top of page

Emerald Knights: A Pokémon Sword Story Chapter 15

Chapter 15: The Fifth Gym

After the success of Ruby's plan last night, Emerald and Sapphire felt more at ease than they'd felt for a while.

After Elizabeth and her goons had been thrown in a prison cell, Ruby and her sisters had spent the night together in a bed-and-breakfast hotel near Hammerlocke Stadium. Ruby had been too tired to go back home and Emerald and Sapphire were also too tired to go back to Stow-on-Side so they'd decided they may as well stay somewhere overnight before going anywhere else. Bea had naturally gone straight back to Stow-on-Side, glad that she'd been able to contribute to the plan and that it had been a success. She operated on very little sleep as a result of her training so she didn't mind the long walk back to her town from Hammerlocke City. As the sisters slept that night, they couldn't help but count their blessings that they were able to go to bed that night knowing they'd prevented a terrible disaster from happening. If Elizabeth's bomb had gone off, not even the hotel they were staying in would still exist now!

The next morning, the girls ate breakfast together and Ruby waved her sisters goodbye. She was going to interrogate the captured Team Royal members in hopes of finding Sordward and Shielbert. Their threat would finally be over once they were captured and the sooner, the better.

"I hope you find their hideout!" Emerald said supportively, "If you find those jerks, bring them to us so me and Sapph can have a piece of them!"

"Oh I'll make sure all three of us get to show them how much we've "enjoyed" dealing with their crap." Ruby said deviously, "I'll even invite Sonia in on the beat down. She'll love it!"

That made them all laugh. It was a funny image for the trio to imagine someone as nice as Sonia actually beating somebody up. Ruby brought Doomsday out of its Pokéball and rode on the huge skeletal dragon Pokémon to the police station. It still felt weird for the sisters that they were now in a position where they owed Doomsday their lives as it had successfully disposed of the bomb last night. What a wonderful irony it was that the Pokémon that had nearly doomed the entire region had now saved it from a terrible explosion!

As soon as Ruby had gone, Emerald and Sapphire resumed their own journey by first returning to Stow-on-Side and then making their way to Ballonlea. They were glad they'd had a big breakfast in that hotel as they'd need it for all the walking they'd be doing today. The dark, fantastical forest of Glimwood Tangle was outside of Stow-on-Side and was the only way to get to Ballonlea for the Fairy Gym. The twins had been looking forward to seeing the forest as they'd seen from pictures in tourist guides and the internet what a beautiful place it was. Those pictures didn't do Glimwood Tangle a bit of justice. As the twins entered the forest, their eyes were met with the sight of glowing, fluorescent coloured mushrooms and fungi that bathed the trees and grass with gorgeous lights of blue or green and even pink. Every time they touched one, the lights glowed even brighter. With these lights bright against the darkness of the forest, Glimwood Tangle had the appearance of an enchanted forest come to life. Sapphire in particular felt that this place might've come out of a fantasy novel she'd read at some point.

"And this is just the tip of the iceberg." Sapphire murmured, "Ballonlea's said to be even more amazing."

"Just the place for a Fairy Gym to be." Emerald said brightly, "Ballonlea's said to be like a fairy tale come to life so why not?"

Sapphire chuckled. She knew Emerald would enjoy this visit as she'd always loved her fairy tale stories in her pre-teens so seeing the closest thing to an actual enchanted forest town in person would be great for her. She just hoped Opal wouldn't try and make them wear those silly pink Gym uniforms her Gym trainers wore. The twins carried on walking through the forest, but not for long. Emerald and Sapphire saw the grasses twitching up ahead and they stood still. Was that a Pokémon up ahead? They didn't move, hoping they wouldn't startle whoever it was that was moving. The grass parted and out came the most beautiful and adorable Pokémon Sapphire had ever seen. It was a Galarian Ponyta, the Psychic type variant of the popular Kanto species of Ponyta that lived in many other regions. Galarian Ponyta differed from their Kanto cousins by sporting chalk white fur and a beautiful pink and blue mane and tail along with tufts of pink around their ankles. They had round, adorable eyes and a single striped horn on their heads. They looked like baby unicorns from a children's fantasy book. Sapphire adored Ponyta and was so thrilled to see one that she couldn't contain herself.

"EEEEEEE! A Ponyta! I've been dying to catch one of those!" she squealed.

"It's gorgeous!" Emerald agreed, "You should get it now while you can!"

As if Sapphire needed prompting! She walked up to the Ponyta slowly and kept herself bent over so as to look smaller and not as imposing. The Ponyta watched her approach with curious eyes. Sapphire got down on her knees, trying her best not to look too excited. She thought if she looked calm to the Ponyta, she wouldn't scare it off. She smiled softly and held out a hand for the horse like Pokémon to sniff.

"Hello there." Sapphire said softly, "My name's Sapphire Silverlock and I'm a new Pokémon trainer. I was hoping you'd join me on my travels as I'd love to have you in the team."

The Ponyta sniffed her hand curiously. The girl seemed friendly enough and she couldn't sense anything bad about her. Then for some reason, the Ponyta closed its eyes and its fluffy mane started to glow. Sapphire was puzzled. What was it doing? Emerald held her breath as if worried she'd disturb the psychic equine. Moments later, the Ponyta's mane stopped glowing and its eyes opened again.

"I can see that you are a good person and have no dark intentions in you." the beautiful Pokémon said, speaking in a echoing female voice that made her sound like a powerful but wise sorceress, "We Ponyta can sense the darkness in a person's heart thanks to our psychic powers. I'm glad you are not one of them."

