The Little Mind Reader

Ash has a gift that makes him.. different from most others. Despite all the good it can do, it can also lead to hardships in a harsh, narrow-minded world. Watch as Ash starts his journey to find a place he will truly be accepted and grow stronger. Inspired by the anime 'Kotoura-san'. Smart/Psychic Ash.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11477240/1/The-Little-Mind-Reader

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3. Friends of the Forest

Chapter 3!

Viridian Forest and maybe beyond!

Ash will catch his next team member here. Can you guess who?

Let's get started!

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN POKEMON!

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The Viridian Forest is said to be the first true test for beginning trainers.

The woods were thick with bushes, trees, and canopies, and filled to the brim with low to mid level bug types and other common pokemon.

Ash for one found it to be very peaceful and inviting. The warm, sunny weather, the shade provided by the tree tops, the numerous chirps and calls of the native pokemon.. a little piece of paradise to the young trainer..

Unfortunately, it didn't last..

From out of his bag popped a previously sleeping Abra, who gently placed a claw on his shoulder, "I hate to interrupt your moment of peace, but we have company."

"Huh?" Ash said as he turned towards his starter, who was pointing behind them. What he saw made him frown and sigh.

That annoying red head, Misty was trailing behind him, looking all over with a nervous look on her face, 'better not see any bugs.. why am I even bothering with this? Oh yea.. easiest way home, and if I run into anything, I can use that Ash kid as protection..maybe even get that Staryu from him in the process..'

Ash and Abra looked at her with disgust. Selfish.. nothing but selfish desires in that head of hers. Having heard enough, the young trainer decided to call her out, "Hey! Why are you following me?!"

This snapped the girl out of her thoughts. 'How did he know I was here... must've been that stupid Abra..' she thought.

Realizing she was caught, the redhead glared at him, "BECAUSE!.." she yelled, "One this is the easiest way home! Two, You and I have some matters to discuss still. And three.." she continued with a smirk, "You obviously need some help. A little noob like yourself would never make it through the forest unscathed. So, to show how nice I am, I'm going to help you. Who wouldn't want the advice of an expert trainer like myself-"

"Will you shut up.." Ash groaned while Abra glared at the conceited girl. Through her thoughts, the young mind reader could tell that most of her statements were lies. She was the one that needed help because of her phobia of bugs, which the Viridian forest was known for. "Look, I don't need the help of some random water master wannabe who wants nothing more than to use me and take my pokemon. I may be a noob, but I am neither clueless nor stupid. So why don't you do us both a favor and go away!"

The redhead let out a gasp, "how dare you! I'll show you, you little.." then, she paused, and froze up in what appeared to be heart-stopping fear. All Ash could get from her mind was 'bug! bug! BUG! Filthy, disgusting, poisonous bug!'

Fearing that maybe a Beedrill swarm had snuck up on them, Ash slowly turned around and found..

..nothing...

"huh?" the boy said, perplexed, then turned back to Misty, "What's the matter with you? there's nothing there.."

That's when she started pointing frantically at something by his feet, "Th-There! It's a big scary bug! Get it AWAAAAY!" she yelled as she waved her arms in front of her and backed away more.

Looking to where she was pointing, Ash smirked when he saw the 'scary bug.'

It was a Caterpie, looking at them, mostly him, with curiosity in its big eyes. It was actually kinda cute, at least to Ash.

The little bug looked at the girl for a sec while she was ranting, then back up to Ash. "She's weird.." it said in a cute little girl voice

Ash and Abra laughed at the comment before the young trainer bent down on one knee in front of it, "she is, isn't she," he whispered, so that Misty wouldn't hear. The little caterpillar looked up at him with cute, wide eyes, "You can understand me?"

"mhm," he nodded, "It's a gift of mine, among other things.." he then looked behind him. Misty was back a ways, but still visible, starting at him. Her thoughts questioned his sanity and wondered what he would do with the Caterpie, or 'icky disgusting bug' in her words. He chuckled and smirked as an idea formed into his head.

"Say Caterpie," Ash said aloud, "Would you like to be my pokemon? You may be small now, but I sense that you can be a strong and beautiful Butterfree given time and training. What do you say?"

"You..you really want me on your team?" the bug asked, a little shocked, most trainers just ignored her or even tried to step on her, but this one.. "Yes! I would love to be on your team! I've always wanted to become a Butterfree!" she said excitedly as she waved her stubby little nobs around.

Ash couldn't help but chuckle as he pulled out a Pokeball, "alright then, welcome to the team Caterpie!" he said as he threw it, instantly capturing the bug who didn't even put up a fight.

