Road to a Master

What if Delia had stepped in and made sure that Ash was prepared for his journey? After all, what kind of woman will allow her only son to travel a dangerous world ill-prepared? Smarter Ash, more prepared Ash. A mix of the games and the anime. WARNING - Chapter 5 is M-Rated for violence and mentions of rape.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11863977/1/Road-to-a-Master

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1. Prologue

We start our story in the small, quaint region in Southern Kanto, known as Pallet Town. Not many people live here, and the main attraction of this town was the laboratory and residence of the regional professor of Kanto, known as Professor Oak.

Professor Oak was once a famed trainer, with powerful pokemon as his partners, like his starter Charizard, his Alakazam who is rumoured to be as powerful as the gym trainer Sabrina's Alakazam, and his Dragonite, who was rumoured to be as powerful as the champion Lance's Dragonite. He, of course, had many more powerful pokemon with him, but after a few years of training, he decided that pokemon battling wasn't something he enjoyed, and he found his calling as a pokemon researcher. He became famous all over the world for his ground-breaking breakthroughs related to pokemon, culminating in the pokedex, his greatest invention.

A pokedex is essentially a small device that functions as an encyclopaedia on pokemon. All one had to do was point it at the pokemon in question to get a brief description of the pokemon. Once a trainer had caught a pokemon, the pokedex can provide information on its gender, abilities, current move set, and potential moves the pokemon can learn. It is still new to the pokemon world, and the first batch of pokedex will be given to the new trainers starting their journey on the first of April.

Talking about a trainer starting his journey, we come to a teenage boy watching a pokemon battle between a Gengar and a Nidorino on his TV. His name is Ash Ketchum. He is a thirteen-year-old boy with black unruly hair and brown eyes. His eyes were following the battle with fascination, his keen mind absorbing the various strategies used by the trainers in the Indigo League. His eyes widened with excitement when Gengar used a psychic attack on the Nidorino and knocked him out of the battle. It was to this scene that his mother Delia Ketchum walked into the room.

Delia is an amber-eyed, auburn-haired woman in her early thirties. She had dreams of being a pokemon trainer herself but had to give them up to take care of Ash when he was born. She now runs the only restaurant in Pallet Town, known as Pallet House. On seeing Ash still awake, she said "Ash, shouldn't you be in bed by now? You don't want to oversleep tomorrow do you?"

"I know mom, but I'm just too excited to sleep right now. I just can't wait to start my journey tomorrow!" replied Ash, his face sheepish.

"I understand that honey. But you don't want to waste the efforts you've put in over the last few years by oversleeping now."

And effort he had put in. Ash still remembered the day quite clearly, even if it was almost three years ago. He had just come back from the summer camp held by Professor Oak for aspiring trainers.

FLASHBACK

"Hi honey, how was the camp?" Delia asked on seeing her son for the first time in more than a month.

"It was amazing mom! I saw so many new pokemon there! The assistants even had a mock battle there for us to experience the real thing! And I made a new friend named Serena, she was hurt by a Poliwag! And—"

"Slow down Ash," laughed his mother. "Take a breath, I'm can't understand when you're speaking so fast."

"Sorry," Ash sheepishly replied. "But it was so much fun. I mostly hung with Leaf and Jonathan, and Serena when she became our friend. All the other kids were fawning over that jerk, Gary Oak!" Leaf, Jonathan and Gary were Ash's neighbours and Gary was Professor Oak's grandson.

"Ash!" his mother scolded him. "Is this how I raise you? To use such words? And what's wrong with Gary? I thought he was your best friend?"

"He was, till three weeks ago! But he mocked my dream to become a pokemon master, saying it will never come true since the only one capable of becoming a pokemon master is the great Gary Oak," Delia could hear the sarcasm in Ash's words.

After pondering on her son's words for a while, Delia commented: "So is your dream of being a pokemon master worth your friendship with your best friend?"

"Of course, it is! From now on, we are rivals! But just you wait, I will definitely become a pokemon master!" Ash replied with passion burning in his eyes. It was at that moment that Delia knew that this was just not some childish dream, which she had assumed it was till now. It was what Ash truly wanted, his goal in life. And Delia knew that she would support him, help him, guide him to reach that goal. And she decided to start doing that now, with some tough love and brutal honesty.

"That's nice Ash, till now I had no idea that you were so passionate about your dream. I just assumed it was a childish fantasy," laughed Delia, with a hand rubbing the back of her head sheepishly. "But," here her demeanour turned serious, and Ash knew he better listen to his mom, "I'm sorry to say this, I don't think you'll reach your dream."

