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Emerald Knights: A Pokémon Sword Story Chapter 11

Updated: May 22

Chapter 11: Kidnap Plot

The Wild Area greeted the twins like a very loving friend.

Leaving Motostoke behind and returning to the wide open area of nature and wildlife felt very refreshing to both Emerald and Sapphire. Living in Postwick Town meant they were country girls by nature and always enjoyed scenery like this more so than a city. It was the right weather to be in the Wild Area too, the sky a perfect blue and the sun shining brightly. The lakes sparkled in the sunlight and the Pokémon inhabiting the place all looked to be making the most of the beautiful weather today. If there was anywhere to spend the rest of the day in order to relax, it was here. Emerald breathed in and out happily.

"Gotta love that fresh air, eh Sapph?" she asked.

"It certainly feels welcome after the heat of Motostoke Stadium." Sapphire agreed, "You me and our Pokémon are going to feel very refreshed after a while of relaxing here."

The twins chose a good spot to set up their tent and got to work on putting it up. Once the tent had been set up, the duo set down a blanket and their rolled up sleeping bags to use as pillows to lie on. Emerald lay down on the blanket and rested her head on the sleeping bag, sighing contently. She had been ready for a lie down after that intense Gym battle. It felt good to get off her feet for a while. Sapphire didn't lie down with her.

"You don't mind looking after the camp for a minute, do you?" she asked, "I'm going to look for some new Pokémon to catch. You can just enjoy the peace and quiet until I get back."

"That's OK with me." Emerald said casually, "Have fun Sapph! Oh and remember to be aware for Team Royal. They might still be lurking somewhere." She warned.

"I'll be sure to have my Pokémon out with me to protect me if anyone tries anything." Sapphire said reassuringly, "I'll be fine. See you later!"

Emerald waved to her sister as she headed off further into the Wild Area to catch some more Pokémon. As soon as she'd gone, the brunette girl lay back and closed her eyes. She lay still, listening to the gentle breeze play with the grass around her and brush over her hair. She could hear some Water-type Pokémon swimming in the lake nearby. After she finished resting, she'd let Gemstone and Blue out of their Pokéballs to go for a swim themselves. Emerald also planned to look for a Water and a Fire Stone while she and Sapphire were here in the Wild Area. She remembered that Katana had managed to find a Thunder Stone that Thor had ended up using by accident to evolve into Raichu. Maybe other evolution stones could be found here. The Wild Area did have lots of things to find after all from treasures to sell to items that could help in battle. If she found those stones, Vixey and Gemstone could evolve into Ninetales and Starmie respectively. But she would only use them if they felt comfortable with it. Emerald hated the idea of forcing them to evolve. Some trainers were cruel to their Pokémon in ways like that and she wouldn't be one of them.

Half an hour later, Emerald sat up and stretched, feeling completely refreshed after that relaxing lie down. Now it was time for her Pokémon to have some fun and enjoy the cooldown period too. At the moment, she had Kerchak, Katana, Vixey, Gemstone, Blue and Mei-Mei with her. She'd switch up for six different ones when they'd had some time to play. But just as she was about to bring her Pokémon out, a shadow fell over her. Emerald turned around to see what she thought was a walking sack of fat for a minute. Then it dawned on her that the sack of fat was actually a man. How the hell was he able to walk like this with how huge his stomach was?! Emerald thought of him as the kind of man that would think standing up was the equivalent of doing press-ups with how fat he was! He also looked revolting with rotting teeth, an unshaved face and stains of goodness knows what on his jacket. She felt uncomfortable. She didn't know why but something told her this man was bad news and she felt a huge need to run away. But for some reason, her legs wouldn't obey her. It was the kind of nightmare situation where you wanted to run but somehow couldn't.

"Excuse me young lady, you wouldn't happen to be Emerald Silverlock, would you?" the man asked.

"Um, yes, that's me. Why…?" Emerald began.

She didn't complete her sentence. The man had struck out with surprising speed, backhanding Emerald viciously across the face and knocking her out instantly. The poor girl didn't even cry out. She hit the ground heavily and lay still. Richard laughed triumphantly. So this girl was meant to be the new hot-shot trainer who was the sister of the Champion? What a joke! He'd gotten the drop on her so much easier than he expected. Then again, she hadn't brought her Pokémon out so that had helped. Now Emerald was unconscious, Richard saw to emptying her pockets of her Pokéballs and throwing them in the tent so when she woke up later, she wouldn't have any Pokémon to help her. Then he rolled Emerald onto her stomach and tied her hands behind her back. He'd brought a small length of rope with him for such an occasion. He also brought a roll of duct tape with him so he could tape her mouth shut. If she woke up before he got back to Team Royal's hideout, she wouldn't be able to scream for help. He plastered the tape over Emerald's mouth, making sure it was stuck on good and tight. Then finally, he threw a Pokéball to summon forth his partner-in-crime.

He had a Cofagrigus, a sinister Ghost-type Pokémon from the Unova region. Yamask from Unova evolved into this Pokémon while Galarian Yamask evolved into Runerigus, an entirely different Pokémon. Cofagrigus looked like a possessed Egyptian sarcophagus with ghostly hands trailing out from it. The coffin itself was gold and blue in colour with red eyes and a sinister grin that passed off as a face. It also wore the mask that Yamask carried on its "forehead". Cofagrigus were said to entrap and mummify people that came close, especially grave robbers that made the mistake of trying to raid them thinking they were ordinary coffins. They were considered one of the creepiest Pokémon that existed and very few dared to go near them as a result.

Cofagrigus lay down and opened itself up. Richard picked up the bound and gagged Emerald and placed her gently inside the coffin like Pokémon. The lid closed, trapping her inside. It wouldn't let her out until Richard told it to. This was why Cofagrigus was such a perfect partner for the criminal, it made kidnapping people easy carrying when it could just carry the captive for him. Richard dusted his hands off.