As Ash beamed at his newest capture, Misty looked on shocked, 'he..he caught it?! Grrrr..'

The telepathic duo snickered before releasing their newest teammate, who chirped in happiness. With a bright smile, Ash picked the little bug type up, and placed it on his other shoulder. Then as a further insult to injury, he looked back at Misty and gave her a smile and wave, "thanks Misty! Now I have a new bug type!" He then continued on his way as if she wasn't there.

"Wha..Wait!" she called out, running towards him. He turned back to her with a stifled a groan, before Abra whispered something into his ear, making him chuckle. He then whispered something into Caterpie's ear and turned back towards the offending red head, "why Misty? Would you like to say hi to Caterpie?" he said as held the happy little bug in his hand, outstretched towards her.

Predictably, the girl freaked out and backed up, "K-keep it away from me!"

They all snickered mentally, while Ash just shrugged, "oh well.. let's go gals, we need to get going. Let's leave miss Meany pants here."

That said, they all walked off.

"HEY! Don't just leave me!" She yelled at them, still staying still as she looking around the creepy bug-filled forest. With a groan, she continued to trail after the young male trainer. Unfortunately, thanks to the thickness of the forests, she soon found herself hopelessly lost, "..damnit!" Now what would she do..

That's when a weedle fell right on front of her, making her scream in terror for the whole forest to hear, including the ears of a boy wearing a strange outfit and wielding a sword...

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After walking for another hour, Ash decided to take a break. He pulled out a snack and some food for his pokemon. As he watched them eat, he started forming training tactics in his mind.

Abra will need work perfecting her teleportation, since that was the only attack she had. She had good accuracy, but still tired out after using it over 10 times. After that Team Rocket Fiasco, she was pretty tired. They would also work on strengthening her body and fists for future attacks, like her egg move, Fire Punch. She also needed to be strong enough to handle a TM. If given to a young pokemon too soon, the move could backfire and cause damage to the user. Neither of them wanted that.

Staryu would need to strengthen its Watergun, and Swift attacks. That can be done with conditioning. Another thing Ash wanted to work on with it was maneuverability. Best way to do that was to learn increased speed and control in its Rapid Spin Attack. It would be even better if they could use it in combination with some of its other moves.

Caterpie, their newest edition, would need the most work. Being a little bug type, she was naturally weak, and would need a lot of care and training to get her to prime condition. The positive thing though, was that she, like most Caterpie and Weedle, would evolve quickly to her final form, probably within the week if they were lucky.

With a small nod, Ash stood up, "ok guys, listen up!" he said, "for the next couple days, we're going to be focusing on training. Once I see some good progress, we'll move on. Understood?"

Upon hearing the cheers of his pokemon, they got to work.

/-/-/-/-/-/-/

Two days of training later, Ash was proud of his pokemon and the results of their hard work.

Arba was now much faster will her Teleport. She still struggled with endurance, but she could now teleport about 15 times before exhaustion would kick in.

Staryu was faster as well, though Ash noticed that it was a bit of a struggle to properly train it on speed outside of the water. It'll get easier in time, but for now it was an inconvenience, to say the least. Its Swift attack was stronger and its Water gun could now be split among all five points, for a short amount of time.

Caterpie was very close to evolving, Ash could tell. She was much faster when moving through the trees, using the technique Ash taught her, which entailed her to use String shot to swing and use her environment to her advantage. It was simple, yet effective as long as there was something to swing on. Right now they were just working on control. Ash lost count of how many times she swung herself into a tree...

Satisfied with their progress, Ash decided to wrap things up and move on. He had just finished packing up camp when Abra caught his attention, "Ash, people are coming.."

Curious, the young trainer turned to his starter with a raised eyebrow, "is it that Misty girl?" He hadn't really thought about it, but after two days, he wondered if she was ok.

The Psi Pokemon nodded, "Yes, and one other that I do not recognize"

Within moments, just as Abra predicted, Misty came through the trees and into their clearing, looking like she had seen better days. Her hair and clothes were a mess, and her eyes were bloodshot, as if she hadn't slept in a couple days.

The other figure was male and was.. in a word.. strange..

He was wearing a very bug-like type of armor, and a wooden sword swung at his side from a belt. Although Ash couldn't see his eyes through his helmet, he could tell that something was off.

Their thoughts answered some of his questions..

'got you this time..' Misty thought as she wore a smirk.

'now I can defend my as well as the shrieking maiden's honor from this novice ..' the male teen said as he retained his stoic look.

