Chapter 2: The First Catches
The next day couldn't have been a better day to set off into the world of Galar and go adventuring for Pokémon battles and catches. With a cloudless blue sky and the bright sunshine above, it was as if nature itself wanted Emerald and Sapphire to have a great start to their journeys.
After last night's first battle, the twins had surprisingly managed to get a good night's sleep. The birthday celebrations and the excitement of receiving their first Pokémon had worn them out so they slept without any problems and were now wide awake and completely refreshed. After breakfast, the two started off by packing their new backpacks their mother had given them yesterday. They took their potions that they'd also been given by their mother, their money and some food and water to keep them going throughout their days. Emerald wasn't surprised to see Sapphire packing some books to read. Some were strategy guides to Pokémon battling and some were romance novels that she often got lost in as romance was Sapphire's favourite genre. Not even a Pokémon journey would keep Sapphire from reading. Emerald felt that her Rotom phone would be all the entertainment she'd need but decided to at least pack a couple of Ruby's books to take with her to keep her mind refreshed on Pokémon species, their abilities and their typings. Ruby had insisted she could take them if she wanted.
The twins didn't have long with Ruby as the reigning champion had to make her way over to Motostoke City. There was much to prepare for, especially with the opening ceremony beginning in a few days so she couldn't stay long. She embraced her sisters goodbye as she prepared to leave for Wyndon.
"I wish I could see you two off, but duty calls." Ruby said solemnly, "I'll see you both at Motostoke Stadium when the opening ceremony begins."
"We'll see you there too, Ruby." Emerald said brightly, "It's been great to have you back for our birthday yesterday, especially when you gave us our Pokémon."
"It was the least I could do." Ruby said modestly, "Have fun you two, just as I did! And don't forget to drop by Sonia's lab in Wedgehurst to get your Pokédexs. She'd be thrilled to meet you both."
"We'll go there first thing." Sapphire declared, "We'll see you later Ruby!"
After one last hug, Ruby set off to Motostoke by calling out Soundwave the Noivern to fly her there. Emerald and Sapphire watched their silver-haired sister disappear into the distance, thinking to themselves that maybe they'd get to fly on the back of a Pokémon themselves if they managed to catch one big enough to carry them. They would set off for the Wedgehurst Lab to meet Sonia as Ruby suggested, but they had one more person to say goodbye to first.
Michael had had to leave early to get back to Turffield for work so he was already gone, leaving only a message wishing the twins luck on their journey. Their mother was still there of course, though she seemed to take the two's departure the hardest as she was in tears over the whole thing. Emerald was worried that they'd upset her in some way.
"What is it mum? Are you worried about if we'll get hurt on our adventure?" she asked.
Annie paused to wipe her eyes before answering.
"Oh no dear, it's nothing like that." she insisted, "It's just…well…it's going to be so quiet and lonely here with all three of my girls now becoming Pokémon trainers. You've all grown up so fast! I…I guess a part of me doesn't want you two to go like Ruby did as now I have no one left to take care of." she added sadly.
"Don't talk like that, mum!" Sapphire cried, "We won't be gone forever, you know we won't! Even Ruby isn't always gone, she still comes back home on occasion!"
"We'll always call you and keep in touch like Ruby did with us." Emerald insisted, "You don't have to feel lonely mum. We maybe trainers now, but we'll still be here for you."
They both hugged their mother to comfort her. Annie wrapped her arms around them and held them tight, trying not to cry again.
"What did I do to deserve wonderful daughters like the three of you?" she sighed graciously, "I hope you two have a wonderful time together and much like your sister before you, I bet you'll make some great new friends with all the Pokémon you catch."
"I know I want to do just that!" Emerald piped, "There's so many Pokémon to catch that I want to make friends with all of them!"
She and Sapphire kissed their mother goodbye and set off to make their way over to Wedgehurst to meet Sonia. As she did with Ruby last year, Annie had made some flapjacks to give to the twins to take with them on their adventure. They appreciated the gesture as they were just as fond of flapjacks as Ruby was. The twins waved goodbye while their mother stood in the doorway waving back to them. Life in the Silverlock household was definitely going to feel much quieter with her children all gone and off having grand adventures with their Pokémon but she wasn't going to be too lonely. She still had Munchlax to keep her company. The small Pokémon came up to her and patted her on the leg, its usual method of asking for food. Chuckling, Annie turned to her little companion and patted it on the head.
"My children may be making their way in the world now but I've always got you, haven't I?" she said affectionately.
Emerald and Sapphire wasted no time in getting to Wedgehurst. It was a brisk walk from where they lived so it only took them a few minutes to get there. While making their way over, Hop waved to them from his bedroom window, wishing them luck as their big day started.
"You two have as grand a journey as me and Ruby did, OK?" he called out to them.
"Will do!" Emerald called back cheerfully, "We'll see you around, Hop!"
