I tossed and turned the entire night. The rocky ground below me did not help me get comfortable and the hot, ash-filled air didn’t help either. I felt like I was breathing through a blanket. The hot air just clung to me and put pressure on my chest. It was a rough night. Eventually I did get some sleep, but not very much.
“Alexis, are you up?” Lillie’s voice came from outside my tent.
“Yeah, give me a minute,” I said.
My voice was raspy like I was yelling in my sleep.
I rubbed my throat but that didn’t seem to help with my hoarse voice. I felt my forehead and it was hot. Unfortunately I couldn’t tell if that was from illness or because literally everything around me was hot. My whole body was sweaty and clammy.
I looked over at my Pokéballs which laid next to my bag of supplies. I’m glad they could stay in there where the world is better than this one. Maybe Smokey’s Pokéball was like this, but I doubted it. I felt like this heat would be too much even for a Fire-type Pokémon like Smokey.
I changed clothes into some that weren’t covered in ash and then emerged from the tent. Both Hau and Lillie were busy putting away their tents and packing up. Both of them looked as bad as I felt.
“Hey Alexis,” Hau looked over at me. “How did you sleep?”
“Horrible,” I admitted. “How about you?”
“Same,” Hau said with a faint smile.
“I couldn’t sleep either,” Lillie said. “It’s just way too hot up here. Nebby slept fine though.”
Nebby bounced up and down.
“Well I’m glad someone did,” I said.
Both Hau and Lillie laughed. Their voices were hoarse like mine so the laughs came out more like coughs.
I looked up towards the peak of the Volcano. We had spent the whole evening travelling, but we weren’t even at the top of the Volcano. Thinks would only get hotter from here. Already the ash had started to fall down on us and started to collect on our clothes and in our hair.
“Let’s get moving so we don’t have to stay here any longer than necessary. Le’ts climb this Volcano, defeat the Trial Captain, and get out of here,” I said.
Both Hau and Lillie nodded.
We finished packing up camp as the sun began to rise on the Alola region. I managed to shake off most of the ash that was falling from the sky, but more took it’s place. Lillie had pulled out her parasol to use to deflect some of the ash from her white clothes.
As we climbed up the rocky path towards the Volcano’s peak, we kept an eye out for any more sneaky Salandit’s hiding in the tall grass. We didn’t see any, but we kept our eyes peeled. I didn’t want to get distracted again with another side mission to save Nebby. Those seemed to happen all the time. Although the last time was my fault and I still felt bad about it.
I looked over at Lillie who was trying to keep Nebby in her bag with one hand while holding the umbrella with the other. Ash was falling on Nebby but it didn’t seem to mind. At least they were together again.
“Guys, look up ahead!” Hau pointed ahead of us.
Both Lillie and I turned to see that up the path, the rocky terrain stopped and became a normal asphalt road.
I rubbed my eyes.
“Who put a road up here?” Lillie asked.
“I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like it’s very useful though,” Hau said.
“Yeah it just kind of stops in the middle of the Volcano,” I said.
“On the plus side, it might lead to the peak of the Volcano,” Hau said.
“Let’s hope so.”
All three of us continued to follow the road up the Volcano to the peak. The ground was smoother and it was easier to walk on. However, the asphalt reflected more of the heat than the normal soil, so it was hotter.
“This is miserable,” Hau said doing his best to wipe ash and sweat from his forehead.
“Agreed,” I said shaking ash off my clothes.
“Are we almost there?” Lillie asked.
“I sure hope so,” I said. “I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.”
“We have to be almost there,” Hau said looking up ahead. “We’ve climbed almost an entire Volcano.”
“Maybe the trial is climbing the Volcano,” Lillie said.
“After the Trial at Brooklet Hill, Captain Lana told me that I needed to climb the Volcano to meet a Captain Kiawe. So there better be someone up here at the top,” I said. “However, Lana did mention that Kiawe has a flair for the dramatic. Whatever that means.”
“Hopefully that means he has a diner and a show,” Hau said rubbing his stomach. “I’m starving.”
“Yeah I’m pretty hungry too,” I said.
“Me too,” Lillie agreed.
I looked around and surveyed the road as we walked.
“Not many berry bushes up here,” I said.
“No much besides rocks,” Lillie said.
“Let’s just get to the top and hope that he at least has a popsicle stand up here,” Hau said.
“I think it would all be melted,” I laughed.