It was then that Misty started to show off her acting skills, "T-there he is! We were supposed to be travelling together , but he just left me out here all alone!" she said as tears started to pour from her eyes.

"Totodile tears.." Abra said in her head, not convinced in the slightest.

"You there, novice!" The boy yelled out, "How dare you abandon this poor shrieking girl, defenseless in the wild!" he then drew his sword, putting Ash on edge (ignore the pun..) until Abra tapped him on the shoulder in assurance , "it's just for show, he has no intention of using it"

"Anyone who would abandon another is a weak, shameless coward! Now I, Samurai, shall now put you in your place, novice, and force you to see the error of your ways and apologize to this maiden!" the boy , now known as Samurai shouted.

Seeing where this was going, Ash held his arms up partly and tried to diffuse the situation, "hold on, err... Samurai.. You got it all wrong, I didn't-"

"SHUT UP!" Misty yelled, cutting him off, "everything you say is a lie! You promised me you would get me through the forest, then you just upped and left me to die!"

"WHAT!" Ash yelled, getting increasingly pissed and annoyed with this girl, "You're the liar here! I never said that! You're the one follow me like a scared little puppy because you want my Staryu and protection from bugs!"

"WHY YOU!"

"ENOUGH!" The Samurai shouted, quieting the them down. He looked in between the two as they continued to glare at each other. He then turned to Ash, "Alright, novice. I shall give you one chance to explain yourself."

Although he didn't appreciate being called a novice, the young trainer nodded, "Alright. I never made any promises to this girl, and we're not travelling together. She's just following me for her own selfish reasons."

"AM NOT!"

"She wants my Staryu so she can have a complete evolutionary set. And she's not helpless as she has pokemon with her. She's just so scared of bug pokemon that she figure trailing me was the best way to get both things she wanted!" Ash explained, raising his voice at the end, "She's just selfish, loudmouth, spoilt little girl"

"And your just a stupid brat that has no idea what he's doing! " Misty yelled, "I was going to offer my assistance to help you train, but after that..!"

"Like I'd want your help. I'm doing fine on my own. And knowing you, you would probably ask for something in return, like my water types." Ash said as he glared at her, his eyes flashing blue, but luckily going unnoticed

"Don't act like you know me!" Misty said, even though inside she knew it was true. That's exactly what she would've done. How did he guess that?

As the Samurai listened to them go back and forth, a dozen thoughts went through his head. At first, he had bought the shrieking Maiden's story hook, line, and sinker, but now, after hearing some of the novice's story, and with both of them calling each other a liar, he did not know who to believe. The maiden, or the novice..

Then, an idea came to his mind, and Ash inwardly smirked, 'get ready guys..' he sent mentally to his pokemon.

"Very well, we shall settle this in true samurai fashion.." The armored boy said, "I shall challenge each of you to a pokemon battle, two on two.. "

Both trainers sent him confused looks, though Ash's was pure acting.

"What will that prove?" Misty asked with a raised eyebrow

"It will prove much. Now both of you prepare yourself for battle!"

Within moments, Samurai was on one side of the clearing and Ash and Misty were on the other.

Misty glared at the boy still contemplating ways to get what she wanted, while Ash.. just crossed his arms and smiled at her, then tilted her head towards the field, "ladies first.."

A little surprised at his courteousness, Misty smirked and nodded, "Why thank you.." she said as she stepped forward, pokeball in hand.

Samurai nodded and readied his own Pokeball, "we will start off with this, Metapod, Go!"

In a flash of light, a green, chrysalis cocoon appeared onto the field, making Misty freeze up and take a few steps back, "P-Poliwag, I choose you!"

The cute little tadpole pokemon appeared on the field, though something ... wasn't right...

The little tadpole didn't appear very lively. It wasn't really bouncing around like its species was known for, and its color looked a bit dull. While it didn't appear hurt or abused, it was obvious that Misty wasn't taking good care of it. The biggest tell was that the little water type didn't look happy.. it looked.. scared..

"a-another battle?" The Poliwag uttered as it looked over at its opponent, "but.. but Miss Misty-"

"Poliwag, Watergun!" Misty shouted

The tadpole sighed before shooting a small watergun at the cocoon.

"Harden, then take it!" The Samurai called out.

A bright sheen washed over the bug type as it successfully took the Watergun without taking any damage. Seeing this, Misty growled in slight frustration and gave out another order, "Watergun again, then use Double Slap!"

"Harden!"