"…" Ash opened his mouth, then closed it after a few seconds, not knowing what to say. He tried to avoid showing the hurt on his face, but he wasn't sure if he was successful.

"I'm not finished, Ash," his mother continued. "I don't think you can achieve your dream as you are right now. And if you think about it, you will realise the truth in my words."

"No! You're wrong!" Ash tried to protest vehemently but stopped when his mother raised her hand to cut him off.

"Oh really? Then tell me, how many pokemon are there in the world? Do you know the different types of pokemon? Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of each type of pokemon? Do you know what all moves a pokemon can learn? Do you know what to feed a pokemon, to give them a balanced diet essential for their growth? I don't need to continue, do I?

At each question his mother fired off, Ash's face fell further and further and he now he was barely restraining his tears. He started at a touch on his shoulder and looked up at his mom who had a similar teary expression on her face. He was wondering about that when his mother continued talking.

"You think it is easy for me to tell you all this?" his mother questioned. "But I had to. It's my duty to tell you this." At Ash's questioning look, she continued "A mother's happiness lies in her son's happiness. Nothing can make a mother happier than watching her son pursue his dreams, and eventually reach them. But she has to help him, and guide him till he reaches his goal," she told him gently and lovingly, all traces of her strict persona gone now.

"But… But," Ash will forever deny that he snivelled, "You just told me that I won't reach my goal. How is this guiding me?" Ash said, frustration and anger evident in his voice.

"How else was I supposed to get to you?" his mother questioned, her voice still gentle. "I knew that I couldn't just get you a book on pokemon to help you prepare for your journey. You hate studying, you probably would not have even opened the book I got you. I had to tell you this now, as you needed a wake-up call. Becoming a pokemon master is one of the toughest things to achieve in this world, you need to be prepared Ashy", his mother pleaded, hoping her son would understand why she said what she said, that he would learn, and most importantly, that he would forgive her for this.

FLASHBACK END

Ash remembered that conversation fondly. He couldn't believe he used to be so naïve to start a pokemon journey without any preparation whatsoever, something he was sure he would have done had his mother not sorted him out. He really did have the best mother in the world, he thought, his heart full of love for his mother.

He continued thinking of the aftermath of that conversation. Ash was upset for the rest of the day, thinking about the conversation with his mother. But he knew she was right. He was just not prepared. So, the next day, at the dining table while eating breakfast, he broke the awkward silence that had permeated the house since the conversation.

FLASHBACK

"Mom," he started, catching her attention, "I've been thinking of what you said." Here he grimaced before continuing, "and I know that every word you said is the truth. I'm just not prepared for my journey. But, I have three years for my journey to start, and I want to spend the three years studying whatever I can to achieve my dream."

"Oh, Ashy! I'm so glad you've decided that!" Delia said brightly. "Have you thought about how you will go about it?" she questioned.

"Well, I was just going to go to professor Oak's to ask him to teach me," Ash mumbled sheepishly, with his right hand rubbing the back of his head, a gesture he picked up from his mom when she was nervous.

"Oh, that's okay honey. As much I don't want to say it, I know that I cannot help you with your education on pokemon. I was never a trainer myself," she said with a downcast expression.

"That's alright mom! You're helping me however you can!" insisted Ash.

Delia smiled weakly at Ash before continuing, "Thank you, Ash. Anyway, I did speak to Professor Oak in the evening yesterday, after our conversation. He is expecting us now."

"Oh, is he? Why didn't you tell me before?" questioned Ash, before rapidly stuffing his mouth with food.

"Manners, Ash," laughed Delia. "Slow down, the professor isn't going anywhere."

END FLASHBACK

Later, Ash had spoken to Professor Oak, explaining his plight. Professor Oak just said that he was waiting for this day to come, and gave Ash an encyclopaedia of pokemon in Kanto region. And this is how his education started. Ash was astounded to know that there were seven hundred and twenty-one pokemon discovered in all six regions so far. And to think that he assumed that there were only a hundred or so pokemon before he started studying! He really was very naïve!

Ash started off with trying to remember the different pokemon along with their types. There are eighteen different types of pokemon that have been discovered, from the common normal type to the unique and exotic fairy type. Ash made it a goal to learn ten different pokemon every day, and was finished with learning about every pokemon discovered so far in two and a half months. He not only learned their names, he learnt their types, which type they were strong against, which type they were weak against, and their difficulty in getting them to listen to the trainer. Along with that, he learnt what food they ate, along with learning to cook for himself during the journey from his mother.