"All too easy!" he sneered, "Why is kidnapping little brats like her so much fun? Ha, ha, ha! I can't wait to get her over to the bosses! With how efficiently I've snatched her, they might even give me a raise!"

He patted his Cofagrigus.

"You keep her locked up good and tight." he insisted, "We can't have her falling out and people seeing we've got a prisoner in there."

The Ghost Pokémon made a slight gesture that vaguely passed off as a nod. Richard whipped out his phone so he could call Edward and ask if he had secured the other twin yet. But just as he dialled the number, a voice spoke out from nowhere.

"Let that girl go now."

The voice wasn't raised, but it still managed to sound threatening regardless. Richard put his phone away, cursing himself for getting spotted. He'd been so sure that there were no witnesses around! How had he been spotted?! He turned around and saw that the voice belonged to none other than Paul. He'd been training in the Wild Area at the time and had spotted Richard putting Emerald into his Cofagrigus. That had instantly told him something was wrong so he'd come over to help. His face was a scowl of disgust, making it clear that despite his anti-social nature, he would not abide kidnapping. Richard smirked, seeing Paul as nothing to worry about.

"Oh what, is she your girlfriend or something?" he taunted.

Paul didn't even flinch at the response. That unnerved Richard. He'd at least hoped that would annoy him but his face remained the same as before.

"Let her go, NOW." Paul said firmly, "I won't ask you again."

"Who do you think you are to order me about you little brat?" Richard snorted, "Nobody orders Team Royal around but our kings, Sordward and Shielbert!"

He clasped a hand over his mouth as he suddenly realized that he'd done the stupidest thing he could've done. Damn! His bosses had stressed the point of NOT saying they're from Team Royal if they got confronted! Paul chuckled humourlessly.

"Only guys as pathetic as Team Royal would spill their secrets so easily." he sneered.

"It doesn't matter, you have only one chance to just walk away and forget you ever saw me." Richard warned, "I have a job to do and an uppity little bastard like you is not going to get in my way! Leave now or I'll have my Pokémon knock you into the dirt!"

Paul didn't move.

"I warned you." he said coldly, "Now you're gonna suffer the consequences."

He whipped out a Pokéball and threw it.

"Aggron, standby for battle!" Paul ordered.

His newly evolved Aggron materialized onto the field and roared menacingly. Richard recoiled in shock. How did this punk have an Aggron? They lived in the Crown Tundra! He shouldn't have one all the way out here in the mainland! The metal dinosaur stomped his huge feet and growled, making Richard shudder as the noise tore through him.

"Aggron, use your tail to knock that guy away!" Paul ordered.

Aggron obeyed instantly. The colossal Pokémon stampeded towards Richard and spun on its heels. Richard could only scream as he was sent flying through the air by the Steel/Rock Pokémon's huge tail. He felt as if he'd been hit by a demolition crane. Richard spiralled through the air and crashed down heavily. The impact had knocked him clean out. Cofagrigus shuddered nervously. Its trainer was knocked out! Who was going to give it orders now?! Paul turned to the Ghost Pokémon.

"Use Shadow Claw on that Pokémon!" he snapped.

Aggron raised its hand and pounded towards Cofagrigus. Ghostly energy surrounded Aggron's claws. It looked as if the energy of the living dead had come to give Aggron its power for the attack it was about to launch. Cofagrigus was completely defenceless. It could only take the blow as Aggron raked its claws across its solid gold surface, the shadow energy sapping away all its strength. Cofagrigus fainted on the ground, its ghostly hands disappearing to signify as such. Now it looked like an ordinary coffin that had been taken from an Egyptian tomb and randomly dropped in the middle of nowhere. Aggron sniffed at the unconscious Pokémon to make doubly sure it was down and then grabbed at the lid. It opened it up, revealing a tied up and unconscious Emerald inside. She was still unconscious but otherwise unhurt. As Paul expected, Aggron's attack only hurt Cofagrigus. He approached it as Aggron gently lifted Emerald out of the coffin Pokémon.

"Her camp's just there. We'll take her there and untie her." Paul commanded.

Aggron nodded and carried Emerald over to her tent. The iron-coated Pokémon gently lay her down on the blanket she'd been relaxing on just earlier, being careful not to bang her head against anything. Once that was done, Paul saw to untying Emerald's hands and carefully peeling the tape from her mouth. While he would never consider Emerald a friend, it still sickened him to see such innocence being preyed on like this. How pathetic could people be to resort to disgusting actions like this? He looked up at Aggron.

"Get that guy you just knocked out and bring him here." he said, "We'll get Emerald to call her sister so she can pick him up."

Aggron nodded and plodded off to get Richard. While Aggron was gone, Paul shook Emerald vigorously.

"Wake up." he said firmly.

Emerald groaned groggily as she started to come round. Her brown eyes opened slowly and she moaned as she woke up.

"Ummm…huh…wh-wha…where am I? What happened?" she asked wearily.

"You're in your camp." Paul explained, "I saved you from one of Team Royal's men."

Emerald was wide awake in a single second. She shot up and looked around wildly.

"Team Royal?! They're here in the Wild Area?! Where?!" she exclaimed.

"I had my Aggron knock the man out that tried to kidnap you." Paul continued, "He'd tied you up and stuffed you inside a Cofagrigus."

He pointed over to the unconscious Pokémon that had imprisoned her. Emerald saw it and gasped. Her stomach churned as the horrible thought of being trapped inside that Pokémon filled her mind. Emerald was extremely claustrophobic so the fact she'd actually been shut in that Cofagrigus was enough to make her shake with terror.

"I was actually put in there?!" she cried, "Oh no, how horrible would that have been if I woke up still trapped in that thing?!"

Emerald suddenly realized she was beginning to hyperventilate so she took a moment to breathe in and out slowly to regain her nerves. Paul waited for her to recover. After that, Emerald turned to Paul, her eyes wide with awe.

