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One Thousand Makes An Hour

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"The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour."

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The crowd roared as the Sucker Punch landed and sent Aegislash flying back into its pokeball. Despite the sudden knockout, it’s trainer whispered his thanks to his partner. The Aegislash had managed to knock out two of the Champion's Pokémon and had done significant damage to the remaining mon. Despite this accomplishment, though, both trainers were on their last Pokémon. In the end, the intense battle had come down to a 1v1.

As the challenger sent out his last Pokémon, the crowd's voices fell into a whisper. He had been saving the best for last.

"Go Lum, let's finish this!"

As the red light materialized, the massive Pokémon slammed its feet into the ground and let out its signature cry. A giant Copperajah vs a dexterous Skuntank.

Challenger and Champion locked eyes for the last time as the final fight began. The loud cheers of the crowd almost drowned out their orders but the Pokémon heard their trainers well enough.

"Lum, High Horsepower!"

"Fluffy, get close enough for a Flamethrower!"

Despite the steely determination on both of their faces, the crowd had already anticipated a winner. While the move wasn’t STAB, a High Horsepower from a Copperajah was no laughing matter and Skuntank was already weak to Ground. And even if the Stunktank managed to pull off the flamethrower, the Copperajah was fresh on the field. The fight had already been won.

But Pokémon battles are never quite straight forward.

As the Copperajah slammed its feet into the ground, the tremor broke the surface of the stadium field and as crust ripped forward, there was little room for escape. But the Champion's pokémon hadn’t just hatched from an egg and the move High Horsepower wasn’t exactly known for its accuracy. The crowd gasped as the Skuntank maneuvered around the rocks and continued its charge for the Copperajah.

"You can take it Lum! Use Iron Head at the next opportunity!"

The Copperajah let out another cry as it steeled itself for the inevitable flames. For the planned offense, the metallic shine of its trunk was already sparkling as it readied it’s next attack. The Skuntank, still confident in its Trainer's orders, ignited the fumes around it and let out a terrible stream of fire.

——The challenger knew the strength of his Pokémon quite well. The Copperajah standing in front of him, Lum, had once been a small Cufant. They had known each other for their whole lives and if he could be with anyone while he stood in front of thousands of people for the biggest battle of his life, no one could be better. That wasn’t even mentioning his other Pokémon partners: Mago, Coba, Kelpsy, Figy, Leppa. They had all helped him reach this point. He was here to win, they all were.——

So when his first Pokémon ever cried out in pain and fell backwards, the silence of the stadium seemed to stretch out for a millennia.

It was a critical hit.

A OHKO.

As the Copperajah returned to its pokeball. The tension of the stadium could be felt. Even the Champion, who had entered the pitch as confident as could be, was dumbfounded. The Skuntank looked back at it’s trainer waiting for the usual celebration yell but it too was left alone in the silence of the aftermath. The announcer had no witty line. The crowd had no booming cheers. Even the gym leaders, who had been both excited and slightly jealous of both combatants, had nothing to say. The greatest city of Galar had come to a stand still.

But silence could not last forever. Footsteps. The Champion looked up from the wreckage in front of them to the challenger who had lost. The crowd watched the runner up of the ultimate competition walk forward to his opponent, reach out his hand, and say,

"It was a great fight. My Pokémon and I had a wonderful time fighting you. Thank you for the battle."

For a moment, the Champion studied their opponent's face. He was smiling and despite it not reaching his eyes, there was a true sense of geniality to his words.

In the moment, it was enough.

The Champion flashed their signature grin before taking the young man's hand. "Yeah! That was a fight for the history books alright! We had a great time fighting you too, right Skuntank?"

The Pokémon let out a cry of approval and to fit the friendly energy of the pitch, the crowd roared. What a Champion Time it had been!