I walked quickly from the visitor’s bureau towards the Pokémon Center. Hau and Professor Kukui were nowhere to be found, but I figured they had gone off to get some breakfast. I spent a few moments restocking on Pokéballs and Potions as well as handing my Pokémon over to the nurse for a checkup. It only took a few minutes before they were returned to me happy and healthy. Then I made my way towards the Tide Song Hotel to meet up with Lillie.
Out front near the fountain was a young man and young woman standing there in Alolan Shirts with tropical patterns on them as well as large hats. They gave off an instant tourist vibe even though I was still new to Alola.
They both gave me a wave and motioned to call me over.
I kind of cocked my head to the side thinking that they might be confused tourists and I walked over to them.
“Alola, we didn’t mean to single you out,” The young man said. “I just noticed the Island Challenge Amulet on your bag.”
“That means you must be an Island Challenge participant,” The young woman said.
“Yeah…yeah I am,” I said.
“Let me introduce myself,” The young man said. “I’m Dexio.”
“My name is Sina. A beautiful name for a beautiful lady if I do say so myself,” The young woman said.
“Nice to meet you both,” I said with a shy smile. “My name is Alexis.”
“Nice to meet you Alexis,” Dexio said. “Sina and I are seeing the sights in Alola. Its unique tradition of island challenge is pretty fascinating, I’ve got to say.”
“You know, I’ve always wanted to take on an Island Challenger,” Sina smiled.
“Come on Sina, she doesn’t want to battle you,” Dexio said with a sigh.
“She looks tough!”
Sina turned to me, “Come on, do you want to battle?”
I thought about it for a moment. My first Pokémon battle on Akala Island, how could I turn it down?
I gave a nod, “Sure!”
“Alright! Let’s get this show on the road,” Sina said.
We decided to set up our battle arena right in front of the fountain. There wasn’t a ton of people nearby since it was still pretty early in the day. Sina stood on one side and I stood on the other with Dexio in the middle acting as a referee.
“This will be a one-on-one battle between Sina and Alexis. No healing items and no switching. Are we ready?”
Dexio looked back and forth between Sina and me. We both gave a nod.
“Go Glaceon!” Sina yelled opening her Pokéball.
“Go, Smokey!” I yelled opening mine.
With a red flash two Pokémon stood on the battlefield. On my side there stood Smokey the Torracat which has his fur standing on end.
On Sina’s side stood a blue, almost white Pokemon standing on all four of its paws. I recognized it as a similar Pokémon to Vaporeon. Both Glaceon and Vaporeon are evolutions of the Pokémon Eevee which is a fan favorite in the Kanto region as well as many other Pokémon regions. Glaceon was the Ice-Type evolution of the fox-like Pokémon, Eevee.
“Come on Glaceon, we got this!”
“Smokey, use Ember!”
Smokey unleashed a blast of fire from around its neck with a small chime and the fireball shot forward towards Glaceon.
“Dodge. And use Icy Wind!”
Glaceon lept out of the way of the fireball as it soured past both Glaceon and Sina. Glaceon then let out a blast of cold air out of its mouth coating the area around Smokey. Smokey shook off the powdered snow surrounding it.
“It’s going to take a lot more than just some snow to take down me and Smokey!”
“Smokey, use Fire Fang!”
Smokey launched itself forward pouncing towards Glaceon. Its mouth filled with fire as it latched its teeth onto Glaceon.
Glaceon let out a small shriek.
“Smokey, use Ember!”
Smokey jumped back and unleashed a ball of fire from the bell around its neck. At this close proximity, Glaceon did not have the ability to get out of the way. The fireball struck Glaceon and sent it rolling backwards. It managed to roll back and land on its feet.
“Glaceon!” Sina yelled. “Use Icy Wind!”
Glaceon let out a stream of cold air and snow hitting Smokey directly but the Ice attack did little damage against it.
“Smokey! Finish Glaceon off with an Ember attack!”
Smokey unleashed another fireball from the necklace and the fireball collided with Glaceon. There was a small explosion sending a cloud of smoke and dust up into the air. When it finally settled, Glaceon laid there in the dust unable to battle.
Sina ran forward and scooped up Glaceon and fed it a Potion.
I ran forward and petted Smokey behind its ears.
“Good job Smokey,” I said.
I opened up its Pokéball and in a red flash Smokey was back inside his Pokéball.
“That was a great Pokémon Battle, Alexis,” Dexio said.
“Yeah that was over way faster than I thought it would be,” Sina said. She opened Glaceon’s Pokéball and it disappeared inside.
“You didn’t have the type advantage at all,” Dexio said with a laugh.