"You…you actually saved me?" she asked, "Oh Paul…I didn't realize you cared! Thank you so much!"

"Yeah, whatever." Paul said bluntly, "You should call your sister so she can take that man away. Team Royal has just inadvertently made rounding them up easier for us." he said, smirking.

"True that." said Emerald.

Then she cried out in horror as something else hit her.

"Oh no! Sapph!" she shrieked, "She has no idea that Team Royal are here! She could be in danger right this second! I have to find her!"

Paul grabbed her arm and gave her a firm look that told her not to panic and to sit still.

"Text her." he suggested, "Then call Ruby so she can take this man away. Then you can go find her while me and Aggron make sure he doesn't get away."

Emerald nodded.

"OK, I'll do that." she agreed.

Her Rotom phone came out of her bag and hovered in front of her. Emerald used it to quickly text Sapphire. She wrote:

Sapph! Look out! Team Royal is in the Wild Area! One of them tried to kidnap me but Paul saved me! I'm coming for you as soon as I've told Ruby!


After the text had sent, she quickly dialled Ruby's number so she could call her. As she waited for Ruby to answer, Paul's Aggron had returned to the camp, carrying Richard in its arms. He was still knocked out. Paul took the rope and tape that had been used to tie up Emerald earlier and tied Richard's hands together so he couldn't try and fight back. He taped his mouth shut as well so he couldn't call for help. As he did so, Emerald's call was accepted and Ruby's face filled her Rotom phone screen.

"Ruby! Thank Arceus you answered!" Emerald shrieked, "Team Royal are in the Wild Area! We've got one of their men now!" she paused to aim the phone at the unconscious Richard so Ruby could see, "He tried to kidnap me but Paul saved me! There might be more of them in the area so we're going to look out for them!"

"Great job Em and Paul." Ruby complimented, "I'll come straight over and get that guy to a prison cell right away. Did you warn Sapphire as well?"

"Yes. I texted her." Emerald answered, "I'm going to find her right now!"

"I hope no one's got her already…" Ruby said worriedly, "If you see any more Team Royal members, use your Pokémon and take them down quickly. Don't give them even an inch to fight back, understand?"

"Yes! I'm going to find Sapph right away!" Emerald cried, "See you later!"

She hung up and pocketed her Rotom phone. She picked up her Pokéballs and slung her backpack onto her back. Then the teenage trainer took off like the wind, desperate to get to her sister before it was too late. Paul watched her leave, hoping that she'd find her sister in time. He knew he should go too as a strong trainer like him would provide great protection but he also knew that someone had to watch over Richard. If any other Team Royal members were here, he'd make them sorry they ever messed with him or any other trainer…


Sapphire had just finished catching another Pokémon when she'd received Emerald's text.

After leaving Emerald on her own to relax, Sapphire had spent the half hour looking for new Pokémon. She wanted to continue expanding her team in response to the greater challenge the other Gyms provided and also to keep Ashley on her toes for next time they inevitably battled. She hadn't had much luck but she had managed to catch at least two new Pokémon.

The first one had been a Vikavolt that she'd found buzzing around in the Giant's set area. Vikavolt was an Electric type Pokémon first discovered in the Alola region and was known for its enormous pincers and powerful electrical charges. Sapphire thought Vikavolt were very cool looking Pokémon and knew she had to have one for herself so she'd caught it. She'd managed to creep up on it and throw a Pokéball, capturing it before it had even realized she was there. Upon capturing Vikavolt, Sapphire had named it Hercules and welcomed him to the team. Hercules was all too happy to be part of a team, saying he'd been looking forward to becoming a trainer's Pokémon one day.

Her second catch had been a Flareon, one of the many evolutions of the popular Eevee species. Flareon was the Fire type "Eeveelution" as they were nicknamed. It looked a little like a fennec fox with long ears, red fur and a bushy yellow mane and tail. Flareon was Sapphire's favourite Eeveelution and she wasted no time adding it to her team. She didn't even need to catch it for the Flareon had willingly decided to join her. It was a female Flareon and as Sapphire had learnt, she had craved companionship for a long time. Sapphire gleefully accepted her and had given her the nickname of Starfire.

"You two are going to be great additions to my team!" Sapphire declared, "I can't wait until I can use you both in a battle."

"I bet it'll be glorious and full of the fun and frolics!" Starfire cried excitedly.

"I hope we get lots of tough opponents so I can show how strong and mighty I am!" Hercules said, flexing his huge pincers.

"I bet you'll get plenty of chances to show your strength." Sapphire said happily.

And that was when she'd received the text from Emerald. After reading it, her face went pale and she fell silent for a minute. Starfire and Hercules could see something was wrong and grew concerned for their new trainer.

"What is it, fair trainer?" Starfire asked worriedly.

Sapphire quickly explained everything to her new Pokémon.

"So that's it, eh?" Hercules snarled, "Well if those Team Royal jerks come for you, we'll protect you!"

Whenever he got angry, electricity crackled furiously around his body.

"I know you will. Thank you." Sapphire said appreciatively, "I'll keep you two outside your Pokéballs until we leave the Wild Area. For now, we wait for Emerald to catch up to us so we can stick together. They'll have a harder time picking us off if we do so."

"Who will have a harder time picking you off?"

Sapphire yelped in alarm and spun around, fists clenched and ready to lash out at whoever that was speaking. Her instant thought was that it was a Team Royal member and she wanted to take her out quickly before she could try kidnapping her. Her fist was caught before it could connect and when the voice spoke again, Sapphire cried out in horror, but for an entirely different reason this time.

"WHOA! Sapph, calm down! It's only me! What the hell's got ya so riled up?!"

It was Ashley! The Unovan teen was here in the Wild Area as well! Sapphire's heart skipped a beat. She had nearly punched her crush in the face! She was completely ashamed of herself for reacting so violently without seeing who it was first. Her face went red with embarrassment and she slipped her hands behind her back. She looked like a naughty schoolgirl that had been caught handing sweets out in class.

