Hau and I stood dazed for a little bit after Gladion left, but the need to heal Storm woke me from my confusion.
“Hau, we need to get to the Pokémon Center so I can heal Storm,” I said. “Let’s head back to Paniola Town.”
“Actually there’s one closer, up ahead,” Hau said.
“Ok let’s go,” I said holding Storm in my arms.
We quickly ran up ahead with Hau leading the way. Luckily we didn’t run into any Team Skull Grunts or Gladion on our way to the Pokémon Center. I was confused on this Gladion person and his relations with Team Skull, but right now all my focus was on getting Storm healed.
Hau and I barged into the Pokémon Center and I ran straight to the front desk.
“Please I need your help, it’s my Pikachu,” I said handing Storm to the nurse.
“My Pokémon need some healing also,” Hau said standing beside me.
“Don’t worry, we’ll heal them in no time,” The nurse said. A Blissey came up beside the nurse and took Storm from my hands.
The nurse took Hau’s Pokéballs and they both went through the back doors of the Pokémon Center.
“I’m sure it will be fine,” Hau said.
He must have noticed the stress on my face.
“Yeah I know,” I said. “I guess I’m just not used to my Pokémon being defeated in battle.”
“Lucky,” Hau said. His composure dropped.
“I’m sorry Hau, I didn’t mean to – ”
“It’s ok Alexis, I know you didn’t mean anything by it. It’s just that that Gladion fellow really got me thinking. I tried to be more relaxed about the whole battling thing after coming here to Akala Island, but then he goes on about how I’m not battling to my whole potential,” Hau said.
“That guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s a member of Team Skull,” I tried to comfort him.
“Yeah that’s true. But maybe he’s right about me not battling hard enough or training hard enough. I got beat by you and him all in a 24-hour period, and I’ve had a difficult time taking on the trainers here on Akala Island,” Hau said.
“I didn’t realize you were having such a hard time,” I said hanging my head.
“It’s ok, Alexis,” Hau said. “I just need to spend a little bit of time with just me and my Pokémon, you know? I need to spend some time training and thinking about what this Island Challenge is all about for me.”
“You’re leaving?” I asked.
“Well not forever,” Hau said. “I just need a little time by myself.”
“Oh ok,” I said.
“Wow. You’re really sad about this,” Hau said.
“Of course I am! You’re my friend and my trial buddy!” I yelled at him.
Some other patrons of the café and the Pokémon Center turned to look at me.
Hau smiled a little, “Don’t worry Alexis, I won’t be gone for long. Plus you have a trial to look forward to so you shouldn’t be focusing on me, ok?”
I made a pouty face at him, “Yeah. I guess.”
“Ummm…excuse me? Miss. Sir. You’re Pokémon are healed,” The nurse said.
“Thank you,” I said.
Hau grabbed his Pokéballs.
Blissey ran up next to the nurse holding Storm.
“Storm!” I grabbed Storm and swung her around. I squeezed Storm in a tight hug and dealt with the little sparks of electricity jumping off Storm’s cheeks and up my body.
“Sorry, sorry,” I said. “I just missed you so much.”
I turned to the nurse, “Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.”
“No problem,” The nurse smiled at me and Hau, “Just doing my job.”
The nurse led Blissey back behind the Pokémon Center’s central desk.
“Well I better get going if I’m going to get started on this training regiment,” Hau said.
“Ok, just be careful out there. Apparently Akala is full of Team Skull Grunts,” I said.
Hau nodded, “Will do. And good luck on the next trial.”
“Yeah you too,” I said. My smile fell a little flat.
Hau waved at me goodbye and he left the Pokémon Center.
I was left alone for a second sitting at a Café table with Storm on my lap.
Smokey had taken a seat opposite of me and curled up on the chair across the table. Mud Puddle sat by my side and tried nibbling on Storm’s tail.
“Excuse me! Sir!” The Café man yelled out into the crowded Café area.
His yelling peaked my interest.
I looked over and he was holding a Pokéball.
I stood up and Storm went to resting on my shoulder. Mud Puddle walked with me and nibbled on my fingertips. Smokey yawned and stretched but remained sitting in a chair.
“Excuse me, is there something wrong?” I asked the Café man.
“Oh. Well. There was just a patron who was drinking a cup of Pinap Berry Juice. When he left, he forgot this Pokéball here. It may be very important,” He said.
“Well I can deliver it for you,” I told him. “What did the man look like?”
“That’s very kind of you, stranger. Well the man was dressed up very formal. At least formal for Akala Island. He wore a white dress shirt, and red flowery shorts. He is an older man with a large, busy mustache. He just left a few seconds ago so he shouldn’t be too hard to find,” He informed me.
“Ok sounds good. I’ll find him, don’t worry,” I said. “Come on guys and girls, we have a mission.”
Storm and Mud Puddle seemed eager for the adventure, but Smokey remained sitting in the chair.
“Come on Smokey,” I said patting my legs.
Smokey stretched and then jumped off the chair before running over to me.
