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Emerald Knights: A Pokémon Sword Story Chapter 17

Chapter 17: Sister Battles

"Can you believe it Sapph? Both of us have six badges! Only two more to go and we move on to Wyndon City for the semi-finals!"

"It staggers me to no end that we're so close to completing the Gym Challenge. How have we gone from newbies to winning six Gyms in such a short span of time?!"

Emerald and Sapphire were still reeling over the reality that was struggling to settle in for them. How could they simply just accept that they were so far into the Gym Challenge and carrying out a perfect winning streak with every Gym Leader falling to them on their first try? It felt like they were stuck in some wonderful dream and that they were still unable to wake up for the moment. If it was a dream, they'd prefer it if they never did wake up.

After Emerald had defeated Gordie, Sapphire had gone in after and challenged Gordie for the Rock Badge. Using only Bolt, James Pond and Matilda, she'd won effortlessly and was holding her own Rock Badge in her hand just as Emerald was. In fact, the twins had all their badges out. The six badges formed together one big badge with two empty slots for the last two badges they had to get. Together, they looked great and the badges sparkled brilliantly in the light. Once they returned home, they would make wonderful display pieces in their bedrooms.

They were outside of Circhester and on their way towards Spikemuth to challenge the Dark Gym. They were walking along Route 9 right now, though they wouldn't be doing so for long as there was a huge body of water separating Circhester from Spikemuth and they'd need to use their Pokémon to get across. It had been easy for Ruby as she had a Rotom bike given to her last year and the bike came was later upgraded with a feature that allowed it to travel across water. Emerald at least had Water-type Pokémon that could carry her across or even use Misty to fly her over while Sapphire could ride on Celestia and the Galarian Rapidash could use her psychic powers to levitate over the water. They weren't at the water yet so they carried on walking for the time being. Emerald and Sapphire put their badges away and turned to one another.

"When we get to Spikemuth, we'll get a chance to challenge the very girl that Ruby battled during her Gym Challenge last year." Emerald acknowledged, "It'll be nice to see Marnie in battle, especially as she's Spikemuth's Gym Leader now."

"Ruby says that she's gotten a lot stronger since becoming Gym Leader." Sapphire mused, "She might even try again to challenge Ruby for the title of Champion. I bet our battle with her won't be as easy as the fights Ruby had with her last year."

"Maybe not, but it'll still be fun anyway!" Emerald declared, "I wonder if Piers will sing for us when we battle."

"If he does, it'll be "The Girl From Postwick" without question." Sapphire said with a snide smile, "He'll do it at our expense, you see if he doesn't."

"I won't mind. I love that song!" the twin in green said brightly.

"Yeah, cause it's about Ruby." the twin in blue snickered.

"Is that not a good reason to love it?" Emerald retorted playfully.

Sapphire giggled. She supposed it was a good reason. Sapphire suddenly stopped walking. Emerald noticed her coming to a halt and looked over worriedly. Was something troubling her sister? She looked very thoughtful.

"What is it?" Emerald asked.

"Nothing." Sapphire said reassuringly, "I was just thinking about Ruby. Mentioning her a few times now has just reminded me that we haven't had any updates from her about Team Royal. I…I'm just hoping she's OK." she added, her face falling.

Emerald could see why Sapphire looked so concerned. Their sister was still a child and had nearly been blown up by a bomb set up in Team Royal's secret lair. It was in her nature to be worried for Ruby. Hopefully the whole experience hadn't damaged Ruby mentally. Emerald patted Sapphire's shoulder softly.

"Our sister is strong, you know she is. She'll be fine." Emerald said, sounding more certain of anything she'd ever been certain of in her life, "She'll track Team Royal down and arrest the remainder of the team, including their leaders! I know she will! And we'll help her out anyway we can!"

Sapphire beamed gratefully.

"Have I ever told you how much I love your endless optimism?" she said kindly.

"I think it's the number one thing you and Ruby love about me." Emerald replied sweetly.