"Yes, I should prepare to go to sleep now," Ash said, snapping back to the present. "Have I ever thanked you for what you have done for me so far?" he questioned while looking at his mother.

"Oh honey, you never need to thank me for anything. I've always done my best for you because I love you. There's no need to thank me". Delia replied while smiling sweetly.

"I love you too mom" Ash replied while hugging her.

They embraced each other for a few seconds before Ash pulled back. "Can you think of what would have happened if you never had that conversation with me?" he questioned her.

"Oh, I can imagine. You probably would have angered an entire flock of Spearows on route one, and had to run for your life," his mother teased him gently.

"Haha, you're hilarious mom," Ash rolled his eyes. "But probably correct," he admitted grudgingly.

Delia laughed before prodding him to his room gently. "Sleep now, you have a long day tomorrow."

"Yes mom, going now," Ash grumbled good-naturedly. They reached his room where they saw his clothes hanging in the cupboard and a backpack on his bed.

"You've packed everything for tomorrow?" Delia questioned her son.

"Yes, mom! Everything is packed and ready to go! I've been planning for this for three years now, I'm ready!"

"Oh alright. I just worry. Have you set up your alarm?"

"Yes mom, all done."

"Okay then. Goodnight Ashy, I love you," she kissed him on his forehead, before prodding him to his bed, and tucking him in.

"Mooooom!" Ash whined. "I'm thirteen now! Stop this."

"This is the last I can do it for many months to come Ashy, allow me this," his mom pleaded. Ash saw his mom's expression and his eyes softened.

"It's okay mom. And don't worry, I'll call you from every pokemon centre alright!"

"I know Ashy. Sorry for getting all sentimental on you. Sleep now. Goodnight." And with that, Delia walked out of the room.

X-X-X

Beep….Beep….Beep….Beep….CRASH!

Ash hated getting up early in the morning, he really did. But he had cultivated the habit of doing so over the last three years. He knew that he had a lot to do every day of his journey. He had to travel from city to city on foot and train his pokemon, so he knew that he could not waste daylight by sleeping in. Travelling was best done in the natural light of the sun, for there were always chances of being ambushed by wild pokemon at night, where visibility was low. Thus, he started getting up at dawn every day for the last three years.

Groaning as he got up, Ash blearily rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He yawned widely while stretching, and went to the washroom to brush his teeth and freshen up. Doing so, he went outside his house for his daily jog. This was another habit he got himself into. He knew that being on the road daily and travelling place to place would be taxing on his body, so he started exercising daily to keep his body fit for travel. As he jogged, he once again marvelled at the scenery around his town. Pallet Town was a small village and was surrounded by greenery, which made his jog quite refreshing. After jogging for an hour or so, he went back to his room to shower and change into the clothes he will wear on his journey. It consisted of a black t-shirt, blue jeans, with a blue and white jacket with gold trim, and his signature pokemon league hat.

While leaving his room, he was about to take his backpack but thought to go through it to make sure if he kept everything. His backpack had five compartments, and he had arranged his items accordingly. The first compartment was for his pokeballs. He currently had six on him, knowing that Professor Oak will give him more when he gets his starter. The second compartment was for medicines. Along with medicines for himself, he had ten potions, ten full heals, and ten revives. A bit much, but he was aiming to make them last till he reached Celadon City. The third compartment was for his TM Case; a gift his mother had given him on his thirteenth birthday. He had probably broken a rib or two of his mothers with the crushing hug he gave her when he saw the present. The fourth compartment was for his, and his pokemon's food. He currently was taking enough for ten days. He knew he didn't need that much, but he liked to keep extra in case of emergency. The last compartment was for his map as well as his fishing rod. The fishing rod was something he treated himself with, but he justified it by thinking that he needed it, and the fact that he hadn't bought something for himself for almost three years.

That was another thing he started after the talk with his mother three years ago. He was always given a monthly allowance which he spent on random stuff he thought looked cool, but he stopped doing that to save money for his journey. The Ketchums were never rich. They weren't poor, but they were never rich. So Ash saved all his allowance for three years and had collected quite a sum of money to help achieve his dream. He knew all the money would be spent on his pokemon, but he was fine with it.