“Just let me dream, Alexis,” Hau said.
We all continued to climb up the Volcano. My legs grew weary as we followed the road up and up. It seemed like we were climbing forever as the sun began reaching its zenith in the sky when we stumbled upon a sign of life.
There were signs on the side of the road that were partially blocked with ash.
I brushed off the sign and read it.
“Welcome to Wela Volcano Park,” I read.
“We made it!” Hau shouted.
“Finally,” Lillie sighed.
“Look over there,” Hau pointed forward.
We all looked past the sign. There on a level bit of ground stood a large building almost the size of the Battle Royal Dome.
“What do you think it is?” Hau asked.
“Maybe that’s where the trial is held,” Lillie suggested.
“Either way, it is a place out of the heat and out of the ash,” I said. “Let’s go.”
We all nodded and ran up to the building.
It had large, glass doors. As we stepped up to them, the doors opened automatically and a wave of cool air hit all three of us.
“Air conditioning!” I shouted.
We all ran into the building as the cool air surrounded us. We all sighed in unison.
“This feels amazing,” Hau said.
“I forgot how great cool air was,” I said.
“I think I’m in heaven,” Lillie said.
We all stood there for a second as we cooled off, but eventually we began to take in more of our surroundings. The area here was a large open space, with what looked like a Pokémon Battlefield like the one in the Viridian City Gym.
“Guys, I think this is a gym,” I said.
“LIke a place you go to work out and lift weights?” Hau asked.
“No, like a Gym. A Pokémon Gym,” I said.
“Hau, you should know what a Gym is,” Lillie said. “In other Pokémon regions they have Gyms and Gym Leaders instead of Trials like we have in Alola. You battle each Gym Leader, recieve a Gym Badge, and eventually after you collect enough badges, you can battle in the international tournament called the Pokémon League.”
“Yeah I know what you meant,” Hau said. “I was just trying to make a joke.”
“Oh,” Lillie said blushing a little.
“Well I guess we should probably look around,” I said.
“Maybe this place has a kitchen,” Hau said.
“Or a shower,” Lillie chimed in.
“I’d love both of those things,” I said.
We all turned towards the sound of a new voice.
There standing in the middle of the Gym floor was a young man, shirtless, wearing red shorts and sandals. He had black and red hair which was spiked. He wore a necklace around his neck and in his hand was a Pokéball.
“Hello,” I said.
“Visitors!” The young man said before approaching us.
Hau, Lillie, and I all gave each other looks of confusion.
“Ummm…are you Captain Kiawe?” I asked him.
“Indeed. You already know who I am,” Kiawe laughed.
“Yeah well Captain Lana told me I’d find you on top of a Volcano,” I explained.
“She wasn’t lying about that,” Kiawe said. “Well nice to meet you travelers, and what is your names.”
“My name is Alexis and this is Hau and Lillie,” I introduced us.
“Ah. And all of you are here to complete a trial?” Kiawe asked.
“Just Alexis, here,” Lillie said.
“Hau is also a trial goer,” I chimed in.
“I’m just a trial behind Alexis,” Hau admitted.
Kiawe placed his hand on Hau’s shoulder.
“That is ok. Everyone has their own pace for completing trials. Quickness does not automatically mean sucuess,” Kiawe said.
“Thanks,” Hau said with a small smile.
“I’d hate to ask,” Lillie said. “But is it possible to get cleaned up before any trial commences?”
“Also do you have any food?” Hau asked.
“I guess I don’t get many visitors up here on the Volcano. I lost my manners. Don’t worry, everyone. You guys can get cleaned up and eat before any trial occurs,” Kiawe said.
“Thank you, Captain Kiawe. We really appreciate it,” I said.
“No problem Alexis,” Kiawe said.
Kiawe lead us across the battlefield towards the back of the building. There were many bedrooms and some training rooms. He showed us each rooms where we could shower and then change into some spare clothes.
“Just meet me back out on the battlefield when you’re ready. I’ll have lunch ready for us,” Kiawe said.
“Thanks Kiawe,” I said.
“Yeah we owe you a ton,” Hau said.
“It’s my pleasure,” Kiawe said. “But don’t think I’m just doing it only because I’m a good person. I’m also doing this so my competitor is up to the challenge.”
“I’ll be ready,” I said with a nod.