"Well we say it because it's true." Sapphire chuckled, "So, you say me and you can help Ruby out anyway we can. And I have just the idea. Me and you haven't had a friendly match in a while so how's about we battle each other? We can help Ruby out by battling each other and seeing how strong we both are! This battle can beef our Pokémon up for the next Team Royal encounter and next Gym battle!" she declared.

"Yeah, that's a great idea! I love it!" Emerald cheered, "I've honestly been hoping we could have another battle so let's go!"

"You bet, and to make it more fun, let's have a full six-on-six battle!" Sapphire cried.

"Eee, that's even cooler!" Emerald squealed, "Yes, let's go with that!"

The twins took a moment to go over their current roster of Pokémon to see if they wanted to go with them or change them up at all. Once they were satisfied, they took up positions on opposite ends of the path to begin their battle. The last time they'd fought had been on their way to Turffield town and Sapphire had emerged victorious thanks to James Pond confusing Kerchak and making him hit himself a few times. Emerald was determined to win this one. Her twin maybe a strategic battler but her team had the strength to break through Sapphire's carefully laid out plans! The sisters braced themselves, ready to begin the battle…


Elizabeth was annoyed, more annoyed than she'd ever been in her life. It hadn't even been a day and already Ruby was demanding to talk to her again! Couldn't that silver-haired brat just leave her alone already?

No sooner had Ruby gotten back from Team Royal's hideout, she'd come back to the police station and demanded to speak to Elizabeth again. They were back in the interrogation room with the silver-haired woman handcuffed to her seat while Ruby sat opposite her. She had Houdini the Noctowl beside her once again. Elizabeth swore that something had changed about the Champion since last they'd met. She seemed…darker, more serious and like she had decided enough was enough and she wasn't taking it anymore. Her eyes locked into Elizabeth's as if she was trying to vaporize her on the spot. Despite everything, the woman shuddered. How was it possible for a measly teenager to suddenly look so terrifying?

"While I appreciate you helping us find Team Royal's hideout, miss, I don't appreciate you withholding valuable information that nearly led to my death." Ruby said coldly.

"What are you talking about you stupid little girl?" Elizabeth sighed irritably.

"So are you going to tell me you had no idea that Team Royal had a back-up plan in case their hideout was discovered?" Ruby snorted, "Did you genuinely not know that they had a bomb to destroy their base in the event of its location being leaked?"

"Oh…that." Elizabeth sneered, smiling darkly at the Champion, "You never thought to ask me when I was hypnotized."

"I agree, I overlooked the fact they might've set a trap for me." Ruby sighed, the words tasting bitter as she said them. It genuinely offended her to admit this in front of a Team Royal member, "But never again. You can guess why I'm here talking to you again."

Elizabeth shrugged, the handcuffs clinking softly with the movement of her arms.

"Actually, I'm stumped." she said coyly, "You could be here to talk about the weather for all I know."

Ruby didn't smile.

"Being facetious won't get you anywhere." she scoffed, "You're going to tell me where Team Royal's other hideouts are. They clearly have more places to hide than just one so you're gonna start spilling or I'll ask Houdini to hypnotize you again."

"What makes you think I know that?" Elizabeth snorted.

"Because you do." Houdini cut in, his large eyes fixed on the prisoner opposite his trainer, "Do you really think it's a wise idea to lie to my trainer when I'm standing right here? I may not be a psychic-type but I can tell quite easily if people are lying."

Elizabeth frowned. She had to admit it was dumb of her to think she'd get away with that when a Noctowl was in the room.

"You obviously know where Team Royal's other hideouts are." Ruby insisted, "Why wouldn't they tell you in case they had to run away? You'd have that information too so you'd know where to go to when the main hideout is compromised. So you're going to tell me everything, and you won't conveniently forget to tell me if any of the hideouts are rigged to blow this time."

Elizabeth sighed heavily. She obviously didn't want to tell Ruby anything but what choice did she have? She couldn't escape and even if she refused to talk, Ruby would just get Houdini to hypnotize her again! Last time she'd done so, she'd woken up with a killer headache that had been so bad she'd actually thrown up on her prison cell floor. She didn't want to go through that horrible experience again.

