate’s response, making Bianca look at her questioningly but return to her own phone to go through some messages Hilbert sent him; Rhea caught a slight blush on her cheeks as she swiftly hid the screen, an embarrassed smile on her lips that made Rhea curious, but she returned to her text exchange.
9:49 A.M. Rhea: I’ll take that as a compliment, haha. By the way, I talked to my mom about our Master Balls and asked some questions about using them long-term. I can’t really explain everything that short, but she wants to talk to you guys; could you give her a call through PikaBook and tell me what you guys decide to do? She’s free today, so call any time.
9:49 A.M. Amira Rocket: Sounds good. I hope you have a fun time with Jason and your cousin.
9:49 A.M. Rhea: Thanks! Oh, uh, please don’t let Lori pick out anything super revealing … I get the feeling our tastes on acceptable public wear are … a little different. Hehe.
9:50 A.M. Amira Rocket: Yeah … Just a little. I’ll keep an eye on her.
9:50 A.M. Rhea: I look forward to hanging out together and partying! Eh, not that I know much about that scene.
9:51 A.M. Amira Rocket: Lori’s type of partying? You and me both, Sister.
After reading the last word, a smile touched her cheeks, and Rhea swapped to look at her friends’ posts. Sam wasn’t super active on PikaBook, but Hannah and Jade were pretty consistent—Jayline, though—their newest addition, was on fire. The Alolan blonde was practically documenting their entire journey for her friends and family back home.
Fun pictures of the crew partying in Apple City and participating in the alien festivities reminded her of her time with Lori there. Images captured of them winning specific booth prizes and Jade spending way too much on cute accessories for her little Pichu, Hannah dancing with Limru and Star, or Hannah winning an eating contest.
It appeared that the Alolan girl was adding a bit of Lori to the group, teaching them Alolan dances or how to cook certain dishes, and it made Rhea excited not to be so stressed about their journey now.
This is the kind of stuff I heard from Masters growing up … It’s a way more emotional roller coaster than they made it seem, though…
Rhea’s focus moved to the window, rolling it down to allow the cool breeze to press against her face as they came to Nugget Bridge. She’d seen videos of what it used to look like, but a lot had changed since the Sensational Sisters oversaw the Cerulean City-State.
The former Gym Leaders still had performances but had relinquished the title to their youngest sister since she’d officially taken the position after her journey with one of Pallet’s famous grassroots Trainers, Ash Ketchum.
Since Misty Williams took over stewardship of the Cerulean City-State, rapid expansion had pushed all the way to Rocket’s old abandoned power plant, which the Gym Leader bought and renovated to provide the city with the extra energy it needed with the help of Vermilion’s specialists and experts in the field.
Nugget Bridge was now the real thing, stretching wide to allow vehicles passage while platforms on either side allowed for river battles and a nice scenic view.
Nova got up to jump on Bianca’s lap to look out the window as they passed over the shimmering golden spectacle. Her Buneary and Jason’s Scorbunny’s ears trailed to the side from the wind as they stared across the vast lake to see ships in the far distance on the bay to the sea.
The beaches were packed with early morning swimmers and battles from various Trainers. Rhea caught sight of Magikarp packs, Squirtle, Psyduck, Poliwag, Krabby, Horsea, and Goldeen; a Trainer was even performing combination moves with a Vaporeon team, trying to work out their routine.
Many other Pokemon could be seen battling on the free water stages between Gold-tier Trainers, attracting many spectators as a Politoed generated a confined rainstorm to launch a large wave at his floating Alakazam opponent.
She couldn’t help but smile as Nova pointed at a Feraligatr, his Trainer atop him as he refereed the match, surfing on the Pokemon. In the backdrop, near the entrance to the ocean, a big shiny blue bump bowed the waters, pushing them aside and drawing the attention of her starstruck Pokemon—a Wailord from a Master-tier Trainer by the aura Rhea sensed—it was far easier to pinpoint the stronger forces for her, like a bonfire next to a flood of matches.