I walked into the room and took a long shower. It took me a while to get all the dirty and ash out of my hair and off my skin. And honestly the cool water felt amazing. I just stood there letting the cold water hit my face and roll down my body.
Eventually I emerged from the shower. Kiawe had left some clothes on the bed for me. It was a red and black track suit. I put it on. It was a little big for me, but it didn’t smell like ash, and that’s all I really needed.
I came out of my room after grabbing my bag. Lillie and Hau were already at a table with Kiawe eating sandwiches. They were wearing identical red and black track suits.
“There she is,” Kiawe said.
“Yeah sorry I’m late,” I replied.
“Sit down Alexis,” Lillie said. “Kiawe was telling us all about how he wants to turn this place into an actual Pokémon Gym.”
“Really?” I asked. “I thought Alola was all about Trials.”
“Yeah they are, but I think it’s so old fashioned. I don’t understand why we have to have all of these tasks leading up to a battle with a Totem Pokémon. Many other regions use the rules set up by the International Pokémon League and it works perfect for them. I think Alola needs to get on board. It will help with our international reputation,” Kiawe said.
“International reputation?” I asked.
“Well Alola can sometimes be viewed as nothing more than a vacation location with strange, island culture and regional variants of Pokemon found elsewhere in the world,” Kiawe explained. “I want Alola to change so we can hold international tournaments. Boost the economic influx while also spreading our culture to the rest of the world.”
“That’s a pretty bold vision,” Hau said.
“Yeah well I feel like we need to have lofty goals if we want to keep the spotlight on us. It seems like people are always gushing over both the Kanto Region and Johto Region. Not much love in thrown our way,” Kiawe said.
“Well I moved here from Kanto and I really love it here,” I said.
Kiawe gave me a smile.
“I’m glad to hear that, Alexis,” Kiawe said.
“So if you don’t believe in trials, what do you do for your…uh…trial?” I asked.
“I believe in the simple way of determining who is stronger,” Kiawe said. “Just a Pokémon Battle against yours truly.”
“Just a battle, huh?” I said while finishing a sandwich.
“Speaking of which, do you think you’re ready, Alexis?”
I stood up from the table.
“I’m ready Captain Kiawe. I’m ready for your trial!”
A large grin grew on Kiawe’s face.
“Wonderful! Let’s get ready.”
Kiawe and the rest of us moved the table and food to the side of the battlefield where Lillie and Hau could sit and enjoy the battle while eating the food. Kiawe and I stood on opposite ends of the battlefield. We stood on rocky platforms that stood about two feet off the ground. This allowed us to have a better angle for the Pokémon Battle and we could see more of the field. The actual battlefield was mostly empty except there are a few large boulders littering it.
“So Alexis, this is going to be a 3-on-3 battle with no substitutions. Whoever can knock out the other person’s Pokemon out first will be declared the winner. If you win, you can go on your way to the next trial,” Kiawe explained.
“Ok let’s do this,” I said.
He pulled a Pokéball from his belt.
I pulled my own from by bag. Kiawe was a fire-type trainer so I knew what I had to use.
“Go Mud Puddle!”
There was a flash of light and Mud Puddle the Mudbray on the field.
“Hmmm…a Mudbray. Let’s see how well it does against Marrowak!”
Kiawe opened his Pokéball and Marowak appeared on the battlefield. Except this didn’t look like the Marowak I was used to. This Marowak was purple instead of brown and its bone club had blue flames on each end.
“Woah. Is that an Alolan form of Marowak?” I asked.
“You’re a smart one, Alexis,” Kiawe said.
“Thanks,” I said.
“Ok enough talking, it is time for battle!” Kiawe announced.
“Mud Puddle, use Stomp!”
Mud Puddle ran forward and tried to slam its hooves into Marowark. Unfortunatley, Mudbray seemed to go right through Marowak without affecting it and Mud Puddle crashed into one of the large boulders.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Come on Alexis, stay sharp,” Kiawe said. “Now Marowak, use Bone Club!”
Marowak readied its bone weapon and then slammed into the side of Mud Puddle. Mud Puddle skidded across the ground and slammed into another boulder.
“Now Marowak, use Bonemerang!”
Marowak jumped up on one of the boulders. It squared its shoulders and then threw the bone club. It slammed into Mud Puddle before it could move and then the club returned to Marowark like a boomerang.
Mud Puddle laid there in the rubble of the boulder unable to battle.
“Return Mud Puddle!”
