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- Chapter 7
- Later that day, as Ash enters Saffron City he spends a moment taking in how large it is, Saffron is the largest city in Kanto after all, with Celadon coming a close second and being more memorable for the department store. By the time Ash enters the Pokémon Center, nearly an hour later, the sun has already set and Ash is worried he may have to spend the night in one of the routes connected to Saffron. But after Nurse Joy tells him she still has a few rooms available, he relaxes. After getting his room key, Ash decides to call Professor Oak to transfer Dratini, both her and Dragonite are probably getting impatient by now. The whole process takes barely a minute and Ash is left watching Dratini crawl up Dragonite’s body through the video phone. “Wow Professor, those two sure look like they bonded quickly.” Ash says.
- “Indeed,” Oak replies, “I assume their instincts allowed them to form a bond quickly. Dragonite’s motherly instincts and Dratini’s instincts to learn from a powerful dragon. Well, was there anything else you needed Ash?”
- “No, not right now, Professor. I just couldn’t let that Dratini suffer like that, not if I could help it.” Ash tells him.
- “I hope you never lose that sense of compassion, Ash. It’s very rare, nowadays.” Oak says, getting a look of nostalgia in his eyes, making Ash think now might be a decent time to end the call. After they say goodbye, Ash goes to Nurse Joy to heal his Pokémon and heads to his room, deciding to call his mom in the morning.
- When Ash gets up the following morning, he decides it might be a good idea to call his mom first. It wouldn’t be a good idea for his mom to know he called Professor Oak last night and didn’t call her. She can get a little angry when he doesn’t call her. Thankfully, she’s ok with it this time, so Ash decides to train his Pokémon a bit. Chimchar’s almost at the limit his body can handle, with all of his moves being some of the stronger ones that can be taught his body was forced to grow in power, in order to handle all of that power without exhausting himself. However because of that, his defenses are nowhere close to what they should be to match his strength. Ash takes his Pokémon to one of the open fields they have and explains to them that for the next week or so they’ll be sparring with Chimchar to try and increase his defenses. During this week, Ash learns something interesting about Chimchar, his Blaze ability works slightly different than other Pokémon with Blaze. When Chimchar is down to his last legs and pushes to continue, Chimchar’s power nearly doubles, and while most other Pokémon simply gain a small fiery-red aura around their bodies, Chimchar’s tail flame explodes and he becomes cloaked almost entirely in fire, and when the fire cloak dies, Chimchar passes out from exhaustion. The first time it happened, Ash needed Professor Oak’s opinion on what it could be and Professor Oak came up with the theory that because Chimchar had to increase his power prematurely, his Blaze was also increased exponentially. Professor Oak told Ash that it might be a good idea to train Chimchar so that when Blaze de-activates, Chimchar isn’t completely exhausted. Ash also had Frogadier learning Surf since his Water Pulse was so advanced now. The tricky part of this move was that instead of internalizing the water energy like Water Pulse, Frogadier needs to let it flow through him and push it out along his arms to create a tidal wave. Grovyle also finally mastered his Leaf Blade and moved onto learning Energy Ball, which is actually very close to Mega Drain but instead of keeping the attack attached to him so he can gain energy through the damage inflicted, the attack is completely disconnected and immensely more powerful because of it. Butterfree also finally mastered Psybeam, able to call Psychic energy to herself within a second’s notice. As Ash checks out of the Pokémon Center, he sees Gary and decides to see how he has been.
- “Oh, so you’re here too?” Gary started, “I was wondering if we were ever gonna meet up, I know I started a few days after you, but I didn’t realize you were gonna be racing through everything, Ash.”
- “Well, I haven’t really been racing through everything. I just haven’t had any trouble with the gyms yet.” Ash told him a little embarrassed.
- “I know what you mean,” Gary smirked, “Brock wasn’t much trouble with Squirtle, did he use that weird Geodude on you too? It did almost beat Squirtle, but he was able to handle Brock, all on his own. And then that Misty girl was kind of tough, I’m just glad I took the time to teach Squirtle how to battle underwater. Did you have to do that with Froakie?”
