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Opposites Attract| Guzma Love Story

Chapter Text

The sun rose from the horizon, its warm rays passed through a glass window. A bird-like Pokémon called Pikipek landed in front of the window and proceeded to tap on the glass, repeatedly with its beak. A soft groan was heard from across the room and then there was a shuffle accompanied by the sounds of footsteps. Pikipek perked up and began to chirp happily at the person who was approaching the window. There was a soft 'click' and the window opened inwards. Immediately, Pikipek greeted the girl and in return, she offered the Pokémon her hand to which Pikipek hop on to. The girl moved her hand and was now up close to the Pokémon.

 

"Good morning to you too Pikipek!" she smiled, caressing the Pokémon's head with her cheek.

 

Pikipek happily chirped and the girl extended her hand out the window and watched as Pikipek flew out of her hand. She let out a content hum before closing the window.

 

Her bedroom door twisted, it opened halfway followed by a soft shuffle. A blue seal Pokémon, with a clown ruffle around its neck, hopped on the bed and cheerfully squealed when it lay eyes on her. She turned around, a wide smile graced her lips and walked to her bed. The Pokémon couldn't contain it's excitement before it jumped on her and she caught it just in time.

 

"Happy to see me, eh, Popplio?" Popplio nuzzles the crook of her neck affectionately. She laughed softly. "I'll take that as a yes."

 

It was only an hour later, sitting in the kitchen, watching as Popplio engulfed its breakfast in delight. The girl had been rummaging through her small backpack for more than a minute now and was making sure she had everything for the day.

 

The girl wore a beige, V neck sweater with a black sleeveless shirt with a square collar underneath. Followed by black frayed denim shorts, gray sporty sneakers, and black crew socks. Her magenta hair was combed into two braided tails with her bangs hanging freely.

 

Popplio began to nudge its Trainers leg with its red nose until it caught her full attention. Her pale blue eyes meeting Popplio's dark ones.

 

"Finished already?" Popplio nodded. She stood up from the wooden stool, swinging her backpack on her back. "Let's get going then!"

 

Popplio clapped it's flippers excitingly. She picked up her Pokémon and carried it in her arms before leaving the house.

 

Ever since she was saved by Popplio along with two others to which they managed to scare off a wild Yungoos. Her adventure in Alola became one of the most enjoyable and memorable things that have ever happened to her. Meeting new people and visiting the islands after accepting to partake in the Island challenge. All of this wouldn't have been possible if she hadn't met Lilliana at the Plank Bridge.

 

That day, she protected an odd-looking Pokémon that was being attacked by wild Spearows, then the next thing she knew she was falling before being swooped up by the island deity; Tapu Koko. The memory still felt fresh like it was yester—

 

"Bethany!!"

 

She blinked, realizing that she was currently standing in front of the entrance to Iki Town. She must've been completely out of it. Wait, who was calling her then? Just then, a familiar looking face came running towards her, it was Hau.

 

"Bethany!" he called out her name once more, waving his arm at her with that goofy smile he always wore.

 

"Alola, Hau." she greeted him and so did her Popplio who barked happily in her arms.

 

"I was beginning to worry you wouldn't show." He said, crossing his arms over his head.

 

She gave him a questionable look. "What kind of a friend you take me for, hm?" a smile graced her lips, and Hau chuckled in response.

 

Torracat meowed at her and she stared down at the feline. "Alola to you too Torracat." Torracat then rubbed itself onto her leg, purring, she smiled.

 

"Come on! The others are waiting for you."

 

Hau practically dragged her to the stadium and they were immediately greeted by her friends: Professor Kukui, Lillie, Kahuna Hala, and Ilima. She greeted them with a bow and shyly said Alola to them.

 

"How're the trials going for ya', cousin?" Kukui stepped forward, his hands on his hips.

 

"Oh, everything's going well. I just completed Kiawe's trail two days ago." Bethany said, smiling sheepishly.

 

"You're as quick as ever, huh?" Kukui grinned.

 

"Well, I-I mean, his trial wasn't that hard, in fact, it was funny!" she laughed. "I've never seen something so bizarre like that in my life!"

 

Kukui laughed along with her. "I'm glad to hear that, cousin!"

 

Lillie stepped forward with her hands grasping the shoulder strap of her bag. "Bethany, I was wondering what level is Popplio at?" she asks, in a soft tone.

 

Bethany hums softly. "She's currently at level 26. Why do you ask?"

 

Lillie blinked. "Wait— level 26?" Bethany nods. "But isn't Popplio supposed to evolve at level 17??"

 

Now it was Bethany's turn to be lost, tilting her head to the side and looking more lost than ever. "Uhh... what?"

 

Everyone exchanged a look of shock and disbelief. Was she really this clueless?

 

Hau simply laughed it off, crossing his arms behind his head. "I'm sure she's messing with us, right Beth?"

 

The air was silent for a moment before she spoke with a nervous smile on her lips. She let out a nervous giggle. "Uh—actually, I had no idea."

 

Everyone around her instantly fell to the floor with their legs up in the air. A giant sweatdrop appeared on the side of her head. What just happened? Soon they all regained themselves before questioning her further. Poor Bethany was taken to the side and was being lectured by her uncle Kukui. She apologized profusely for this but received a pat on the head from him, which was a clear sign of forgiveness.

 

"Honestly, how in the world would you forget something so simple?" Lillie once again questioned her.

 

The girl smiled sheepishly. "I guess you can say that I tend to get carried away. Sometimes it just slips out of my mind, you know?" Bethany let out a soft laugh.

 

Hau leaned closer to her Popplio who has comfortably held in her Trainers arms. "When do you think she'll evolve?"

 

She looked down at Popplio. "Maybe... maybe she feels like she's not ready to evolve just yet." Popplio looked up at her and barked. "Or maybe I spoiled her too much!"

 

The three of them laughed together. Hau was wiping away his tears while he held his stomach with the other hand. Lillie too was on the verge of tears but it wasn't as much like Hau's. Bethany looked over to where Lillie held her bag, quickly noticing the zipper was wide open.

 

"Speaking of spoiled Pokémon, look who came out of the bag." Right when she pointed this out, Lillie gasped, her eyes widening tenfold and turned around to face the small galaxy puffball.

 

"YOU sneaky little thing!"

 

"Pew!" the puffball squealed, flailing its two wisp-like extensions around happily.

 

Lillie sighed deeply. "I swear, you just can't seem to stay in the bag." she crouched down to the puffballs eye level. "Come on, Nebby. You need to get back in the bag before anyone sees you."

 

She reached out to grab the puffball but was surprised to see it move away from her reach. Lillie pouted, obviously not too happy about this.

 

"Nebby. Bag. Now." she instructed but her words became deaf to the little things ears.

 

Lillie lunged at Nebby but was instantly met by the ground. Nebby cheerfully squealed, clearly oblivious to what it got itself into. She raised her head, determination written on her face.

 

"Nebby!" she stood up and began to chase the puffball who was running—er... floating away from her? What? Haven't you seen a ball of fluff that resembles the Galaxy float away? Yeah, neither did I.

 

She tried to catch Nebby once more but failed in doing so. The cute little thing launched onto Bethany's neck and nuzzled itself for comfort. Lillie crossed her arm with a displeased look on her face.

 

Bethany laughed. "Don't worry, Lillie. I'm sure you wouldn't mind if Nebby stuck around for a while longer."

 

She sighs in defeat, nodding at the idea. "Okay, but if Nebby wanders off you're going straight in the bag, mister!"

 

"Peew!" Nebby wrapped its wisp-like extensions around her neck.

 

"You like getting yourself into trouble, don't you?" Nebby looked up at Bethany, chirping in delight.

Chapter Text

     She presented the Firium Z to the female trial worker allowing her access to the gates. Bethany walked inside Dividing Peak Tunnel, and when she neared the exit she encounters the odd-looking people from Seaward Cave, Phyco, and Soliera. The things they were discussing with her were all too confusing, except the part about the Z-crystals and learning all of the Z-moves, then they left. Her head was literally spinning after that and even Popplio was confused.

 

Bethany kept on walking exiting the tunnel and onto Route 8. Just as she was passing by an Aether Foundation trailer she abruptly stopped. Phyco and Soliera were there talking to a man with a long white lab coat and a familiar hairstyle. She has seen this hairstyle before but where?

 

There was a constant beeping sound coming from the man. Could he be typing something? Phyco and Soliera bid their farewells to the man and left. Right as they left the man turned around to face her and she instantly recognized him.

 

"You there!"

 

Bethany jumped from his voice which snapped her back to reality. He now stood in front of her, his left hand typing away at a screen on his right arm. The blond hair, a blue cowlick around his head, yellow eyes and glasses. This was none other than Colress.

 

Colress introduced himself and started discussing his research: "Bringing out the potential of Pokémon." Believing that the bond Pokémon share with their Trainers is what brings out their full potential. A smile graced her lips. Even after all these years, he hasn't changed one bit.

 

"And thus my attention is drawn to trainers like yourself..." he gestured his hand at her to where she held her beloved Popplio. "Trainers bound to their Pokémon through the power of the Z-Power ring!"

 

He hummed, placing his hand on his chin. "Now that I think of it, I never asked your name."

 

Bethany tilted her head to the side. "After all this time you still don't remember my name, do you?" she smiled, and then cooed out a nickname. "Cold-ress?"

 

His eyes grew as if his brain finally piecing together the missing pieces of the puzzle. "Can it be...? Bethany?!"

 

Relief washed over her. "For a second there I thought you forgot about me."

 

A large grin formed on his lips and laughed half-heartedly. "I can't believe it. Look at you, you've matured over the years!"

 

"You think? I feel like I haven't aged at all!" They exchanged a good laugh. "You haven't changed yourself - - well, except for the minor upgrades on your wardrobe." She observes him closely. "And you look a bit chubbier too."

 

Colress blinked in shock, he wasn't expecting this statement from her. "Wha- I have?"

 

Bethany was soon in a fit of uncontrollable giggles, much to his confusion. "I was only joking!"

 

She received a poker face from him. "You may have matured physically but your mind is still that of a child."

 

"Aww, you're so mean!" she acted all hurt by his comment.

 

His gaze softened, a smile soon forming. "It's good to see you again. After all, you were the one who changed me." A blush tinted her pale cheeks.

 

He chuckles. "Here, you should have this."

 

Colress handed over a red disk; it was a TM for the move Flame Charge. She stared at the disk then back to him, unsure of what to say. Eventually, she took it from his grasp, thanking him in return.

 

"No need to thank me. Considerate it as a gift from me." He held up his hand then waved it slightly. "You will need it to battle the totem Pokémon on the next trail... Lush Jungle, correct?"

 

"How did you-u...?" He pointed down at her island trial amulet that was hanging on her left belt loop from her faded black, frayed denim shorts.

 

"Oh..." she mentally facepalms herself. How could she forget?

 

"I should be on my way. I've kept you long enough." He announced and instantly changed the subject. He's quick. "Apparently, there is an uninhabited island for Pokémon called Poké Pelago here in Alola."

 

'Poké Pe-what-now?' she felt lost for a moment until it finally clicked. Remembering a man named Mohn mentioning her about Poké Pelago back when she was on Route 7.

 

"Alola is fascinating! I believe that I will stay in Alola for some time!" He exclaimed.

 

Bethany couldn't have been more joyful after hearing him say that. Alola sure is fascinating and who knows? Maybe will run into each other like in the past.

 

"Well then, Bethany. I hope you will excuse me. I've had quite the curious request made to me by a couple of oddly dressed strangers."

 

He offered his hand to her, she accepted, thinking it was just a regular handshake. Instead, Colress bows, kissing her hand. It only lasted for less than a second but it felt like forever before he took his leave. Bethany couldn't get her head straight after that and was a blushing mess.

 

******

 

Popplio barked cheerfully as they exited the Pokémon Center. Battling trainers along the way can be very unfortunate but at least she gets money as an award for her teams' effort. She crouched down to Popplio's eye level and handed her a blue patterned Poké bean. Popplio munched down on the bean in delight.

 

Mallow's trail was not too far ahead and there was a sign on the left that clearly said Lush Jungle on it, so it has to be here. Just the thought of doing the trial got her excited and she couldn't stop smiling like an idiot. She looked down at Popplio who in turn stared right back.

 

"Think you're up to the challenge?" Popplio nodded with a determined look on her face.

 

"Onwards!"

 

She only took a couple of steps forward when suddenly she heard a commotion off to the side. It sounded close too.

 

Bethany turned her head to the right: it was two Team Skull grunts cornering an oddly colored silverfish Pokémon. Just seeing the Pokémon being frightened out of its mind made her blood boil, this was unacceptable. In her anger, she marches down towards them and began to snap at them in her own foreign language.

 

" ねえ!貧しいポケモンだけを残す!/ Nē! Mazushī pokemon dake o nokosu! / Hey! Leave the poor Pokémon alone!"

 

The two male grunts stopped what they were doing and turned to look at her. Then they exchanged a look of confusion.

 

"Yo, what'd she say, homie?" Grunt A asked.

 

"How should I know?! I don't speak Hebrew..." Grunt B trails off while making odd and awkward motions to his partner.

 

Bethany huffed, walking past them while ignoring their empty threats. The odd colored Wimpod managed to run off from the Grunts and was now cowering inside a hole on the side of the rock, shaking uncontrollably. Her frown deepened, the poor thing was so scared. It broke her heart into a trillion pieces.

 

"Yo girl! We're talkin' to you. Yer death or somethin'?!" Grunt B stepped forward trying to make himself more intimidating but would soon regret in doing so.

 

She turned around to face the Grunts and she had the scariest look on her face that it made them freeze right on the spot. "Baka! Do you have any idea how scared the Pokémon is? ... Well?!"

 

Both grunts let out a high-pitched shriek, like little girls, hugging each other for comfort. Never had they seen the girl like this, she was livid and it scared them witless. As the saying goes, 'Watch out for the quiet ones' they said, 'It'll be fine' they said.

 

Neither one of the male Grunts gave an answer. She returned her attention back to the Wimpod. It was still hiding in its hole. Her anger instantly disappeared. She outstretched both her hands and began to talk to the Wimpod in a soothing tone.

 

"Hey, it's okay. Those mean people won't hurt you anymore." She slowly crouched down, not breaking eye contact with the Pokémon. "Can you come out, please? There's no reason to be afraid."

 

Slowly but surely, the Wimpod cautiously peeked its head out of its hiding place. A closer look at the Pokémon she noticed right away at how different it looked than from its original counterpart. Its main body wasn't purple like what her Pokédex entry looked like and was replaced by red, and the white plating across its back was much lighter in color. The three plates on its back that overlap and each of its single black triangles were gray. The long spoke on each side of its head that curved backward we're red, along with its two short extensions which looked like eyelashes, two flat antennae, and its long, prickly tail. The only place that didn't change was its large yellow eyes.

 

Wimpods eyes stared up at her, uncertainty written on its face.

 

She smiled warmly. "It's okay. I won't let them hurt you, little guy."

 

Wimpods eyes widen, giving her a look of adoration, and in one swift movement, Wimpod was now in her arms. Bethany laughed softly, caressing its head gently.

 

Grunt A began to sniff loudly with a pool of tears streaming down his cheeks. "That's the sweetest thing I've ever seen in my life, yo!" he said. "It hit me right in the feels man."

 

However, the Grunt beside him was not having any of it. He had his arms folded on his chest with an impatient look in his eyes.

 

Grunt B let out an audible groan. "Enough with this, yo! We came here to get that Wimpod, not have a tea party with it!" he threw his arms in the air, obviously, he was annoyed by this whole situation.

 

"Chill out, bro!" Grunt A tried to calm down his friend but failed miserably.

 

"Chill out?! I didn't come all this way to come back empty handed, nuh-uh!"

 

The Grunt pulled out a Great ball, threw it in the air, revealing his Golbat. "I'm done waiting. Golbat, use Swift!"

 

Bethany managed to jump out of the way, but Golbats attack managed to hit her right leg. She cried out in pain as she landed on her side still clutching Wimpod in her arms. The Grunt chuckled, praising his Pokémon before approaching her. She tried to get up but ended up tumbling right down. Her right ankle had a deep cut on her skin, it was a bloody mess, she whimpered.

 

"You have somethin' we want, girl. Hand over that Wimpod." Grunt B demanded.

 

Bethany held the Wimpod closer to her body. Refusing to hand over Wimpod to him.

 

Out of nowhere, Popplio ran up to her and faces the Grunt, growling at him, a warning sign to stay away from its Trainer. The Grunt only laughed at the tiny seal. Bethany sat up, wincing at the pain in her ankle. Her eyes landed on Popplio who was standing in front of her protectively.

 

"Popplio..."

 

"I'll beat ya' senseless for this!" Grunt B declared, his Golbat preparing itself for his Trainers word.

 

Bethany turned her head away, pulling Wimpod close to her; it let out a small whimper. Popplio prepared to protect her Trainer, glaring at the Golbat. The Grunt didn't even get to finish his sentence when a low voice interrupted him, making him freeze on the spot.

 

"Hurtin' an injured girl, huh? That's just low."

 

Both Grunts turned around to face the man. Grunt A was relieved to see him, although Grunt B looked absolutely terrified and all the color from his face drained.

 

A tall man with tousled white hair and a black undercut. He had grey eyes, thick black eyebrows and on top of his head, he had a pair of sunglasses with a golden frame, with one of the frames being bent and a yellow Team Skull chain. He wore a black jacket with a zigzag pattern on both sides of his jackets; with a Team Skull logo on the back and underneath he wears a white shirt. He had baby black pants with two white X's under his knees, a pair of white shoes, purple tattoos of the Team Skull logo, a golden watch on his left wrist and on his right he had black and white bracelets.

 

His grey eyes glared down at Grunt B, who was secretly trembling in place, so was his Golbat.

 

"B-boss..." Grunt B murmured, gulping hard. The look his leader gave him is all too familiar, it was anger.

 

The man approached the Grunts, eyeing them both. "You guys are done for the day, ya got that?" both Grunts nodded quickly.

 

He grinned. "Good. Now... SCRAM!" he watched in amusement as they bolted out of the area until they were nowhere in sight.

 

Popplio nudged her Trainers side. Bethany lifted her head, staring down at a concern looking Popplio before her.

 

She smiled. "I'm fine, Popplio. It's just a- Ah!"

 

Bethany winced, gritting her teeth rather tightly as she stared down at the wound. Her ankle didn't look all too pleasant and she could feel her skin pulsating. Popplio comforted her by nuzzling its nose on her thigh gently.

 

The shiny Wimpod shifted in her arms, its eyes landing on to the man with white hair. Wimpod gave him a pleading look with tears threatening to fall. The man let out a deep sigh as he approached the girl, crouching down in front of her. He was never good with words; to begin with, it made him feel uncomfortable. Yet, something inside him told him to give it a shot.

 

"Hey, girl. You doin' ok?"

 

She raised her head and was now staring at the man. The first thing that crossed her mind was how intimidating he looked and was that... purple eyeshadow he wore? She squeezed Wimpod protectively, a single sweatdrop traveled down her cheek.

 

"Yeah... I'm okay..." she trails off.

 

Bethany couldn't help but be mesmerized by his facial features, his strong jawline, a hawk nose, especially his eyes which resembled that of a moonstone. Getting a closer look at him she realized how attractive he looked.

 

"You sure don' look like it," he said, glancing down at her bloody ankle. She chuckled softly, a blush tinting her cheeks. "I-I'm fine, really!"

 

However, he didn't buy her lame excuse. Without any warning, he swooped her up in his arms, bridal style, with the shiny Wimpod still in her arms. She yelped softly in surprise but said nothing as he began to walk away. Popplio followed right behind the man as he took her to a nearby Pokémon Center.

 

Many people inside gave the man cautious glances, that's when their eyes landed on Bethany. Their cautious looks turned to that of worry. Nurse Joy rushed over to them and told him to follow her down a hall where she would treat the girls' wounds.

 

Normally he would've left after dropping her off, but remained on the girls' side until he was sure that she was going to be all right. He was sitting on a chair, slouched forward with both arms on his knees, watching quietly as Nurse Joy attended to her wounds.

 

She was on an operating table watching as Nurse Joy disinfected the wound with her Blissey at her side. Wincing silently while Nurse Joy applied Vaseline on the wound then wrapped it neatly with a roller bandage. Wimpod snuggled close to her in her arms in a comforting way. A smile graced her lips and patted the silverfish gently.

 

Bethany asked Nurse Joy a favor to scan Wimpod for any injuries to which she happily agreed. Wimpod, however, was hesitant to be left alone. Bethany reassured the Pokémon that it will be over quickly. She told Wimpod that she will be right outside the hallway and watch through the glass window beside them. Wimpod nodded slowly, receiving a gentle pat on top of its head before she limped out of the room with the man.

 

The scan was pretty fast and thankfully Wimpod turned out to be just fine. Bethany thanked Nurse Joy and followed the man out the Pokémon Center. She couldn't help but notice the weird looks people were giving them, but she ignored them, not giving it much thought.

 

Bethany wasn't looking where she was going and bumped into the man. He turned around and glared down at her. "Watch it!"

 

She stumbled back and bowed her head. "I-I'm sorry! I should have been more careful..." she trails off, staring down at the ground. Her cheeks flushing with embarrassment. 

 

His anger quickly washed away and was replaced with guilt.

 

Wimpod approached her, tugging her shoe gently. She stares down at the Pokémon with a smile on her lips, and then, crouches down to its level. The moment she crouched, Wimpod threw itself on her. Bethany hugs Wimpod close receiving a happy 'chitter' from it.

 

"The little guy sure loves ya." He said, resting his hands on his hips.

 

Bethany hummed. "Yeah... I was planning on releasing it back but I'm afraid it won't leave my side!"

 

He chuckled. "You know... you should keep the little guy. I heard Wimpod gets stronger when it evolves."

 

Bethany stood up and tilted her head, a questionable smile rose on her lips. "Really? Then I may have to reconsider from my previous statement."

 

He simply nodded and began to walk away from her.

 

"W-wait! Please..." she calls out to him making him stop in his tracks.

 

"Th-thank you..." she stammered.

 

He looked over his shoulder and stared at her one more time before resuming his walk.

 

Bethany suddenly felt the Butterfrees' tingle down her stomach. Her thoughts were cut off by Popplio barking at her and pushing her towards Lush Jungle. As she walked towards the trial site there was only one thing running through her mind. 

 

Who was that man?

Chapter Text

     After completing Mallows trial it finally happened. Her Popplio evolved into Brionne! Bethany was so emotional that she cried tears of joy. She never felt so proud of her! And she even caught a new Pokémon to join her team, a Steenee.

 

Mallow offered Bethany some of her 'special soup', and she didn't quite understand what all the fuss was about. It was delicious! Lana and Kiawe have no sense of taste whatsoever. She even received plenty of the leftover soup, too!

 

Professor Kukui showed up right after the three trial captains left. He congratulated her then gave her a TM (67) as a reward. She told him about Popplio evolving into a Brionne and he praised her. Not long after their small talk, he invited her to visit The Dimensional Research Lab in Heahea City and telling her to get on over there with Extreme Speed. She grimaced at his horrible pun which only made him laugh harder.

 

She left Lush Jungle to heal up her team at the Pokémon Center then used her Charizard Ride Pager, which took her straight to Heahea city.

 

When arriving at the Lab, she witnessed Lillie commanding Nebby to use Splash and it gave her a confusing 'pew'. Bethany quietly watched as to not disturb their little conversation. That soon ended when Nebby saw her and greeted her with a cheerful squeal. Nebby flew to her side and she picked up the ball of fluff in her arms, nuzzling her cheek onto its own. This caught Lillie by surprise, staring at her and wondered if Bethany saw everything just now.

 

"Hey, Lillie." Bethany greeted with a smile.

 

"Um, oh, Bethany. Hello. I feel like it's been a while since we last meet." She said. "Th-there's a laboratory here that studies the dimensions, did you know?"

 

Bethany hums in thought. "I speculated they would. It sounds... complicated really..."

 

Lillie nods in agreement. "Oh, and the professor is waiting to meet you!"

 

Bethany follows behind talking on the way inside the building. Both girls were talking to each other while Nebby was currently enjoying being held by the magenta-haired girl. As they reached the third floor, Bethany was introduced to Kukuis' wife, Professor Burnet. From there on she started to tell them a story: three months ago, where she found Lillie lying on the beach unconscious along with Nebby whos' real name is Cosmog.

 

Professor Kukui began to talk about Hau, then mentions about how he could become a Kahuna like his grandfather someday. Out of nowhere, Hau appeared which caught Kukui by sudden surprise. Burnet took this opportunity to pull Bethany off to the side.

 

"Miss Burnet?" Bethany stared at the woman in confusion.

 

"Sorry, dear, but I just couldn't help to notice... how much you've grown." she studied the girls' appearance from head to toe. "You look so beautiful!"

 

She blushed staring down at the floor. "Um... th-thank you, Miss Burnet."

 

Bethany felt two hands on either side on her shoulders. She raised her head and noticed Burnet staring down at her with a look of sympathy and... sadness? Why is she— 

 

"Beth... I'm so sorry for your loss."

 

Burnet's words struck a nerve. Many old, unwanted, and agonizing memories came rushing at her like a waterfall. Her eyes were wide and the size of her pupils had shrunken. Nebby, who was still in her arms looked up at her in worry. Bethany shook her head, her pupils returning back to its original size.

 

Burnet could only stare at her and Bethany was giving her had a blank stare, and then it changed giving Burnet a small smile. Soon Kukui called them over. Bethany reassured Burnet that she has been doing well, then left before she could even reply.

 

Strange phenomena had been occurring in Alola and Burnet had the answer to all of this, it was called the Ultra Wormhole. Burnet stated that they can be extremely rare, but can open over the sky of Alola when its least expected. Legends about mysterious dimensions that are inhabitants of fearsome Pokémon that appears from the Ultra Wormhole.

 

If the legends are true, the guardian deities of the islands must've fought desperately against them. But like she said, it's all legends and folktales. Right?

 

Night had fallen over Akala and Bethany decided to call it a day. She stepped outside the building before having a strange urge to look up at the sky. The sky was normal at first when suddenly; a crack appeared momentarily before it faded away. What was that just now? It looked like— 

 

"Hey, Bethany!" she yelped, whipping her head around, before realizing it was only Hau. "You—don't sneak up on me like that!"

 

He only laughed. "So you've made it through all the captains' trials, yeah?" she nodded. "Then you should go meet Kahuna Olivia! She lives in the town past Diglett's Tunnel." Hau said as he grabbed her hand, pulling her with him. "Let's go!"

 

"Whoa—whoa, hold on to your Mudsdale, Hau!" she escaped his grasp and he looked her in confusion. "I appreciate your optimism, but I think we should call it day. I'm exhausted... I'll be staying at the hotel nearby, plus it's getting late."

 

"Oh!" Hau scratched the side of his cheek with a smile. "Tomorrow then?"

 

She smiles. "Tomorrow."

 

******

 

 

The day couldn't have been more complicated. While she travels through Diglett's Tunnel she stumbled upon two Team Skull Grunts, a male, and female. They were crouched down and were blocking the exit to the Tunnel. She secretly hoped she wouldn't have to cross with them but I guess she carries around problems such as this one. Both Grunts were mad and challenged her to a battle, and in a matter of minutes, she won. Somehow in the scuffle, Hau joined in on the fun.

 

Bethany made it through the other side of the tunnel and made her way down Route 9 but not before being greeted by an old friend. It was the famous detective Looker.

 

At first, he didn't recognize her but that's when he took a closer look at her. He was overjoyed to see her in Alola and asking how'd she's been. In between their conversation, Looker expressed his concern about many reported sightings of an infamous Pokémon mafia... yeah, that's Team Skull for you. 

 

He then apologized for keeping her this long and gave her a Thunder Stone as compensation and saying that he had bought three without even noticing! Looker wished her good luck in her trials before walking away.

 

She set foot in Konikoni city, and the atmosphere around her felt nostalgic. This place reminded her of her old home in the Unova Region. She stopped by the PMC (Pokémon Center) to heal up her Pokémon then headed straight towards Olivia's shop. Upon entering, a Probopass quickly recognized her and approached her with a letter in its grasp. She took the letter and read it.

 

'Olivia here. This is Probopass. It watches the shop whenever I'm away.

I know I asked you to meet me here, but there's been a change of plans. Come meet me at the Ruins of Life past Memorial Hill, when you can.'

 

As soon as she was done with the letter, Probopass went upstairs and then came back down to her side. It was holding a Medicine bottle.

 

"Pass?"

 

She blinked. "F-for me?" she held out her hand as it handed over a Max Potion. She bowed. "Thank you."

 

"Pass-pass!"

 

Bethany journeyed her way to Memorial Hill, battling a couple of trainers along the way. As she walked out of the tall grass a commotion caught her attention. It was two Team Skull Grunts trying to steal a Slow-poke and two Aether Foundation people confronted them, demanding them to return the Pokémon.

