Chapter 31: Ruby vs. Leon
This was it. The very moment that Ruby's life had been building up towards had arrived.
The teen trainer reflected back on everything that had been leading up to this day. It had all started with her, an ordinary girl from Postwick Town who happened to be a close friend of the Champion's brother, and also the Champion's neighbour, getting her first Pokémon from the Champion. Then she'd continued to grow her skills and gain more Pokémon, building a rotating roster of a team that could be handpicked to handle any situation. And now she was here, coming off of victories with all eight Gym Leaders in the Gym Challenge circuit, the semi-finals in which she'd defeated two qualifying Gym Challengers, the finals in which she'd had a rematch with three Gym Leaders and beaten them once more…and now she was here, walking onto the pitch of Wyndon Stadium one last time to face the Champion himself! Ruby was still convinced that this was all some incredible dream that she was about to wake up from any second now. It somehow didn't seem real that this was really happening!
After the Darkest Day had ended and Ruby had caught Eternatus to prevent it from ever happening again, the silver-haired girl had gone with Hop to return Zacian and Zamazenta's weapons to their resting place. After that Ruby went home and had slept like the dead. She was so exhausted that she didn't wake up until tomorrow afternoon! Upon waking up, she'd been immediately greeted with the sight of a very relieved Hop and the beaming faces of her twin sisters. They'd been ecstatic to see her again and had thrown themselves into Ruby's arms to congratulate her.
"You did it Ruby! You saved us all from the Darkest Day!" Emerald squealed.
"You're Galar's newest hero!" Sapphire cried, "I wouldn't be surprised if they made you a statue to replace that one in the Budew Drop Inn!"
"I told you two that if anyone could stop the Darkest Day, it was Ruby." Hop said, smiling brightly, "You were awesome out there Ruby and you earned that catch at the end."
"How does it feel actually owning the Pokémon that nearly doomed the entire region?" Emerald asked nervously, "You're sure it won't be a threat anymore, right?"
"Girls, Hop, settle down! You're barely giving me room to breathe!" Ruby exclaimed, laughing at their excited chattering, "Flippin' heck, at least give me time to get out of bed first!"
Moments later, Ruby had gotten changed into her normal clothes and quickly answered any and all questions that her sisters had for her. Half an hour later, someone else came into her room and to Ruby's delight; it was the very two people she wanted to see more than anyone at the minute. Michael and Annie Silverlock had come in to see their heroic girl now that she was awake. They both embraced Ruby, giving her the biggest hug they'd ever given their daughter. Ruby hugged them back, grateful that thanks to her stopping Eternatus, she could even do this right now.
"I'm glad you're awake at last." Annie said, her eyes full of happy tears as they made their way down her cheeks, "Your father and I have been dying to say how proud we are of you! You have achieved the greatest thing that any trainer could've achieved in their lives!"
"My special little Ruby, the heroine of Galar! You've got to admit, it has a nice ring to it." Michael added, smiling cheekily.
"Thank you so much. But in all honesty, the only thing that matters to me is that I can see all of you again!" Ruby cried, hugging her parents as if determined never to let them go, "I'm so glad we can all be together again with no worries about the Darkest Day anymore!"
The Silverlock Family spent the rest of the day together to make the most of the fact that this day marked the end of the Darkest Day and that it was a day they were all alive to celebrate now Eternatus was no longer a threat. Everyone had been afraid this would be a day no one would live to see so it was worth spending it with friends and family. The Silverlocks had a big meal together in which everyone ate plenty and talked for hours and Ruby took a moment to show everyone in her family the Pokémon she'd caught over the course of her journey with Hop also showing his Pokémon off too. Then to finish off, they all played games together to have a fun conclusion to a day that they'd all been glad to see again.
Another three days went by before the Pokémon Tournament resumed and Ruby returned to Wyndon City to be there for it. A lot of damage had been done by Chairman Rose's actions so they'd needed the time to repair some of it before they could host the Pokémon Final. In that time, the Chairman had turned himself in for his actions, taking full responsibility for what he'd done and stating he was willing to face jail time for inadvertently bringing about a terrible catastrophe. Yes, Project: Eternatus hadn't meant to doom Galar but that didn't make it any better. It had still doomed Galar and he was willing to face the consequences. For now, the Macro Cosmos Company had to rely on an acting head until they could elect a new Chairman. This didn't matter to Ruby. After his betrayal by using her behind her back, she was glad that he'd taken her advice and turned himself in. It was what he deserved for being such a two-faced scoundrel. She didn't care what had happened to him now, for she only cared about one thing: her battle with Leon. Ruby was hyped up and ready for this match, more than any other match she'd had before. If she could catch a Pokémon that nearly doomed Galar, she could be ready for anything at this point!
At the same time, her heart was pounding and her stomach felt as if it was trying to knot itself. She walked onto the pitch with her opponent approaching from the opposite side towards the centre like she was. Ruby could hear the crowd chanting, both for her and for Leon, their names fighting for attention as they tried to make either name the most heard among the deafening noise. She was impressed she'd garnered together a fan club big enough to rival Leon's despite being a newbie. Was she really that good to so many people that she'd warranted this much attention? She knew that Bugs, her sisters and parents were in the audience watching her now. No way were any of them going to stay home and watch, they wanted to see her final battle in person! Ruby hoped that she wouldn't disappoint them when the match began. No matter what happened, she was sure they'd be proud of her regardless. She was also glad to see Leon looking much better. Eternatus's breakout hadn't done a lot of damage to him and in the three days that had gone by, he'd made a steady but swift recovery. He looked as if nothing had happened to him.
Ruby and Leon met in the middle of the arena and faced one another. Ruby looked up at her neighbour's big brother, her knees wobbling as she realized that she was seconds away from challenging not just any trainer, but THE Champion of Galar himself! This was no Gym Leader like the ones she'd defeated to get this far, this was the biggest name in the Pokémon world for the people of Galar! A victory here would mean she would be the new Champion. It was all down to this single match. Leon looked around, taking in the enormous audience that somehow seemed bigger than the one that had attended before Eternatus had interrupted the competition. Maybe the fact he was facing the heroine of Galar had attracted more people just to see what was easily going to be the biggest battle in Galarian history. How much bigger could you get than the Champion and the heroine in a battle together?
"My matches are always sold out, but this…" Leon murmured, the tumultuous sound of the audience booming all around him, "I've never seen a crowd this wild!"
He turned to Ruby.
"Everyone knows what you did for us this week, Ruby." he said softly, "The one who caught Eternatus and fought alongside the legendary Pokémon, Zacian and Zamazenta…I'd say you're as big a name as me right now, if not more so!"