Sapphire understood now. The Ponyta had used its psychic powers to read her mind. All Psychic Pokémon had powers of telepathy so if they wanted, they could use them to tell if anyone was lying or trying to deceive them in anyway. The blue-haired girl smiled brightly.

"That's me! Not an evil bone in my body." she said cheerfully, "You'll be in good hands if you come with me."

"That is very reassuring." the Ponyta said softly, "I have a friend that was sadly taken in by a very cruel person. He hated his time with that trainer, saying he had no heart and that he was a boy who saw Pokémon as a means to an end. He had no care for my friend at all. He was lucky that after his trainer was arrested, he was released back into the wild. I saw him again and he's been much happier since he was released. As you can imagine, my friend's experiences has made me weary of humans." she concluded solemnly.

Emerald and Sapphire took in the story with fascination and dismay. They were sorry that this Ponyta's friend had gone through all of this. And yet somehow, they had a feeling they knew who the Ponyta was referring to.

"Was your friend's trainer a boy named Bede perchance?" Sapphire asked, her voice empty as if all emotions had been drained out of her.

"Why yes he was." the Ponyta confirmed, "That's what he told me. He told me that Bede had done some awful things, including tying an innocent girl up to a tree in this very forest! I couldn't believe what I was hearing! How could anyone be so cruel as to do that?! Do you know this Bede character at all?"

"We haven't met him, but we know who he is…unfortunately." Emerald growled, "You see, the girl he tied up was OUR sister so you better believe we were furious when we heard what had happened! We were watching the news at the time and practically screamed ourselves hoarse at the TV when Bede's hideous face came on! I hope he's suffering in whatever hole he's been thrown into…" she spat.

Sapphire stared at her sister. It wasn't like Emerald to say anything that extreme. But she could hardly blame her. If Bede had done the same thing to her, she'd want him to suffer too.

"Well as you've read my mind, you know that me and Em are nothing like him." Sapphire insisted, "We won't treat you the way Bede treated your friend and that's a promise. Of course, you can say no and walk away. I won't force you to be my Pokémon." she said kindly.

The Ponyta nodded. She'd already picked that up when reading Sapphire's mind earlier. While she still hated what her friend had gone through, she knew that Sapphire was a good person and wouldn't treat her horribly, nor would she do anything horrible to another trainer. She would be fine joining Sapphire. The Ponyta walked up to Sapphire and nuzzled her chest.

"I'd be happy to go with someone with a heart as pure as yours." the psychic pony said brightly.

"Thank you so much!" Sapphire said brightly, stroking the Ponyta's mane in gratitude, "You'll be a very welcome part of the team! As for your name…I know just what to call you. Your name shall be Celestia!" she cried.

"Celestia…that's a nice name." the Ponyta murmured, "I'll accept that name. Thank you."

"You're welcome." Sapphire replied, "Now then, me and Em are just making our way to Ballonlea. Would you like to see?"

Celestia nodded. She'd never been into Ballonlea itself. She'd only been in Glimwood Tangle all her life. She trotted off beside Sapphire as the twins continued their way over to the forest village. Emerald felt happy for her sister that she'd gotten a Pokémon she'd longed to have. Celestia would be a great Pokémon for Sapphire, she just knew it…


Ruby wasn't sure if it was possible to feel more tired than she currently felt right now. If it wasn't for the fact she was interrogating a high ranking member of Team Royal, she'd happily be in bed.

After last night's successful capture of Elizabeth and many Team Royal members, Ruby had singled Elizabeth out as the leader of last night's failed operation and was hoping to coax some information out of her. She'd hoped Elizabeth would at least be cooperative. She had hated having to use Houdini to force Henry to talk as she felt hypnotizing people into revealing their secrets was dirty work and she didn't want to resort to underhanded tactics like what a criminal would normally do. Unfortunately, Elizabeth was proving to be a tough nut to crack. She had refused to talk, even under the promise of a reduced jail sentence. Elizabeth wasn't stupid and could see Ruby was lying about that. She just sat where she was, smug and confident that Ruby couldn't get anything out of her. She knew the Champion wouldn't torture her. She was too good for that.

Ruby and Elizabeth were in an interrogation room together with Elizabeth's hands shackled behind her to the chair she was sitting in. The police had insisted on keeping her restrained in case she tried anything funny. Upon capture, the police had emptied all her pockets of lock pickers and anything that she could use to try and escape so the silver-haired woman had no chance of going anywhere. Despite being the one chained to the chair, Elizabeth looked as if she was better off than Ruby right now. The teenager slumped on the table in exasperation, clearly getting irritated with her for being so uncooperative. She raised her head again, a cold look in her red eyes.

"You are a complete arsehole." Ruby muttered bluntly, "Do you think your bosses will somehow spring you out of here?"

"I'm not divulging their location to a little brat like you and you cannot make me." Elizabeth said venomously, "You may as well just let me go and stop wasting my time."

"You are not leaving this room until you tell me where Sordward and Shielbert are hiding." Ruby said firmly as if she was talking to a naughty child, "You may as well tell me what I want to know, cause I'll only get you to talk anyway. Remember how I got Henry to tell me when your little raid was taking place?" she added with a dry smile on her face.

Elizabeth did remember. Ruby's boasts still danced around in her mind ever since she'd been captured.

"I don't believe you did anything like that." Elizabeth snorted, "As if an all-good, precious little child like you would resort to anything so underhanded."

Ruby shrugged.

"Fine, don't say I didn't warn you." she said coldly.

She whipped out a Pokéball and brought out Houdini the Noctowl. The Flying-type Pokémon took one look at Elizabeth and knew what was happening. If only criminals were more willing to play nicely for once!

"Houdini, make her talk." Ruby ordered.