"Oh Arceus! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I'msorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!" Sapphire yelped, her mouth running at 90 miles an hour, "I thought someone was sneaking up on me!"

"Well consider yourself lucky I have fast reflexes!" Ashley exclaimed breathlessly, "I was worried you was gonna break my nose with that punch! Now take a moment to chill out and tell me what's troubling you. Ya seem very on edge."

Sapphire sighed heavily to relax herself. Once she'd calmed down, she explained everything that Emerald had warned her about in her text message. After she'd finished, Ashley frowned in disgust.

"So trying to steal from us wasn't enough, was it? They have to try kidnapping too?" the brunette girl growled venomously, "The fact one of them tried to kidnap Emerald is quite telling if ya ask me. I dunno for sure, but this smells like a blatant attack against Ruby."

"It probably is." Sapphire agreed, "Maybe they want to get back at her through us, or maybe even use us to get her to do what they want. If they tried to kidnap Emerald, I'm worried they'll come after me too!" she cried, hugging herself tightly.

"Well you don't have to worry about it. You've got two new Pokémon out to protect you and I'll keep you safe too." Ashely offered, putting a hand on the blue-haired girl's shoulder, "I won't let anything bad happen to you."

Sapphire smiled in appreciation. It was sweet that despite the fact they hadn't known each other for very long, Ashley was already willing to protect her from potential kidnappers. This girl had truly earned the right to be a Champion with how she was so quick to protect others. She had truly found the perfect girl for her! Sapphire was about to say something else but something caught her eye. She looked up to see the sunlight glistening off of a shiny surface in the sky. What on Earth was it? It couldn't be a plane, it was much too small. It also seemed to be coming straight towards them. The thing came in, growing bigger and bigger as it began to approach them. Sapphire gasped. It was clearly a Pokémon of some kind, Steel-type perhaps with how it was shining in the sunlight. And it was coming straight at them, homing in on them like a heat seeking missile!

"GET DOWN!" Sapphire screamed, tackling Ashley to the ground.

The girls landed in a heap as the Pokémon soared straight over them, missing by centimetres. It let out a loud squawk in annoyance as it flew off to turn around and come back round again. Sapphire looked up to see where the Pokémon was. She could see it banking round to come at them again so she ordered Hercules to chase after it. The beetle-like Pokémon buzzed off angrily, electricity crackling around him as he pursued the attacker. Luckily for Hercules, his Electric typing cancelled out the usual Bug weakness to Flying types so he'd be safe chasing after a Flying-type Pokémon. As Hercules flew off, Sapphire turned and suddenly realized that she was now lying on top of Ashley after she'd tackled her to the ground. They were so close that they looked like they were about to kiss. Sapphire felt incredibly awkward and blushed in response. Even Ashley was blushing as the blue-haired girl raised herself away from her. Anyone seeing them would probably think they were ready to make-out in the middle of the Wild Area.

"Oh m-m-my…s-s-sorry about that…" Sapphire stammered bashfully.

"I-It's OK. R-really." Ashley said shyly. Her tone of voice suggested she surprisingly enjoyed having Sapphire on top of her like that, "I d-doubt you w-wanted to get up c-close and personal with me like THAT." she added, chuckling awkwardly.

"Oh Arceus no! Certainly not!" Sapphire laughed sheepishly, seeing the funny side of the situation.

The two regained themselves and turned their attention to the sky to see what Hercules was chasing after. It was still hard to see for the two Pokémon were very high up. Sapphire could just make out Hercules behind the other Pokémon, his jaws wide open and ready to attack. She cupped her hands over her mouth and called out.

"Hercules! If you can hear me, use Spark on that Pokémon!" she yelled.

Miraculously, Hercules did seem to have heard for Sapphire could see her was surrounding himself with electricity and charging straight towards the attacking Pokémon. Vikavolt were Pokémon with excellent hearing so despite being miles up in the sky, Hercules could hear Sapphire quite clearly. He slammed straight into the Pokémon and made it cry out as he electrocuted it. The Pokémon squawked in pain and was brought plummeting down to the ground like a falling rock. Hercules flew after it and caught it in his huge pincers so it wouldn't crash. The Pokémon may have been attacking his trainer, but he didn't want it to get seriously hurt regardless. He lowered it to the ground and Sapphire and Ashley got to see what it was that had been dive bombing towards them earlier.

It was a Skarmory, a Steel/Flying type Pokémon first discovered in Johto. Skarmory had a very sharp appearance with bladed wings, a sharp beak and equally as sharp talons. Skarmory were fast fliers and very powerful fighters while also being able to shrug off a lot of blows. It was unusual to see one here on the Galarian mainland as Skarmory were indigenous to the Isle of Armour, not Galar itself. Hercules had hit this one hard and with a super-effective hit so it was left struggling to get up again. Determined to keep it down, Sapphire ordered Starfire to use Flamethrower on it. Starfire obeyed, breathing a jet of flames over Skarmory. As it was a Steel-type, Skarmory couldn't handle Fire attacks and was quickly reduced to unconsciousness by the hit. The flames quite literally sapped away the rest of its strength. Skarmory lay still after the attack and didn't move again. Sapphire sighed with relief.

"Glad that's over." she puffed, "I bet that Skarmory belongs to Team Royal. How did they get it? Skarmory live in the Isle of Armour!"

"Maybe they caught one during a visit there or something." Ashley suggested, "Either way, we better find this Pokémon's trainer before anything else can happen."

"That won't be necessary, ladies. I'll save you the trouble of finding me."