They didn't receive anything from Leon as well as he wasn't home either. Like Ruby, he'd left on his ever faithful Charizard to prepare things for the opening ceremony in Motostoke so the two would see him again when the ceremony began. Emerald wondered if Ruby and Leon had arrived at Motostoke at this very moment. Flying on the back of a Pokémon was always going to get you places in a short amount of time depending on how fast the Pokémon could fly. As the two sisters entered Wedgehurst, nobody paid much attention to them. A few people said hi but that was about it. That suited them as they didn't want to attract too much attention while they were just starting out. They spotted the lab and made their way over. It was easy to spot thanks to the Pokéball logo above the door and its purple pointed roof. Emerald was the first to enter, pushing open the door and making her way inside while Sapphire followed.
They had never seen a laboratory before and seeing this one made them stare in wonder. From the huge bookshelves to the clean floors and the glass windows containing growing plant life in one corner of the room, it was amazing to see a lab look so organized and inviting. Their idea of a lab was usually a darkly lit room with spilt test tubes and all sorts of colourful potions littering the place.
"Certainly not like what we get in storybooks." Sapphire joked.
Emerald agreed. This lab looked nice to work in with how tidy it was. She looked up and saw that Professor Sonia was on the second floor sorting through the bookshelves on that level. Sonia turned around to see the two and she smiled down at them jovially.
"Morning!" she cooed, "Give me a moment, I'll be right with you!"
Ruby had told the sisters much about Sonia and they had also met her when she had been invited to join in with Ruby's celebration party back home. She was the granddaughter of Professor Magnolia, an elderly woman who lived at the end of Route 2 just outside Wedgehurst. With her kind face, friendly personality and sunny smile, Sonia was the kind of woman who could be anyone's friend and Ruby had grown close to her during the times they'd spent together on her journey from trainer to Champion. It was Sonia who had discovered the truth about Galar's legendary hero and the ancient cataclysmic event known as the Darkest Day, though Ruby had helped on occasion. Her grandmother had asked her to make something of her life and upon hearing about Ruby and Hop's encounter in the woods with a mysterious Pokémon, Sonia had set off on finding out what she could about their strange find and had come to discover that Galar's hero was in fact two heroes, and both of them Pokémon with a sword and shield theme going on with their appearances. Those two Pokémon, named Zacian and Zamazenta respectively, had saved the world when Chairman Derek Rose had unintentionally started a second Darkest Day with the disastrous Project: Eternatus that had ended with Ruby catching the doomsday Pokémon itself to put an end to the apocalyptic event. With those discoveries, Sonia had been promoted to professor by her grandmother and was carrying that position with pride and joy. Emerald and Sapphire could see she clearly enjoyed working in this lab.
Sonia climbed down the stairs to greet the two. She was dressed in her usual green crop top, teal skinny trousers and her grandmother's old lab coat that she'd given to her after promoting her. The twins agreed that it suited her well.
"Hello Emerald and Sapphire! I was hoping you'd drop by." Sonia said cheerfully, "Ruby phoned minutes ago to let me know you were starting your Pokémon journeys today so I expected you'd be here to receive your Pokédexs."
"That's exactly why we came." Sapphire confirmed, "Leon gave us a Rotom phone each as a birthday present so we'll be able to get a Pokédex."
"Absolutely. If I can borrow them a moment, I'll get it installed right away." Sonia said politely, holding out her hand.
Emerald and Sapphire handed their phones over and Sonia took a moment to install the Pokédex feature on them. One that was done, Sonia also gave the girls something else to take with them. She handed out a bunch of Pokéballs for Emerald and Sapphire so they had something to catch Pokémon with. No trainer would get anywhere without any Pokéball to use. As Emerald packed the Pokéballs into her bag, she saw something in the corner of her eye and turned to see that Sonia wasn't the only one working in the lab. Another woman was there, carrying in a box that contained goodness knows what. It didn't seem to be heavy as she had no problems carrying it. The woman was tan skinned with green eyes and dark blue hair. Like Sonia, she was also wearing a lab coat.
"Who's that over there?" Emerald asked, "Is she a friend of yours?"
Sonia turned to see who Emerald was looking at and nodded.
"Yep. This is Margot Sprout. My workload has expanded since my promotion to the point that it seemed necessary to hire some extra hands." Sonia explained, "Margot's been very helpful to me over the past year."
Margot put the box down on a nearby counter and turned to greet Emerald and Sapphire. The twins could see she was clearly older than Sonia as her face was wrinkled around the eyes but she had a soft, welcoming smile that made her look as cheerful and friendly as the woman she worked for.
"How do you do, dears?" she asked kindly.
"We're fine thanks, Miss Sprout." Sapphire replied.
"Oh please, you can just call me Margot." Margot said casually, "I never really liked terms like "Miss" myself. I take it you've come to get a Pokédex installed?"
"That's why we're here." Emerald explained, "We're starting off on our Pokémon journeys today so we dropped by to get a Pokédex from Sonia. Champion Ruby gave us our first Pokémon yesterday!" she added excitedly.
"That must've been very special to receive a Pokémon from our current Champion." Margot said thoughtfully.
"Those two are her sisters." Sonia explained, "Emerald and Sapphire, I mentioned them before."
