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.


3. Rock

Ash and Pikachu were at the entrance of route 2. Ash had spent most of the last day in Fuchsia City in deep thought. The source of his troubles was the pokemon he caught in the Safari Zone. While extremely happy with the pokemon that he caught, none of them would really help him against Brock.

Pikachu's electric attacks are useless against rock and ground type pokemon. Eevee is a normal type pokemon whose attacks would do little more than Pikachu's electric attacks. Flabebe had vine whip, but her attack was weak and Ash was not confident in her ability to beat a gym leader's pokemon. Ash had gone fishing to catch a water type pokemon and ended up catching Dratini. While Dratini evolves into one of the most powerful pokemon, scanning Dratini did little to ease Ash's worries, for the pokedex said this about his Dratini.

Dratini, the dragon pokemon. Dratini continually molts and sloughs off its old skin. It does so because the life energy within its body steadily builds to reach uncontrollable levels. This Dratini is male and has the ability shed skin. This Dratini knows the moves Wrap, Leer, and Thunder Wave. This Dratini has the egg move Dragon Pulse, but it has not been unlocked yet.

So as of now, none of his pokemon could beat Brock's pokemon. Ash spent the entirety of the previous day thinking of strategies to win his first gym battle. While none of his pokemon other than Flabebe know moves that are super effective against rock type pokemon, all is not lost. Ash could train his pokemon to beat them! He could teach Pikachu, Dratini, and Eevee iron tail, a powerful steel type move that is super effective against rock type pokemon. He could also teach Dratini a few water type attacks that would work brilliantly in the first gym. Flabebe already had vine whip and she could naturally learn more grass type attacks. It was up to Ash to bring out his pokemon's potential and he would do so. He had promised his pokemon that before he caught them.

The rest of the day was spent in assessing the status of his new pokemon. Flabebe had a weak tackle attack and an even weaker vine whip, but her fairy wind was strong. Dratini had no experience in battling, and it showed with his weak wrap attack. But he had mastered thunder wave and Ash wasted no time in asking Dratini to help Pikachu master the move. With the guidance of Dratini, Pikachu worked out the kinks in his attack and finally mastered the move.

Eevee, on the other hand, was a different matter. Under her haughty demeanour, she was someone who loved to fight. When Ash was about to assess Eevee, she immediately put a stop to any plans he had and sent out a challenging growl towards Pikachu. When Pikachu gave Ash a confused look, Eevee directed the same growl to Ash. It didn't take long for Ash to figure out that Eevee wanted to battle Pikachu with Ash directing him. But just to confirm, he asked Eevee the same.

"Hey, Eevee. You want to battle Pikachu and me, huh?"

"Vee. Eevee." Eevee nodded her head in reply.

"That's fine with me," replied Ash. It looks like she wants Ash to prove himself as a trainer to her. "Pikachu, you ready? This will be our first battle as partners."

"Pika Pi," replied Pikachu as he took a stance in front of Eevee, who needed no further encouragement and started running at Pikachu at a much faster speed than what Ash would have expected. But Ash was able to recover quickly and called out, "Pikachu, use your tail to jump to the side to dodge the attack and hit Eevee with a Thundershock."

Pikachu used his natural agility and his faster reactions to easily dodge Eevee's attack. The following thundershock hit home and Ash thought that the battle was over then and there. After all, Pikachu's thundershock was quite powerful. So imagine Ash's and Pikachu's surprise when Eevee just shook off the attack and charged at Pikachu with another tackle attack. Pikachu could not recover from his surprise fast enough to dodge the attack this time and went flying with the force of the tackle attack.

It was then that Ash broke out of his stupor as he realised two things. One, Pikachu needed to work on his dodging. No matter how powerful, Pikachu's species were just not meant to take physical attacks. And working on speed was of no use if Pikachu didn't utilize it properly. The second thing he realized was that Eevee hit hard. Out of all his pokemon, Eevee so far hits the hardest. It just showed how much effort she put into getting stronger as Eevee as a species were not that powerful.

As Pikachu wobbled to his feet, Eevee charged at him with another tackle attack. Ash frowned as he made a note of the lack of Eevee's offensive moves. He'll need to work on that. Once Pikachu got his bearings, Ash snapped out, "Quick Attack. Don't let her hit you. Confuse her. Hit her with another Thundershock. Finish it with Quick Attack."

Pikachu disappeared in a flash of yellow as he zipped away from Eevee. He spent the next few seconds in Quick Attack darting around an Eevee forcing her to turn from one direction to another at quick speeds to try to keep up with Pikachu. The constant movement disoriented Eevee and that was when Pikachu struck her with a massive Thundershock attack that definitely damaged Eevee. Before Eevee could recover, she was struck by Pikachu's Quick Attack. This time, Eevee did not get up.

That day really showed him where his pokemon stood. All his pokemon needed training to start taking parts in battle, which is why Ash had left the Viridian City pokemon centre at the break of dawn. Route 2 is huge, connecting Viridian City to Pewter City. It is, in fact, divided into two parts, part one connects Viridian City to Viridian Forest and part two connects Viridian Forest to Pewter City. The whole journey would take around three weeks, ample time to train his pokemon and make them stronger by battling against the various trainers on the route.

Ash searched for a clearing and soon found one. As soon as he set up camp, he released his pokemon.

"Alright, guys. We have around three weeks before we challenge Brock for our first gym badge and we need to do some serious training if we are to beat him. Are you ready?"

At the various signs of approval from his pokemon, Ash continued. "Okay, first we work on dodging. Eevee and Dratini, stand on one side; Pikachu and Flabebe, stand on the other. First, I want Pikachu to attack Eevee with a Tackle attack while Flabebe attacks Dratini with Vine Whip. Then you two alternate. Eevee and Dratini, I want you guys to dodge as many attacks as you can. Don't get disheartened if you can't avoid too many today, we have just started training.

Pikachu and Flabebe, I want you guys to hit as fast as you can and get as many hits as possible. Don't make your attacks too hard as we are just training and we don't want to knock anyone else out. You guys understand?" At receiving nods from his pokemon, Ash yelled, "Begin!"

The purpose of this exercise was multiple. The first was obvious, to help Eevee and Dratini get used to seeing incoming attacks, of both physical and elemental in nature, and tuning their body to dodge the attacks. The second became clear a few minutes into the exercise. As Dratini and Eevee started getting used to attacks and dodging them more frequently, Pikachu and Flabebe had to work harder to hit their opponents. Pikachu started going faster in his base speed to give his opponents lesser time to dodge while Flabebe had to learn how to manoeuvre her Vine Whip to hit moving targets, thereby increasing her mastery in the attack.

Ash made his pokemon continue this exercise for half an hour, after which he gave them some time to recuperate. Once done, Ash had them assemble as before. "Now, we will change things. Dratini, attack Pikachu with your Thunder Wave attack. Pikachu, dodge them. Eevee, hit Flabebe with your Tackle attack. Make it weak, so as to not injure her. Flabebe, you know what to do. After this round, Flabebe, hit Pikachu with your Vine Whip. Pikachu, you hit Flabebe with a very weak Thundershock. Understand?"