Both Sapphire and Ashley jumped in alarm and looked around for where the voice had come from. They then saw that a man was approaching them, passing under one of the nearby bridges that stretched overhead. The man was the complete opposite compared to Richard, thin in appearance and much cleaner looking with no hair on his face and no stains on his clothes. He was also dressed in a red velvet tuxedo with a frilly shirt underneath. He looked like he should be at a fancy party than out here in the Wild Area. Sapphire and Ashley scowled at him. He had an arrogant look on his face, the kind that suggested that he was superior to everyone around him and they better respect that fact.

"I suppose you're the one that sent that Skarmory to attack us?" Sapphire said coldly.

"Correct, little child." the man sneered. He had a clipped way of speaking and an upper-class accent that somehow made him sound even more conceited, "I am Edward of Team Royal and I'm here for you. My comrade had informed me you'd be on your own so I decided I'd get you while you were vulnerable. I bet Richard has Emerald right now."

"Well too bad, arsehole." Sapphire taunted, "A friend of ours stopped him and she's coming to make sure I'm alright. That and the fact I have the Champion of Unova beside me means you're so screwed!"

"Why is Team Royal trying to kidnap Emerald and Sapphire anyway?" Ashley demanded, "Is this meant to be some kind of revenge scheme against Ruby or something?"

"You'd do well to mind your own business you little brat." Edward retorted, "This doesn't concern you. Also, you could do with covering up." he added rudely, "Don't you think those shorts show off a little too much of those legs?" he snorted, gesturing at the teen's strong, shapely legs.

Ashley gritted her teeth, offended by the comment. Even Sapphire frowned at Edward's unwarranted remark on her crush. Who did he think he was telling Ashley how to dress?!

"It DOES concern me actually as Sapphire as my friend and I won't tolerate you bastards trying to kidnap her and her sister!" the Champion snarled, "And my shorts are perfectly fine you snob! At least I don't look like I'm several centuries out of date with the way YOU dress!" she sneered.

Sapphire shrieked with laughter. She was thinking the same thing herself regarding Edward's fashion sense. Edward fumed in annoyance.

"I will not tolerate being insulted in this way!" he growled, "You will respect Team Royal or face the consequences!"

"You're literally plotting to kidnap two innocent teens and you have the Voltorbs to talk to ME about respect?" Ashley retorted, "Does hypocrisy come as naturally to you as breathing?"

That did it. Edward wasn't going to tolerate the Unovan girl's insults any longer. He lashed out at Ashley, moving much quicker than she could've expected from him and she cried out as his hand viciously scythed through the air and into the side of her head. Ashley reeled to one side, disoriented by the blow. She collapsed onto the ground, clutching her head and trying to regain her senses. Sapphire cried out and then yelled in horror as Edward came for her next. His gloved hands closed around her neck and he slowly began to choke her. Sapphire gagged helplessly and tried to wrench open his grip. But it was futile. Edward was much stronger than she was. His grip was like an iron vice around her throat. Edward had decided that he would take Sapphire out himself now he had no Pokémon left to use. He intended to strangle her long enough for her to pass out, not kill her, and then he'd take her away. Starfire and Hercules watched helplessly. What could they do to help their trainer? If they tried to use their attacks, they could potentially hurt Sapphire as well as Edward! Sapphire squirmed helplessly in Edward's grip.

"L-Let g-g-go of me…!" she croaked feebly.

"Oh no missy. I have a job to do and I won't return to my bosses empty handed!" Edward growled.

Sapphire was very scared. She could feel herself slipping away into unconsciousness. Black dots already started swarming around her line of vision. She was losing air and fast. If she didn't break free, she'd be helpless and Edward could snatch her away! But then somebody pounced on Edward's back and a hand closed around his face while a pair of legs wrapped around his waist. Edward cried out as his head was yanked back by the hand.


It was Ashley! She'd regained her senses long enough to help out! Despite only being 15, Ashley showed surprising strength by pulling Edward back and holding onto him. Edward fought to keep hold of Sapphire but then Ashley dragged her nails viciously across his face. Sapphire cringed as he screamed in agony, the noise tearing through her. Four red lines were drawn across him and he let out a scream that could've disturbed all the wildlife in the Wild Area. He was in so much pain that he was forced to let go of Sapphire's neck and put a hand to his face. The moment Sapphire was free, she lashed out with her leg and drove it into Edward's gut. He crumpled and fell to the ground with Ashley still clinging onto him like a lioness trying to drag down a buffalo. Sapphire coughed and rubbed her neck as she desperately fought to get the air back into her lungs. Ashley wrestled with Edward, fighting to keep him pinned down. She brought both fists together and pounded down on his head, growling like a savage tiger. Edward grunted as her fists slammed down on him. He didn't pass out so Ashley hit him again. It took a third try to finally knock him out. As soon as Edward's eyes closed, Ashley stopped and took a moment to breathe in and out heavily. Her shoulders heaved as the adrenaline in her body left her. Sapphire had never seen her be so violent. It was clear that this girl was very protective of her friends and became a beast to deal with. As soon as Ashley had calmed down, she got back to her feet and pulled Sapphire in a tight hug. Sapphire hugged her back, suddenly feeling very protected now she was in this girl's arms.

"Are you OK?" Ashley asked softly.

"I am now that's over!" Sapphire gasped, holding back tears as they brimmed in her eyes, "You saved me from being garrotted! Thank you so much!"

"I swore I wouldn't let anything bad happen to you." the Champion said kindly, "I always fight for my friend's safety. That matters more to me than anything, and I'm glad you're safe now."

The two girls kept up the hug for a few minutes, almost as if they were determined not to let go for a long time. Then they heard the sound of wings flapping and they looked up nervously. Not another Pokémon working for Team Royal to kidnap them! But they soon saw that it was nothing of the sort. Instead, this Pokémon flying towards them was friendly party. Sapphire cried out in excitement as she recognized the familiar appearance of Bryce the Charizard. He wasn't alone too for on his back he was carrying both of her sisters, Ruby and Emerald, and also Paul. He also carried Richard in his hands. Bryce touched down on the ground and put Richard beside Edward. Ruby and Emerald hopped off of his back and threw themselves at Sapphire. The trio of siblings grasped each other tightly in a hug that made all of them feel at ease, knowing that they were reunited and safely together again.

