The two birds stared each other down. Pidgeotto hovered in place and Decidueye perched itself on a branch, wanting to hide in the shade. Considering Decidueye was part ghost-type it made sense. And speaking of Pokemon typings, both Pidgeotto and Munchlax were immune to whatever ghost-type attacks their opponent may have. Considering types and the fact that he had all three Pokemon available to him still, Joe felt like he could win this.
Since he was offered the first move, Joe was going to take it. He ordered his Pokemon to strike from afar with Gust to start. Pidgeotto flapped its wings hard and fast, creating a powerful wind in the direction of Decidueye, who lept from its perch and onto a different tree.
Using the part of its body that seemed like the hood string on a jacket like a bow, Decidueye slotted one of its feathers that resembled an arrow and released it, although this wasn’t any attack in particular. Pidgeotto had already stopped using Gust and casually dodged the incoming arrow so Erika’s Pokemon missed its target.
Not wasting even a second, Joe’s Pokemon initiated Wing Attack and rushed at Decidueye to make this a close quarters fight. To meet this challenge, Decidueye began glowing white as it used Acrobatics, a move that allowed the user to perform a series of rapid strikes in an extremely short timespan. Not only that, but the move was twice as strong if the user wasn’t holding an item, and as far as Joe knew, Decidueye had no item with it. At least if it was his Pokemon he wouldn’t give it an item. Hampering such a powerful move seemed like a bad idea from Joe’s perspective.
Wing collided with wing, almost like swords clashing, and Decidueye angled its strike up, forcing Pidgeotto’s feathered limb to be parried upwards. With its belly now exposed, Pidgeotto could do nothing as Decidueye’s other wing rapidly smashed into it half a dozen times. Joe’s Pokemon was blasted back and soon hit the grass, skidding along while trying to regain its composure and get back in the air.
Decidueye had so easily and skillfully fought back. The fact that it had hands at the tips of its wings aided it heavily in combat, as shown just now when it punched Joe’s Pidgeotto. He knew this was going to be tough, but now he thought it might just be an impossible battle.
And the pressure wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. As Pidgeotto boosted itself off the dirt with its feet, Decidueye left the shade of a tree. It hopped onto a branch exposed to the sun, readied a glowing arrow and shot it straight up. Not liking what might happen if he let that arrow fulfill its purpose, Joe ordered his Pokemon to use Gust to dissuade the glowing arrow from travelling too far up, but the strong wind didn’t reach its target in time. A bright flash of light covered the Gym and the temperature started to rise out of nowhere as Decidueye’s arrow neared the ceiling of the building.
Sunny Day. That was the move Erika had told her Pokemon to use. Based on Decidueye seeming to like the shadows, Joe would never have thought it’d know such a move. Now very specific grass-type moves were stronger.
To show off how much stronger it now was, Decidueye brought its right hand down to its left hip, mimicking what Joe had seen a Dewott do in a movie once. It was going to use a move that was like a sword strike.
Ordering his Pokemon to fly around and use cover when necessary, Joe watched Pidgeotto narrowly avoid a huge green sword that swept through the arena and chopped a tree down without much resistance.
Another new, powerful move for Joe to worry about, he heard Erika call it Solar Blade. It usually took time to charge, but thanks to Sunny Day, Decidueye could immediately use Solar Blade. The attack needed energy from the sun, and that’s exactly what it’d supplied itself. Joe should’ve tried harder to deal with that glowing arrow. Maybe if Pidgeotto had used Wing Attack it could’ve stopped Sunny Day from happening by reaching the glowing arrow feather with speed. Instead he’d relied on a strong Gust.
Speed…? Joe thought to himself as Pidgeotto circled near him and Decidueye stood tall on a thick branch as the tree it had cut fell to the ground with a heavy thud. “Pidgeotto, how fast do you think you can go? Can you mimic Decidueye’s Acrobatics move?” He asked. Acrobatics relied on landing hits fast. If his Pokemon could do that, then they could deal massive damage.
Joe and his Pokemon locked eyes and, almost in sync, looked at their opponent a few seconds later. Pidgeotto let out a caw and let itself drop. Earlier, it’d used the ground as a springboard for gaining speed fast because, not only were its wings strong, but its legs were too.
