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Emerald Knights: A Pokémon Sword Story Chapter 2

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."