"I'm still gobsmacked that this is really happening…" Ruby murmured, taking in the cheers of the audience and the fact she was facing Leon, ready to face him, "If this is a dream, I hope I never wake up…"
"I doubt even a Musharna could conjure up a dream like this." he said, "Hope you're still in reality for you'll need all your skills to take me on. It's time that we all saw just how strong Galar's Champion is!" he cried enthusiastically, "Let's have a battle that will go down in history…no, a battle that will change Galar forever!"
"Absolutely!" Ruby agreed, "As you might say, let's all have a Champion time here today!"
Both she and Leon simultaneously adopted the famous Charizard stance that Leon had made famous since his time of becoming Champion. That set everyone off. The audience exploded into a cheer so loud that even the audience at the 1985 Live Aid concert would've sounded quiet by comparison. Michael, Annie, Emerald and Sapphire whooped for Ruby, chanting her name and showing their support by waving to her. Down on the pitch, Ruby and Leon took their positions and stood by as the announcer introduced them both to the crowd.
"From Postwick Town: Ruby Silverlock. Also from Postwick Town: The Reigning Champion…Leon!" the electronic voice barked, somehow manging to sound enthusiastic despite it being an electronic voice, "Pokémon Trainers: Standby…"
Ruby wiped a bead of sweat off her forehead as she waited for the countdown to start. She was both excited and nervous for what was to come. How many trainers had been in her position before, quaking in their shoes opposite the man that had long since proven to be unbeatable as they dared to challenge the fact he was supposedly unbeatable? And how many had gone home in disappointment when they'd lost? Would she be like those people, or was she going to be the one to break Leon's winning streak? She eyed up her opponent, noticing him stand calmly as he patted the sides of his head the same way Hop did before her semi-final battle with him the other day. Somehow when Hop did it, he looked like a dork but watching Leon do it, it made him look cool and collected. Leon put a hand over his cape as the audience fell silent, not daring to make a single noise as they waited for the battle to begin. A stadium that had been noisy enough to wake the entire region up was now so quiet that Ruby was sure she could hear her own heart pounding. It was as if the entire world was now holding its breath. And then it began.
"Three…two…one…BEGIN!" the announcer cried.
"This is it, our Champion battle is here at last!" Leon cried, throwing his cape off and letting it fall to the ground as if he was a king in his castle about to go to war, "Aegislash, Champion time!"
He threw his first Ultra Ball and summoned together the very Pokémon he often chose to be the opener to his battles. Ruby wasn't at all surprised to see the familiar form of Aegislash as it materialized onto the field. Aegislash was a Ghost/Steel type Pokémon that resembled, appropriately enough, a sword and a shield. It bore a single purple eye in the "hilt" of the sword and had a pair of arms to carry the shield. The shield was gold and the blade of the sword was said to be the sharpest blade known to man or Pokémon kind. Ruby could imagine how cool it would be to wield Aegislash in an actual sword fight. It'd probably win against any sword! But she knew she didn't need any weapons to defeat this Pokémon. She wished Bugs the Cinderace could be here as a single Pyro Ball would knock it down easily. But she still had the next best thing on her. She drew out her first Pokéball. Upon choosing her team, Ruby had settled on six Pokémon she knew would be able to cover Leon's team. She could've brought Doomsday with her but she'd immediately decided against it. She feared it would be in poor taste to bring the Pokémon that nearly doomed Galar to a match with Leon and also thought she'd been seen as unsporting for bringing a Legendary to a fight. She wanted to win against Leon fair and square without needing to rely on a Legendary Pokémon as that would be a proper test of her skills as a trainer.
"I knew you'd use Aegislash first. I've watched your battles enough times to memorize your style Leon." Ruby said smoothly, "So I've got the perfect counters. Vesuvius, you're up first!"
She threw her ball and Leon's Aegislash was joined by Ruby's mighty Coalossal, the very Pokémon she'd used to fight Eternatus with. Vesuvius flexed her solid, rocky arms and roared with anticipation, whipping up the audience into a frenzy as they prepared to watch how the first battle was about to unfold. What a pair of Pokémon to choose to begin the finals with! Leon smiled eagerly, keen to see the battle unfold.
"A great choice Ruby! You know how to match up your types!" he complimented, "It's just a matter of who's the strongest!"
"You bet!" Ruby agreed, "Vesuvius, let's kick off with a Heat Crash attack!"
"Hope you got your ice packs, audience, cause this match is about to get red hot! Ha, ha, ha!" Vesuvius cackled, her body heating up to intense temperatures as she sprang into the air and sailed towards her opponent.
Unfortunately, Leon had been expecting Vesuvius to attack.
"Use King's Shield!" he ordered.
Aegislash obeyed and held up its shield to defend itself just as Vesuvius came soaring down towards it. The Coalossal slammed down on top of the Ghost/Steel Pokémon, pressing it down into the dirt and blazing away wildly, but she otherwise did no damage whatsoever thanks to Aegislash's King's Shield protecting itself from any harm. Ruby frowned, annoyed that she hadn't anticipated it would do that. Hadn't she watched his matches enough times to know Aegislash could do that?! Vesuvius returned to her position, allowing the floating sword to pick itself up from the imprint it had left in the grass and dirt after it had been flattened by Heat Crash. It then performed its ability known as "Stance Change". Stance Change allowed it to change from defence mode to attack mode. It now held the shield in one of its hands instead of in front of itself and its blade glistened in the light of the arena, ready to attack.
"That Coalossal's gonna be tough, but you can handle it!" Leon cried, "Use Scared Sword!"
Aegislash launched itself towards Vesuvius as if a knight on the battlefield had chosen to throw his sword at the opponent. Vesuvius held her stubby arms up as if she had any hope of protecting herself from the attack as her opponent closed in. Aegislash raised itself high and sliced across the Rock/Fire type Pokémon. Despite how sharp it was and the power Aegislash wielded, its blade wasn't enough to cut through the solid, rocky skin of Vesuvius. Steel type attacks such as Sacred Sword weren't very effective on Coalossal, even if it was a powerful attack. Aegislash had done some damage but otherwise, Vesuvius was barely even hurt by the attack. She lowered her arms and grinned confidently.
"Is that all you got?" she sneered, "I thought a Champion's Pokémon would have more to offer!"
"It's down to me picking the perfect counter more than anything." Ruby declared, "Use Heat Crash again!"