"Fine. I'll give you a list if you want." she sighed, "Just keep that evil bird away from me!"

"I hardly see how I'm the evil one when I'm not the one threatening to blow up a power plant to just make my trainer give you what you want." Houdini said, scowling.

Elizabeth ignored Houdini and gave Ruby the full list. There were only three hideouts that Team Royal had left to hide in. Ruby noted them down on her phone as she spoke and added in additional details like how to find them, how to get into them and most importantly, if they'd rigged the places to blow. Elizabeth suspected that they likely wouldn't blow the hideouts up this time as they wouldn't have anywhere else to run otherwise but Ruby took note anyway to be on the safe side.

"Thank you. Your cooperation has been most helpful." Ruby sneered, "But just to be safe, I'm going to ask you those questions again and see if your answers stay the same."

Before Elizabeth could ask, Ruby turned to Houdini and gave the command. Houdini knew what Ruby was thinking. Elizabeth could've tried to deceive them anyway so she wanted him to hypnotize her again just to be doubly sure she wasn't lying. Elizabeth found herself in a strange, psychic trance once more, her eyes blank as she was put under Houdini's spell. The owl-like Pokémon suspected that Ruby was probably getting some kind of enjoyment out of making Elizabeth suffer like this. She was no sadist by nature, but she was clearly enjoying getting back at Team Royal for all the trouble they were causing her lately. As Elizabeth was hypnotized, Ruby asked her again for the hideout locations and if they had any bombs in them. Elizabeth's answers didn't change from before. Ruby smiled smugly at the prisoner.

"Thank you. Good to know that you've been honest for a change." she sneered, "Now I suggest you take a nap."

Houdini broke his hold over Elizabeth and the woman's head flopped down on her chest. Her eyes closed and she immediately started to snore. That had happened last time and it still made Ruby chuckle a second time. She looked at the list on her phone studiously.

"So they have hideouts in these places." Ruby murmured, "Good thing my sisters are on their way to one of them. I'll let them know right away…"


"You're up first! Kerchak, let the fun begin!"

"Spike, shining time!"

Emerald and Sapphire's battle was finally getting under way and both had summoned their first Pokémon to the field. Emerald could already see that she'd made the first wrong move. Kerchak and Spike stared each other down, both eager to get the fight going. Despite Kerchak looking ready for this fight, Emerald knew it was going to be a bad match-up. Grass-types were weak to Poison-types so she couldn't use him against Spike. If he knew a Ground attack, it would be a different story altogether. She held out Kerchak's ball and returned him. Sapphire nodded approvingly. Her sister was certainly good at recognizing a bad type-match up when she saw one and was making the right choice in not senselessly wasting a Pokémon when they couldn't win.

"Sorry Kerchak, I really want to battle with you. But you'll be no good against a Nidoking so I'll save you for later." Emerald said softly, "I know just who to use in this battle instead…"

She whipped out her next Pokéball and threw it. This time, she'd summoned forth Blue the Seismitoad. That was a better match-up for Nidoking's half-Ground typing gave them a weakness to Water attacks. Sapphire wasn't worried, still feeling confident that Spike could handle this match. She made the first move.

"Use Toxic Spikes!" the blue-haired girl commanded.

Emerald cursed herself in her head. Damn! How had she not expected this to happen?! That was Sapphire's go-to-tactic every time she used Spike! Now whenever she brought in a new Pokémon, it would get poisoned on entry! She watched helplessly as Spike arched his back and fired a punch of purple spikes up into the air. The poisonous barbs scattered around Emerald's side of the arena, setting up a permanent trap that would always be there to give her serious trouble. Blue watched the spikes nervously. She would be OK as she was already in play but they still worried her. Emerald shouted encouragingly to her Pokémon.

"Never mind the Toxic Spikes! You use Liquidation right away!" she cried.