 

Slowpoke was utterly confused at the situation. Bethany stepped in to assist and won the battle.

 

They thanked her for helping them retrieve Slowpoke. The blond male, wearing an odd-looking green visor, offered her to meet him at the Hano Grand Resort when she finishes her trial, where he would take her to what she assumed was the Aether Foundation.

 

She was glad that there weren't any Trainers around on Akala Outskirts. Honestly, she could use a break every once in awhile, then four tiki statues came into view. This is it; beyond these statues, she'll face the Kahuna of Akala Island, Olivia. Nothing can ruin this moment...

 

"So, you're the one Gladion was talking about? ... Hmph. You don't look like anything special to me."

 

Bethany turned around to face a young woman with golden-yellow eyes and pink hair with yellow highlights. Her hair was so bizarre, but she has seen other hairstyles far odd-looking than hers. But the clothing she wore, the fake tattoo on her belly and a team skull necklace said it all... great; today is definitely not her day. 

 

The woman expressed her anger at Bethany for having defeated many Team Skull Grunts. This woman named Plumeria challenged her to a battle.

 

Plumeria managed to knock out her Mudbray and Steenee. The woman only had two Pokemon; Golbat and Salandit. But Bethany pulled through with her Brionne, finishing off Plumerias Salandit with Aqua Jet.

 

Plumeria was fairly impressed by how strong she is but gave her a warning not to mess with them again or else she'll show her how serious she can get. With that, Plumeria left Bethany and her Brionne.

 

Knowing how 'good' her luck can be, she'll eventually cross paths with them. Just the thought of it made her frown. She called Brionne to follow her as they now walked into the Ruins of Life.

Chapter Text

    After she completed the grand trial she went straight to Hano Grand Resort. The man from before, introduced himself as Faba, explaining about Aether Paradise is, etc.

 

She agreed to come along with Hau, who came running behind her. Olivia and Kukui were present to see them off at the ferry.

 

At Aether Paradise, Bethany and Hau meet the president of Aether Foundation, Lusamine. They learned that the company is responsible for making Aether Paradise, a sanctuary for abused Pokémon.

 

Bethany admired Lusamine for doing this. No Pokémon deserves to be treated awfully, nor abandoned... or stolen away from their Trainers.

 

In the middle of the meeting, a strange creature from another universe appears before them. Bethany quickly shields them all, readying herself for battle. After a short battle, the jelly-like creature retreats to its own world. The way it looked reminded her of Lillie in someway...

 

The oddly dressed people arrive at the scene. Lusamine introduces them as the Ultra Recon Squad and explains that she is working with them to protect Alola from an unworldly Pokémon called Necrozma. The ones that stealS light... what? Yet, Lusamine reassures them that everything is under control and sends Bethany and Hau to Ula'ula Island to complete their island challenge.

 

The ferry ride was soothing on their way to Ula'ula Island. Bethany relaxed in her seat with her Brionne on her right and Hau to her left.

 

"Ho..." he stretched his arms above his head. "My heart's still kinda racing, you know?" He said and Bethany silently listened. "The Ultra Wormhole is real... And Ultra Beasts are real, too!"

 

"And now this Ultra Recon Squad, too! The world is just way too big..." he pumped his arms up excitingly, a wide smile on his lips.

 

Bethany laughs. "You're just full of energy, aren't you?" Hau looked at her with his signature grin.

 

"That's what exciting about the world. There is always something new to uncover," she said with a smile.

 

Hau nods. "I bet we'll discover even more new things on the next island, too!"

 

"I can agree with you on that." She chuckles.

 

"We're gonna need all the energy we can get. Time to dig in!" Hau rummages through his backpack and pulls out a malasada.

 

He chomps down on it like it was the last meal in the world. She honestly doesn't understand how he can love these things so much. Guessing he enjoys them more than anything.

 

Hau then turns to her. "You want a malasada?" He asks in between chews.

 

She laughs at this. "Sure! Also, don't talk while you're eating. You're spilling bits of it everywhere!" she said in between giggles.

 

Bethany takes the malasada from his hands and eats it while offering some to her Brionne.

 

"Ahhh! So gooooooooood!" Hau looks down at the empty wrapping where his malasada was. "Shoot, I already ate the whole thing!"

 

Bethany couldn't help but laugh, covering her mouth with her hand. Hau turns his head to her and stares down at her malasada which was halfway done. She notices this and moves it away from his view.

 

"Nooo. You're not having mine," she warned him but Hau pleaded for her to give him a piece.

 

She shook her head and shooed him by saying. "Away with you!"

 

******

 

"Land ahoy!" Hau yelled out. "All right! Terra firma under foot again!"

 

Hau dashed off ahead of her and she quickened her pace behind him. He then comes to a stop which she was glad that he did because she's breathless from the running.

 

"Ula'ula Island is, like, another totally different place than Melemele or Akala, huh!"

 

Bethany huffed, finally calming her rapid heartbeat. "You don't say."

 

He grinned. "We're supposed to meet up with the professor, right? Where was it? Malie Garden?"

 

She opened her mouth to say something but was interrupted by Hau. No matter how hard she tried, he kept on talking. He was just too fast for her. She was barely keeping up with Hau's energetic attitude. Eventually, his excitement got the best of him, sprinting off to Arceus-knows-where. Hau had left her completely alone with her Brionne.

 

"I... wha... what just..." her head couldn't keep up with what had happened but all she knew is that she was confused.

 

"Did he say battle in between his excitement?" Brionne gave her a quizzical look.

 

She sighed. "Knowing Hau, he'll probably want to battle me."

 

"How lovely..."

 

******

 

 After meeting with Kukui in Malie Garden she meets up with Lillie just outside the entrance. Out of nowhere, she asked what she thought about the president of the Aether Foundation. Bethany told Lillie how much she admires the woman and adds that she too would like to help as many Pokémon from harm. She nods before talking about visiting the Ruins of Life that's located deep in a large desert.

 

Bethany made sure to keep Lillie near at all times, knowing her reputation in getting lost easily. Yet, she still got lost! Lillie had taken one step away from her and now she's gone. Bethany began to panic and was frantically searching for her. To her relief, she found Lillie standing in front of the library and Bethany ran up to her.

 

"Lillie!" she panted, slowly catching her breath. Lillie turned around with a guilty look on her face.

 

"I'm sorry... I ended up getting us separated and got lost, yet again..." she apologized but Bethany waved it off.

 

"Don't be sorry. It could've been worse, you know?" she reassured her. "Besides, I found you didn't I?" Lillie cracked a small smile.

 

A familiar sound of hooves galloping loud can be heard off to the side. It was a Mudsdale coming to a stop and greeted them both with a loud cry. 

 

"Ne-e-eh!"

 

Lillie turned around and was scared spitless, stumbling a couple steps back. "Yeek?!"

 

A young girl with black hair and grey gloves, wearing a khaki outfit with black boots and a purple bonnet approached them. It was Hapu.

 

"Bethany. Been a while, friend."

 

Bethany bowed and did the 'Alola' gesture. "Alola, Hapu."

 

She smiled. "Looks like your island challenge is coming along favorably. That must be pleasing to the Tapu's." her eyes drifted to Lillie. "So, Bethany, who might this be?"

 

"Oh! Hello..." Lillie bowed. "My name is Lillie"

 

"My apologies if Mudsdale spooked you just now." Hapu tilted her head quizzically. "Doesn't seem like you're a trial-goer. What are you up to?"

 

Lillie briefly explained to Hapu that she is studying the tapu's ruins for various reasons of her own. Hapu was delighted to hear this and offered to guide her to the ruins whenever then she left.

 

Bethany followed Lillie inside the library and headed straight up the stairs. Lillie mumbled something to herself then a little girl with purple hair and purple eyes appeared. The girl helped them find the book which was titled: The Light of Alola. Lillie read the book aloud from start to finish.

 

The little girl, who introduced herself as Acerola, mentioned how interesting her father's books are and had to have them moved to the library to prevent Pokémons from damaging them.

 

Bethany had to excuse herself, telling them that she must get going to her next trial. Lillie wished her the best of luck and Acerola did the same. She left in a bit of a rush with Brionne in her arms.

 

Route 10 was such a hassle to go through. Every step she took a Trainer would be right in front of her. What made things worse were the wild Pokémon jumping out on her unexpectedly from the trees, much to her dismay.

 

A kind stranger offered to heal up her Pokémon and felt much more relieved. Along the way, she found some Max Revives. Just when her day was going smoothly, she just had to run into them.

 

Two male Team Skull Grunts were, to what she thought "trying" to steal a bus stop sign or... just waiting for a ride on the bus. Their backs were facing her while doing those weird gestures like they always do, it just looked so cringy.

 

She sighed which was a great error on her part. One of the males noticed her presence and turned to face her, doing those awful, cringy gestures to her.

 

"What? You never see somebody take a bus stop to go before?" Grunt A questioned her as if she said something to tick him off. The other one faced her too.

 

"Hey yo! You trying to steal our bus stop? Best go find your own, ya heard?!" Grunt B warned but not before doing a familiar pose.

 

Great. She has to battle them again, doesn't she? And the outcome was as expected. She won and the Grunt lost.

 

He turned over to the other Grunt. "Dang, I lost? Then my homie's gotta fight you. That's just life in Team Skull."

 

"We stand up to even the strong, yo! We stand up, but not for long, yo!" Grunt A said. Right, when he was about to do the pose she stopped him.

 

"Look. I really don't want to battle you." Grunt A raised his hand to interrupt her but she stopped him, waving her index finger from side to side. Grunt A stayed silent.

 

"Please... just leave. I don't want to cause any more trouble and it's obvious that you will be easily defeated." she frowned. "I don't want to hear your complaints so just... go," she mumbled loud enough for them to hear

 

The Grunts looked at each other then back at her. She gave them a sad look, her eyes quivering with tears on the edge that were threatening ready to fall. They panicked, obviously not meaning to make her cry, and then they scurried away. 

 

She let out a deep sigh of relief. 'Thank Arceus...'

 

"Bethany!"

 

She turned around and smiled as Kukui approached her. "Hey, Kukui."

 

"What's going on? Some Team Skull punks just ran past me going in the other direction, yeah?" Kukui was puzzled.

 

Bethany gave him a smile to reassure him. "I, politely, told them to leave. Thankfully nothing serious happened."

 

Kukui was surprised by this and he chuckles. "Guess you should tell them to leave more often."

 

She shook her head, her eyes filled with doubts. "That's an easy way to do so, but sometimes they won't even listen." her eyes averted elsewhere.

 

"I sure wish they'd challenge the League instead of getting up to no good all the time..." she nods in agreement...wait—what?

 

"What? A Pokémon League here?!" she exclaims.

 

Kukui nods. "You'll find out more soon enough, cousin!"

 

She blinks at him which only made him laugh.

 

"Haha, but first things first. Let's head to Mount Hokulani, we should take the bus." Kukui suggested then made a pun afterward; this made her groan loudly and told him to stop.

Chapter Text

     There it was, Hokulani Observatory. The building looked stunning and there was PMC (Pokémon Center) right next to it. How convenient, and the view up here was incredible!

 

Kukui called her over to where he was and she walked up to him. Her Brionne stood before the metal railing and was staring out at the vast view from where it stood.

 

"Mount Hokulani is the second tallest mountain in Alola." Kukui stated. "And the tallest..." he gestured his arm to his right, pointing at another mountain in front of them.

 

"You see that steep, jutting, and majestic peak right over there?" she follows to where his finger is pointed at and sees a mountain peek its way out from the clouds.

 

"That's Mount Lanakila the highest peak in Alola!" Bethany hummed with interest.

 

"It's a sacred spot, yeah, the closest you can ever get to the legendary Pokémon of Alola, said to be the moon incarnate." Bethany looked over at him.

 

"Really??" Kukui nodded and she then whispered a wow.

 

"Right there! On the peak of Lanakila! That's where I'll establish our Pokémon League!" Kukui said excitingly.

 

Bethany gave him a blank stare before pointing at him. "I knew it!" she stated and proceeded to repeat herself proudly. She ended her childish behavior with a cough.

 

Kukui confesses and believes that the time has come for Alola to make a name for itself in the world and that establishing a Pokémon League will help achieve that.

 

Bethany was guided by Kukui to the entrance of the observatory where they meet a childhood friend of Kukui; Molayne. He introduces her to his old friend, telling her that he runs the observatory and manages the PC boxes. He also mentions that he isn't the captain she will be facing.

 

"But I was the captain once, my masked friend," Molayne admitted. She guessed that he decided to retire for reasons of his own.

 

He glanced over at her. "It's Bethany, right? Thanks for coming all the way up Hokulani to visit us." he smiled. "Our captain Sophocles is a rather busy young man, I'm afraid."

 

"Always calculating comet's paths or updating that Festival Plaza thing of his..." he explained and then hums in thought. "If you want to be introduced to the Masked Royal, though..."

 

"Well, that's something I could definitely help you with right here and now." Molayne let out a small laugh.

 

"Yeah, I think he's even stronger than we were at this point of our island challenge!" suddenly Kukui's demeanor changed drastically, staring at Molayne seriously. "One more thing, cousin—the name's Kukui! Who's this Masked Royal you're talking about?!"

 

Bethany couldn't contain a giggle from escaping her lips and quickly covered her mouth. It's strange seeing Kukui so defensive about this.

 

"Just... think about that favor I asked you, yeah, Molayne? I want you to seriously consider it." He said to his blond friend. "I guess I should head back to Malie Garden."

 

"Even Hau should be done eating malasadas by now, right? I'll make sure he makes it up here, too." with that the professor turned and left.

 

Molayne laughs. "That guy's as interesting as ever. My old buddy!"

 

Molayne then hands over a Z-crystal to her, the Steelium Z! She thanked him as she put it away in her backpack. He then proceeded to teach her how to perform the Z-pose for her to use the Z-crystal. Molayne insisted for her to come inside and look around the observatory as she pleases. If she's ready for the trial she can find Sophocles in the head's office. She, again, thanked him and followed him inside.

 

She couldn't believe what she was seeing. Cube-like bug/electric types were everywhere and a single Togedemaru was in the room with them. The small bug type Pokémon looked so precious! She just wanted to pick them up and squish 'em.

 

Molayne approached the many Charjabug and announced that it's their feeding time. They emitted a cute harmónica combined with electric noises in unison. It melted her heart.

 

Bethany explored the place and decided to take on the trial. Sophocles, the trial captain, agreed but then asks about the whereabouts of the Charjabugs. She told him that Molayne was preparing their dinner. The young man asks her a favor to go get them for him.

 

Outside, she saw all of the Charjabugs lined up horizontally and looked happily fed. All of them chattered cheerfully. Molayne notices something was missing... only six Charjabugs were present. The blond gives her a small task of finding the remaining three Charjabugs.

 

This task was the most enjoyable thing she has ever done. It was like playing hide-and-seek! With cute, cube-like bugs! Two of them were buried in the empty lot and the responses she was given were absolutely adorable.

 

The last one wandered off to the side of the building, she even learned that they had numerical nicknames! So damn cute, she couldn't bear it anymore. She picks up the Pokémon and hugged it close to her, to her delight, Charjabug nuzzled back!

 

After gathering all the Charjabugs, it was time to do Sophocles trial. It was a puzzle using Charjabugs to power up the machine that would summon the Totem Pokémon. She loved puzzles! Once finishing the puzzle to power up the machine, it began to malfunction. 

 

Togemaru, their little Togedemaru, jumped in to absorb the electricity but they all learned that it was all too much for it to handle. That's when a larger version of Togedemaru appeared from the ceiling, jumping down from the metal pipes above and into the electric current literally sucking all of the juice from the machine. The large Togedemaru was the Totem Pokémon! She never thought something so cute could look so intimidating. Guess she should never judge a book by its cover.

...

...

Success!

The Totem Pokémon has been defeated, although she felt bad for winning to that adorable... large, thing which practically wanted to annihilate/obliterate her team. She took out a rainbow-patterned Poké bean and offered it to the Totem Pokémon. It was unsure at first but once it took a bite, it thanked her by rubbing itself on her leg before disappearing somewhere in the building.

 

Both congratulated her on completing the trial. Sophocles gave her the Electrium Z then taught her the Z-pose. The young boy praised her and she became flustered by the comment, waving it off and saying that 'it was nothing'.

 

"Well, if you're done here, Bethany... can I ask you to do a favor for me?" Molayne asks.

 

"Sure! Whatcha want me to do?" She says with a smile.

 

"My pal Kukui seems to have forgotten this." Molayne hands over a familiar looking mask to her.

 

"He said he'd be going back to Malie Garden, didn't he? Sorry to ask, but take it to him, would you?" Bethany nods and then she began to laugh out of nowhere.

 

"Does he honestly think I don't know who he is behind this silly mask?" she pointed at the mask on her hand. "I play along like I don't know just for the sake of it but... wow!"

 

There were no other words to describe this. From the first time she saw him at the Battle Royal, instantly, she recognized him and called out to him but was brushed aside. It was just too funny.

 

A grin graced her lips. She couldn't wait to give him this mask back to him, just to see the look of horror on his face.

 

******

 

Brionne jumped in between her legs almost making her trip in the process. She knew exactly why her Pokémon was so eager, Brionne wants to be carried around in her arms.

 

Bethany has always had a habit of spoiling her Pokémon and she has no regrets. She enjoys holding them close; it's a way she would express how much she cares about her Pokemon. Bethany crouches down and then Brionne hopped right into her arms. This time she decided to change things up a bit and she placed Brionne on her back with her backpack to support her Pokemon's footing.

 

She now stood before the entrance to Malie Garden with a squealing pinniped on her back. Bethany laughs, clearly amused by this adorable moment between herself and Brionne. People who walked by would give her an amiable smile and they would comment to themselves, but loud enough for her to hear it, on how sweet they looked together. Bethany's cheeks reddened at their compliments and smiled sheepishly at them in return.

 

"We should probably stop stalling and give Kukui his mask back." She looked up at Brionne who barked softly in agreement.

 

When she entered Malie garden, she instantly came to an abrupt halt. Kukui had his back towards her but that was not what she had her eyes on. There were two male Grunts and it appears that they were talking to Kukui... maybe they were complaining about something? She swallowed and nervously but slowly made way towards Kukui.

 

"Yo, yo, yo! Hold up, yo, Mr. Kukui!" Grunt A said, well... he basically yelling at Kukui for no good reason.

 

"You say you wanna make a Pokémon League? You got rocks in your skull?" Grunt B questioned the professor rudely.

 

Kukui raised his hand at the Grunts, showing off his four fingers at them. "Four turns!"

 

Both Grunts were deeply confused by this. "Huh?" They said in unison.

 

A grin formed on Kukui's face as he rests his hands on his hips. "Bring it on, the both of you! I've been researching Pokémon moves, so I'm always ready!" the professor said with confidence hinted in his voice.

 

"I'll take you both on in a Battle Royal, and you'll be down with just a Swift and Incinerate or two!" Bethany glared directly behind Kukui's head; she was literally dying on the inside by his awful puns. Does he really do this just to see her in physical and emotional pain? If he is, he's doing a damn good job about it.

 

"You gotta beat the man to be the man, boys!" Was he really encouraging them? Oh, Kukui...

 

"Yo, for real?" Grunt A shook his head in disbelief and Grunt B did the same.

 

"F-fine! You asked for it!"

 

The crowd of people was cheering on for Kukui saying things like, 'Get 'em good, professor!' Some were booing and throwing discouraging words at the Grunts. 

 

Bethany frowned. Sure these guys can cause a bit of a raucous but they have no right to say such terrible things to them!

 

"Battle Royal, huh? Nice idea there, Kukui. You can beat down three Pokémon at once, huh?"

 

'That voice... no. Could it be...?' Her eyes darted at the bridge where a familiar face stood.

 

She took a sharp intake of breath with her hands hovering in front of her mouth and her eyes were frozen wide. Bethany was now staring at the male with tousled white hair in utter shock.

 

It was him.

Chapter Text

It was him.

 

Her eyes and her mouth were frozen wide open in an expression of stunned surprise, and although she was staring straight at the tousled white-haired man. She didn't notice her Brionne nudging the back of her head. 

 

How come she hadn't noticed this sooner? The man who helped her is apart of Team Skull!

 

The man approached Kukui, now standing in front of him and was currently invading his personal space. He had a wide smile on his face.

 

Everyone in the crowd murmured something to each other and Bethany couldn't help but listen to them saying someone's name. Guzma... So that was his name.

 

“The boss has graced us with his presence!” Grunt A said.

 

“The hated boss who beats you down, and beats you down, and never lets up… Yeah. Big bad Guzma is here!” There was only silence as Kukui and Guzma had a staring contest.

 

Guzma folded his arms on his chest. “Greetings, cowering public!”

 

“We have an exciting bout for you tonight! In the opposing corner, the Pokémon professor Kukui! And in this corner, the boss of Team Skull and the hardest guy around, Guzma!” he bellowed and returned to his regular posture, slouching slightly forward with both hands on his hips.

 

“Here we are, Kukui…” he began. “Fellow rejects who never could become captain.” wait, what? Rejects?

 

“We've got all these moldy old traditions in Alola- the kahunas, the captains…” Guzma trails off. “It's about time we cut out all that silly garbage and make something new for ourselves. Trust me, I get that.” She couldn't believe what she was hearing from him! He's being absolutely selfish!

 

“Don't get me wrong, though, Kukui. We've got no need for a Pokémon League.” he firmly stated. “After all, everyone already knows who the strongest Trainer is on these islands!”

 

“Speak for yourself, Guzma,” Kukui said bluntly. “It's not like I couldn't become a captain. I chose not to. I had other dreams, see?” Kukui turns around, closing his eyes and took a few steps forward then stops.

 

“I wanted to figure out which moves would be strong enough to beat old Hala… and I finally found what I was looking for.” He concludes before continuing. “The strongest moves you can use are the ones a Trainer and their Pokémon choose together... in the heat of the moment when it really counts,” he confesses a grin forming his lips.

 

He turns around to face Guzma again. “That's when I knew I had to make a Pokémon League, yeah, to give everybody a chance to be pushed to the limit with their team and find that perfect move!”

 

“Let's see it, Guzma! Show me your moves and prove you aren't just all talk!” Kukui folded his arms on his chest. “If you really can, that is…”

 

Kukui's last sentence made the crowd murmur. Everyone reacted, exclaiming with an ‘ohhh’ as it echoed through the air. Kukui turned around, noticing Bethany's presence.

 

“Right, cousin? Don't you agree?”

 

Bethany shook her head and stared at Kukui in confusion. She wasn't even paying attention to what he was saying. “What?” a small sweatdrop appeared on the side of her cheek.

 

Guzma scoffs, not even looking at her. “So you're one of those kids on his island challenge? You don't look like you're from around here!”

 

Kukui proceeds to introduce her. “This here's Bethany. She just moved to Alola recently. Discovery! New experiences! Adventure! She loves every minute of it!” He turned around towards Guzma. “Bethany and her Brionne can unleash some really powerful moves. So if you think you're the strongest Trainer on these islands, Guzma, why don't you battle her?”

 

Bethany stared at Kukui in shock. Doesn't she have a say in this? “K-kukui are you losing your mind?! I just came here and now you want me to battle him??!” she argued, looking mortified by these turns of events.

 

“Tch! This move fanatic is getting me all riled up!”

 

Guzma locked eyes with the girl who stared right back him. His whole demeanor faltered. His eyes were wide open in an expression of shock and disbelief. It was the same girl he helped back in Akala Island. He never even imagined seeing her again, yet, here she was, standing before him. Guzma looked fixedly at her, not with anger, but with interest. His eyes drifted off to her left shoulder, noticing a black smudge on her pale complexion. He couldn't tell what it is but whatever it was, it did not sit well with him.

 

Bethany must've noticed where he was staring as she quickly covered her shoulder with her right hand. She averted her eyes elsewhere, not daring to look up at him.

 

Guzma's eyes landed on her Z-ring which was located on her left wrist. Her Z-ring was above her sweater. Now, why on earth would she have it there? Either way, this made him frown significantly.

 

“You've got a Z-Power ring, huh, kid?” What..?! Kid? Bethany raised her gaze towards Guzma.

 

“Why even bother with the island challenge? What's the point of it?” Guzma questioned her as he now waited for her answer.

 

She didn't know what to say. Does it make her stronger? Or… will it do something else? She pulled the collar of her sweater over her left shoulder, and then shyly responded. “I-I… um. That's what I'd like to find out along the way.”

 

He snickered which made her glare directly at him. “Ha! You don't even know why you're doing it. Watch closely, Kukui. Someday I'm gonna destroy you. But first, I'll destroy everything you care about!”

 

Guzma folded his arms on his chest, a huge grin forming on his lips. “Wanna see what destruction looks like? Here it is in human form- it's your boy Guzma!” he bellowed proudly, taking out an Ultra Ball from his pocket, threw it, revealing a six feet tall arthropod.

 

She blinked, surprised to see a new Pokémon species right in front of her. Something came out of her bag and was now floating in front of her. It was her Rotom Dex. Rotom scanned the new Pokémon and proceeded to tell her its description. A water/bug type, huh? It doesn't even look like one at first glance, well, looks can be very misleading.

 

Bethany closed her eyes momentarily then opened them again. A look of seriousness and determination were written on her face. Yet, she's in a tight spot in this battle; all of her Pokémon have a type disadvantage except for one of them. She held out a Poké ball as her hand now hovered near her left cheek.

 

“I'm counting on you… Mudsdale.” She murmured to the Poké Ball.

 

She drew back her right arm, and then, swung it, throwing the Poké ball out on the field. It revealed her fully evolved Mudsdale as it let out a cry. This was a risky move but it was worth the shot.

 

The Battle began, Guzma made his first move as Golisopod used First Impression. She came prepared for this as her Mudsdale quickly used Protect, completely avoiding its powerful attack, plus, her Pokémon had a Quick Claw dangling around its neck. This allowed her Mudsdale to use Rock Slide, taking his Pokémons health to the yellow zone. What she did not expect was his Pokémon to retreat back into its ball and Guzma sent out a Masquerain.

 

She blinked, completely stunned-surprised. “W-what just…?” Rotom flew down to her ear, telling her about Golisopod's ability, Emergency Exit.

 

Guzma smirked and took this opportunity to strike. Masquerain used Icy Wind on her Mudsdale which was a direct hit. She gasped, calling out her Pokémons name worriedly. Mudsdale was barely keeping itself upright before finally collapsing on the ground.

 

Bethany ran up to Mudsdale and knelt down next to it. Her poor Mudsdale was coated with icy particles and it didn't seem like it would melt anytime soon. She held onto its head and places it on her lap, gently caressing its muzzle, Mudsdale whined.

 

“Don't strain yourself, okay?” she smiled down at Mudsdale. “You did well.” Mudsdale retreated back to its Poké Ball.

 

She stood up, staring directly at Guzma and without a word she pulls out another Poké Ball, sending out her shiny Wimpod. Not a moment had passed - - when suddenly, Wimpod had thrown itself at her face. Bethany literally had to pry the silverfish from her face, holding it in front of her as it squealed cheerfully.

 

“W-Wimpod! Now's not the time to be cuddling. We have bigger things to deal with at the moment.” she placed Wimpod on the ground where it was facing the Masquerain.

 

“You think you're up for this, little guy?” Wimpod nodded.

 

“You think your Wimpod will beat my Masquerain? Ha! He'll lose in seconds!” his words didn't faze her whatsoever.

 

“Please. Never underestimate your opponent, Guzma.” she retorts, his grin quickly vanishing.

 

She commanded her Wimpod to sprint off, and then use Double Team to throw Masquerain off. Bethany used her Wimpods speed to her advantage as she now waited for the right moment to attack. She commands Wimpod to use Scald, and it was a direct hit! Masquerain got a burn from the attack, its health depleting at the yellow zone.

 

Guzma, in his frustration, told his Pokémon to use Icy Wind, although the attack missed completely and watches as Wimpod used Surf, causing his Masquerain to faint.

 

He sent out his Golisopod once again, and the arthropod growled lowly. Wimpod flinched at the much larger Pokémon, but it refused to be intimidated by it.

 

“Show 'em what you got! Razor Shell!!” Guzma shouted his command and Golisopod was ready to strike.

 

“Dodge it!”

 

Wimpod did what it was told, but Golisopod was determined to hit the silverfish no matter what. It repeatedly used the same move over and over, until it successfully managed to hit Wimpod, sending it hurling high up in the air. Then hit the ground, hard.

 

“Wimpod!!” Bethany called out her Pokémon and so did her Brionne.

 

The cloud of dust faded away, revealing a bruised Wimpod as it struggled to get up. Guzma boasted loudly and the sounds of concerned whispers can be heard spreading throughout the crowd.