Vesuvius obeyed, her body coated in flames as she jumped into the air and sailed towards Aegislash. Leon watched, unable to believe that a Pokémon that big and heavy could somehow jump that easily. He'd seen it happen a second ago and he still couldn't believe it! Aegislash had no time to defend itself as Vesuvius came crashing down on top of it, flattening it into the ground as if a hammer had come down to smash it in. That wasn't all that happened. With Vesuvius on top of Aegislash, her fiery body licked away at its steel-coated body, sapping away all its health in an instant. As Ruby knew, it being part Steel-type made it cannon fodder for a Fire-type like Coalossal and as Heat Crash was a move that did more damage the more the user outweighed the opponent, Aegislash was never going to withstand the hit when it was very much a lightweight compared to a Coalossal. Vesuvius stood away from her opponent and looked at the sword-like Pokémon. It lay completely still, its shield laying forlornly beside it. Leon stared incredulously at his first Pokémon. He knew Ruby was strong but he couldn't have expected she'd knock out his first Pokémon in one hit! It had been a while since anyone had started a battle with him with such a big bang! The audience cheered, already excited to see that this battle was going to be legendary.
"Aegislash is unable to battle, Coalossal is the winner!" the announcer barked.
"Yay! Ruby won, Ruby won!" Emerald hollered from the crowd.
"Our girl's sure kicking up the heat, isn't she Annie?" Michael said with pride.
"I'm speechless!" Annie replied, "It's been ages since anyone's ever one-shot any of Leon's Pokémon at this early stage! I think the Champion might be in for a true battle that will bring an end to his reign!"
"Don't get too excited mum, it's only the first match." Sapphire noted, "Leon has five more Pokémon to go to give Ruby a tough time. This is just the beginning."
"Too right, doc." Bugs agreed, "Beating just one Pokémon won't mean anything at dis point."
The blue-haired girl was right. This was a six-on-six match and Aegislash was merely an appetizer for what was to come. Leon returned Aegislash to his ball and drew out his next Ultra Ball.
"Great start Ruby! Let's hope you keep it up!" he said enthusiastically, "Haxorus, Champion Time!" he cried, tossing his next ball.
Just as Ruby suspected, Haxorus was his next Pokémon. Leon often liked to bring it out next to fill in for Aegislash when it had been defeated. Haxorus was a Dragon type Pokémon and one of the most awesome looking Pokémon Ruby had ever seen. It was dark gold and black in colour with red claws, three toed-feet, a thick, powerful tail and most of all, its trademark twin axe-blade tusks. They were black with red tipped blades as if Haxorus carried the blood of its enemies on them. Haxorus roared with anticipation, eager for a battle. Ruby returned Vesuvius for she knew she wouldn't fare well against a Dragon type. If she still had Raven the Haunter with her, she'd be able to use her Dazzling Gleam to take it out. She considered using Soundwave but as Dragon types were weak to each other, it wasn't worth the risk. Instead, she chose to use a Pokémon that wasn't weak to Dragons and also had that little contingency plan she had in mind.
"Bet you'll be surprised with this one!" Ruby cried, "Spearhead, time for you to go crazy!"
She threw the ball and summoned forth Spearhead the Barraskewda. He flopped about on the ground like a fish gasping for breath and then stood up on his tail, waving his fins with enthusiasm. The only difference about him was that he had the Focus Sash that Ruby had found in the Lake of Outrage wrapped around his body. He grinned gormlessly to the audience.
"Attention fellow fish! I, the mighty Spearhead am here to skewer all competition!" he cried, "And with my lucky Sash of Invincibility, none shall stop me!"
Leon couldn't help but chuckle.
"I wondered if you'd bring that hilarious Barraskewda to the field." he remarked, "At least we can have some fun with this battle."
"That's Spearhead for you, always bringing fun to a fight." Ruby concurred, "Spearhead, Ice Fang!" she commanded.
Leon could see what Ruby's plan was now. Clever of her to bring in a Pokémon that new an ice attack to counter his powerful Haxorus! He watched as Spearhead launched towards Haxorus with his fangs bared. They glowed an icy blue colour and he sank them into Haxorus. Haxorus winced, the Dragon-type shivering from the cold and glowing blue briefly as the ice bit through its bloodstream. The cold came as a stabbing pain to the bladed dragon and as Spearhead let go, it stood where it was for a moment to rub itself and try to warm up. Despite being a super-effective hit, Haxorus hadn't quite gone down yet. It didn't have much health left but it had been enough for it stay standing. Spearhead looked disappointed.
"Aww, I was hoping he'd be frozen today!" he complained.
Ruby concurred with the kooky barracuda Pokémon. She'd at least hoped she could've frozen the Haxorus so it couldn't fight back. Leon made his move, glad that his next Pokémon hadn't gone down in one hit.
"Use Outrage!" he commanded.
Haxorus obeyed, charging towards Spearhead as if he was in rage and wanted to flatten him into the dirt. It was surrounded by energy as it came thundering towards Spearhead. Outrage was a Dragon-type move in which a Pokémon went on a rampage for two to three turns. Despite its immense power, it came with a nasty side-effect of the user becoming confused after they'd finished. It wouldn't matter to Haxorus if this was a one-hit KO. Ruby screamed, tempted to jump out the way as this lumbering beast of a Pokémon came to her. If this had been a wild encounter, she'd have been terrified. Spearhead was hit by Haxorus and thrown down onto the ground, kicking up a mound of dirt at Ruby's feet as he skidded to a halt. He lay still for a moment, seemingly wiped out by the single move. Ruby stared at Spearhead, worried that his battle might be over. The audience gasped, wondering if this was the end for the challenger's second Pokémon. Leon folded his arms, confident that this battle was his.
"Nobody can match up to the might of Haxorus!" he boasted.
"Barraskewda is unable to battle! Haxorus is…"
But before the announcer could finish, a complete miracle occurred right at Ruby's feet and the audience stared in astonishment as the unthinkable happened. Spearhead…got back up again! Ruby's family leaned forward in their seats, unable to comprehend what they were seeing. How could Spearhead possibly stand up again after a move like that?! Even Leon couldn't believe his eyes. Ruby however, was not surprised at all. She'd even expected this to happen. She smiled smugly at Leon as Spearhead stood up on his tail and waved to the audience.
"Surprise suckers, I'm still alive! Ha, ha, ha, ha! The Sash of Invincibility makes me unkillable!" he crowed, giggling merrily as if pleased with himself.
"Just as I planned." Ruby said coolly, "I fitted Spearhead with a Focus Sash as I knew he'd be likely to fall easily as Barraskewda have pretty poor defences. He may only have one ounce of health left but it's enough for me to finish the fight!"
Leon smiled with admiration at his opponent. He saw now why Ruby looked concerned earlier. She'd been pretending just to make him think that he'd won, thus Spearhead getting up again had come as a big surprise to everyone. He was liking his opponent more and more the further the battle went on.
"Well planned Ruby! Great use of a Focus Sash!" he praised, "Some of my trickiest opponents have used those to give me a tough time. They're quite handy to prevent a one-hit KO!"