Bianca had a fun time pointing out and talking to her Eevee as they shared a moment, explaining the different Pokemon.
After a second, Rhea noticed a ship behind the Wailord; it seemed this Master Trainer operated a towing service, which was probably pretty lucrative. Then again, Wailord required a lot of food and attention, much like many Dragon Pokemon or any that reached colossal scale.
The image of Champion Wallace’s Wailord came to her mind, making Rhea smile while thinking about the colossal Pokemon; she liked the artistic and flamboyant man, and he got along well with her grandparents in Hoenn.
Sitting back, Jason pulled her attention as he took out a pokeball, grinned at her, and released a triangular Pokemon, making Rhea blink; the temperature around them started to drop a tad.
“Rhea, I’d like you to meet Empress!”
“Empress?” Rhea giggled. “Interesting name … Oh, I’m not making fun of you!” she quickly added as the Pokemon’s small turquoise eyes narrowed, pulling her tent-like hat tighter around her night-black body. “It’s nice to meet you, Empress.”
Bianca reached down to stroke her head. “A Snorunt, huh?”
“Yeah, where did you find an Ice Pokemon—didn’t you guys go into Viridian Forest to get your second Pokemon?”
Alice, Nova, and Sunny hopped down to greet the shivering Snorunt; according to Nova, she had a funny way of talking, and Alice already wanted to run off and play with her. It didn’t take long for the Buneary to convince the others, motioning for them to join her in exploring and talking to the other Pokemon on the bus.
Jason grinned as they ran off, Alice and Sunny leading the way. “Yeah, I was pretty shocked, too, but when we were looking around, we came across this pretty beaten up Snorunt. Apparently, she was considered some kind of ice princess high in the Pewter mountains but was exiled by a rival of hers.”
Bianca nodded. “Nature is brutal … Docile Pokemon tend to gather around human areas because it’s peaceful, but the further you get away from civilization, the more competitive it gets.”
“That’s so sad,” Rhea whispered, imagining the little Snow Hat Pokemon struggling through the forest, trying to figure out what to do. “Is she okay now?”
“She’s a little princess, alright,” Jason snickered. “She demanded I call her that because she’ll go back and prove her position; the other Snorunt evidently cheated by ambushing her with a small group.”
A hum resonated from Bianca. “Was she … born with Moody? If so, it’s rare for Pokemon in the Wild to have the care needed to survive having their Dream Ability without it killing them.”
“Yeah, I was talking to Rhea’s mom about that; apparently, one of Rhea’s new friends has a Pichu that had that issue, too, but Empress seems to be one of the special few that can handle it because of her genetics.”
Rhea smiled, leaning over to see the four talking to a Pikachu, then a second Pikachu, and then a third; to Nova’s delight, two Eevee showed up to chat soon after. The unique color of her Pokemon were drawing pictures and attention, as usual. “I guess she really is a Snorunt princess then…”
Bianca snickered. “You’ll have your hands full when she turns into a Froslass!”
“Oh, when will she evolve?” Rhea asked out of curiosity.
Her cousin took out her phone to show them some information on a research site Rhea wasn’t familiar with.
“Froslass is pretty rare to see among the major population of Lower-tier Trainers since they live in some of the harshest environments and don’t trust easily. Snorunt are easier to befriend and train up—heh, powerful Froslass have even been known to gather their own cult-like following. Generally, a Froslass will evolve sometime in Silver-tier or earlier if exposed to a Dawn Stone.”
“Where can I get one?”
“Eh, those kinds of stones are one use and, umm, pretty outside your budget as Bronze-tier Trainers,” Brianca forced a laugh.
“How much would one cost?” Rhea asked, pulling out her own phone to search it up. “Uh … Wow … 75,000 credits for a one-use item?”