"Oh yes, you did!" Margot cried as if only just realizing that was the case, "I do beg your pardon, girls! I didn't realize who I was talking to!" she blurted, bowing slightly to the twins.
"Please don't, we don't want any fanfare." Sapphire said meekly, "We're not the kind to demand that people worship us just because we're related to the Champion."
"Very good of you." Margot said approvingly, "I do hope you enjoy yourselves, dears. I bet you'll catch lots of Pokémon out there."
She turned to Sonia and motioned to the box she'd brought in.
"New lot of Wishing Stars came in, I just thought I'd let you decide what to do with them." she explained.
"Thanks Margot, I'll get to it." Sonia replied.
Margot turned on her heels and left the room to carry on working while Sonia picked the box up from the counter.
"Well, I've gotta get back to work. Sorry I can't chat some more but I'd just be holding you up anyway." the ginger haired woman said, "I'll see you two whenever, OK?"
"Sure thing!" Emerald said brightly.
"Bye Sonia." Sapphire said politely, "Oh and you'll like this: I've got your book with me to read whenever I'm not battling."
Sonia smiled modestly. Shortly after Ruby had become Champion of Galar, the newly-promoted scientist had decided to publish a book about her findings. She'd titled it "Galarian History: The True Galarian Heroes" and it had very quickly become a bestseller once she'd released it a few months later, garnering critical praise for her detailed prose and fascinating discoveries that changed the way Galarian history would be taught forever. She'd given Ruby a free copy and Ruby had passed it on to Sapphire after she'd read it. Of course, she'd credited the silver-haired girl on her part in her findings in one of the pages, something that made the sisters giddy just reading. Sonia had put all funding made from the book into further research into the Dynamax phenomenon that granted Pokémon in the Galar region the ability to grow to giant sizes, along with also studying how regional variants came to be and studying new medicine to combat diseases such as Pokérus.
Emerald and Sapphire left the lab so Sonia could carry on with her work. The professor waved goodbye to them before carrying the box over to her desk to have a look at the Wishing Stars inside.
Once outside, the girls made their way out of Wedgehurst and back onto Route 1 just outside the town. Route 1 was just a small patch of tall grasses that was usually a good place to start when looking for Pokémon to catch.
"I'll start here and then come to Route 2." Emerald explained, "I like the idea of catching a Pokémon in different areas."
"Fine by me, Em." Sapphire said brightly, "I'm just going straight on to Route 2. I read in a nature guide that they have a wider variety of Pokémon there."
"I'll catch up to you when I'm done here." Emerald declared, "Hope you catch something cool or something cute up there!"
Sapphire just winked and turned around to make her way back through Wedgehurst so she could head on to Route 2. It was true that Route 2 had more Pokémon to choose from but Emerald still wanted to start here in Route 1 first. She was sure she could find something that would be fun to catch. As Sapphire left, Emerald brought Kerchak out of his Pokéball and invited him to sit on her shoulder. The grassy simian made himself comfy as he sat on his trainer's shoulder, holding his little stick in one of his paws while Emerald sauntered over to the tall grass nearby. Having the cute little Pokémon sitting so close to her face made Emerald feel calm and confident, like everything was fine as long as she had a Pokémon on her shoulder.
"Our team-building starts here, mate." Emerald whispered, hoping that if she spoke quietly none of the Pokémon nearby would hear her and run away, "I bet you're as excited as I am for this."
"I am." Kerchak whispered back, "Anything could be your first catch here! We could find a Nickit or a Wooloo in a place like this."
"I just hope I don't find any Skwovets." Emerald said, cringing, "I've never stopped hating them after one bit me on the arm during a family picnic…"
It was the first time Kerchak had seen Emerald drop her smile and look bitter about a past event. He could tell that incident had left a bad impact on her. Hopefully they wouldn't find any Skwovets if it would bring back bad memories like that.
"Say Kerchak, what was life like before you became a Pokémon Ruby was going to hand out to me and Sapph?" Emerald asked with interest.
"Oh I had a happy life until yesterday." Kerchak said happily, "I was born to a family of Grookeys all raised by a pair of Rillabooms and we always had a great time playing and making music together. It was sad to leave them all when Ruby selected me to be a trainer's starter but my family was very supportive of me regardless. "You'll have an amazing life with a Pokémon trainer!", they always said. I heard incredible stories about Pokémon and the lives they lived when they became a trainer's partner and I knew I wanted to live that life. So…here I am now! I wonder if my brothers and sisters will find trainers of their own to love too…" he mused.
"I bet everyone in your family will find a trainer." Emerald said reassuringly, "I'm happy you came from a happy family, kinda like me now I think about it. Maybe we were destined to be partners!" she joked.
Kerchak chuckled. Then suddenly, the two heard the grass rustle nearby. The sound came so suddenly that it took them a moment to realize what it was. Emerald crouched down low, bracing herself for what was to come. This was it, her first wild Pokémon encounter as a trainer! If it was a Skwovet, at least she wouldn't get bitten again as Kerchak would protect her. Her green partner narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth as he readied himself for a battle. Out of the tall grasses crawled…a tiny little Caterpie. Caterpie were small Bug-type Pokémon that resembled caterpillars with red antennae and a tear-drop shaped tail. They were green with a yellow underbelly and tail and their stubby little feet acted as suction cups, allowing them to scale most surfaces with ease. It looked up at Emerald with inquisitive, adorable black eyes.