Blue shot towards Spike with huge balls of water surrounding her hands. The amphibious Pokémon slammed her fists into Spike, almost knocking him clean off his feet with the sheer power she demonstrated. Spike stumbled back, using his thick, powerful tail to keep himself from falling over. Despite the damage taken, he otherwise looked like he could carry on fighting. Emerald wasn't surprised to see that Blue's ability hadn't worked on him. Poison-types couldn't get poisoned themselves so Blue's Poison Touch wouldn't do anything. She'd have to rely on Blue's attacks to get anywhere. Sapphire retaliated by ordering Spike to use Drill Run. Spike leapt into the air and spun his huge body around, his horn pointing ahead at blue. He launched himself at Blue as if fired from a gun and spun around like some killer spinning-top about to cut his opponent in half. Blue held up her arms to defend herself but couldn't stop the Drill Run. Spike crashed into her and knocked her down onto the ground. Even if Blue wasn't weak to Ground attacks, Spike had still landed a powerful blow that left her reeling for a moment. Emerald was impressed that something as big and heavy as a Nidoking could move that fast. Blue was able to get back to her feet and she croaked loudly, showing she wasn't down yet.

The battle didn't last much longer. Emerald merely called for Blue to use Earth Power to finish the fight. Blue held up her hands and created a fissure that ripped its way up from the ground underneath Spike's feet and punched into him. It was like the ground itself was lashing out angrily at him. Earth Power was similar to Earthquake, only it was a Special Attack rather than a Physical Attack and Seismitoad were able to use both as their Physical and Special Attack stats were near equal. It was super-effective as Spike was weak to Ground attacks so just as Emerald had hoped, Blue's Earth Power had been enough to win the fight. Spike keeled over to one side and fell into unconsciousness. Sapphire returned Spike to his Pokéball.

"Great job mate. You get a good rest now." she said affectionately, "You're doing great Em! Blue's really become strong hasn't she?"

"She has and I love her so much because of it!" Emerald cheered, "Her school was so wrong to abandon her and think she was weak!"

"I'll say. Look how strong she is now." Sapphire agreed, "But don't get too cocky, sis. This battle's just getting started." she added, smirking.

Emerald smirked back. No way was she letting her guard down! As far as Sapphire was concerned, it was never wise to get cocky. She watched as her twin sent out her next Pokémon. This time she'd summoned Zao, who had now become a powerful Obstagoon. Emerald hadn't seen him in a while and was surprised to see he'd fully evolved now. Visually, he looked no different from Gene, Ruby's own Obstagoon she'd used many times in her journey. Emerald was curious as to why Sapphire had sent Zao out next. Then she remembered. In her Gym battle with Nessa, Sapphire had ordered Zao to use Seed Bomb, a Grass attack! Blue had a double-weakness due to being a Water/Ground type so she'd go down easily!

"Blue, use Drain Punch!" Emerald ordered.

She knew that Obstagoon also had a double-weakness, that being to Fighting moves, so she hoped to exploit that before Zao could attack. The toad-like Pokémon drew her arm back, her fist glowing with energy, and she ran towards Zao. If Drain Punch made contact, she'd do damage and drain some of Zao's energy, which would be handy in healing some of the damage taken from Spike's Drill Run earlier. But Zao was much too fast. Sapphire ordered him to use Seed Bomb and he did just that. The badger-like Pokémon launched the explosive seeds at Blue just as she came in close to land her Drain Punch. The seeds hit Blue and exploded, knocking her back and sending her staggering away from him. As Emerald had feared, it was a one-hit KO. Blue fell onto her back and passed out, her health depleted completely from the single blow. Zao bumped his hands on his hips and grinned conceitedly.

"Down in a single hit! GLORIOUS!" he cheered.


Emerald blinked in confusion.

"Huh? What just happened?" she asked quizzically.

"Don't ask, I really have no idea." Sapphire said sheepishly, "It's a thing he does at times and I don't know how he does it."

"OK…" Emerald said, more baffled than ever, "I'll just ignore that and carry on."