Once done with rechecking his bag, he hoisted it and went downstairs where his mom laid made a veritable feast on the table. His mouth watered at the smell and he quickly started devouring is breakfast. While he had started eating like a regular human after his mom had almost beaten manners into him, he still consumed food fit for five people. Only when he was on his third helping did he realize that his mom was sitting on the table as well looking at him with a fond expression on her face.

"Oh hey mom, good morning. Thanks for the breakfast, it is amazing. You've outdone yourself today." Gushed Ash after swallowing his food.

"Oh you're welcome honey, it's the least I could do. After all, this is your last home-cooked meal for a while now."

"Have I ever told you how much I love you, mom?" questioned Ash with a smirk on his face.

"A lot of times Ash, but the sentiment is appreciated," laughed Delia. "So have you decided on your starter yet?"

"Hmmm. I'm not sure mom. All three pokemon are amazing, and all three turn into absolute monsters in their final evolution when trained right. I can't really differentiate between them at the moment."

"That's alright honey, you can always decide on the spot."

"Yes, I'll probably do that," Ash replied while glancing at the clock. "I should head out to the lab now mom, it's getting late. I'll come back home to pick up my backpack after I get my starter."

"Okay honey, take care. Best of luck," his mother replied while giving him a kiss on the cheek and clearing the table.

Ash made his way to Professor Oak's laboratory at a leisurely pace while ruminating over which pokemon he would capture, and how he would begin his journey. He had already booked a poke-transport from Viridian City to Fuchsia City for a week from today. This would give him a week to train and bond with his starter and any pokemon he will catch before leaving.

Poke-transport was such a boon. It was an initiative started by the gym leader of Saffron City, Sabrina. Sabrina was a master of psychic type pokemon and had a lot of pokemon among the Abra line. Abra and its evolutions have perfected the art of teleporting, and Sabrina uses that ability to provide intercity transport for a fee. The price ranged from relatively cheap if booked months in advance, to extremely costly if booked on the spot, if any was available. The poke-transport works every half hour, and there are only a limited amount of pokemon available at a time to teleport. Even with these restrictions, the poke-transport service is very popular.

Ash wanted to start his journey by visiting the Safari Zone. The Safari Zone was a preserve for wild pokemon, and so, trainers were not allowed to battle the pokemon there to capture them. Instead, the trainers were given special safari balls that had a higher catch rate than normal pokeballs and could only capture a pokemon if the pokemon was willing to accompany the trainer on his journey. In short, it was perfect for a newbie trainer like Ash to give him a chance to add to his team at the beginning of his journey.

He knew that spending a week on bonding and training his starter pokemon and spending some more time in the Safari Zone would put him behind the rest of his competition who would no doubt head towards Pewter City to get their first badge. But Ash was fine with this. The League was more than a year away and Ash knew that not only would he would catch up, he would be better than them. He had that much faith in himself at least.

Ash started when he heard his name being called. So lost in thought was he that he didn't realize that he had already reached the professor's laboratory. He looked up to see his friend Leaf waving at him. She was also dressed in her travelling clothes with a blue sleeveless t-shirt, a red skirt that came to her mid-thighs, and a hat. She had her bag strapped on already.

"Oh hey, Leaf. Ready to get your starter?" questioned Ash.

"I've been ready for ages Ash! I was so excited last night that I could barely sleep!" she exclaimed while hopping from foot to foot trying to control her excitement.

"Same here! Let's not prolong it further and meet the professor," said Ash while walking past Leaf and into the lab.

Ash ignored all the various devices in the lab, having already seen them many times, and too excited about getting his starter to even care. He saw Professor Oak along with two boys his age, his friend Jonathan, and his rival Gary Oak.

"Oh look, the loser has come." Came the annoying voice of Gary. "I wonder why you even showed up, everyone knows that I only will become a pokemon master."

Ash gritted his teeth but said nothing. He normally would have risen to his rival's jibes, but not today. He didn't want him getting a starter to be delayed any further.

"Now, now Gary. We're all friends here." Came the disapproving voice of his grandfather, Professor Oak. Gary just huffed and mumbled out an apology which I ignored. The professor just shook his head and beckoned us to a table that had three pokeballs on it. Once everyone was there he started his introduction.

"Today you four are going to start your journeys and like every trainer, you will receive a Starter. You can choose Charmander," while pointing to a ball with a sticker of fire on it, "or Squirtle," while pointing to a pokeball with a sticker of a tear drop on it, "or Bulbasaur," while pointing to a pokeball with a sticker of a leaf on it. "As you can see, there are four of you and only three pokeballs, so I ask one of you to voluntarily step forward and take another Starter." He finished while looking at the four children.

