I woke up the next day with Smokey sprawled out lying next to me. It was purring away and its tail swished back and forth. I sat up trying to leave Litten sleeping. I had actually gotten up at a decent hour and my mother wasn’t screaming at me to wake up. That was a nice surprise.
I looked down and Smokey was staring at me with his big yellow eyes. He stretched and let out a big yawn.
“Good morning, Smokey.”
I picked him up off my bed and sat him on the floor.
“Why don’t you go find Lucky and bother him,” I said to Smokey. “Just don’t set anything on fire.”
Litten seemed to understand and he took off down the stairs. I quickly got dressed and followed after him making sure I had my flower hat, my Pokédex, and my trainer passport. My bag was not full of stuff like potions that I would need to use after my next Pokémon battle.
When I got downstairs, my Mom was sorting through stuff and pulling things out of the moving boxes. We still had so much stuff still in boxes. I looked around and saw that Smokey and Lucky were chasing each other around the dining room table.
“Good morning, Mom,” I said.
“Good morning, honey,” She replied. “Are you ready for another busy day?”
“Yeah I think so. I’m not really sure what to expect. Everything is so new to me. My first Pokémon, my first Pokédex, and my first Pokémon adventure.”
“I believe in you honey, I think you’re going to do great things!”
There was a knock on the door and I got up to answer the door.
“Alola, Professor,” I said.
Professor Kukui stood on my front porch and he still wasn’t wearing a shirt. I tried my best to ignore that but it was difficult. I was used to Professor Oak who always wore a shirt underneath his lab coat.
“Are you ready to go? We’re heading to Iki Town for the festival!” Professor Kukui said.
“Yeah I’m ready,” I said. “Come on, Smokey! Time to go!”
Smokey and I stepped out onto the front porch with Professor Kukui right behind us. I stood there a second taking it all in. I had been in Alola for just a few days and the sights and smells still amazed me. Everything was so bright here with the sun overhead beating down on the island. It was a little hot but that didn’t bug me. I looked at all the amazing flowers that were big and bright growing right outside my house. The air smelled like the salt water that surrounds the islands.
A group of Butterfree were flying between the bushes.
“Hey look, Smokey,” I said pointing to the butterfly Pokémon. They drink the nectar from the flowers for food.
“Very good, Alexis,” Professor Kukui said. “You know a lot about Pokémon already.”
“Well I know a lot about the Pokémon from Kanto, I still have a lot to learn about Alolan Pokémon and the Alolan Forms of Kanto Pokémon.”
“Right!” Professor Kukui gave me a smile. “Don’t worry, cousin! You’ll learn plenty once you set off on your Pokémon adventure.”
I nodded in agreement.
“Now let’s get going! We have somethings we have to do before the festival and I wouldn’t want us to be late for tonight,” Professor Kukui said.
The Professor and I set up the Eastern part of Route 1.
“I want to show you how to catch Pokémon. Now it might seem simple at first but there a few things to keep in mind. I asked Jimmy to meet us near a particular tree on Route 1. There’s a next of Pikipek that live there and I thought you might want to catch one.
“I guess I haven’t thought about catching any more Pokémon.”
“I know you just got your Litten, but you can’t expect to win every battle with just one Pokémon. What if your opponent specializes in water type Pokémon? Ember won’t be super-effective. You need to build a team of six different Pokémon that can all work together. A team of mixed types so no matter what Pokémon your opponent uses, you’ll have something that has the advantage over it.”
“Yeah that makes sense.”
“Pikipek is a normal/flying type. Although your fire type is already strong against grass types and bug types, it does not have an advantage over fighting types. That’s where a good flying type can come in handy,” Professor Kukui explained. “Looks like we’re here! There’s Jimmy!”
Professor Kukui pointed ahead at a young boy standing next to a patch of tall grass with one tree sticking out of the middle of it. I noticed that Jimmy was the same boy from yesterday which Professor Kukui helped out yesterday.
“Alola, Jimmy,” The professor said. “This here is Alexis.”
“Alola, Alexis!” Jimmy said with a big grin on his face. “Is that a Litten?”