Pidgeotto crouched down and pushed hard against the ground, rushing straight at Decidueye quicker than Joe had seen his Pidgeotto move before. To retaliate, the Arrow Quill Pokemon began glowing white again. It was going to use the very move Joe was trying to get Pidgeotto to use.
Decidueye drew three arrows and let them loose, instantly drawing three more arrows and firing them too. Pidgeotto moved up slightly, retracted its wings and spun down diagonally, weaving between the six arrows that’d been fired at it. Once it knew it had successfully avoided the attack, Pidgeotto evened out, stepped on a branch and launched forward at high speed again.
With Pidgeotto’s wings glowing white, signifying Wing Attack, the birds were inches away from clashing again. But this time Joe’s Pokemon avoided getting parried by elevating itself at the last possible second, having its wing smash Decidueye in the face. But due to Acrobatics increasing its speed, Erika’s Decidueye swiftly grabbed Pidgeotto by the wing and flung the bird into a tree. At first Joe thought this was a random throw, until he realised his Pokemon had come into contact with a purple plant. A faint haze appeared around Pidgeotto. His bird was now poisoned.
Not letting this get to them, Joe ordered his Pidgeotto to fight back with Acrobatics, and his Pokemon complied. The bird dug its claws deep into the bark of the tree it’d been thrown at, angled itself straight at Decidueye and rocketed towards the ghost-type. Moving faster than ever, a white energy surrounded Pidgeotto. Instead of energy just appearing on its wings, its whole body glowed. Pidgeotto was using Acrobatics.
Before Erika’s Pokemon could respond, Pidgeotto struck her Decidueye in the torso with a wing, causing the Arrow Quill Pokemon to take a step back. Joe’s bird spun and bounced off a tree, coming back to strike its opponent in the leg to further knock it off balance, finishing its newly learnt attack by circling up and back down to tackle Decidueye to the ground.
A huge cloud of dirt and dust was kicked into the air as Pidgeotto, hovering in place, winced from the poison status effect it’d received not long ago. And then it was over. A green beam, or more like blade, left the dust cloud and struck Pidgeotto in the side, hitting it across half the arena and into a wall near Joe. Due to receiving poison damage, Pidgeotto had been unable to dodge the attack.
“Pidgeotto, are you okay?!” Joe shouted, looking at the bird lying on the dirt with its wings spread. To his surprise, his Pokemon managed to get up on its feet, but as it was initiating Wing Attack and readying itself for take off, a purple haze injured the Pokemon further and it collapsed. Joe walked up to his bird and stroked its soft feathers. “You did well, go ahead and rest.”
This was obviously how the battle would go. As proud as Joe was of Pidgeotto, he knew it wouldn’t be able to rival Decidueye. After his Pokemon was returned to its Pokeball, Joe turned his attention to his opponent in the arena. Decidueye brushed itself down with a wing and leapt onto a low hanging branch in order to return to shade. The grass type seemed almost unfazed by the damage dealt to it so far.
Joe looked at his resting Munchlax and considered sending it out, but since it was sleeping sitting up, he wanted to leave the glutton be for as long as possible. So that made him think of his third Pokemon. Should it be Quilava? He felt like that was the obvious choice. And for good reason, Quilava was strong in its own right. Add on top of that Sunny Day still being in effect and Joe stood a much better chance at victory. All he had to look out for was a ghost-type move. Decidueye obviously had one, it was part ghost-type after all. And it’d only used three moves so far.
He understood it was wishful thinking, that he was dreaming big, but as Joe took out Quilava’s Pokeball and sent his trusted fire-type into battle, he couldn’t help but think maybe Quilava would win and Munchlax wouldn’t have to re-enter the arena. To do this he was going to take full advantage of Sunny Day, a move that Erika must’ve known could be a double-edged sword. A move her opponent could use against her. “Let's show them what you’re capable of, Quilava.”
Due to Joe being in hospital for over a month, the Johto starter hadn’t seen any action in a while, so it was excited to be back in an arena. Fire burst from the red pads on its back and wrists, ready to show the enemy its power. Perhaps it was due to the overwhelming heat of Sunny Day, or maybe Quilava had built up some excess energy, but the fire mohawk and tail, as well as the fire crawling up its wrists, seemed to be stronger than normal.
