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Once in this Lifetime

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??? – Chapter 1

Above an arena in a city, there are two flying dragons. One is black and with six flaps spread to look like wings and three heads and the beast’s underbelly is dark blue along with pairs red eyes on all of his “heads”. The other is an orange dragon with two horns and its tail is ignited with a bright flame and the two flying monsters trade breaths of fire and purple beams.

“This is an even match!” the eyeglass wearing MC yelled out as he was on the edge of his booth and holding on the ledge as he gawks and everyone is in a similar position, the audience are excited about which monster will win. And a 10 year old child with messy black hair and brown eyes stare at the sky with the two dragons roaring at each other in intense competition. The child just can’t take his eyes off the fighting duo in the sky.

“Pokemon…” the child muttered in amazement and with that, the orange Pokemon called a “Charizard” charged at his opponent which was called a Hydregion which charged with the same vigor and excitement as the other. The Charizard then wore a grin and so did his trainer who was wearing a dark blue polo with a four point star on its back and the other trainer on the opposite side of him sported a red jacket with a golden flame embedded on its back. The jacketed trainer gasps and wore a shocked look but smiled after a moment. He nods and with that the polo wearing contestant yelled out Dragon Claw. The claws of the Charizard glowed and expanded to glowing green energy versions of it.

The two flying mons approached each other at top speed and roared proudly, the audience covered their ears minus the child merely just continued to stare at the clashing mons. With that the orange dragon clawed his opponent with his attack and the other simply dropped a bit after a brief moment. “…Hy…dregion…” It faintly said its name before it fell straight down towards the ground. And a big boom and dust suddenly rose as the black Pokemon met the ground and everyone was covering their eyes.

“Wow! What a knockout, there goes Hydra!” Yelled out the announcer as his voice rang all throughout the arena with him in his excitement as he grips his mic and he almost leaned in too much and before he realized. Yelling he began to fall towards the arena and as the MC almost hit the ground, he is surrounded a bluish aura and slowly floated back to his booth where his pokemon which was an Alakazam is. The psychic type wore an expression of tiredness as if he has been dealing with it for the longest time. “Thanks buddy.” The commentator thanks his Alakazam which the creature nods and returns a sincere smile and wore a small blush.

The crowd cheered as the dust clears and the child just yelled out wildly and babbling praises the events that happened. “This is awesome! Woohoooo!” the child then suddenly was picked up by the Charizard. “Mom! Dad!” the child called out to his parents as the lizard smiled and brought the kid to his trainer. “Great job Soare.” The blue cladded trainer looks at his Charizard and the Pokemon gave his trainer a smile and a “zard” in reply. The Charizard breathed a flamethrower towards the sky, reaching up high. The victor up close looked quite aged. Hair has splotches of grey and hair spiky and has five spikes that looked similar to a Luxray.

The man smiled and gave the child a pat on the head and dug his pocket to reveal a Pokeball. And gave it to the child who was speechless and giddy, eyes sparking and shining with nothing but admiration. He handed it to the child and it shook a little, the man gave a wink. “Soare seems to see your potential.” Then the man lifted him up and brought the child to the stands. And the child’s parents thanked the man for his gift. The crowd stares at the child and all wore different looks. Adoration and envy are the two prominent ones.

“Well well… Seems you found your chosen huh?” the man’s opponent called out with a smile and a wave. “Yes I have… And I know that he has potential…” the age man called out to the jacketed individual who wore a smile and waved at the kid. “… Now I see why.” the red wearing man is significantly younger with golden hair, pale skin and a pair of red eyes. Looked at the child who wore the same look as he did with the other man and with that the young man said goodbye and his Hydregion flew to him and nuzzled him. “Be seeing you all someday!” and the young man flew on his Pokemon.

“Likewise to you all, thank you!” and the other left with his Charizard and the two dragons roared as they took the skies with their trainers. The boy, with his Pokeball which he held closely wished that someday he can meet both of them. The southern champion “Raiz” and the northern champion “Leron” and battle them.

The ball shook a bit more, and the crowd stares at the child and murmured a few things as the child’s family headed their way towards the exit and the child still held on his slightly shaking Pokeball. The parents didn’t know that the ball is actually occupied with a Pokemon of the southern part of the Siprin region. “So… shall we go home? I know you are hungry after that “hoax”.” The boy’s father called his son out as they went in the car.

“Derek, do you think now is time to give it a break?” the child’s mother replied to her husband as the man known as “Derek” berated his son. “Dad, it was nice. Thank you for taking me there.” The child replied with politeness as he wore a smile which made his father wear a scowl on his face. And his wife, a woman with hair reaching her shoulder and brown eyes smiled at her child with pride. They arrived to a small house in the suburbs of the city, filled with trees unlike the main city wherein buildings are seen everywhere and only a few trees and greenery can be seen from small gardens to the schools there.

Their house is not much. It has two stories, a front and backyard with flowering shrubs that have white fragrant flowers called “Yassiden” which is known to be able to tame wild Pokemon to their calmest state and a small cottage nearby which is strangely in great condition as the family stops in front of it. Quickly, the child went to his cottage and the two adults are left in the car. “Ramona… what is it to you?” asked the man and the woman sighed and went out of the car, knocked on the cottage door when she arrived there and the child opened the door gladly. The two entered and the man in the car just stared at the child with envy.