"You bet! Now finish the fight with another Ice Fang Spearhead!" Ruby ordered.
"Hope you're ready to frolic and play the Eskimo way as we're walking in a Winter Wonderland, you and I!" Spearhead cackled, torpedoing himself towards his opponent.
Leon didn't even try to fight back for he knew it was all over. Haxorus was much too slow to dodge an attack from a super-fast Pokémon like Barraskewda so it was a waste of time to try and delay the inevitable. Haxorus cried out as Spearhead sank his icy fangs into his opponent, chilling him from the inside and outside all over and sapping away the last of his strength. Haxorus stumbled, shivering from the cold, and then it keeled over onto its side, falling heavily as if it was an elephant that had been tranquilized. Leon showed no signs of disappointment as he watched his mighty Haxorus fall. He knew he'd been outwitted by a trainer who was as clever as she was strong and he had no shame in admitting that. A smart opponent was one worthy of the title. Spearhead jumped about for joy, singing delightedly.
Hooray-hey! Hooray-hey! I won, I won, I won!
They think that I am stupid, a poor gormless idiot!
But I, Spearhead the Barraskewda, have proven that I am much stronger than the smarties,
And now I am the victor here tonight! HEY!
"Haxorus is unable to battle! Barraskewda is the winner!" the announcer cried, sounding a little surprised to be saying that as just minutes ago, he'd been about to say that Haxorus had won.
Leon returned Haxorus as the crowd went wild for his opponent once more. He had to admit, he never would've guessed that the girl he'd given a Scorbunny to back in Postwick Town would be the one who was actually giving him his toughest challenge so far. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had two straight losses in a row! He drew out his next Ultra Ball. He was sure that this next Pokémon was going to be the one to turn the match around.
"Alright Ruby, prepare yourself! This is one of my aces!" he proclaimed, "Dragapult, Champion Time!"
He threw the ball and out came one of his strongest Pokémon he had on his team. This was the pseudo-legendary Pokémon known as Dragapult, a unique type combination of Ghost/Dragon that only the legendary Giratina shared with it. It was both a force to be reckoned with and a speedy combatant that could hit hard and fast. Dragapult looked like a cross between some kind of prehistoric amphibian creature and a stealth bomber, its head wing-shaped and sporting a couple of "missile pods" that had a pair of Dreepy, its evolved form, slotted inside to be launched at the enemy. Disturbingly enough, the Dreepy actually looked forward to being launched at their opponents whenever it happened. Its body was short with stubby limbs and a long, newt like tail that ended with a transparent tip to emphasize its Ghost typing. Ruby was glad to have a chance to fight it. Dragapult was her favourite Pokémon in Leon's arsenal and she loved watching it fight on TV. Now she'd get to fight it for herself! She returned Spearhead, knowing he wouldn't survive to Ice Fang his way to victory with his health down to one. Instead, she decided to bring out a Pokémon that could exploit Dragapult's Ghost typing.
"I'm so glad I get to fight this thing at last!" Ruby cried, "I've been waiting for this. Now Lancelot, time for you to show Leon your true power!"
She threw her Pokéball and summoned forth Lancelot the Bisharp, the Dark/Steel type warrior that was always ready for a fight. Lancelot raised his bladed arms, his eyes fixed on Dragapult as he prepared to fight. To the audience, it was like watching a brave knight about to go into battle against the fiery dragon that was trying to prevent it from reaching the princess's tower. Lancelot's knight-like appearance and Dragapult's Dragon typing sure made it easy to sell that image. Leon smiled, seeing where Ruby was heading with this. Every time someone challenged him, they ALWAYS bought a Dark type as to his annoyance; his team didn't have any counters for them. But Bisharp was a dual type and he knew he could exploit one of its type's weaknesses at least.
"I see your strategy. Your Bisharp can exploit Dragapult's weakness to Dark types!" he acknowledged, "But unfortunately for you, Dragapult has a weakness it can exploit on Bisharp in return. Use Flamethrower!" he ordered.
Ruby gasped. Of course, how could she have been so stupid?! Bisharp were weak against Fire-types and Dragapult had Flamethrower! She'd seen it fight enough times to know it knew this attack so how had it slipped her mind? She watched with baited breath as Dragapult opened its mouth and let fly a jet of flames that swept over Lancelot and made him wince as his steel body was heated up immensely by the flames. If it was possible for him to experience what it was like to be on fire, he imagined it would feel like this. He held up his arms and lowered his head to try and push his way through the flames. Despite the intense heat of the flames eating away at him, Lancelot's defences were enough for him to pull through. He swung his arms aside as the flames died down, growling a battle-ready growl to show that he was far from down. If anything, he looked more determined than ever to bring the fight to a close. The audience was impressed. They were sure that Dragapult had this fight in the bag but no, this plucky Bisharp had managed to stand up to its power!
"It'll take more than a dragon's flames to quell my unrivalled power!" Lancelot snarled viciously.
"Way to go Lancelot, you pulled through! Now strike back with Night Slash!" Ruby ordered.
Lancelot sprang into action, launching himself towards Dragapult as if he'd been catapulted and his hands were surrounded by dark energy. He drew them together in an X-shape and then struck, swiping both arms at Dragapult and cleaving through its ghostly body. The Dragon/Ghost Pokémon winced and doubled over as it was struck, momentarily stunned by the Night Slash and losing health rapidly. It had suffered more damage from Lancelot's attack than he had suffered from Dragapult's attack. Despite the power of Lancelot's attack, it hadn't been quite enough to bring Dragapult down. It was still able to fight back. Dragapult shook its head and roared, eager to fight again. However, Leon had other ideas.
"Wait! Let me heal you up first!" he cried, "We can at least keep you active for a little longer to turn the fight around!"
He whipped out a Full Restore potion and sprayed it on Dragapult. The potion acted instantly and Dragapult was healed up in an instant, its health back to being full as it was healed. Dragapult growled with pleasure, feeling completely recharged after that boost up. But ultimately, the Full Restore had been useless for Ruby just ordered Lancelot to Night Slash it a second time. Leon had wasted valuable time healing Dragapult up instead of chancing another attack and maybe winning the fight, and it had cost him his biggest ace after Charizard. Lancelot jumped towards Dragapult and uses Night Slash again…and surprisingly enough, unlike the first attack, that was enough! Dragapult collapsed onto the grass, completely wiped out by that single blow! Ruby gasped, wondering why that had been a one-hit KO unlike the first time. Lancelot however just raised his arms and basked in his glory as the crowd cheered, amazed that Ruby had pulled off a three-nil victory in this early stage of the match.