“Yikes!” Jason hissed. “Uh, is it good to evolve early because, eh, hehe, yeah, that’s kind of an insane price for me—it cost so much for me to just drop 3,000 on another Protect, and that’s after the Bronze-tier second discount we get for the TM.”
Rhea sucked in a stream of air. “Yeah, that’s how much it costs to go for your first Encrusted Badge, and three times the amount of a normal Gym battle.”
Bianca put her phone away, a thoughtful look on her face. “Some say it doesn’t, but your mother is in the process of publishing a well-referenced and collaborated study with Professor Rowan on the subject. So far as I am aware, the conclusion is that it does make a difference but early forced evolutions through stones can be challenging for young Pokemon.
“However, it does increase spiritual resilience and can be one method of enhancing a Pokemon’s future growth rate; that also includes a Trainer’s personal growth, and will cause strain on their Fortitude.”
Jason’s mouth tightened. “Mmh … Where do you find Dawn Stones? I’m pretty sure Empress will be totally game for it, and if we can find it instead of buying it, that would be best.”
“So far as we’ve been able to tell, Evolution Stones come from the Moon and are created by specific phenomena while passing through our atmosphere, so … basically, anywhere meteor showers occur. Your best bet would be Evolution Mountain—hike around, have a Ground or Rock-type that can help scavenge—stuff like that, but you’ll need a permit from Pallet.”
A grin spread across Jason’s face. “Well, maybe I can get my dad, sister, or mom to help me search when we get back in that area and have some time. It would be a fun activity to catch up with everyone.”
Rhea loved the idea. “That would be awesome! Heh, that is if you can pull your sister away from my brother.”
“Ugh, no joke! Ever since your brother went to Mt. Silver, she’s been glued to his side; I think she was a little scared about the stories he told her.”
“My brother…” Rhea mumbled in exasperation, shaking her head.
Bianca leaned forward. “Ooh, do tell; I’m out of the loop!”
“Bah, it’s nothing new,” Rhea waved her cousin off. “Sabin going off and doing dangerous stuff and telling me how he just so happened to almost die by splattering when a Steelix near Mt. Silver jumped him … Yeah, that’s totally a good thing to tell your little sister or girlfriend, but he thinks it’s cool.”
“Huh?” Jason forced a smile and scratched the back of his neck. “I mean, it is kind of cool—I loved the story about how he met Luna.”
“Not to me,” Rhea huffed, her cousin nodding fervently.
“I think it’s a boy thing—well, ugh, no, Hilda’s the same way, but she’s practically a boy … excluding her princess costume,” she snickered. “No, she’s a weird hybrid, I swear! Hehehe. No, but boys are so insensitive. Right, Rhea?”
“Yeah! What’s with you guys and always telling stories about being close to death all the time?”
Jason held up his hands. “Woah, when did this turn into dissing all men?! It’s cool—I don’t know what to say—I’m just like, Bro! You’re insane, Man—that’s so sick! How many people get to go to Mt. Silver at Platinum-tier and get a top-tier Pokemon from there?”
“Nothing wrong with going there—just don’t tell us the worrisome stuff … Ugh, the things Hilbert recently told me that happened when Gold and he went to the Sinjoh Desolation … Why tell me you saw a mirage of me that tried to lead you into a portal—like, why?!”
“Wait, what?” Rhea and Jason asked in unison, their conversation apparently drawing eyes from the other booth.
“Yeah, I don’t know—I haven’t been there—all I know is that the place is a freaking space-time disaster zone where funky stuff happens and crazy strong Pokemon show up. All he needs to do is come back like, ‘Hey, Honey! I had a wonderful time with Gold; we trained really hard, we ate smores by a campfire, met some cool Pokemon, and swam in a lake!’ ”
She winced. “Scratch that last part … I don’t want to know what that water might do to them … Oh, no, now I want samples to analyze and make sure Hilbert didn’t get infected with anything strange.”