 

“Wimpod, are you all right?” the little guy turned to look at her, nodding in response, and was now standing.

 

Wimpod simply refused to stand down and was ready to go all on out to its opponent. Bethany couldn't help but smile confidently at her Pokémon and then outstretches her hand.

 

“Let's do this, little guy!”

 

Wimpod let out a battle cry before zooming across the field.

 

“Double Team!”

 

Guzma didn't seem to be impressed by this trick, commanding his Golisopod to use Sucker Punch. But Bethany had a trick up her sleeves, ordering Wimpod to use Sand Attack. This left Golisopod blind from the sand in its eyes. Guzma was caught off guard by her sneaky tactics. Now it was time to end this.

 

“Finish it off with Surf!” she pumped her fist forward, beaming with enthusiasm.

 

Golisopod was engulfed by the mass of water similar to being dragged into a whirlpool. When the water disappeared, Golisopod was still standing… that was until it collapsed.

 

Bethany was so overjoyed by her victory that she ran towards where her Wimpod was. She swooped the exhausted Pokémon up in her arms and cradled it close.

 

“I'm so proud of you!” Wimpod chirrs softly and Brionne patted Wimpods head.

 

Guzma put away his Ultra ball containing his Golisopod in his pockets. “I see. Good work… I guess.” he mumbled to himself.

 

That was when his anger got the best of him and shouted at himself. “Guzma!!! What is wrong with you?! Now's the time for your vaunted team to let loose and destroy everything!” He, roughly, ruffled his hair and pulling out some hair in the process.

 

He glared at her. “It was Bethany, right? I'll remember you...as someone I'll be happy to beat down anytime!” he said, as he walked past her.

 

For a moment their eyes met and she could've sworn she saw a strange look in his eyes before he averted his gaze forward. What was that look he just gave her? Her pupils shrunk a little and her eyes never stopped staring at him.

 

It looked like Guzma was exchanging words with Hau… wait. When did he get here? Well, that's Hau being… Hau. Guzma then left along with the two grunts behind him.

 

The crowd began to congratulate her victory against Guzma even Kukui was in on it, but their praises went unnoticed by her ears. Bethany hadn't taken her eyes off of the entrance of Malie Garden where the Team Skull boss had left. An idea came to her head and she instantly bolted out of Malie Garden.

 

She ran all the way to Route 11 and just her luck, she caught a glimpse of them. “W-wait!”

 

The two Grunts and Guzma abruptly stopped. Bethany too halted but stumbled, bumping into Guzma's back. The Grunts were shocked and didn't dare to come near her, not after her battle against their boss. She panicked, stepping away from him and apologized profusely.

 

Guzma looked over his shoulder. “What do you want, kid?”

 

Bethany had some trouble saying what she wanted to and it all came out stuttery. “Um… Well, I—I... um.” she mentally cursed at her shyness and takes a deep breath. “I… wanted you to have these.”

 

She pulled out from her bag five Max Revives to him, glancing over at him shyly. “I found them on my way to Mount Hokulani and… um, your Pokémon is in pretty rough shape. I thought it would be nice to give these to you.” Bethany stared at Guzma expectantly.

 

Guzma pivoted, now facing her completely with a look of disbelief. He was at a loss for words.

 

She tilted her head in confusion. “Guzma?”

 

He blinked a couple of times, snapping himself out of his trance. “Oh…” was all he could say before taking the Max Revives from her.

 

All he did was gawk down at the Max Revives, and then raised his gaze to her and simply asks. “Why?”

 

She smiled, which confused him more. “Why not? You and your Pokémon put up a good fight. Honestly, for a second there I was sure to have lost!” she rubbed the back of her neck while laughing softly.

 

“Besides, this is a kind gesture of me saying a good job and as compensation from our last encounter.” Bethany added then both her Pokémon peered from either side of her shoulders.

 

Brionne looked fixedly at him as if giving him a fair warning not to do anything bad to its Trainer. While her shiny Wimpod, which was still riddled with cuts and bruises, cooed at him.

 

Bethany was so distracted by him before she realizes something, smacking her hand on to her forehead. “Oh! I-I have to go. Hau and Kukui are probably wondering where I ran off to.” she turned around but not before looking over her shoulder at him.

 

“Use those Max Revives well! See ya!” she waved before making a dash towards Malie city.

 

“Yo, what was that all about?!” Grunt A asked while doing his weird and cringy gestures.

 

“Don't know, homie, but we ain't gonna listen to a girl, right boss?” Grunt B asks, but when he didn't get an answer straight away he turned to Guzma with a skeptical look. “Boss?”

 

He hadn't moved from his spot and kept staring down at the medicine in his hand. A grin graced his lips, with his eyes closed. Guzma chuckles to himself then mumble under his breath. “Compensation, huh?”

Chapter Text

     The journey to Acerolas trial sight was a long way. Running into Trainers can be quite exhausting after awhile. Along the way, she ran into Hapu and her trusty Mudsdale. She handed her a Mudsdale Pager as a Thank you gift from when she was back in Akala Island. Yes, when she and Hapu fought against the Team Skull Grunts. Hapu's Mudsdale approached her and gave her a gentle nudge on her cheek. Bethany stroked Mudsdale's muzzle then faced Hapu, thanking her for the pager.

 

The Mudsdale Pager came in handy, after going through the many rocky slopes up to the mountain. This meant that she would avoid the majority of Trainers and took a well-needed stop to feed her team some Poké beans: Brionne (female), Mudsdale (male), Salazzle (female), Wimpod (male), and Tsareena (female). They were all relieved to be out of their Poké Balls for awhile and spend some quality time with their Trainer.

 

Bethany continued her trek up the mountain, riding on the Mudsdale Pager. Since Wimpod is barely out of its Poké ball, she decided to keep him out for the time being. Wimpod was having a blast, letting out a happy chitter.

 

She finally reached up to Route 13. As she walked, Hau came sprinting pass her. He startled her so bad that all the color of her face drained, and her pale skin became even paler! The energetic boy apologized but she only waved him off and telling him it was all right. He soon talked about Sophocles trial about how he might've gotten stronger. Hau then mentioned how she passed the trial with ease and gave her a Max Potion.

 

Suddenly, Gladion spoke which was directed at Hau about how he never keeps his mouth shut. Well, that's not exactly what he said but you get the idea. He tells them about Team Skull searching for a Pokémon called Cosmog and asking if they knew anything. Hau was quick to deny it, yet somehow Gladion knew; stating that Cosmog isn't a strong Pokémon, to begin with, but has the capability to summon a Pokémon so strong it's terrifying. She was confused when hearing him say: “If something like that happened, it would be a disaster for Alola…”

 

She promised him that they will do whatever it takes to protect Cosmog even though she was a little lost. He said nothing and walked away, yet she could've sworn her mumbled something about how he didn't understand how they found out about Cosmog. Hau questioned Gladion but didn't receive an answer and expressed his concern about Cosmog and Lillie's well being.

 

 

******


 

 

A downpour came down at the Tapu village. It's a good thing she brought an umbrella! She met up with Hau at the PMC (Pokémon Center), offering him to come with her and to avoid getting soaked from head to toe. He then began to express his excitement about the Pokémon League.

 

During his rambling, Phyco and Soliera appeared talking about the village where The Blinding One, Necrozma, battled the islands deities. Telling them about their stories of their ancestors abusing Necrozma, in its fury took their light away from their world and how it is contained for now. They even asked them if they had learned anything new that might help them later on.

 

After that, Both Hau and Bethany now made their way towards the Aether House on Route 15. Entering the Aether House, they were greeted by two young children and their Yungoos, itching for a Battle and to protect their home while Acerola was away. They battled the young kids and won.

 

The young boy looked up at her. “I tried really hard! I am a kid, you know!” she smiled down at the boy.

 

“You did great! I'm really impressed.” This caused the young boy to perk up.

 

“Phew… so I won, yeah? Then why's this little fellow still gnawing on me?” Hau glanced over to Bethany with a desperate look on his face. He was mouthing his words, asking for her help but she only waved him off.

 

Acerola then came in and made sure her presence was known by a sing-song voice. “I'm ba-a-ack, everybody! ~” Her right hand hovering over her mouth. “Ha Ha Ha! Looks like I finished up my shopping spree right on time! You've already met everyone?”

 

Bethany smiled; a tiny sweatdrop appeared on the side of her head while Hau responded with a shrug.

 

“Oh yeah, we met them all right… In battle anyway.” Hau said. “But… Hey, where's Lillie?”

 

“I left her with Hapu. They should be here soon.” Acerola said, walking pass Bethany before turning around. “So why don't we get those trials done first? You did know I'm the captain, right?”

 

Hau was certainly taken back by this, but not her. Bethany approached Acerola asking her where the trial will be and told her it will be at the abandoned supermarket. She nods and turns to Hau, bidding him farewell for now, and then exited the building. She didn’t expect to see Lillie standing outside and was shooing off a Team Skull grunt, who claimed to take whatever was in her bag.

 

Bethany dashed down the set of stairs and was now standing in-between them. She waved off the grunt telling him to kindly leave but he just couldn't take no for an answer. He challenged her to a Battle to which he lost and ran off.

 

Lillie thanked her and told her how the whole incident happened after Nebby tried to come out of its bag. Bethany laughed as Nebby poked its head out of the bag. Lillie zipped the bag shut and proceeded to give her five Luxury Balls, stating that she had bought them without thinking.

 

Acerola came running down the stairs and offered Lillie to rest at the Aether House, the blonde was very thankful for this. The purple haired girl ran a couple feet away before turning around; telling Bethany to follow her towards the trial site then sprinted off.

 

 

******


 

 

She now stood before the abandoned supermarket, just the air around the place felt eerie. Wimpod was trembling; she could literally feel her shoulder shaking as well. She comforted him in every way she could.

 

Acerola, who had been standing right before her, guided her up the steps and proceeded to explain what kind of trial it is. Inside the building is filled with many Ghost-type Pokémon, which was quite obvious but she kept it to herself. Acerola then asks her to investigate the abandoned site, using her Poké Finder to take photos of the Ghost-type Pokémon making mischief inside. Plus, she has to take a photo of the Totem Pokémon who happens to be a trickster and loves to play hide-and-seek… and mess around… grea-a-at.

 

Once she stepped inside the building and all kinds of paranormal activity happened. The conveyor belt turning on by itself when it’s clear that there it doesn't have any signs of electricity in the building, and a Pikachu running away from her. A shopping cart shaking violently on its own, seeing the same Pikachu running across the collapsed shelves, and levitating stuffed Pokémon. At some point, Wimpod hid inside her small, but roomy backpack not wanting to see any further of the building.

 

She turned managing to catch a glimpse of the Pikachu running into a back room. But as she approached the door Acerola appeared staring blankly at the door before her.

 

“…Who are you?” Acerola asked.

 

Bethany looked over her shoulder then back to Acerola… or is she? “Um… Acerola?”

 

She shook her head. “Oh… Never mind that.” Something is not right here.

 

“Looks like you're done with the trial, right? We should hurry up and leave this place.” Yeah, something is definitely not right here.

 

“I'm not done yet, you of all people should know that.” Bethany affirmed, but this ‘Acerola’ was not having it.

 

“This place is dangerous. You should give up on your trial and get out.”

 

“I'm not leaving.”

 

“I told you to get out.”

 

“No.”

 

“Get out.”

 

“No!” Bethany yelled at the fake Acerola who then lost it.

 

“Get out. Get out! Get OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!!!”

 

Ohh, light bulb! Bethany took out her Rotom and asked it to take a photo of the fake Acerola -- *SNAP* -- The apparition disappeared from where it once stood.

 

A relieving sigh escaped her lips but right as she did that the lock on the door clicked open. This made her jump back from fright, and her Rotom was kind enough to snap a photo of that moment. She gave it a glare before it disappeared inside her backpack.

 

Bethany walked over to the door and opened it, stepping into a narrow room filled with drawings, posters, and pictures on the walls. She couldn't get this shaky feeling off and felt that someone or something was watching her. A pair of eyes sizing her up from somewhere, suddenly her Poké Finder fired up all on its own.

 

All right, this is giving her the heebie-jeebies.

 

She looked around the room through the Poké Finder, curiously inspecting the photos on the wall. There was one thing that they all had in common, it was all Pikachu related. She just pictured herself in one of those tense and nerve-wracking moments that happen in like… every horror movie ever with the eerie soundtrack playing in the background.

 

There was a sound echoing throughout the small room she was in and she was certain that it belonged to a Pokémon. This is the part she hates the most in horror films when they slowly turn around and find something horrific… or their untimely and unexpected death. Well, she did just that. Slowly turning around to face the door, but there was nothing there. That was until she heard the Pokémons cry coming from below.

 

She looked down and was now staring right at this new Pokémon which in some way resembled a lot like Pikachu. The only difference between this Pokémon was that it had a cloth covering its body with a Pikachu face drawn on it with what appeared to be crayons, along with a fake Pikachu tail.

 

What… is this really the scary moment she was anticipating? This little cutie is the most adorable thing she had ever laid eyes on! Without any hesitation, she snapped a photo of this cute Pokémon. Its appearance flickered, revealing that it was the random Pikachu she saw earlier.

 

“Seeeeee meee?!”

 

 

******


 

 

She exited the building, a wide smile on her face. Acerola welcomed her back. “All right! Let me check your pictures right away.” Her Rotom came out of her bag, hovering in front of Acerola.

 

“Now let's see how you did…” Acerola inspects the picture and smiled in delight. “Yup! That's Mimikyu all right! It's pretty hard to catch it on film, so this is a really great attempt! Which means...”

 

Acerola handed Bethany the Ghostium Z, then proceeded to show her the movement. “And since you passed my trial, Bethany, you now have my permission to catch Pokémon in the trial site. So, in that building there. Here you go!” she handed Bethany a couple of Dusk Balls. “It's not a bad idea to have some Ghost-type Pokémon on your team!”

 

Bethany turned to glance over to the building. “Actually, I've already considered in adding one to my team.”

 

Acerola was delighted to hear this. “Really? That's great!”

 

“Say, Acerola…?” Acerola hummed. “There was a room in the back of the building, you were there and when I entered the room my Poké Finder started up on its own during my trial.”

 

Acerola perked up at this, and then covered her mouth with her hand. “Oooh, cut it out, Bethany! You're trying to scare me, huh? You'll have to come up with something a bit more believable than that! I was here the whole time, and there's not even a room in the back of that shop, for starters! How gullible do you think I am?”

 

Bethany looked over to Acerola, noticing her wide expression. “Brrr! I feel like I'm getting chicken skin…Like a chill going through me for some reason…”

 

Acerola walked away, but Bethany couldn't help but feel like someone had been watching them. A soft creak came from behind, turning her head; she caught a glimpse of a Mimikyu's ear before it retreated back inside. The door to the build was left halfway opened and Bethany made her way inside.

 

*patter* - - *patter* - - *patter*


 

She passed the conveyor belt until abruptly stopping where she saw a glimpse of Mimikyu walking behind the fallen boxes before her. Bethany called out its name.

 

“Mimikyu?” the Pokémon’s footsteps stopped, almost like it was surprised to be called by its name.

 

Walking further down the path and stopping where the stuffed dolls were. She could hear something approach her from behind, turning around she glanced down at Mimikyu. It cried out to her: Mi! Mi! And then it stared steadily at her way.

 

A smile graced her lips as she gently picked up the Mimikyu in her arms without the slightest hint of fear for it. This caught Mimikyu by total surprise and responded by nuzzling up against her. She let out a soft laugh and watched Mimikyu jump down from her arms as it guided her to the back of the shop. She followed and was once again inside the small room but this time stood two Pokémon: to her left was a Pikachu and on her right was Mimikyu.

 

‘It wants a decision from me?’ She mentally said to herself. ‘Well, the answer is obvious!’

 

She chose Mimikyu and it let out a happy cry before disappearing. It left something behind for her, a Mimikium Z. Never had she seen a Z-crystal like this one, it must be extremely rare then.

 

Bethany walked out of the room and stood there other a slight frown on her face. Wimpod came out from her backpack nudging her neck in a comforting way. She looked over at him, smiling softly.

 

*Patter* - - *Patter* - - *Patter*


 

Her mood perked up and then peeks her head out from the corner of the shelves. There stood the same Mimikyu staring up at her expectantly. She walked over to it and crouched down to its eye level, outstretching her hand to it. Mimikyu, curiously, moved closer to her hand then nuzzled on it longingly.

 

“People are always judging a Pokémon when hearing rumors about them. Not even giving them a second chance to prove themselves that they mean no harm.” Bethany smiled warmly. “You're a sweet Pokémon and you deserve to be loved and accepted.” she pulled out a Poké Ball from her backpack as it hovered above Mimikyu's head.

 

“What do you say? Will you be a part of my team, Mimikyu?”

 

Mimikyu looked like it was on the verge of tears, not sad tears, and happy tears. It moved closer to the Poké ball bumping its head on the button, disappearing inside. There were no shakes like it would normally do, it was an immediate catch. 

 

Deep inside her, she was certain that Mimikyu had already chosen her to be her Trainer when she first stepped into the building. She couldn’t have been more grateful.

Chapter Text

As she stepped out of the PMC (Pokémon Center), the sun had already begun to set on Ula'ula Island, replacing the once blue skies into a mixture of oranges, pink, and purple. Wimpod was roaming freely beside her and Mimikyu on her shoulder. With her team now fully healed she made her way towards the Aether House, walking alongside Acerola.

 

In front of the Aether House they had three guests waiting for them and by guests, it was Team Skull and amongst them was Plumeria. Hau was there too and it looked like he was going to battle the one on the right. Just when her day was getting better it had to be dragged down by them.

 

“Back so soon, hmm? I wasn't expecting you just yet.” Plumeria said. “It takes these Grunts way too long to deal with you kids…”

 

Plumeria turned her attention to Bethany, shooting daggers at her. “So I guess it's my turn now!”

 

Bethany looked fixedly at Plumeria. “What do you want?” she uttered out sternly at her.

 

Plumeria narrowed her eyes at her. “I told you before. Next time you get in our way, I'm not holding back!”

 

It was no surprise when Team Skull lost. Plumeria admitted that she's strong and now understands why her Grunts wasted time in battling kids. Then proceeds to tell Bethany to come alone to their hideout in Po Town where she can find the stolen Pokémon. This was a touchy subject for her, a deep frown forming before watching them walk away.

 

Acerola sprinted up the steps and she followed her behind. The young girl hung her head with tears falling down her cheeks while hiccupping about her stolen Yungoos. Acerola is right about one thing, this was unforgivable.

 

Her stomach churned at the scene as she gripped her stomach and her chest tightly. She has to go to Po Town and no one is going to stop her.

 

Hau expressed his concern about Bethany going to Po Town… alone with no backup, argued about how unfair it was. Acerola mentioned about a man wearing a kimono on Route 5 who can help her get to Po Town.

 

Further down on Route 15, she saw the man wearing a black and white kimono, yet something about him was very familiar. He somehow he sensed her behind him but didn't bother turning around… yet.

 

“A trial-goer, huh? And why would you be coming to a lonely odd place like this?”

 

The man turned around, his half-lidded eyes staring right at her and half smiling at her. This took her by sudden surprise. “Grimsley?!”

 

He chuckles. “Champion.”

 

She blushed and looked away. “I'm not the Champion anymore, remember? After I moved?” she glanced at him. “Besides, didn't someone else take my place while I was gone?”

 

He hummed. “Yes, and that's for you to find out.”

 

Her eyes transformed into little blue dots and her head became large and chubbier, just like a chibi. She stared at him in disbelief. “That's so not fair…” he laughs.

 

“Anyways, Acerola told me you could help me. I need to get to Team Skull.”

 

“I see… Tell me. I'm going to flip a coin. Will it be heads or tails.” she blinked.

 

“Um… He-a-ads?” her voice cracked and was unsure of her own choice.

 

Grimsley threw a golden yen in the air as it landed on the back of his left hand and covered it with his right. Both exchanged glanced at one another. They remained silent and the only sound around them was the waves crashing into each other accompanied by a wild Peliper cry.

 

“…Astonishing. You just took a stab, like some kind of prophet. Right now, you and your Pokémon are shining brilliantly.” He said.

 

“A loss is a loss. I'll give you Sharpedo's info for your Ride Pager then. Ride it to victory.” He gave her the Pager and she thanked him with a bow.

 

“Po Town lies at the other end of Route 16 here. But it's thoroughly occupied by Team Skull.” Grimsley remarked, glancing over at her. “You shouldn't go there unless you want trouble.”

 

Bethany sighed deeply with her shoulders slumped forward. “I guess you can say that I attract trouble wherever I go... ” If only they could go away for good.

 

As soon as she made it to the other side, she made her way towards Route 16 and entered Ula'ula Meadow. Stopping in her tracks to admire the beauty of the place. It was breathtaking. Staring off into the distance she was stunned to see Faba in the Meadow.

 

He then approached her. “Oh, my. If it isn't Bethany. Where might you be off to?” he asks.

 

“I'm going to see Team Skull.” he stared at her in shock.

 

“To see Team Skull?! You mean you're going to their base in Po Town?” she nods. “Such awful things they are, tormenting poor Pokémon for no good reason…” he said in disgust.

 

“I swear I just don't know what to do with them! And just look at me, would you? Here I am, taking the initiative to travel Alola on my own to check on how Pokémon are doing.” he continues. “I've been trying to think through this Necrozma issue on my own. The sort of Noble dedication is what you would expect of a president, even… Don't you?” she tilts her head in confusion.

 

“Not that a foolish child could—”At that moment, her Mimikyu peeked from behind her shoulder. Shooting daggers at Faba, who was immediately frightened by it.

 

He clears his throat. “Ahem. I mean, not that I would expect you to know. Anyhow. Do try to stay safe. Don't say I didn't warn you about Team Skull.” then he strolls off in a hurry.

 

She hums with wonder. “What was that all about?” Mimikyu looked uninterested as it sat comfortably on her shoulder. She simply shrugs and walks off.

 

Stepping out of Ula'ula Meadow, she was greeted by the rain. She let out an annoyed groan from her lips. Out of all the things in the world to happen, it had to be rain. She doesn't mind it really but the fact that she left her umbrella back at the Aether House made her feel irritable.

 

“It's just rain,” she told herself. “It won't kill you.”

 

Walking down the pavement, a Grunt can be seen standing behind a light post. He had a Poké ball in hand, this meant she had to battle him to go further. After winning from the first Grunt, she spotted another one, a girl, seemingly walking around. When the female Grunt was looking the other way, she sneaked passed her with ease.

 

The entrance to Po Town was right in front of her and so were the two Grunts guarding it. They turned to face her.

 

“Yo, what's up? You wanna join Team Skull?” Grunt A asks, sounding very cheery.

 

“Actually I—” she was then interrupted by the female Grunt.

 

“Hold up… Is that a Z-Power Ring?”

 

“For real?! You're actually on the island challenge?” Grunt A said in disbelief.

 

“All right then… I get it…” the female Grunt said. “Came to laugh at us losers who gave up on the island challenge, huh?”

 

“Wha… no, that's not—”

 

“You showed up so suddenly and got the nerve to laugh at me?!” the female Grunt babbled.

 

All she wanted was to kindly be let inside… Sometimes she wonders why she even tried. These Grunts are too dumb when she attempts to reason with them. In a matter of minutes, the Grunts lost and Bethany was victorious, like always.

 

“Not fair! I hate strong kids like you! I'm not letting you in!” The female Grunt complained.

 

Both Grunts disappeared inside the doors, leaving her outside. They just left her… great. How in the world is she supposed to get inside now? … Maybe climbing up the tall walls…?

 

“You there, girl.” A monotone voice called out to her.

 

She turned her head to the left. An older man with grey hair, red eyes, and thick eyebrows stood there. He looked rather… gloomy. She suddenly had the urge to just give him a huge, fat hug but resisted.

 

“Seems to me you're trying to get into Po Town. You sure you've thought this through?” Bethany couldn't help but feel slightly offended by the question.

 

“You'd better be ready if you're thinking of coming in here. Ready to live as Team Skull. Or ready to take on Team Skull." He said, turning around to face her.

 

“You really think you're ready for that?”

 

She nodded confidently. “Yes!”

 

The old man hummed. “I guess everyone has their own reasons. I've got my reasons, too, for doing what I do. I'll have them let you in.”

 

He soon had his back facing towards her. “If you don't make it, I'll be sure your remains at least get back home.”

 

Bethany shrieked in horror when she did this she could hear the old man chuckle.

 

‘So…cruel./ Dakara...zankoku. / だから残酷. ’ she mentally said.

 

Bethany looked fixedly at the door. There's no turning back now. She watched as the man pushes the door wide open and she walked right inside.

Chapter Text

Inside these tall walls lies Po Town, a town that was overrun by Team Skull. Abandoned houses were empty, the PMC (Pokémon Center) and even a large mansion. They were trashed from the outside with graffiti's painted on the walls of the buildings, even on the streets! What made the place feel lonelier was the constant, never-ending downpour along with thunder every passing minute. It's clear that this place hasn't had people in a long time except for Team Skull.

 

Two Grunts were standing behind a trial gate, which they had stolen, which now had a Team Skull insignia sprayed painted on it. Grunt A glances to the guy next to him.

 

"Huh? What's this numbskull doing here? What, oh what, should we do?" Grunt B stared at Grunt A.

 

"Forget about it! We've got this Barbaracle... I mean we've got this barricade!" Grunt B stuttered and blushed profusely after hearing Bethany giggle. "D-do you really wanna bother moving it out of the way just to take one kid on?"

 

Grunt A faced her while doing his very cringy moves with his arms. "True, true." soon both of them did their embarrassing, cringy, gestures at her.

 

"Go home! Go! You're not coming in here, got it? Not unless you find some path here..." Grunt B trailed off.

 

Was this a hint?

 

She began to act like she was about to leave and right when they turned their heads away she quietly made her way to the right side and slipping into an opening through the shrubs. She had successfully made it to the other side of the barrier. When she came into the Grunts line of sight, they were not happy, challenging her to a battle which she won.

 

Grunt A blamed the barricade for making them soft which was something he regrets. However, Grunt B refused to let her through and sent out his Pokémon. In the end, the Grunt lost.

 

Curiously, she walked inside the PMC (Pokémon Center). A male and female Grunt was standing at the front desk, on behind the counter and the other next to the PC, and a Spinda to the left. They sang her a special song adding their own colorful rhymes which she thought were neat. Neither of them cared if she was an intruder, they only wanted to earn some money and offered her to heal her team for on ten yen. Accepting their offer and she commented on how amazing their song was, before leaving the now happy Grunts.

 

Bethany maneuvered her way around the place without being seen nor spotted by grunts. She hid below the broken fence watching silently with her Mimikyu next to her. The mansion was so close yet there were Grunts off to the side. It would be too risky to just walk up to the front door without being spotted.

 

"Mimi?" Mimikyu looked up to its Trainer like it was asking her what to do.

 

She looked fixedly down to Mimikyu. Then she had a brilliant idea as she whispered something into Mimikyu's ear.

 

Three grunts were huddled around a pick-up truck, conversing with one another. A female Grunt glanced down to see a Mimikyu standing there, squealing at them. They now had their attention to Mimikyu, while they were distracted Bethany sneakily advanced towards the front door of the mansion. Mimikyu glanced over to where its Trainer was, who gave the signal. The grunts were too busy contemplating whether or not to take the Pokémon or sell it, as Mimikyu slowly moved away from them and followed Bethany inside the building.

 

The place was in disarray and was covered with graffiti and grime. Boxes were scattered, glass bottles in every corner, along with overturned furniture. The only thing that was untouched in this entire mansion was the many paintings that appeared much older than she was, well... some of them. A male Grunt was standing near the stairs with his back towards her.

 

Tiptoeing around the Grunt and proceeded to investigate every room on the first floor. The first door down the small corridor had three beds and one of them was currently occupying a sleeping Grunt. Not wanting to disturb him, she very quietly shut the door and went over to the next one.

 

It was a room filled with empty shelves, one of them was collapsed on the floor, with more bottles scattered across the room along with random boxes. She picked up a clipboard from the floor. Upon reading she realized it was a password for something, the passwords were Beat Up and Poison Jab.

 

She continued towards the other door near the stairs, and at first glance, she immediately recognized it as the living room. Well, it was a living room. There was an empty fireplace; chairs huddled in each corner and a long table up against the wall. Luckily there weren't any signs of Team Skull Grunts anywhere as she went through the door that leads to the kitchen.

 

There were pots cluttered on the shelves and the kitchen utensils were scattered on the tables. At least it was clean and not dirty as she thought it would be. On the floor, she saw another clipboard with a password written on the sheet: Tapu Cocoa. Why would there be a name of a drink written here? Maybe someone really, really likes Tapu Cocoa.

 

The last place to check now was the second floor. She sneaked passed the Grunt who was apparently listening to music at full blast and she made her way up the stairs.