So the battle commenced. Quilava immediately started by rolling up into a ball and expelling a large amount of fire, creating a larger than normal Flame Wheel that set small parts of the natural environment on fire as the Johto starter rampaged through the arena. Decidueye shot a few feather arrows at its approaching opponent, which were burnt to a crisp before they even touched Quilava. It was a fierce fire indeed.
Quilava ramped up the angled end of a tree, the one Decidueye cut down this very battle, and flew through the air. Target: Decidueye. But it wasn’t much of a surprise to see the owl fly away, letting Joe’s Pokemon crash into a branch. The branch was easily destroyed and as Quilava fell, it quickly unravelled itself, aimed at the owl flying through the sky and shot a few small fireballs at the bird as it took refuge on a low hanging vine.
Erika’s Pokemon landed exactly where it wanted, on a cluster of loose vines dangling from a smaller tree. It turned to see the fireballs coming its way and, with no time to do anything else, loosened the grip its feet had on the vine but not letting go entirely, dropping and hanging upside down. This allowed Quilava’s Ember attack to miss, except for one miscalculation on Erika’s part. One of the fireballs still hit something. The vines. This set said vines on fire and broke them, causing Decidueye to swing sideways while upside down, disorienting the owl a little. It released its claw grip entirely and tried to regain its balance just as Quilava smashed right into its face using Flame Wheel.
Out of sheer luck, this Flame Wheel burnt Decidueye, who was blasted back and hit the ground hard. Its opponent cleverly used Quick Attack, but not as an actual attack. No, it was to close the gap so Quilava could switch back into its strongest move, Flame Wheel, and strike Decidueye again.
Believing her Pokemon wouldn’t dodge in time, Erika ordered the ghost owl to use an attack related to its type. A black, transparent energy surrounded Decidueye’s three fingered, or feathered, hand as it created a Shadow Claw. A sphere of fire collided with a shadowy hand, causing a small explosion and forcing the two Pokemon apart.
Decidueye retreated onto a high branch and Quilava uncurled to stand properly, both taking a breather from fighting. It’d only been a short bout, but Quilava’s hyper aggressive battle style was throwing Erika off. It seemed like Joe was more than capable of adjusting to how his Pokemon fought best, something a lot of beginners fail to do. Usually, a Trainer will try to get their Pokemon to battle a certain way. They don’t take into account their Pokemon’s personality and what they’re best at. But Joe’s Munchlax fought completely differently to his Pidgeotto and Quilava.
Erika briefly looked down at the Bulbasaur by her feet. It was skilled at single strike attacks, but it really struggled to use an attack like Petal Blizzard. If Joe could adjust to the Pokemon instead of having the Pokemon adjust to the Trainer, then perhaps he could help Bulbasaur excel at what it’s already capable of doing.
With a smile, Erika made up her mind as she commanded Decidueye to use Solar Blade, ending the small pause in the battle. The grass-type flew at Quilava at high speed, who dodged under the sword strike using Quick Attack and used Ember point blank, hitting the owl’s torso.
The Gym’s Pokemon was about to fall back a bit, to gain some ground, but the burn it had sustained earlier crept along its wing and hurt it, causing Decidueye to be distracted by the pain. Taking advantage of this, Quilava rammed into its opponent with Flame Wheel. In return, Decidueye dug its claws into the dirt to steady itself and swatted the fire-type aside with Shadow Claw, sending Quilava tumbling into a tree.
In order to match such an aggressive fighting style, Decidueye had to also be aggressive. It couldn’t retreat to a tree. Gaining space did nothing against Quilava, that had been made clear multiple times already. Erika was going to order her Pokemon to use Solar Blade, but the bright light above, Sunny Day, dwindled. It’d finally run its course. So instead the owl Pokemon initiated Acrobatics before charging Quilava, who was ready to meet its opponent in a clash by using Flame Wheel.