Houdini obeyed. He fixed his large eyes on Elizabeth and in a matter of seconds, he had her completely under his spell. It was useful to have psychic powers for things like this! The woman's eyes were blank as Houdini successfully hypnotized her with his psychic powers. His eyes glowed pink and seemed to be staring as if trying to suck Elizabeth dry through her own eyes. Ruby wished it hadn't had to come to this but desperate times called for desperate measures.

"Now then, let's try this again." Ruby said, her voice like hardened steel, "Where is Team Royal's hideout?"

"It…is located…under an old mansion…in the countryside just west…of Hammerlocke City." Elizabeth droned. She sounded like a robot as she spoke.

Ruby knew where she was talking about. There was indeed an old mansion somewhere in the countryside not far from Hammerlocke City. The mansion had once belonged to a wealthy family that ran the place as a safe-haven for Pokémon to breed happily and live their lives peacefully. The family had unfortunately lost their wealth and had been forced to move out of the mansion, taking all the Pokémon with them. The mansion had fallen into disrepair as nobody could afford to buy it and the government didn't seem to care about its upkeep. It had been left abandoned for years and was nothing more than just a black mark in a beautiful bit of countryside. Ruby supposed it was a good place to set up a lair. Who'd think to look for criminals under an abandoned mansion?

"Tell me how to get to this underground lair." Ruby demanded, "Is there a secret passageway or some secret door I have to open to get in?"

The answers came piling out of Elizabeth's mouth thanks to Houdini's hypnosis. Soon Ruby had all the information she needed. Sordward and Shielbert were going to jail for sure! She couldn't wait to make the arrest! Boy were those two in for a surprise when she came knocking on their door…


Back with the twins, Emerald was making her way out into the centre of Ballonlea Stadium to challenge Opal for the Fairy Badge.

It hadn't taken them long to get to the town and upon arriving, neither Emerald nor Sapphire could believe their eyes. No photograph of Ballonlea could do this place justice, not even the ones Ruby had sent them last year. With its Tudor-era architecture, forest setting and glowing mushrooms with drifting lights everywhere, Ballonlea was quite simply the most beautiful and most whimsical looking town they'd yet visited. It was easy to see how this was the home of the Fairy Gym as the entire town looked as if it came out of a children's fairy tale. If they could choose anywhere else in Galar to live than Postwick Town, they'd probably choose here. Emerald watched some lights slowly drift by and she reached out to touch one of them with her finger. She couldn't help herself as she giggled. The light started to dance around her fingertip before it drifted on further.

"I knew Ballonlea would be beautiful…but I'm somehow still amazed at what I'm seeing!" Emerald gasped.

"You're telling me…" Sapphire murmured, staring at a glowing mushroom that was bigger than any of the houses nearby, "This is the most amazing place I've ever seen! Blimey, I doubt any town we visit after this will live up to how beautiful Ballonlea is!"

Celestia could only nod in agreement. So this was the town that had been built in the middle of her forest home! She could see why humans had set up a place to live here.

"I almost wish the Gym Circuity let us come here last rather than for the fifth badge. It kinda feels like they've shown us the best town too early if you get what I mean." Emerald said as more lights started to dance in front of her eyes.

"Yeah, leaving this place for last would've made it very special to end the Gym Challenge on." Sapphire agreed, "Speaking of which, I wonder if Paul and Ashley have been here yet."

Emerald nodded in agreement. They hadn't seen their rivals since their second trip into the Wild Area in which they'd helped to save them from Team Royal. Were they ahead of them or had the twins somehow gotten ahead and Paul and Ashley were stuck trying to get the Fighting Badge from Bea for the moment? They had no idea. If they'd shared phone numbers, the twins could give them a call just to ask out of interest. For now, they could focus on their own place in the Gym Challenge and worry about them later.

Emerald and Sapphire made their way into Ballonlea Stadium. Upon seeing it, the girls had to wonder why all the stadiums in Galar seemed to look the same. They all shared the same round exterior with only colour and flag changes to differ them from one another. At least they all had their own looks on the inside so the architect who built these places hadn't been too lazy with them. Once they entered the stadium, the two signed up for a battle with Opal with Emerald being scheduled to go first while Sapphire would go second. Sapphire didn't mind this as it meant she and Celestia could spend some time together in the lobby to know each other some more while Emerald had her fight. The last thing Sapphire said to Emerald before she went into the changing rooms was that she wished her luck against the Fairy Gym leader.

Moments later, Emerald was in her Gym Uniform again and was standing opposite Gym Leader Opal in the centre of the stadium. Upon seeing her, Emerald got the feeling that Opal could've been her grandmother with how old she looked. At 88, she was certainly showing her age with her wrinkled features, long nose and hunched over stance. She even walked slowly as if she was a malfunctioning machine barely able to operate at full capacity. But Emerald didn't let her weak, frail appearance fool her. Ruby had warned her that she was a tricky trainer that wasn't to be taken lightly in battle. She could even see that despite her old age and weak appearance, Opal still had a bright spark in her eyes that suggested she had much more energy in her than she might've guessed.

"Hello there dearie." Opal cooed softly, "You must be Emerald Silverlock, am I right? Ruby warned me that I would potentially be facing her sisters at some point in this year's Gym Challenge. How are you doing so far?"

"It's going great, thanks!" Emerald said cheerfully, "I've gotten four badges so far and all on my first try just like Ruby did! I'm really looking forward to this one too as I've always loved Fairy-type Pokémon."

"You have fine taste, sweetie." Opal said approvingly, "Nothing is sweeter, cuter and more dazzling than my darling Fairy Pokémon. I hope with this battle, we can give you a delightfully pink performance!"