"Hello! Have you got any food on you? I'm REALLY hungry!" it asked.
Emerald smiled with awe at the little caterpillar Pokémon. As basic as Caterpie were, they were ideal Pokémon for new trainers as they evolved very quickly and were easy to train. She also thought Caterpie were really cute Pokémon and if there was any Pokémon she loved more than anything, it was the cute ones. Emerald got down on her knees and held out a hand, inviting the Caterpie to crawl onto it. The Caterpie just sniffed her hand, disappointed she had no food on it.
"It's OK. I just wanted to show you I mean no harm." Emerald insisted, "I DO have food if you want any."
She reached into her backpack and fished out her lunchbox. It was lucky she had packed herself some cheese and lettuce sandwiches as Caterpie loved lettuce. She pulled a leaf out of her sandwich and held it out for the Caterpie to eat. The Caterpie gobbled it up greedily.
"Hee, hee! You really wanted that!" Emerald giggled.
"I haven't eaten in a while." the Caterpie answered, "I've been crawling around looking for something to eat for ages! It's lucky me I found a kind trainer with some food on her."
"Well don't beg for too much as my trainer needs that food as well." Kerchak said sternly.
"It's OK Kerchak, we'll buy curry ingredients when we get to the Wild Area so I won't go hungry." Emerald insisted, "You know what, little guy?" she added, looking back at the Caterpie, "I bet you're eating as much as you can so you'll grow into a beautiful Butterfree, am I right?"
"I want nothing more than to be a Butterfree!" the Caterpie cried excitedly, "To be able to fly and dazzle people with my beautiful wings…it's worth more to me than any pile of food I could possibly eat!"
"Then how about you come with me?" Emerald suggested, "A Pokémon trainer such as myself can help you achieve that dream."
The Caterpie let out a chirp of delight.
"You really mean it?!" he asked gleefully, "Thank you ever so much! You're such a kind human!"
"Hee, hee! I really am!" Emerald giggled, "You know what? One of my sisters has a Butterfree too, though her's acts a bit weird for some reason, acting like some super-villain out some cartoon show she stopped watching after a while…" she said thoughtfully, thinking back to Hawk Moth the Butterfree. Despite his tendencies to act like the character from Miraculous Ladybug, he'd been a powerful ally in Ruby's team that had won many matches. This Caterpie acted completely normal by comparison, a sharp contrast to the one Ruby had caught in the Wild Area last year.
"At least this one doesn't act weird." Kerchak chuckled, "So, what are we gonna call him?"
Emerald considered as she held her hand out for the Caterpie to crawl onto. The Caterpie climbed up her hand and crawled up onto her shoulder, sitting close to her neck as Kerchak did.
"I'm almost tempted to call you Heimlich, but I don't think that suits you…" Emerald thought, "Hmm…maybe…"
She tapped her chin in thought as she went through several names, finally settling on one that she believed would be just right.
"How about I call you "Flaps"?" she suggested, "I know it doesn't suit a Caterpie as they don't have wings but when you become a Butterfree, it'll work!"
"I like it! The name will be an indicator of what I shall become!" Flaps declared, "I'll take it!"
"Glad you will!" Emerald said happily, "Welcome to the team, Flaps! We're gonna have so much fun together!"
Now she'd found a Pokémon on Route 1, Emerald made her way back through Wedgehurst so she could go to Route 2 and catch up with Sapphire. She wondered if her sister had found any Pokémon in the time she'd spent making friends with Flaps. On her way through Wedgehurst, Flaps spotted a berry shop standing by the local clothes shop and Emerald decided to buy some berries for him to eat. The little Caterpie sat on her shoulder munching away on the berries as his trainer headed on to Route 2. This route was much bigger than Route 1 and as Sapphire had mentioned, there was a larger variety of Pokémon to catch so Emerald had no idea what she would find here. As long as there were no Skwovets, she'd be fine with any Pokémon she met here. The brunette girl couldn't help but imagine how Ruby must've felt setting foot outside of Postwick and going through these areas to catch Pokémon and make new friends. Did she have this same unquenchable thirst for adventure she had now? How excited was she to make her first catch? It was no wonder being a Pokémon trainer appealed to so many people. Who wouldn't want to live such an exciting life?
Emerald was dragged out of her thoughts something suddenly swooped down from the sky and snatched her green tam-o-shanter clean off her head. Emerald put her hands to her head upon feeling the hat get whisked off her and looked up to see a small bird-like Pokémon flying off with it.
"Oy! That's my hat! Give it back!" she yelled out angrily.
The Pokémon ignored her, continuing to fly off. Kerchak frowned.
"We'll never catch that thing. We can't fly after it." he said grimly.
"Well I'm not letting it get away with my hat!" Emerald declared, "That hat was a Christmas present from my sisters and that Pokémon ain't getting away with it!"