“Yeah whatever Dexio,” Sina said. “I think I finally get what Professor Sycamore was talking about before we left. Facing trials help you grow close to your team.”
Sina continued. “I think that’s absolutely wonderful, I feel like I’ve been able to have a glimpse of the Island Challenge.”
Dexio turned towards me, “You and your Pokemon are the ultimate team! No doubt about it!”
Dexio turned towards Sina, “Alexis here kind of reminds me of a group of five young trainers in Kalos.”
“Yeah I see a little bit of Champion Skyler in you, Alexis,” Sina said.
“Ummm…thank you,” I said unaware of who this Skyler person is or was.
“Also while you are on your adventures in the Alola region, be on the lookout for small, green, slimy Pokémon,” Dexio said.
“Yeah there are small cells of a Pokémon named Zygarde all over Alola and we’re trying to collect them all,” Sina said.
I nodded in confusion, “Ummm…ok.”
“Don’t worry,” Sina said. “I’m sure we’ll meet up again!”
“We should probably be taking our leave now! Bon voyage!” Dexio said.
Dexio and Sina waved at me as they made their way towards the Pokémon Center.
“I’m not sure what happened there,” I said with a small laugh.
Then this idea popped into my head. Oh yeah! Lillie!
I shook my head and then headed towards the entrance of the Tide Song Hotel. Outside the building was Lillie standing there with a nervous look on her face.
“Hey Lillie, what’s going on? How was your meeting?” I asked.
“Ummm… I saw some people who looked like those Team Skull thugs and I got scared. I was trying to avoid them and then I think I ended up missing my meeting… or maybe he hasn’t gotten here yet. I’m not really sure. I think its best that I stay here at the hotel just in case,” Lillie said.
“Do you want me to wait with you?” I asked.
“No…no it’s ok. I don’t want to hold you back on your Island Challenge. I’m sure you want to go out and take on the next trial. From what I’ve read, I think the nearest trial site is the one up Route 4.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to go with me?”
“I appreciate it Alexis, but it’s really important I stay here just in case he comes by. Plus if there is Team Skull thugs out there, it’s best that Nebby and I stay away from them.”
“Yeah that’s a good point,” I said.
Lillie gave a small smile, “Don’t worry Alexis, I’m going to go find the Professor and stay with him for a while. But I’ll be rooting for you.”
“Thanks Lillie, I really appreciate it,” I smiled and then gave her a hug.
We broke our embrace and gave her a small wave as I walked towards Route 4. I looked around at scenery pretty similar to the scenery on Melemele Island. There were a lot of tropical bushes, plants, and trees surrounding me as I moved forward. There was tall grass that came up to my waist. I had to wade through the tall grass and push it aside as I walked.
A few Pikipek flew overhead chattering to one another.
Eventually I made it to a small clearing with a few large, berry trees like the ones of Melemele Island. There were trees similar to the one that the Crabrawler was protecting.
“Maybe I should pick up some berries,” I said as I took a step forward towards the trees.
As I made my approach I noticed a small, brown Pokémon jumping up and down trying to reach the berries on the tree.
The Pokémon tried to reach the fruit then by pressing its front paws…er…hooves against the base of the tree and stretch its neck but it still wasn’t enough.
I bent down amongst some tall grass so the Pokémon couldn’t see me and pulled out Rotomdex.
“Rotom, quietly identify this Pokémon for me,” I whispered.
Rotom flashed to life.
“Bzzzt. Hello Alexis! Bzzzt.” Rotom said a little loud.
“Shhhhh! Rotom. I need you to quietly identify that Pokémon over there,” I said looking up at the Pokémon trying to grab the berries. It seemed too distracted by the berries to notice me and Rotom.
“Bzzzt. Ok Alexis. It will take a couple seconds. Bzzzt.”
It took a couple seconds and then information flashed up on the screen.
“Bzzzt. This Pokemon is Mudbray; the Donkey Pokémon,” Rotom explained. “Mudbray is native to the Alola region where they run wild and can roll around in mud puddles. Mudbray is also incredibly strong for its size and can carry loads up to 50 times its own weight. Mudbray is a hard worker, but if it becomes stressed or is overworked, it may become disobedient. Bzzzt.”
“Mudbray, huh? Maybe I should make it part of my team,” I said.
“Bzzzt. That is a wonderful idea! I love making new friends. Bzzzt.”
“Ok I’ll see if I can give it some berries.”
“Bzzzt. Good thinking. Bzzzt.”
“Ok Rotom, I’m putting you on standby for now,” I said. “Thanks for your help.”
“Bzzzt. No problem, Alexis! Bzzzt.”
Rotomdex turned off and I put it back into my bag. I pulled out a few berries I had collected from the trees on Melemele Island. I stood up and slowly walked out from the grass.