"I just hope you don't pull off what you did to Ruby last year." Emerald muttered.

Nobody could forget how Opal had unfairly reduced the stats of one of Ruby's Pokémon just because she'd been "rude" about answering a question about her age. When watching the battle on TV, Emerald and Sapphire had been mad and saw Opal as unsporting as a result. The old woman nodded.

"Yes, I'll admit that was wrong of me and the backlash was well deserved." she acknowledged, "Don't worry, I shan't be doing that again. In fact, I've decided to drop the age question from all battles I have from now on. I hope your mind is as sharp as your battle skills for the questions I may ask in the battle could be tricky."

"I'm ready!" Emerald declared, "Let's give the audience a battle to remember!"

The two took up their positions and waited for the signal to go as the announcer introduced the trainers to the audience watching.

"From Postwick Town: Emerald Silverlock. Her opponent: Gym Leader Opal."

There were cheers all around for the new Gym Challenger that was about to face up against the Fairy Gym Leader. Emerald had built up a prominent fanbase with many people deeply impressed with how well she was progressing in this competition and the brunette girl could see that there were a few people waving banners with her face on them and some people chanting her name in unison. She could hardly believe she already had so many fans despite only having four Gym Badges so far. In this sport, it wasn't hard to gain followers!

"Pokémon Trainers: Standby."

Emerald turned her attention away from the crowd. She didn't want a repeat of the Stow-on-Side Stadium where she'd been slow to react because she was so deep in thought that she missed the cue from the announcer. The Postwick teen kept her eyes focused on Opal. The elderly woman looked completely relaxed as if she was just spending a moment chilling in the garden then about to participate in a Pokémon battle. Emerald imagined that for Gym Leaders, it was easy to show no obvious signs of anxiety when ready to fight.

"Three…two…one…BEGIN!" barked the announcer.

It was time to battle! Emerald whipped out a Pokéball just seconds after the announcer had given the signal to go.

"In a Fairy Gym, this is the perfect Pokémon to start off!" she cried, "Steelclaw, let the fun begin!"

She threw her Pokéball and summoned forth the tiny but powerful Steelclaw. The Excadrill flexed his claws and clashed them together as if he was about to engage in a sword fight. Despite his small height, he looked deathly serious as if wanting his opponents to make sure that they didn't underestimate him. Opal could see why Emerald was so confident. A Steel-type was always a wise choice to bring into a Fairy-Gym. She drew out an Ultra Ball and limply tossed it. It was as if that was all the strength she had in her just to throw it.

"Weezing, time for a dazzle!" she cooed.

Emerald watched as Opal's Galarian Weezing materialized into play. She remembered that Pokémon all too well. It had been the Pokémon that had defeated Houdini the Noctowl during Ruby's Gym Challenge last year. He'd been forced to stay at the Pokémon Centre to recover from Weezing's poison. Well the joke was on Weezing now! As a half-Steel type, Excadrill naturally have the Steel-type immunity to Poison attacks so Steelclaw would be safe. That had been Emerald's plan from the start and it was going to pay off beautifully.

"OK Steelclaw, use Metal Claw!" Emerald called out.

Steelclaw obeyed. The tiny mole Pokémon sprinted quickly towards Weezing, moving much faster than what one would expect from a Ground-type Pokémon. Weezing's two faces both screwed up in pain as Steelclaw slashed at it with his Metal Claw attack. It felt to Weezing like it had sliced across the faces by a trio of swords rather than claws. Weezing drifted backwards from the attack but wasn't down just yet. Weezing's Defences were pretty good so it had managed to survive the hit long enough to be able to fight back. As Opal soon saw, whatever Weezing could do hardly counted as fighting back for she ordered it to use Fairy Wind and for obvious reasons, Steelclaw was barely effect by it. A Fairy move was never going to be effective on a Steel-type Pokémon. It was a losing battle for Weezing as its Sludge attack couldn't do anything to Steelclaw thanks to his kind being immune to Poison and the only other attack it knew was Tackle. Steelclaw had it in the bag.

"Before we finish this battle, allow me to ask the first question." Opal purred.

Emerald prepared herself, wondering what Opal would ask.

"True or false: Ponyta is the only Pokémon whose Galarian form has a Fairy-typing." Opal asked.

That was a good question to ask. Emerald imagined that this question was meant to test trainers on their knowledge of Pokémon, their types and how some species differed between regions. Let's see, was Ponyta the only Pokémon whose Galarian form had a Fairy-typing? Emerald thought for a moment. She was tempted to say false because Rapidash also had a Fairy-type Galarian form but Rapidash was the evolved form of Ponyta so it might not count. The answer would likely mean another species and not be referring to Pokémon in the same evolution line. She had to choose her answer carefully as Opal's questions had a habit of not always having straight-forward answers. When Ruby had done this, she'd asked her what her favourite colour was. She and Sapphire had naturally assumed it to be pink but Ruby had guessed purple due to suspecting it to be a trick question with an answer that wasn't obvious and she'd ended up being right as a result. Then Emerald suddenly realized. Of course! The answer was literally opposite her! What did one of Ruby's Pokémon books say about Galarian Weezing again?

"It's false!" Emerald declared, "Weezing's Galarian form has a Fairy-typing too! It's a Poison/Fairy type so Ponyta isn't the only one!"

Opal applauded her opponent.

"Fantastic dearie! Very well done!" she complimented, "You know your Pokémon very well to have caught onto that. Some trainers tend to forget that Weezing is half-Fairy type as well."