Angry and frustrated, Derek went out of his car and entered the house. Stomping and mumbling curses.

“Mom… why is Dad like this?” asked the child as he stares at his Pokeball. Intrigued by what could be in there. “I don’t know Gon, I don’t honestly know why is your father like this.” Ramona smiled and pats her child on the head. “My mother, Grammy can talk to Pokemon.” The child quickly stared in disbelief and amusement. Scooting over and near his mother “Really?” and his mother told him a story about her mother.

Grammy once was a trainer with an extraordinary gift. The ability to talk to Pokemon, she has been known as “The Whisperer” for the longest time as she is the person who can solve loads of cases involving Pokemon trainers and their Pokemon. And she is known to be able to stand toe to toe with the champion of the south, Raiz in battle. Known to be childhood friends and rivals for all eternity, Grammy retired after the Pride Decree. Wherein the north and south have a rough rivalry on who is better, to the point of even excluding Pokemon species for themselves. The prime example being the two lion mons Luxray which represents the south and Pyroar which is the north’s representative.

The north also known as “Talgin” is represented as prideful, brave and yet they however also have egotistical and arrogant sides. The royals and higher ups are from the Talgin bloodline of royals and personalities. South is known as “Aulp” are known to be persistent and tenacious albeit stubborn and very reckless, making them easy to lure into traps. Those differences caused the “Pride Decree” a declaration of compromise from the north and southern powers to exclude themselves from each other’s affairs besides the main city which is “Alinam” for trade and battles, as well as allow the Pokemon League of the region to be held of four gyms to the south and four at the north. As well as those who seek to cross the border needs to pass a trial called the “Duos”.

The Duos is the test of who gets to pass through the gates to the other side of the boarder or not. Making the Siprin League to be the most challenging league yet to date with all of the mountains, seas as the Siprin is an archipelago region. The region is filled with a diverse mix of Pokemon and some are even non restored ancient Pokemon. Then a knock sounded with a female person’s panting.

“Sonny… Daughter?” there is a pant for every word and then quickly Gon opened the door to reveal a woman similar to Ramona but aged and her hair is tied back and her hair has strands of white here and there. However, her physique is as if she is a 20 year old model, fit and still ready for adventure. “Grammy!” Gon greeted and quickly hugged his grandmother at her waist and her daughter did the same for the both of them. “Mom! How have you been!?” Ramona giddily asked her mother as they realized that she is still panting.

“Oh dear me! Where are my manners? I will go get some water.” Quickly the mother dashed to her home and left the grandmother and grandson together. “I’ve heard Mr. Showy has given you a gift. Well then… I’m here to give mine, happy birthday!” The old lady greeted and showed her grandson a small circular golden necklace with two gems. One is yellow with the four point star and the other is red with a golden flame on it. Both are in opposite ends as the center of the disk is empty, as if something is meant to fit in there.

“Grandma… what is this?” Gon asked as the old lady slowly put the necklace around her grandson’s neck. “Something to show you that you can be more if you try.” Then she pressed the center of the ball and the capsule opened, a red beam of energy quickly molded into the shape of a cat-like creature to reveal a…

“A Shinx?!” Gon quickly screamed as the shape then gained color and sparkles flew as the electric type Pokemon was revealed. “My my… could it be that his Luxray mated already?” Grammy commented as she saw the Shinx, knowing that it is probably the son of Raiz’ Luxray “Tamara”. Gon cannot believe that his first Pokemon is actually a Shinx, the pride and symbol of Aulp. Grammy however wore a grin and her eyes are filled with sorrow as well. A tear streamed down her cheek as she looks at the purring cat.

“Grammy?” Gon looked at his grandmother and she sniffles and wipes it away. “Oh hehe it’s nothing. He just looks… beautiful.” She commented and the Shinx quickly jumped to his trainer and purred as the feline licks Gon’s face lovingly. Gon giggled uncontrollably as his Shinx began showing his affection, and Gon simply was ecstatic that he finally got his first Pokemon. Then his grandma petted the Shinx and the feline responded with its head going up against the woman’s hand.

“Miss… I like you… I like him too.” The Pokemon told the woman and Gon just heard the mon say his name over and over again. Gon looked at his grandmother and she translated what the electric type said to her. This gave the new trainer more happiness, as shown with his reply and a kiss to the cat’s forehead “I like you too… Umm…” the trainer thought for a while. “How does Ligan sound?” Gon proposed.

“Ligan is a beautiful name!” replied his grandmother as she then heard the Shinx enthusiastically accepted the name with much vigor. “Ligan is awesome!” and then out of the window outside the cottage is Ramona smiling and streaming tears of joy, enjoying this moment of happiness that her child is experiencing.

“He is growing up… and he can finally get out of here…” With an energetic smile she quickly dug behind the cottage with the shovel that was leaning on the wall to reveal a small box and opened it to reveal bills and coins. A sigh of relief is released and she looked at the windows of the house and seeing that her husband is too busy with his cursing. She grabbed the cash and quickly went to the cottage with the glass of water and the cash in her pocket and hidden from sight.