There was a flash of red light and Mud Puddle was back inside its Pokéball.
“Come on Alexis, you can do it!” Hau shouted from the sidelines.
“Yeah we believe in you, Alexis,” Lillie yelled.
I tried to shake off this bad feeling that was growing in my stomach.
“Ok we can do this. I just need a new strategy. Maybe Kiawe uses Ground types. Or maybe this Marowak is Fire/Ground. But why didn’t Stomp do any damage?” I tried talking strategy with myself.
“Are we ready to continue this battle, Alexis?” Kiawe asked.
“Yeah I’m ready. Go Bouncee!”
There was another flash of red light and Bouncee the Steenee was out on the battlefield.
“An interesting choice,” Kiawe said.
“Let’s go Bouncee, use Razor Leaf!” I yelled.
Bouncee jumped up on top of a boulder to get a better view of Marowak. Then she unleashed a fury of leaves that whipped towards Marowak.
“Marowak! Use Flame Wheel!”
Marowak started to spin his bone creating a vortex of fire. It burnt up all the leaves before they could hit their mark.
“Wow. Definitely a Fire type,” I muttered. “Bouncee use Rapid Spin!”
Bouncee lept forward and began to spin faster and faster. At it neared Marowak, it made no effort to get out of the way. They should have collided on top of the boulder, but instead Bouncee seemed to pass right through and did no damage to Marowak.
“You have to be smarter than that,” Kiawe said. “Marowak use Hex!”
Small blue flames started to form around Marowak and then they launched at Bouncee. They struck her and she rolled down the bolder onto the rocky ground.
“Now Marowak, use Flame Wheel!”
Marowak began spinning its bone club again and the blue fire increased in size. The spiral of fire launched forward and engulfed Bouncee.
“No!” I yelled.
As the flames dispersed, Bouncee laid there not moving.
“He defeated another one,” I said.
I hadn’t even touched his Marowak and he had defeated two of my Pokémon. He had two more Pokémon after Marowak which were probably more powerful.
“Return Bouncee,” I said as I opened its Pokéball.
“Things are really heating up, hey Alexis,” Kiawe said.
This was a completely different side of Kiawe from before. He was no longer a caring, nurturing host. He was now a competitive, fiery Gym Leader.
“It’s not over yet,” I said.
“That’s what I like to hear,” Kiawe said.
I knew that Storm the Pikachu would not useful against Marowak who could use Ground type moves like Bone Club and Bonemerang. My only choice was to fight fire with fire. Literally.
Before me was Smokey the Torracat.
“This is going to be fun!” Kiawe exclaimed.
“Ok, Smokey. You’re my last hope. We can do it.”
“Smokey, use Bite!”
Smokey launched forward and clamped his mouth onto Marowak’s arm.
Marowak tried its best to free itself from Smokey’s jaws but Smokey held on.
“Marowak, use Bone Club!”
Marowak’s one arm was held by Smokey but it used the other arm to swing the club and it collided with Smokey. Smokey was knocked back but he mangaged to land on his feet.
“Now use Ember!” I yelled.
Smokey unleashed a ball of fire from its necklace with a small jingle of the bell.
“Marowak, use Flame Wheel!”
Marowak started spinning its club. The blue flames formed a vortex. Both the blue fire and fire from Smokey collided midair in an explosion of fire.
“Now Marowak, let’s finish this. Use Bonemerang!” Kiawe yelled.
Marowak threw its bone club and it collided with Smokey knocking him back into the boulder and then returned to Marowak’s hand.
Smokey teetered but remained standing.
“Smokey!” I yelled.
“Again!” Kiawe yelled.
Marowak threw its bone club again and it struck Smokey. He was in really bad condition.
“Alexis! Call it off!” Lillie yelled.
I looked over at her and saw that tears were streaming down her face. Hau looked distraught.
I shook my head. I jumped off the stone platform and started running towards Smokey.
“Stop! Stop! I surrender!”
Marowak prepared for another attack and then held.
I ran up and wrapped up Smokey in my arms. It was badly injured and could barely stand up by itself. One more hit and it would have been the end for him.
“Well that’s the battle,” Kiawe said. “Return Marowak.”
I just knelt down and held Smokey in my arms. Tears streamed down my face.
Header Photo Credit as well as many other photos goes to Bulbapedia
Amazing picture of Alolan Marowak using Flame Wheel belongs to ZacharyBla’s DeviantArt Page