She returned Blue to her ball and whipped out her next one. She knew the perfect Pokémon to choose. Toxic Spikes were still in effect and would stay that way unless she had some kind of attack to get rid of them or she brought in a Poison type to absorb the spikes. However, there was a way to avoid them.

"Flying types are immune to Toxic Spikes, as are Steel types, so you're perfect for my next Pokémon!" Emerald yelled.

She threw the ball and out of it came her strong, mighty Corviknight. Misty cawed and flapped her wings, sending a strong breeze blowing towards Zao and Sapphire. The black twin frowned. Trust Emerald to have enough foresight to bring a Pokémon that Toxic Spikes wouldn't work on! Misty's Steel-typing gave her a Poison immunity and as a Flying type, she was naturally in the air and thus couldn't be poisoned even if she didn't have an immunity. Emerald was certainly much smarter than she expected. This journey had really shown just how clever she could really be.

"Great choice Em. Misty won't get poisoned while she's out in battle." Sapphire complimented, "But Zao will still win this one."

"We'll see about that!" Emerald cried, "Misty, use Drill Peck!" she yelled.

The steel corvid Pokémon shot up a few feet with a single flap of her wings to get herself in position to attack. It was like watching a rocket take off for a minute. Then Misty took aim and flapped her wings again to shoot herself towards Zao. She homed in on her prey with her beak spinning very quickly and making a drill-like whirring sound. Sapphire grinned. Emerald had played right into her hands by launching another attack!

"Use Obstruct!" she yelled.

Zao held up his hands and magically summoned a barrier that surrounded him all over. Misty couldn't stop herself in time and ended up crashing into the barrier. Zao didn't even flinch as Misty crashed into it. He smirked triumphantly as his opponent staggered away, dazed from hitting the barrier. The crow-like Pokémon's body also flashed blue for a moment to signify a lowered stat. Emerald gritted her teeth nervously. Obstruct was like Protect, except even worse because if a move made contact with it, it caused the user's Defences to go down. Any attack Zao landed now would do more damage than usual because of it. Now that Misty was stunned for a moment, Sapphire ordered Zao to use Night Slash. Zao sprinted towards his flying opponent and jumped into the air. Misty looked up just in time to see her opponent come towards her and slice down with his hand. Dark energy surrounded it as he attacked. He landed a clean hit, and managed to score a critical hit too so he ended up doing a lot of damage to Misty. It wasn't quite enough to finish her off but it had left her with not much health left. Emerald could see her metal-coated friend wouldn't take many more hits. However, Sapphire had unintentionally given her something that could help turn this match into her favour. Ironically enough, it was a tactic she'd used before in one of her previous Gym Battles.

"Use Revenge!" Emerald yelled.

Misty squawked as she surrounded herself with red energy and flew quickly towards Zao. Sapphire gasped. She had no idea that Misty knew that move! Given Zao had done damage earlier, Misty's Revenge would do double the damage! Not even Zao's bulky defences would stand up to it! She tried to save her Pokémon by ordering Zao to use Obstruct a second time. The Dark/Normal Pokémon conjured up the barrier once more but this time, Emerald was ready for it. At the last minute she managed to get Misty to dodge by ordering her to bank upwards sharply. Misty changed direction and flew away from Zao. Then she performed a massive U-turn and came hurling back towards her opponent. Zao's Obstruct had finished so now he was left wide open for attack. The flying Pokémon slammed heavily into her opponent, knocking him clean off his feet and sending him spiralling over Sapphire's head. The poor girl even ducked to avoid being hit accidentally. Zao crashed down on the ground and grunted. Sapphire looked over her shoulder to see that he was down and out, not an ounce of strength left in him to continue.

"Ugh…and so I am met with the humiliation of defeat…" Zao droned dopily.


"Flippin' heck…I really thought my Obstruct strategy would bring this match to a close with another win for me…" Sapphire said in astonishment as she returned Zao.

"Great job Misty! Avoiding that Obstruct at the last moment was incredible!" Emerald cheered.