"Thank Arceus you're safe too!" Ruby gasped, tears streaming down her face, "I was worried you might've been caught before we could find you!"

"I nearly was!" Sapphire cried, "But Ashley saved me before Edward could strangle me into unconsciousness."

Emerald turned to Ashley and smiled appreciatively at her.

"Thank you for saving our sister, Ashley!" she said sweetly.

"My pleasure." Ashley said modestly, "I couldn't let Team Royal just kidnap her like that."

Ruby turned to the unconscious men. Richard was still knocked out from Paul's Aggron attacking him and was also still tied up and gagged. Edward was laying still with only the rise and fall of his chest showing any signs of life. Ruby especially took notice of the large bruise on the side of his head and saw how Ashley had managed to incapacitate him.

"At least we now have two more Team Royal members to lock up." the silver-haired teen declared, "They won't ever see the other side of a prison wall again! I know Sordward and Shielbert have a dumb grudge on me over non-existent lies that Sonia published but to think their beef with me is so bad that they sent these two to kidnap my sisters?! Just what are they hoping to accomplish with this stupid vendetta of theirs?!"

She kicked the ground furiously, feeling heated up from the anger swelling up inside of her. Emerald and Sapphire patted her on the back tenderly to calm her down.

"Take it easy Ruby, you'll just get yourself all worked up." Emerald warned.

"Don't wear yourself out by getting mad. That won't stop Team Royal." Sapphire said helpfully.

Ruby sighed and ran a hand through her hair.

"You're right girls. I shouldn't let myself get all angry or else they'll win." she agreed, "Sorry about that…I'm just so disgusted that they've gone and done this. I don't know what I'd do if Team Royal got hold of you two…"

She hugged her sisters again, emphasizing how relieved she was to have them with her still. Emerald and Sapphire hugged her back. They could see how this whole thing was really beginning to stress their sister out. Hopefully she could get some time off to relax before things got too much for her. Ruby turned to Ashley and Paul, who had both been standing back respectfully as they could see this was a family moment not to be interrupted.

"I can't thank you both enough for what you did for my sisters." Ruby said graciously, "You've saved them both and you've really helped me out by making sure Team Royal can't use them against me. I don't know if I can repay you as no reward can ever show how thankful I am to you both!"

"It was nothing." Paul said casually, "You don't need to repay me."

"Nor me." Ashley concurred, "I'm just happy I could help."

"Well just know that I'm forever in your debts, both of you." Ruby insisted, "Now I want all four of you to stay safe from now on. Team Royal might try and pull this shit off again so I think you should all have at least one Pokémon beside you to protect you at all times. If anyone so much as takes more than a passing interest in them, don't waste any time and take them down quick. If you find any Team Royal members, call me, Leon, any Gym Leader close to you or the police and they'll deal with them. Understand?"

"Completely!" cried Emerald and Sapphire in unison.

"You got it!" Ashley put in.

"Whatever you say." Paul finished.

"Thank you." Ruby said brightly, "Me and Bryce will get these two delivered to the police right away. After that, I think I'll take the evening off. I could do with a relaxing night in after the stress of today." she said wearily.

The twins agreed. Ruby was still a teenager and thus didn't have energy, physically or mentally, to deal with stressful situations like this for too long. She would need a cooldown period or else she risked overexerting herself.

"How about you spend some time with Hop?" Emerald suggested, "That'll be a nice way to spending the evening."

"I was thinking the same thing." Ruby said with a smile, "I had been thinking about going on a date with him at some point and this could be the right time for it. At least if I have the evening off, there's still plenty others to deal with Team Royal so Galar will be safe enough. Bye for now and please, stay safe everyone."

She climbed onto Bryce's back and ordered him to pick up the unconscious Team Royal men. Bryce grabbed them both, one in each hand, and he flew off back into the sky to take them away. At least with Motostoke City nearby, he didn't have long to find a police station to deliver them to. Emerald and Sapphire waved goodbye to their sister, watching as she and Bryce vanished into the afternoon sky. Once she'd gone, Emerald whipped out a Pokéball and threw it. This one contained Kerchak the Thwackey and she had decided he would be her personal bodyguard from now on. Sapphire kept Starfire and Hercules out. Paul brought out Aggron again and Ashley decided her starter would be her protection against Team Royal. Emerald and Sapphire watched as she brought out the fully evolved form of Tepig, Emboar.

Emboar was a huge, bulky pig-like Pokémon with the same orange and dark brown colours of Tepig, only he looked more brutish with a sumo wrestlers build than the more cutesy appearance of Tepig. It sported powerful arms, sharp tusks and a beard literally made of fire. It was a Fire/Fighting type Pokémon in the same vein as Blaziken and Infernape, making it a red hot contender and powerful fighter for any Pokémon battle. The twins gaped in amazement.

"Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!" Emerald exclaimed, "Is that what Tepig's fully evolved form looks like?! It looks so cool!"

"Flippin' heck, I bet that thing could punch a skyscraper down with one punch!" Sapphire cried.

"Believe me, Emboar's as tough as he looks." Ashley said with a wink, "No Team Royal member will come near me with this tough Pokémon by my side!"

"I know with Kerchak beside me now, I feel safer already too." Emerald said happily, "Hopefully, Team Royal won't bother us anymore."

"If they do, well we know they'll be the ones that suffer in the end." Paul said with a dark smirk on his face, "I'll see you all at the next Gym."

He and Aggron left together and headed on out of the Wild Area. Ashley and Emboar left as well, waving to the twins as they walked off.

"Take care of yourselves you two!" was all Ashley could say as she and Emboar headed on their way.