“Mmh-hmm,” Rhea slowly nodded. “Well, it must be rough for you, cuz.”
“You have no idea! Ugh … No! This is our fun time! Let’s get off this subject about how impossible men are and focus on the tour!”
The guide had been commenting on their surroundings the entire time, but they’d more or less ignored him, and as they left the Nugget Bridge, a forest of ancient trees surrounded them. However, the guide did not tell Rhea anything she already didn’t know.
Cerulean Mountain to their west was blocked off, and scary rumors of certain Pokemon roaming its deep watery caves. The towns to the northwest had been destroyed by the flood of Pokemon from the Sinjoh Desolation event during the Ultra War. Most of the surrounding forest was Silver-tier, minimum, meaning they had to stay on the road, and they’d be passing a Gold-tier area, where they could see powerful, 2nd or 3rd evolution Pokemon.
Of course, Gold-tier Pokemon would run away screaming in the place she’d grown up, so none of the events leading to Bill’s seaside cottage really caught her interest. So, instead, she spent the time catching up with Bianca and Jason as her Pokemon grew their own friendship.
Her cousin was getting better at cooking and apparently had made plans to stay in the city and meet up with Sam’s group since Jayline promised to teach her some Alolan recipes.
The Dream World research she was doing was going slowly, but for her first Dream Journey with her Pokemon, it was an enjoyable experience, especially since they were overprepared; she just needed a little break.
Jason swore Lucian was a really good guy; he had some troubles at home and wasn’t great at communicating his feelings, which unwillingly, Rhea connected to Amira.
It seemed they both had teammates that had their own issues, yet Rhea would take her amazing redhead any day over the pompous Kalos noble after everything he’d said. If he did want to get back in their good graces, it would take a lot of effort.
Len was having a bit of trouble with his Tyrogue not getting along with Chary, so today had been more or less a bonding day where they’d try to work together in Double Battles against Lucian and other Trainers.
Lucian was taking part in the standard Gym Challenge since Amira had almost cleaned him out of credits in their bet, so they were on a rampage in the Bronze League, almost hitting the current top rankings for their bracket.
Jason was a little surprised to hear they’d met and battled Heneli’s group; the Alolan team seemed to be competing for the top rankings with someone named Ari and his party. Most of the Oak Starters were up there, yet Rhea’s party had dropped quite a bit because of her losses. Still, Amira and Lori’s Encrusted victory pushed them up by a significant margin.
To round it all off, beating Heneli’s group put them in the top 2% of Bronze-tier Trainers; the gap would widen by the day as their ranks slowly degraded if they didn’t continually try to push, but Rhea wasn’t really concerned about that now. Ranks only brought a fan club and attention, which her team had enough of.
Once reaching the cottage, they filed out to explore the small establishment, and Rhea recalled a hilarious story her mother had told her once about Red’s first encounter with the renowned scientist and inventor—the time he’d fused with a Pokemon—reportedly, he’d been attempting to master the teleportation system he’d designed for Pokemon and pokeballs for human travel. Obviously, the results were not what he expected.
She smiled while recounting the tale to an enthralled group, the tour guide suddenly far more lively as he took notes.
Red managed to reverse the results, and ever since then, no breakthroughs had come from the technology. Still, Bill was regarded as one of the leading experts on many fields, and after telling the story, she realized that might not have been the best image the man wanted to get out, but it had been him that told her mother, so maybe he wasn’t too ashamed of it?
In any case, it made for a fun break in the tour as they explored the area; the only issue came with the tour guide looking to her for anything additional to add, but she didn’t know a whole lot about Bill other than he was in close contact with her mother or funny blunders that weren’t connected to the cottage.
Rhea shared a juicy detail with Jason as they got to the bridge—a structure Bill and his Pokemon had personally made and not for the reason it became famous—the area was a popular kissing spot, or so she’d heard on Gossip, and the App had a lot of engaging things that allowed her to connect several stories since she was privy to ‘classified’ information and Master jokes.