"I had no idea my speed was this good!" Misty concurred, sounding as impressed as her trainer, "I guess becoming a Corviknight really ranks up one's manoeuvrability!"

"You're telling me." Sapphire agreed, "I never would've expected anyone could dodge an Obstruct like that."

She then exchanged Zao's Pokéball for another one and tossed it. Her next Pokémon was Bolt the Boltund, a Pokémon that Sapphire had used to defeat Gordie's Barbaracle back in the Rock Gym. Emerald gulped. She knew that Misty wouldn't last five seconds against an Electric type like Bolt. She wanted to swap her out but then she remembered the Toxic Spikes. Her next Pokémon would only get poisoned if she switched for another Pokémon. In the end, she recalled Misty. She had to. There was no point in senselessly letting her just get one-shot by an electric attack anyway. Sapphire watched as Misty was recalled and Emerald threw out her next Pokéball. She'd exchanged Misty for Tybo, the perfect match for Bolt. As a Rock/Ground type, he had an immunity against Electric attacks so Bolt wouldn't be able to do much. Tybo growled viciously, pawing the ground as if ready to charge. That quickly changed as he was poisoned by the Toxic Spikes. Emerald watched him glow purple as he was infected. She knew this would happen but it was a risk that had to be taken. Sapphire frowned. She wouldn't be able to do much against a Rhydon with a Boltund but it'd be worth a shot just to see what she could do. She started the match by ordering Bolt to use Charm on Tybo. Bolt made a cute face at Tybo and a bunch of hearts circled around him. Tybo flinched and flashed blue as his Attack went down. The most Bolt could do at this point was lower Tybo's attack so he'd be weaker. Emerald didn't let it faze her and she ordered Tybo to use High Horsepower.

The rhinosaurus Pokémon lowered his head and charged towards Bolt. Every step he took made the ground shake. Sapphire had to fight to keep her balance as Tybo charged. Thinking fast, she called over to Bolt to use Dig to get out of the way. Bolt obeyed, digging quickly out of the way as Tybo was about to slam into him. The Rhydon screeched to a halt and searched around for Bolt. The electric canine could be anywhere underground at this point. Unfortunately for him, waiting for Bolt to come up and attack was proving costly as the poison from Toxic Spikes sapped away some of his strength. He grimaced as the pain from the poison kicked in. Then just as he shook it off for the time being, Bolt erupted from underneath him and sent him flying into the air. Emerald gasped as her extremely heavy Pokémon was effortlessly flung up off the ground as if he weighed nothing. She screamed as Tybo crashed down just inches in front of her, making the ground shake and nearly causing her to fall over. Tybo grimaced, surprised that something as frail looking as a Boltund had managed to do this much damage to him. Bolt took up his position on the other side of the arena and wagged his tail happily. He was feeling very pleased with himself for carrying out a successful attack like that. Tybo picked himself up, the effects of his poison sapping away more of his strength. Emerald was about to order him to attack again but then to her surprise, Sapphire recalled Bolt. That puzzled her. Why was she switching up now? She soon got her answer as Sapphire threw her next Pokéball.

She'd decided to send out Elsa the Froslass this time. The graceful Ice/Ghost Pokémon materialized into play and much like Ruby's own Freddy the Toxtricity, she followed her entrance up with a song.

Show yourseeeeelf.

I'm dyyying to meeeet yooooou.

Show yourseeeeelf.

It's yooooour tuuuuurn.

Are you the oooone that I've been loooooking for,

All of my liiiiiiiiiiiife?

Emerald couldn't help but smile. Elsa sang just as beautifully as the Disney character she'd been named after and every time she started singing, it made the battle seem more fun and less intense to her. After Elsa finished singing, Sapphire commanded her Pokémon to use Ice Beam on Tybo. Elsa opened her mouth and blew. Her breath came out as a beam of ice and it stretched out towards her opponent as if trying to lash out and impale her opponent. The beam hit Tybo and in an instant, he was brought down on to his back. The damage from Bolt's Dig and the poison from the Toxic Spikes had softened him up enough for Elsa to finish the fight. Tybo lay unconscious in front of his trainer, almost looking disappointed that he'd lost. Emerald returned Tybo to his Pokéball and smiled softly.