Poliwag once again shot off another Watergun, which again had no effect. It then ran forward and began slapping the chrysalis with its tail. It had little effect.

"My turn, " the Samurai said, "Metapod, Hardened Tackle!"

Defying all logic, Metapod bounced towards its opponent, intent on tackling it to the ground.

"Dodge it!" Misty called out frantically. Unfortunately , Poliwag wasn't fast enough and was hit dead on, knocking it to the ground.

"Get up!" Misty urged, almost demanded, of her pokemon.

As Poliwag struggled to stand, Samurai called out his next command, "Repeat! Hardened Tackle!"

Once again, the sheen of harden surrounded Metapod as it bounded towards Poliwag, scoring a direct hit. This time, the little water type didn't get back out. In fact, in Ash's eyes, it almost seemed releived to be knocked out. Like the Samurai, he decided it was best to hold his tongue. Still, it didn't stop him from hearing the older boy's thoughts.

'That was truly pathetic. And she calls herself a gym leader? What rubbish.. and that Poliwag looked weak and barely trained...'

They almost mirrored Ash's thoughts exactly, except for the gym leader part.. she's a gym leader? Must be a pretty sad gym..

"Poliwag return.." Misty said with a grumble, 'weak, poor excuse of a frog.. we're going to have to double training...'

Ash frowned at that thought.. that Poliwag needed rest and a good meal, not training..

"Starmie! I choose you!"She then called, releasing her giant Starfish. It of course looked in much better condition than Poliwag, more than likely meaning that Misty played favorites. Now, Ash wont' deny, Starmie was a beautiful pokemon, but that didn't mean that the rest of her team didn't deserve the same amount of love and attention.

Samurai had the same thoughts as he returned his Metapod, and released a pokemon rarely seen in these parts of the forest, a Scyther.

Seeing the bug type, once again, made Misty freak out, "gah! What is it with you and bugs!"

The Samurai just snorted, "They are my life, and deserve our respect. Now are you going to make a move or not?"

Misty just growled, "more like they deserved to be squished! Which is exactly what I'm going to do!" She declared before giving out her first order to her Pokemon, "Starmie, Hydro Pump!"

"Yes ma'am" Ash heard the pokemon say in an almost monotone voice before spraying a huge torrent of water at the mantis pokemon.

"Double Team!" Samurai called out, causing Scyther to nod and split into afterimages of itself, giving the illusion of there being five of them on the field, which only help to further freak Misty out.

"WAAAHHH!" the red head wailed and shivered in fear, "St-Starmie, Watergun them all, quick!"

Starmie seemingly nodded before sending a watergun attack after all of the Scythers. Four of the disappeared.. the last one..

"Slash!"

Hit Starmie straight across its precious jewel, knocking it back.

As Ash watched the battle, he took notes on how Stamie moved and attacked for future reference. It was no secret that Staryu and Starmie's jewels, though beautiful, were their weak spots, as they contained their cores. He and Staryu would have to counteract that somehow.

"Starmie, recover!" Misty called out.

"Razor Wind!" Samurai shouted

As Starmie shrouded itself in a mysterious power to recover its HP. Scyther dashed forward and slashes its signature scythes through the air, causing Razor sharp wind currents to form, heading straight for the water type.

"Dodge that with Rapid Spin!" Misty urged, and immediately the pokemon took off into the air, spinning faster than the eye could see.

As Ash and Abra watched from the sidelines, they were amazed to see the difference between this battle and the last one. Misty and Starmie were completely in sync with each other and were performing much better. Still, the battle wasn't over yet, and Misty had yet to land a hit. By the look on her face, Misty already knew that

"Ok Starmie, Confuse Ray!" Misty called out, getting frustrated with the battle again. Several balls of yellow energy emerged from the Starfish before they were shot out towards Scyther.

"Night Slash to block and attack!" Samurai countered.

The Night Slash attack miraculously severed the balls and protected Scyther from the effects, causing several mini fireworks that looked pretty, but did nothing else.

"WHAT?!" the red head shouted in absolute shock. How did that do nothing?!

But Scyher didn't stop there. He continued his course of attack to once again smash into Starmie's core jewel. Thanks to the effects of the dark type move, Starmie was dealt double the damage. After a tense moment, it finally teetered and fell over, its jewel blinking to show its distress.

"Starmie... return.." Misty said with a heavy sigh. Looks like she still had a lot o training to do if she wanted to be the best...

"Good work, Scyther," the Samurai praised as he recalled his pokemon. He then looked to Ash and nodded, a silent motion for him to step forward.