Emerald understood easily. It was so easy to assume Galarian Weezing was a pure Poison type as nothing about it particularly screamed "Fairy-type" to people. Also Gym Leaders sometimes used Pokémon that didn't have the type they specialized in so Opal using it didn't mean that it necessarily was a Fairy-type. Emerald saw Steelclaw glow orange as Opal's Fairy magic boosted one of his stats as reward for the correct answer. His speed had increased this time around, not that he needed it as he was already fast enough to out speed his opponent. Steelclaw appreciated it regardless, feeling very good about himself with this speed increase.

The battle lasted no longer than a minute as Emerald simply ordered her Pokémon to use Metal Claw a second time. Steelclaw zoomed towards Weezing, clearly moving faster than the first time thanks to the speed increase. Weezing barely saw Steelclaw as he moved in and clawed it across its faces. One minute he moved, the next he'd struck, simple as that. Weezing was knocked down to the ground by the attack and was left staring up at the ceiling in defeat. Steelclaw clashed his claws together, smiling with delight.

"I'm glad I could show off my new strength as an Excadrill." he said brightly, "I definitely feel much stronger than before…"

That was true. Emerald remembered how Steelclaw had to work hard back in Kabu's Gym to defeat his Ninetales. This fight had gone much smoother now he'd evolved.

"Weezing is unable to battle, Excadrill is the winner!" the announcer boomed.

Opal returned Weezing to its Pokéball and smiled at it affectionately, acknowledging that it had tried despite the easy win for its opponent. This next one wouldn't be so easy to defeat as this was a Fairy-type Pokémon that didn't have the traditional Fairy-type weaknesses.

"Mawile, time for a dazzle!" she cried.

Emerald watched as the Steel/Fairy-type Mawile materialized onto the field. She always viewed Mawile as one of the strangest looking Pokémon due to the huge jaws on the back of its head. Many Fairy-type trainers used this Pokémon to throw off their opponents for Mawile were half-Steel type so they lost the Poison and Steel-type weaknesses the Fairy Pokémon usually had. Unfortunately for Opal, Emerald had planned for that. Ruby had told her and Sapphire beforehand Opal used a Mawile so she'd been ready for it. Steelclaw could handle Mawile right now as he had a type-advantage. Mawile was weak to Ground-types. But Emerald still returned Steelclaw to his Pokéball anyway.

"Steelclaw could've handled it, but I like to let my other Pokémon have some fun." Emerald said brightly, "Tybo, let the fun begin!"

It was the first time since meeting him in the Wild Area that Emerald had used her Rhyhorn in a battle. This was the perfect time for him to show his true strength. Tybo materialized onto the field, pawing at the ground and aiming his horn directly at Mawile. Mawile just opened its jaws and made Tybo recoil. The Steel/Fairy Pokémon had the Intimidate ability, a helpful ability that lowered a Pokémon's attack. It wouldn't do Mawile any good as Tybo's strength was still high even with a lowered attack stat. He turned to his trainer.

"Commander, have I been summoned to arrest anyone here today?" he asked.

"No! Not at all!" Emerald cried, "No arrests! This is a Pokémon battle, perfectly legal with nothing illegal happening!"

"Understood. What do you wish for me to do?" the Rhyhorn questioned.

Emerald was about to give a command but Opal beat her to it. She commanded Mawile to use Draining Kiss on Tybo. The yellow and black Pokémon ran up to the rhinoceros Pokémon and used the jaws on the back of its head to kiss its opponent. Tybo grimaced, finding being kissed by this Pokémon more gross than anything. It was also painful for Draining Kiss did what its name suggested. Mawile had drained some of Tybo's health with that single move, but it hadn't done much to him. He still felt like he had the power to end the battle in a couple of moves. He lowered his head, preparing to charge.

"Kissing an officer and draining his power is a federal offence!" he growled, "You will be sentenced for this assault!"

Emerald chuckled nervously, hoping nobody was going to mock her or Tybo for his strange behaviour. It was clear he needed to understand the difference between Pokémon battles and actual crimes going on. She commanded her Pokémon to use High Horsepower, a powerful Ground attack that would be perfect to use against Mawile. Tybo stampeded towards his opponent, looking very much like a wild rhino about to run down an innocent tourist on safari. The stadium seemed to shake as his feet pounded down on the stadium floor. Even Opal was worried that she'd fall over if Tybo didn't stop anytime soon. Mawile braced itself for impact but it did no good as Tybo slammed straight into it. The Steel/Fairy Pokémon cried out, feeling as if it had been hit by a tank. Intimidate had barely done anything to weaken Tybo as the attack still felt extremely powerful. So powerful in fact that Opal had to jump out the way as Mawile came hurling towards her. If she'd moved a second later, she'd be on her back with her Pokémon on top of her. Mawile grunted, its body feeling as if it had just been used for stress relief. It took a moment for Mawile to get up again, its body aching from the attack. Tybo held his head up high, clearly satisfied with getting back at Mawile for kissing him like that.

His opponent retaliated with another Draining Kiss attack in a vain attempt to stay in the fight. Opal hoped that Mawile could drain enough energy from Tybo to carry on the battle while slowly whittling its opponent down until it ran out of health. But the attack wasn't very effective so it couldn't drain much energy from Tybo. At the very least it may have potentially softened him up for her next Pokémon to deal with but that was it. After that, Emerald finished the battle by ordering Tybo to use High Horsepower a second time. Tybo repeated his attack from earlier and this time, it was enough to finish the fight. Mawile's Draining Kiss hadn't helped one bit. Tybo slammed into Mawile with so much force that the audience winced as if the Pokémon's pain had travelled over to them. This time he'd been more careful with where he aimed so he wouldn't nearly knock Opal over again. Mawile shot to one side of Opal and crashed down outside the marked lines on the floor. Even if it hadn't been knocked clean out by the attack, Tybo would've won by default as that would've counted as a ring out. Tybo huffed, glad the fight was over and he'd emerged victorious.