We all made our way out of the Pokémon Center and looked around. There were several different people walking about. None of which matched the gentleman’s description. I was surprised that there were actually a lot of people walking about and some of them were having battles not too far from the Pokémon Center.
I continued to look around but I didn’t see the man and I didn’t see Hau either.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a man in a white shirt and red shorts.
“Excuse me! Excuse me!” I ran forward trying to catch up to the man.
I ran as fast as I could with Storm holding on to my hair and Mud Puddle and Smokey running behind me.
The man was walking by himself and seemed to be just enjoying a stroll with his glass of Pinap Berry Juice. Walking beside him was a small, spherical Pokémon I didn’t recognize.
“Well look at that Bouncee, a nice young lady found us,” The old man said.
I took a little bit to breathe and Mud Puddle and Smokey tried to make friends with the new Pokémon.
“You…forgot…your…Pokéball…” I said through deep breathes.
“Oh! My Pokéball. Thank you so much. The Mrs. would have been angry at me if I forgot her precious Lillipup.”
“Lillipup?” I asked. “That’s a Pokémon, right?”
The old man chuckled a little bit, “Here let me show you.”
The old man held out his hand and I handed him the Pokéball. There was a flash of red light and a small, dog-like Pokémon. It had a fluffy face and two large ears that pointed up straight. It had a little spot of purple fur on its back.
“Awwwh!” I bent down and petted Lillipup behind the ears.
“This here is my wife’s favorite Pokémon. She had one long ago when she was in living in Striaton City in the Unova Region. Recently she has gotten quite ill so I thought I’d bring a Pokémon to her side. However this Bounsweet didn’t do the job. I was hoping that LIllipup would be enough to cheer her up,” He explained to me.
I wiped a little tear from my eye, “That’s really awesome of you.”
“That’s what you do for the ones you love,” He said patting my hand.
LIllipup, Bounsweet, Storm, Mud Puddle, and Smokey were all running around our legs playing together.
“You said you got this Pokémon to give to your wife?” I asked.
“Yes, I thought Bouncee would cheer up my wife, but she didn’t fall in love with it like I did. Unfortunatley, I don’t think I could take care of both Bouncee and Lillipup while also taking care of my wife,” The man said.
I bowed my head to think. “Yeah that does sound like a lot.”
“Why don’t you take her?” The man asked.
I looked up at him with an astonished face, “What?”
“Well you look like a wonderful, young lady, and I think Bouncee would love to go on adventures with other Pokémon.”
“But…but… I can’t just take your Pokémon,” I said.
“You have already done me a wonderful favor and now I want you to do another favor for Bouncee here,” The man reached forward and put a Pokéball into my hand.
“I…I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much.”
“No, thank you,” The man smiled at me. “I know that Bouncee will make an amazing part of your team. Plus you’re going to be taking on Captain Lana’s trial, right?”
“Ummmmm…yeah I am,” I said.
“Well Lana is a big fan of Water-type Pokémon, so a Grass-Type like Bouncee will be very helpful,” The man said with a large smile.
“Thank you again,” I said.
“No problem, keep good care of Bouncee.”
“Will do,” I said with a nod.
The old man turned to Bouncee, “Bouncee, this here is…uh… I didn’t actually get your name.”
“This here is Alexis,” The old man continued. “She is going to be your trainer now. You’re going to go on wonderful adventures and you’re going to make all kinds of friends. Does that sound like something you’d like to do?”
Bouncee looked at the old man and then back to me.
Bouncee ran over to me and snuggled up to my leg.
“Where that settles it,” The man said.
The old man picked up Lillipup into his arms, “I think it’s time to head home.”
He gave a little wave to me and I waved back.
I bent over to get closer to Bouncee. I reached into my bag and pulled out Rotomdex.
“Let’s get an official description from Rotom, shall we.”
“Bzzzt. Hello Alexis. Bzzzt.”
“Hello Rotom, I have a regular Pokemon for you to identify,” I told him.
“Bzzzt. Can do! Bzzzt,” Rotom said.
It took a minute to buffer and came back with information about the new Pokémon.
“Bzzzt. Bounsweet, the Fruit Pokémon. Bounsweet exudes a delicious smell from its entire body which has led to its popularity in the Alola region. The scent is also known to have a calming effect on Pokémon and people which lead to people keeping Bounsweets as living, air fresheners. Bzzzt.”
“Thanks Rotom,” I said putting Rotomdex back into my bag.
I turned to Bouncee. “So you’re Bouncee the Bounsweet, huh? Well don’t worry, we’re going to do everything to incorporate you into our team.”
“Sweet! Sweet!” Bouncee said as it bounced up and down.
I smiled at it and patted the leaves on top of its head. “This here is Smokey, he’s a Fire-Type so maybe stay away from him.”
“This is Mud Puddle, he loves to play in the mud so you’ll probably get along.”
“And this here is Storm.”
I picked up Bouncee and gave her a little squeeze. I was so happy to gain a new member to the team ahead of our journey towards our next trial.