I picked Smokey off the ground and held him in my arms, “Yeah this my Litten named Smokey.”
“Alola Smokey,” Jimmy said while petting Smokey’s head.
“Well now we’ve made introductions, let’s get on to catching some Pokémon!”
“This is the tree, right Professor?” Jimmy asked.
“Sure is! There’s a nest of Pikipek that live in the branches of this tree. I’ve been studying them for a while seeing what kind of moves they have. They have flying type moves such as Peck and Pluck as well as moved called Echoed Voice.”
“What does that do?” Jimmy asked.
“Well it’s a normal type move that gets stronger if several different Pokémon use it in a row.”
“Wow that’s pretty cool how Pokémon can work together like that.”
“Sure is, cousin!” Professor Kukui said with a laugh.
The Pikipek fluttered in the air beating its wings and finally landed on the branch above our heads.
“There they are,” I said.
“I’m going to try to catch it too, Alexis! We can make it a competition to see who can catch it first,” Jimmy said. “Go Grubbin!”
Jimmy opened his Pokéball and a new Pokémon emerged from it. It was a small white and orange Pokémon with large yellow and orange appendages coming from it’s face.
I opened my Pokédex and pointed it at the new Pokémon.
Grubbin. The Larva Pokémon. Grubbin is a small, insectoid Pokémon with two large mandibles. Grubbin typically lives underground and can use its jaws to burrow through tunnels or extracting sap from trees.
“So Grubbin is a Bug type Pokémon,” I said.
“Yup!” Jimmy replied. “Grubbin is a bug Pokémon with a huge bite, right Grubbin?”
“Let’s go, Smokey!” Litten leapt from my arms onto its four paws next to Grubbin.
“Go Smokey, use ember!” Smokey shook itself and arched its back. Smokey then opened its mouth and out came a large ball of fire that shot towards the Pikipek on the branch.
The Pikipek dropped down from the branch and the fireball missed evaporating in midair. The Pikipek became irritated and charged towards us.
“Good try, Alexis. But now it’s Grubbin’s turn! Grubbin, use Bite!”
Grubbin was able to launch itself into midair and used its mandibles to catch the Pikipek’s wing. The additional weight on its own side caused the Pikipek to spin through the air and it ended up crashing to the ground in a cloud of dust.
“Good job, Grubbin! Use string shot.”
Grubbing opened up its mandibles and shot out a stream of white silk that started to cover the Pikipek wrapping it in a cocoon of string.
The Pikipek struggled to get its wings free.
The Pikipek was chirping louder and louder.
“What is it doing, Professor?”
“I think the Pikipek is calling for help.”
“PIKIPEK!” It screamed louder and louder
Out of the tall grass emerged a new sound and a new Pokémon burst from the grass. It stretched its wings out and gave a loud squawk that knocked back both Grubbin and Litten.
“What is that?” I asked pulling out my Pokédex and pointed it at the new Pokémo
Trumbeak. The Bugle Beak Pokémon. Trumbeak is the evolved form of Pikipek. Trumbeak has a long beak that tapers to a sharp point. Its beak is flexible and can produce a variety of different calls. Trumbeak eats a variety of berries and can store the seeds in its beak to use as ammunition.
“Wow that’s a Trumbeak. The evolved from of Pikipek. It must have heard the Pikipek’s distress call and came to help out its friend.”
Trumbeak landed next to Pikipek and used its sharp beak to cut the Pikipek free from the cocoon.
“Come on Smokey! We got this! Use ember!”
Smokey readies itself and shot out a fireball towards the Trumbeak and Pikipek. The Trumbeak was quick enough to flap its wings and get out of the way, but the Pikipek was slowed by being encased and was unable to get out of the way. The fireball made direct contact with the Pikipek knocking it back into the tall grass.
The Trumbeak produced loud sounds from its beak which had enough power behind it that it knocked back Litten.
“That’s Trumbeak’s Echoed Voice attack!” Professor Kukui yelled over the sound of the attack.
“WHAT!?” I yelled back covering my ears.