No one moved. We all started at each other hoping that someone would volunteer. After thinking it through, Ash stepped forward and said, "I'll do it." And while he was slightly disappointed by not getting one of the Kanto starting three, he would be fine. He had researched the various fire, water, and grass type pokemon available in the Kanto region as he didn't know which starter he would get and he knew that he could catch and train a pokemon to be as powerful as a Venusaur, a Blastoise, and a Charizard. Plus, he knew that whatever pokemon Professor Oak gave him would be as powerful as the Bulbasaur, the Charmander, and the Squirtle he gave the other three.

Professor Oak gave Ash a big smile and continued talking. "Thank you, Ash. Now that that's decided, shall we continue? I think Leaf should get the first pick, after all, it's ladies first."

Gary looked like he was going to protest but a look from his grandfather shut him up. Leaf skipped forward and said "I already know which pokemon I want. Bulbasaur, I choose you!" with that she released Bulbasaur and knelt down next to it. She quickly greeted it and stood up while hugging it to her chest. The Bulbasaur looked quite pleased with his trainer if its expression was saying anything.

Gary rushed forward and picked up the pokeball with the tear drop on it and released it and nodded in satisfaction when he saw the Squirtle. Jonathan meanwhile was happy, since he wanted the Charmander anyway, and was happily greeting it.

"We're not done yet, children! Along with your Starter, you will also get five pokeballs from me. Remember that the league rules state that you cannot carry more than ten pokemon with you at a time. To carry more, it has to be approved by me or a League official!" This rule had been made along with the rule for making the starting age for trainers to be thirteen instead of ten. The League thought that the trainers were now mature enough to handle ten pokemon at a time. Of course, the condition of the pokemon was checked at every pokemon centre and the regional professor when a pokemon was sent to the lab. If they found that a trainer is unable to handle ten pokemon at a time, this privilege will be revoked.

The professor handed the four of them their pokeballs, along with a small red device that everyone knew to be the pokedex. After receiving these items, Gary, Leaf, and Jonathan left.

The professor turned to Ash and said "I really appreciate this Ash. I hope you're as satisfied with your starter as the others were. Since you voluntarily stepped forward, I will let you choose your starter from among the three other pokemon I have with me."

With that, he released three pokemon that Ash recognized to be a male Nidoran, a Growlithe, and a Pikachu. All powerful pokemon when trained right. However, as soon as Ash looked at the Pikachu, he felt a connection. A connection telling him that he had found a partner, a best friend, someone who would stick with him through thick and thin. And he knew that he had found his starter.

He looked at Professor Oak and said, "I've decided, Professor. I choose Pikachu as my starter if he is willing to come with me."

"You've decided already?" came the surprised reply from Professor Oak. "I assumed that you would speak with them at the very least before deciding."

"I thought so too, Professor. But something is telling me to choose Pikachu, like a gut feeling."

"Is it? Strange," replied Professor Oak as he looked at Ash inquisitively, as if trying to figure out a puzzle.

Ash ignored this and turned to Pikachu and knelt down to his height and said, "Hi Pikachu. My name is Ash Ketchum, and I'm starting my journey today. My aim is to be a pokemon master and to do so, I will train my pokemon really hard so that they can become the strongest pokemon in the world. I'm not going to lie, my training will be hard, it will be gruelling, but it will be immensely rewarding. In addition to that, I want my pokemon to become my family. As my starter, you and I will have the closest bond among my pokemon and I will look to you for setting an example for the rest of the pokemon I capture," he finished, passion brimming in his eyes.

As Ash was talking, he saw that the Pikachu had a spark in his eyes as he listened to Ash's speech. The spark which said that he wanted to become strong, to become the very best, the same spark which Ash had when he thought about his dream. And he knew that his gut feeling was right, Pikachu would be a perfect starter. He held out a hand to Pikachu and asked, "Will you accompany me on my journey?"

The Pikachu sniffed Ash's hand. Ash knew what it was doing. Pokemon had a strong sense of smell and the Pikachu could detect a few things from his scent. Exactly what it is, is a topic of debate. Some say that the pokemon can detect lies, some say they can detect emotions, no one really knows for sure. It also varied from pokemon to pokemon. For example, Growlithe had the strongest sense of smell. Right now, Ash knew that Pikachu was trying to verify Ash's claims. He must have found what he was looking for as with a loud Pika, he nuzzled his head into Ash's arm, getting a small, gentle smile from him.