She ran off after the Pokémon, determined to catch it somehow. The bird-like creature hadn't flown too far out of range so if it was possible, she could get her hat back. If only her Pokémon knew a ranged attack! Then it hit her. Emerald whipped out an empty Pokéball and took aim. Trying to catch the bird would stop it from getting away! She threw the Pokéball with all her might, praying that she wouldn't miss. To her amazement, her aim was perfect. The ball hit the Pokémon and transferred it into energy, swallowing it up inside and closing shut. Her hat dropped to the ground with nobody left to carry it. The Pokéball landed beside it, shaking furiously as Emerald picked her hat up and put it back on. She and her Pokémon watched the Pokéball shake as the newly caught Pokémon tried to break out. But nothing happened. The ball pinged and stopped shaking. Emerald beamed to herself. She hadn't expected to actually catch the Pokémon but here she was with a new catch already! The Postwick girl picked up the ball and smirked.
"Heh, serves you right for nicking my hat." she gloated, "Nobody nicks my hat! Now let's see what you are…"
She threw the ball and out came the hat-filching Pokémon. To her delight, it was a Rookidee, a common bird-like Pokémon that could be found in most places around Galar. Rookidee were small blue-and-yellow Pokémon with almost completely spherical bodies, red eyes and small wings for flying. The Rookidee looked up at Emerald sheepishly.
"Aww, I got caught! I thought I was too quick for a trainer to catch me." it moaned, speaking in a female voice.
"You asked for it when you stole my hat." Emerald said sternly, "I thought even Pokémon would understand that stealing is wrong."
"Sorry, I was only having a bit of a fun." the Rookidee protested, "I was gonna give it back to you, I was never gonna keep it! It's just something I do to tease trainers that try to catch me, nick something of theirs, tease them a bit and then drop it back for them."
"Well it's still wrong of you to do that." Emerald said, refusing to back down, "It's mean to tease people like that and some trainers might react more violently than I've done. You're lucky it's me that caught you in the end and not somebody that might want to pluck your feathers out for stealing from them."
The Rookidee looked down at the ground in shame.
"I never considered that…" she said, her voice racked with guilt, "You really have taught me a lesson, miss. I'm so sorry about that. Do you want me to go now?"
Emerald just held out her hand, inviting the Rookidee to hop on. Puzzled, the Rookidee perched itself on her hand as Emerald lifted her up.
"No. To tell you the truth, I was hoping to catch a Rookidee anyway." Emerald said, her voice softer and kinder now she'd told the Rookidee off, "If I keep you, I can teach you not to steal again and keep you safe from anyone who's…um…less forgiving, shall we say? I think you'll be a fine Pokémon for the team."
Kerchak and Flaps were surprised that Emerald wanted to keep the Pokémon that had tried to steal from her. Their trainer wasn't one to hold grudges, was she? The Rookidee was very grateful to Emerald's kindness, chirping graciously.
"You're very generous." she said happily, "Thank you, uh…"
"Emerald." Emerald introduced, "And as for you, I think I'll call you…Misty!" she declared.
"Why that name?" Misty asked curiously.
"I just really like the name, Misty." Emerald said casually, "So now we got that out of the way, let's do a bit of training, shall we? Also, Sapphire shouldn't be far so we'll catch up with her soon enough."
Emerald set off further through Route 2 with all her Pokémon in tow. Kerchak and Flaps sat on her shoulders while Misty flew beside her. As Emerald suggested, they got down to some training, peeking into tall grasses to find wild Pokémon to battle so they could level up and get stronger. Emerald knew from reading some of Ruby's books on Pokémon that the stronger a Pokémon got, the more attacks they could learn and they could learn stronger attacks as they levelled up. She was curious to see what else her Pokémon could do if they learned more attacks. As they made their way through Route 2, Emerald and her Pokémon challenged many different Pokémon that lived in the area. She battled the fox-like Nickit, other Rookidees flying by, the big-mouthed Chewtle and even the electrifying Yamper. Every battle had ended in victory for her and her Pokémon were beginning to level up nicely. Kerchak even learned a new attack, a Grass-type move called Branch Poke that was thought to be exclusive only to the Phantump line. The attack simply allowed Kerchak to lunge out and poke opponents with his stick. If he ever had a rematch with James Pond, he now had an attack that could exploit his Grass-type weakness.
During training, Flaps suddenly began spraying himself with silky string. Emerald was puzzled at first. Why was he doing that? Was he using String Shot on himself? But then she realized. Caterpillars would do this when forming cocoons around themselves to begin their transformation into a butterfly. Caterpie were no different. They were Pokémon that were known to evolve very quickly so it was no surprise that he was already becoming a Metapod. Metapod were huge, green, crescent shaped cocoon like Pokémon with yellow eyes and a pointed back. Emerald beamed happily at the sight of her newly evolved Pokémon.
"This is awesome! You've become a Metapod already! You'll be a Butterfree before you know it, Flaps!"
"I know! I can hardly wait!" Flaps said excitedly, "I must say, being in this cocoon makes me feel very protected…" he added, taking note of how hard it felt.