Emerald and Sapphire waved their rivals off and made their own way out of the Wild Area. Neither of them wanted to stay for much longer so they were keen to get out and into Hammerlocke City as soon as possible. At least in a crowd of people, Team Royal would have a harder time coming for them, especially when there'd be so many witnesses around. First, they headed back to their campsite so they could take the tent down. It was no good leaving it just standing around in the Wild Area with no one there to use it. As they did so, their Pokémon kept a good watch out for anyone suspicious. Nothing happened. Once the tent had been taken down, the twins headed on towards Hammerlocke. Kerchak stayed by Emerald's side at all times, keeping a sharp eye out for even the slightest sign of danger. Starfire walked by Sapphire's feet and Hercules hovered above their heads, acting as a sort of "eye in the sky" for the twins. They walked and walked for several minutes and still nothing happened. It was clear that Team Royal had foolishly thought only two of them were needed to try and kidnap the two. Emerald still felt tense despite everything being normal. She still felt as if somebody could leap out and attack them any minute. Sapphire looked more composed by comparison, clearly relaxed with her Pokémon beside her to keep her safe. Emerald noticed she was occasionally rubbing her neck for it was still hurting from Edward trying to strangle her earlier. He'd left an ugly mauve bruise from where he'd grabbed her. Emerald herself had a small bruise on her face from where Richard had hit her. The criminal duo had certainly left their marks on them.

As they were on their way, Emerald ended up finding two items that would be very useful to her. On their walk, they'd managed to find a Fire Stone and a Water Stone lying around in two different parts of the Wild Area. They had been lying against a wall in a patch of grass. Emerald took them eagerly, knowing that Vixey and Gemstone would benefit much from the stones. Once they got out of the Wild Area, she'd evolve them. Emerald put the stones in her backpack to use later. The twins walked on until they'd entered the Giant's Mirror section of the Wild Area. This particular part of the Wild Area was home to a wide variety of Pokémon species and the girls could see them all just going about their day, free as anything. If only they could feel so carefree right now. Wild Pokémon had so little to worry about compared to humans. They carried on walking but they were suddenly stopped as Kerchak held up an arm. He could sense something and he was sniffing the air to check out what it was. Emerald and Sapphire stayed still. Kerchak sniffed for a moment and then pointed with one of his sticks. The girls followed his gaze and saw what he'd spotted.

Ahead of them as a Farfetch'd, but this wasn't just any normal Farfetch'd. This was the Galarian variant, a pure Fighting type instead of Flying like the original Kantonian species. Galarian Farfetch'd were duck like Pokémon, dark brown in colour with much bigger leaks that they used for fighting with. Galarian Farfetch'd were much stronger than the original species as a result but struggled to fly due to their increased muscle mass. They were also able to evolve, something the original Farfetch'd species couldn't. Emerald and Sapphire watched as the Farfetch'd swung its leak around. It hadn't noticed them at all. It was just swinging its leak around and bashing it against some nearby rocks. It even hit one rock and sent it flying into the air. The rock was several times its size and yet it had sent it flying with a single blow. The girls were impressed. They knew Galarian Farfetch'd were strong, but this was a first-hand example on just how strong they were! They imagined this one was probably training and keeping itself in good shape. That made sense for Farfetch'd were often preyed on by humans for the fact they made surprisingly good meals. The fact they were essentially ducks carrying a leak was an invitation to dinner in and of itself and the species had been nearly hunted to extinction as a result. Galarian Farfetch'd developed the Fighting type to better protect themselves against those kinds of people.

Emerald watched with admiration as the Farfetch'd trained away, breaking rocks or sending them flying with a swing of its leak. With a Pokémon like this on the team, she'd definitely feel safer against Team Royal now! She already had a great vision of this Pokémon beating the living stuffing out of them with its leak.

"I've got to have this one!" Emerald declared, "A Farfetch'd will be great in my team!"

"I swear with catching Pokémon, you just don't know when to stop." Sapphire joked.

Emerald ignored her and approached the Farfetch'd with Kerchak by her side. The Farfetch'd might attack so it was safer to have a Pokémon with her. She called out to it so the two wouldn't surprise it. Farfetch'd stopped what it was doing and looked around. It saw a human girl and a Thwackey approaching it. The duck like Pokémon raised its huge leak over its shoulder and glowered at the two.

"Halt! Stop right there!" he called in a masculine, haughty voice that befitted that of an undefeated warrior, "State your intentions!"

"Please sir, we mean no harm." Emerald insisted, holding her hands up, "We were very impressed with your rock smashing and would very much like to have you join us."

"Your strength would be very valuable to us." Kerchak declared, "You see, my trainer was recently attacked and nearly abducted so if you could join us, you could help me and her other Pokémon keep her safe. You get what I'm asking?"

The Farfetch'd smiled conceitedly. So these two wanted him to join them so he could offer his amazing strength to them? He hadn't expected to be fawned over today and it made him feel great as a result. He flexed his muscular wings with pride.

"Ah! A fair damsel is feeling distressed and in need of protection!" he crowed, "Long have I desired to lend my strength to a Pokémon trainer! Fear not, fair lady! I shall slay all enemies that pose a threat to you!"

"Oh Arceus, no! No slaying!" Emerald shrieked, "I'm OK with beating people up but no killing, OK?"

"I suppose that's doable." Farfetch'd muttered, clearly disappointed that he had to do with just that, "Nevertheless, I shall be your valiant knight that'll fight for you and keep you protected, fair lady. None shall get past me!"

"Ha, ha, ha! Someone's clearly sure of himself!" Emerald chuckled, "I'm grateful to you for wanting to join the team. But you don't have to call me "fair lady". You can just call me Emerald."

"Very well, Emerald." the Farfetch'd said, bowing politely.

"I'm not sure about him Emerald. His head's too big for his body if you ask me." Kerchak said unsurely, "What if it he gets too full of himself?"

"Don't worry about it, I'm sure he'll be fine." Emerald said optimistically, "Besides, I bet he has the strength to back up his ego."