The Pikipek emerged from the tall grass and hovered over the ground.
The Pikipek joined in making its own sound and amplifying the effect making it even louder.
“Grubbin!” Jimmy yelled out to his Grubbin. “Use Bite!”
Grubbin managed to hear some kind of command and it leapt at the two bird Pokémon. Trumbeak saw the attack coming and stopped making the sound. Instead it switched tactics and charged forward at the Grubbin with its beak outstretched. They collided in midair and Grubbin was launched backwards. It landed hard in the dirt and its eyes were spinning.
“Grubbin!!” Jimmy ran towards his Grubbin which was unable to keep fighting.
Professor Kukui opened his Pokéball and in a flash there was a brown, dog Pokémon standing between the Trumbeak and Grubbin.
Again I picked up my Pokédex and pointed the screen at Professor Kukui’s Pokémon
Rockruff. The puppy Pokémon. Rockfuff is a rock type, canine Pokémon. Rockfuff has soft fur and grows pebbles in the white fur around its neck. Rockruff also has a power sense of smell and if it gets lost, it can find its way back using its nose.
“Rockruff, use Howl!” Rockruff steadied itself planting its fur paws and pointed its snout towards the sky. It let out a long howl loud enough to rival Trumbeak’s Echoed Voice.
The Trumbeak and Pikipek must have found the howl imitating. They both took to their air and decided to fly away instead of trying to fight Rockfuff.
Professor Kukui and I ran over to Jimmy and Grubbin. I knealt down to Jimmy and handed him one of my potions to use on Grubbin. Professor Kukui petted Rockfuff behind its ear and told it that it had done a great job keeping away the birds. Jimmy thanked me and Grubbin was back to normal after applying the potion.
“Is everyone ok now?” Professor Kukui asked.
I nodded as I opened up my Pokéball and Smokey went inside to rest up after the battle. Jimmy did the same with Grubbin.
“Well that was quite an adventure, cousins. I didn’t know that we’d see a Pikipek and a Trumbeak in the same battle,” Professor Kukui said.
“Yeah we didn’t get to catch the Pikipek, but we did get to see a Trumbeak and its amazing Echoed Voice,” Jimmy said.
“Plus that last move was Pluck. A flying type move that steals berries from the Pokémon it attacks if the enemy Pokémon is holding a berry.”
“Wow, that’s a really cool ability,” I said.
“Yeah it is. Plus against a bug type Pokémon like Grubbin, it does even more damage. That’s why it’s important to learn about a Pokemon’s typing and what advantages and disadvantages it has. A flying Pokémon like Trumbeak or Pikipek are strong against grass, bug, and fighting Pokémon while being weak to electric Pokémon and rock Pokémon like my Rockfuff.”
“Yeah you did good, Rockruff. Now return to your Pokéball.” Professor Kukui opened his Pokéball and Rockruff returned to its home.
“Pokémon battling is complicated,” Jimmy said with a sigh.
“Don’t worry, Jimmy,” I said putting my hand on his shoulder. “I have a lot to learn too. Professor Kukui told me earlier today that I need to build a balanced team with a lot of different types of Pokémon. I think that advice can be applied to any successful trainer.”
“Yeah you’re right, Alexis. I need to catch a whole bunch of Pokémon!”
“That’s the spirit, Jimmy,” Professor Kukui said.
“I better start right now!” Jimmy stood up.
“Don’t you want to go the festival first?” Professor Kukui asked.
“No way! I want a Rockruff like yours Professor and I know I can find them on Ten Carat Hill.” Jimmy took off running towards my house down Route 1.
“Don’t worry, Alexis. I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Professor Kukui said with a laugh. “But I’m sure you want to go to the festival, right?”
“Yeah definitely! After that intense battle I could use some fun and relaxation!”
“Sounds good to me,” Professor Kukui said. “Let’s go!”
We made our way to Iki Town just as the sun began to set on Alola. Iki Town was lit up with all kinds of lights and paper lanterns. Young kids ran by with sweets in hand chasing each other all through Iki Town. There were banners hanging over head with pictures of Tapu Koko. Several people had made a Gyrados out of papermache and were dancing up on stage.