"Nobody defeats Lancelot! NOBODY!" Lancelot bellowed, clashing his arms together and scraping his blades against each other to shower himself in sparks.
"Dragapult is unable to battle! Bisharp is the winner!" the announcer declared.
"Wow! Look at Ruby go! She's totally kicking Leon's butt!" Emerald squealed.
"I don't believe it! She's totally got this fight under control!" Sapphire exclaimed.
"When's the last time Leon lost three Pokémon in a row without his opponent losing a single one?" Michael asked.
"I think that's a first as I don't ever recall anyone else pulling that off!" Annie replied, her voice full of astonishment.
"I only wish I could be down dere fightin' alongside her and da others…" Bugs muttered. He betted he would've been great in this fight against Leon and would be helping Ruby win effortlessly.
Annie knew her daughter was good but she felt like she was seeing the real Ruby for the first time down there, the trainer that had inherited her father's skills and had grown beyond even that. It was quite spectacular to watch how effortlessly Ruby seemed to be handling this battle.
Back on the pitch, Leon returned Dragapult, giving it a sad smile as if sorry that it had to lose and that he hoped it would get a good rest in the meantime. He drew out his fourth Ultra Ball, amazed that he was down to his fourth already. How was this kid beating him so easily? Had he really endorsed her only for her to go on and beat him in the end? It would make this victory very ironic in hindsight. The only way this would be funnier is if it was his own brother who was winning right now.
"You're quite impressive Ruby." Leon said, his tone matter-of-fact as if he didn't need to overemphasize that point, "No one has ever knocked out three of my Pokémon in a row while still having all their Pokémon left! I must learn your training regiment as it's clearly better than any I've ever taken part in! I wouldn't be surprised if you could even win a fight against my old mentor, Mustard!"
"Don't oversell me Leon, I've only knocked down half your team. You've still got half left that could easily change things around." Ruby said hastily, "Seriously, you're acting like I've won already! Don't quit now, let's fight to the end!"
"Ha, you're speaking my language Ruby!" the Champion laughed, "I wouldn't quit this match for anything! This is too good to leave unfinished! Now Inteleon, you're up for a Champion time!" he cried, throwing his Ultra Ball.
Ruby watched as the slender, slinky form of Inteleon materialized onto the battlefield. She remembered how way back on the day her journey had started, Leon had taken in the Sobble that she and Hop hadn't picked. It was awesome to see it fully evolved now. Inteleon looked like a tall, skinny chameleon with a clear secret-agent vibe going on with its looks. Its body was dark blue while its head, tail and upper arms were light blue and its legs, feet and hands were black. If it was wearing clothes now, it'd be wearing a waistcoat, trousers and gloves. It had a yellow fin on top of its head and a flap of skin that it could use to glide with. It pointed its finger at Ruby as if it were holding a pistol, enhancing the spy look even further. It was only fitting that the Pokédex would refer to it as the "Secret Agent Pokémon".
"The name's Pond…James Pond." it purred in a perfect impression of Daniel Craig as the famous James Bond character in the movies.
"Cute." Ruby snorted, scoffing at the terrible pun, "But I don't need to be a secret agent to defeat you."
She returned Lancelot and drew out her next ball. She threw it, summoning forth Freddy the Toxtricity to the field. That definitely made the crowd excited for they knew that the battle was about to become a big show with the singing sensation now on the field. Freddy looked around, taking in the atmosphere of the crowd and for once, looking bowled over by the noise and sheer number of people that seemed to be here. It wasn't often that Freddy looked nervous but here he was.
"Talk about an audience…" he muttered, "I've never played for one this big before. It just means I've got my biggest crowd ever to play for!" he cried, ignoring his astonishment and going back to his usual confident self.
"Don't play anything yet, buddy. Save it for the finale as I plan to use you again at the end." Ruby said, "Keep the audience anticipating your next song." she added, winking.
Freddy could see where his trainer was going with this. Yes, keep the audience guessing and hungry for more, definitely a way to make a proper show to entertain them! This would make his next performance all the more fun. Leon made the first move.
"Use Tearful Look!" Leon commanded.
"I hope you won't cry over this." Inteleon purred.
He conjured up a pair of eyes that began to weep heavily in front of Freddy. Ruby remembered the move from when Allister's Mimikyu had tried using that on Raven back in Stow-on-Side. But much like with Raven, it was a useless move to use on Freddy as Freddy relied on Special Attacks, not Physical Attacks so lowering his Attack was pointless. It was Inteleon's first mistake, and also his last as Ruby made her first move.
"Use Overdrive on him!" Ruby cried.
Freddy did just that, throwing his arms aside and letting loose a colossal surge of electricity that exploded out of him. Inteleon cried out as he was electrocuted by the attack, leaping a foot in the air and writhing about comically by the electrical surge of Overdrive. He looked like he'd become an unfortunate cartoon character getting a nasty shock for some reason or another. Leon shielded his eyes from the blinding lightening. He couldn't even see his own Pokémon anymore after that. The next time he opened his eyes, he saw that Inteleon was down on his back, twitching like hell and grinning stupidly as he lay dopily on the ground. He groaned stupidly before uttering one last thing.
"That was…shocking." he rasped.
Then he fainted, completely unable to fight anymore. Leon could hardly believe his eyes. A FOURTH defeat in a row, and he'd still failed to take any of Ruby's out?! He was sure in a battle that was going to change Galar forever! What better opponent to face than the girl that was giving him the fight of his life?
"Inteleon is unable to battle! Toxtricity is the winner!" the announcer barked, earning applause from the audience.
This battle was unlike anything they'd seen before. Nobody had ever had such an easy run against the Champion, especially with a four-nil victory so far! They were definitely about to witness the birth of a new Champion! Leon's time was surely going to be up now! The purple-haired man returned Inteleon and drew out his fifth ball. He knew that his back was up against the wall now. Only two Pokémon left and he knew Ruby already had plenty of counters for them. His heart was racing. Boy, what a rush! He'd forgotten what it felt like to be on the edge of his seat for a change!
"I'd say I'm disappointed you're making me look so easy…but that'd be a lie." Leon declared, "You're giving me the greatest match of my life! It feels good to actually feel like I need to work for this victory for a change! Thank you so much Ruby!"
"You're welcome!" Ruby cried, "I'm more just happy I'm giving everyone around us a good time and that I'm proving a worthy opponent to you!"
"If I could've foreseen this, I may have thought twice about endorsing you that day." Leon joked, "Now Mr. Rime, you're up next! Champion Time!" he called, throwing his next ball.