Gym Leader Misty, the outgoing superstar, had a low-key relationship with the famous Trainer Ash, and they’d use this spot as a secret getaway since they were friends of Bills. It would be a scandalous bit of meat for the Gossip addicts to get a hold of, but she wasn’t about to expose the Cerulean gem’s secret.
She wasn’t sure if Misty and Ash were still an item, but it was something to giggle about.
Alice, Nova, Empress, and Sunny were playing games with the Silver to Bronze-tier Pokemon, and some seemed stunned at how mobile the quick Buneary was, never getting tagged once … Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for Empress, who pouted in the corner when she was unable to keep up.
Nova came to her rescue without a second thought, even before Sunny had the chance, tag-teaming to give the others a run for their money; even Alice was almost caught by the playful Eevee at one point.
Finishing at the cottage, they filed back into the bus and followed the road to the old shore wharf where Bill’s lighthouse was, and upon seeing it, Rhea was blown away by the architecture and location.
Rhea got out with the others to explore, fascinated by the ancient doors on the structure showing various Legendary, Pseudo-Legendaries, and powerful Kanto Pokemon. She’d already seen pictures of it from her mother, saying that Bill salvaged it from Pokémopolis.
The fact it had a Ditto on the door, among other things, showed that Giovanni wasn’t the first to create the Pokemon, yet they seemed to have all died in the wild since none existed so far as anyone could tell until the Mob Boss had brought back the Pokemon.
Taking the stairs to the top and sending pictures of the view with her cousin and Jason, she got a message from her dad that brought Bianca and her friend closer to read it.
1:43 P.M Dad: Oh! You’re at Bill’s old lighthouse, huh? Actually, let me check real fast … Yeah, you’re in the perfect position to see something extraordinary! Look to the southeast; you should be able to see a small spike poking out of the ocean if you’re looking really close! Bianca will know what you’re looking at! Haha! Happy sightseeing!
“What’s he mean, I’ll know what it is?” Bianca mumbled, scanning the horizon with Jason, Rhea, and their Pokemon.
“Umm, you know how my dad loves to play his spot games … Wait is that it—over there…”
Like a spear, a single spike created a small ripple effect in its wake, and once noticing it, Rhea’s eyes widened, seeing a massive shift in current that she wouldn’t have noticed unless looking from this height.
“Who?” Jason asked, but Rhea’s eyes lit up like diamonds.
“Samiya—the underwater temple city for the People of Water my mom told me about as a little girl?! Bi, can we go?! Please, I want to see it!”
“Eh, heh, I … don’t know Lizabeth that well … I know of her, but it looks like the People of Water are going to do a surprise festival at Cerulean and restock here. They’re pretty low-key with their city and don’t allow many people in … Umm, well, there aren’t that many of them left, but Lizabeth has found a few families.”
Jason jumped onboard. “Underwater sea temple?! I want in!”
“Shhh!” Bianca hissed, glancing back as a few people made it to the top. “Umm … I’ll talk to my mom and see if she has any contacts to get us in touch … I mean, I’d love to see it too … It’s a sovereign nation in itself, though—a moving sovereign nation.”
Pumped for what was to come, Rhea sent a message to her family asking for help on getting access or to get in touch with Lizabeth, the current matriarch over the ancient city.
They spent the rest of their time exploring the cliff and learned about a myth that on misty nights, you could see a colossal Pokemon—one of the rumored ancient Apex Pokemon—Pokemon that had somehow gained immortality like Legendaries, able to live forever.
Finishing up the day and enjoying their time, her grandpa messaged her, saying he’d come across the city once and got to know Lizabeth; he’d reach out and see if he could get some details.
Excitement rising, Rhea tried to temper her expectations as they loaded on the bus to return to Cerulean for the big finale of the Summer Cup; it was finally time to see the fate of Vermilion Gym—Saria Surge vs. Visquez for the title.
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