It was no surprise he felt this way as Metapod were heavily associated with the move Harden, an attack that increased a Pokémon's Defence whenever it was used. Wild Metapod were only able to use Harden and nothing else, which made many trainers prefer catching them as Caterpies and evolving them so they could do more than just Harden when they became Metapod.
Now that was done, Emerald and her team moved on to see what else they could battle. Unfortunately, the next Pokémon they came across was the last Pokémon that Emerald wanted to meet. Out of a patch of tall grass jumped out a Skwovet, a squirrel-like Pokémon with chubby cheeks, a huge bushy tail and a voracious appetite. Although this Skwovet didn't seem particularly vicious, Emerald still squealed in fright.
"EEK! A Skwovet! Quick, one of you clobber it before it bites me!" Emerald shrieked.
Kerchak leapt to her defence, hopping off her shoulder and attacking the Skwovet with his new Branch Poke attack. That was all he needed to do for the Skwovet quickly ran away, clearly in no mood to fight. Misty was confused at this.
"What was that about?" she asked.
Emerald quickly filled her in on her past experience with this particular Pokémon. Misty nodded understandingly.
"They do have a habit of biting things a lot." she muttered, "Though not all of them do so you don't have to get Kerchak to beat one up every time you see one."
"Sorry, it's just a knee jerk reaction I guess." Emerald said sheepishly, "At least I have you guys to make me feel safer around those things."
She would encounter a few more Skwovet on her trek through the route as Skwovet were very common in these early routes of Galar. Instead of getting scared again, Emerald tried her best to keep her cool and just let her Pokémon do the fighting. There were some trainers walking through Route 2 as well and they were quick to challenge Emerald to a Pokémon battle. Emerald accepted in a heartbeat, seeing these as opportunities to increase her Pokémon's strength and skill even further. Fighting trained Pokémon as well as wild Pokémon were the best ways to make a Pokémon strong. The first trainer she thought had a Skwovet but Emerald managed to keep herself from freaking out and was able to defeat it with ease. The other two trainers didn't fare any better, their Pokémon going down easily to Emerald's team. Misty had been tempted to pinch something from the trainers as they thought but thanks to Emerald's firm reminders, she kept herself restrained and stole nothing.
An hour later, the trainer and her Pokémon were worn out from training and battling so they took a moment to have a break. Emerald ate her packed lunch and gave her Pokémon some Pokémon food she'd packed earlier this morning to share. She also shared some of her mother's flapjack with the trio, thinking they'd like it. Kerchak ate his piece while Misty pecked at hers with interest. Flaps couldn't eat anything as Metapod didn't have mouths but once he evolved into Butterfree, he'd be able to again. Kerchak and Misty both beamed with delight as they tasted the flapjack.
"That's some nice food there." Kerchak said happily, "Humans make some interesting stuff to eat."
"You're telling me!" Misty chirped, "You don't get anything like this in the wild!"
"Just wait til you see what other foods there are." Emerald chuckled, "On this journey, you'll get the chance to try all sorts!"
After lunch, Emerald zipped her backpack back up and slung it over her shoulders. Kerchak sat on her shoulder again while Misty took up Flaps' place on her other shoulder. As a Metapod, Flaps would never be able to ride on her shoulder again so he went into his Pokéball for easy travel. The rest of the walk through Route 2 went smoothly with not much battling going on. That suited Emerald as she just wanted to enjoy the scenery for the time being. Soon enough, she came across her twin sister, who was sitting by Professor Magnolia's house and quietly reading to herself. The book she had was titled The Essential Trainer's Strategy Guide by Satoshi Tajiri and it was one of Sapphire's favourite books she owned. Emerald imagined that most of her strategies she displayed last night probably came out of that book. Sapphire was so absorbed in the book that the only movement she made was the occasional turn of a page. She didn't even notice Emerald had arrived. Emerald hated to disturb her but she didn't want to just walk by Sapphire and leave her waiting any longer so she coughed to get her attention. Sapphire looked up and smiled.
"Hey, you made it!" she said brightly, "What Pokémon have you caught?"
Emerald showed her Misty and Flaps. Sapphire folded her arms and looked at them studiously.
"A Rookidee and a Metapod. Nice catches." she complimented, "I bet it feels good to be the first of us to have an evolved Pokémon."
"You know Caterpie, they grow up so fast." Emerald joked, "How about you?"
Sapphire drew out two Pokéball from her hoodie pockets and threw them to summon forth her newest catches. Emerald's eyes widened with delight as she was met with the sight of a Galarian Zigzagoon and a Yamper. Galarian Zigzagoon were black-and-white variants of the Hoenn Zigzagoon species and were Dark/Normal types instead of pure Normal types. Ruby had caught one herself during her adventures and had evolved it into a powerful Obstagoon that had won her many battles. Yamper was an Electric-type Pokémon resembling a corgi, beloved for being very cute and loyal Pokémon though they had a habit of generating electricity when they were excited and sometimes zapping their opponents during a fit of playfulness. Emerald remembered that Sonia owned one and it was often by her side, in or out of the lab. The Zigzagoon and Yamper approached Emerald, glad to meet her.