- “No, I ended up looking it up and the Froakie line doesn’t really handle battling underwater too well, they can, but they always prefer to be above land.”
- “Ah, makes sense.” Gary said before his smirk widened a bit, “Well, since we’re both here, how about a battle? We can even use the old stakes we used to use back when Grandpa would let us practice battle.”
- Oh that got Ash’s attention. Both Gary and Ash had a name that was used to embarrass them is they ever misbehaved in front of their sister, or mother respectively. So they eventually made a bet that allowed the other one to call them that name for a week.
- “Hmm. Alright Gary, let’s battle. It’ll be a nice way to see where I stand.” Ash grinned back at him
- Ten minutes later they were standing across from each other ready to start their battle. Ash decided to start with Butterfree, she’s his best ranged fighter at the moment. They both release their Pokémon and Gary surprises Ash with a Kadabra, “Where did you catch one of those? They always go out of their way to avoid humans.” Ash asked him
- Gary chuckled as he tells Ash, “Well, Ash, I was lucky enough to come across an Abra that wanted to get stronger more than it wanted to sleep.” He outright laughed when Ash’s eyes bulged. That’s a typical reaction really, finding an Abra that wants to do anything more than sleep is very rare, one that wants to battle is near impossible to find. “Let’s get back into the battle. Psybeam.”
- “Counter it with your own Psybeam, Butterfree. Then follow up with Gust.” Ash winced as the Psybeams collided, but wasn’t very concerned as Gust was able to push the Kadabra around. “Mega Drain.”
- “Kadabra, dodge it and use Confusion. When it’s confused finish with Psybeam.” Gary commanded
- “Don’t let your guard down. Push it back with Gust, if he can fight you off.” Ash calmly ordered.
- After a short psychic battle between Butterfree and Kadabra, in which Kadabra was able to push Butterfree back, Butterfree hit Kadabra with a Gust that lifted Kadabra almost to Butterfree’s height 20 feet in the air and then let it drop.
- “Dammit.” Gary says, “Kadabra evolved a few days ago. I was hoping he would be a little more battle ready. Time for round two! Let’s go Pidgeotto.”
- “Butterfree, return.” Ash calmly calls. “Well, I guess it would be a good test. Go, Grovyle.”
- Gary’s eyes widened. “Where in the hell did you get a Grovyle? Even in Hoenn that would be the equivalent to finding an Abra, the hell dude?”
- “Grovyle was abandoned in Viridian Forest.” Ash told him, not mentioning saving him from the swarm. “I helped him out and he decided to join my team.”
- Gary smirked at Ash, “Well, as much as it is cool that you found such a rare Pokémon, especially in Kanto, you kind of forgot one of the most important rules in a battle. Pidgeotto, Wing Attack!”
- “Grovyle, use Rock Tomb to fill the field.” Ash told him with narrowed eyes, he might have had Grovyle practice battling a flying foe with Butterfree, but Butterfree and Pidgeotto are very different battlers. He watches as Grovyles arms glow lightly brown, similar to Poliwrath’s did with Rock Slide, but a duller and thinner color. Ash notes that as the rocks for Rock Tomb are falling around Pidgeotto, it seems to have trouble paying attention to the rocks and charging its attack.
- “Come on, Gary. What did your grandpa tell us about training our Pokémon? Don’t let one advance to a stronger move before it has mastered the current one. Did you try to move directly on to Aerial Ace after it learned Wing Attack?”
- “Pidgeotto just learned Wing Attack a week ago, he hasn’t had a chance to really master it yet. Since you can’t get close enough, use Gust!” Gary responded.
- “Get behind some of the rocks that piled up, then use Aerial Ace. If there is an opening use Rock Tomb.”