“Hey little guy or girl,” I said in a low voice.
The Mudbray turned around and saw me. It began to back up.
“It’s ok. Look here. I have some berries for you.”
I knealt down and tossed the berries forward.
Mudbray gave me a puzzled look and started sniffing the ground and approached the berries slowly. It got to the first one and sniffed it for a second, before it started digging into it. It ate the berry and quickly moved onto the next one.
“Huh, you’re pretty hungry,” I said reaching into my bag for more berries.
It began eating another berry without giving me any attention.
“Here,” I reached out my hands with a few more berries in it.
The Mudbray kind of looked me up and down and slowly approached. It began eating the berries out of one of my hands. I managed to reach up and give it a little scratch behind its ears. At that moment it shook my hand away and ran back to the tree. It stood there guarded and kept staring at me.
“Mudbray. I’m sorry if you didn’t like that. I just wanted to give you some berries and I was hoping that we could be friends. Do you think we could be friends?” I asked it.
It kept staring at me.
I frowned. I know I am supposed to try to reduce the Pokémon’s health before throwing a Pokéball, but I don’t want to hurt it. I reached into my bag and found a Great Ball. These were supposed to be better than regular Pokéballs when it comes to catching Pokémon.
I tossed it forward arcing towards Mudbray. Mudbray saw the Great Ball coming and turned around. Then it kicked its back legs out and smashed the Great Ball into pieces.
“Oh no!” I said.
The Mudbray then took off running towards the patch of tall grass.
“Come back, Mudbray!”
I started taking off after it. I was determined that Mudbray would be on my team of Pokémon. As I ran through the tall grass, I could not see Mudbray, but I saw the patch of grass move about up ahead so I knew I had to be close.
“Mudbray! Come back!”
Suddenly we were through the tall grass and in another small clearing. Mudbray kept running forward and I ran with it.
As we ran there was a big crack sound and then the ground gave out under both me and Mudbray. I found myself falling a small distance forward while Mudbray was falling backwards. I fell about 8 feet landing on a pile of hay. Mudbray was on top of me and we found ourselves at the bottom of some kind of pit.
I sat up a little sore from the fall but unhurt. Mudbray looked unharmed as well because I had cushioned its fall.
A young man appeared at the top of the pit.
“Excellent. My Pokémon trapped worked. I caught a…. a trainer?” The young man looked down with a puzzled look on his face. “Who are you?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” I said.
“Fair enough. My name is Ty the Pokémon Collector,” Ty said. “I am here on Akala Island to catch some rare Pokémon.”
“My name is Alexis,” I said standing up in the pit which was taller than I am. “Did you build this thing?”
“Yes, it is a Pokemon catching pit,” Ty said with a smile. “Although it looks like I just caught a Trainer instead.”
Mudbray stepped out from behind my legs and tried to climb a side of the pit, but the angle was too steep.
“Woah! I haven’t seen that Pokémon before, is it yours?” Ty asked.
“Well…no…not exactly but –” I began.
“Excellent! I caught a Pokémon! My trap worked!”
“Wait just a second,” I said. “Just because Mudbray fell into this pit, doesn’t make him yours. I found it first and I was tracking it down.”
“It’s not about finding it first,” Ty said. “It is about who captures it.”
“Well no one has technically captured it,” I said.
I could tell that Mudbray didn’t really care for the possible loopholes around Pokémon capture. It just wanted to get out of this hole.
I bent down and tried to comfort it by handing it a Poke Bean.
“Here, maybe you’ll like one of these,” I said in a soothing voice.
Mudbray looked at my hand and then quckly ate the Poke Bean.
I turned to Ty, “Why don’t you get us out of your trap and then we can talk about this.”
Ty folded his arms, “Fine.”
He left for a few seconds and came back with a ladder.
I looked down at Mudbray, “I’m going to carry you out of here, ok? You’re going to have to trust me.”
Mudbray gave me a look that I took as understanding, but it could have been confusion for all I know.
I picked up Mudbray with one arm and used the other to get myself out of the hole. Ty helped me as I reached the top of his trap and I pulled up the ladder.
“Now how are we going to decide who gets to keep Mudbray?” Ty asked.
“Well I think the final decision should be Mudbray’s to make,” I said. “However, I think a Pokémon battle is in order. Whoever wins gets to ask Mudbray to join its team first.”
“A Pokémon battle, huh? I think that’s fair,” Ty said with a smile. “My Pokémon won’t lose!”
“Then it’s a deal,” I said reaching out a hand.
“Deal!” Ty shook it.
Ty and I agreed on a one-on-one Pokémon battle similar to the one I had earlier with Sina and we took our places on opposite sides of the clearing. I had given Mudbray some berries so it was content sitting there chowing down on the food.