"Wow, look at you two!" Emerald piped excitedly, "What awesome catches, Sapph! They're much cuter up close, don't you think?"
"You bet." Sapphire beamed, "I've always wanted Pokémon like them so I'm glad to have caught them. The Zigzagoon's named Zao and the Yamper's named Bolt, in case you're wondering." she introduced, pointing to the respective Pokémon as she gave their names."
"Arf! I'm so very happy to meet you!" Bolt barked excitedly.
"You must be that sister our trainer was telling us about." Zao observed, "I see why you're called Emerald given the colours of your clothes."
Emerald giggled, seeing the funny side of Zao's observation.
"Sometimes, I like to think I was born green." she joked, "What are you all doing outside of Miss Magnolia's house, by the way?" she added, taking note of the house standing nearby.
"Waiting for you." Sapphire explained, "And also so I could get us a pair of Dynamax bands. She may not be professor anymore but she still makes those for new trainers. We were lucky as she was nearly out of Wishing Stars to make some with."
She showed Emerald her right wrist, which had a Dynamax band clipped around it. These bands were the very gadget that trainers used in order to Dynamax their Pokémon. The Wishing Stars contained within them dispelled their energy upon activation and allowed the Pokémon it was being used on to grow in size and power and use Dynamax or G-Max moves whenever they were in battle. Sapphire dug into her pocket and handed Emerald a second Dynamax band. Emerald slipped it onto her left wrist as she was left-handed unlike her sisters. She smiled with glee at the band she now wore.
"Awesome! Now we'll be able to Dynamax our Pokémon when we go into those Gym Battles!" Emerald exclaimed, "It'll be so much fun to be able to do it ourselves rather than watching others do it for a change!"
"I can hardly wait to have my first shot at it." Sapphire agreed, "If you're done here, we can go back to Wedgehurst and see if we can catch a train to the Wild Area. I'm really psyched to see that place and see what Pokémon we can find there!"
"No complaints from me." Emerald said, "Let's get going!"
But before anyone could go anywhere, the girls found themselves with one last Pokémon encounter as they prepared to leave. To Emerald's horror, it was yet another Skwovet. As tempted as she was to just order her Pokémon to beat it up again, she hesitated. Hopefully this one wasn't vicious like the last few Skwovets she'd come across. Unfortunately, it was. This Skwovet was highly territorial and it saw these two humans and their Pokémon as trespassers. It bared is teeth and chirped viciously. It arched its back and prepared to pounce. The girls recoiled, knowing what was coming.
"EEK! It's gonna attack! Someone attack it back!" Emerald yelped.
Kerchak was just about to jump in and do the job but to his surprise, Flaps was the first one to act. The Metapod hopped forward and stood defensively in front of his trainer, making the Skwovet hesitate as it was suddenly up against this cocoon Pokémon that had just jumped in to interfere. Seeing Flaps wanted to do it, Emerald commanded him to Tackle the Skwovet. The Bug-type Pokémon acted instantly, throwing himself at the Skwovet as if fired from a gun. It was a ludicrous scene, watching this giant cocoon just launch itself at its opponent like that. Emerald cheered as the Metapod slammed into the Skwovet. The squirrel-like Pokémon was sent flying back from the attack but it refused to back down. Snarling viciously, it retaliated by biting Flaps. Emerald winced as the Skwovet clamped down on her Pokémon with its sharp buck teeth. It was like being back at that picnic when a Skwovet had bitten her on the arm. The pain had been unbearable and she'd cried for minutes afterwards. She hoped Flaps wasn't feeling the same kind of pain she felt after that bite. Flaps winced but thanks to his hardened shell, he wasn't badly hurt. The Skwovet seemed more hurt than he was, clutching its teeth as they ached from biting down on the touch shell of a Metapod.
While it was in pain, Flaps took advantage of its distraction by tackling it a second time. The Skwovet squeaked loudly as it was thrown backwards and sent crashing into a nearby tree. Emerald cried out happily. It served that nasty Pokémon right for wanting to attack for no reason! The Skwovet was in no mood to carry on fighting, turning on its heels and fleeing before it could get tackled again. As soon as it disappeared into the grass, Emerald picked Flaps up and hugged him gratefully.
"Thank you Flaps! That was very brave of you to stand up to that thing!" she cried.
"I've never seen a Metapod of all things be so protective of others." Sapphire observed, "You sure caught a loyal one, Em."
"I did!" Emerald agreed, "How are you Flaps? Did that Skwovet hurt you too much with that bite?"
"I barely felt it, honestly." Flaps said casually, "This shell's quite tough. I'm just glad I got it to run away when I…"
He was interrupted as his entire body was bathed in a big blue glow. Emerald was so startled that she nearly dropped Flaps. Sapphire watched, keen to witness actual Pokémon evolution up close and in person as she'd never seen such a thing outside of seeing championship battles on TV. Her eyes were wide with wonder as she saw what could be one of the most beautiful things in the Pokémon world to bear witness to. The glowing lasted a full minute before Flaps began to change shape. Gone was the crescent-shaped cocoon body he had become. Now he had turned into a purple butterfly like creature with huge white and black wings, large red eyes and thin antennae. Emerald and Sapphire stared open-mouthed with delight as Flaps took his first flight as a Butterfree. He flew out of his trainer's arms and danced about in the sky, diving and banking up numerous times and flapping his wings excitedly.