"Justice is swift!" he said gruffly.

"Oh Tybo!" Emerald chuckled sheepishly. Having a Pokémon that saw itself as a police officer was going to be more of a handful than she'd expected!

"Mawile is unable to battle! Rhyhorn is the winner!" boomed the announcer.

Opal returned Mawile to its Pokéball and giggled, seeming more amused than disappointed that she was losing for now.

"You're definitely the Champion's sister, dearie." she purred, "You're strong and some of your Pokémon are quite a character, especially that Rhyhorn. Ruby's Pokémon had some big personalities of their own too."

"Ha! Tell me something I don't know!" Emerald chuckled.

"Still, let us see if you can handle my darling Togekiss." Opal said, throwing her next Ultra Ball.

Emerald had expected that Togekiss was next. The beautiful Fairy/Flying Pokémon materialized onto the field and spread its wings, beaming with delight. Emerald likened it to an angel that had come down from heaven. Its white colour scheme, big wings, graceful appearance and friendly smile certainly helped with the connection. Togekiss was her favourite Fairy-type Pokémon and she was thrilled to have the chance to battle one. She returned Tybo to his Pokéball, knowing she had the perfect counter for it.

"I knew I'd be up against that at some point, so I've got an Electric type to deal with it!" Emerald cried, "Thor, let the fun begin!"

In a flash of white light, Thor the Raichu was brought into battle. He was pleased to have the chance to have another battle as it had been a while since he'd had one himself. He remembered that last time he'd been in a battle was when he'd been fighting Paul and Ashley's Pokémon in a Double Battle back in the Galar Mine. Now he was in the Fairy Gym against Opal's Togekiss. Thor smiled confidently, knowing this fight was his.

"That's a cute Togekiss." he complimented, "But cute doesn't exactly win battles, especially when I have the power of mighty Thor himself to call upon!"

Opal giggled. She'd just been saying that Emerald's Pokémon were quite the characters and now she had yet another one with a big personality! Battles were somehow more fun when Pokémon had those to show off in a fight. Emerald was about to call an attack but Opal interrupted her.

"Hang on my child, it's time for another question." she said smoothly, "Let's see if you can get this one: In which region was the Fairy-type first discovered?"

Emerald was stunned. Wow, that was certainly a big question to ask! She was really being tested on her knowledge now! She took a moment to think. She'd read about the Fairy type in one of Ruby's books before her journey had started. What did it say about them again? Emerald thought carefully to make sure she didn't misremember anything. It said about the characteristics that Fairy-types, what they were weak against and what they were super-effective against. Did it mention the type's origin too? Yes, she was sure of it!

"Um…wasn't it…the Kalos region?" Emerald replied anxiously.

She was sure she was right but she still doubted herself so she couldn't feel confident that she'd got it. The audience held its breath, keen to hear Opal's response. The woman in pink, blue and purple beamed with delight.

"Correct again you brilliant child!" she hooted, "That is correct! Kalos was indeed where the Fairy-type was first discovered! The discovery of the typing even led to whole new revelations on Pokémon that we thought we know about before. What a discovery for all those Pokémon Professors of the world…"

Emerald's heart leapt in excitement. She was so glad she'd gotten the question right! All that reading before becoming a trainer was paying off. She watched as Thor glowed orange for a moment as Opal's Fairy magic gave him a stat boost. This time it was defences and Thor could feel something had changed about him. He ran his stubby hands over his body.

"Wow…I suddenly feel more endurable, like I could take an Earthquake head on and make it out OK!" he exclaimed, "I dunno what that lady just did but it feels great!"

"It'll feel even better when we win!" Emerald cried, "Use Thunderbolt!"

Thor aimed his tail at Togekiss and blasted the angelic Pokémon with a searing jolt of electricity. Togekiss grimaced as it was electrocuted. Emerald wasn't happy she had to hurt such a beautiful Pokémon but hopefully Thor would end the battle quickly so it wouldn't suffer too much. But Togekiss were bulky Pokémon. Their defences are strong so even a super-effective hit didn't guarantee a one-hit KO. Ruby had been lucky in her battle last year because she'd scored a critical hit. However, Thor's attack had done something extra for Togekiss grimaced and electricity danced around its body. Thor had managed to paralyze his opponent. This could make things worse for Opal as paralysis could potentially stop an opponent from attacking. Togekiss shook itself, trying to fight off the pain and the tingling effects of its paralysis. Opal commanded it to attack with Draining Kiss just like Mawile before it.

Togekiss flew in and smooched Thor on the cheek. Thor staggered back, blushing from the kiss while also feeling light headed as his energy was drained. Togekiss started to feel a little stronger now it had regained some of its health. Thor shook his head, refusing to let the kiss disorient him. He was going to win this fight no matter what! Emerald ordered him to use another Thunderbolt. Thor pointed his tail at Togekiss again and fired another sizzling electric jolt. His attack hit square on and this time, Togekiss wasn't able to take the hit. It crashed down to the floor, twitching furiously from its paralysis and groaning as it passed out, unable to continue fighting. Emerald hoped that Thor hadn't hurt the beautiful Pokémon too badly.

"Sorry Togekiss, you ain't my type." Thor taunted, "It'll take more than kissing me to bring ME down!"

Emerald couldn't help smiling. She had to admit it was a funny remark at Thor's expense, even if it hadn't been that type of kiss.