 

On her way up she stumbles upon a large and broken chandelier on her right, and she carefully walked past the broken glass to avoid making unwanted noises that could potentially blow her cover. She turned to face a small hallway to the right where a lone couch stood along with two vases, one on top of a box and the other on the floor. Next to the couch was a door, she approached it and peeked inside.

 

Out of all the rooms she has been through, this one is the most uncluttered so far. By the looks of it, this was a girl's room. How did she know? Just seeing two Pokémon plushies on top of the bed and the many make-up products on the shelf; it was pretty obvious.

 

She closed the door and noticed her Mimikyu on the floor holding up on what appeared to be a TM. Bethany took it from its grasp before swooping Mimikyu in her arms.

 

She was about to open the middle room until she heard voices inside. It sounded like two female Grunts arguing with one another over mistaking each other's clothing. Her ear was now pressed up against the door frame hearing their conversation through the door. It was sad to hear one of them dismiss the other ones offer in writing their names on the tags, noting that they are all named Grunt, which defeated the purpose of it. She quietly removed her ear from the door and proceeded to enter the last one.

 

A gaming room, how neat, well... it was a mess but still. Bethany and her Mimikyu searched the place for the clipboard. Mimikyu spotted it all right, in front of the TV where a male Grunt was currently playing on his Wii-U. Her Mimikyu tugged on her shoe, gaining her attention, before pointing where the clipboard was.

 

She nodded and slowly made her way towards the clipboard while the Grunt was all too focused on his game. Quickly, she snatched the clipboard from the Grunts line of sight and read it: Golisopod and Bounsweet.

 

Exiting the gaming room, she trotted her way towards the door where a single Grunt guarded.

 

"Greetings, visitor. If you wish to see Master Guzma, then give the three secret passwords." she nodded. "Then tell me this today's first password which moves does Master Guzma and our big sis like best?"

 

"Beat up and Poison Jab." She answered, earning a scoff from the Grunt.

 

"Tch... Then tell me today's second password! Which Pokémon do Master Guzma and our big sis like best?"

 

"Golisopod and Bounsweet." The Grunt blinked a couple of times.

 

"Seriously?! Then tell me today's third password! Which drink do Master Guzma and our big sis like best?"

 

"Tapu Cocoa," she said.

 

He hums. "So you think the password is... Beat up and Poison Jab... Golisopod and Bounsweet... And Tapu Cocoa!" he was silent for a moment before asking her one more. "Are you sure about that?"

 

Bethany thought for a moment as she placed her thumb to her lips. She glanced at the Grunt, uncertainty written in her pale blue eyes. "Uhh... No...?" the Grunt suddenly bursts out laughing which made her jump.

 

"You know all Master Guzma's and our big sis's favorite things, and you even knew to say "No!" at the end!" underneath his bandana she could feel him grinning down at her. "Yeah, you're one of us, bonehead!"

 

He steps aside allowing her to go through. "If you wanna have an audience with Master Guzma, then follow the path out on the roof." she kindly thanked the Grunt with a bow which caused him to blush.

 

This is by far the worst part of her journey. Bethany had to literally hug the wall behind her as she walked on the wooden planks from the roof. A fall from this height could easily kill a person if not careful enough. The downpour was not making her situation any better. She made it through an open window and was utterly relieved that she didn't die in the process.

 

She trotted her way towards the end of the hallway where two Grunts were standing on either side of the door. This is it. On the other side is the girl's stolen Pokémon and... Guzma. The thought of seeing him again made her stomach flutter eagerly. Why was she so eager to see him? He's the one who gave orders to his subordinates to steal that girl's Pokémon.

 

She furrowed her brows, gathering enough courage to open the door.

 

There he stood up on his makeshift throne room. A Grunt stood in front of a treasure chest filled with some kind of Z-crystals, behind the Grunt was the girl's Yungoos. All she wanted was to snatch it away from the Grunt and run away with it but that didn't seem like it would happen anytime soon.

 

Guzma looked down at her with a wide smile on his lips. "The hated boss who beats you down and beats you down and never lets up... Yeah. Big bad Guzma is here!"

 

Bethany tightened her grip on her wrist, looking fixedly at him. Guzma tilted his head to the side. "Long time, no see, girl." he purred, seeing her cheeks and the tip of her ears turn pink made him grin wider.

 

"I'm not here for you, Guzma. I'm here to take back the girl's Pokémon," she said sternly.

 

"Aww, that's too bad. I thought you came all the way just to see me." He said, acting as if he were hurt. "Yungoos? How sweet of you to help out a sad little girl. Tch!" as he did this, he noticed her stare turned into a glare which caught him by surprise. It almost scared him—ALMOST.

 

The Yungoos whined in her direction. Bethany glanced at Yungoos sending it a soft and reassuring look before turning her attention back to Guzma.

 

"And you came all the way here just for that, huh? Can't you just watch out for your own Pokémon and stay out of other people's business?!" he should've chosen his words carefully because the next thing he knew he was being heavily scowled by her.

 

"Baka! I promised to bring her Yungoos back and I always, ALWAYS, keep my promises!" she stomped her foot on to the floor causing the Grunt next to her to flinch back. "Taking her Pokémon is unacceptable." the grinding of her teeth can be heard and she looked frightening.

 

Her Mimikyu came out of her backpack. Now standing on her shoulder as it tried to calm its Trainer down. Bethany lowered her head trying hard to push back the tears that were threatening to fall.

 

"You... have no idea how much she is suffering!" her voice cracked. "I know the pain she is going through... because I, too, lost my Pokémon," she mumbled the last part but was unaware that Guzma had heard her loud and clear.

 

He froze with his eyes and mouth wide. A wave of guilt hit suddenly engulfed him in a way that made his stomach turn. He couldn't battle her -- not like this. Guzma clenched his fists, and then yelled at himself and accidentally giving her a fright which made him feel even more guilty.

 

"GUZMA! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!" he ruffled his white locks vigorously, glaring at the Grunt. "Yo! Give the Pokémon back to the kid. NOW!"

 

The Grunt stepped aside as the Yungoos ran over to Bethany's legs. Guzma let out an angry growl which was directed at the Grunt, who was scared witless. The Grunt let out a yell of fright before running out of the room.

She was at a loss for words, staring wide-eyed at Guzma. He turned to look at her and she immediately averted her gaze to the floor. Her heart was beating rapidly, placing both hands on her chest to calm herself down. She could hear him coming down the steps and her Mimikyu hissed at him to back off and so did Yungoos. But their warnings fell on oblivious ears. Both Pokémon eventually hid; Mimikyu inside her backpack and Yungoos under the bed.

 

He was now towering over her petite frame and she could feel his eyes on her, yet, she was too afraid to look up. There was movement, she squeezed her eyes shut, tightly and was half expecting something bad to happen. The next thing she knew, he wrapped his arms around her and was being enveloped in a warm hug.

 

Her eyes opened wide, raising her head to glance at him. "G-Guzma?" Guzma didn't respond but instead squeezed her closer to him.

 

Her heart was beating hard against her chest. All these emotions were all too overwhelming and her eyes were beginning to water. She never realized how gentle he could be. It felt... comforting. She couldn't hold this aching feeling anymore, and then, she let it all out. She sobbed into his chest unceasingly, hands clutching his white shirt.

 

He held her in silence, gently rubbing her back as her tears soaked his chest. He could care less about his shirt. How could he make her go through this? This is entirely his fault.

 

After minutes of sobbing ceased it was replaced by the sounds of her regaining her breath. She was shaking under his arms but that, too, disappeared. He pulls away but he didn't unwrap his arms from her. Their eyes meet; no words were exchanged between them. She felt his hand on her cheeks that were gently wiping away her tears.

 

Eventually, Guzma escorted Bethany out of the mansion with Mimikyu and Yungoos following behind. When they stepped outside they were met by the gloomy man.

 

They all stood there, unmoving and exchanging looks to one another. The man's half-lidded eyes landed on Bethany and noticed some faint tear stains on her cheeks; her red-puffy eyes are what confirmed his suspicion. She had been crying. His red eyes landed on to Guzma, who had both hands shoved inside his pockets, avoiding the man's gaze.

 

"What did you do to this girl, Guzma?" he asks dryly but his voice was filled with concern.

 

Guzma didn't bother answering his question and simply walked off, never looking back. Yungoos ran over to the man, nuzzling its head on his leg.

 

He looked down at the Yungoos. "Thing must've been scared half to death if it's glad to see a wretch like me." he looked at her from head to toe. "He didn't hurt you, did he?"

 

Bethany blinks. "What? No! No. He didn't do anything to me, really!" he cocks his head to the side suspiciously.

 

"I'm fine, honest!" she waved her hands in front of her, reassuring him that she was perfectly fine.

 

"I see..." he mumbled.

 

"So, you're a trial-goer, huh? Figures. Look, I'm not gonna fight someone who is taking on Team Skull. I'll heal your Pokémon up, so...go. Just go."

The man healed up her Pokémon and turns his back towards her, seemingly looking around the place with curiosity. "Though...looking around now... It seems like they're fewer Team Skull folks around today than usual. Huh."

 

"I guess some of 'em might have run off after seeing their boss get beat," he said, but that's when Bethany corrected him.

 

"Uhh...actually, Guzma and I didn't really battle." he turned around to face her with a raised brow.

 

She fiddles with her fingers nervously. "It's, uh... hard to explain."

 

"Uncle Nanu!"

 

Suddenly, Acerola came running towards him. This made him sigh internally. "And here comes the noise again..."

 

Yungoos cooed happily at Acerola, rubbing itself against her legs. "Aue! I'm so sorry. You must've been so scared, huh?" Acerola turns to Bethany, smiling gratefully at her. "Thanks, Bethany! Really! You're really something!"

 

Her cheeks flushed while she rubbed the side of her cheek with her index finger. "It was nothing. I'm just glad that Yungoos is safe and sound."

 

Both of them exchanged a small chat with one another before Acerola left with Yungoos back to the Aether House. Nanu stood there in silence and she heard him say something about 'Pokémon being kept inside their Poké balls and Team Skull locking themselves in their Town. Wondering if either enjoys the experience.'

 

Then he looked over his shoulder to Bethany. "I suggest you head back to Route 15. You'll get a cold if you stand any longer under the rain." with that, he walks away.

 

Bethany soon calls her Charizard Pager and while she waited for Charizard to arrive, she pulled out an olive colored Z-crystal from her front pocket. It was a Buginium Z that was given to her by Guzma. Unfortunately, she didn't know the movement for this Z-crystal but she'll figure it out... somehow.

Chapter Text

     She jumps off of Charizard's back and offered it a Poké bean before it flew off into the starry skies. A Yungoos ran up to her, nuzzling itself on her legs. Bethany blinked, looking up to see Acerola standing before her. They walked up the steps to the Aether House and went inside.

 

"We're home! We brought Yungoos with us, too!" Acerola announces.

 

Yungoos runs off to where Hau was being pressured by the children… what. Bethany simply stared at them blankly and realized that there was no sign of Lillie anywhere.

 

"Wha... what’s going on in here?!" Acerola exclaims.

 

Hau turned to look at Bethany; he didn't wear his usual cheeky smile. Yup, something is definitely not right.

 

"Bethany..." his frown deepened. "I'm sorry! I...I can't even make myself smile right now..."

 

Acerola stomped her foot, causing Hau to flinch. "But why? What happened?" Hau couldn't find the right words to even begin with.

 

Bethany stepped forward. "Please. Tell us what happened," she asks calmly but Hau didn't seem relaxed at all.

 

The young boy turned around. "Miss Lillie..."

 

The young girl, too, followed suit. "She's gone!"

 

-x-

 

 It’s been an hour after their explanation of the situation that happened. Bethany has been dozing off in between their explanation and she could hardly keep herself standing. Who could blame her? She's been running around to various places today, and she hardly got any sleep the night before.

 

Just when things died down, when suddenly Gladion shows up, looking distressed. "Did I hear right? It was Lillie who took Cosmog?!"

 

"Wha... were you eavesdropping us?" Bethany looked fixedly at him.

 

"Geh! You know who Lillie is?!" Hau questioned Gladion in shock.

 

Gladion placed his hand over his right eye, the corners of his mouth curled down and his eyebrows followed suit. "I still couldn't protect them...?"

 

"Then what was the point of me even leaving home in the first place?!" The look in his eyes expressed the remorse of his past actions.

 

 

"I can't stand this... this useless feeling... I'll blow it away with everything I've got!" In the midst of his frustration, he challenged Bethany to a battle.

 

 

She hesitantly agreed as they headed outside and the battle began; he was simply no match for her. Gladion was able to defeat her Tsareena before his entire Team was completely wiped out.

 

Gladion exhales and appeared to have physically relaxed after blowing off some steam during the battle. "That was wrong of me... I shouldn't have dragged you into a meaningless battle like that..."

 

Bethany shook her head. "Don't worry about it."

 

"But I told you both! I told you that Cosmog would bring disaster to all of Alola!" he exclaimed. "I have to get it back from them!"

 

He then approached her. "We'll have to leave from the ferry terminal." Gladion pointed his index finger at her. "You're coming with me whether you like it or not, so the only question is, are you ready to come now or not?" he asks and patiently waited for her answer, to which she responded with a curt nod.

 

Bethany calls her Charizard Pager (which was the fastest way) as they headed straight towards Malie City. He guides her towards the docks, approaching a boat that had a Team Skull color scheme with the skull insignia on the side. Gladion makes his way towards his boat but Bethany stops him before he could get in.

 

"Shouldn't we wait for Hau?"

 

 

He glances over his shoulder and sighs. "Yeah, I guess so... He's a pretty interesting kid. I'll give you that."

 

"Besides his undying love for malasadas..." Bethany murmurs under her breath and was stunned to hear a chuckle coming from Gladion. Did he actually hear that? That's embarrassing.

 

"Growing up in the great kahuna's shadow and still trying to stand up to Hala as an equal? Not just that, but trying to become even better than Hala, too? ...I couldn't do it." Gladion says, shaking his head slightly.

 

"It wouldn't hurt to try, you know?" She laughs softly and noticed Gladions gaze move on what’s next to her.

 

What was he looking at? Bethany turns her head to the left and there stood Nanu. Seeing him standing there made her flinch and he glanced at her, amusement clearly written on his crimson eyes.

 

"Officer Nanu?" Gladion was taken aback, clearly he was not expecting him to be here of all places.

 

"If only Team Skull could've just kept themselves and their troublemaking to Po Town..." He says, sounding irritated but still his voice remained unchanged. "Why'd they have to make all this fuss, huh?"

 

Nanu turns to face her. "You there, girl. I'm an island kahuna, you know. Battle against me."

 

 

Wait, an island k-kahuna?!

 

"It'll be a good experience for you if you're really hoping to master the island challenge." She hums in agreement, making him raise a brow. "Don't take it too seriously, now."

 

The battle was an interesting experience; Nanu was a dark type user. She had the typing advantage by sending out her Brionne, Tsareena, and Mimikyu. It was tough, but enjoyable nonetheless.

 

 

After winning against the kahuna the most bizarre thing happened. Nanu smirked, it was shocking considering that he never smiles often.

 

"Well, shoot... Of course, I already knew you had the heart and the strength to storm Team Skull's stronghold, but I didn't know you were this good." He complimented and noticed the blush gracing her cheeks, and then offered to heal up her team.

 

"Here. This is yours." he handed her a Darkinium Z. "If you want to use the Dark-type Z-power, you've gotta do it like this." then proceeds to show her the move to use the Z-crystal.

 

"There. Congratulations or whatever." Nanu said bluntly, turning away from them. "You've officially finished your Ula'ula trials."

 

Nanu was about to walk away but abruptly stopped. "You've got somewhere else to be, don't you? Try not to destroy the whole place. Oh... And you, boy. Gladion. Tell me... If you're really trying to get stronger as you say, then what're you depending on Team Skull for?"

 

He glanced over to Bethany. "And you, girl. Try not to get yourself killed."

 

They watched in silence as Nanu took his leave. Right as he left, Hau came running towards them. Had he been running all the way from Route 15?

 

"Bethany!" He huffed in exhaustion, droplets of sweat trailing down his forehead and cheeks. He was slowly catching his breath. Well, that's what he gets for not using his Charizard Pager.

 

"Don't you dare say a word about this being fun," Gladion warned earning a small laugh from Bethany.

 

The three of them hopped inside the boat and with Gladion as the navigator - - revived the engines of the boat and left the docks of Ula'ula. Now, they were heading towards Aether Paradise. The journey was uneventful and the atmosphere inside the small cabin was deathly silent. So silent, in fact, Bethany was slowly dozing off during the ride before eventually falling asleep. When they arrived at Aether Paradise's harbor, Hau shook her awake and she groggily got up from the seat and followed him out the boat.

 

"We made it this far without running into trouble." Gladion glanced around the place suspiciously. "But I don't like how quiet it is. You two... stay alert."

 

A yawn escaped her lips and this caught Gladion's attention, already looking irritated. “Sorry.”

 

"But... Why would Lillie be here at Aether Paradise?" Hau asks staring directly at the blond.

 

Gladion turns his back to them and simply said. "She just will be."

 

"Augh! This guy!" Hau, in his frustration, pouts as his eyebrow twitched. "Fine. So what are we going to do?"

 

Gladion contemplates for a moment. "I guess... we take the elevator."

 

"You guess? And we're following this guy?! He doesn't even have a plan!" Hau calmly freaks out.

 

A giant sweatdrop appears on the side of her head along with her Mimikyu. "Umm... I'm sure we'll figure something out along the way."

 

Hau, not wanting to be left alone, decided to stick around. Bethany knew he was afraid of being left behind. Who could blame him? Infiltrating Aether Paradise is probably one of the most dangerous missions. The place is guaranteed to be filled with Aether employees in every corner. Who wouldn't be scared? She at the very least isn't too fearful of their current situation - - having dealt with this exact same scenario during her adventures back in the Unova Region.

 

Yet, even in her worn-out state, they made it to the elevator while battling a couple of the guards along the way. They were met with a problem and were unable to use the elevator to go to the lower floors. This left them with no other choice but to go up, and as they reached the top a familiar thin voice spoke.

 

"I, Faba, am the Aether Branch Chief. The only one in the world, I'm irreplaceable." he then faces them having on his usual bored expression. "And here you come back...uninvited?"

 

Gladion is well aware that Faba literally knows everything that goes on in the Aether Foundation - - getting information out of him was sure going to be a hassle but it’s worth to try. At first, Faba, who didn't take him seriously, was in a fit of laughter after being challenged to a battle, to what he simply refers to "batting a mere child?!" before his laughter resumed. Having enough of this, Bethany stepped forward and willingly offered to battle Faba; much to Hau and Gladion's protests which she brushed aside. Fana's laughter ceased abruptly, staring at her in annoyance with her interruption, but ultimately accepted her offer.

 

Faba sent out his Hypno and Bethany sent out her Mimikyu which casually jumped out of her shoulder, squealing in excitement - - Faba found it frightening.

 

 

She told Mimikyu to use Shadow Ball - - three times her Mimikyu used Shadow Ball and Faba's Hypno was down. Mimikyu chirped, running over to her and received a Patterned Bean for its hard work.

 

A smile graced Hau's lips. "Aue, look at you, Bethany! And Faba is really strong, too!"

 

Bethany smiled with a tint of pink gracing on her cheeks.

 

"So..." Gladion trails off, eyes fixated on Faba. "As I said, Faba. You of all people know what I'm here for."

 

Faba's brow twitched and his lips pressed into a thin line. "Indeed..." he mustered out his words slowly.

 

"The world truly hasn't been kind to you, hasn't it? Look how hard it has made you." he eyed Gladion before closing his eyes. "If you're looking for Cosmog, I suppose it might be downstairs."

 

"Downstairs?!" Hau and Bethany exclaimed in unison.

 

Hau's mind then clicked in realization. "Oh yeah! Ms. Wicke did say there was another lever farther down, didn't she..." he trails off while rubbing the side on his cheek with his index finger.

 

"Did she...?" Bethany questioned then Hau simply shrugs with a grin. Okay, she really needs to pay attention to this kind of stuff.

 

"What do you do down there?!" Hau's sudden outbursts made her flinch, later he leaned over her to her ear and whispered an apology.

 

Faba shrugs. "Experiments to reach a world different from Alola... That's what I've been told, yes."

 

"We're in a bit of a hurry, Faba. A lift would be nice." Gladion urged the man.

 

"Why not? This is an act of kindness I can do for you thank my position as branch chief." Faba says walking over to the control panel as Gladion steps aside for him to punch in the buttons.

 

"Bethany. Hau. If you're ready, let's head down." he whispers, only for them to hear.

 

Once he was done, Faba stepped out of the elevator and turned to face them with a bored expression and watched as Gladion approached the control panel, pressing a button, sending them straight down to the basement of the facility. Unbeknownst to them, it was all going to be a waste of time. Faba had other plans for when they return from below - - a grin forming his lips.

Chapter Text


   All three of them came to a conclusion that they had been set up by that ungrateful man, Faba. Still, coming down here had proved to be useful.

 

Bethany and Hau investigated Lab A where she, curiously, read a book report that focuses on Ultra Wormholes and mentions about a professor who discovered the different dimension... Mohn. This raised all sorts of questions in her mind but she pushed them aside, for now.

 

She walked over to the computer and took a seat on the chair and began to read what was on the screen, it was a report about Cosmog. It talks about Cosmog and how it’s hypothesized to a type of Ultra Beast that hails from another dimension, which they called it Ultra Space.

 

Further into the report made her stomach churn in disgust. Written in the report they were going to use Cosmog (Nebby) to open up an Ultra Wormhole... forcing it to be placed under excruciating, and extreme amount of stress on the Pokémon. To which they happened to create a device that will allow them to manipulate its power.

 

Her face scrunched up in horror. This is torture! No Pokémon should ever have to endure such awful subjections for the name of science. She has to save Nebby from its pain and Lillie, for being dragged into this mess.

 

Once they got the information they needed, the three of them headed straight back to the elevator and arriving at the (1F) entrance. As soon as they got there they were surrounded by Aether Foundation employees, telling them that they shall “conveniently disappear.”

 

Hau practically dragged Bethany over to his side as they fought alongside with their Pokémon against the Aether employees. After they were defeated, Gladion made sure to send them scurrying off.

 

Out of nowhere, Ms. Wicke appeared. "Young master." she bowed politely and smiled.

 

Hau glanced back and forth between Ms. Wicke and Gladion before exclaiming. "What d'you mean ‘’young master’’?!"

 

Apparently, Gladion used to live here. She wasn't even sure, although looking at him closely - - her train of thought was interrupted when Ms. Wicke spoke. She kindly offered to heal their Pokémon.

 

"What's happened to Lillie? Do you know anything?" concern was written on the tone of Gladion's (the edgy boy's) voice.

 

Ms. Wicke shuts her eyes in deep thought. "I... imagine she is with the president."

 

"Then that's where I'm going. That's all I need to know." Bethany suddenly corrected the blond haired teen.

 

"We are going. We're in this together, aren't we?" she glances over to Gladion and he looked stumped, blinking a couple times, and then, slowly nodded.

 

Wicke mentions to them that the doors to the other side were locked, much to Hau's frustration. But, this didn't stop them from finding a way in. Even if it meant melting the door to get through (this would be dangerous.) A little over exaggerating, yes, but when it comes to that those two aren't afraid to take matters into their own hands... well, Gladion in particular.

 

The three of them approached the locked doors - - three Aether Foundation employees stood and amongst them was the Branch Chief Faba. He was persistent, refusing to let them through. For a Branch Chief, he sure doesn't know when to keep his mouth firmly shut - - letting himself slip up and telling them where the president's location was.

 

Gladion partnered up with her to battle two employees, who eventually lost and ran away. It was Faba and one employee’s turn which Hau and herself took a turn to battle them, and won.

 

"I wanna help save Lillie, so I'm going ahead! You don't mind, right?!" Hau sent a cheeky grin towards Faba while Gladion threw daggers at the man.

 

Bethany simply stood behind the boys, smiling apologetically at Faba. He eventually gave them the key to unlocking the doors and then Hau and Gladion ran ahead of her.

 

"Thanks for even giving us the key, Mr. Faba! You've been a big help!" Hau waved at Faba with his usual large smile plastered on his face and Faba shook his head in utter displeasure.

 

The sounds of a metal door opening echoed throughout the air inside the facility. The door was successfully opened by Gladion as he then ran through along with Hau following right behind. On the other side was the Mansion which was just up ahead but there were Team Skull Grunts all lined up vertically preparing to pick a fight to whoever dares to cross paths with them. Gladion didn't hesitate to dash right through and with ease; he avoided a battle against all of the Grunts.

 

Bethany had her shoulders slumped forward knowing that she had to battle the Grunts in order to reach the mansion. So she did just that and won every battle against them making it through in a breeze. The last Grunt refused to battle her stating that he doesn’t fight battles he can’t win which surprised her. She looks over and saw Gladion… he looked distraught and was sulking after he lost the battle against Guzma.

 

She unconsciously bit her lower lip as she tightened her grip on the fabric of her sweater. Why was she so anxious all of a sudden? Her heart was pounding loud in her ears and somehow her legs felt like jelly.

 

“I'm still not strong enough," Gladion mumbled to himself while clenching his hands into fists. "All the days that I struggled alone and lonely... Was it all for nothing? Is that it?"

 

The blond felt a hand brush against his back, his muscles tensed. He looked over his shoulder at the person and through his bangs, he saw Bethany staring down at him with a smile.

 

"You and your Pokémon did well. Believe me; you were never alone, to begin with." Her words struck him like a needle. She didn't say it out of pity - - no - - this was sincere.

 

"Take a break for now. Both you and your Pokémon deserve it." she patted his back then steps a few inches forward. "I'll handle the rest." Gladion didn't question her and simply steps aside.

 

Her eyes were now fixated on Guzma and as soon as their eyes met he quickly shifted his gaze off to the side and his lips curled into a frown. She was instantly reminded of the incident back in Po Town. Just the thought of it made the butterfrees’ in her stomach run wild.

 

She noticed something off about him… he was acting strangely. There weren't any discouraging comments, gloating at how strong of a Trainer he is, his selfishness - - none of that. Guzma looked so... dejected. Seeing the way he was now made her want to walk up to him and give him a big - - fat - - Bewear hug. Then, suddenly, his whole demeanor changed in a matter of seconds and was back to his old, egotistical self.

 

"The hated boss who beats you down and beats you down and never lets up... Yeah. Big bad Guzma is here!" he bellowed, a grin forming his lips. But something was off... he was avoiding eye contact with her and was focusing on Gladion. "I did that spoiled little brat a favor and crushed him. Yeah, that was me. Y'know, I kinda liked you, kid. Leaving home like that and wanting to get stronger and stronger. You had some real guts. Going so far as coming over to Team Skull. And rejecting your own mother?! That was impressive." 

 

Gladion turned his head aside. He was ashamed and there was a look of hurt written over his eyes.

 

"You little misfits keep getting up in my grill, like a cloud of smoke that I can't brush away. It's time I put out your fire at the source!" Guzma reached into his pockets - - he threw his Ultra Ball and out came his Golisopod.

 

 

-x-

 

 

"Mudsdale, use Rock Slide!"

 

An avalanche of rocks and boulders rained down upon his Vikavolt, as the smoke cleared, Vikavolt was on the ground and unable to battle. It was his last Pokémon in his party. Bethany approached her Mudsdale, patting its muzzle and praised it before returning it back into its Poké Ball. Then she heard Guzma's outburst and she looked over to see him ruffling his hair while venting in frustration and anger.

 

"Guzma! What is wrong with you?!" Seeing him criticizing himself pained her, in fact, she took a couple of steps forward to make him stop, but was held back by Gladion.

 

Guzma's eyes landed on to Gladion; completely avoiding hers. "Tch. Looks like I got no choice. Go on...go through." He moves aside the entrance of the mansion straight ahead.

 

She glanced at the entrance door, then back at Guzma who she caught staring before averting his gaze elsewhere. There was a hint of pink on his cheeks. She wasn't sure if it was from embarrassment or from something else...shame maybe?

 

She took a few steps forward before abruptly stopping and glancing over to Guzma. His eyes still weren't meeting hers. 

 

'What's the point?' A frown formed on her face before turning away.

 

Bethany now looked straight ahead and opened the door. What she was unaware of was that a certain pair of grey eyes was observing her before the door closed behind her.

 

Two people were blocking the entrance to the other room and these two individuals were Phyco and Soliera. They approached her - - telling her about the Blinding One (Necrozma), and how capturing it in a Poké ball would enable them to control Necrozma's power. Soliera was against his words, stating that Bethany is capable of using the Z-moves on the Blinding One. Phyco remarked to his partner about relying on a child to be capable of standing against Necrozma's wild fury. She hesitated before nodding in response before challenging Bethany to a battle.