The Ultra Ball opened up and unleashed his fifth Pokémon. Ruby frowned, not happy to be facing her least favourite Pokémon Leon owned. He had chosen the Ice/Psychic type Pokémon, Mr. Rime. It was an exclusive evolution to the Galarian version of Mr. Mime, a Psychic Pokémon from the Kanto region that was infamous for being creepy. Mr. Rime hardly looked any better, its appearance making it look like if Charlie Chaplin had been turned into a Pokémon. It had the appearance of wearing a waistcoat and a bowler hat with wings on either side of it, big clown-like feet and a crooked cane it held in one hand that seemed to be made of ice. It also appeared to have a face on its stomach, which made it even weirder. Ruby really wished that Raihan's Duraludon hadn't put Bugs out of action for he'd have been PERFECT in taking Mr. Rime out! She still had plenty of counters to him regardless and she picked one out now.
"It's risky to use him, but I'm confident he can do it." Ruby murmured, "He's never let me down yet. Soundwave, I choose you!"
She threw the ball and brought out the mighty Soundwave. The Noivern spread his wings and swung his tail eagerly, screeching loudly up to the heavens. The audience were wowed by the appearance of Soundwave. Emerald and Sapphire especially stared at it excitedly. They thought he was a very cool looking Pokémon. Both were hoping they'd be able to get one themselves when their turn came. Bugs just smiled. He knew Soundwave was strong and would have this match in the bag. Leon narrowed his eyes.
"I'd normally say it's unwise to bring a Noivern to fight a Mr. Rime…but I remember your battle with Hop." he acknowledged, "It knows a fire attack of some kind as when you two Dynamaxed, it took his Rillaboom out with Max Flare!"
Hop nodded up in the audience. How could he forget how his fight with his bestie had ended?
"Precisely!" Ruby declared, "So he's gonna burn that clown alive! Use Flamethrower, Soundwave!"
"By your command, Ruby!" Soundwave purred in his deep, guttural voice.
He opened his mouth and launched a jet of flames at Mr. Rime. The torrent of fire swept over the icy clown creature and knocked him back, causing him to drop his cane and cry out in pain. He felt like a snowman in an oven as the flames ate away at him. Thank goodness he was a Pokémon and not a real being made of snow or ice or he'd be a puddle by now! Leon squinted as the flames made it hard for him to keep his eyes open. He hoped that Mr. Rime would pull through. Come on, don't make it a fifth defeat in a row! Soundwave finished his attack and flapped his wings triumphantly, grinning as he was sure that he'd won this fight. This had to be his win! Ruby was prepared to cheer as she saw Mr. Rime fall down on one knee, grunting and panting as the flames died down. The audience watched intently. Was this going to be Ruby's fifth knockout in a row? It was looking very likely…but then all hopes of a fifth knockout were dashed out the window. To everyone's surprise, Mr. Rime managed to pick itself back up again. He looked burnt and was definitely ready to keel over any time now, but he was still standing! He picked up his cane and brushed himself off. He had just enough health to keep conscious for at least one attack. Leon smiled with pride.
"You always did amaze me, little guy." he said proudly, "Now use Freeze Dry!"
Mr. Rime obeyed, aiming his cane at Soundwave and blowing a torrent of ice cold wind over him. Soundwave let out a guttural cry of anguish as he was chilled to the bone and brought down by the wind. Despite Mr. Rime looking small, clownish and unimpressive, the attack was surprisingly strong and was effortless in taking him out of the sky. Freeze-Dry was a powerful ice attack that had the additional effect of being super-effective against Water types, hence the name "Freeze Dry". Soundwave wasn't a Water type, but it didn't matter anyway. His dual Dragon/Flying typing made him a sitting Psyduck when it came to ice attacks and Mr. Rime was no slouch as far as ice-type Pokémon went. He had managed to bring Soundwave down in a single hit, the chilled Noivern shivering on the grass as the ice took effect. Ruby gasped in shock, surprised that her powerful Dragon Pokémon hadn't been able to win and had gone down so easily. She knew it had been risky to bring him out, but she had been so sure that Soundwave would be strong enough to win! It also surprised her that it had taken this long for Leon to finally knockout any of her Pokémon, and it had been Mr. Rime of all Pokémon to do so!
"Oh no…Soundwave!" Ruby exclaimed, sad to see her beloved Noivern out of the battle.
"Mr. Rime…superior…Soundwave…inferior…" Soundwave muttered, disappointed with his defeat.
"Noivern is unable to battle! Mr. Rime is the winner!" the announcer declared.
"Oh no…poor Soundwave!" Emerald said sadly.
"I really thought that Mr. Rime was down for the count." Sapphire mused.
"If only that had been me down dere! I would've taken it out in one hit!" Bugs complained.
"I wonder how my girl's going to handle this…" Michael said grimly, noticing how dismayed Ruby looked at Soundwave's defeat.
Any fans of Leon who had fallen silent as this newcomer continuously knocked out Pokémon after Pokémon now felt they had the right to cheer again, whooping for their Champion and exploding with delight he'd finally managed to win at least one battle. At least now it wouldn't be a total clean sweep as that would've been humiliating to watch. Leon smiled proudly at Mr. Rime.
"Great job out there." he complimented, "And Ruby, your Noivern was great too. I'm sorry it had to lose so quickly."
"It's OK Leon." Ruby said, trying not to sound too disappointed, "It wouldn't have been a good look for you if I beat all six of your Pokémon without at least one loss anyway. I'm still very proud of Soundwave. He's been the best for me!"
She lifted her ball up and returned the defeated Noivern. She patted the Pokéball softly.
"Thank you Soundwave, for everything." she said kindly, "You get a well-earned rest now."
Leon smiled with awe, touched to see such kindness and affection for a Pokémon. He could see why Ruby was such a good trainer. Only trainer with hearts as big as hers ever grew to be something great. Love and friendship were key ingredients for making an excellent trainer. He waited to see what Ruby would bring out next. She had Freddy, Lancelot, Vesuvius and Spearhead left and there was also a sixth Pokémon he hadn't seen from her yet. Which would she choose? He got his answer as Ruby drew out her next Pokéball.
"Time for you to make your grand return Vesuvius, you're up next!" Ruby yelled, tossing her Pokéball into the air.
Vesuvius the Coalossal was back on the pitch once again, looking ready for another battle after the one she'd already had earlier. She eyed up Mr. Rime and smiled with anticipation.
"Alright then, let's party!" she cried, "I didn't think I'd be needed again so soon!"
"I know we're not gonna win this one, but we can at least go out swinging!" Leon declared, "Use Psychic!"