This exercise would teach Pikachu to dodge elemental attacks. Ash didn't bother with having Pikachu dodge physical attacks since the rest of his pokemon were much slower than Pikachu and Pikachu would dodge the attacks easily. And even if Pikachu was hit with a Thunder Wave, it won't have any effect because of his Lightning Rod ability.

The main purpose of this exercise was to help Dratini hit moving targets with his Thunder Wave, Eevee with her base speed as she used her tackle attacks continuously, and Flabebe, with dodging. Again, Ash continued this for half an hour. After a short break, he continued the training session.

"That was great guys, I'm proud of you. We are going to do this exercise every morning from now on. Now, we will move to the next part. Pikachu, Eevee, and Dratini, see that boulder over there?" asked Ash as he pointed to a large stone boulder a few feet away. It was around four feet tall and six feet wide, perfect for what Ash had planned next. "I want you guys to hit the boulder with your tail repeatedly. According to the pokedex, this is one of the two ways to teach pokemon Iron Tail. So get to it. Flabebe, you will use Vine Whip at the boulder repeatedly as well. This is to increase the power behind the move because as of now, your Vine Whip will not do much damage to opposing pokemon. Take turns with hitting the boulder since there is only one of them. You guys ready? Good, begin."

Ash sat and watched patiently as his pokemon went about their exercise diligently. He was not expecting immediate results for three of his pokemon. In fact, the pokedex informed him that learning a move that does not come naturally to a pokemon takes much longer than a move which comes naturally. For example, Pikachu can learn electric attacks much easier than say, steel type ones. He just hoped that his pokemon could learn the attack before they reach Pewter. Flabebe, on the other hand, showed a slight improvement in the power behind her Vine Whip attack.

After an hour, Ash checked his watch to see the time was around half past eight. He started preparing breakfast for himself and his pokemon and called them to him once it was ready. His pokemon looked tired with the hard work they had put in and Ash was proud of their efforts. After breakfast and generally bonding with his team, Ash decided on one last training session before starting his journey to Pewter City. He tied rocks to the tails of Pikachu, Eevee, and Dratini and asked them to lift it up and down. This would help strengthen their tails for Iron Tail and was the second exercise mentioned in the pokedex to help teach a pokemon that move. Ash meanwhile had Flabebe use Fairy Wind at that same boulder to help strengthen that attack.

One and a half hour later, Ash was ready to resume his journey. His pokemon trained for another hour after which Ash told them to rest to recuperate their energy. After all, they would be battling trainers on the route to Viridian Forest. A few minutes into the walk, Ash saw a young boy his age walking towards him. As he neared Ash, he called out to him. "Hi, my name is Joey. I challenge you to a pokemon battle!"

"Sure," replied Ash. "What are the rules?"

"How does a two on two sound?" He asked, looking at Ash's Pikachu, and the pokeballs on Ash's belt. "No substitutions."

"Fine with me," replied Ash as he unhooked a pokeball before tossing it out. "Flabebe, you're up." With a flash, Flabebe appeared on her white flower. "Flabebe," Ash got her attention. "We are going to be having our first battle."

"Flabebe!" Flabebe twirled in the air in excitement before settling into a stance.

"Wow, what is that pokemon? Hahaha, it is so tiny. This will be an easy win. Spearow, let's win this!" With that, a small fierce-looking bird came out, staring at them with angry eyes. Spearow were normally wild pokemon and had terrible attitudes. "Spearow, use your peck attack."

"Wait till it is close, then blast it with a Fairy Wind!"

Spearow charged at Flabebe with its beak glowing, but as soon as it was a few feet from Flabebe, she produced a blast of wind from her flower that hammered into Spearow and smashed it into the ground.

"No Spearow! Shake it off and use Fury Attack!"

"Don't let it do so. Use Vine Whip to grab it and smash it into the ground. Repeat it until the Spearow faints." Ash replied, not giving the Spearow breathing room. And that's what happened. By the time Spearow managed to get up from the Fairy Wind attack, vines wrapped around its body and lifted it up only to smash it into the ground.

"NO! Spearow!" cried out Joey as Spearow screamed in pain. "Try to get yourself out of there," he shouted, but it was of no use as Flabebe smashed the Spearow into the ground once again. The brutal punishment was too much for Spearow as it finally succumbed to unconsciousness and fell down with swirls in its eyes.

"Alright! Great job Flabebe!" Ash pumped his fist.

"Flabebe!" Flabebe squeaked as she twirled in the air once again.

"You're not half bad. But you won't beat my next pokemon. Go, Ratata!" exclaimed his opponent sending out a small mouse-shaped pokemon.

"Use Quick Attack!" Ratata blasted off at a high speed, leaving a trail of energy in its wake.

"Dodge it!" yelled Ash, but even he knew that it would not be possible. Without experience with such moves, it is difficult for any pokemon to dodge a quick attack, so for a barely trained pokemon, it is impossible. And as Ash predicted, Ratata slammed into Flabebe sending her flying back with a cry of pain.

"Flabebe! Are you alright?"

"Bebe!" came the determined reply of Flabebe as she shook off the effects of the attack.

"Great! Now hit it with a Fairy Wind!"

"Dodge it with Quick Attack and attack it again!" came the answer from Joey. And as Joey wished for, his pokemon dodged the Fairy Wind with ease and went after Flabebe again.

"Try to catch I with your Vine Whip," shouted Ash as he knew that asking Flabebe to dodge was pointless. He could only counter. But his hopes were dashed as the Ratata nimbly dodged the Vine Whip causing the attack to bounce off the ground while Ratata barrelled into Flabebe once again.

"Flabebe! Are you alright? Can you still fight?" questioned a worried Ash. He received a muffled reply from Flabebe as she struggled to stand.

"Great going Ratata! We've got this in the bag. Let's finish this with another Quick Attack."

"Tata!" the Ratata acknowledged as it sprinted towards Flabebe once again.

"Flabebe! Get ready! I want you to prepare the strongest Vine Whip that you can!" exclaimed Ash as a plan formed in his head from the previous attempts at attacking Ratata.

"It's useless, Ash. Ratata is too fast for your pokemon. This battle is over!" replied a confident Joey as he waited for his imminent victory.

"Don't get too cocky. Flabebe, now, use Vine Whip on the ground below you with full force!"

"Flaaa! Bebe!" replied his Flabebe as she listened to Ash's instruction. Her trainer had not let her wrong so far, so she would trust him. She smashed her Vine Whip into the ground and the recoil generated by the force of the attack lifted her above Ratata's attack.

"What?" questioned a confused Joey as his opponent dodged his pokemon's attack.

"Yes! Flabebe! Now's your chance! Hit it with your Fairy Wind. Once it is down, wrap it in your Vine Whip and hit it with a Fairy Wind again. Smash it into the ground if it is still conscious," yelled an enthusiastic Ash, as his plan worked. Flabebe took her opportunity and executed Ash's instructions perfectly once again. Two direct hits from Flabebe's Fairy Wind was too much for Ratata and it slumped into unconsciousness.

"Alright! That was great, Flabebe!" cheered Ash, as he pumped his fist in the air, ecstatic about his first win as a trainer. "You were absolutely brilliant, Flabebe!"

"Flabebe! Fla! Fla! Bebe!" cheered his Flabebe, as she twirled in the air.