 

After defeating Soliera and her Ultra Beast Poipole, which Bethany found adorable. Phyco expressed his irritation about this but ultimately agrees with Soliera's original statement about utilizing Z-power and Z-moves. They stepped aside, allowing her to proceed forward.

 

Bethany exhaled before pushing the doors open. Right in front of her was Lillie and the president of the Aether Foundation, Lusamine. Bethany couldn't help but feel like she interrupted something between them. Lusamine's gaze landed on her and she nervously waved before approaching Lillie.

 

"Ah, Bethany. It's been a while since we last saw you..." In a blink of an eye, Lillie spun around and was staring at her in utter shock.

 

"Wha—?!" she exclaimed. "Y...you came? You actually came to help me, Bethany?" Bethany smiled and nods. "Thank you... Thank you!"

 

"Hmm. So you know one another?" Lusamine mused aloud. "A gifted young Trainer like Bethany... And she bothers with someone like you?" she shakes her head, eyes closed and lips curled down in disapproval. "How disappointing."

 

"I don't need your approval, Mother! Or your permission! I will save Cosmog!" Lillie said in retaliation, and their argument went on.

 

Bethany couldn't even begin to express herself at this. Lusamine... the one who she admired for caring, saving and loving Pokémon had a darker side to her personality.

 

Lusamine confirms after saying the awful truth about Nebby. It will be used as a sacrifice to open an Ultra Wormhole to the place where Necrozma dwells. She couldn't believe it, those documents she read before were true! 

 

Both Lillie and Bethany tried to reason with her, but it all falls on deaf ears, resulting in her revealing a hidden room behind a mirror and teleported away via a pad. They quickly pursued her, not realizing what lies beyond.

Chapter Text

Collection... her collections were Pokémon! Frozen... inside ice blocks like trophies.

 

Bethany covered her mouth, her face turning green. She wanted to hurl at the horrific sight but she kept it all in which was hard for her. Just glancing over at the frozen Pokémon made her gag, hard. The world was spinning, droplets of sweat trailed down her forehead and cheeks. Her Mimikyu used its shadowy hand to gently rub her back, comforting its Trainer from her predicament.

 

"Bethany, sweetie, you all right?" Lusamine asked with a look of concern.

 

"...Peachy." she croaked out before swallowing the lump in her throat. Lillie rubbed her back, a look of worry on her face but Bethany managed to let out a crooked smile at her.

 

Lusamine hummed. "I'd appreciate if you don't hurl on the floor, dear. It's a hassle to clean, you know?" Her gentle - - sweet gaze quickly morphed into a glare in an instant. "Now where was I? Ah, yes. If the light is stolen from this world, then I won't be able to love my babies any longer." she outstretched her arms with a grin forming.

 

"So I will open the Ultra Wormhole and take on the Pokémon that would steal our light...I will capture even poor Necrozma!" Lusamine boldly declared.

 

How she wished to argue against that but she was too occupied in controlling her nausea. A soft noise emanated from behind which was accompanied by a noise that resembled like footsteps. Then a familiar voice ringed in the air.

 

"Whoa! Bethany!" It was Hau.

 

He ran up to them with Gladion following right behind. Hau glanced over at Bethany noticing that she didn't look all too well. "Aue! You all right?" Bethany simply responded with a thumbs up.

 

"And Lillie! Man, I'm so glad to see you're OK! " Hau said cheerfully.

 

"Ah. Sweet Hau. So you came, too?" Lusamine raises a questionable look at them. "I know better than to expect much from the members of the Ultra Recon Squad, but really... Couldn't Guzma even stop a few children?" her lips curled down in disappointment followed by a shrug.

 

Gladion tries to reason with her; not wanting his mother to disappear like his father did. Something terrible must have happened in the past and this was confirmed by Lusamine herself; stating how much she despises the Ultra Wormholes. In the midst of all this, Hau flipped out after realizing that Lillie and Gladion were siblings. Once again, even with reason, Lusamine was stubborn and ignored their pleas.

 

Lusamine pushes a button on the screen causing Nebby to cry out from its crate as a crack of the Ultra Wormhole appeared right above them. It was there for a couple of seconds - - a flash of light blinded them - - the crack disappeared. All of them were bewildered especially Lusamine.

 

"You are trying to resist, aren't you, Cosmog? But why? For Lillie's sake, perhaps?" the puffball whimpered in response.

 

Lusamine hums in thought. "How gallant you are... You love Lillie, don't you?"

 

The crate suddenly moved as it inched towards the gang. There was a small gap on the crate and Nebby's eye was searching to where the others we at before it landed on to Bethany. It cried out for her, its cloud-like, galaxy puff hand escaped from the gap; it was reaching out to her. The site was absolutely heartbreaking and knowing that she couldn't do anything about it made her feel even worse.

 

 

Lusamine noticed this before chuckling to herself. "My, oh my, so it's not just Lillie that you love now, is it?" Nebby whimpers, its eye never leaving Bethany's.

 

"Perhaps Gladion and Lillie have both grown up a bit since leaving Aether." her smile instantly vanished. Her pupils turned into slits and those eyes were looking fixedly at them. It sent shivers down their spines... so creepy. "But I still won't allow them to interfere with this."

 

"If I am going to protect the Pokémon of Alola, I must go through the Ultra Wormhole and meet this Necrozma!" she glances over to the crate. "I will have Cosmog open the Ultra Wormhole. No matter what. I will use the power of its cage to ensure that it cannot resist any further!"

 

Bethany snapped at the woman, this made the president flinch. "I won't allow it! How dare you use Cosmog for your own selfish purposes? Cosmog isn't a tool; it's a living being that thinks and feels like the rest of us!"

 

"I thought you wanted to help Pokémon, but-but THIS—" Bethany gestured her hands at the room around them. "—it’s utterly appalling! No Pokémon deserves this and neither does Cosmog!"

 

Lusamine's gaze darkened, but this didn't faze the girl who was glaring right back. "You..." she hissed. "You ungrateful child! I am doing this for the greater good of this world! To save it from this Necrozma. I'm not going to be lectured, especially by a mere child."

 

Lusamines’ piercing gaze bored into hers then she said something that she knew would haunt the young Trainer. "You think I can’t save this world? Hmp, says the girl that couldn’t even rescue - - much less prevent her precious Pokémon from being stolen away from your fingertips.”

 

Bethany's glare suddenly disappeared. What Lusamine just said literally slapped her in the face and she was frozen in place, eyes wide; pupils shrank with her mouth agape.

 

"... How d-did you...?"

 

Lusamine sneered, mockingly, a hand hovering above her lips. "It wasn't hard. That Guzma boy  just wouldn't stop talking about you."

 

The blondes' emerald eyes glanced to where the pad was. A greeting smile forming at the person who just arrived. "There you are."

 

Bethany couldn't hear herself think anymore. All of the noises surrounding her became silent; the only thing she could hear was a high-pitch noise that ultimately came from her ears. As unpleasant the noise was, she was brought back into reality when Lusamine challenged her to a battle to prove her strength. She wordlessly accepted the challenge and ultimately defeating the president in the end.

 

Lusamine later compliments about her strength and remarks that she should just resume the island challenge. She reassures everyone that she will be fine because Guzma will be accompanying her, and then rejects Gladion's request to join her as well. Lusamine repeated her saying about children being happier if they listened to the adults around them. She grabs the crate containing Nebby inside and used it to open up a large wormhole in the room.

 

All they could do was watch helplessly as Lusmaine use the crate that contains Nebby inside to summoned the portal open; which successfully opened behind her. Lusamine tossed the crate before disappearing into the Ultra Wormhole.

 

Bethany had her eyes straight at the wormhole but she caught a glimpse of someone running past her. A black jacket with the Team Skull insignia imprinted on the back… without a doubt that this person was Guzma. She instantly outstretched her hand to grab him by the back of his hoodie, sadly, her hand missed by mere inches.

 

"GUZMA!" but it was already too late, he too disappeared inside the wormhole right when it began to close behind him. He was gone.

 

"Mother! Why...?!" Lillie exclaimed feeling conflicted with her mother’s choice.

 

She approached the crate where Nebby was to check and see if it was unharmed. "Nebby... Are you... all right?" no response. "N-Nebby." Lillie tightened her hold on the strap of her bag.

 

"What is it?" Gladion stepped forward, eyeing Nebby curiously.

 

The once cute little puffball had somehow evolved, its odd-looking shape appeared to look like an eye, and it doesn't seem to be moving at all.

 

Gladion pondered with his hand holding his chin. "It changed forms... and it's not moving..."

 

He turns around and walks away. "Come on. Let's get out of here. Nothing good can happen here."

 

Gladion passes by Bethany and glances over at her and noticed she had a sorrowful look across her face. What his mother said about her… was it true? There were so many questions lingering in his mind.

 

They arrive in Lusamine's room and were greeted by Ms.Wicke. She was relieved to see them all unharmed then Gladion explains the situation about Lusamine and Guzma and then about Cosmog who stopped moving after being used to open the Ultra Wormhole.

 

Then Phyco and Soliera appeared, both expressed their utter disbelief towards Lusamines’ actions. In the midst of the conversation, Bethany had left the room without them noticing except for Gladion as he caught a glimpse of her shutting the door.

 

 

-x-

 

 

Gladion had been searching for her for a while now, it was late, everyone else went to bed but she never showed up. She couldn’t have gone far. There was only one place left that he hadn’t checked - - behind the mansion.  Lo and behold, there she was, sitting dangerously close on the ledge. He approaches her until he stood right behind her. She was staring off into the vast sea, while Mimikyu was cradled on her lap sound asleep.

 

"Bethany?" It took a few seconds and then she spoke.

 

"I thought you went to bed with the others,” Bethany said without glancing over her shoulder at him.

 

“You didn’t come back after Phyco and Soliera left, so I went out to look for you.”

 

"I see." That was all she said before fixating her gaze at the sea.

 

"What my mother said back there." Just by mentioning it she visibly tenses up. "Was it true?"

 

"Who knows?"

 

She's evading the question. "That wasn't a definitive answer."

 

"What your mother said wasn't entirely true." Liar. A voice hissed inside her head. "She can be really convincing."

 

He folds his arms in front of his chest. "From the way you acted back there seemed pretty convincing to me," Gladion remarked, earning a small laugh from her.

 

"There's just been... a lot going through my mind lately." She stares down at the sleeping Mimikyu and carefully, without waking the now sleeping Mimikyu, she moved away from the edge. She passed by Gladion and began to head towards the mansion.

 

Gladion swiftly pivoted and yelled out to her. "Can you at least tell me what happened to that Pokémon my mother was referring to?!"

 

The wind gave out a strong whistle, the waves crashing below the man-made island. She now stood there - - her back towards the blond. The silence hung in the air for a moment. Her eyes glanced down at the sleeping Mimikyu in her arms, it yawns as it tiredly raised its head up at her, a look of confusion written across its eyes.

 

"Sometimes...it's best not to reveal such delicate information." she looks over her shoulder at the blond; his eyes frozen wide with his mouth slightly open.

 

She then musters out a small—reassuring smile at him. "It's not that I don't want to talk about it... I'm just... not ready." She turns her head away.

 

"One day. But right now I don’t think I’m mentally prepared for it. One day, you’ll understand why." She said before walking away, leaving Gladion where he stood.

Chapter Text

     The next day they were preparing themselves before they would leave to Poni Island. Bethany and Lillie were outside then Gladion approached them as he handed them a Sun Flute an artifact from Alola's past. He stated that if both flutes are played together, it's said that it can call the legendary Pokémon.

 

Once they were set, Gladion, Lillie, and Bethany took a ferry ride to Poni Island. They safely dock at the Seafolk village and they proceeded to find the island Kahuna. Then the most bizarre thing happened.

 

They both heard someone greeting them from afar. They turned around but no one was there. Who was greeting them? This person called them out again and they were pretty surprised to see the person calling out to them was actually on top of a large Wailmer boat restaurant. It was a blonde female waving at them nonchalantly.

 

"Oh my goodness!" Lillie stumbles back.

 

Bethany stared fixedly at the blonde. How she got up there raised many questions, but she's seen these kinds of things back in Unova so it didn't really surprise her. Alder was especially known to just speak out of nowhere then jump from a high place which he would be standing on. Such an odd man he was.

 

The blonde made her way out of the Wailmer boat and she then approached them; they both greeted her.

 

"I-I'm sorry. Who are you?" Lillie asks curiously.

 

"I'm Mina. I'm the local captain." She happily introduced herself.

 

"Captain...Mina? It's nice to meet you then..." Lillie smiled.

 

"So let's get right down to things. Which one of you is here for my trail?"

 

"Oh! No, that's not why we're here!" Lillie looks over to Bethany. "I mean, you're not entirely wrong. It's true that Bethany is in the middle of her island challenge, but..."

 

"We're here to meet the kahuna of this island." Bethany finishes her sentence.

 

"The kahuna?" Mina blinks, placing both hands on either side of her hips. Both girls nod eagerly in unison. "Oh... Well, that's a problem. Maybe you should talk to Hapu?"

 

Lillie politely thanks, Mina and urges Bethany to follow her before she sprinted off without her.

 

Bethany chuckles to herself which caught the attention of her two Pokémon (which were out of their Poké Balls.) Mimikyu popped out of her backpack then climbed onto her shoulder and then a shiny arthropod climbed out of the backpack then jumps down to her feet. Wimpod chirred in excitement and it sprinted off to look around the place. Bethany followed right behind the silverfish just in case it wanders off.

 

Eventually, she caught up to Lillie and they now made their way to the other side of the wooden bridge. There were so many patches of grass that Bethany lost sight of her Wimpod. She immediately started to call out its name and she grew worried when it didn’t respond. So she began to search the little arthropod - - with Lillie and Mimikyus’ help. In the midst of searching, Brionne actually came out of her Poké ball to assist and she was grateful for Brionne's help. They eventually found Wimpod munching on some fallen berries from a palm tree, she swooped the arthropod from its feast and into her arms but not before picking up the fallen berries.

 

They now entered Ancient Poni Path; a Mudsdale greeted them with a neigh and approaches Bethany - - nudging her forehead gently.

 

"Alola, Mudsdale," Bethany said while caressing Mudsdale's head.

 

"It's good to see you again, too, Mudsdale! You look to be in fine form." Lillie greeted the Pokémon and Mudsdale neighs happily in response.

 

"Wow... Pokémon Trainers like you, Bethany, really do amaze me."

 

"How so?" Bethany turns her head to Lillie.

 

"Oh... well, it's just that... it seems like a hard path to walk, you know?" Lillie turns to face Bethany. "But even when you're fearful you don't let that discourage you. Even when your Pokémon are hurt you remain strong and you keep striving forward together..."

 

"It’s been a while, Bethany." Both turned their heads to see Hapu coming out of the house next to them. Could this be where she lived? "And you brought Lillie along, too?"

 

"It's good to see you, Hapu!" Lillie smiles down at Hapu.

 

"You look different...like you're ready to go all out in something now." Hapu stares at the blonde curiously.

 

"Thank you, Hapu. I've finally discovered what I need to do." A confident look spread across the blondes face. "So this is my Z-Powered form!"

 

"No one could call you lily-livered!" Then Lillie asks.

 

"Um, so, Hapu... do you know where we can find the kahuna?" A quizzical look forms on Hapu's face.

 

"The kahuna? We don't have one here on Poni."

 

"What?!" Lillie and Bethany exclaimed in unison. Both of them exchanged worried glances to each other.

 

"Well, do not be distressed. I wouldn't say that I know nothing about this." Hapu places both hands on either side of her hips then nods to herself. "All right. Let us all proceed to the ruins. You stick with me, you two." Hapu mounted onto Mudsdale and rode off towards the ruins.

 

Just when they were about to follow right behind Hapu, a woman’s voice called out to them but was nowhere to be seen. That is until they saw her hiding behind an opening through a cement wall. It freaked them out to no end, Bethany in particular; she really isn’t a fan of being scared…in general.

 

The woman introduced herself to them as Hapu’s grandmother. She was delighted to know that her granddaughter had friends. She turns to Bethany, offering her a new Ride Pager - - Bethany hands it over for her to tweak it for a moment before giving it back. With a press of a button, a flash of light enveloped her and was instantly swept off her feet by a Machamp.

 

It was a new Ride Pager. This would allow her to move heavy obstacles that would allow her to make a path for her to go through. Bethany was thankful for the new Pager - - Machamp places her down before disappearing.

 

Hapu’s grandmother gave them directions to the Ruins of Hope - - they thanked her once again before heading to Poni Breaker Coast.

 

The soil really is pitch-black and the place had geysers too. Curiosity got the best of Bethany and she got too close to one of the geysers which resulted in her getting semi-wet. After her unfortunate experience with the geyser, she managed to dry herself—by literally twisting her sweater until all the droplets of water were almost none existing.

 

They walked down a spiral path made out of smoothed out rocks and standing right beside the entrance was Hapu's Mudsdale, it greeted them with a neigh. It approaches Bethany - - gently nudging its muzzle onto her head.

 

They made their way inside and with the help of the newly obtained Machamp Pager as they made it through the ruins. This meant moving large square boulders out of the way in order for them to make it through the other room.

 

Upon entering the room, it was like a shrine. It had stairs on either side of it and atop was a platform to which people would stand there and pray. Hapu was there, standing in front of the tiki statue and floating in the air was a Sparkling Stone.

 

She had been chosen by Tapu Fini as the new Kahuna! Hapu turns around and was surprised to see them there, and they witnessed the entire thing. Now, Hapu as the new Kahuna Lillie approached her and asks her about the Legendary Pokémon. Hapu—Kahuna Hapu told them what she knew, mentioning to them about a ceremony which would be held for the Legendary Pokémon at the altar. This requires the usage of two particular flutes that will somehow grant the Legendary Pokémon power. Hapu instructed them to head to Exeggutor Island where they would find the other flute was located.

 

 

-x-

 

 

The once blue skies were now replaced by large grey clouds as it drizzled lightly. Bethany was on her way to Exeggutor Island to find the other flute. Sadly, Lillie wasn’t able to come, mostly due to her not being a Pokémon Trainer and the island is filled with Pokémon. So, she was alone on this trip.

 

The boat soon arrived at their destination as she set foot on the island and then two of her Pokémon followed suit; Wimpod and Brionne. They were enjoying themselves under the light rain that was coming down on them. However, Mimikyu was hiding inside her backpack; it didn’t like the rain as much so it remained hidden.

 

She glances around the place and notices three large palm trees shaking. At first, she was confused on what it was and then the Rotom Dex flew right by her and informed her that it was an Alolan Exeggutor which is a dragon and a grass type. It was an interesting typing, but the longer she stares at them the more she noticed that they looked distressed. The chief noticed this as well.

 

"Hm? Looks like the fellows are even more worked up than usual." The chief said. "Eh. But they're always a noisy bunch. It's probably fine."

 

"They’re distressed. It doesn't sit fine with me," she mumbles to herself before trekking forward towards the Exeggutor's.

 

Bethany approaches one of the Exeggutor’s; it didn’t even notice her presence as it was too busy trying to shake something off. What could it be shaking off? So, she went to investigate to find out herself. To her surprise, she was face-to-face with a Pinsir that jumped down from the Exeggutor. The Pinsir snapped its claws at her threateningly and this caused her to yelp, staggering a few steps back before falling down on her butt. Almost instantly, her Pokémon came rushing towards her and stood in front of her defensively.

 

"Whoa—easy you guys!" she quickly stood up and waves her arms at them. "It's okay! I'm not hurt." She reassures them and this helped to put them at ease but they refused to move from their defensive stance.

 

Bethany looks over at the Pinsir and slowly approaches it which causes it to stumble back in fear. She stops right in front of it before she crouches down. A friendly smile graces on her lips and this confused the Bug-type Pokémon.

 

"I’m not gonna hurt you, Pinsir. I just want to ask you a question.” It continues to stare at her in confusion. “Why were disturbing Exeggutor?"

 

Before the Pinsir could give an answer when a loud rumbling noise filled the air—it wasn’t the thunder. It was the Pinsirs’ stomach. In its embarrassment, it looks away with a reddened face. Bethany couldn’t help but smile at this.

 

"So you were hungry?" Pinsir refused to look up at her. She’ll take that as a yes.

 

Then it hits her, like a light bulb—no, not literally.

 

She forms a fist and then smacked it gently on to her open palm. “Pinsir’s enjoy tree sap! Is that why you were on Exeggutor?” Pinsir glances over to her and nods slowly in shame.

 

Bethany takes off her backpack and then rummages through her backpack before pulling out two items at Pinsir.

 

"Here," in her hands, she had a bag filled with mixed Poké beans and a jar of honey.

 

The Pinsir stares with wide eyes then point its finger to itself as if it was saying: “For me?”

 

"Yes, it's for you silly! Just make sure not to bother the Exeggutors from now on, all right?" She handed over the items to Pinsir.

 

It stares at the items in its claws and then glances up at Bethany, smiling down at it. Its eyes curved upwards happily as it nuzzles the side of its head on her outstretched hand.

 

Bethany used this same technique on the last two Pinsir’s and then all the Exeggutors waved their heads happily. What happened next truly surprised her as they now stared at her. One of the Exeggutor’s let out a cry over at her direction as it began to waddle away over, so she followed right behind it. It offered her a lift for her to reach atop the hill. Once up the hill, she thanked the Exeggutor for before trekking up the steep trail.

 

There, placed on a very old pedestal, was the Moone flute. She took it from the pedestal and handled with care like it was the most fragile thing in the world. As soon as she took it from the pedestal the cloudy skies and the rain instantly disappeared and were replaced with beautiful clear skies and then a rainbow appears above the island.

 

Once she was done with her tasks at Exeggutor Island she returns back at Seafolk Village and was greeted by Lillie and Mina. Bethany and Lillie were heading straight towards Vast Poni Canyon which would lead them to where the Altar of Moone is located in the deepest parts of the Canyon. The journey won't be much of an issue at all. The only problem that stood in their way… was Team Skull.

Chapter Text

     She could only describe this scene as a wall blocking their path, in this case, a wall of Grunts who were all crouched. It didn’t seem like they would conveniently move so willingly without picking a fight. Then Lillie steps forward and asks one of the Grunts before her.

                                        

“Team Skull. What do you want from us?”

 

A male Grunt stood up. “I heard about you numbskulls at Aether... Do you really know how to open an Ultra Wormhole and save our boy Guzma?!”

 

They came all this way and asked them to save him and here she thought they were going to start trouble. Then-

 

“Lemme see if you are bad to the bone enough to save our boy Guzma!” A female Grunt challenged her to a battle. Well, that didn’t last long.

 

The female Grunt sent out her Ekans to which in return Bethany sent out her Brionne, which was already out of her Poké Ball. She easily defeated the Grunt and was gawking at her with eyes practically exploding out of her head, and the rest of the Grunts followed her same reaction. Right, did she ever mention that more of them joined in on the fight? Now you know.

 

"OK, no bones about it—you're way stronger than me!" the female Grunt sprinted off.

 

The rest of the Grunts that were blocking their way had all stood up and were gawking in awe.  None of them dared to challenge her except for one of the Grunt’s (let’s just call him Grunt A) that was berating her.

 

"Doesn't matter! We'll come after you with all our Pokémon at once then, li'l homie slice! We'll give 500% to save our boy Guzma!"

 

Bethany narrowed her eyes which instantly made him freeze in place. "Look, I understand your concern about getting ‘your boy Guzma’ back." She quoted. "The rescue mission would go a whole lot faster if you guys would simply not challenge me to a battle. It would be nice." The entire Team Skull Grunt's exchanged glances to each other, taking in her word for it.

 

"She's right you dummies!" A female voice yelled from afar. "So, what do you wanna get in their way for?!"

 

Grunt A turns his head off to the side and the girls follow the Grunt's gaze to see Plumeria sitting atop of a hill with her legs crossed. Then the team skull admin stood up, walks down the hill, and pulls the Grunt's to side, telling them to leave. Once they all left, she then turns to face them, her eyes directed at Lillie.

 

"Hmmph. You girlie... Lillie, right?" the blonde nods. "You really ready to do this finally?"

 

Plumeria exhales deeply, looking away with her eyes closed—guilt written on her face. "To be honest, I've treated you really badly. Even if I was just doing the work the president told me to do, I shouldn't have done all that. Even if I apologize now, I know it's probably too late for you to forgive me, though."

 

She turns with her back now facing them. "You see, Guzma... he really likes the president." Both girls frown, however, Bethany was exceptionally hurt by this. "She's the only adult who ever seemed to see how strong he was."

 

"The president..." Lillie's frown deepened. "My mother is—she's selfish. She decides all by herself what she thinks needs to be done to make other people happy, not even caring what it is they may want..." she shook her head, that confident expression of hers plastered on her face. "But people ought to help one another out! That is what I have learned here in Alola! And that is what I'm going to teach her, too. Then I think we can save Mr. Guzma."

 

"I agree." Bethany nodded.

 

"You know...deep down, you’re kind of like the president. You've gone in a different direction, but I can tell you have the same strength in your convictions." Plumeria closes her eyes once more. "Bethany... Lillie... I know you've got no reason to help, but... But could you help us save Guzma?"

 

Bethany gave her a curt nod in response and Brionne returned the same response as she jumped right up onto Bethany’s back.

 

Plumeria shook her head. "That big dummy... I don't think he's even aware of it, but... Alola really means a lot to him. That's why he's doing something so reckless to try to save it. The Poison-type Z-Crystal... Maybe it'll help you somehow."

 

She stuck her hand out, and the small purple Z-crystal was placed into Bethany's hands. "I guess giving you this Z-Crystal is also kind of, what did you call it, helping each other?" she raised a brow then she says, "Oh yeah...You got your first stone directly from Tapu Koko, didn't you, Bethany? You'd better take care of it. That's one special Z-Power Ring you've got there. A Trainer is only a Trainer because of the Pokémon with them. If you ever forget that, you'll bring the wrath of the tapu down upon yourself. You should be fine, though. I'm out of here."

 

Plumeria turned around and was about to walk away but something stopped her from taking a step forward. "Oh, and Beth?" She looks over her shoulder at Bethany. "I heard what happened in Ula'ula Island.”

 

Bethany only stared at her in confusion. Plumeria proceeds to clarify it. “You had never once been rude towards the Grunts and even going as far as refusing to battle them." Plumeria couldn’t but chuckle to herself. "It's no wonder Guzma grew so fond of you." With that, she walked off.

 

Lillie furrowed her brows with a quizzical look directed at Bethany. "What does she mean by that?"

 

Bethany lowers her head to hide her heated cheeks from view. "I—uh... not quite sure but we should probably get going."

 

Her sudden urge to hurry caused Lillie to glance at her and caught a glimpse her heated cheeks but she didn’t think much of it. They made their way through the Canyon and saw Hapu there, standing right in front of a huge bare tree and past that point was an entrance to a cave.

 

The girl smiled when she saw them approaching. "Did everything go well?"

 

"Well, I..." Lillie turns to Bethany, who was handing her Pokémon a couple of Poké beans. "I had to have Bethany do everything for me yet again, but..."

 

"Nothing wrong with that, Lillie." She smiles in reassurance. "People cannot survive all on their own. They have got to help one another out. Same for Pokémon, too. That is what my grandfather used to say."

 

Hapu's eyes lands on Bethany. "It's the kindness of your heart, Bethany that keeps that brilliant smile on Lillie's face."

 

"Please wait." A voice said which caused the poor girl and her Brionne to jump before realizing it was Phyco that had spoken from behind them.

 

"I apologize if I scared you, Bethany." All she could do is smile and waved her hand slightly as if saying ‘don’t worry about it.’

 

"Just as you use your own strength to overcome the trials before you..." Phyco trails off. "Perhaps it is time that we stop relying on others and instead take matters into our own hands."

 

He turns to face them. "Now that we have learned to do Pokémon battle ourselves, I think we might be able to resolve the situation with Necrozma on our own."

 

His gaze landed at Bethany and she knew full well what was going to happen. Instead of Phyco, it was Soliera that was going to challenge her to a Pokémon battle, sending out her Poiple. Brionne instantly was on the field whilst she dodged Poipole’s poison jab. Many attacks later, and Poiple wasn’t doing all too well, the poor thing was fatigued and chances of victory were slim. With one final blow and Poiple fainted from exhaustion.

 

"This is...astounding! You show such skill for drawing forth the power from your Pokémon!" Phyco exclaimed and Soliera agreeing with him.

 

"Yes... The people of Alola battle their Pokémon against one another to learn more about each other, after all." Soliera said.

 

Hapu advanced, greeting the newcomers. "I am the kahuna of this island. Hapu. You are from the beasts' world, are you not? We in Alola have long lived together with our Pokémon, being aided by them to survive. "

 

"If you are in some sort of trouble, then we will gladly come to your aid however we can," Hapu said.