"Togekiss is unable to battle, Raichu is the winner!" the announcer boomed.

Opal returned the Flying/Fairy Pokémon to its ball and exchanged it for her last Ultra Ball. As old as she was getting for this kind of job, the Fairy Gym Leader had to admit that she was really having fun out here. It didn't even matter that she was losing, she was still enjoying getting to see one of Ruby's siblings in battle. With her innocent charm, cheerful personality and sharp skills as a trainer, Opal imagined that Emerald would make a worthy successor to her as the next Fairy Gym Leader. She made a note to drop the suggestion to her when the fight was over.

"You're delivering quite the performance out there, my girl." Opal said jovially, "I'm down to my last Pokémon already! I think we may have to step up our game a bit if we're in for a chance of defeating you."

She threw her Ultra Ball and brought forth her last Pokémon and her personal ace, the Fairy-type Alcremie. The cutesy Pokémon eyed up its opponent with large, round, red eyes. Upon materializing onto the field, Emerald was hit by a strong sweet smell that made her think of being in a bakery. It was appropriate considering many bakers and pastry chefs were fond of Alcremie as the cream it produced was known to be quite delicious. Alcremie itself even looked like a sentient blob of whipped cream with a face, limbs and sporting strawberries on its head. Emerald eyed it up uncomfortably.

"Ugh…strawberries and cream is one of my favourite puddings!" she complained, "Now I can't ever look at them the same way again!"

She returned Thor to his Pokéball and swapped him out for by far the perfect Pokémon to go up against Alcremie. She still had Steelclaw of course but she wanted to give Misty a try as she had only just evolved yesterday. This would be the perfect time for her to show what she was made of now she was a Corviknight. Emerald threw the ball and summoned forth her steel-coated crow Pokémon. Misty flapped her wings and squawked fiercely, her armoured body glistening brightly in the lights of the stadium. Alcremie recoiled nervously, knowing this Pokémon was certainly going to give it a tough time. What chance did it have against a Steel/Flying type like a Corviknight?

Now both Pokémon were out in play, Emerald and Opal saw to Dynamaxing them to give the usual big explosive finales that Gym Battles were meant for. The audience watched excitedly as Misty and Alcremie were returned to their balls and Dynamax energy began to swirl around their trainer's Dynamax bands. Then they threw the super-sized Pokéballs and out came Misty and Alcremie as they Dynamaxed. Misty merely grew bigger as Emerald hadn't caught one that was capable of Gigantamaxing. Alcremie was so Emerald found herself looking at not just a super-sized Alcremie, but one that looked very different. Now instead of a sentient blob of cream, it looked like a living cream cake tower with Alcremie itself serving as the "cake topper" decoration. For a moment, the Postwick teen found herself wondering what a Gigantamax Alcremie tasted like but quickly pushed the thought out of her mind. The last thing she wanted to think about was eating a Pokémon. She also didn't want to be put off of eating cakes too as she adored them.

"Flippin' heck, only in a Pokémon battle can you get a steel crow vs. a giant cake!" Emerald exclaimed in exasperation, "I bet I'm not the only one who gets weirded out fighting this thing!"

She wasn't. Ruby herself had been taken aback by Alcremie's Gigantamax form when she'd fought it last year. Emerald shook her head to regain her focus and ordered Misty to attack Alcremie with Max Steelspike. Misty stamped down at the ground with her sharp talons and sent a bunch of huge metal spikes tearing through the stadium floor towards her opponent. The spikes looked like some huge metal monster was trying to break free from underneath the stadium and the spikes were the only things coming through at the moment. The spikes speared Alcremie, making it wail in pain and wobbled precariously from the attack. For a moment Emerald thought it was going to fall over like a felled tree. But Alcremie regained its balance and shook itself off. The living confection had somehow taken the hit. Despite its appearance, Alcremie were much bulkier than most would expect and could take a beating. Emerald wouldn't have expected that a Pokémon that looked like a living dessert could be so durable. Given Alcremie was still standing, Opal ordered her ace to use G-Max Finale.

Alcremie conjured up a bunch of magical stars and sent them shooting towards Misty. G-Max Finale was G-Max Alcremie's signature move and had the bonus effect of healing itself and any allies a little. As Misty was half Steel-type, Alcremie may as well have been blasting a steel wall with what little damage it ended up doing to the knight bird Pokémon. Misty took the attack as if it was nothing, swatting at the stars as they bombarded her relentlessly. Her huge wings batted some of them away. Once the attack had done, she let out a loud squawk of triumph, the sound amplified by her Dynamaxed state. The audience winced, the squawk too loud for them to bear and they could feel the sound booming all over the stadium. It even made their seats shudder.

"Great work Misty! Now let's wrap up this fight with one last Max Steelspike!" Emerald commanded.

"The mighty bird comes out on top again!" Misty boomed as she launched her final assault.

The Max Steelspike travelled towards Alcremie and speared it once again. The Fairy Pokémon was unable to take the blow a second time, swaying from the attack as it was hit. It felt as if it had been hit by a wrecking ball. Alcremie stayed where it was for a moment and then suddenly, the Dynamax energy wore out and its Gigantamax form disappeared. Alcremie was reduced to its normal state and left lying unconscious on the arena floor while Misty returned to her normal size and cawed with delight, thrilled she'd emerged victorious. Her new body had certainly been given a great trial run, effortlessly taking on a Gigantamaxed Pokémon that was the Gym Leader's personal ace!

"Alcremie is unable to battle! Corviknight is the winner!" the announcer barked, "The winner of the Ballonlea Gym Challenge is Emerald Silverlock of Postwick Town and she progresses to the next Gym!"