"I did it! I've become a Butterfree at last! Yippee!" Flaps cheered, "Thanks ever so much for the training Emerald! I'd never have evolved with you!"
"You're welcome!" Emerald cried happily, "You look so beautiful, Flaps!"
"Watching a Pokémon evolve might just be the most amazing thing I've ever watched in my life…" Sapphire murmured with awe.
The sisters waited for Flaps to finish celebrating before he turned to Emerald and perched on her arm.
"So what now?" he asked.
"Now we're going to make our way to the Wild Area to catch some more Pokémon." Emerald explained, "Then we're gonna get signed up for this year's Gym Challenge where you and any Pokémon I catch will get a chance to battle the eight Gym Leaders of Galar and win badges so we can gain entry to the Champions Cup in Wyndon City."
"Oooooh, that definitely sounds exciting!" Flaps said eagerly, "I bet as a Butterfree, I'll be a very strong opponent that'll win lots of battles for you."
"No kidding. Ruby won the entire Galar League and became the new Champion and she had a Butterfree on her team." Sapphire explained, "It's really ironic that you'll be doing the same, Em."
"Same to you having a Galarian Zigzagoon on your team." Emerald pointed out.
"Fair enough." Sapphire chuckled, "I intend to mostly catch Pokémon Ruby doesn't have so I can stand out from her so Zao will stand as an exception."
Emerald nodded. She too didn't want a team too similar to Ruby's as people would see her as a copycat or worse, some wannabe trying to be the Champion. She wanted to be seen as her own trainer, following in big sister's footsteps to have fun and make her way through the Pokémon world the best way she could. The sisters returned all their Pokémon and made their way back through Route 2 to Wedgehurst Station. They didn't have any more encounters with wild Pokémon on their way over, making this a quiet, simple walk back to Wedgehurst with the beautiful countryside scenery to enjoy.
Upon arriving at the station, the twins were just in time to purchase tickets for the next train to the Wild Area. The train was due in half an hour so they didn't have long to wait for it to come. Once the train arrived, the twins got onboard and took their seats, both sitting by the window with Emerald sitting on a backwards facing seat and Sapphire sitting in a forwards facing seat. The train blew its horn and trundled out of the station, making its way onwards to the Wild Area. In order to pass the time until they arrived, Sapphire got out The Essential Trainer's Strategy Guide and sat back in her seat to quietly read some more of it. Emerald decided not to disturb her and amuse herself in the meantime. She held her Rotom phone in her hands and searched for a game to play. To her interest, she saw something in the Pokémon News app that seemed to have something big to say. She read it curiously. The latest news post and come up saying:
Attention Pokémon Trainers!
Anyone making their way over to the Wild Area is in for a special treat! For a limited time only, you could win the chance to get a rare Pokémon that you won't find in the Galarian mainland! By texting WINPOKEMON before the end of the week, you can win a Pokémon originating from either the Isle of Armour or the Crown Tundra! If you meet the man standing by the entrance to Motostoke City in the Wild Area before Friday the 9th this week, he could have a brand new Pokémon from either of those areas waiting for you! You better hurry as only 50 lucky trainers could be a winner of this exciting giveaway!
Text WINPOKEMON at 0800 8643 9528 any time before Friday the 9th for a chance to win. Good luck Pokémon trainers and remember: You Gotta Catch Em 'All!
Emerald's heart leapt at the idea of winning a Pokémon that could only be found in the Isle of Armour or the Crown Tundra. A prize like that would definitely give her a Pokémon team unlike most trainers in the Gym Challenge! What would Rub think if she or Sapphire won that giveaway? She quickly showed Sapphire the news and both twins eagerly texted WINPOKEMON at the phone number provided with the hopes that they would be among the winners getting a new Pokémon from that giveaway event. It was the middle of the week so they decided upon arriving at the Wild Area they would camp there until Friday the 9th so they could see if they'd won.
The Wild Area was going to be an amazing place to visit, and lots of fun too! Emerald and Sapphire couldn't help but wonder what Pokémon they were going to meet in an area so huge and full of Pokémon. With so many species on offer, they had plenty of options to choose from! They sat back in their seats to keep themselves relaxed and occupied as the train headed on to its destination. It wouldn't be long until they arrived and they could begin the next part of their adventures…
Pokémon obtained: Flaps the Caterpie (Gender: Male, Nature: Brave, Ability: Shield Dust)
Misty the Rookidee (Gender: Female, Nature: Rash, Ability: Keen Eye (prevents accuracy loss)
Pokémon evolved: Flaps the Caterpie, now Flaps the Butterfree (now has the Compound Eyes ability, which increases accuracy of moves)