 

Lillie nods confidently, behind them, Mudsdale neighs in response. Bethany gives them a nod along with her Pokémon letting out a cry of approval. Phyco and Soliera exchanged glances, nodding in a silent agreement.

 

"Then I will throw myself upon your generosity, in spite of our own shortcomings," Phyco said firmly.

 

Soliera soon followed suit. "Please. When Necrozma comes to attack this world, will you fight it in our place?" They all shook their heads in agreement.

 

Hapu clasps her hands together. "Well then! The path to the shrine is through the canyon." Her eyes land on Bethany. "You will find other Trainers in this place, though. They come for training. It will be a tough road."

 

The kahuna grins. "You will have to pitch in too, Lillie. But if you two end up in any real trouble, Mudsdale and I will hasten to you."

 

 

-x-

 

 

There were Trainers everywhere; luckily the battles didn't last long and throughout their journey, Lillie helped in healing up Bethany’s Pokémon. Through ever path they took and eventually got to the top. However, the long trek for Lillie was too much to handle and had to take a break after reaching the top.

 

“You good?" Bethany looks over to see Lillie supporting herself up from the walls.

 

She shakes her head. "I got this, but--” she turns to look at her and says, “How are you not tired after all that walking?”

 

Bethany simply shrugs nonchalantly. "I always jog in the mornings to maintain my stamina as a trainer, you know? It’s not easy, considering that I’ve walked far longer distances back in the past and I was just a child!”

 

"I wish I had legs like yours..." Lillie huffed.

 

"It’s not the legs but...uh; some exercise every day would do the trick!" She smiled sheepishly and looks ahead, seeing a bridge that leads across to another entrance.

 

They approach the bridge and with one quick glance down could send anyone running away. It was high up and one false move on the wooden bridge could be their emanate demise. A horrible way to die but now’s not the time to think about such gruesome things.

 

"This bridge reminds me of the first time that I met you, Bethany..." Bethany hums in response.

 

“I'd taken Nebby with me, but I didn't have the courage to protect it myself...I couldn't do anything... But I'm not that person anymore!” A smile broke out on her face.

 

Lillie stepped onto the bridge and walked a couple of feet before getting a bad feeling, and for good reason. Waiting above were three avian Pokémon’s as they now flew down, scaring the blonde before proceeding to block her path in the middle of the bridge. Instead of running away, she looks for a way to get past them and on closer inspection, she could see a gap in between one of the Murkrow’s. She took that chance and sprinted right towards the opening and successfully making it to the other side. Bethany followed right behind, but not before shooing the avian Pokémon away with some free poke beans. She went up to her and congratulated her for making it across.

 

They stumbled across more trainers along the way while also avoiding them. A while later they came across another bridge, crossing it with ease. When they reached the bottom there was a line of trainers leading to the entrance of the trial. Bethany found it difficult to keep up but managed to pull through; in the end, her team was exhausted. Lillie treated her Pokémon until they were good as new!

 

Bethany suggested that she stays behind and would let her know when she finishes the trial. Lillie was more than understanding and handed over some Max Revives before Bethany walks right into the slightly narrow canyon. Once she stepped inside, she quickly noticed that there weren't many Pokémon around; odd. There was also an ancient stone monument to the left, upon reading it she could barely make out the rest because the letters had become smudged and harder to read.

 

"Ahead lies a sacred ground of trials

None who do not take part in its trails will be allowed to walk upon this earth.

Those lacking the courage to defeat the totem guarding this land will be denied entry.

But those who believe in their Pokémon and walk beside them shall gain great power!"

 

She looks around curiously and there were no signs of a trial captain. Beyond this point, the trial will begin, with or without the captain. Brionne and Wimpod cooed from below and she glances down at them, noticing a look of confidence and determination on their faces.

 

Mimikyu popped out from her backpack and gently nuzzled its head onto Bethany’s neck. A smile formed on her lips. "You guys are up for the challenge?" They all cried out eagerly. She bobs her head in agreement with a look of determination plastered on her face. "Let's do this."

 

All she did was taking a couple of steps forward when she suddenly got this feeling of a pair of eyes piercing through her. Looking around the barely lit canyon but no one in sight but there was indeed something watching her.

 

So, she brushed it off and resumed. Along the way, she found a yellow poké ball with a TM inside it. Walking down the path until something screeches out and she swiftly turns only to have a small dinosaur-like Pokémon dive right in front of her. It almost tackled her to the ground if it hadn’t for her quick reflexes. Brionne came to her aid and was the one to face the foe to protect its trainer. In between the fuss, Rotom had flown out her backpack—took a picture of the new pokemon and informed her that its name was a Jangmo-o, a Dragon type.

 

With this newly found knowledge, she told her Pokémon to use Disarming voice, a fairy type move which is extremely effective against a dragon type such as this one. A simple attack like that had easily defeated the small dragon. She approaches the unconscious Pokémon, placed a rainbow bean next to its snout, and left.

 

This piercing gaze she felt before but this time it was much more... intense. She concluded that more of these Dragon-type Pokémon’s would most likely jump out on her. This was part of the trial! Right on cue, another dragon type appeared from above except this time the Pokémon was taller than the previous one. The same color scheme and all. Could this be the next stage of its evolution? Rotom confirmed this itself; this was a Hakamo-o.

 

The Pokémon went down with one hit from Brionne’s Moonblast, falling face first onto the ground. She approaches the Pokémon, placing another rainbow bean next to its snout then continued on.

 

There, her eyes landed on a pedestal, which held a bright crystal inside. She approached it, unaware of the piercing eyes drilling through her relentlessly. As she was about to reach out to take the crystal but stopped when a loud roar echoed throughout the canyon.

 

With a hard gulp! She slowly raised her head to see a large Pokémon. Almost instantly, she backed away to give it enough space to jump down and it did just that. Its feet touched the ground causing the entire place to quake beneath its feet. A fiery orange aura engulfed its body which meant...

 

Kommo-ooo!

 

This was the totem Pokémon!

 

She took her stance, sending out her Brionne. Immediately the totem Kommo-oo attacked, to which Brionne dodged and Bethany yells for Brionne to use Moonblast. The attack was a direct hit but Kommo-oo was still standing, it was a tough one.

 

It roared which called forth a wild Noivern. The dragon/flying type screeched as it dived down and attacks Brionne. It managed to land a decent blow to the pinniped Pokémon but quickly Brionne stood up on its flippers, determined to beat these two foes.

 

As the battle raged on, Noivern appeared to be at its limit and with one final attack it fell to the ground, unconscious. Then something incredible happens, Brionne’s body began to shimmer and was engulfed by a blinding light. Brionne was now a fully evolved into Primarina, a cross between a sea lion and a mermaid.

 

Filled with utter joy at her Pokémon’s sudden evolution and had commanded Primarina to use Moonblast. The totem was weakened beforehand and this last attack had ended the battle it started. It fell to the ground, face first followed but a loud thud which caused the ground to quake momentarily.

 

Bethany approaches the now unconscious totem and proceeds to place a poké bean on the ground which was a couple of inches away from its snout. Suddenly, Kommo-oo’s eyes shot open to see her standing awfully close to it. Bethany staggered resulting in her falling on to her butt and watched as Kommo-oo attempted to get up, it failed. Since it was too weak to support its own weight, it grumbled out from the aching pain that was coursing through its body. Kommo-oo opens its eyes halfway and was surprised to her standing right before it.

 

She gave it a reassuring smile and instead of the single poké bean like she had intended to give, and was now offering a bag filled with it. Kommo-oo was weary at first but the genuine look in her eyes made it rethink otherwise. Ultimately, Kommo-oo took the small bag from her hands with its snout, gentle while doing so, before gathering enough strength to jump, disappearing somewhere deep within the vicinity of the valley.

 

On the ground was the Z-crystal Kommo-oo was defending, she picks it up and makes her way over to her fully evolved Pokémon. "Primarina?" Her pokemon tilted her head down at Bethany and responds with a soft purr.

 

Bethany began to play with the ends of her braids and was eyeing around the valley. "You know, I know it's a little late for this, but I now decided what name will suite for you!" Primarina scooted closer and her Pokémon’s head was now at the same eye-level. "Opaline…what do you think?"

 

The mermaid-like Pokémon chirped in delight. Opaline pulled Bethany into a hug and was nuzzling her pink nose on Bethany’s cheek. Then Wimpod and Mimikye had popped out from inside her backpack and were now greeting delightfully their newly evolved friend

Chapter Text

        They had walked up the insanely large staircases of the Altar of Moone, and they took a well-needed rest. The girls had been sitting in the very center of a rhombus-like shape which had the Moone symbol on the very center where they sat, chattering amongst themselves. It all started when the subject of the different Regions around the world.

 

“Have you ever traveled to other Regions, Bethany?” Lillie asks curiously.

 

Bethany hums in though with her chin resting on her hand. “Well, when I young, I remember going on vacation to Sinnoh with my parents. I'm not sure but I believe we stayed at this place called...Alamos town?” she shrugs. “I was young, so I don't remember much but overall it was a fun trip!”

 

She looks down to see Mimikyu sitting comfortably on her lap. “Maybe someday I'll revisit Sinnoh again.” she caressed Mimikyu's head gently, it lets out a soft mewl.

 

“OH, Beth—the moon!” Lillie pointed at the sky. There it was, the moon shining right above them. “This means we can finally play the flutes!”

 

Bethany shakes her head in agreement. “Time really does fly by when all we did was talking!” she sat up and walks over to help Lillie on her feet. “Now, let's go and play those flutes.”

 

They went their separate ways to stand on a square stone platform that was surrounded by water. Bethany was on the far right and Lillie was on the far left. Their gazes met as they now placed the flutes up to their mouth, blowing on the flute in unison, playing a tune that they didn't even know. It just came naturally to them.

 

Once finished, the ground suddenly began to quake and water surrounding them had begun to glow. The glowing stream traveled upwards, both going into their separate directions behind the girls before colliding with each other up a top of the altar. The giant circular door with a moone symbol embedded on it, which is resting upon a huge mass of rock had cracked opened, revealing a bright green glow from within. Then it suddenly shot a colorful beam of light down, hitting the center of the rhombus-like area, and it created a large ball of aura right in the center.

 

The watched in complete awe at the ball of aura, but what's it suppose to do? The blonde was too focused on the aura that she had failed to notice movement from inside her backpack, then it came right off of her shoulders before flying off towards the colorful aura. The backpack was right in the center unmoving before falling, revealing Cosmoem (Nebby) which seemed to be absorbing the aura it was in. Then there was a white blinding light which was engulfing the area, but they managed to shield their eyes in time. As the light settled down, Cosmoem was nowhere to be seen, instead, what stood at the center was a giant bat-like Pokémon. With dark pink eyes, a crescent-shaped head, its forehead resembling that of the colorful swirls of the galaxies, and its massive wings which were an iridescent deep blue hue.

 

Immediately, the girls ran right over to the newly evolved Nebby, as it let out a greeting cry to them.

 

“Nebby...Th-thank goodness... you're all right... Please don't ever do that again! You made me worry so much! And I never imagined that sounding the flutes would give you so much power... or let you evolve into the Legendary Pokémon” Lillie said in relief, and Lunala responded with a screech.

 

“Not in all of my reading... Never did I ever come across any hint that you would evolve into the Legendary Pokémon...” Lillie closes her eyes. “Please, Lunala...” she shakes her head and corrects herself. “No... Nebby. Please. I need to go to where my mother is! We want to protect Alola, but there's no need for her to try to catch Necrozma all on her own!”

 

Mahina-peeea!

 

Nebby floated closer to them, this meant it was prepared to take them to Ultra Space with its new abilities.

 

“Now we can finally follow after Mother and...”

 

Suddenly a wormhole appears right above them followed by a person that falls out of it. It was Guzma. A second later, Lusamine too, fell right out of the wormhole, landing right on top of an unconscious Guzma. They were not expecting another to come out of the wormhole but something did. It was a large pitch-black creature, a body which resembled that of a prism but with spikes in various places on its body. It had disproportionally large arms which had three claw-like fingers, as well as a single large whitish crystal protruding backward from each arm and thin small legs that bent backward. This strange Pokémon—an Ultra Beast was intimidating as it is just floating there.

 

“Y-you children...” Lusamine croaked, raising her gaze to them and slowly reaches her hand out to them. “Run away...That thing...is a monster!”

 

“Mother!” Lillie edged forward but abruptly stopped when her eyes glanced to see this Ultra Beast was still there, in which she staggered back from fear.

 

“That is Necrozma! The instant it woke, it flew into a rage and repelled everything that came near it!” The blonde tried to shout but her voice was shaky and overpowered by fear. Lusamine pleaded for Lillie to run away from here but Bethany stepped in on the conversation.

 

“After going through all the trouble in getting here, and let this opportunity go to waste?” she shook her head and her eyes lands on Lusamine, determination written across her face. “YOU can run away but I am staying to fight for Alola!”

 

Bethany turns her gaze towards Necrozma, its gaze was elsewhere, in fact, it was glowering directly at Lunala (Nebby). The atmosphere surrounding was felt heavy. No one had noticed this change except for her and she got a bad feeling about this, and for good reason. Lunala (Nebby) shield them from Necrozma, its multicolored eyes displayed an angered look right at Lunala, yet this was difficult to see due to its expressionless features.

 

At this point, Guzma groggily awoke and sat up only for him to see first was two large Pokémon's staring down at one another. He immediately froze, mind racing, but this wasn't because of the new Pokémon's in front of him. Instead, his attention was drawn towards Bethany, she didn't look afraid of their current situation.

 

Lunala (Nebby) looked over its shoulder, eyeing down at Lillie and Bethany, then it faced Necrozma and was the first one to charge. It dragged Necrozma as its back collided right on the huge mass of rock before flying off to higher grounds, moving so fast, in fact, that it was hard to keep track of where they were going. As their silhouettes continued to zoom across the skies, to their horror, Necrozma had soon overpowered Lunala (Nebby), dragging it down to the center of where they all stood. Both Pokémon hit the ground and the sheer force was so strong it had knocked them over like pins.

 

The smoke had slowly cleared up, revealing Necrozma pinning down Lunala by the head. Suddenly, its fingers began to glow over Lunala's head. They all watched in horror as the two beings merged together into a single entity. It took on Lunala's form, although its wings were now a glowing bright light blue. It had parts of Necrozma on its body, which were arranged like armor; including its disproportionally large arms which were the most prominent on its body.

 

The newly merged Necrozma glances at Lillie. She was devastated to see Necrozma using Nebby like this, her lips curled down. Those glowing pink eyes didn't belong to Nebby anymore, it didn't have that friendly gaze, and instead, it held a look of hostility in them. Necrozma stood up and floated right in front of them before letting out a piercing screech which caused it to open multiple wormholes around them, and throughout the islands of Alola.

 

Bethany quickly got up and ran over to Lillie to help her up. “Lillie, you need to hide—take Guzma and your mother with, OK?”

 

“Wha-what?!” Lillie exclaimed before protesting. “But, what about you? Are you going to battle Necrozma on your own?!” before she could go on further, Bethany had placed her hands on her shoulders and shook her slightly.

 

“This isn't the time to argue now! You have to hide in a safe place—don't you trust me?”

 

There were so many emotions going through Lillie's mind. She couldn't give her a definitive answer when Necrozma suddenly roared in their general direction.

 

Bethany looks over her shoulder to glance at Necrozma then returning her gaze back to Lillie. “Go.” She makes Lillie turn around and proceeds to push her towards the set of stairs from the center.

 

Her mother eagerly awaited with Guzma standing beside her. Lusamine embraces her daughter before taking her someplace safe. However, Guzma didn't even move from where he stood, eyes fixated on Bethany to which she returned. She held the staring contest for a while longer before deciding to break it, turning around to now face Necrozma.

 

There was a sudden gust of wind that blew right over her, the chilliness of the air prickling her cheeks. Standing her ground and refused to let it intimidate her. She decides to send out her Mimikyu to the field. Mimikyu had peered out from behind her leg as it advanced forward and was now standing a couple of feet from its trainer. Necrozma roared loudly in response, preparing itself for battle.

 

She told Mimikyu to use Swords Dance, to power up her Pokémon's next move. Necrozma used Power Gem on the small Pokémon to which it quickly dodged the upcoming attack. Bethany practically threw herself out of the way as the gems hit where she once stood.

 

'That was close...too close.' she let out a sigh of relief, a small drop of sweat trailing down her cheek. Bethany got up, gesturing her hand at Necrozma's direction. “Use Shadow Ball!”

 

Mimikyu's attack hit directly at it, a super effective move too! Necrozma was still standing—um, floating. This wasn’t surprising. Suddenly it flew up high, spreading its wings to form a circle as it began to charge its attack. That was when her Rotom Dex flew right out from her backpack as it frantically informed her about its signature move; Moongeist Beam, which meant it was using Lunala's full moon phase.

 

The attack was fully charged and the beams around Necrozma's wings shot directly at Mimikyu. Her Pokémon enduring the full blast of the attack, followed by a loud bang! The ground beneath them trembled before slowly dying. Once the smoke cleared up, there stood Mimikyu unscathed by the attack. The only difference about Mimikyu's appearance was that its head of it went limp, hanging on the side; this meant that its disguise was busted.

 

She told Mimikyu to use Shadow Claw. Necrozma used power gem, again, sending it towards Mimikyu. The small Pokémon was scurrying across the field whilst swiftly avoiding the gems. Bethany told Mimikyu to jump on to the rocks, and it proceeded to do so. Mimikyu jumped high enough and assaults down, with one powerful swipe of its shadowy hand directly on Necrozma's face.

 

The atmosphere had changed drastically; it felt heavier and colder than what it used to be. Necrozma let out a painful wail, moving its head in a daze after Mimikyu's attack. It shrieked, suddenly opening a wormhole right below where it stood.

 

It hurts...

 

Bethany blinked. 'Did she hear right? Did it just...'

 

It hurts... the light—MY LIGHT!

 

She heard right. This was Necrozma's voice! How was it able to speak—did anyone else heard it? But more importantly, it was hurting from the power it had gained. There wasn't much she could do and watched as Necrozma sunk into the ultra wormhole below, its glowing eyes fixated on Bethany before disappearing. Someone ran past her, Lillie was now on her knees where Necrozma once stood. The blonde stared up at the darkened sky. The entire region of Alola is plunged into darkness...by Necrozma

Chapter Text

       The light that the moon had provided for the entire region vanished entirely, plunging the region into enteral darkness. Above the altar was a swirling, pitch-black vortex. This was Necrozma's doing and has since disappeared through the ultra wormhole not too long ago. There were sounds of footsteps behind the group; so naturally, they turned to see Phyco and Soliera.

 

“Necrozma, the one that wields light to its will... It would steal all of Alola's light!” Phyco said in between pants, noticeably exhausted from the trek up from the long set of stairs of the altar.

 

“Necrozma wants to take back the light the light it once lost.” A downcast expression on Soliera's face, but this was hard to see through her visors.

 

“But what are we to do now? It seemed to me like that beast...like Necrozma was also suffering somehow... It seems to be hurt without its light...” Lillie now faced them, looking genuinely concerned about the situation.

 

Lusamine, on the other hand, was in deep thought, a hand under her chin with her eyes closed. “You would worry even for Necrozma? You are too kind, Lillie. Far too kind. That is why you took Cosmog as well, isn't it? You foolish, sweet child...” she opens her eyes and was now looking fixedly at Phyco and Soliera. “We will need your help. We need to be able to travel between worlds using the Legendary Pokémon's power, just as you are able to do.”

 

“You presume much. And despite that, it is true that you are trying to take care of things in your own way... Should I praise your sense of responsibility as one charged with the protection of Pokémon? You egotistical woman!” Phyco spat angrily at the woman.

 

He is unwilling to forgive Lusamine for her recklessness. In turn, she glared right back at him. The air between them was unnerving as it is, almost intimidating even. Soliera had stepped in to break the tension between the two.

 

“Please, Captain Phyco... Leave it be.” she pleads to which he grunts and mumbles something under his breath.

 

“It is as my subordinate says... Sparring with you now will change nothing. And there is something I am more interested in pursuing. Something I noticed during the battle just now...” Phyco's gaze shifts towards Bethany. “Necrozma seemed distracted by you...”

 

Her back was facing them, it seemed like she hadn't moved since Necrozma had disappeared through the wormhole. Lillie stepped forward, stopped abruptly to call out her name. “Bethany?”

 

Bethany replied but didn't turn around. “Didn't you hear its voice?”

 

“Its voice?” Soliera said quizzically.

 

Phyco, on the other hand, had gasped. “Are you referring to Necrozma?!”

 

“Necrozma was in so much pain—I felt it!” Her hands gripped the fabric of her sweater where her stomach was before turning to face them.

 

When she turned, the first thing they noticed was that she was in tears. No one understood why she was crying but the sight was enough to worry Lillie. The blonde practically ran right over to her side, beating Guzma in a matter of seconds.

 

“You're crying!” Lillie exclaims.

 

Bethany blinks and reaches to touch her face only to feel wet by the touch. “I...am?” she wipes away her tears from her cheeks, looking extremely confused by her damped fingertips. “I didn't know... I was.”

 

Lillie proceeded to poke Bethany's chest with her index finger. “How could you not know that you were crying?”

 

“But... these aren't my tears. They belonged to...Necrozma.” she mumbled its name.

 

Then she felt a pair of arms wrapping around her waist and the person pulled her close against their chest. Confused by this new touch, she raised her head to see who was responsible, and it was Guzma...he was the one hugging her.

 

“Guzma?” she tilts her head to get a proper view of his face, however, he moved his gaze elsewhere, completely avoiding her gaze. What she did not notice was subtle redness on his cheeks.

 

Phyco and Soliera exchanged curious glances to each other, their gaze going back to Bethany. “Could it be some sort of connection?” Soliera whispers over to him.

 

“That is a possibility.” he mused in a low tone before straightening himself up and directed his attention towards them. “More importantly it would seem that Necrozma had its eyes on the Z-ring she is wearing, to be perfectly accurate.” he gestured towards Bethany's Z-ring. “It seemed to desire the light given off by that sparkling stone set within it.”

 

“You mean... it wants Z-Crystals?!” Guzma had exclaimed a little too loudly and felt her flinch from underneath his grasp. His immediate reaction was to gently squeeze her without crushing her petite form and rested his chin on top of her head—he didn't mean to be so loud.

 

Something about her made him react so differently than what he's normally used to doing. He couldn't word it properly but this feeling felt so... pleasant. The big bad Guzma of Alola, his name is what sends fear to the people was acting so... mushy in front of these people. At least it wasn't his grunts or anyone else; otherwise, they'd get a beat down.

 

“It's true Bethany has an awfully large number of Z-crystals after coming so far in her island challenge...” Lillie said thoughtfully.

 

“Yeah, that's true... Even more than the dumb captains and kahunas and all, who just focus on one type!” Guzma commented and this time he didn't yell like last time.

 

“It is not in our power to fight with Solgaleo. But we do borrow its power to travel through the Ultra Wormholes. You have shown us what you are capable of, though, by summoning Lunala to this place. Perhaps you could ride upon our Solgaleo. Yes... Just as you ride upon pokémon in Alola!” Soliera declared in excitement.

 

Phyco took this opportunity to explain. “We call it the Ultra Warp Ride. If you hope to follow after Necrozma, you must make for the white warp hole. If you enter any other warp hole, you will find yourself in another world altogether.”

 

Before she got a chance to say anything regarding their offer, Guzma had interjected and began to argue on her behalf. “Follow after Necrozma?! Are you seriously sendin' her off to stop that damn thing? Ya must be outta yer minds!” Guzma unknowingly tightened his grip around her but not enough to cause serious harm to her.

 

Bethany raises her hand nervously. “I can still do it, but I appreciate your concerns Guzma.” and before he could comment against this, Soliera had chimed in.

 

“Excellent! Let's get you prepared for your departure.”

 

Soliera gestured for her to follow, so she tilted her head to look up at Guzma. “Um... Guzma? You can let go now.” he was hesitant at first; regardless he lets her go as she makes her way over to Soliera.

 

The woman hands over an outfit identical to their own and takes her away to a private place for her to dress. A couple of minutes and they came back, Bethany wore the exact same outfit as Soliera, heck, she looked futuristic. The outfit hugged her petite figure quite nicely—a perfect fit!

 

Bethany was twirling her braided pigtails. “So... how do I look?” her eyes were looking elsewhere and the first person to compliment her was Lillie.

 

“You look good—strange but in a good way!”

 

She looks at her outfit and couldn't help but laugh to herself. “Really? Well...I mean, this outfit hugs me in places that had never been hugged before! It's a little tight though...but at the same time comfortable, you know?”

 

Bethany raises her gaze which happens to land on Guzma and he looked...well, heavily mesmerized by her. Her entire face became red and there was steam rising out from the top of her head.

 

“Bethany?” Bethany blinks and looks over to Lillie. “Where's your Mimikyu?”

 

Just when she was about to say something Mimikyu popped right out from inside the helmet and was now wearing the helmet itself. It looked cute although this surprise didn't please Lillie, the blonde could've gotten a heart-attack! Lillie pouted and watches Mimikyu crawl out of the helmet, carrying it with it on to Bethany's shoulder. Bethany grabbed the helmet from Mimikyu's shadowy hand and felt someone tapping her other shoulder, turning to see Soliera.

 

It was time for her to go and Soliera had given her specific instructions for her to follow. She had to go through a white warp hole; this is where Necrozma was located. The woman calls upon Solgaleo, throwing a poké ball and it appears right in front of them. The second it was out, it approaches Bethany and proceeds to lick her face, a sort of greeting.

 

Once done, a third eye appears on its forehead and the fur on its entire body had begun to glow bright yellow, all except for its nose. Solgaleo jumps high into the air, letting out a fierce roar, an orange aura surrounding it before shooting out a beam of light right on to the center. It had opened up a wormhole.

 

Everyone bids her farewell, except for Guzma, who was in the back with his arms folded and was looking fixedly at her. She meets his gaze, giving him a reassuring smile. Solgaleo lands behind her and waiting for her when she was ready.

 

She took a couple of steps back, tapping the tip of her shoes and was staring confidently at Solgaleo. “Get ready Mimikyu.” in response, Mimikyu wrapped its shadowy hand around her neck.

 

Solgaleo dashes forward to which she instantaneously jumps, landing right on its back, holding on to its fur before disappearing through the wormhole. One look of the inside of the wormhole and it was like flying through space! A place like this felt so unreal, it was dark yet filled with so many colors, and there were space rocks floating around everywhere. So many, in fact, that she had lost count.

 

“OK, white warp hole, where are you hiding at?” She asks aloud to herself but was ultimately surprised to receive a reply from Solgaleo.

 

Solgaleo hops right on top of a passing space rock which looked more like crystalline meteoroids. It used it to push itself forward to gain enough momentum to run much faster. That's when many warp holes began to appear in every direction. There were red, green, yellow, orange warp holes yet the one she was searching for was nowhere in sight.

 

'Where could it be?' she wondered whilst glancing to see if it eventually shows up.

 

Now, she wasn't sure how long exactly she had been searching for the warp hole but it felt like an hour had gone by. In reality, it has only been twenty minutes. Before she knew it, Mimikyu had alerted her and was pointing its shadow hand above. Sure enough, it was the white warp hole that has finally appeared from afar. She expresses her gratitude to Mimikyu and informs Solgaleo about the warp hole just up ahead.

 

Solgaleo headed straight towards the warp hole, running right inside it. Upon entering through the other side, there was a city that had no natural light; in fact, the only light that was provided was an artificial light at the very center of the city. Solgaleo landed safely on to the ground and Bethany hops right off of its back, patting its muzzle gratefully and turns her head to notice two new individuals with their back facing her. She approaches them realizes that they wore the exact same outfits as Phyco and Soliera. The sounds of her footsteps made them turn around to face her.

 

“Whoa! An Alolan person appeared riding on Solgaleo's back! Dulse, what should we do?! D'you think we should investigate her?!” A small girl with red hair asks, her head turned towards the taller male beside her.

 

He simply shook his head. “Remain calm, Zossie.” his gaze meets Bethany's. “Human from the world of Alola. Necrozma has claimed Lunala's power and is now atop the Megalo Tower. The people here have all fled indoors to safety. They fear Necrozma will fly into another rage, as it did when that woman Lusamine appeared. Necrozma will reclaim its true power, now that it has stolen the light from another. But it cannot control that light, and so Necrozma only suffers more.”

 

They pleaded for her help and to stop Necrozma from suffering. She assured them that she would do just that and now made her way towards the elevator of Megalo Tower. The doors closed behind her and had now begun to ascend. While waiting to reach the top, she had begun to remove the outfit that Soliera had given her. She was relieved to be out of that outfit, for now. It was practically squeezing the life out of her. One thing’s for certain, she will never EVER wear tight clothing.