"It's OK Tybo, you did your best. You get a good rest now." she said kindly.

She eyed up Elsa thoughtfully. She had a couple of Pokémon that might make a good match-up for the Froslass. As an Ice/Ghost type, she had a few weaknesses to exploit. It'd just depend if she could take advantage of them. She drew out her next Pokéball and kissed it for good luck.

"It's up to you sweetie. Vixey, let the fun begin!" she cried.

She threw the ball and out came her beautiful Ninetales. Vixey flicked her nine tails and flipped her hair to the side. She looked almost like a model posing for a photo at that moment. Much like Tybo before her, she was immediately poisoned by the Toxic Spikes, grimacing as they did their damage. Emerald wasn't worried. Vixey had come in at full health so she could last long enough to take Elsa out. But then to Emerald's surprise, Sapphire didn't order Elsa to attack.

"Use Hail!" Sapphire cried.

Elsa flung her arms up and conjured up a shower of hail that started sprinkling down on the ground. Small chunks of ice fell slowly like snowflakes. Emerald didn't understand. What was Sapphire's plan here? Hail didn't exactly do much except slowly shave off a Pokémon's health gradually over time. It wouldn't do much to Vixey as she was a Fire-type. She decided to play along and see if she could unravel her sister's plan. She ordered Vixey to use Flamethrower. Vixey opened her mouth and blasted a huge jet of flames towards Elsa. But despite launching the powerful attack…it missed! Elsa effortlessly dodged out the way of the blazing inferno. Emerald was speechless. Flamethrower had perfect accuracy! How did it miss? She ordered Vixey to use Flamethrower again but the same thing happened. Elsa dodged it again effortlessly. The dodging made things worse for Vixey as the poison and hail both worked together to sap some of her energy away.

"I didn't know Froslass were so fast!" Emerald gasped, "Poor Vixey can't get a hit on Elsa!"

"That's because I've triggered her ability." explained Sapphire, "Snow Cloak it's called. Elsa's evasiveness is boosted when it's hailing."

"Oh, so that's why you had her use Hail!" the brunette twin cried, snapping her fingers in realization, "Very clever of you Sapph! You know how to use your Pokémon's abilities well in battle!"

"Thanks Em!" Sapphire said appreciatively, "I'm hoping to use them well in the semi-finals. Now Elsa, use Shadow Ball!" she cried.

Elsa appeared behind Vixey, a literal ghost out of a nightmare, and conjured up a ball of ectoplasmic energy in-between her hands. Vixey looked behind her in shock and was much too slow to dodge as Elsa launched the attack at her. Vixey grunted as she was hit and she swayed on her feet. She was struggling to remain standing, not helped with the poison and hail gradually shaving more of her energy off. She was close to fainting. Emerald tried to make it so that she didn't go out on low note by ordering her to use Flamethrower once again. Vixey took aim and fired but thanks to Elsa's Snow Cloak ability, she was able to dodge the attack once again. However, Emerald had a plan of her own. She watched as Elsa swiftly moved from one side to the next after avoiding Vixey's Flamethrower. As soon as Elsa had moved, she gave the command.

"There she is! Turn your head now!" she cried.

Vixey reacted instantly, turning her head to one side and blasting Elsa straight on with Flamethrower. Elsa hadn't had time to dodge as she had been in the process of finishing her last one so she was hit by the blazing attack. Elsa cried out and was sent reeling backwards from Vixey's attack. The ghostly Pokémon winced from the burns she'd received. It was a miracle she hadn't melted right then and there. Despite Vixey's best efforts, Elsa was still in the battle. Vixey however couldn't last any longer. The hail and poison finally worked together to bring her down onto the path. She lay on her side and passed out. Emerald sighed in disappointment. She'd hoped so much that Vixey could've won the fight despite everything. Even Sapphire felt sorry for the vulpine Pokémon. She'd fought so hard and managed to land a great attack! She deserved to win but as is the nature of a Pokémon battle, things didn't always work out well in the end. Emerald returned Vixey to her Pokéball and smiled appreciatively.