“There’s Lillie and Hau!” Professor Kukui pointed ahead towards the crowd surrounding the stage. We shuffled our way over there and met them.
“Alola Alexis!” Hau said. He was holding a pastry in his hand and a Tapu Koko banner in the other.
“Alola Hau, Alola Lillie. What is that?”
“That’s a malasada. They are a pastry popular in Alola.” Lillie explained.
“And my favorite!” Hau said taking it and throwing it into his mouth.
“We’ll get some later, Alexis.” Lillie laughed.
“Look, there’s Kahuna Hala!” Professor Kukui pointed towards the stage.
Kahuna came up on stage as the Gyrados dancers went off. He stood in his normal garb with his fan in his waistband.
“Everyone give it up to the Māhoe brothers and their amazing dancing Gyrados act!” Kahuna Hala announced over the roar of the crowd.
Everyone, included us, applauded.
“Now to really kick off the festival, we will now have our festivities for this evening, we will have our ceremonial battle,” Hala continued.
The crowd ooed and awed
“Now as we all know, the Alola region is made up of four islands and each island has its own guardian Pokémon. Our festival today is held to express thanks to these great Pokémon guardian deities for always remaining by our sides. Tonight’s battle will be one to see favor from our island deity, Tapu Koko.”
The crowd applauded and cheered.
“This year it has been predetermined that we have our newest Pokémon trainers show off their Pokémon and their battling skills. So if Alexis and Hau could come up on stage and join me.”
Professor Kukui gave us both a gentle shove towards the stage and we managed to slink through people till we were on stage. The crowd applauded and cheered even more. Hau looked like he was enjoying the attention but my stomach was in knots. I don’t know if I’m prepared to battle in front of all these people.
Kahuana Hala must have read my facial expression, “Don’t be nervous, Alexis. I know you’ll do great and I’m sure that Hau is also nervous. Just go out there and have fun, ok?”
“Yeah I guess,” I said with nervous laughter.
Hala went back to addressing the crowd, “Ok let’s get ready for a Pokemon battle worthy of Tapu Koko!”
The crowd exploded in cheers. Hau and I took our spots on each end of the stage. I turned around to see Lillie and Professor Kukui both giving me thumbs up for encouragement. I turned back and right behind Hau’s left shoulder I saw my mother standing in the crowd. She was waving at me and cheering louder than the rest of the crowd.
“Ok this will be a one-on-one battle between Hau and Alexis. Please select your Pokémon,” Hala announced. He was going to referee this battle.
My decision was already made for me. I only had one Pokémon after being unable to catch a Pikipek today. I had to go with Smokey, but I was sure he could handle anything Hau had.
“Go, Smokey!” I threw my Pokéball and Litten landed on its four paws.
“Go, Pichu!” Hau opened up his Pokéball and a little, yellow mouse Pokémon stood on stage. I recognized Pichu as the pre-evolution of Pikachu. Pichu was really popular in the Johto which is the Pokémon region that borders Kanto to the East.
“I’m mixing it up on you, Alexis,” Hau said. “I hope you can handle taking on my electric Pokémon.”
“I’m ready!” I said back trying to make myself seem confident in front of all these people.
“The Pokémon battle between Alexis and her Litten against Hau and his Pichu will now begin!”
“Pichu use tail whip!”
Pichu launched itself and hit Smokey with its tail sending it back. It didn’t seem like any damage was done to Litten.
“Tail whip is a move that lowers the opponent’s defense,” I heard the Professor yell from the crowd, “Your Pokémon is now more susceptible to damage by future moves.”
“Pichu use Thunder Shock!”
“Smokey dodge it and use ember!”
Pichu unleashed a bolt of lightning from its cheeks and the lightning bolt went straight towards Litten. Litten leapt out of the way and unleashed a fire ball from its mouth. Pichu was able to dodge it with its incredible speed. The fireball hit the stage and evaporated leaving a scorch mark.