- Pidgeotto didn’t really stand a chance. After he ended the Gust, which admittedly was pretty strong, Grovyle shot out of his protection and slammed into Pidgeotto’s gut with Aerial Ace, and while he was recovering, used another Rock Tomb. This time, with Pidgeotto recovering from the previous attack, there was no way for him to avoid the super effective move. He was covered in the small boulders, before pushing his way through, looking like he was about to keel over.
- “Grovyle, get ready for Mega Drain.”
- “Wait!” Gary recalled Pidgeotto. “That battle was over. Give me a sec to recall my Pokémon next time, yea?”
- “Well, I wasn’t sure if you were gonna have him keep fighting or not.” Ash told him, “In any case, let’s move on to the next round.”
- “Sure, Growlithe, battle time.” Gary called out.
- “Frogadier, you’re up.” Ash says, “I don’t wanna have Chimchar battle until we can get his defenses up,”
- “Frogadier, Water Pulse.”
- “Growlithe, Dig!”
- As Frogadier launched Water Pulse at Growlithe, it easily dodged it by going underground.
- “Just like practice Frogadier, wait and listen.” Ash reminded him.
- As the Growlithe jumped out of the ground for Dig, Frogadier jumped and used Water Pulse directly on it, but Growlithe counters with a close range Flame Burst which nullifies it and fills the field with steam.
- “Just keep listening Frogadier, you’ll hear it eventually.” A few minutes go by and Ash hears nothing until he hears a Pokémon emerging from Dig. When that happens he sees Frogadier jump out of the steam, arms glowing with Rock energy, and him launching Rock Tombs down. The steam clears and he sees Growlithe dodging the rocks easily gaining ground with its teeth covered in sparks. ‘Thunder Fang’, Ash realizes. “Frogadier, don’t let him bite you. Aerial Ace.” Frogadier uses the rocks around the ground to gain momentum for Aerial Ace and slams into Growlithe’s side, and following up with a Water Pulse. Knocking it out and out of the field at the same time. Frogadier returns to Ash’s side and looks fine, outside of being a little winded.
- “Dammit.” Gary is a little upset, “Well, your Pokémon look like they’re coming along nicely.”
- “Yours too.” Ash tells him, “I was a little worried when Growlithe was using Thunder Fang for a moment.”
- “Yea, but I still have to work on his speed a bit before I’ll let him evolve. Wartortle would have been a better matchup.”
- Ash grinned, “So how strong has your Wartortle gotten, Gare-bear.” Ash finishes laughing. Neither one of them can hold in laughing at the face the other makes when they’re called those names.
- “Yea, yea, laugh it up. I’ll be winning the next one.” Gary told him, not looking very happy with the outcome.
- “Well, I think I’m going to move on to Celadon,” Ash says, “I wanna battle Erika and then take 16 to Fuchsia. Which way are you going?”
- Gary thinks for a moment before telling him, “I’m gonna stay here for a few days and train, then move on to vermillion. Why do you wanna go to Celadon already for? You know the leader is going to have trained a bunch of Pokémon to handle Bugs and Flying types right? Butterfree won’t stand a chance all on its own.”
- “Well, I caught a Chimchar about a week ago. But his previous trainer has him on the fast track to evolving.” Ash and Gary both looked a little mad at that. One thing the league tried to hammer into everyone’s head was that if a Pokémon is forced to gain power quickly, when they evolve they will be nowhere close to what they should be in either power or defenses. And, unfortunately, the fast power gain can sometimes trick the Pokémon into evolving too quickly. Making it incredibly weaker to the rest of its species. “I’ve been working with him to boost his defenses but I think he might evolve soon anyway. His power is just off the charts for a Chimchar.”
- “Well,” Gary tells him, “Next time we battle you better use Chimchar to fight Growlithe. Something tells me those two would have an awesome battle.”
- “Sure Gary, see ya later.”
- With that they split up and head separate ways, Ash beginning his walk to Route 7, and Gary going to the Pokémon Center.
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