"That was a nice battle. I thought I had it there. Your Flabebe is strong." Ash turned around to see his opponent standing in front of him with his hand outstretched, having already returned his Ratata. Ash happily accepted the handshake, while saying, "Yes, I had a lot of fun too! Thank you for the battle."

They parted ways after that, and Ash's pokedex dinged. Ash opened it to see that he had earned 560 pokedollars. Ash smiled happily. This was a way the league encouraged young trainers to train their pokemon well. After each win, the trainer earned a certain sum of money, while losing caused them to lose the money. Ash didn't know how the league kept a track of all this but thought it was not his problem.

"We won our first battle, guys!" Ash said to Pikachu and Flabebe. "Our first step to achieving our dream!" he exclaimed as Pikachu and Flabebe cheered happily. Ash took out an Oran Berry and gave it to Flabebe so that she recovered from the wounds she received in the battle as well as some energy. As she started munching it, Ash spoke to her. "That Vine Whip to dodge the Quick attack was a brilliant idea. We'll practice that move from now on. It will give us an edge in battles that our opponents will not expect."

"Flabebe!" she cheered happily.


It was late evening, around half past six, and Ash was setting up camp. The rest of the journey continued in the same vein. Ash had taken part in more than ten battles after his first one. Most of the trainers used Pidgey, Spearow, Ratata, or bug pokemon like Caterpie and Weedle. Most of the pokemon were weak, and Ash easily won all his battles using his Pikachu, Eevee, and Flabebe in equal amounts. He didn't use Dratini yet, as Ash didn't deem him strong enough to do so. He needed more training and to learn new moves before he started battling, since Wrap is a weak attack, and he had no other offensive moves.

Eevee got lesser battles than the other two for the exact same reason. She only knew tackle but her tenacity and her will to battle were enough to allow Ash to let her battle. Ash always withdrew her if her opponent was too much to handle. The battles involving Flabebe were similar to the one she already had, but getting easier as she gained more experience with battling. She even lost one battle against a powerful Pidgey but weakened it enough for Pikachu to defeat it easily. The battles were much easier for Pikachu. His electric attacks were naturally super effective against bird pokemon, combined with his already powerful thundershock attack, made defeating his opponents fairly simple. The battles against the Ratata were easy as well, as Pikachu was naturally faster than them, and had the added advantage of having an attack that could hit from a distance.

Once Ash set up his tent, he released all his pokemon for a final training session before sleeping. Once his pokemon shook off the effects of being in statis, he addressed them.

"Alright guys, we have stopped for the day. We have a couple of hours till dinner, so what do you say we train till then?" Ash's heart warmed as he heard the enthusiastic cries of approval of his pokemon. He smiled and continued. "Our training sessions in the evening will be geared towards learning and mastering moves that come naturally to you all."

"Pikachu, I want you to help Eevee learn Quick Attack. Give her the gist and let her work it out on her own. She can ask you for help if she is stuck. Got it?" At their affirming cries, he continued, "Good. Get to it. Pikachu, I will come tell you your exercise after I help Flabebe and Dratini. Now, go!"

As Pikachu and Eevee ran off, with Pikachu explaining the move to Eevee, Ash turned to Flabebe. "Alright, Flabebe. I want you to start working on Razor Leaf. According to the pokedex, you first work on forming the razor sharp leaves needed for this move. We will get to the throwing part later. Understand?" At Flabebe's nod, he sent her off to start learning her new move.

Razor Leaf was a moderately powerful grass type attack in which the user hurls multiple sharp leaves at the opponent. These leaves slash at the opponent and a powerful Razor Leaf is powerful enough to cut through even rock. Of course, Flabebe will need not only months but maybe evolve into its final form to reach that level of power. However, Ash had complete faith that Flabebe's ability to reach that level.

Ash turned his attention to Dratini. "Hi, Dratini. How about we start you learning your first dragon type move?" At Dratini's enthusiastic coo, Ash smiled and continued. "I want you to get started on learning Twister. I want you to concentrate your draconic energy into first moving the air around you. Once you have that down consistently, I want you to start making the twister."

Twister is probably the weakest dragon type move in existence. The user whips up a twister filled with draconic energy and hurls it at the opponent. While it is moderately damage dealing, it is not powerful enough to knock out most pokemon with one hit, unlike other dragon type attacks. However, Ash wants Dratini to get used to channelling and controlling his draconic energy for future moves and Twister is the best way to do that.

Once Dratini started working on learning Twister, Ash walked to where Pikachu was overseeing Eevee learn Quick Attack. After getting his starter's attention, he led Pikachu a little further away from Eevee. Once there, he started speaking. "Pikachu, one thing I noticed in your battle against Eevee is the amount of damage you took from a single tackle attack. Even while training to dodge attacks, the attacks that hit you did more damage to you than to any of the others."

"Pikaaa," Pikachu muttered depressingly.

"It's okay, Pikachu," Ash comforted him while petting his head lovingly. "It's not your fault. I did some research on the pokedex about the Pikachu species, and you guys are just not built to take hits. Which is why we will make sure that it will be almost impossible to hit you. To do so, instead of teaching you an offensive move, I want you to learn double team. You understand?" Pikachu murmured an approval and went off to train a little happier than what he was a few seconds ago.

After two hours of training, Ash called his pokemon for dinner. Other than Pikachu, the rest looked absolutely exhausted. Today was the first time they trained so much, and it would take them a few days to get used to it and get the proper benefit from such harsh training. Pikachu was in a much better shape since he has been training like this for a week. After dinner, everyone quickly went to sleep to rest their exhausted bodies.


Ash and Pikachu stood at the entrance of Viridian Forest. The previous two days went similar to the day they started their journey to Pewter City. They got up, trained, walked for a few hours, battled trainers, stopped for the evening, trained some more, and then rested.

As Ash had predicted, the training in the evening bore more fruit than the training in the morning. Despite training for three days, neither one of Dratini, Pikachu, or Eevee made any progress in learning Iron Tail. Flabebe, on the other hand, was showing some effects of training as her Vine Whip was getting notably stronger. She had also started incorporating using her vines to dodge attacks thrown at her during dodging practice.

The evening sessions, on the other hand, were showing noticeable progress. Pikachu had already cracked the secret behind the Double Team technique and needed a few more days to master the move. Flabebe, after three days, had finally produced a Razor Leaf. Now, she needed to work on producing multiple leaves of the same quality, the speed at which she produces them, and throwing the leaves. At the rate she was going, Ash assumed she will have the move mastered in a week. Perhaps lesser, if she masters Vine Whip and can practice the move in the mornings as well.

Dratini was so far the slowest to show progress in learning a new move. It was expected, since draconic energy is notoriously hard to control, even for a dragon type. But the three days were enough time for Ash to see that he had already started controlling the energy he was born with. Ash was hopeful that Dratini could master the move by the time they reached Pewter City in around two and a half weeks.

Eevee was the one who showed the maximum progress in learning her new move. Again, not surprising, since she had Pikachu to help her along the way. With Pikachu's help, she had almost learnt the move, and Ash was confident that she would master the move soon enough. Ash had already started researching moves for her to learn next.