Mr Rime pointed his cane at Vesuvius and fired a wave of psychic energy at her. Vesuvius was sent shifting backwards a little by the force of the psychic blast but as Leon suspected, it wasn't enough to take down the powerful Coalossal. Her defences were too strong for the attack to be meaningful and Vesuvius had no weaknesses to Psychic types. While it had done the damage, it was far from enough to be meaningful while Mr. Rime had very little health left. It was all over very quickly as Ruby commanded her substitute to finish off the clown-like Pokémon with Heat Crash. Like with his Aegislash earlier, the Galar Champion watched as Vesuvius jumped in the air and flattened Mr Rime into the ground. Her fiery body sapped away the rest of his strength and he was left stuck in the dirt, groaning dopily over its bizarrely cartoonish defeat. Vesuvius huffed, feeling as if she'd barely even used much of her strength to win the fight. This had been child's play for her, and all because Soundwave had softened Mr. Rime up for her.
"I'm truly on fire tonight! Oh yeah!" she crowed, "Not surprising as I'm the one that stood up to Eternatus and survived!"
"Yeah, yeah, don't boast about it so much." Ruby said hastily, "I don't want you to get a swelled head about it."
"Mr. Rime is unable to battle! Coalossal is the winner!" the announcer cried.
"Yay! Go Vesuvius!" Emerald squealed, "Whoo, whoo! Leon's down to his last Pokémon!"
"And we all know what that is…" Sapphire murmured.
"We sure do." Bugs agreed, "I tink it's time for dat Charizard of his ta come out at last."
Leon returned Mr. Rime to his ball and drew out his last Ultra Ball. It was no secret as to what his last Pokémon was. Everyone in Galar knew what it was! There wasn't a single person in this stadium that wouldn't have been able to so much as guess what he was bringing out! He noticed several audience members chanting the name of his last Pokémon and doing his famous stance as they knew what was coming. He smiled proudly at the ball, knowing that he'd truly saved his best for last.
"So it's just you and me, buddy." he said softly, "You're all the strategy I need to turn this around."
He looked to Ruby, who looked blank for she too knew what was coming. Why even pretend to be surprised when it was so obvious?
"You've given me a great fight Ruby! But I ain't done having a Champion time here!" Leon announced, "This is where we truly decide who the strongest trainer is! This is where it all ends! Charizard, show everyone a real Champion time!"
He threw the ball and summoned forth his trademark Pokémon, his closest friend and ally, his first Pokémon he'd ever received and above all, his true ace-in-the-hole that always managed to stir up the audience whenever they watched his matches. Everyone erupted into an explosion of applause as the famous Charizard made his grand entrance, spreading his wings and shooting flames up into the sky with excitement. Ruby smiled, showing no signs of worry whatsoever. Who cares if Leon had his best Pokémon out? She had plenty of counters for it! She could easily just keep Vesuvius on the field and Dynamax her to use Max Rockfall to win easily! But she wanted to give the audience a show at the same time and decided to return Vesuvius to her ball. As she'd promised, Freddy would get his show at the end so she was going to use him. She'd planned to from the very start. If there was one weakness of Charizard that was easy to exploit, it was its weakness to Electric types. Charizard had counters to Water types by knowing Solar Beam but it had no counters for Electric types. Freddy was perfect to finish this fight with a major bang.
"I'm sorry Leon…but your time is over." Ruby announced, "I hate to be the one that dethrones you, but at least I can say I gave you my all. Freddy, time to bring the grand finale!"
She threw the ball and Freddy the Toxtricity returned to the battlefield once again, his electric Mohawk crackling wildly and face breaking into an excited grin of anticipation. At last, it was show time and he could bring his perfect song to finish the fight off! The audience began to cheer and chant for the two Pokémon. What an exciting finale this was looking to be! Toxtricity vs. Charizard, definitely a battle that was going to bring this fight to an epic conclusion. Both Ruby and Leon said nothing as they held up their Pokéballs. Both combatants had the same idea and were doing the same thing in unison.
Dynamax energy swirled around their wrists and the balls in their hands began to grow. The audience gasped and clapped wildly. No match was complete without a Dynamax battle to cap it off after all. Due to Eternatus taking all her Dynamax energy away, Ruby's hair didn't glow as she Dynamaxed Freddy. She didn't mind of course, her strange gift had been a worthy sacrifice for bringing an end to the Darkest Day. She threw her ball into the air and Leon did the same, throwing his one-handed with no signs of strain whatsoever. He was very fit and strong so throwing his Dynamaxed Pokéball was no effort for him. Both Freddy and Charizard grew in size, reaching the height of the stadium and giving the audience an incredible sight to behold. For Ruby's family, it was their first time seeing Dynamax happen in person, aside from Michael as he'd seen it before in his journey. He instead just shed a nostalgic tear as he was brought back to his trainer days. How amazing it had been when he'd Dynamaxed his own Pokémon for the first time back then! Freddy strummed his chest knobs while the Gigantamaxed Charizard flapped its fiery wings and roared to the sky. The final battle was ready to begin.
"Get ready Charizard, blow your competition away with Max Airstream!" Leon cried.
Charizard flapped his wings and kicked up a huge tornado of wind that swept towards Freddy. The Toxtricity was nearly knocked over by the gale forces and he fought hard to keep himself steady as he worried about falling onto the audience. At least no one was sat behind him so they had nothing to worry about. He raised his hands and squinted as the winds blew over him. As powerful as the Max Airstream was, it wasn't an attack that could do much to Freddy. Flying moves weren't effective against Electric types. As soon as the winds died down, Freddy regained his position and cleared his throat.
"I'd say that attack was all full of hot air, darling." he boomed, "Now it's time for the finale song."
He strummed his chest knobs, playing a tune to open up and then began to sing.
I've paid my duuuuuuuuuuues
Time after tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime
I've done my sentence…but committed no criiiiiiiiiime
And bad mistakes…I've made a feeeeeeeeeew!
I've had my shares of sand kicked in my face, but I've come throooooooooooooooooough!
"Rock on Freddy! Yeah!" Ruby cried, "Play it away and hit it with Max Lightning!"
Freddy made some air-guitar motions and strummed again, his tune echoing all over Wyndon Stadium as he got into his groove and simultaneously launched his attack. Charizard was hit by a colossal jolt of electricity that tore through its body and made it writhe around in pain. It had never been hit by anything quite as powerful as this before. The lightning was blinding, most of the audience unable to see as they had to close their eyes to shield them. Even Ruby and Leon couldn't see anything as Charizard was zapped by Freddy.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions, my frieeeeeeeeeends!
And weeeeeeeeeeeee'll keep on fiiiiiiiiiighting, till the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend!
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions, Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions!
Nooooooooooo time for looooooooooosers, cause Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions!
OF THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD!