 

Then the elevator doors slide open, she quickly folds the outfit and shoves them right inside the backpack before stepping out. Walking up the spiral staircase as she reaches to the top, she notices a swarm of glowing yellow particles, presumably light, darting across the air around her. It looked like fireflies but bigger. At the very center of the tower was Necrozma which was surrounded by these yellow particles of light, and absorbing them into its large protrusion on the top of its head. A long multicolored equilateral shape slid out of its forehead, it floated there for a couple of seconds before a blinding light had engulfed the surrounding area. She had shielded her eyes just in time and waited as the intensity of the light slowly died down, uncovering her eyes to see a newly transformed Necrozma. Its size was unbelievably colossal!

 

Necrozma—now Ultra Necrozma was entirely made out of pure light energy. It now has two pairs of clawed wings, a long spiked tail, and a head resembling a shining star with several long horns on the sides and the top. Its face is armored and has multicolored heterochromic eyes; the left eye was red and the right eye was blue. Ultra Necrozma's large clawed arms and legs appeared to have swapped places, respectively becoming its feet and a part of its wings. It roared, eyes glaring down at Bethany, studying her from head to toe. Whatever it was thinking, it seemed eager to do battle in its new form.

 

Bethany took her stance, reaching around her back pocket for a poke ball, sending out Opaline. As soon she did so, Ultra Necrozma was engulfed by a fiery yellow aura. She attacked first, Opaline using Moonblast, a super effective move but Necrozma was still standing. Necrozma was powering up, a ball of energy forming in front of its snout before shooting it directly at Opaline to which endured the blast. The smoke cleared, revealing the mermaid-like pokémon with only minor bruising.

 

“Use Sparkling Arena!” Opaline stands up on its tail and sings, forming a massive orb of water above its head and proceeds to launch it towards the foe. It was engulfed with the water; however, it didn't seem to take any damage from it, at all. It was soaked from head to toe then there was a sound of sizzling water before the water evaporated instantly.

 

Rotom Dex popped out from her backpack, informing her of Ultra Necrozma's body temperature of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If only Rotom had told her sooner...

 

Once again, Necrozma had begun to gather energy from its snout again. In the midst of this, Wimpod had somehow managed to sneak right out of her backpack and was now running around in circles around her feet. She had gotten so distracted in trying to catch the little silverfish that she had completely forgotten about Necrozma's upcoming attack; it was aimed right at her. It fired, but in one swift motion, Opaline grabbed ahold of Bethany with Wimpod in its arms and Rotom with its snout as it moved them out of the way from where the attack.

 

She blinks in surprise and raised her gaze at Opaline as it placed her down along with Wimpod and Rotom. “Th-Thank you!” Bethany glares down at Wimpod. “Wimpod! You could've gotten yourself killed if it weren't for Opaline's quick thinking.”

 

“I wazz almost fried, zzzt!” Rotom exclaimed while flailing its arms wildly.

 

Wimpod looks away guiltily; it didn't mean to cause so much trouble. “Bud.” it raises its gaze to her. “It's alright, and be thankful that one had gotten seriously hurt.” She stood up with Wimpod next to her feet and was facing Necrozma once more.

 

The battle continued on and it was slowly starting to get more intense. So much, in fact, that Opaline and Wimpod would occasionally tag each other out to take turns in attacking. Necrozma used Dragon Pulse at Wimpod, the shock wave of the attack hitting right in front of the silverfish, missing it by mere inches. However, the intensity of the blast caused the pokémon to hurl back. Bethany moved to catch Wimpod in her arms just in time and she looks down at the pokémon.

 

“You alright, bud?” Wimpod chirps reassuringly.

 

A growl rumbled throughout the air which broke the silence. They raised their heads and saw Necrozma glaring directly at them. Necrozma had its large left clawed wing, preparing to physically strike them.

 

“Necrozma, STOP! Don't do it, please!” she begged whilst waving with her free hand at it and holding Wimpod with the other. But Necrozma didn't listen. It was blinded by its own rage and was intent on doing the worst. The hostility in its eyes was prominent, Opaline was on the other side of the tower trying to draw its attention away from its trainer, but to no avail.

 

The next thing she knew, Necrozma had swung its claws right towards her. She had her right arm to shield her Wimpod from the attack with her head turned away. The moment its simmering claws made contact with her skin, an uncontrollable stinging sensation had filled her senses. The immense force of the attack sent her hurling back, smacking her back on contact to the floor. She was screaming in agony and was now holding onto her now numbed arm. The pain was surging through her senses, it was unimaginable, her body was trembling and there was an endless stream of tears down her cheeks. There was blood everywhere and it didn't seem to stop anytime soon. Necrozma's sheer force had torn open her skin like butter, so deep, in fact, the scolding temperature of its claws caused third-degree burns to the opened wounds in the process including the surrounding skin.

 

However, her screams didn't go unheard, as Wimpod rushed over to its injured trainer's side. The sight of blood was alarming enough and it desperately tries to soothe her the best it could do, but nothing was working. Wimpod didn't know what to do...

 

Necrozma roared, generating another attack from its snout, Dragon Pulse. Wimpod glares up at Necrozma, letting out a fierce cry before it was engulfed by a bright light. It fired its attack at the glowing silhouette that now threw itself on top to protect its fallen trainer. The ground shook followed by a loud boom! The cloud of thick black smoke soon disappeared and there stood a large arthropod, shielding the female trainer below, unscathed.

 

She gritted her teeth and slowly she cracked open her eye to see that her silverfish had evolved. “Go..lisopod?” It protected her. Golisopod's gaze met hers, a wave of relief washing through its black and angular eyes. It slowly removed itself from atop of her and stood in a hunched-over, humanoid posture, turning to glare right at Necrozma. “Gururuuuuu!”

 

Bethany slowly sat up from the floor and she took in a sharp hitched breath at the stinging pain on her arm. Rotom flew right on over to them and was hovering above her, frantically trying to find a solution inside her backpack to mend her wounds. Mimikyu was standing beside her good arm and was rubbing its head against her skin in a comforting manner. Golisopod crouches and leans forward, its two frontal arms hovering above on either side of her shoulders with a worried look on its face.

 

“I'm alright, bud. Thank you for saving me.” she gave it a pained but nonetheless reassuring smile.

 

Necrozma took this opportunity to strike again but was ultimately stopped by Opaline, using Psychic to keep it immobile for the moment.

 

“Golisopod?” the arthropod tilted its head. “I want you to aim straight for Necrozma's head, alright? I'm guessing that you learned a new move after evolving, hm?” Golisopod chirred lowly in response. “OK...use it.”

 

Golisopod stepped away from her and proceeds to charge towards Necrozma. The colossal pokémon was unable to move due to Opaline using psychic, however, this didn't mean that it didn't notice the arthropod coming right at it. With all its might it fired an array of gems at it, hoping to slow it down. The arthropod might be slow but it was quick to dodge the attacks and took this opportunity to jump right on top of them, it kept this on until it was right above Necrozma. Then it fell and was focusing all of its strength into one blow. Golisopod forcefully rammed its first directly on Necrozma's face which caused it to cry out in pain.

 

Necrozma staggered in a daze before falling face first on to the ground, momentarily causing the ground to quake. Its glowing energy dulls down and its armor reverting back to its original black hue. Suddenly a bright yellow light resembling that of water being poured out of glass had engulfed the pokémon's body.

 

On the other side was Bethany being assisted by Opaline and Golisopod for helping her get up on her feet. They all watched the scene in awe. There were so many small light particles floating around the air around them. However, none of them noticed Necrozma separating itself from Lunala, disappearing through a warp hole. Lunala (Nebby) stood up in a daze, letting out a squeal whilst scratching its head after being free of Necrozma's control. It looks down to see Bethany and two of her pokémon approaching right beside it. Lunala (Nebby) smiles down at them but notices a small particle of light hovering right above its nose with a gentle touch of the bubble of light as it flew off somewhere.

 

With Necrozma now defeated, Alola's light has been restored to its rightful place. The sounds of footsteps made them turn to see Dulse and Zossie, expressing their extreme gratitude that Necrozma has been stopped. Zossie couldn't help but notice an avulsion on Bethany's right arm, with blood still dripping down from beneath the ripped sweater. The girl freaked out at the sight of blood and she offered to patch up her wound until she went back to her world and seek immediate medical attention. It was a temporary fix using only gauze's to stop the bleeding and tightening them with medical tape.

 

While finishing up with her wound, a small odd-colored pokémon with a large head and small limbs flew right beside Bethany. It was curiously studying her before ultimately squealing.

 

Zossie blinks. “Oh? What's Poipole acting up for now?" she looks over her shoulder at Dulse. "Hey, Dulse... Do you think maybe Poipole is curious about this Alolan person, too?”

 

He hums in thought and his attention moves to Bethany. “Then let me gift this Shiny Poipole to you. It is a sign of my gratitude to you. And also... to grant the wish Poipole itself seems to hold.”

 

The yellow and white Poipole rested on top of her head and relaxes. Bethany laughs, using her good arm to caress the pokémon on the side of its cheeks with her fingers. It squeals in delight. “I'd be happy to take Poiple.” the pokémon perked up as it now flew in a circle in excitement.

 

They offered her to ride Solgaleo back to Alola but she declined, stating that she would like to with Lunala (Nebby). Bethany threw on her outfit that she came in with when traveling through the warp holes. However she only wore the bottom part, she didn't want to stain it with her blood, so she tied the sleeves of the suit around her hips. She calls back her pokémon into their poke balls except for Poipole. Lunala (Nebby) opened up a warp hole before them, swooping Bethany upon its back before flying through the warp hole and shiny Poipole following right behind them.

 

 

-x-

 

 

It has been nearly an hour and a half since Bethany had left. The light of Alola has been restored which meant that she had successfully defeated Necrozma! Now, they all waited for her to return. Lillie was still standing at the center from where she left through the warp hole with Solgaleo. Lusamine was off to the side, Phyco and Soliera were further away from them. Although, not as much as Guzma, who was sitting on the ground with his back facing the rest of the group.

 

The silence in the air was broken by a familiar cry and a certain voice called out to them. They all raised their gaze, seeing Bethany riding on the back of Lunala (Nebby) as it slowly descended. Lunala (Nebby) hovering a couple of inches off the ground and gently sets Bethany down. As soon as she touched the ground, everyone had gathered around to congratulate her. Bethany kept her arm hidden from the rest of the group, not wanting to worry them of the injury she had gotten. They all praised her and were commenting on the new pokémon she had received. Soon Phyco and Soliera said their farewells to the group and left.

 

“Lillie...” Lusamine calls out her daughter’s name and Lillie turns to face her. “It seems that you were right. Right to feel hurt by the suffering of pokémon. Right to take Cosmog away...” she exchanged a couple of words to Lillie before offering Bethany some special beast balls.

 

Poipole swooped over Bethany's shoulder to observe these new poké balls before taking them from her hands and puts them away inside her backpack. Lusamine turns to walk away but abruptly stops to see two new people standing there. It was Acerola and Nanu.

 

Acerola greets them with a cheerful wave. “We came all the way from Ula'ula to see if you were alright!” Nanu, on the other hand, wasn't too pleased being there.

 

“I, however, didn't want to come, but now look where I am now,” Nanu said bluntly which earned him a scowl from Acerola.

 

“EHH, I didn't. YOU were the one who suggested coming here in the first place!” Nanu simply looks away and shrugs nonchalantly acting like he didn't care, and knowing that what she saying was the truth.

 

Bethany gave them a smile. “That's really sweet of you.”

 

Acerola shakes her head gleefully, opening her mouth to say something but stopped midway. She couldn't help but notice something on the floor where Bethany stood, there was a puddle, and it looked red... Acerola's gaze moves up to see Bethany's entire arm and notices the sleeve of her sweater was ripped. Her entire arm was trickling... blood. Knowing what she had just seen, she lets out the loudest, most piercing shrill shriek she could ever muster whilst pointing at her arm. Poor Nanu was in close range of the young girl's painful shriek.

 

“B-BLOOOOOOOD!”

 

Everyone's head turns to where she was pointing at, and to their horror, they saw Bethany's bloodied arm and the puddle of blood by her feet. Bethany froze and took a quick glance to see the puddle and her arm in plain sight for everyone else to see.

 

“AUE! W-what happened?!” Lillie gasps in horror at the sight of her friend's injuries.

 

“I was…protecting Wimpod before it evolved...Necrozma accidentally hu-urt me.” She stammers and the tone of her voice was weak and groggy. For some reason, she started to feel light headed and all the color from her face had been drained. “Necrozma...didn't mean...too-”

 

She suddenly lost consciousness, then there was a flash and she was caught in mid-fall by her shiny arthropod. It chirred out worryingly and it was glancing at the group in a panic, not knowing what to do. Everyone else had gathered around the girl's unconscious body and Lusamine was the first to check for a pulse whilst a concerned looking Poipole watched up from Golisopod's shoulders.

 

Lusamine raises her gaze towards the group. “She's lost way too much blood. We need to take her and Lunala straight to Aether Paradise, IMMEDIATELY!”

Chapter Text

        There is now openness, wide space, and everything shines or has the smell of disinfectant. The floor is slate gray and the walls were a pearl hue as well as the ceiling. There were many rooms down the hallway, most of them being unoccupied. All except for one, halfway into the hallway was a room with a glass window to look through it showed signs of an occupant. Inside, in the middle of the room lies a girl in the hospital bed with magenta hair with a tube inserted into her trachea, helping her breathe. There was a machine monitoring her heartbeat and is constantly beeping.

 

*Tap*-- *Tap* -- *Tap* -- *Tap*

 

Two female individuals were walking down the empty hallways and stopped right in front of the room where the unconscious girl was in. They were looking through the glass in silence before one of them broke the silence.

 

“How has she been managing, Lusamine?” the purple haired woman asked and turned to look at the blonde beside her who's gaze met hers.

 

“From what I've been informed, she is slowly getting better—her blood count is looking normal after losing much of it, and her wounds are healing up quite nicely. Necrozma did a number on her arm and it will most definitely leave a scar behind.” Lusamine turns to look at the slumbering girl. “However, not too long after the surgery, an infection had invaded her system which has gotten worse over the past couple of weeks now. She's been put on life support since she's been unable to breathe on her own and is on antiviral drugs in hopes for it to take effect. The doctors are concerned for the worst and so am I.”

 

“Do you think she'll pull through, Lusamine?” She looks expectantly at the blonde but she remains silent. 'No, this can't be true...' then she felt a hand on her shoulder and looks up to meet Lusamine's gaze. There were tears threatening to spill Wicke's eyes while Lusamine comforted her.

 

Lusamine sympathized with her, she really did. The past few weeks for them haven’t been easy either.

 

That day when Bethany had set foot at the Aether Foundation it was a race against time to get her to the emergency room. She was barely breathing and had been losing more blood along the way, they all feared for the worst. Their private hospital was just below the building, near the basement actually but it was one floor above it. When they arrived with the girls Shiny Golisopod carrying its unconscious trainer and the nurses wasted no time getting her into a gurney before swiftly taking her right through the doors.

 

However, what she did not expect was for Guzma demanding to be let inside, and was ultimately denied entry by the nurses. He wasn't pleased when he wasn't allowed through and became violent rather quickly. Luckily, he was held back by the girl's Shiny Golisopod otherwise the situation would've escalated. The more she thought about that moment, the more she started to piece together the puzzle. He cared about her.

 

Lusamine looks over to the girl. “She's a strong trainer...let's pray to Arceus that she will pull through this.”

 

 

-x-

 

 

The nurses have been keeping a close eye on the girl's progress, and to their delight, the infection is almost gone from her system! Now the nurse has to remove the flexible plastic tube from the girl's windpipe to which they did so with ease. They observed the girl with anticipation, hoping that she will be able to breathe on her own without life support. The girl's chest rising and falling steadily with no complications was a wonderful sight for them. She is going to make a full recovery. Now it’s only a matter of time until the anesthesia wears off.

 

It has been a couple of hours since the patient was no longer on life support. A brunette walks down the empty hallway and goes through the brown double door. On the other side was the waiting room and she was now standing right beside the reception desk which had four employees right behind who were busy on their monitors.

 

Her onyx colored eyes scanned the wide-spaced room, there weren't many people occupying the room. It was the evening after all. Then her eyes landed on two individuals sat on the couch together and were holding hands in a comforting manner. A woman with medium-short white spiky hair which pointed backward and beside her was a familiar shirtless professor to which he always wore a lab coat as a shirt.

 

She walks over to them and then lets her presence known. “Excuse me, Mister Kukui and Miss Burnet?” almost instantly the couple wiped their head up in unison. “Please, follow me.”

 

Then she guided them through the double swing doors, walking ahead of them in silence. It was no surprise to see them here again and it’s been a normal routine for them for almost three weeks now. She couldn't blame them, this is their niece after all, and they have every right to worry about her well being. In fact, she had been the one to inform them about their niece's state.

 

She contacted the wife first via video call. Burnet answered right away while she was at the Dimensional Research Lab in Heahea City before informing the woman about her niece being at the hospital at the Aether Foundation. As soon as she said their niece's name, the nurse was quite surprised to see the now worrisome husband appearing from the side of the video call while she was explaining.

 

A good hour went by after she had informed them about their niece's current condition. The nurse was clearly shocked to see them at the reception desk and wanted to see their niece. Both were desperate to know of their niece's well being. She attempted to reassure them about the girl's condition being stable after surgery had been done hours ago which somewhat relieved them, except for Kukui. He couldn't handle the overwhelming emotion. She had never seen the professor in such a sorrowful state as he began to shed tears. Seeing him so vulnerable that day was truly heartbreaking.

 

The brunette abruptly stops as they now reached to their destination. She reaches to grab a hold of the doorknob and opens the door inward, revealing inside the magenta-haired girl lying in the bed. The girl was still fast asleep due to the anesthetic, and then she turns to face the couple.

 

“Well, here we are. Remember not to stay overnight, alright?” she smiles kindly at them whilst waving her index finger at them. “Last time you two slept the entire night in the room! You should be lucky no one else noticed, otherwise the manager would not be happy about me letting visitors stay overnight.”

 

This made Burnet laugh and Kukui rubbed the back of his head looking guiltily. “Sorry about that.” Burnet apologizes but the nurse shook her head dismissively.

 

“Don't be! Just let me know beforehand if you want to stay overnight again and I'll inform the manager about it, okay?” They nodded in unison before the nurse left.

 

They walked inside the room and closing the door behind them. It was a typical hospital room, the walls were beige and had a painting hanging on the right side of the wall, and the room was spacious too. There were two green couches on either side on the room, one right by the glass window and the other was where the painting was located. On either side, the foot of the bed was two green chairs. A wooden nightstand right beside the bed and on top was a vase filled with an assortment of a different variety of flowers from previous visitors.

 

Burnet walked over to the right side of the bed and took a seat with Kukui standing right behind her. She rests her hands on top of Bethany's left hand which had a peripheral line, where it was hooked up to an IV bag that hung right on a metal pole next to her. Burnet just stares at her in silence and the only sound that filled the room was the Holter monitor which kept a constant steady beeping of their niece's heart rate.

 

“She looks so peaceful.” Burnet's voice was soft but with a sad tone under it.

 

Kukui hums in agreement with a sad smile. “She does.”

 

Burnet traces her fingers in a circular motion on Bethany's hand. “Wasn't your sister supposed to arrive in Alola tonight?” she asks without turning her head.

 

“She was...but I got a call from her while I was with Hala this morning and she told me that her flight was canceled due to bad weather.” he rubs the bridge of his nose. “I just... hope she makes it soon.”

 

After he was informed about his niece was at the hospital he didn't hesitate to contact his older sister to let her know about this. He's glad he had her number on his phone otherwise it would've been a hassle searching for her number. Then his train of thought was disrupted by Burnet's voice.

 

“She had to go through so much pain...” her voice cracked to which he rests his hands on her shoulders. “Moving into your sisters, then your parents, and now Alola after she had to suffer in losing her-”

 

Kukui cuts her off by wrapping his arms around her waist and buries his face on the crook of her neck. “Shhh, I know... she didn't deserve any of the pain, but she was never alone, to begin with. My sister was there to support her as well as my parents. Bethany is the strongest person I know.” he reassured her.

 

Burnet begins to sob and was covering her mouth with her free hand. She missed the sound of her voice, especially her lively smile. Bethany always carried this positive and warm aura around her. The people of Alola, her friends, the kahunas, the trial captains, even the pokémon enjoy her presence.

 

“I just...want my niece back!” She blurts out with more tears spilling down her cheeks, and then there was a slight twitch from underneath her hands.

 

“Bur...net?”

 

Their heads shot up as their gaze was now focusing on their niece. She was wide awake and with her head turned slightly. Her half-lidded icy blue eyes staring at them in a daze and confusion.

 

“Ku...kui?” her voice sounded hoarse. “Wha...are you guys...doing here?”

 

They couldn’t believe she was actually awake. There were so relieved that tears were streaming down their cheeks, but not out of sadness, they were overwhelmed with joy. Burnet eagerly wrapped her arms around Bethany's neck and Kukui went on the other side of the bed to join in with a big Bewear hug. Right outside the room stood a certain white-haired male who had been listening right beside the door to the room.

 

Not long after the nurse was guiding the couple to see their niece which was when he arrived. The people behind the reception desk were terrified of him being there once again and they willingly let him through with ease. So, he’d been standing there for quite a while now and even ran into the brunette nurse along the way to which she greeted him politely. It was a weird experience for him since he’s normally used to people whispering about him or not mustering a word because of his reputation. He’s definitely not used to being treated kindly, except for her.

 

He rests his head behind the wall and then closes his eyes with a relieved smile forming on his lips. 'She's alive.'

Chapter Text

“Bee~ethany.~”

 

“Beeee~ethany.~”

 

The person's persistence had worked, and she was aroused from her sleep. She shifted from her bed slightly and then winces after attempting to her open her eyes which stung by the harsh lights. As she adjusted to the lights, she glances over and saw a familiar young trial captain with a daisy shaped hairpin on top of the girl's purple hair.

 

“Acerola?” she mumbled out in a daze.

 

“Mm-mm!”

 

She blinks. “What...are you doing here?”

 

Acerola leans over and proceeds to poke her nose. “I'm here to see you and uncle Nanu is here too!”

 

Bethany searches around the room until she finally saw the kahuna. He was sat on the couch to her right and was hunched forward with his arms on his legs. Nanu raised his hand, greeting her without needing to say anything.

 

“I can't really blame you for being half awake. I mean being at the hospital for almost a month could make anyone go stir crazy!”

 

She hummed in a daze without fully realizing what Acerola had just told her. It took her a good moment to let those words sink in and then she abruptly sat up in a state of shock. “A MONTH?!”

 

As soon as she sat upright from the bed, a gripping pain instantly overwhelms her. She grimaced from the sudden jolt of pain and cursed under her breath. Her right arm was pulsating, and her body didn't appreciate it, it stung so bad. Then the bed was adjusted to be positioned upright to which she leaned back slowly with Nanu's help. Bethany was so focused on the pain that she hadn't noticed Acerola holding her hand to comfort her.

 

“Beth?”

 

Bethany opened her eyes and looks over to Acerola. “I'm alright. I should've been more careful.”

 

“Damn right you are. You could've reopened the stitches, girl.” Nanu blurts out with his arms now crossed.

 

She laughs embarrassingly. “Sorry!”

 

Suddenly the sound of the door creaking open caught their attention and turned to see who the person was. Standing right by the door was Lillie and she was staring at Bethany with tears of joy. “Bethany!”

 

Lillie had thrown herself on Bethany and embraced her with the tightest hug imaginable. She didn’t expect her friend to have such a mighty grip and was practically being crushed by the embrace. Eventually, Lillie pulled away and then apologized profusely.

 

“Don’t worry about it. Honestly, I would’ve never thought you could have a strong grip!” Bethany exclaimed whilst giving her a reassuring smile.

 

“Lillie is always full of surprises.”

 

They turned to see Gladion standing right in front of the bed with his arms folded. “Glad to see you’re doing well.”

 

“Well, after being here for a month and having no recollection of being admitted here. I’m lucky to even here!” Bethany said to which she laughs to lighten the mood. What she did not notice was Gladions gaze was focused on something else, particularly her left shoulder—which was exposed.

 

“What’s that?” she stares at him in confusion and then he proceeds to point his finger at her shoulder. “That.

 

She followed where he was pointing at and she visibly froze. Her heart sank and her face heated up as well as the tip of her ears. When she raised her gaze and realized everyone's attention was on her. She quickly averted her gaze down at the bed sheets and found them rather interesting to look at the moment.

 

“You have a tattoo?!” Lillie exclaimed and pointed at her floral tattoo.

 

“Well, I have more than one on my arm.” Bethany raises her arm to show them the other ones. On the inside of her forearm was a lotus unalome tattoo in black ink. “I’ve had them for over three years.”

 

“But you’re only sixteen!” Lillie said whilst flailing her arms.

 

Bethany smiled sheepishly while rubbing the side of her cheek with her finger. “Um, actually...I’m twenty-two years old. Surprise…” she tails off while laughing nervously.

 

They all stared at her with wide eyes and their mouth agape. It surprised them greatly at how young she appeared to be than what she really is. Acerola didn't seem to mind about her age one bit, in fact, she was so mesmerized on her tattoos that she proceeded to trace her fingers onto the design which didn't smear. The tattoos were, in fact, real and not just regular paint.

 

Suddenly there was a squeal that came from the bed and they all turned their attention towards the noise. Standing right on the bed was her Mimikyu and then it threw itself on its trainer. Bethany couldn't have been happier to see her pokemon. Then there was a chortle by the door and there stood her Shiny Golisopod.

 

“Golisopod!” She calls out excitingly at the arthropod.

 

Golisopod attempted to enter the room but it was too tall to even fit through the door. Then an idea came to mind as it now retracts its claws—hugging its frontal arms in front of its stomach. It compacted itself and then proceeded to enter the door sideways and it successfully entered the room. The arthropod approaches the foot of the bed and then leans forward, its forehead touching hers as it purred with contentment.

 

 

-x-

 

 

It was late in the night at Aether Paradise and a female figure walked on to the elevator barefooted—pressed a button—and was now heading up towards the entrance of the facility. She wore a sleeveless white cotton dress, and the back part of the dress reached up to her calf while the front reached her knees. Her magenta hair loose that showed off its natural waviness. Normally she wouldn’t wear her hair down this way but a nice change wouldn’t hurt.

 

The elevator reaches its destination and heads straight towards the outside of the facility. As soon her feet stepped outside is when she was greeted by the cool and salted air. It felt refreshing being out in the open without having the nurses watching over. For the first time in her life, she’s glad to have sneaked out of the hospital.

 

Suddenly a strong gust of wind blew right towards her and she instantly threw her hands down to hold the dress from being lifted by the winds. She secretly hoped there were no cameras present that could’ve captured the embarrassing moment. A nightmare she hoped not to see. Her gaze wandered around the area and then saw a familiar figure with tousled white hair and with his back facing her, it was Guzma.

 

He was sitting on a marble border which had grass inside and it acted as a cemented bench. She slowly approaches him and then stops right beside him and leans forward without him noticing her presence.

 

“Guzma?”

 

The sound of her voice had frightened him and she watches him jump out of his seat in a state of panic. Then he whipped his head around to see her standing there and he looked genuinely shocked.

 

“You—the hell are you doin’ here?!”

 

“I should ask you the same thing, but you asked first so it’s only fair.” she straightened herself. “I didn’t want to be cooped up in the hospital anymore—It’s nothing against the nurses! But it just feels restricting and...it sucks”

 

He chortles in response to this and then notices her staring at him with curiosity.

 

“And you. What are you doing here so late in the night?”

 

Guzma looks away and his cheeks were red. “It’s nothing important.” he simply said before sitting back down on the makeshift bench.

 

A look of betrayal was on Bethany’s face. “Are you serious?”

 

Bethany walks over to him and then sits right beside him. She couldn’t help but notice him visibly tense from the closeness and his head was turned to avoid her gaze. Her features soften and then calls out his name. “Guzma, please look at me.”

 

When he didn’t, she reaches out using her left hand to cup his cheek and then slowly turned his head to face her. She’s surprised that he didn’t make any attempts to stop her and she’s secretly glad that he didn’t.

 

“Can you at least tell me why you’re out here in the cold?” she asks.

 

He glances off to the side. “Why do you wanna know anyway?” those words stung a little yet she didn’t allow them to faze her.

 

“Why because believe it or not Guzma I care about you. Is that so hard to understand?” her hands shifted to pinch his cheek. “I swear to Arceus you can be so thick headed!”

 

“Ow, ow! Yo' that hurts! OW! OK, OK, I'll tell ya' just lemme go!” he rubs the side of his cheek where she had released her grip. He took in a deep breath before saying the following.