Now, Ash and Pikachu were entering Viridian Forest, having completed their morning training session. Viridian Forest was a dark, gloomy place, and was the home to countless bug type and flying type pokemon. It could be dangerous as there are various Beedril nests throughout the forest, and a horde of angry Beedril can be dangerous to even the most experienced trainer.

A few minutes after entering the forest, Ash had his first encounter with the infamous bug catchers. Bug catchers were trainers that only focused on catching bug pokemon, and unfortunately, 99% of them were pathetically weak. At least, that is what their reputation is. Ash would be getting a firsthand experience in this pretty soon as the bug catcher challenged him to a battle.

"What are the rules?" asked Ash as he readied his pokeball.

"Three on three, no substitutions," replied his opponent.

"Cool. Eevee, you're up." With a flash of light, Ash's Eevee came out, ready for a battle.

"Go, Caterpie!" with that, a green caterpillar pokemon came out of the pokeball. It had yellow ring-shaped markings down the side of its body. It had a bright red antenna on its head.

"Use Tackle!" both trainers shouted. Eevee and Caterpie rushed at each other. Ash let it be since he was confident that Eevee would not take too much damage. He wanted to see how powerful his opponent's pokemon are. However, the result was anticlimactic. Eevee barrelled straight through Caterpie as the bug pokemon went flying and hit a tree. It didn't get up after that.


"Is that it?" asked Ash incredulously. By Mew, that was disappointing.

"Vee! Eevee!" sniffed Eevee as she turned away haughtily, clearly not impressed with the battle.

"Grr. This is not over. Let's go Weedle. Trash these idiots." With that, a small larva pokemon with a yellow coloured body came out of the pokeball. It had a conical stinger on its head, and one on its tail.

"Go Weedle, use Poison Sting." The horn on Weedle's head glowed brightly before what looked like multiple needles of the same light shot towards Eevee.

"Dodge it, Eevee. Then use Tackle. Avoid the horns, they are poisonous," commanded Ash. Eevee easily dodged the Poison Sting, her practice in dodging attacks showing, before she tackled the side of Weedle's body. The result was the same as the previous match. Weedle was unconscious before it even fell to the ground.

"Don't get cocky, brat. You may have defeated two of my pokemon, but you will definitely lose to my last pokemon. Go, Kakuna!" yelled the bug catcher as he sent out his last pokemon. Kakuna is the evolved form of Weedle and retains its yellow colour. It has a dome-shaped head and black, triangular eyes.

"Eevee, finish this farce of a battle. Use Tackle."

"Not so fast. Kakuna, use Harden!" On hearing its trainer's command, Kakuna's body glowed before its skin hardened. When Eevee hit it, it flew a couple of feet back but was definitely conscious.

"Hahaha. Now, what will you do against the ultimate defense of my pokemon?" taunted the bug catcher.

Ash just felt like face palming. It was confirmed, the stories about bug catchers were true. They had weak pokemon, and they were idiots. Harden just lessens the damage of a physical attack, it does not nullify it. In fact, if Eevee knew a special type attack, this battle would be over already. Still, the only thing left was to keep hitting Kakuna with Tackle till it faints. However, just before he could give the command, a sudden burst of inspiration struck Ash.

"Eevee, this is a brilliant opportunity to help you train your new move. With harden, it will take a few hits before we win the battle. Keep using Quick Attack till it faints!" Ash commanded. Normally, he would never ask his pokemon to use a half-mastered move, but Kakuna was not retaliating. It just stood there and continued using Harden. Eevee joyfully followed her trainer's command as she continuously hit Kakuna with a Quick Attack. While Kakuna kept hardening its body, the onslaught became too much for it and it fainted soon. Eevee let out a degrading sound as she turned her back to her opponent and walked back to Ash with her head high.

"What? How did you beat my perfect defense?" questioned the perplexed bug catcher. Ash didn't even deem the person worthy of an answer as he picked Eevee up and continued walking. While he could have returned her to her pokeball, she liked being carried. Especially when Ash was grooming her while walking. And Ash was planning on using her in battles against the various bug catchers that are in the forest. It would be an excellent way for Eevee to master Quick Attack.

The next two days followed in a similar fashion. Ash was fighting a bug catcher every few minutes. Normally, trainers avoided these bug catchers like the plague, but Ash was using this to help his pokemon train. And to get money as well. All the money he is earning from bug catchers will go to buy TMs later on in Celadon City.

Pikachu was quickly taking care of his opponents since the move he is learning is not offensive in nature. So, Ash had Pikachu use a judicious amount of Thundershock and Quick Attack to defeat his opponents. Eevee was only using Quick Attack while fighting against the various Metapod and Kakuna while the remaining opponents were not talking about. Flabebe gained the most from these battles. She could practice not only her Vine Whip on her opponents, Ash had her start using Razor Leaf as well. Flabebe could only produce one leaf at a time, but Ash had her practice throwing it at her opponents while battling.

And it worked too. Flabebe's Vine Whip was finally powerful enough for Ash's liking and Flabebe now started learning Razor Leaf during both training sessions. Eevee too had finally mastered Quick Attack and would start learning a new move today. And this is where we find Ash and Eevee. Ash was instructing Eevee to start learning Swift, since Eevee only had physical type attacks, and Swift would give her an attack that she could use from a distance. But Eevee, in a turn of events was refusing.

"Vee! Eevee!" she exclaimed while pointing to Ash's pokedex.

"You want my pokedex?" Ash asked, confused.

"Vee! Vee, Eevee!" she insisted while continuing to point at his pokedex.

Ash continued staring at her for a few seconds before he got what Eevee wanted. "You want to go through the pokedex to see what moves your species can learn, right?"

"Eevee!" she nodded emphatically, pleased that her trainer finally got what she wanted.

"Alright then, there you go," Ash said, as he took out his pokedex. Ash and Eevee went through the entire move set of Eevee. Suddenly, Eevee got excited and pointed at something on the pokedex. When Ash saw what it was, he looked at her uncertainly.

"Are you sure, Eevee? This will be a tough move to learn. It may take you weeks to learn this, probably even more time than it will take you to learn Iron Tail. You could learn a couple of other moves in that time."

"Vee, Eevee," she nodded. Her eyes were determined and Ash knew that she would not be convinced otherwise. So Ash just nodded his acceptance to her learning that move. He knew Eevee was in for a frustrating month or two, but it would be up to Ash to support her best.

Eevee had swung for the fence on this one. She wanted to learn the move Shadow Ball. It was one of the most powerful ghost type attacks. Eevee would have to first familiarize herself with ghostly energy and then make it powerful enough to collect all that energy into a ball that was flung at the opponent. For now, Ash just asked her to meditate. As a normal type pokemon, Eevee has no ghostly energy. Eevee would have to feel the energy in the air around her and sift through it to find the natural ghostly energy that exists. This is what Ash had Eevee start with.

Nothing of note happened for a couple of days more, but then Pikachu had mastered Double Team. This time, instead of Ash commanding Pikachu to learn a new move, he discussed it with his starter. They both decided that the best move for Pikachu to learn at the moment is Electro Ball. It was a queer move, in which the damage dealt to the opponent depended not on the move's power, but on how much faster the user is as compared to his opponent. And as such, it was perfect for Pikachu, considering that he was naturally faster than most pokemon. Combine it with paralyzing opponents with Thunder Wave, and Pikachu had a potentially devastating move.