Freddy strummed away completely in his element. Despite the powerful Max Lightning attack, it wasn't over yet. Charizard wasn't quite down. It had suffered a lot of damage from the attack, but it still had a bit of energy left in it for one final attack. Charizard growled, eager to show it wasn't finished and would keep on fighting no matter what.
"Freddy's putting on an amazing show! But show time's over! Charizard, Max Rockfall!" Leon ordered.
Charizard obeyed, summoning a huge slab of rock that rose from the ground and up to about its height and then pushing it forwards so it would collapse on top of Freddy. Freddy's song was interrupted as the huge rock slab landed on top of him and knocked him down onto his stomach. He grimaced from the impact, feeling as if he'd been flattened by a steamroller. The crowd was simultaneously impressed and annoyed. The attack they'd seen was awesome but they'd been enjoying Freddy's song so it seemed rude to interrupt him like that. But against all odds, Freddy got back up just as quickly and continued to play as if nothing had happened. Max Rockfall hadn't broken his stride at all.
I've taken my vooooows
And my curtain caaaaalls
You brought me fame, and fortune, and everything that goes with it!
I thank you all
But it's been no bed of rooooooooooses
Noooooo pleasure cruuuuuise
I consider it a challenge before the whole Pokémon raaaaaace!
AND I AIN'T GONNA LOOOOOOOOOOOSE!
"No you're not!" Ruby agreed, "Time to wrap it up! One last Max Lightning!"
It was all over. The Pokémon Tournament Finals ended in a flash of lightning as Freddy zapped Charizard one last time to diminish what was left of its health and leave him as the victor. Charizard writhed about in pain as Freddy's final assault finished it off. It swayed side to side as it tried to remain conscious as Freddy's song concluded.
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions, my frieeeeeeeeeends!
And weeeeeeeeeeeee'll keep on fiiiiiiiiiighting, till the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend!
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions, Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions!
Nooooooooooo time for looooooooooosers, cause Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the chaaaaaaaaaampions!
OF THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD!
Just as he finished that last verse, Charizard's Dynamax energy ran out and he was restored back to its normal form and size. He stood in front of Leon for a moment, looking over apologetically as if it was its fault that it had lost. And then finally, it careened to one side and fainted. Freddy returned to his normal size too, strumming in victory of his win. Leon stared in shock as he registered what had just happened. It was the first time his Charizard had been defeated in a while, but it was more than that. He, Leon, the undefeated Champion…had lost! For the first time since he'd become champion at the age of 10 all these years ago, he had been thoroughly defeated!
"Charizard is unable to battle! Toxtricity is the winner!" the announcer boomed, sounding pretty excited to be announcing this, "The winner of the Galar Championship Tournament is Ruby Silverlock of Postwick Town! And she is OUR. NEW. CHAMPIOOOOOOOOOOON!"
Ruby didn't hear the crowd exploding into applause for her, screaming her name to the heavens above. Despite the noise, everything sounded distant to her as if they were somehow a million miles away. She put her hands to her mouth, staring ahead of herself and breathing in slowly as she tried to take in what had just happened. She, Ruby Silverlock, a nobody from Postwick Town with a dream to be a Pokémon trainer, had bested the Gym Challenge, defeated Eternatus…and had defeated the reigning champion! Could this really be happening? Had she truly done this? How had her life led to this? She couldn't believe that she'd really done this.
"I…I won?" Ruby stammered, her voice barely above a whisper, "I actually…won?!"
As for Leon, he was having trouble processing what had happened and was struggling with his emotions. What could he do? He wasn't used to losing so he wasn't sure how to react. He wasn't even sure how he felt! Did he feel angry? Maybe. Disappointed? Perhaps. Overwhelmed? Most definitely! But most of all, he felt…thrilled. He'd never had a battle quite like this before and he had gotten it from the most unlikely of sources! He remembered all the times that Hop had talked to him about Ruby and the friendship they had together since the Silverlocks had moved into Postwick Town. Who would have guessed his own neighbour and close friend of his brother would be his successor? He had to admit that strangely enough, it felt good to lose for a change. Now he'd finally found someone who had bested him, he had a new drive in life and no longer needed to feel comfortable with just winning all the time. He wasn't sure what was next for him, but he knew what he was going to do at this moment. He threw off his trademark hat, an apt metaphor for the king that had once been him now giving up his crown, and turned to the audience.
"There you have it folks, my Champion time is over! We've got our new Champion now, and her name is Ruby Silverlock!" Leon cried, his voice full of enthusiasm for his successor, "May she reign as long as I have, and beyond!"
The crowd chanted happily, overwhelmed with excitement over what they'd witnessed. They'd come to see an incredible battle, and had seen history in the making. Everyone here would cherish this day for the rest of their lives. A new Champion being born and succeeding over the previous one! This was a day to preserve! Up in the audience, Hop was sad to see that his big brother had been dethroned as Champion, but he was also utterly happy that Ruby had been the one to do it. If anyone could beat Leon, it was his best friend!
"Well done Ruby, you were epic out there! May you be the champion for years to come!" he cheered.
As for Ruby's family, Emerald and Sapphire were hugging each other and practically screaming themselves hoarse with ecstatic joy. They'd always had faith in their big sister and now their faith had rewarded them with their big sister being the new Champion! Annie and Michael were hugging each other too, both crying uncontrollably over what they'd seen.
"Oh Arceus, this is the happiest day of my life!" Annie sobbed happily, "My baby girl, all grown up…and the champion of Galar!"
"I knew she'd succeed where I failed." Michael said, a broad smile across his handsome face, "Ruby, I couldn't be prouder of you my girl…"
Bugs too had tears in his eyes, a broad smile on his face for his trainer.
"Ya truly earned dat Champion title Ruby. I couldn't be more proud ta be yer Pokémon." he said to himself.
Down on the pitch, Ruby hadn't moved from her position at all. She'd become frozen to the spot as if paralyzed by what had occurred. She was still trying to register the fact that she'd won and was the new Champion now. Leon walked up to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey, Ruby." he said gently, "That was the greatest battle of my life. I can't thank you enough for giving us all a battle truly worthy of a new Champion. I must say, you've more than earned the right to be our new Champion. My utmost congratulations for you, mate!"
But Ruby suddenly had a reaction Leon hadn't expected. For some reason…she began to cry. Tears streamed down her face and she was looking at the grass as if somehow, this whole thing had been distressing for her. Leon grew concerned. Oh no, was all this too much for her? Or was she worried that she might've upset him by winning?
"Ruby, why on Earth are you crying?" he asked worriedly.
Ruby then looked up at Leon, the first time she'd moved since the announcement had been made. She didn't look sad. Her face was instead a mask of pure joy, a wide smile on her pretty face as the tears ran down her cheeks.