She took out an empty Pokéball and held it out for Farfetch'd to take. He pecked it with his beak and was brought inside the Pokéball instantly. Farfetch'd was officially Emerald's. The Fighting type Pokémon was going to be a valuable part of Emerald's already large roster. With Farfetch'd in her possession, Emerald decided to give him the name "Percival". She felt it fitting to name him after one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table given he viewed himself as a powerful knight. Sapphire smiled happily, glad that Emerald had successfully convinced the Farfetch'd to come with her, though she too felt his ego was a little overbearing. As long as his strength was greater than his ego, she supposed it wouldn't be a problem.

The twins were about to leave the Wild Area but no sooner had Percival joined the team, Emerald ended up with another Pokémon to add to the team. They were just passing through the Stony Wilderness area when they suddenly found themselves being approached by a large, stocky Pokémon that pushed through the tall grasses. It caught sight of the sisters and spoke to them, but in a language that neither of them had heard before.

"Bo sco fo do no kro blo ko sho ro!"

Emerald and Sapphire didn't know what it had said, but they did know what the Pokémon was. It was a Rhyhorn, a Rock/Ground type Pokémon that lived in many regions around the world. Rhyhorn looked like rhinoceroses, albeit very bulky and powerful looking ones with rock hard skin, a sharp horn and a huge head for butting with. They had red eyes and short, stumpy legs that were more powerful than they looked. When a Rhyhorn charged, it could move surprisingly fast and they often struggled to stop.

"Wow, it's a Rhyhorn!" Emerald cried, "I've always wanted to meet one of those!"

The Rhyhorn seemed to have taken note that Emerald spoke English for the next time it spoke, it spoke English too.

"Travellers speak in human English." it said, speaking in a deep guttural voice, "State your intentions. This area is under surveillance from Captain Tybo of the Rhyhorn Security Patrol!"

"I dunno about you Em, but this Rhyhorn sounds like he watches way too much Doctor Who." Sapphire giggled.

Emerald knew what she meant. The Rhyhorn's voice and personality seemed to be a direct imitation of Doctor Who's Judoon characters. They were intergalactic space-police that resembled rhinos so it was rather funny seeing a Rhyhorn act like one. It had even named itself after one too. But Emerald didn't care. She wanted this Rhyhorn and nobody would stop her from catching it. She got down on her knees to show Tybo she posed no threat.

"We were just making our way out of the Wild Area." Emerald explained, "We didn't mean to disturb you. However, it may interest you to know that we've been tangling with criminals and I suppose an officer such as yourself would want to help us in catching them."

"Criminals?" Tybo snarled, "What criminals?! I shall arrest all of them!"

Emerald filled Tybo in on everything she knew about Team Royal so far and explained how two of them had tried to kidnap her and Sapphire earlier. The two even pointed to their bruises to show him what they'd done. Tybo snorted, steam blasting out of his nostrils.

"This officer will hunt every last one of them down and lock them up for good!" he declared, "I will offer my services to you if it means incarcerating all of them!"

"Thank you, Tybo!" Emerald cried appreciatively, "I promise you, you won't regret joining us. With you around, we'll arrest all of Team Royal before you know it! And if you join me in some Pokémon battles, you'll even get stronger so you'll evolve into a Rhydon and arrest even more criminals!"

"A promotion would be most satisfactory." Tybo said eagerly, "Going from a Rhyhorn to a Rhydon would be the perfect sign that I have excelled in my work as an officer."

With that done, Emerald got out another empty Pokéball for Tybo to have as its own. He was turned into red energy and absorbed into the ball as he touched it but he didn't stay in for long. Emerald brought him back out again and then she, Sapphire, Kerchak and Starfire climbed onto the Rhyhorn's back. Hercules hovered beside him. Tybo would carry them the rest of the way through the Wild Area. He roared loudly and then charged, effortlessly carrying his passengers through the rest of the habitat and towards the gates of Hammerlocke City. Emerald and Sapphire held on tight and whooped with excitement. This was an amazing feeling, riding on the back of a Rhyhorn like this. They felt like they were riding on a tank with legs and that nothing could get in their way! Team Royal would be foolish to come for them again with Emerald's newest recruits for her Pokémon team…


Meanwhile, Sordward and Shielbert had heard about the complete failure of Richard and Edward's mission and how they were now in custody. The brothers hadn't been happy with the news at all. They both sat in their chairs and pondered this troubling development. They rarely did anything separate from each other. Even plotting was something they did together. A few minutes later, they came to a decision.

"Oleana was right. It was risky plotting to kidnap the Champion's sisters." Shielbert muttered.

"As much as it pains me to admit that anyone other than us is right, indeed brother." Sordward grumbled, "We've no doubt drawn even more attention to ourselves with that stunt."

"We should keep a low profile from now on." Shielbert deduced, "No more stealing from trainers and no more attacking Emerald and Sapphire."

"Agreed." Sordward concurred, "We'll stick to Oleana's plan for now. Those poor stupid idiots won't have any idea of that coming."

"Indeed." the brother in red sneered, "Once we raid that power plant, we'll have all the Wishing Stars we need to corrupt those false heroes. Galar will see Zacian and Zamazenta for what they really are…"

"…and that impudent professor will be forced to publish the ACTUAL truth of Galar's heroes." the brother in blue purred.

They picked up a wine glass each and clinked them together in cheers. Things may seem hopeless now, but they both knew that their plans were far from over. Ruby had no idea what was coming. Nobody in Galar would know…until it was too late and everything was in the palm of their hands…


Pokémon obtained: Percival the Galarian Farfetch'd: Gender: Male. Nature: Gentle. Ability: Steadfast (Its speed goes up every time it flinches)

Tybo the Rhyhorn: Gender: Male. Nature: Rash. Ability: Rock Head (protects the Pokemon from recoil damage)

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