Electro Ball is not that difficult to learn, considering that all the user had to do was make an electric orb and then hurl it at the opponent. The difficulty came in concentrating the electric power into a ball. Pikachu was used to shooting electricity as waves, and as such, never had to concentrate his power. That is what Ash had Pikachu start with. Ash was confident in Pikachu's ability to get this move soon. Perhaps even before he learns Iron Tail.


A week later finds Ash and his pokemon at another clearing, getting ready for their evening session. There was an air of excitement around camp. Flabebe, with the constant training and battling, had mastered Razor Leaf. Ash was about to have her start learning a new move the next day as he wanted her to spend this session practicing her old moves. He didn't want her getting rusty.

Dratini too had made a breakthrough in learning Twister. He had successfully learned to channel his draconic energy to displace the air around him. He had even started forming a small twister. Now, all that remains is for him to put more power into the move and then control it. He should have it down by the time they reach Pewter City in a week.

Pikachu was in a similar situation when it came to Electro Ball. He had managed to form a small electric orb, now all that is left is for him to increase its power and control the increased power. Similar to Dratini, Ash expected Pikachu to master the move by the end of the week.

Eevee was, as expected, having the toughest time. In a week, all she had managed to do was identify the natural ghostly energy. Now, she will start learning to harness it. It will probably still take her a long time to learn this move.

But despite all this, the excitement was caused as a result of this morning's training session. After ten days of continuous training, Pikachu's tail had finally turned metallic at the end of the session. Instead of the normal training session in the evening, his pokemon would work on Iron Tail. Ash hoped that Pikachu would pass on his experience to Eevee and Dratini, and they too can make the breakthrough in learning Iron Tail.

And Ash's wish was granted, as an hour later, Eevee's, Pikachu's, and Dratini's tails all glowed silver when they hit the tree trunk with their tails. For now, their tail glowed for two to three seconds before going back to normal. They needed to work on making their tail metallic for however long they wanted and then work on the power behind the move. But still, it was progress.

To speed up the process, each of them moved to a different tree and started training against them. However, Ash soon came to regret the decision as he heard something that no trainer wants to hear, the angry buzzing of a bee. It looked like the tree Pikachu chose to practice on was a Beedril nest. Filled with Weedle, Kakuna, and Beedril. And now they were angry. And they wanted revenge against Ash and his pokemon.

"Fuck!" Ash cursed. "We need to get out of here!" Ash shouted as he started running away from the nest, his pokemon following him. But while the Weedle and the Kakuna were happy to stay where they were, the Beedril were not. They ran after Ash and his pokemon. Some of them released a Poison Sting attack at Ash, who was not expecting it, and was a sitting duck for those attacks. He tried covering his body with his arms in a futile attempt to save himself. But the expected pain did not come.

Instead, Ash heard a gut-wrenching cry of pain from his Flabebe. Ash opened his eyes to see her already knocked out. Poison, one of the main weaknesses of Fairy type pokemon, and Flabebe took the multiple attacks head on, without a thought about her safety. And this pissed Ash off. He was content with trying to run away, at first, hoping the Beedril would leave him and his pokemon alone. But that had not happened. Instead, one of Ash's pokemon, a member of his family, was badly injured.

"Pikachu, blast them away! Dratini, paralyze them. Eevee, use Quick Attack at the paralyzed Beedril and knock them out," commanded Ash as he returned Flabebe. Pikachu released a powerful Thundershock, angered by the attack on his teammate. It was powerful enough to knock out the Beedril, or, at least, the Beedril the attack struck. The rest dodged the attack and charged up a Twineedle attack. They were momentarily pushed back by Dratini's Thunder Wave, but the majority of them dodged this attack as well.

They charged again, but Pikachu had recovered enough to hit them with another Thundershock. Eevee and Dratini were trying their best to help, but their lack of offensive moves was rather telling in this battle. Eventually, the numbers of the Beedril was showing, as Ash saw them start to surround Pikachu. So, as Pikachu pushed them slightly back with another Thundershock, Ash rushed forward to cover Pikachu's body with his own.

The Beedril continued attacking, not paying heed to whether they were attacking human or pokemon. The Beedril were suddenly blown back by a powerful Twister attack sent by an enraged Dratini, who was absolutely furious about the attack on his trainer. By the time the Beedril left Ash and Pikachu because of the Twister attack, Ash's body was covered in welts. He knew that he had been poisoned as well. He had to finish this battle, and soon. Or he might not make it.

He turned to Dratini with a proud smile on his face despite the amount of pain he is in. His pokemon had surrounded him and were glaring at the Beedril with a look of hatred on their faces. He had never seen his pokemon so angry in his life before. "Congratulations, Dratini. You have finally learnt Twister. Now, how about we finish this battle. Eevee, use Helping Hand on Dratini. Dratini, use Twister once you've received the boost. Eevee, Helping Hand on Pikachu. Pikachu, Thundershock. Repeat till these Beedril are unconscious."

Helping Hand was a move that raised the ally's power by half. And it showed its effectiveness here. Dratini's Twister and Pikachu's Thundershock combined to form an electrified Twister that knocked the Beedril unconscious. Once done, all three turned to Ash with looks of concern on their faces. Ash turned to his backpack and removed an antidote and a pain killer for humans and swallowed them with the help of some water.

He turned to the three and asked them if they were okay. They nodded their heads before making sounds of distress, looking at Ash's wounds with concern. Humans had a much more delicate body than pokemon after all. He smiled at them assuredly, before saying, "I will be fine guys. A good night's rest and I will be right as rain tomorrow. Can you find a place for us to camp for the night? I'll heal Flabebe till then."

While Dratini left to go look for shelter, Ash sprayed Pikachu with a potion. While it was miraculous that Pikachu was not poisoned, he was still covered with bruises. Next, he released Flabebe, and it was obvious that despite being unconscious, she was in pain. It hurt Ash to see her like that. Even the usually aloof Eevee was doing her best to help Flabebe in any way she could. Ash injected her with a full heal to help her with the poison, before giving her a revive.

Flabebe blearily opened her eyes before she was glomped by Ash. "I'm so sorry you were hurt like that, Flabebe. You were so brave taking that attack for me. Thank you."

"Fla! Flabebe!" she said as she waved her tiny arms about. Ash released her only for her to get a similar treatment from Pikachu and Eevee. Dratini joined in too when he returned from finding a place to sleep for the night. As Ash dressed his wounds, he looked at his team talking to each other with pride. They had just been through their first tough test as a team and had managed to pass it. While things looked dicey for a moment, his team had pulled through with only minor injuries.


Ash opened his eyes blearily to see the sun in the sky already. It was the day after the Beedril incident and Ash could be forgiven for sleeping in for the first time in more than three years. Ash groaned as he got up, his body stiff and aching from the many bruises he had collected yesterday. His PokeNav showed the time to be 10.00 am.