"You're a real trooper Vixey and I'm proud of you. Rest well my sweet Ninetales." she said softly.

"It was clever of you to pinpoint where Elsa would move to during her evasion." Sapphire complimented, "I really thought Vixey deserved to win that fight. So sorry it didn't work out, Em."

"It's OK!" Emerald said cheerfully, "You're just showing why you're the best opponent for me! Your strategies are really keeping me on my toes!"

"I'm glad I'm giving you a good fight." Sapphire said happily, "I hope next time me and Ashley fight, I can do the same for her."

"Oh I bet you do." Emerald said slyly as she chose her next Pokémon.

It was risky to try using this one due to being weakened from earlier but Emerald was confident that Misty could return to the battle and finish the fight in her favour. As a half-Steel type, she would have the advantage. Emerald summoned Misty into battle, the metallic crow returning to the field with her wings spread wide and a savage caw to say she was ready to battle again. Sapphire reacted quickly, ordered Elsa to use Shadow Ball again. Elsa conjured up the shadowy blob of energy again and launched it directly at Misty. It scored a direct hit but Misty was able to take it. Her Defences hadn't been lowered and Shadow Ball didn't score critical hits so Misty was able to withstand the blow. Emerald ordered her Pokémon to retaliate by using Steel Wing. As it was still Hailing, Elsa's Snow Cloak ability was still in effect but Emerald knew how to handle that. As Elsa dodged Misty's attack, the Flying/Steel Pokémon merely changed direction and kept swiping at her with her Steel Wing multiple times until she was eventually able to catch up to her opponent and finally slam her down. Her attack slammed into Elsa and knocked her out instantly. The damage from Flamethrower had left her unable to handle another super-effective hit. The ghost Pokémon lay still on the ground, not even a song note coming out of her as she passed out. Sapphire returned Elsa to her Pokéball.

"Great work out there Elsa. You've earned a good rest from this battle." she said kindly.

The next battle went extremely quickly. Emerald knew what was coming before Sapphire even sent out her next Pokémon. She could only watch as her sister sent Bolt out to finish Misty off. She was tempted to switch her Pokémon out but in the end decided it wasn't worth getting another Pokémon poisoned upon entry and having them get weakened before they could fight. It was best to let them come in fresh to have a better chance at taking care of Bolt. Despite the match-up being in Sapphire's favour, Emerald wasn't going to let Misty go out so easily. She ordered her Pokémon to use Steel Wing on the electric canine. Misty's wings glowed with energy and she came soaring in towards Bolt, aiming to knock him off his feet with her attack. Despite the speed that Misty was moving at, Bolt was much faster. It helped that unlike Misty, he hadn't taken any damage at any point in the fight and was still at full health as a result so he had more energy in him to move quickly. Bolt jumped away from Misty's attack, leaving her to shoot harmlessly by just centimetres beside him. Misty turned around and homed in on him again but Sapphire ordered Bolt to use Thunderbolt at the last minute. Bolt gave off a loud howl as he fired a terrific jolt of electricity at Misty. The crow Pokémon was too slow to react and was promptly electrocuted by her opponent. She squawked loudly and crashed down onto the ground. She winced as electricity crackled over her body. She tried to get up but in the end, it was over. She couldn't fight any longer. Misty gave an apologetic glance over to Emerald before finally passing out. Emerald wasn't even disappointed for she knew that was the only way this fight was ever going to go.

She returned Misty and took a moment to weigh up her options. She was down to two Pokémon while Sapphire had three left and all of them were at perfect health while her remaining two would only get poisoned upon entry by the Toxic Spikes. If only where was a way to get rid of them! When this was over, she would try and learn a way to deal with arena hazards like this in any future battles with Sapphire. For now, she could only rely on brute strength to win this match. Luckily, her remaining two Pokémon were ones that had a lot of power in them.