“You’re going to have to be faster than that, Alexis!” Hau yelled. “Pichu use Sweet Kiss!”
Pichu brought its front paws to its mouth and blew a kiss at Litten. Litten looked confused and shook its head.
“Smokey, use ember again!”
Smokey readied himself and shot another fireball but this one sailed way over the head of the crowd not close at all to Pichu. Smokey didn’t look very good.
Sweet Kiss must be another non-physical move that affects my Pokémon. I tried to think fast. Sweet Kiss must confuse the Pokémon which can cause Litten to become inaccurate or even hurt itself out of confusion.
“Pichu, use Thunder Shock!”
Pichu unleashed another bolt of lightning from its cheeks which hit Smokey directly causing it to roll backwards towards the edge of the stage. I needed to do something quick but what. Ember keeps missing.
Smokey got back to its feet and it seem to focus its attention on me and then Pichu.
Maybe I was crazy but I think Smokey was trying to reassure me everything was alright. I was getting so frustrated that I was losing focus. We could do this.
“Come on, Smokey! We still have this!”
Smokey nodded, “Lit Litten!”
“Go Smokey, get up close and use Scratch.”
Litten charged running towards Pichu.
“Pichu, use Thunder Shock!”
Litten dodged the lightning bolt and got close enough to unleash its claws scratching Pich across the face and it got knocked back doing a couple of rolls before it got back to its feet.
“Litten don’t give up, use Scratch again!”
Litten pursued Pichu and hit it with its claws once again.
“Now Smokey, finish it off with an Ember!”
Smokey readied itself and arched its back. It let out a ball of fire in close range and it struck Pichu before Hau got a chance to yell out a command. Pichu got knocked back and fell onto its back and its eyes were swirls.
“Pichu is unable to battle! The victor is Alexis and her Litten!”
The crowd erupted in roars of cheers and applause. I picked up Smokey in my arms and lifted him over my head to even more applause from the crowd.
Hau approached me after returning Pichu to its Pokéball. “That was a great Pokémon battle. I had a blast fighting you!”
“That was intense, Hau. You and Pichu were worthy opponets. You really had Smokey and I on the ropes.” I said patting Smokey on the head.
I opened up his Pokéball and he returned. He deserved a rest after that battle.
Suddenly the crowd grew silent as a loud sound overcame the festival.
“What was that?” I asked.
“That was Tapu Koko,” Kahuna Hala explained. “I’m pretty sure it enjoyed your battle. I know I did!”
“That’s awesome!” Hau exclaimed. “But now I’m ready for some more malasada. You want some, Alexis?”
“In a minute, Hau. First Alexis and I have something to discuss in private,” Kahuna Hala said.
“Oh ok. Well catch you later, Alexis,” Hau said.
“See ya, Hau!”
Kahuna Hala led me away from the stage near the edge of the festival where it was a little quieter.
“Here Alexis, I wanted to give you this.” Hala handed me a white wristband that looked like it could be a watch. “This is a Z-ring. It’s a mysterious armband that can draw out the power that lies deep within Pokémon. It can bring worth what we call Z-power. I made the bracelet from the sparkling stone you gave me yesterday.”
“Wow,” I said.
“Kahunas like myself award specific Z-crystals that help you harness the Z-power from your Pokémon and use the power to use Z-moves. These are powerful moves that you can only use once per battle but deal a ton of damage. I believe it’s time for you to leave Iki Town and begin your island challenge.”
“Island challenge?” I asked.
“Four islands! You’ll travel to each of the four islands here in the Alola region. The island challenge is about aiming to be the strongest Trainer. Give it some thought and talk to Professor Kukui if you need more information, ok?”
“Yeah I will, thanks Kahuna Hala.”
“You’re welcome! Now back to the party! I’ve heard the malasada this year is fantastic,” he said with a laugh and then went walking towards the food vendors.
I put on the Z-bracelet and headed towards the stage. Lillie was still standing there although most of the crowd had dispersed and gone to get food, play games, or buy Tapu Koko merchandise.
“Alola, Alexis!” Lillie called to me and ran up to me.