Ash stretched his stiff body as he got up but stopped short when he turned to the clearing. He saw his pokemon hard at work despite the rain that had started falling last night. From the tired look of their bodies, they had been at it for quite a while as well. Pikachu, Eevee, and Dratini were determined to get iron tail working as their tails lit up with a metallic sheen and stayed like that for almost 10 seconds, more than doubling the maximum time they could hold it for yesterday. Flabebe was going about alternating between using Vine Whip, Fairy Wind, and Razor Leaf.

Ash had never been more proud of his pokemon but decided to stop the training now. All his pokemon looked exhausted. He called out a good morning to his pokemon and called them to him. He was nearly bowled over by all four of them greeting him before moving back sheepishly.

"Great to see you guys too!" Ash laughed. "I see you guys are training without me today." His pokemon nodded before looking at Ash with concern asking about his condition. Ash smiled at them assuredly before telling them he was feeling better and would be good as new in a few days. After that, they had breakfast while interacting with each other happily. It looked like whatever small differences were there before were gone now, and all of them were bonding like a true family. Ash was ecstatic, his dream of him and his pokemon behaving like a family was already coming true.

After Ash and his pokemon finished their breakfast, Ash decided to continue travelling. The rain had slowed down to a slight drizzle by now and Ash didn't want to waste time. Ash had returned all his pokemon other than Pikachu to their pokeballs, as they wanted to rest. Pikachu hopped on Ash's shoulder as he started walking towards the exit of Viridian Forest. They had already spent ten days in the Forest, and it was enough for Ash. He wanted to leave this place as soon as possible.


Five days later, Ash was close to the exit of the Forest. It was an hour or so away, according to the map. It had been an eventful week so far. His pokemon had taken to training with a new intensity now after the close call with the Beedril. The physical conditioning training that Ash put his pokemon through was finally showing effects. Pikachu was faster than what he was four weeks ago when they started their journey. Eevee, too, was getting faster, especially after learning Quick Attack. Flabebe and Dratini were getting used to fluidly dodging attacks thrown at them, and all four pokemon were getting used to hitting a moving opponent with their moves. This was improving their accuracy and the speed of their attacks.

It also seemed like teaching Pikachu, Eevee, and Dratini Iron Tail at the same time was beneficial. In the end, they have developed a competition among themselves as to who would learn the move the quickest. As a result, all three ended up learning the move on the same day, which was in fact, yesterday.

Pikachu had also almost mastered Electro Ball. He was able to pour enough power to make the Electro Ball, now he just had to control it. Eevee was still struggling with Shadow Ball while Flabebe and Dratini started learning new moves.

Flabebe started learning Magical Leaf, a special type attack. This attack is similar to Razor Leaf. However, the difference is that while in Razor Leaf, you hurl the leaves at your opponent, in Magical Leaf, the leaves hone in on the target and never miss. It is an attack that can never be dodged, only countered.

Dratini started learning Dragon Rage. Now that he had learnt how to channel and control his draconic energy, Ash thought that giving him another dragon type move to learn will be a good idea. Dragon Rage is a move in which the user concentrates his draconic power and shoots it at his opponent. Now that they had learnt Iron Tail, Ash was just going to concentrate on teaching his pokemon one move at a time. It was a more efficient process and the pokemon was less tired at the end of the day.

Ash's thought process was disturbed when Pikachu called out to him, his sharp ears picking out the rustling to Ash's left. Suddenly from the bushes a boy wearing a fake looking samurai gear shot out swinging his sword at Ash. Before he could reach three feet near Ash, he was blasted by a powerful thundershock from Pikachu who was angry at the audacity of another human attacking his trainer.

"What the hell do you think you are doing by swinging your sword like that?" Ash demanded angrily.

"I just wanted to know if you were from Pallet Town and if you were, I wanted to challenge you to a pokemon battle." The fake samurai groaned.

"There are better ways to challenge someone to a pokemon battle," Ash spoke out furiously.

"You don't understand. I am a samurai, this is our way of challenging someone to a battle. It doesn't matter, are you a trainer from Pallet Town?"

"Yes, I am. Why do you want to know?"

"My name is Samurai, and I live in this forest. I have challenged three trainers from Pallet Town and lost to all of them. I have to regain my honour."

'Hmm seems like this guy's already been beaten by Gary, Leaf, and Jonathan,' Ash mused. 'Well, why not, his pokemon could use the experience and Ash wanted to know how he stacked up against his hometown rivals. Plus, the money he would earn on winning the battle would go to his funds for buying TMs.'

"Sure, why not. What are the rules?"

"Before that, I would like to know your name."

"Oh right. My name is Ash Ketchum, and I am from Pallet Town."

"Two on two. No substitutions are allowed."

"Cool, you're up buddy," Ash told Pikachu.

Samurai threw his pokeball calling out "Pinsir, I choose you!"

This surprised Ash. Pinsir was one of the more powerful bug-type pokemon. Also, it was not from Viridian Forest, so Ash wondered where this fake Samurai got it from. Regardless, it should be an interesting battle. It would let Ash know if he is training his pokemon well since all the previous battles were ridiculously simple. He snapped out of his thoughts as he focused on the battle.

"Pinsir, use Vice Grip."

"Dodge with quick attack. Thunder Wave."

Pikachu easily dodged Pinsir's vice grip attack. Pinsir was too committed to his attack and easily fell prey to the thunder wave attack. Its limbs locked up in paralyses and it angrily snapped its massive jaws in frustration.

"No, Pinsir! Try to use Vice Grip again."

"Hit it with Quick Attack. Once it's down, use Iron Tail. Finish it with another Quick Attack if the Pinsir is still conscious." Ash commented calmly, sure he had victory in his grasp.

The Pinsir tried valiantly to hit Pikachu with a vice grip, but it honestly stood no chance. It was much slower than Pikachu normally, forget about catching him when it was paralysed. Pinsir could just stand there and take the powerful Quick Attack which pushed it onto its back. It watched helplessly as Pikachu's glowing tail smashed into its chest before unconsciousness blissfully overcame him.

"Alright, Pikachu! That was awesome! That Pinsir stood no chance against you!" Ash exclaimed happily.

"Pi Pikachu!"

"Grrr your Pikachu is strong, but it will not be able to defeat my next pokemon," Samurai growled out in frustration. "Go Metapod. Metapod has the best defence and it is only made stronger by harden attack. Your Pikachu can keep hitting it, but it will do no damage to my Metapod. You'll never be able to defeat me this way." He boasted before continuing, "Metapod! Use Harden."

Metapod glowed brightly signifying its body hardening while Ash groaned at meeting another trainer with such a ridiculous thought process. He was in no mood to deal with this so he snapped out, "Pikachu, Thundershock. Keep at it till the Metapod faints." Pikachu's Thundershock hit the Metapod who cried out in pain before falling unconscious two seconds later.

"What?! But how? How did you get past my ultimate defence?" Samurai growled out in frustration, not being able to process what just happened.

"Are you being serious?" Ash asked, finally getting frustrated with this thought process after hearing it every day for the last two weeks. "You do know that harden only lessens the damage from a physical attack, right? It has no effect on special attacks like Thundershock. On top of that, it only slightly lessens the power behind physical attacks. Even if you continued to use harden, my Pikachu would have easily beaten it using his Iron Tail attack." Ash lectured in frustration.