After seeing his battle with Misty, Ash was pumped. He felt ready for any tricks that the samurai might throw at him. Misty, however, just snorted, "Like you'll do any better than me. I've been a trainer for over a year now-"

"Really?" Ash interrupted, "I wouldn't have guessed, going by how your Poliwag looked.." he said with a deadpan look, making her scowl. However, she surprisingly didn't comment, because she knew he was right. She would have to work with Poliwag more if she wanted to win battles with it.

After both boys took their places and readied their first pokeballs, Samurai called out, "Kakuna, your turn!" In a flash, a brown, cocoon-like pokemon with a more bug-like face than metapod emerged, causing Misty to Shiver and Ash to smile, "Alright then. Go Caterpie!"

In a similar flash, the little green bug type came out with a happy chirp, ready to go. Seeing the bug caused two reactions. It caused the Samurai to raise an eyebrow under his helmet, and it caused Misty to bust out laughing.

"BAA HAHAHAHAHAHA! That's it?! That's all you've got?! I knew you were weak, but this is pathetic even for you! HAHAHAHA!"

Her thoughtless comments caused both trainers and pokemon to glare at her before refocusing on the battle. Still, Samurai thought, the girl had a point. 'Ah well, if he is a novice then I shouldn't expect too much..'

"Kakuna, use Harden!" The boy shouted. As in the battle with Misty, the brown cocoon formed a bright sheen over itself as its shell hardened.

Ash, however, had a plan for this, "Alright Caterpie, let's try this.. String shot, but keep yourself connected!"

A stream of sticky material shot out from the caterpillar's mouth and wrapped itself around Kakuna, while the string still hung from Caterpie's mouth, connecting the two pokemon.

Now the others, except for Abra, were perplexed. The Samurai shrugged at the seemingly useless attack, "what good did that do?"

"Just watch.. " Ash said with a small smirk, "now, Caterpie! Use all of your strength. Swing and Slam!"

Following his trainer/friend's order, Caterpie narrowed her cute eyes and used the string to swing the Kakuna around, shocking both the Samurai and Misty, and then slam it to the ground, causing some damage.

"Keep it up, girl!" Ash encouraged. The little bug nodded. Though she was growing increasingly tired due to Kakuna's heavier weight, she managed to swing and slam it three more times into the trees and ground around them, before the string broke. After that, she was visibly panting and sweating.

Kakuna, however, wasn't that much better off, as it had several scratches on its shell, and was slow to move.

On the other side, Samurai was colored impressed. That was a very interesting and advanced technique for a novice trainer. However, Kakuna wasn't out yet, "Kakuna, Hard Tackle!"

Just like Metapod had done, Kakuna once again hardened its shell and flew at the tired caterpilliar.

"Dodge that, Caterpie! Ash called frantically. Unfortunately, as tired as she was, Caterpie was a touch too slow, and was knocked back by the attack.

Seeing this, Misty stuck her nose in the air, "told you it wouldn't be any different.. why don't you just give up and-" she was cut off as Caterpie started to glow. Now, everyone's attention was on its glowing, changing form.

"She's evolving.." Ash whispered in awe.

It was a complete transformation, as once the mysterious light faded away, there stood a green cocoon with sleepy looking eyes, "Metapod..."

"Awesome!" Ash yelled as he went and hugged his newest pokemon, "You evolved! I'm so proud of you!"

"Meta!" the chrysalis said happily.

Samurai couldn't help but smile, while Misty just scoffed and turned her head away, though even she had to admit that it was a cute scene.

After he finished, Ash turned back to the Samurai, "mind if we call this one draw.. ? i would continue but I don't think we want a battle of harden.." he said with a chuckle.

After seeing the situation that Ash was talking about, Samurai chuckled and nodded, "very well, a draw it is."

"What?!" Misty yelled. They were just..ending it there?

After they returned and congratulated their cocoon pokemon, Ash and Samurai squared off again, second pokeballs ready.

Samurai sent his fighter out first, "Go, Pinsir!" he yelled, releasing the fierce looking bug type, making Misty shriek and almost run away from the clearing. Samurai glared at her, "Will you please refrain from doing that. Are you trying to attract Beedrill?"

Ash just ignored her and got his pokedex out,

Pinsir: The StagBeetle Pokemon.

It grips its prey with its pincers until the prey is torn in half. What it can't tear, it tosses far

Ash shivered slightly before turning to Abra, "what do you think?"

The little Psi Pokemon shook her head, "Send Staryu out. It's long ranged attacks have a better chance right now.."