"Yay! What a win!" Emerald squealed excitedly, "I've beaten five Gyms in a row and all on my first try! Hooraaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!"

Opal returned Alcremie to its Pokéball and waited a moment to let Emerald celebrate her victory. The young girl had certainly shown her an excellent fight. Even Ruby hadn't pulled off a clean sweep against her and yet one of her sisters had managed to win effortlessly! She suspected that Galar might be crowning a new Champion very, very soon if she kept this up. After Emerald finished cheering, she returned Misty and met up with Opal in the arena centre. The old woman's wrinkled face was curled into a smile of delight.

"A positively pink performance there, little Emerald!" she complimented, "You may lack the colour yourself but you've shown yourself to be a fine young trainer. I think you'd make a fine successor for me as the next Fairy Gym Leader."

"Aww, really?" Emerald said, flattered by the comment, "To be honest, I think I'd look cute in those Gym uniforms." she admitted, smiling at the thought, "But like Ruby, I can't accept that offer Miss Opal. I'm not aiming to be a Gym Leader and I too prefer to have a mixture of types. It wouldn't feel the same if I stuck to one type."

"Understood dearie." Opal said kindly, "I'm confident I'll find my replacement someday."

"Just don't offer it to Sapphire." Emerald said hastily, "She says too much pink gives her a headache!" she said with a laugh.

Opal knew who Emerald was talking about. She even suspected that Sapphire would be her next opponent after Emerald. She laughed along with Emerald's joke and shook her hand.

"Nevertheless, that was a dazzling battle and I'm proud to present you your Fairy Badge." Opal offered.

She handed the badge over to Emerald. The teen trainer beamed with pride as she held the Fairy Badge in her hand. Five Gym Badges already collected! It wouldn't be long until she was holding the last three in her hands!


Later on, Emerald had changed out of her Gym Uniform and returned to the lobby where a very happy Sapphire was waiting to congratulate her. The black teen was already on her feet and rushing towards her as if ready to rugby-tackle her to the floor. She wrapped her arms around Emerald and picked her up. She spun her around merrily. Emerald somehow always forgot just how strong her sister was. Then again, she'd always been a lightweight to most other people.

"Great battle out there, Em! You looked so in tune with your Pokémon throughout!" Sapphire hollered, "Opal really didn't stand much of a chance did she?"

"No, and I don't stand much of a chance of keeping my ribs intact if you don't stop crushing me like that!" Emerald croaked feebly.

Sapphire let her sister go and sweat-dropped, giggling sheepishly.

"I'm such a bugger for getting carried away like that…" she muttered, "Still, many congrats Em! Before you know it, you'll be qualifying for the semi-finals over in Wyndon Stadium!"

"No kidding!" Emerald agreed, "I'm gobsmacked I'm doing so well out here. I always thought with us three, I'd be the most hopeless Pokémon trainer but here I am with five badges under my belt already! I guess beginner's luck must run in the family…"

"Yeah, it's like we've inherited it from Ruby given how well things are going for us in this Gym Challenge." Sapphire said thoughtfully, "Hopefully our luck won't run out. It'd suck if either I had to go on without you or you had to go on without me."

"I wouldn't worry about that." the girl in green replied, "Even if one of us fails the Gym Challenge, we can still stay together. I guess we'd be more a travel companion than a Gym Challenger in that case."

"True." Sapphire agreed, "Anyhow, there's no use me standing around chin-wagging. I've got my own battle with Opal to prepare for in an hour! I'm still considering what my team will be for the fight. Spike's a no-brainer as Nidoking are Poison-types and he's also a Ground-type so that'll help against Mawile. Starfire could handle Mawile too."

"You could bring Bolt or Hercules to handle her Togekiss." Emerald suggested, "They'd be great against a Flying-type like that."

"Just what I was thinking." Sapphire concurred, "Galarian Weezing are weak to Psychic types so I might get away with using Celestia. Galarian Ponyta are pure Psychic types so Celestia for the moment has no weakness to Poison. She's actually keen to have her first Pokémon battle too so that'll be nice…"

The twins were interrupted as their Rotom phones pinged to signify they had a new message to answer. They looked at their phones and saw they both had a text message from Ruby. It was short and straight to the point, saying:

Hi girls! I got that silver-haired woman to talk. I know where Sordward and Shielbert's hideout is! I'm going over now to arrest them! Hopefully they won't expect any visitors.

Hope your Gym Challenge is still going well!

Ruby. X

Emerald and Sapphire both beamed with delight upon reading the message.

"That's great! Ruby's found out where Team Royal's leaders are!" Emerald piped happily.

"At long last, Team Royal's threat will come to an end." Sapphire sighed contently, "Once Ruby arrests those two pricks, we'll never to worry about being kidnapped or mugged again."

"Once Ruby gives us the good news, we should go over and teach them a lesson!" Emerald declared, "I know I'm keen to giving them a beating or two!"

"Heh, not like you to be so violent." Sapphire teased.

"Only to people that deserve it!" Emerald said cheekily.

Sapphire just smiled. She too was hoping to get a chance to pound Sordward and Shielbert's faces into mush for all they'd been doing. She could imagine Ruby bursting into their lair with all her Pokémon beside her ready to unleash all hell on the duo. Hearing this had certainly brightened their day even further. With her new Pokémon and Emerald's win, Sapphire felt as if this was the kind of day that was all about going right for her. She left to go to the changing rooms and prepare for her Gym Battle with Opal. Emerald sat down to watch her sister on the screen. The twins would receive an update once Ruby had caught Team Royal's leaders. Then after they'd had their chance to teach them a lesson, they'd make their way to Circhester to get the Rock Badge…

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page