Samurai looked downtrodden at Ash's lecture. "I thought I could have challenged you since you are a novice trainer, but you have just shown me how much of a novice I am." He suddenly looked Ash in the eye and said, "Thank you for this battle, Ash. I really learnt a lot from it." Ash could hear the sincerity in his voice.

"Ummm no problem. Say, you said you lived here, right? Do you know how far the exit from the forest is? The map says around an hour, but I just wanted to confirm."

"Your map is right. You follow this trail for an hour or so, and you should reach the exit. Are you looking to challenge gym leader Brock?"

"Thank you, and yes I am. This will be our first gym battle."

"Is that so? Then I'll wish you the best of luck. Goodbye." With that, Samurai walked away, probably towards his house.

"Thank you!" Ash called out at his retreating back. He turned to Pikachu and said, "Let's go. I don't know about you, but I am tired of this forest."

"Pikaa," Pikachu murmured in agreement.


Ash and Pikachu were standing outside the Pewter City Gym. It had been five days since the battle with that weird Samurai kid. They had reached Pewter City two days ago but had spent the time resting. Ash wanted to make sure that his pokemon were in peak condition when he challenged Brock. He still wasn't sure which pokemon he would use. Pikachu was a given, he was his strongest pokemon. The second was a toss-up between Flabebe and Dratini. Dratini had the powerful dragon type attacks to call upon, and he had the super effective Iron Tail as well. Flabebe had the two super effective grass type attacks. Eevee, however only had Iron Tail. And not to demean her, but Ash thought that if Pikachu can't beat Brock's pokemon, Eevee would not be able to either.

He was excited about the battle but was nervous as well. Shaking off the anxiety, Ash squared his shoulders and pushed open the massive doors of the gym.

The inside of the gym was pitch black. Suddenly a voice called out "Who are you? What are you here for?" making Ash jump into the air. A tactic to make challengers nervous no doubt, Ash was reluctant to admit that it was working.

He took a deep breath to calm himself before replying. "My name is Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town, and I challenge you to a gym battle." Ash tried to keep his voice as calm as possible but wasn't too sure if he kept all the nervousness out of his voice.

"Very well." The voice responded before the gym was lit up, showing a young teenage boy sitting calmly on the rocks. "My name is Brock Harrison and I am the gym leader of Pewter City. How long have you been a pokemon trainer and how many badges do you have?"

"I have been a trainer for a month and this is my first gym battle."

"Oh, is that so? The other trainers from Pallet Town challenged me more than a week ago."

"Well, I decided to do some training before challenging you to a battle."

"Smart, let's see if it paid off. Now, let's get this battle started."

With that, the ground rippled before it moved aside revealing a more rugged area with a few rocks around. Ash stood at the challenger's box and Brock stood at the gym leader's. The referee stepped up to the podium and announced.

"This is a gym battle between Brock Harrison of the Pewter City gym and challenger Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town. This will be a two-on-two battle and only the challenger is allowed to substitute pokemon. The trainers will now release their first pokemon."

"Go! Geodude!" Brock exclaimed, sending out his first pokemon.

Geodude was a gray pokemon that looked like a boulder. It had bulging, rocky eyebrows, and trapezoidal, brown eyes. Its arms were muscular with five-fingered hands. Ash took out his pokedex and scanned it.

Geodude, the Rock Pokemon. Geodude has incredibly high defensive power, making it virtually resistant to any physical attacks.

"Alright! Let's do this Pikachu!"

"Pika Pika" Pikachu stood on all four legs ready to begin his battle against Geodude. He was determined to win this, to show Ash how his training had paid off.

"You're challenging me with a Pikachu? Pikachu is an electric type. You don't think you can beat me with him, do you? Because, honestly, it seems to still be in its "cute" phase." Brock commented on Ash's choice seriously, no hint of malice in them while describing Pikachu.

"Pikaaa" Pikachu growled out threateningly, his cheeks sparking, not liking Brock's comment.

"I am confident in my choice of pokemon." Ash defended. "Don't judge my Pikachu before even battling him. He is much more powerful than he looks."

"Very well, it's your funeral. This should be an easy win."

Ash scowled but didn't say anything as he heard the referee ask if the trainers were ready. On receiving nods, he shouted, "Begin!"

"Geodude, Tackle attack!"

"Dodge it with Quick Attack Pikachu, then use the momentum generated to hit it with Iron Tail."

On seeing Pikachu dodge Geodude's attack with ease, Brock shouted "Harden". Despite getting hit by a super effective move, Geodude didn't take too much damage as harden only increased its already powerful defense.

"Not bad, you're better than I expected. But it's time to finish this. Rollout!"

"Dodge it Pikachu and hit with Iron Tail again!"

Things didn't quite work as Ash imagined them to. The iron tail might have struck, but all it did was change Geodude's direction. Geodude just kept coming back with increasing speed making it harder for Pikachu to dodge.

"Pikachu, use Iron Tail again." However, by this time, the rollout had gained enough power to power through Pikachu's iron tail attack and hit him.

"Pikaaa" Pikachu called out in pain as he was sent almost ten feet back by the power behind that attack.

"Pikachu!" Ash shouted in worry. "Are you alright, buddy?"

"Pika Pika," Pikachu nodded trying to shake off the attack.

"Good, keep using Quick Attack to dodge the Geodude."

Pikachu nodded his head to show he heard. Meanwhile, Ash was racking his brains to figure out a way to stop the Geodude. If this continued any longer, Pikachu would definitely lose. Looking at Pikachu in worry, Ash suddenly had a stroke of inspiration.

"Pikachu, stay where you are." Pikachu nodded his head and listened to his trainer despite seeing the Geodude approach him at high speed. He trusted Ash to have a plan.

"Now, wait till the last second and use your tail as a springboard to jump and hit it with Iron Tail as you come down!"

Pikachu executed Ash's command perfectly and Geodude crashed straight into a boulder that was behind the Pikachu at full power. Its momentum stopped abruptly, Geodude shook its head to clear its confusion as its rollout was stopped forcefully. Before it could orient itself, it was struck by Pikachu's iron tail.

"Dudeee" Geodude shouted in pain, finally showing signs of damage.

"Geodude!" Brock shouted his face showing shock at the sudden turn of events the battle just took. "Shake it off and use magnitude."

"Jump high in the air!" Ash shouted frantically as the Geodude smashed its hands into the ground. Pikachu, hearing the panic in his trainer's voice, jumped as high as he could. The ground shook with tremors but Pikachu had luckily dodged the attack.

"Excellent, Geodude! Now finish this with rollout!"

Geodude rolled into a ball before barrelling straight into Pikachu. Pikachu, due to being in the air was a sitting duck and cried out in pain as the rollout attack hit him.

"Pikachu!" Ash called out in worry as his starter fell on the floor with a heavy thud.

Geodude rolled to a stop, thinking the battle was over, its body moving up and down in exertion. Pikachu also struggled to his feet, glaring at the Geodude, not wanting to lose. Both trainers looked at each other knowing that the next attack would decide the battle.


"Quick Attack into Iron Tail and smack into the sky!"

Since the rollout hadn't picked out too much momentum yet, Pikachu's iron tail overpowered the rollout and smacked the Geodude into the sky.