The boy nodded at the sound logic. He was thinking that as well. With no more hesitation, Ash called out his next and last pokemon, "Staryu, let's go!"

The brown Star pokemon appeared with a call of "hyaa!"

Seeing the water type, the armored preteen raised an eyebrow, 'so that's what he meant by the girl wanting a complete set... seems decently strong. He must've trained it at least a little...' he thought to himself, unaware that Ash could hear it. He then nodded, "very well then, I shall allow you to have the first move."

"Alright then," the young trainer smiled, "Staryu, use swift!"

The bejeweled pokemon nodded and tossed itself up into the air and spun on a horizontal axis, where its gem began to glow. Within seconds, dozens of bright yellow stars shots out from its core and headed straight towards the large bug type.

Knowing that they wouldn't be able to dodge, Samurai firmed his jaw and ordered, "Stand your ground, Pinsir. Take the attack!"

The stagbeetle nodded and crossed its arms over its face and body, blocking the stars from hitting anything vital. The attack hurt, but not as much as it could've

"Now, while they're distracted. Staryu, gain some altitude with Rapid Spin, then use Watergun!"

Staryu let out a 'Hyaa' as it began to spin fast enough to barely lift it off the ground.

"Stop it with Smack Down!"

Pinsir immediately picked up a rock and threw it at Staryu, intent on taking it out of the air. The attack hit head on, knocking Staryu back.

"Good thing you're not a flying type.. Water gun Staryu, then try again!" Ash commanded.

Staryu nodded its 'head' as it stood back up and shot a watergun three of its appendages. The attack was too quick for Pinsir , who took the water head on. The water type then began rapid spin again and this time was able to get more airborne.

"Smack Down again!"

"Water Gun while spinning!"

As Pinsir through another rock at the now rapidly spinning starfish, it retaliated with a flurry of water, which not only knocked the Rock out of the air, but also bombarded Pinsir, knocking it backwards again.

"Pinsir!" Samurai called out worriedly as his pokemon shakily stood back up, 'he's good.. better than I expected.. his pokemon are not that strong yet, but he's smart and has excellent strategy..'

Ash just smirked, inwardly beaming at the mental praise the boy was giving him, "Ok, Staryu, Swift, then finish this with rapid spin!"

Using the momentum of the spinning already in progress, Staryu sent another wave of sharp, bright stars at the bug type, again scoring a direct hit. Then as a final nail in the coffin, the starfish began rapidly spinning towards Pinsir, who was barely standing and in no condition to dodge. The attack barreled right into the stagbeetle, knocking it out.

"YES!" Ash cheered as Staryu came to a stop in front of him, visibly exhausted from keeping up the attacks for so long. As Ash brought it in for a hug, Staryu slumped into his arms, giving off positive vibes. Although Ash couldn't understand it completely yet, somehow he knew that it was happy.

"Pinsir, return!" Samurai said as he returned his pokemon, then smiled at the ball, "you fought well.."

He then looked over at Ash, who was making sure that his pokemon was ok, and smiled before walking over. Noticing the boy come closer, Ash stood up with Staryu standing next to him.

"You know, for a novice, you're not half bad. You used your brains when you were lacking the brawn. I was especially surprised with the move you used with Caterpie." the Samurai said to him, making the boy smile.

"Thanks," Ash said with a nod as he offered his hand. Samurai nodded, and went to accept the shake.

"HEY!" when Misty interrupted, startling both boys. They almost forgot she was there..

The angry red head then turned towards the armored boy, "Ok, you battled both of us. Now will you please tell us what the point of all this was? And don't say you would believe the better battler, Ash just got lucky!" she said as she glared at him, making both boys sweatdrop.

"Of course, I will explain.." Samurai started, "the point of the battles was to not only observe your battling styles and your pokemon, but to also bring the truth to light."

"Huh?" both Ash and Misty said, confused. This time, Ash was legitimately confused. For once, he couldn't read someone. The Samurai's mind was relatively blank..

"For one, during our day together yesterday, Misty told me several things. Firstly, about how she was a gym leader and a very strong water pokemon trainer. Secondly, how he was abandoned by her traveling partner, who dumped her as soon as he found out about her fear of bugs, and left her to fend for herself. She then begged me for my help in finding that person and demanding justice," he said gesturing to Ash, "Then I come across the accused abandoner, and he tells me a completely different story.. That the two of you were never traveling together and that Miss Misty was only using him for her own selfish desires.."

"And you believe me, right?!" Misty looked up at him, putting on an innocent 'chibi' look...