 

“I'vbeenvisitingyoueveryday-”

 

“Whoa—slow down! I didn't understand a single word you just said!” she waved her hands in front of her chest.

 

Guzma’s cheeks visibly heated up—closing his eyes—repeating himself once more but slowly. “I've. Been. Visiting. You. Every. Day. There happy?!”

 

‘He’s been...visiting me...?’ her cheeks heated up and then a warm but foreign feeling filling up her chest. There was Butterfree’s running wild in her stomach but in a good way.

 

She was too distracted to even notice Guzma staring at her and his gaze was on her shoulder, it was her floral tattoo. Further down was another one on her forearm. He was so mesmerized by them before snapping his attention away from the tattoos when a hand was waving in front of his face.

 

“What in the world are you staring at?” he simply points at her shoulder and she instantly knew what he was referring to.

 

“Are those real?” he asks genuinely out of curiosity.

 

“Yes, they are. I’ve had them done for over three years.” she glanced down of his seemingly real tattoos of a purple skull on both his forearms. She couldn’t help but smile amusingly which caused him to raised a brow quizzically at her. “I see that you have your own tattoos as well, huh?”

 

Guzma looks away with his face being completely red from embarrassment. “Aren’t you a little too young to have tattoos?” he blurts out and then glances from the corner of his eye at her.

 

“I happen to be twenty-two years old, you know?”Bethany smiles sheepishly to herself.

 

He blinks a few times whilst staring at her in complete shock. Guzma was in deep thought before he felt two hands on his cheeks and stares at her in bewilderment. She was looking at him suspiciously and he didn’t understand why...that was until she said the following.

 

“When was the last time you’ve slept?” She then proceeds to trace her thumb under his eyes where there were noticeable dark circles and his eyes were sunken in. Guzma didn’t answer right away but the look he gave her confirmed her suspicions.

 

It was true. He hadn’t gotten any proper sleep for the last couple of weeks. He’s been visiting her every single day and his irregular sleep patterns were putting a strain on him yet he kept on going. It’s a miracle he hasn’t collapsed from exhaustion. Then he felt her arms wrap around his neck and then she pulls him into a hug. He froze and he genuinely didn’t know what to do.

 

“I appreciate you visiting me Guzma but you shouldn’t push yourself either,” she said and then soon felt him relax.

 

Then Guzma had wrapped his arms around her waist and then buried his face on the crook of her neck. That’s when he felt her fingers twirling the strands of his hair in a soothing manner. The exhaustion finally taking its toll on him and was on the verge of falling asleep. It took him all his might to stay awake and at one point he might have been snoring a little.

 

She couldn’t believe how much things have changed. The number of wonderful people she has met through her island challenge and to personally see how much she and her team had grown up to this point. To think that she would grow so close to him and then to have him in her arms is such a rewarding feeling. Deep down, she genuinely wants to be a part of his life because… she loves him.

Chapter Text

A whole week had passed since Bethany had fully woken up after being medically induced coma for almost a month. The staff at the hospital had made up their mind and decided to discharge her from the hospital to her absolute delight. Bethany was reunited with her pokémon and was off to resume her Island challenge.

 

Not long after she left the Aether Foundation, she arrived at Poni island where her final challenge would be and it was with the trial captain herself, Mina, whose trial involves challenging the other Captains to a Pokémon battle, which meant her first opponent was Mina. When she won, Mina hands over a pink petal and told her she had to collect all seven and then return when she collected all of them.

 

Eventually she had five petals in her possession and was heading towards the Aether house, in Route 15, to get the last one from Acerola. As soon as the house came into view is when she saw a familiar figure standing just outside the steps, and the closer she got the clearer the person’s silhouette became. It was Guzma and he had his back towards her. Seeing him standing there was provoking her heart to beat ten times faster. She’s not gonna lie but it was making her feel a little nervous.

 

Guzma looks over his shoulder to see Bethany standing there. This instantly made his cheeks heat up for a moment before regaining his composure, putting on his tough guy facade and turns to face her. “Look, girlie…about what happened with Necrozma...”

 

His eyes landed specifically on her right arm that was covered in bandages from top to bottom. However it was covered up with a long-sleeved, cropped up black hooded sweatshirt on top and underneath she wore a plain white shirt.

 

A pained looked was briefly shown across his face. “I guess I should…” his eyes suddenly dart up and was staring directly at her, “Thanks. I’m saying thanks. OK?”

 

She blinks, obviously not expecting him to express his gratitude. “You’re welcome.” she said with a smile forming across her lips. Then her smile widens when noticed a subtle pink appearing on his cheeks.

 

Their brief moment of silence didn’t last long when Hau suddenly came running down the steps of the Aether house. He greeted them while being completely unaware of what had just happened.

 

“What’re the two of you doing together?” It was an innocent question but this made them blush profusely.

 

The mere thought of them being together was going through her mind, and the more she thought about it the redder she became. It was fortunate that Hau was too oblivious to even notice their red faces and he soon turns to ask about Guzma’s Golisopod. It took Guzma by surprise yet he didn’t hesitate and immediately answered his question, stating that his partner has been with him since before he even started his island challenge.

 

Guzma went on how his Golisopod can’t be beaten, the same goes for the rest of his team, whom he met them during his island challenge and trained them well.

 

“...Not that any of it matters now.”

 

“So you got to meet your Pokémon partners by doing the island challenge and made some really great friends, too, huh?” Hau mentioned.

 

“Friends?” Bethany blurts out with her head tilted to the side with curiosity.

 

“You know! Everybody in Team Skull!” Hau beamed over to her to which her mouth laid agape in realization. “They all really love Guzma after all, right?”

 

She couldn’t have agreed more as a small chuckle escaped from her lips. “They sure do!”

 

Guzma’s eyes shrunk in shock by their kind words and then he closes his eyes whilst chuckling to himself. “You’ll meet Pokémon and people on your journey that will enrich your life. Is that it?” He smiled -- a GENUINE smile! “Who knows? Maybe kids like you can make the island challenge actually mean something again.”

 

He approaches Bethany and then stops right in front of her. “Here. I don't need this anymore.” Guzma hands her a Grip Claw and their fingers brushed against each other for a brief moment before he quickly moves his hand away.

 

“Ho... Here it comes again. The winds of Alola are blowing again, bringing some new change.” Guzma takes one last glance at Bethany before walking past her.

 

Hau was then shouting something at Guzma about outdoing the Kahunas, and whether people can do something great even if they choose not to do the island challenge. Even saying some encouraging comments about how he didn't fail to become a captain, no matter what he might think. Lastly Hau said that he should become something else—something greater.

 

She never knew that Guzma wanted to become a trial captain when he was younger. Yet, she couldn’t help but wonder, what happened?

 

….

 

Bethany had gathered all of the petals and returned back to Seafolk Village to give all of the collected petals to Mina, to which she created and gave her a rainbow flower. This summoned the Totem pokémon Ribombee. Once she defeated the totem pokémon, Mina gave her a Fairium Z and sent her off. Just outside the door was Hapu, inviting her for the final grand trial at Exeggutor Island before the mocha-skinned girl left.

 

Afterwards, she went to Exeggutor Island to challenge Hapu in a pokémon battle, and Bethany had won against the island Kahuna. Hapu congratulated her and gives her a Groundium Z, showing her how to use the Z-move before wishing her the best of luck. Her next destination is Mount Lanakila, which is north of Tapu Village on Ula’ula Island.

 

As soon as she arrived, Bethany headed straight inside the nearest Pokémon Center to heal up her pokémon but to also grab a drink from the cafe. Bethany stepped out of the Pokémon Center and felt droplets of rain hitting the fabric of her clothing and her skin. She looks up to notice the rain coming down the Tapu Village wasn’t too strong, in fact, it felt refreshing.

 

It was a long day for her and the sun had already disappeared over the horizon of Ula’ula as the moon was now up in the sky where the sun was previously. Going from place to place can really wear a person’s energy down. However, with a single cup of dark roast, Gengar’s Jump Scare coffee is enough to keep her awake for the rest of the night. She normally doesn’t drink coffee often in the mornings, she’s more of a tea fanatic than anyone else in Alola. But on this special occasion, she wasn’t going to allow exhaustion get to her.

 

As soon as she finishes with her coffee, she heads straight up the small path past the two tiki statues that will lead towards the base of Mount Lanakila. But when she got there the lift was missing. A moment later, the sound of the lift arriving can be heard echoing throughout the chilly air. When it came to a complete stop, it was Gladion that had been on the lift, waiting for her arrival.

 

He expressed his gratitude to her and what better way to show it is by challenging her to a battle, to which she gladly accepts. Throughout the battle he managed to faint one of her pokémons and the rest of his team was eventually defeated.

Chapter Text

        The brisk air while she as trekking up the mountain sent chills down her spine. She had forgotten how cold the mountain gets during the night and she regretted not bringing a heavy sweater with her. It's too late to turn back now. Not when the trail was packed with trainers surprisingly. She genuinely believed that there wouldn't be anyone present at the mountain at this hour.

 

As she defeated a pair of trainers and was now walking down a snowy path is when she felt her backpack shuffle. She abruptly stops and looks over to her left to see Mimikyu perched onto her shoulder...staring at something farther away. This further peaked her curiosity and followed her pokémons gaze. There she sees a large crater a couple of feet away from where she stood. She strides forward and stands right at the edge of the bowl-shaped cavity. Right in the center of it as Necrozma in a weakened state with its head bowed down while it kept itself upright but just barely.

 

Bethany carely slid down into the crater as she slowly approached the prism pokémon, it moved its head up to meet her gaze which made her abruptly halt. She watches as Necrozma attempted to move away but was too weak to do so. It lets out a huff from the pain shooting throughout its body. The pokémons gaze shifts towards her arm that was wrapped in bandages. Something flashed across its eyes...it looked guilty.

 

Necrozma averted its eyes to the ground to avoid her gaze, and then something warm touched its crystal protruding backward on its left arm. It raises its head and looks over at her to which she stared right back at it sympathetically.

 

"I know how hard it is to let go of something that you've grown attached to. Although, sometimes you just need to find other ways to replace the old with something new, something that makes you feel...complete." she then gestures her hand on her chest where her heart is located whilst staring at Necrozma with a reassuring smile.

 

Its eyes followed to where she had gestured and then its eyes averted to the Z-ring on her wrist. The Z-ring began to glow and Necrozma was taken aback. She was sharing her light from her Z-ring to Necrozma. The light from the Z-ring dissipated and Necrozmas energy has been replenished.

 

Bethany was expecting for it to disappear through a warp hole but it didn't, instead, it just stood there. Then she notices its eyes averting to what she initially thought was her Mimikyu whom was perched onto her shoulder, but it was looking at something else. Necrozma reaches over to her as its two fingers were rummaging inside the small outer pockets of her backpack before retracting its large hand, and it held a single pokéball in front of her.

 

She blinks a few times in disbelief. It wants to be caught… Bethany reaches out and takes the pokéball from its fingers as it moves its hand away. Then it leans its forehead forward and it was inches away from touch her own. Bethany couldn't contain a smile from forming on her lips. She outstretched her hand with the pokéball in hand before it lightly touches Necrozmas forehead as it instantly disappears inside, wobbling slightly on the palm of her hand.

 

*wobble* - *wobble* - *click!*

 

 

….

 

 

At the top of the mountain is where she had met up with her uncle Kukui. Afterwards he went on a rant and wishing her the best of luck before disappearing inside the entrance to the League. As his silhouette vanished there was one big question lingering inside her mind. How the hell was he not bothered by the ongoing blizzard of doom?

 

Her eyes were looking directly at the entrance a smile spreading on her lips and then taking a few steps forward before there was a sudden movement from within her bag. Then there was a flash and standing right beside her was Opaline. Bethany reaches out to cup Opalines cheeks and stares with a confident smile. Opaline leans forward and proceeds to nuzzle her forehead. Then she calls Opaline back into its pokéball before she marches her way confidently through the entrance of the League.

 

On the other side, she proceeded to go up against all four of the elite four members in the Pokémon League, whom were ultimately defeated. In the main room was a circular platform to which acted as a teleporter and it sent her into a large spacious place that seemed to have sent her out in the open but there was clearly a giant round glass roof, almost like an observatory.

 

She walks up the long flight of stairs, although they weren't as long as the ones at the Altar of Moone. Once she reached the top there was a large battlefield made entirely out of glass with the pokéball logo on the floor. There was no protective barriers surrounding the field, it looked rather intimidating actually. However, on the opposite side of the battlefield was an empty marble throne. She approaches the throne and then takes a seat, it was cold but comfortable in a way.

 

Bethany raises her gaze, staring out into the vast night skies. The more she stared, the more she noticed how crystal-like glass looked, it shifted between colors when the glow of the moon would hit it in a certain way. The view from where she currently sat was absolutely breathtaking.

 

"Now you're the Pokémon League Champion!" Kukui's voice had made her jump up from her seat in pure fright, as she let out a yelp before falling off of the throne and on her butt.

 

Kukui snorted turning his head away which earned him a glare from her. "Sorry about that! But wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple in becoming a Champion."

 

"Can you please get straight to the point? The suspense is killing me." Bethany said sarcastically before standing up and brushing off the dirt from her pants.

 

"The truth is...there's one more person you have to battle if you want that title."

 

"What…?"

 

A wide grin was plastered on his face. "And of course that trainer is me!"

 

She blinked a couple of times before crossing her arms questionably. "I know it's not you Kukui."

 

"Aww man, what gave it away?" he said with a sheepish smile on his lips before he steps aside revealing her REAL opponent.

 

It was none other than the Malasada fanatic himself, Hau.

 

 

….

 

 

The three of them accompanied by the elite four members were all walking alongside each other and were conversing as they were heading towards the entrance of Iki Town. For unknown reasons, Kukui had insisted for them to come all this way to which he wouldn't disclose to them.

 

From the moment they had passed the entrance to the town is when they noticed that lack of people being present. But they didn't think much of it and kept their pace right behind Kukui as they reached the other set of steps. Unbeknownst to them there would be a crowd of people greeting them and cheering them on as they set foot to their destination. The stadium was filled with many familiar faces and amongst those was her friend Lillie.

 

The blonde ran up to them and throwing her arms around them and engulfish them into a hug. She then pulls away from the hug with a giant smile on her face. "Congratulations Bethany, you did it!"

 

Kukui pats Bethany on her shoulder. "First-ever Champion of the Alola Pokémon League. I knew you had it in ya, Beth!"

 

Bethany waves them off with reddened cheeks from their praises and then Kahuna Hala approaches them and then guides Bethany up to the stadium. He introduced her to the crowd and everyone cheered, shouted out her name and that's when they all began to celebrate her accomplishment. The color of her cheeks brightened and so did her smile towards the crowd.

 

Whilst she was waving at the crowd she could've sworn someone had called out her name, but she didn't think much of it. Until her name was called out yet again but this time she could hear it with more clarity. Bethany turns her head to the left to see a familiar face running towards her. It was a woman with ebony hair which was styled in a pixie hairstyle.

 

She broke into a wide smile. "Aunt Leinani!" she threw her arms around her aunt as she was now being engulfed by a strong hug. Then they pulled away from the hug simultaneously and Bethany had begun to question the woman.

 

"What are you doing here? I thought you were back home in Unova."

 

"Kukui. He called me after you were hospitalized and I came here as soon as I could." she sighs and then averted her eyes off into the distance, the look on her droopy eyes showed a hint of annoyance. "My damn flight got cancelled and I wasn't able to come until a few days ago."

 

Leinani looks back at her with a smile. "Even though I arrived later than expected, but I'm just so glad to see you had made a full recovery." she then pulls her into a hug once again and proceeded to squeal with excitement. "But look at you now. YOU DID IT, YOUR THE FIRST CHAMPION OF ALOLA! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!"

 

Bethany was flattered although her aunts grip was beginning to be too much for her and she attempted to pry herself out of her aunts grasp. "GAH! Auntie, you're-you're crushing me!" however, her pleas went unnoticed.

 

The crowd couldn't help but exchange a couple of laughs and 'awws' at their sweet reunion whilst others began to clap for them.

 

Hidden behind the trees was Gladion watching the scene with his Silvally right beside him. His eyes slowly drifting across the crowd until they landed onto his sister, whom had a giant smile on her face with her eyes directed at the stadium. A smile made its way onto his lips before he turned around and walked away with his Silvally following right behind.

 

Kahuna Hala then announced to the crowd that he will be taking their new champion to the Ruins of Conflict where they would pay a visit to Tapu Koko and pray for their deity's blessing. Kukui, Leinani, Lillie, Hau, the trial captains, and the elite four would be accompanying her and Hala to the ruins. It wasn't long until they were at the ruins, Kahuna Hala and Bethany were stood in front of the tiki statue. Although, Hala was doing most of the talking and Hau, at one point, was standing right beside her and mentioning how strong she had gotten throughout their island challenge.

 

Once they were done with their prayers, everyone slowly began to leave the room and Bethany was the last one in the ruins. As she took a step forward to follow them when suddenly, an image of Tapu Koko flashed across her eyes. She came to an abrupt stop and turns around to see Tapu Koko floating in front of its tiki statue.

 

"Tapu...Koko…?" Bethany said breathlessly and watches as Tapu Koko had begun to slowly approach her until it floated right in front of her.

 

Tapu Koko edges closer to her and then it exclaims gleefully as it twirls around her. At one point, it took hold of her hands with its beak-like claws and had begun to twirl with her. She was certainly surprised by its amiable gesture but she felt honored to have made it happy after what she had accomplished. Then the twirling had soon ceased and Tapu Koko was still holding onto her with its eyes curved which signified its ecstatic mood.

 

It releases its hold from her and floating right above her was an item to which she instinctively reaches out for it. In her hand was a newly obtained Z-Crystal...a Tapunium Z.

 

"Thank you Tapu Koko-" when she raised her gaze, the guardian deity was no longer there. She was staring into the empty space when she heard Kukui calling out her name to which she turned around. "Coming!"

 

Before she took a step forward is when she looks over her shoulder at the tiki statue one last time and the whispers but loud enough to be heard. "Mahalo…"

 

Then she walks out of the ruins with a content smile across her lips. Unbeknownst to her, Tapu Koko had appeared above the statue and watched her leave as its loud cries echoed throughout the temple.

Chapter Text

        It's been almost a month since she had become the champion of Alola. Yet the downside of this accomplishment is that wherever she went she is either surrounded by people dying to get her autograph, or trainers challenging her to a battle when she isn't present at the Pokémon League. It was absolutely chaotic, at one point, she had to secretly take a different route to avoid the unwanted attention, especially from the paparazzi.

 

There were times where she would be followed around by the media to the point where she had to use the Charizard pager as a last resort to escape. It sounds over exaggerating but when it involved the media wanting to know everything about her, especially where she lived was all too much to handle. She appreciated the attention but what was more important for her was her privacy. Luckily, with the help of Nanu the media had stepped away for three days now and she couldn’t have been more grateful for the kahuna’s help. Even with the media leaving her alone that didn’t stop the civilians from approaching her in public. Nowadays, it's difficult for her to meet up with her friends without literally being dragged away by a swarm of people. 

 

A long sigh managed to escape from her lips at the thought. This caught the attention of a butterfly-like Pokémon’s attention as it flew towards her. The sound of wings lightly flapping above her caught her ears and she cracks open her eyes to see Vivillon gazing down at her with a concerned look across its pixelated eyes. Bethany sits up from the couch and reaches out to pet its head.

 

“I’m all right, Vivi.” she reassured her Pokémon with a lopsided smile and then she moved, pressing her back against the sofa. This allowed Vivi to land itself on her lap comfortably.

 

The room was silent, except for the occasional sounds of waves crashing from afar and the cries of wild Pokémon just outside the house. She had grown accustomed to the sounds of nature even when she still lived back in the Unova Region, it was a pleasant feeling. However, a nagging feeling was plaguing her thoughts. The reason behind it was because she couldn’t stop thinking about Guzma. Whatever happened to him? Then there was a knock at the door.

 

Bethany picks up her phone to check the hour, it was almost seven in the evening. Who in the world is at the door at this hour? She very carefully cradled Vivi, whom was fast asleep in her arms, as she made her way towards the door and opens it.

 

“Acerola...Nanu? What are you two doing here in Melemele? Wait—did Hala called you guys over here for something?” 

 

“Nope~ We wanted to stop by and give you a couple of books from the library!” Acerola chimed and gestured over to the box that Nanu was holding.

 

“Eh?!” she blinks a few times in shock and looks away all flustered. “You guys...you really shouldn’t have…” she trails off.

 

“Girl...I carried this thing all the way from Ula’ula. Don’t make me regret bringing this box to you.” Nanu said bluntly.

 

A look of panic began to form on her face. “No! I mean—I’m just really...surprised, happy, and...confused?” the last sentence she said sounded more like a question and she avoided their gaze at how embarrassed she was.

 

“Don’t listen to him. He’s just grumpy because I woke him up from his beauty sleep.” Acerola said with a giggle as Nanu rolled his eyes dismissively.

 

“Can somebody take this box away from me? The weight is doing a number on my arms.” Nanu pleaded.

 

“Oh, uh, my hands are uh, kinda occupied at the moment, but you can place the box on the sofa.” Bethany steps aside as they passed her before she closed the door.

 

Acerola was looking around the place in awe. “Uuuu~ this place looks so cute from the inside,” 

 

“You really think so?” Acerola responded with an enthusiastic hum. “Before I moved it looked different, everything was worn down and the painting was peeling right off of the walls.” Bethany mention with her eyes staring fixedly at the room.

 

The walls in the living room were a light grey and lilac color. There was a single grey kotatsu sits right in the middle of the room with the TV right in front of it. On the left was a lamp that was right next to the soft grey sofa where she had laid in previously. Now that she had surveyed the room that’s when she made a mental note. She might be adding in some floating shelves right above the sofa, it looked vacant. Maybe she’ll add in a picture frame somewhere.

 

“My grandparents were kind enough to sign this house under my name.” Bethany blurted out.

 

“Your grandparents lived here?” Acerola asked curiously.

 

“They did. In fact, I lived with them for 8 years back in the Kalos Region before I decided to move here.” Bethany mentioned.

 

“Wow… they must be so proud of you!” Acerola said.

 

In the back of her mind she could faintly hear those exact same words replaying through her mind. She brushed it off and ultimately decided to do something nice for them after coming all this way to give her the box that was filled with books.

 

“Since you’re here, why don’t I offer you something to drink and maybe some sweets with that?”

 

Just by the mere mention of sweets is when Acerola expressed her utter joy. Nanu on the other hand wasn’t too fond of sweets but she would still offer something else other than sweets.

 

….

 

Bethany was on the floor with her elbows against the kotatsu and was scrolling down the pictures from her phone. All of them were taken about a month ago—celebrating in becoming the first champion of Alola. She had over 100+ photos from that day alone, and there were moments that she will forever cherish. As she continued to scroll down until she stops at a particular photo: it was her and beside her was Lillie—to her right, and Hau—to her left—all of them smiling at the camera. She was staring at the photo with a smile on her face and her eyes drifted off towards the background and noticing a figure standing behind the trees. Using her fingers—zooming in on the picture—and recognizing the silhouette that was in between the trees: Guzma.

 

She blinked, surprised that she hadn’t noticed him in the background before. He looked so...sad in the picture. A prominent frown formed on her face at this. Come to think of it, she hasn’t seen him in some time and the last time she did was at the battle tree—three weeks ago.

 

A small nudge had broken her out of her train of thought and looks down to see her Mimikyu staring at her with curious eyes. Bethany looked back at her phone fixated on Guzma, then she stood up from the kotatsu and made her way over to the coat hanger that was right by the entrance. She grabbed her light blue fanipack and inside it were her poké balls. As she puts it around her waist and inside the buckle of her shorts is when her Mimikyu had wrapped its shadowy arm around her ankle, tilting its head up at her. 

 

“Come on.” She bends down to pick up Mimikyu and placing it on her shoulder. “We’re going to pay him a visit. Vivi!” She could see her Vivillon appearing from around the corner and was now a few inches away from her. “Watch over the place until I return, alright? I won’t be long.” 

 

Bethany exited out her house and was making her way towards Hau’oli City. There were still people roaming around the streets late at night, yet she was careful not to reveal herself completely—wearing a black hoodie with skitty ears on top. Her disguise worked like a charm as she passed by the shopping district—unbothered and going up the steep hill, arriving at Route 2.

 

She stopped in the middle of the path which was lit by a single light post, next to a motel that was on her left. A soft hum emanated from her as she surveyed the area thoughtfully. Her eyes landed on a house that was on the opposite side. The lights inside the house was still on, there was still someone awake at this hour. She walks straight towards the house, walking up the steps and then stopping right in front of the door with the intention of knocking and asking for directions. Her hand—fingers bent—hovering right above the frame of the door ready to knock when she couldn’t help but overhear a muffled voices from the other side. The voices sounded angry and she suspected that they were in a heated argument about something. She lowered her hand back to her side and turned around, not wanting to disturb whoever was arguing. As she took a single step forward when suddenly there was a loud crash followed by a heavy thud.

 

Instantly, her gut feeling was telling her to turn back—she did. Bethany whipped around, grabbing the handle of the door—half expecting it to be locked but it wasn’t, before swinging the door open. She froze from where stood, as the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end with a horrified expression by what she was seeing. There was a middle aged man holding a golf club that was dented and on the end of it were blood stains. On the floor was...Guzma, blood trailing down his forehead and was riddled with cuts and bruises, there was blood coming from his nose, and behind him was a broken vase. Then the older man lifted the gulf club above his head, preparing to swing it down at Guzma with everything he got.

 

Bethany made a dash towards the older man and grabbing onto the golf club, holding it in place, which prevents him from swinging it. She was too focused in apprehending the man that she failed to notice Guzma’s panicked expression. The man was sending daggers at her way and she couldn’t have cared less. As he frees his left hand in an attempt to grab her when out of nowhere her Mimikyu appeared out from her shoulder and threw itself at the man's face. He lets out a blood curdling scream, releasing his hold on the golf club before he staggered and fell on his back.

 

She dropped the golf club and rushed over to Guzma’s side where she helped him stand up on his feet, and then threw his arm around her shoulders as they walked out of the house together. Bethany had called out for her Mimikyu and it came out of the house—shutting the door behind it before trailing right behind them.

 

The trek back to her house was wearing her down from having to drag him across the city and she was glad that no one had recognized her. It was probably because his arm was practically concealing her entire face. Once she arrived at the front door of her home, she opened the door and guided Guzma over to the couch, setting him down with care before briskly leaving the room.

 

Guzma hadn’t mustered a single word throughout their excursion. He watched her come back with the first aid kit in hand and started to treat his wounds. Her fingers gracing on his skin which felt like it was giving him light feather kisses upon contact. Then her hands made their way up to his face, the part where he winced the most as she dabbed a gauze with alcohol on his scratches. She was holding his chin up to prevent him from moving away and this method worked really well. With one final bandage on his nose, covering the deep scratch, and then she took the first aid kit with her before leaving the room momentarily.

 

He hunched forward with his arms on his legs and with a forlorn look across his face. His eyes were glued to the floor and his mind began to wonder and that’s when he noticed that she was standing to his right. 

 

“Guzma.” Bethany called out his name and noticed his head twitch but he didn’t face her. On her hand was an ice pack and she handed it over to Guzma. “Here.” Just as she presented the ice pack to him, he had reached over to take it out of her hand and placed it on his right cheek, not saying a word or even glance at her. She lowered her head which cast a shadow over her eyes.

 

He didn’t want to look at her as she now stood in front of him. Suddenly, he felt her arms wrapping around his neck and then her head was cradled in the crook of his neck. His body tensed up from her touch, not knowing how to react, and why does his neck feel wet? Then she pulled away from the hug, with her arms still wrapped around his neck. He raises his head and froze, looking at her with wide eyes—she was crying.

 

Baka…” She managed to choke out with a lump in her throat aching in the process. “Why...why do you let him hurt you?” she tightens her grip onto his jacket. “Why do you let him do this to you?!” her tears fell down her cheeks and it drips right onto his face.

 

“Don’t you get it, Guzma?” More tears began to escape as she now had her hand on his cheek and was staring at him with such tenderness in her gaze. “If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes, only then… would you realize how special you are to me…”

 

His eyes increased in size with his mouth slightly agape as he stared at her in shock. 

 

He couldn’t believe it, after all this time, he had mocked her—swearing to beat her down in battle and had been giving her the cold shoulder. Yet, he failed to realize that she’s been the only person that had showed him how much she truly cared for his well-being—by having a big heart. Her intentions were pure and genuine, so much so that she went to great lengths to protect him from his—good for nothing—father. 

 

Guzma wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a tight hug—dropping the ice pack in the process—allowing her to cry on his shoulder. A warm and pleasant sensation was spreading in his chest as he buried his face into her shoulder. He couldn’t have been more content from what she had declared to him, because he too returned those feelings.