[Vol. I] 1. A Huge Problem
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For the past few years, Joe had been working at the Poke Mart in Olivine City. He’d been saving up plenty of money so that he could one day go out and explore the world, sightseeing being one of his favourite hobbies. Since Johto was his home region he’d taken short holidays here and there to see what else was around, so now it was time to explore other regions.  

As he was finishing up one of his last days at work before his big expedition, a hiker who was extremely passionate about his hobby showed up in the shop. It only took a few minutes for this kind, older gentleman to get Joe interested in hiking, an idea popping into Joe’s head mid-conversation. Why not hike up Mt. Silver and travel into Kanto? He was going to that region first anyway, with it being right next to Johto and all.

So it was settled. The hiker informed Joe of everything he needed to know, from necessary equipment to how a hiker should pace themselves so as to not end up worn out and stranded. The next day, when his year-long holiday started, Joe went around town buying anything he needed and took a ship around the south of Johto, getting off at New Bark Town. After a brief break in town to stock up on any resources he may need, Joe began his ascent of Mt. Silver to the west.

At multiple points as he ascended, Joe stopped to take his phone out and snap some pictures. Before dirt paths were covered with snow, Joe found vibrant, 5-petalled purple flowers with Ribombee taking the nectar. He put the flashlight on while peering into a pitch black cave, only to snap a picture of a sleeping Rhyperior that had a Heliolisk resting on its large stomach. Once he was high enough, Joe took pictures of the land. Cherrygrove City was visible at this height thanks to a large but ancient tower in the Northern part of the settlement. Past Cherrygrove, barely visible, was Azalea Town. Part of the sea separated the settlements but all it took to get from one to the other was a quick boat ride.

He’d been on Mt. Silver for a few days by this point, which wasn’t a problem as there were multiple stops along the way with both Pokemon Centers and small inns for Trainers and travellers alike. If he’d been able to keep up the same pace it would’ve taken another few days to get around the mountain and into Kanto. However, a Pokemon currently blocked the only path forward. The creature looked ready to pounce, the front of its body lowered to the ground while baring its fangs at Joe.

The world Joe lived in may be inhabited by many wondrous creatures called Pokemon, but he had never caught his own. He watched league battles on TV whenever they aired, but never felt the need to have them in his immediate life. Because of this Joe had limited knowledge, not knowing what the Pokemon before him was.

Joe scratched the back of his head and gave a wry smile. “You wouldn’t mind moving, would you? I’d like to keep going but this is the only path.”

The Pokemon, with long white fur swaying with the bitter breeze, barked “Sol!” in response, the long but thin horn on the right side of its head changing colour from red to pink.

“I know that’s probably an attack. Please don’t.”

Not even a second after he said this, the Pokemon stood tall and swung its head down. A pink arc crashed into the ground before Joe’s feet, kicking a small amount of snow into the air. If the constant growling wasn’t getting the message across, surely a warning attack would. This Pokemon, for whatever reason, didn’t want Joe to go continue along this mountain path.

“Absol!” The Pokemon shouted once more, trying to get the human to leave.

Joe had no idea what he was about to get involved in, but it wasn’t good. Absol needed to keep the place clear of both humans and Pokemon until the problem blew over. Being a Pokemon, of course, Absol had an easier job convincing the other Pokemon to stay away. Joe didn’t know this, but the reason he hadn’t encountered any other Pokemon today was specifically because of this one Absol now standing before him.

The young man took a step back, adjusting one of the straps on his bag. “All right, fine. I’ll leave.”

It wasn’t worth it. He already knew that it was rare for Pokemon to threaten humans like this, so the creature with white fur had to have a damn good reason for doing so. It was pointless to be stubborn about it. He could just as easily get to Kanto another way, either by ferry or by plane.

Unfortunately for Joe, it was already too late. A huge bolt of lightning struck the side of the mountain, just up from the path Joe and Absol were on. The Pokemon turned around to see it’s worst fears recognised.

The bright yellow lightning kicked a large amount of snow into the air, forcing Joe to shield his face with an arm. He didn’t want to completely blind himself to his surroundings, so he kept an eye half-open. As the snow began to settle he could see that a couple of large chunks of rock had separated from the side of the mountain, blocking the only path forward. Joe really should’ve taken the hint from Absol because he knew just as well as anyone else what stood atop the boulders blocking the way.

There exists a special set of Pokemon labelled Legendary. As the name implies, they are powerful creatures that surpass regular Pokemon, and they can be quite elusive. As a child, Joe learned the history of Johto just like everyone else that attended school, so he knew of the beast before him. 

A rare Pokemon appearing out of nowhere like this was definitely enough to make a grown man worry. “Why is Raikou here…?”

The Legendary Pokemon stood atop the pile of rubble that it had created with its initial attack, sending a piercing glare at Joe and Absol with its red eyes. The purple fur that looked like a cloak on it’s back was being lifted lightly with every breath while it’s short yellow and white fur was pushed about by the mountain breeze. Some static remained, buzzing around Raikou’s body and onto the rocks where it was dispersed and lost its power.

Now that it’d come to this, Absol had to try it’s best to ensure the safety of the human behind it. It called out to Raikou, trying to reason with it, but the Legendary simply continued to glare at Absol.

Is it trying to talk to Raikou? The clueless human thought to himself as he stood there, not moving a muscle. He was experiencing a number of emotions right now, with one being awe at the sight of such a rare Pokemon. Another was the opposite, fear of the worst. Of what could happen now that such a powerful Pokemon was standing before him.

While Joe was thinking, Absol grew impatient. Or at least from Joe’s perspective it seemed like impatience, but in actuality Absol knew that trying to communicate with Raikou was going nowhere and that it would eventually attack. With no other option, Absol simply wanted to strike first. 

The wild Pokemon initiated the same attack as before, it’s horn becoming pink and an arc flying off in the direction Absol swung. Of course, the attack was launched at the Legendary Pokemon, but the beast simply used its fangs to bite the pink arc in two, causing the attack to dissipate into nothing.

“Why would you do that?!” Joe called out to Absol.

“Absol!” It leapt to the side and hurtled past Joe, down the path the human had come from. It clearly hoped Joe would follow after it. With a small stumble, that’s exactly what he did: Run. If Raikou didn’t follow then all would be fine, but if it did Absol had to keep the human safe. It was a tall order considering the difference in strength between the two Pokemon, but no one else was going to do it.

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