"I think I'm going to be sick.." Abra uttered before retreating into Ash's bag again, making the boy chuckle lightly, 'don't lose your lunch in there..' he said before turning back to the Samurai. So far, the boy's thought's did not give any clues as to where he was going with this,... until the last minute..

"I have decided... Ash.." he turned to the boy, who went a little wide eyed, "You are telling the truth.." he said with a smile.

"WHAT?!" Misty screeched... again, "How could you believe him over me?! He's nothing but another master wannabe!"

Both boys glared at her before Samurai spoke, "you showed your true colors during your battle with Poliwag. Not only was that pokemon poorly taken care of and poorly trained, but anyone could see that it was in no condition to battle!"

"B-But.." Misty stuttered, taken aback, "But what about Starmie huh? As you could see he was in perfect condition!"

"Yes he was.." the Samurai continued, "further evidence of your neglect and selfish desires."

"WHAT!" Now her face was turning red, which made Ash hide a chuckle

"It is obvious that you are one of those trainer that likes to play favorites, giving all of your love and attention to one or two pokemon while the others suffer. And what little attention you do give to your other pokemon is probably minimal or negative." the older boy said while crossing his arms

"THAT'S NOT TRUE!" She yelled, hurting their ears

"Furthermore.. it also confirmed another part of what Ash said, about how you have been after his Staryu in order to get the set."

"YOU DON'T KNOW THAT!" She was screaming now, making Ash plug his ears after recalling Staryu to rest.

"I know enough," he said while giving Ash a smile, "I can see why you have been trying to escape her. I wish you luck with that.."

"HOW DARE YOU!" She yelled before going off again, yelling stinging words and insults at both boys while screaming at the top of her lungs, making both boys cover their ears

It was then that Ash sensed something in the forest..an angry something...no.. a LOT of Angry somethings.. the voices of at least a hundred..!

The Samurai growled, "Miss you MUST keep your voice down or you'll-"

"Too late!" Ash cut the Samurai off before pulling him into a nearby bush.

"Huh?!" Misty blinked as she watched them "HEY! DON'T HIDE FROM ME!"

"SHHHH! Keep your voice down!" Ash said in a harsh whisper.

"Yes, or you'll attract them.." Samurai followed up

"Who?!" She glared at them before she heard it.. and froze up cold before slowly turning around.

Behind her was at least a hundred Beedrill, all glaring right at her. Their sharp appendages gleamed in the patches of sun that filtered through the trees.

As Ash watched the scene from the safety of the bushes, he heard overheard them all talking angrily about the loud human that needed to be shut up. Although he couldn't agree more, he didn't think even Misty deserved this.

Then, before he could think of something, he noticed that Misty's mind froze up and went completely blank, and the girl did something they weren't but should've been expecting..

..She fainted..

Seeing that the loud and offensive human was now defeated and finally quiet, the hive retreated back to their nest to celebrate another easy victory. After a good ten minutes, Ash and the Samurai emerged from the bushes.

"That was a close one.." Ash whispered, now reveling in the new calm of the forest.

The Samurai nodded, "Yes it was, and thank you for alerting me to the incoming threat.. How did you know they were coming?"

"I... have good ears.. excellent hearing" he half- lied, pointing to his ears to further drive the point. luckily the other boy bought it.

"Very well then. Come, it is getting late, and the Beedrill may return. You and the loudmouth Maiden was welcome to stay in my cabin for the night." the armored boy offered, "as long as you stay quiet.."

"Not a problem for me.." Ash said with a chuckle.

With that decided, Ash and the Samurai carried Misty back to his cabin, carefully avoiding the various nests and hostile bug types thanks to Ash's 'excellent hearing.'

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It took them about half an hour to reach Samurai's cabin, and by the time they got there, the sun was just starting to set.

The inside of the Samurai's cabin was what you would expect of a small cabin in the middle of the forest. It was relatively small, just enough room for the necessities, like a bed and a food cabinet. There was also a throw rug on the floor and a caddy full of swords similar to the one the cabin's owner was already carrying. There was also a small oil lantern on the table that provided light for the whole room.

Once the boys had placed Misty under a cover in the corner, they sat down and shared a drink of water as they engaged in small talk. Samurai had removed his armor, showing that he had very calm, almost lazy black eyes, and a serious yet gentle looking expression.

"So," Samurai started, "How long have you been a trainer?"

As the young boy took a sip of his drink, he thought, "hmm.. about a week I guess?"

At that answer, the older boy went wide eyed before smiling, "considering how you battled, that's pretty impressive.. still, I could tell that most of your pokemon look very young."