“Alola! You want to go get some food?”
Lillie and I went to the closest vendor and I got a malasada and Lillie got some cotton candy on a stick. We found a nice little table on the edge of the festival and sat down.
“This festival is pretty crazy,” I said.
“Yeah… we take our Island Deities pretty seriously.” She pinched off a bit of cotton candy and offered it to her bag. Nebby poked its little head out and nibbled on it. “I hope I get to meet Tapu Koko again someday and thank it for saving Nebby…”
“Pew!” Nebby shook the bag.
“Me too, Lillie.”
“It saved you as well, didn’t it? And left you with that sparkling stone… even though you’re a stranger to this place.”
“Yeah,” I said finishing off my malasada. “I can’t believe all this crazy stuff is happening to me. First Tapu Koko saving me, finding that sparkling stone, and now I have this.”
I showed Lillie the Z-ring on my wrist. “Kahuna Hala made it for me. He told me that it’s a Z-ring and used to harness the power of Pokémon during battles. Apparently he made it from the sparkling stone.”
“I’ve heard Professor Kukui talk about Z-rings before. Apparently only really strong Pokémon trainers use them.”
“Wow,” I sighed. “More pressure.”
“Alexis,” Lillie put her hand on my shoulder. “I don’t know anything about Pokémon battles and training, but anyone who would risk themselves to save a Pokémon like Nebbie without knowing the dangers has to be pretty strong.”
“Thanks Lillie,” I said with a smile. “You’re a strong person too.”
Lillie blushed. “No…no… not me… I couldn’t… I couldn’t…”
I smiled at her. “I think you’re a lot stronger than you think.”
Lillie stopped. “Thanks Alexis.”
We sat there for a little bit before a bright light appeared overhead. They were shooting off fireworks. The spark and crackle of the fireworks mixed with the bright lights in the sky made people stop and stare at the light show. Lillie and I watched in silence as she continued to eat her cotton candy. They shot off ones that looked like Pokéballs and ones that turned from yellow to orange, the same colors of Tapu Koko. This went on for about 15 minutes and ended in a finale full of colors and explosions.
When it was all over I told Lillie goodbye and headed home down Route 1. She asked me if I wanted her to go with me, but I declined. I need a little alone time to clear my head. So I walked home following the trail closest to Iki Town and far away from the Pikipek nest. Tomorrow I’d probably leave home for a while and go on my island adventure across Alola.
I made it home and walked in the door. “Honey I’m home!”
My mom was in the kitchen unloading some boxes of utensils and cooking equipment. “Oh Alexis! You’re back already? I thought you’d want to stay in Iki Town all night with all the games and food they had.”
“I left after the fireworks.”
“I see. Well I’m sad I missed those, but I did see your Pokémon battle. You did a really great job and you kept your head under pressure. Very impressive.”
“Well it didn’t seem like that to me, but thanks Mom,” I said.
“I notice you have a pretty, new accessory on your wrist.”
I told Mom all about Kahuna Hala giving me the Z-ring and how he wants me to go on the island challenge around Alola.
“Well I think it would be a good idea to try that out. It’s something you can only do in Alola, right? Plus if Lillie and Hau go with you, I know you won’t be in any danger. It’s your way of going out, becoming a better trainer, and seeing the world. Plus Kahuna Hala and Professor Kukui seem to believe in you.”
“Yeah that’s true.”
“Its your decision, honey.” She said kissig the top of my head. “Right now I’ve got a date with my bed. I danced my feet off at that festival. Night-night, sweetie. You get some sleep too.”
I went upstairs and took a quick shower before changing into my pajamas and got into bed. I opened Smokey’s Pokéball and he appeared at my feet.
I pulled Smokey towards me and started to brush his fur as he curled up into a ball and drifted off to sleep.
“I think I’m going to do it, Smokey. Tomorrow I start my Pokémon adventure! I’m going to take on the island challenge!” Smokey was fast asleep and couldn’t hear me, but I was satisfied. I put down the hair brush and laid down. I quickly fell asleep and dreamed of fireworks and Pokémon battles.