“Oh Ramona I can…” And Ramona just nods with a smile as her mother is about to explain the Shinx. Grammy smiles proudly as she looks at the Shinx and whispered to him “Take care of my grandson will you?” and the Pokemon nods with a curious look in his eyes. The blue and black cat doesn’t understand what is going on but he knows that this is of the utmost importance. Ramona greeted the cat with a gentle forehead bump and Ligan purrs as he is reminded of Raiz who did the same.

“RAMONA!” a loud call is heard from the house. Quickly she told her son to hide his Pokemon and Grammy stays in the cottage as Gon’s mother quickly went back in. The interior of the house is wide. The first room to enter is the living room and kitchen linked together and there is the man on his books, reading a book titled “Pokemon are Monsters: Man is the Superior Being”. Ramona breathed and came to her husband and asked what he needs from her. Stairs are on the east side of the room, beside the light blue walls and the white ceiling lit with light bulbs and Ramona eyes the stairs with purpose.

“Money… I need to get the council to get us more supplies.” And Ramona replied that they have no money. “Bullshit.” The man slams his fist on the table, he is well built and his eyes are cold as ice. He came up to his wife and stared at her with a cold and frightening look. Ramona however isn’t afraid and looked at her husband with determination.

“Derek. We haven’t had our pays yet. We have no money for now; we can have it tomorrow but not now, alright?” And the man just grunts and walks away. Returning to his books, Ramona in fear of getting caught hastily went up the stairs to the storage room and took out a backpack that is red and orange. With 5 compartments, two at the sides and three at the front as she slowly dusted it to find out that it is still in good condition.

“Dad? Where are you?” Gon’s voice sounded and Ramona sweated coldly and nervously. Fearful and frightened as she heard her husband’s footsteps head for the door and then she heard silence. And silence isn’t a good sign. Quickly and carefully she went to peep through the stairs to see Gon’s face with a bruise on his right cheek and her husband is wearing a sick grin.

“Happy birthday… Filth.” Then the man slammed the door on his son’s face and Ramona just cried softly at the scene she witnessed. Then he turned to her direction and Ramona as fast and quiet as possible took the bag and jumped out of the window and as much as possible not make a sound as she grits through the pain when she landed on the ground. And almost immediately as if she hasn’t suffered an injury ran towards her son around the west side wherein the storage room doesn’t have a window facing that side.

When she arrived to see her son, Gon is crying and hugging his Shinx inside the cottage. Ligan still wore a confused look but seems to understand that his trainer isn’t feeling ok about anything at the moment. Grammy is pressing an ice bag on her grandson’s bruise. Wearing an infuriated yet sorrowful looks clearly agitated about her grandson mistreated by his father. Knowing that her husband might beat her son to death when he finds out of Ligan’s existence, she decided to give her son one last present.

A few hours passed…

That night was silent, and Gon is sleeping with Ligan on the bed. Ligan wrapped around his trainer’s arms as Gon smiles in his sleep, dreaming of something wonderful. And outside are Ramona and Grammy outside the cottage, wary of the man inside the house.

“Ramona… We have to make sure that Gon isn’t going back…” Grammy told her daughter and Ramona nodded. With her son’s bag and a picture of her and Gon in the Fire Festival they sneaked off to years ago. Gon with a wide and open smile and Ramona with her calm and content look as they enjoyed the festivities and she remembered the good times they had together as she placed it on the back pocket of the bag. Zipping the pocket and looking at the driveway as she placed the bag on the side.

Murmurs can be heard from the interiors of the house. But they are loud and clear, and all those messages severely disturbed them.

“Oh… Yeah… I have a Shinx here that you can pelt! Hahaha! Heck, force feed it Rare Candies and make the thing into a living stud!” Ramona and Grammy are sweating coldly as they heard that. “This is bad. I suspected as much, Ramona help me carry Gon. We have to get them away from here! Fast!”

Ramona and her mother carried the duo to the car and placed Gon and Ligan at the back. “Hun! I’m getting more food for tonight! I will be back tomorrow morning!” Fibbed Ramona and her husband went out the door and looked at her with a grin. “Good! We need more for our esteemed guest! After all, Gon will miss his dear old cat.” Derek laughed maniacally and slammed the door behind him as he comes to his wife with a cocky grin. And went to her and kissed her, Ramona kissed back and placed her free hand on her husband’s arm.

“I better get going… I have work again in the nightshift.” And her husband grins and Ramona is thankful that he hasn’t looked at the backseat; distracted by her charms. “C-can’t you umm… stay?” asked her husband in a shy way. “Ah ah ah. Responsibilities first my dear.” Ramona smiled teasingly and quickly as possible, the man went behind a tree and nods.

The car’s engine roared to life and as usual it leaves for the streets heading towards the city.

“Hey… man… ummm…” Derek called out after he got back to his phone. “I have to call you back.” And quickly he went in his house and killed the lights after he hung up from the line.

“Meow… Shii!”