Due to attacking a dozen times in a mere second, Decidueye managed to tear through Quilava’s attack and strike the Pokemon directly, hitting it straight down. While Decidueye had only used the hands at the end of its wings up until now, it wasn’t against striking with other parts of its body. Quickly spinning around on its left claw, the owl thrust its right claw into Quilava’s side and kicked it away.
Coughing, Quilava got back on all fours as soon as possible. The fire on its back started burning stronger than ever before, licking the leaves overhead and burning them to a crisp. Joe knew what this meant. That mysterious attack that wasn’t in Rotom’s database was ready. He was starting to see a pattern. Whatever this move was, it was only ever ready towards the end of a battle. Was it due to Quilava taking damage? He still didn’t know enough, but he was slowly gaining knowledge about this unknown attack.
Erika ordered her Pokemon to keep up the pressure, so Decidueye closed the gap and aimed to use Shadow Claw at the same time Joe ordered his Pokemon to unleash its trump card. An insane amount of fire was expelled from Quilava’s red pads that quickly began to be controlled. This intense flame formed around the Pokemon, allowing it to use the fire how it wanted. And what it wanted was to deal enough damage to finish this fight.
Covered in what seemed like an aura of fire, Quilava used the increasing pressure of its flame to act as a propellant and rushed straight into Decidueye, who’s Shadow Claw was coming down on the fire type. But the owl’s attack stood no chance. It wasn’t capable of overpowering such a strong move.
Quilava struck Decidueye in the stomach as Shadow Claw hit Quilava in the side. Upon impact, a large explosion of fire engulfed them both, with Erika’s owl Pokemon leaving the explosion radius and being blasted into a tree.
Joe covered his face with his free arm as the force of the blast reached even the Trainers, Erika turning aside and using the long sleeve of her kimono as a shield. Munchlax, despite being as heavy as it is, was pushed onto its back due to the force and was promptly woken up from its slumber. Even Sabrina felt it from the sideline bench, although there happened to be a tree in the way so it was more like a warm breeze to her.
Once the wind from the explosion calmed down and the Trainers were able to look at the battlefield again, they saw Decidueye knocked out and Quilava panting heavily, but standing roughly where it’d collided with its opponent.
That was it. This long battle was now over, and Joe and his Pokemon had emerged victorious.
The Gym Challenger moved into the arena and knelt down by Quilava, capable of stroking it’s head due to the weakening fire. “Good job, Quilava.” He said with a smile. “We won.”
Munchlax had since gotten up off its back and followed its Trainer. It was going to congratulate its fellow Pokemon, but the glutton noticed some berries from a tree. It looked at Quilava, then at the berries, scratching its cheek while trying to figure out what to do. That was when a vine grabbed a few berries and placed them at Munchlax’s feet. The glutton looked to see Bulbasaur had come to help it. While it was stuffing its mouth full of food, Munchlax said something, likely a thank you, to Bulbasaur, but whatever it said was muffled and incomprehensible.
After a faint giggle, Sabrina, who had come to help Munchlax before Bulbasaur got there first, gave Joe’s Pokemon a small lecture. “You shouldn’t talk with your mouth full. Did no one teach you that?”
It just looked at her dumbfounded and she sighed. “Well, not like it matters since you’re a Pokemon.”
Sabrina looked on to see Erika approach Challenger Joe, who had since stood back up to greet the Gym Leader, after tending to her Decidueye.
“You fought well, Joe. I recognise you as a worthy Trainer to have this Rainbow Badge.” She proclaimed.
“Thank you, it was a good battle.” Joe smiled, accepting his third badge. This one was definitely good to look at. A flower with every petal a different colour, and it was already polished to a shine. He put the badge in his pocket and awkwardly rubbed the back of his head, his smile becoming strained. “And sorry about destroying your arena.”
Looking around, there was so much damage done to the nature in the Gym, with a lot of the damage being related to fire.
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. This arena is regularly damaged, but my Pokemon are capable of healing nature. And if we can’t heal it, we can replace it using the seeds of what remains. Now, if you don’t mind waiting a few minutes, I’ll go and sort out your Certificate of Extra Challenge.”
“Of course, I don’t mind.” Joe said, turning to Bulbasaur. “So, how about that battle?”