Ash just nodded, "yea, we're not very experienced yet, but we're getting there."

Samurai nodded, 'he's wise beyond his years..' he then asked, "do you have any preferences pokemon wise?"

To that question, Ash frowned, going into deep thought ,"hmm.. I'm not sure.. maybe once I develop my team more.."

"possibly.." Samurai said, "but I do see a trend.." he nodded to Abra, who was sleepy next to Ash's backpack, "Your starter is a Psychic type.. your strongest pokemon is a water type that becomes part psychic upon evolution... and Metapod, when it becomes a Butterfree, can learn certain psychic type moves.."

At that realization, Ash went wide eyed. He hadn't even realized that. "well, that's certainly something to look into.. don't know if I want to specialize yet though.." he then turned to the older boy, "What made you want to specialize in bug types?"

The older boy chuckled as he went down memory lane, painting a picture for Ash's mind to see, "for me, it was a given.. The art of capturing, raising, and training bug type pokemon has been a tradition in my family for years. My father was a true master of them in his day," he said as he thought of his father proud and strong form.

He then frowned, "Many people think of bug types as weak, useless pokemon with no potential. My family seeks to end that misconception, by proving that Bug type pokemon have hidden strengths that only the best of trainers can unlock."

At his speech, Ash merely nodded. It was true, after all. Many trainers looked down on bug types because of their fragility. Very few bug types were even considered 'worthy' in the eyes of most trainers.

"Allow me to give you some advice that may help you down the road." The Samurai said with a smile, "Least I could do for you giving me such a tough battle, as well as helping me with the Beedrill."

Ash quickly returned the smile and nodded, "I could always use some advice.."

The older boy nodded, "You are smart, and your pokemon seem to trust you an like you, but training is always important. Remember, it is important to train a pokemon in all aspects of battle. And there are many factors to consider: physical strength, specialty power, speed, agility, endurance in both attacking and taking attacks. There is also studying and knowing what type advantages there are and what abilities each pokemon have and what they do"

Ash nodded as he took a notepad out of his backpack and wrote down what the boy was saying. It was good advice to remember, albeit a bit basic. Still, it was good to have it written down so it'll be easier to remember..

"Also, if you do decide to specialize, you have to dedicate yourself to that type. You have to truly believe that it is the strongest, most dominant type out there.." he then smirked, "of course, if you do go the Psychic route, you won't stand a chance against me and my bug type team."

Hearing that, Ash went wide eyed, before smirking himself, "oh really now.. alright then, how about this. Once I build my team and get stronger, I'll come back here for a rematch with you. Deal?" he asked as he held out his hand, which the Samurai eagerly took, smiling, "Deal!"

/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/

It was about an hour before dawn, but still, Ash decided that it was time to leave before a certain irate redhead woke up. Abra was still sleeping in his backpack and would most likely remain there for most of the day.

As he finished getting ready and was heading out, Samurai met him at the door.

Ash smiled at the boy, "Thank you for letting me stay here for the night."

"The pleasure was all mine," the boy said, waving him off, "Now, just follow my directions and you will see Pewter City before noon."

The young trainer nodded as he looked down the path he was supposed to take, then turned back to his new friends, "Thanks," he then frowned as he looked at the backroom where Misty still slept, "what are you gonna do about her?"

At the question, Ash felt the Samurai's thoughts turn somewhat irritated, 'good question.. what will I do with such an insufferable girl..' Ash several somewhat evil thoughts went through the boy's head, Ash had to resist going wide eyed...he had to REALLY resist.. who knew the boy in front of him could have such a deviant side...

"I'll think of something.." he finally said without breaking his stoic expression, making Ash sweat drop.

"Heheh.. well I better get going.." he said as he kept his composure, "but one day I will return for that rematch!" he said as he started to head down the road, clearing the Samurai's thoughts from his head.

He didn't really know what he would do once he got to Pewter, since he didn't think his team was ready to take on the gym. What he really wanted to do was visit Cerulean to get some advice about Staryu, and then Saffron for some help with his 'gift'.

"we'll cross that bridge when we come to it I guess.." he said to himself.

His first week of being a trainer had been successful, if not without its bumps and hitches. Still, he couldn't say it was boring. Still.. he could definitely live without meeting that egotistical redhead, and could only hope that their paths would never meet again.

'Fat chance' a voice came from his backpack, making the boy chuckle. Yes this will definitely be an interesting journey.. and hopefully..

'I'll find a place where I belong..'

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