“Ok I’m ready!” Ty yelled.
“Me too!” I yelled back.
There was the red flash of the Pokéball and then a small, blue and gray Pokémon stood in front of me.
I pulled out Rotomdex. “I need your help again, Rotom.”
Rotom scanned the Pokémon and displayed information. “Bagon, the Rock Head Pokémon. This Dragon-type Pokémon lives in rough terrains with cliffs and rocks. It longs to fly and tries to do so by flinging itself off cliffs and then smashes its head against large rocks. This practice of smashing rocks with its head has caused its head to become as hard as steel. Bzzzt.”
“Wow, a Dragon-Type Pokémon. That’s really impressive,” I said.
“Thank you,” Ty said with a smile. “Now let’s see what Pokémon you have.”
“Ok! Go Storm!”
With a flash of red light there was Pikachu ready to battle.
“A regular, old Pikachu?” Ty complained. “Man, I was hoping you’d have something really cool.”
“Oh don’t worry Ty, Storm here is really cool!” I said. “Plus it’s going to take down your Bagon.”
“Yeah whatever, let’s just battle!”
“Storm, use Thundershock!”
Storm launched herself into the air and let out a blast of electrical energy towards Bagon. Bagon lowered its head and the lightning bolt struck its hard head. It seemed to do a little damage but most of it was deflected off its head.
“Ha ha! Go Bagon! Use Headbutt!”
Bagon launched itself forward and collided with Storm in midair. Its head impacted Storm and knocked Pikachu sliding back.
“Storm! Use Thunder Wave!”
The cheek pockets on Storm’s face lit up with a bright white light and then there was a pulse of electricity emitted towards Bagon. It hit it directly and static electricity circled Bagon.
“Oh right!” I cheered. “No Bagon is Paralyzed and may be unable to move.”
“It’s going to take more than just Paralysis to keep Bagon down!” Ty yelled. “Bagon, use Dragon Breath!”
Bagon unleashed a torrent of green fire from its mouth.
Storm’s speed mixed with the fact that Bagon was now slower meant that it was easy for Storm to get out of the way of the Dragon Breath just in time.
“Storm, use Nasty Plot!”
Storm’s eyes focused scanning Bagon for any of its weak spots as Storm formulated a plan. The electricity started to build around Storm and her cheeks began to glow.
Again Bagon was too slow and Storm’s speed was too much for it. Storm moved out of the way as Bagon crashed into the hard dirt.
“Storm, use Thundershock!”
Storm unleashed its buildup of electricity and the lightning bolt struck Bagon in the back with a large flash of white light. The electricity encompassed all of Bagon and it fell to its side. Bagon’s eyes were spinning.
“Bagon…” Bagon let out a small whimper.
“Bagon!” Ty ran forward and picked up Bagon. There was a flash of red light and Bagon was gone.
“Great job, Storm!” I ran forward and picked Storm up in a hug.
“Pika! Pikachu!” Storm seemed pleased with itself.
“That was a great battle, Ty!” I said approaching him.
“I can’t believe that I lost to a Pikachu,” Ty said.
“Hey, it’s not about how rare or cool your Pokémon are. It’s about training them and having a battle strategy. Storm and I have been working on that Thunderwave and Nasty Plot combo for a while,” I said.
“No. You’re right, Alexis. Thank you,” Ty stood up. “I’m going to train harder and we’ll have to battle again!”
“I’m looking forward to it,” I said with a smile.
Mudbray had walked up to me and started rubbing against my legs.
“Well it looks like someone was impressed by you,” Ty said.
I knelt down beside the Mudbray.
Mudbray looked up at Storm.
“Do you want to join my team now?” I asked it.
It seemed to nod its head.
“Well I guess that’s settled,” Ty said.
I opened up a Great Ball from my bag.
“Here, just like the one you broke earlier.”
“I think I’m going to call you Mud Puddle since the markings on you kind of look like a mud puddle,” I said. “Do you like that name?”
I took that as a ‘Yes.’
I tapped the Great Ball to its head and it disappeared inside in a flash of red light.
“Congratulations Alexis,” Ty said.
“Thanks Ty,” I said standing up with the Great Ball in hand.
“So are you on your way to Painola Town?” Ty asked me.
“Yup! I’m going to go take on the first Akala Island Trial.”
“Well good luck, I would go with you to Painola Town, but I want to catch me a Mudbray for myself,” Ty said.
“And maybe you should fill in this hole,” I suggested.
Ty looked down at it with a sigh. “Yeah that would be a good idea.”
I smiled and said my goodbyes to Ty promising that he would have a rematch down the road and then proceed towards Painola Town.