"Excellent! Now, use Electro Ball!" Ash shouted in exhilaration, knowing that the battle was as good as over. Pikachu shouted his name before unleashing an electric orb at the airborne Geodude.

Pikachu had mastered Electro Ball the day they had arrived in Pewter City, and Ash was glad of it, as a less known fact about ground type pokemon is that the nature of their bodies grounded electricity, thus nullifying them. However, once they are airborne, they become as vulnerable to electric type attacks as any other pokemon.

Also, a well-known fact about Geodude is their extremely low speed. The speed difference is so high that the Electro Ball would be like an electric version of the Hyper Beam. Geodude had no chance as it was struck by the powerful electric attack and it fell down with swirls in its eyes.

"Geodude is unable to battle, Pikachu wins." The referee announced.

"Alright!" Ash exclaimed joyously. "You were absolutely amazing Pikachu!"

"Pika Pi" Pikachu exclaimed tiredly.

"Well, I must admit that I didn't expect your Pikachu to defeat my Geodude. You have trained it well. However, you will not be able to defeat my next pokemon. Go, Onix!"

Onix was a snake-shaped pokemon, made up of giant chain of gray boulders that became smaller towards its tail. There was a rocky spine on its head and a pair of black eyes beneath it. And it was huge! As in, gigantic. Almost 30 feet tall. Ash took out his pokedex and scanned the Onix.

Onix, the Rock Snake Pokemon. It tunnels through the ground which shakes when it raises its thunderous roar. It can move through the ground at fifty miles per hour.

"Return, Pikachu. You've earned your rest."

"Pika Pi," Pikachu mumbled gratefully as he slunk back to Ash's side. Ash took out a pokeball and released it while shouting "Let's do this Flabebe!"

The released Flabebe took one look at his opponent and had to shake himself to get rid of the nervousness that came while facing such a gigantic pokemon. Ash and Flabebe had discussed this beforehand, and they had come up with a plan.

"Wow, a Flabebe. They are really rare in Kanto. I must say, she is an impressive pokemon."

"Thank you," Ash grinned in return.

"Trainers are you ready?" the referee shouted. On receiving nods from both of them, he continued. "Begin."

"Onix, start this with Rock Tomb."

"Dodge it. Return fire with Fairy Wind."

Flabebe dodged the rocks thrown at her with ease and sent a blast of fairy wind at the Onix. The difference in power behind the move in the last twenty days was visibly obvious. While the attack was like a small gust of wind when Ash first caught Flabebe, it was now a proper blast of wind which struck the Onix head on. Onix cried out in pain as it suffered damage from the attack.

"No, Onix!" Brock shouted in worry. He had not expected such a powerful attack from Flabebe when he should have considering how powerful Ash's Pikachu is. It looks like Ash has trained all his pokemon equally well. "Use Dig to escape!" With that, Onix disappeared underground.

"Keep your Vine Whip ready," Ash instructed calmly.

"Attack it now. Follow it with rock tomb!" Brock shouted, confident in his upcoming victory. Onix burst through the ground but was unprepared for Flabebe smashing its Vine Whip into the Onix to use its body as a springboard to dodge the Onix's attack. Onix cried out in pain as it was struck by a super effective attack and lost the concentration to perform a Rock Tomb.

"What?" questioned a dumbfounded Brock as he saw another sure shot strategy being countered to hurt his pokemon. This trainer was something else. He was not using brute strength and super effective moves to beat Brock like the rest of his challengers, he was using his brain. He was not overpowering Brock, he was outsmarting him.

"Let's bring this home Flabebe!" Ash instructed with a wild grin on his face. He was bouncing on his toes with excitement at the thought of finally winning his first gym badge as victory was in his hands. "Use Razor Leaf!"

A barrage of razor sharp leaves hit Onix with full force, and Onix screamed in pain before falling unconscious, two super effective moves, coupled with a special based attack, too much for it.

"Onix is unable to battle, Flabebe wins. The victor of this battle is the challenger, Ash Ketchum." The referee announced.

"Yes! We've done it!" Ash exclaimed his joy. "We won our first gym battle! You two were absolutely amazing!"

"These two were," Brock's voice broke Ash from his internal victory dance. The gym leader had already returned his Onix and was standing next to Ash at the challenger's box. "It was an amazing battle, Ash."

"Thanks, Brock. It really was an amazing battle, my best since I started my journey!"

"I figured that out from your expression," Brock smiled. "Here, take this, you've definitely earned this." With that, he took out the Boulder Badge and presented it to Ash.

"Thanks, Brock." Ash took the badge with a dumbstruck look on his face as if just realizing what it meant. He turned to Pikachu and Flabebe and showed them the badge. This was what they worked so hard for, this was what they battled so ferociously for. "Thank you, guys. I could not have asked anything more from you. You were just magnificent." Ash spoke, his voice brimming with passion.

Flabebe tackled Ash into a hug while Pikachu just shouted his name before jumping onto Ash's shoulder and rubbing his head against Ash's in a loving manner. Ash laughed at the affection his pokemon showered him with and returned it wholeheartedly. He broke the embrace before placing the badge in his badge case and turned back to Brock, who was smiling softly at the scene.

"Along with the Boulder Badge, you also get this." With that, he took out a CD. "This is the TM for Rock Tomb. It's a powerful rock type move that will definitely slow your opponent down. Along with that, you get 2000 pokedollars. At least, that's what you get normally."

"What do you mean by normally?" Ash questioned, having caught the last sentence.

"The gym trainers have another option, one they only provide to the most promising trainers they meet. And if one gym trainer thinks you're promising enough, all gym trainers have to abide by it." Brock commented. "Do not go spreading this around, for it is only known to a few people."

"Wow. Do you really think that I am promising enough?" Ash questioned, a little self-conscious.

"Of course, I do. Not only did you beat one of my pokemon with a Pikachu, the love you have for your pokemon is visible, a love they return equally. To forge such bonds in less than a month shows how promising a trainer you are."

"Thanks," Ash muttered shyly while ducking his head. His bashfulness earned a chuckle from Brock. "So, what's this option?" Ash asked, eager to get away from that topic.

"Well, do you know how TMs are just one-time use?" Brock questioned. On receiving Ash's nod in response, Brock continued. "Silph Co. have found a way to make a single TM be used an infinite number of times. It just costs more."

"What! That's amazing!"

"Yes, it is. So the other option is that instead of the 2000 pokedollars, you get a TM for Rock Tomb that can be used an infinite number of times. So Ash, what do you chose?"

"The second one, definitely!" Ash answered. It was a no-brainer, it really was.

"I had a feeling you would choose that." Brock laughed. "Here you go."

"Thanks, Brock! This is amazing." Brock nodded his head in agreement. "Well, I should head out. I need to give Pikachu and Flabebe to Nurse Joy."

"Can I come with you?" Brock asked. "I need to give my Geodude and Onix to Nurse Joy as well."

"Sure." Ash agreed cheerfully, before returning Flabebe to her pokeball. "Come on, let's go." With that, both trainers left the gym. Ash was in high spirits. His pokemon had performed brilliantly against Brock's. He had won his first gym battle, impressing the gym leader enough to get a TM that can be used an infinite number of times. Ash had started his journey perfectly. And he had taken his first step to his dream of being a pokemon master!

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