He turned to Professor Oak with the smile still on his face, and said, "Looks like Pikachu agrees to be my starter, Professor."

"Indeed, it does. You handled that very well, Ash." Professor Oak nodded his approval. "Anyway, you should start on your journey now my boy. You don't want the others to get too much of a head start do you?"

"Yes, I'll be on my way Professor. Thank you for everything you've done for me over the last three years. I don't even want to imagine where I could have been without you."

"It was my pleasure, Ash. I'll be looking out for you and Gary at this year's conference. I know you two will go far. You both have tons of potential."

"Thank you, Professor. That means a lot coming from you! See you! Return Pikachu," he said while pointing his pokeball at Pikachu. A red light went towards the Pikachu which it dodged frantically. "Huh, you don't like being in the pokeball, do you Pikachu?"

"Pika!" the Pikachu exclaimed while shaking his head vehemently, and then giving the pokeball a distasteful look.

"That's alright Pikachu, you don't have to go inside the pokeball if you don't want to," Ash assured him. "You can just walk alongside me." Pikachu shook its head again and hopped up Ash's body and settled on his shoulders. "You want to ride on my shoulders?" Ash asked in surprise getting an energetic Pika in response from his starter. "Okay then. Come on!" Ash shouted enthusiastically while waving a goodbye to Professor Oak.

They left the lab and walked back to Ash's home so that he could say goodbye to his mother. While walking, Ash kept a running stream of commentary as he told Pikachu whatever came to mind. He was sure that he was babbling at some point, but it was fine. He wanted to develop his bond with Pikachu to the level he had seen between some of the elite trainers and their pokemon. After all, Pikachu and the rest of his pokemon were going to become family to him.

As his home came into view, Ash saw his mother standing outside with his bag in her hands. She had a fond smile on her face as she saw Ash talking animatedly with his starter. Once Ash got closer to his mother, he greeted her with a cheery "Hey, Mom! This is Pikachu, my starter!"

"Pika," waved Pikachu happily from his position on Ash's shoulder.

"Oh, my Arceus! He is so cute!" squealed Delia. So overtaken by the cuteness of Pikachu, she immediately pulled him into a hug.

"Mom, stop! You're squeezing too hard!" shouted Ash frantically having experienced his mother's rib-breaking hugs when she was excited about something.

"Sorry, sorry," said an embarrassed Delia as she released a dazed Pikachu from her hold. "It was nice to meet you Pikachu. You take good care of my son, will you?"

"Pika Pi," replied Pikachu with a thumbs up, having recovered from Delia's enthusiastic hug.

"Here's your backpack Ash," said Delia while holding out his backpack to him. "You should be on your way, daylight's wasting."

"Thanks, Mom!" replied Ash, while wearing his backpack. "I'll miss you." Finished with wearing his backpack, he gave his mother a huge hug.

"I'll miss you too Ashy!" his mother replied while hugging him back just as hard. "I have a present for you before you leave." She took out a small box and handed it to Ash. He opened it curiously and saw that it was small and was a compact-disc-shaped device. It was yellow and appeared to be able to open up. It was made of a smooth material and had a large, light blue button in the centre. He looked at his mother for an explanation.

"This is a PokeNav. It was developed by the Devon Corporation in the Hoenn region. It has many features which I'll leave you to explore, but I'm giving it to you because it functions as a video phone. I expect to hear from you at least once a week, do you understand me, young man!" Delia said mock-sternly while trying to keep her tears under control.

"Don't worry Mom! I'll definitely call you once a week! I'll miss you a lot! I love you!"

"I love you too sweetie. Now, get going and don't worry about me. I'll be fine."

Ash nodded and started walking towards route one, which would lead him to Viridian City. While walking, he heard his mother shout "And don't forget to change your underwear" at the top of her lungs. Ash just cringed but continued walking with Pikachu laughing his ass off on Ash's shoulders.

Ash shook his head to clear off his embarrassment. This was one of those times where the last few seconds would go to the 'this never happened, it was just a bad dream' part of his mind. He turned to Pikachu and asked, "You ready buddy? Our journey to the top starts now."

"Pi Pikachu!" replied his starter, the determination in his eyes matching those of his trainer's. They were ready. They will become the best, and nothing would stop them.

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