Captain Kiawe and I spent the rest of the morning and start of the afternoon relaxing after our heated battle. He healed up both of our Pokémon and then proceeded to making us both lunch. Kiawe made the most delicious burritos with the right amount of spice. I also spent some time reading through entries on my Rotomdex about Dewpider and Tsareena. I did a little research on them so I could understand their abilities better and formulate a strategy going forward for future Pokémon battles.
Kiawe knocked on my door. I looked up at him standing in the doorway.
“Lunch is ready,” He said with a smile.
We ate lunch on the battlefield where we just had our battle. There were still puddles in some places from Bubbles’ powerful, Water-Type Z-Move. Kiawe’s Alolan Marowak’s played alongside Smokey, Storm, Mud Puddle, Bouncee, and Bubbles while Kiawe and I ate our lunch.
“You have a pretty good team,” Kiawe said.
“Thanks,” I replied.
“You know that you can have up to six different Pokémon on your team, but not more,” Kiawe said.
“Yeah that’s something that I learned back in Kanto,” I said. “Good to see some things don’t change from region to region.”
“Well do you know what your sixth member of the team is going to be?” Kiawe asked.
“Honestly I hadn’t thought about it,” I said. “I’m still discovering all these amazing different Pokémon in the Alola region, all with their own personalities as well as differences in their strengths and weaknesses. It’s really hard to decide.”
“Well you seem to have a pretty good mix of Pokémon already. And I’m sure whatever Pokémon you end up choosing, will be a great addition to your team,” Kiawe said.
“Thanks, Captain Kiawe. I really appreciate the support,” I said.
“You’re welcome, Alexis.”
We finished up with our food and I collected up all my stuff. I tried to return the jumpsuit, but Kiawe insisted that I keep it just in case. I rounded up my Pokémon and put them back into their Pokéballs and then I jumped in Kiawe’s jeep. I sat in the passenger seat, up front next to Kiawe. We then proceeded with our journey down the volcano in Kiawe’s jeep like we did before. This time; however, I was excited to be moving on from Wela Volcano Park with a victory of Captain Kiawe. Now I was able to progress forward and start on the next leg of my journey to complete the Island Trials.
We rode down the side of the Volcano until we came to the bottom. There was the familiar path of Route 7. This was one I had been on many times before.
“Well I think this is the last I’ll be seeing you,” Kiawe said. “At least for a little while.”
“Thank you again, Kiawe,” I said.
“Any time, Alexis,” Kiawe said. “The next step of your journey will be found in Lush Jungle. You’ll need to follow Route 8 North alongside the backside of Akala Island. There you will find Captain Mallow in Lush Jungle with your next trial. Lush Jungle is full of Grass Pokémon, but you should have no trouble with those with your Torracat by your side. After Mallow’s trial will be the Grand Trial of Akala Island hosted by Kahuna Olivia, but that’s a little ways off. Just focus on the next trial and it shouldn’t be a problem.”
I nodded my head.
“Thanks,” I said.
I said my goodbyes to Captain Kaiwe as I made my way north to Route 8. I was happy that I was victorious over Kaiwe in our battle and happy to leave Wela Volcano Park behind me. I was looking forward to the second half of Akala Island the challenges that awaited me.
As I walked, I thought about my next upcoming trial. I had met Captain Mallow once before when I first arrived to Akala Island with Professor Kukui, Hau, and Lillie. I knew she liked to cook and that she fancied Grass-Type Pokémon. Of course Kaiwe was right when he said I should have no problems with Grass-Type Pokémon. They were weak to Fire-types like Smokey and Bug-Types like Bubbles. This trial should be a breeze.
Thinking about Hau and Lillie kind of took the wind out of my sails. I briefly looked back hoping they would be there beside me, but they weren’t. As far as I knew, they were both still in Brooklet Hill so Hau could complete his trial with Captain Lana. Then they would be making the trek back up the volcano to Kiawe’s challenge. Hau had a lot of ground to cover and Lillie seemed to have some kind of mysterious past I hadn’t been able to crack. We were one big group who had started to become friends, but there were still huge walls between us keeping us separate. It was like we all had our own paths and they just briefly crossed one another.
I wiped a tear from my eye.
I shook my head.
This is crazy. Why am I crying. I’ll be fine. I just need to take a moment and breathe.
So that’s what I did. I stood on the cliff overlooking the ocean. There were Pikipeks and Wingulls flying about and dropping down towards the ocean. Many different Pokémon seemed to live among the side of the cliff. I took a deep breath of the ocean air letting it fill my lungs. I swear almost the entire island looked like it could be in a tourism magazine or on a postcard. Akala Island looked beautiful.
“Ummmm…excuse me, Miss?”
I turned around and there was standing a young, man about my age wearing a fully white and gold outfit. The white made him pop compared to the dirt paths and foliage of Route 8.
“Oh. Hello,” I said nervously.
“I’m sorry to bother you, but have you seen a Stufful around here?” He asked.
“A what?” I asked him.
“Stufful. It’s a Pokémon. Pink and fluffy. Except this one is gold,” The guy said.
“I haven’t seen anything like that,” I said.
“Well thanks anyway,” He said turning around.
He turned back towards me.
“Maybe I can help you look for this…ummm… Stuffimal,” I said.
“Stufful,” He said.
“Right,” I said. “I can help you.”
“You would do that?” He asked.
“Well I’m not doing anything right now,” I said. “And it looks like you could use the help.”
“Thanks,” He said with a laugh.
“My name is Alexis,” I said holding out my hand.
“Nice to meet you, Alexis,” He said shaking my hand. “My name is Cole.”
“Nice to meet you, Cole.”
We stood there for a second shaking hands for a little too long, before Cole let go of my hand.
“So we should probably find this Pokémon, right?” I asked.
“Right,” He said.
“Well maybe I should know what it looks like first,” I said.
I reached into my bag and pulled out Rotomdex.
“Woah, you have a Rotomdex? That’s awesome,” Cole said.
“Yeah. Thanks,” I said.
I turned on Rotom.
“Bzzzt. Hello Alexis. Bzzzt.”
“Hello Rotom,” I said. “I need you to look up a Pokémon for me. Can you do that?”
“Bzzzt. Of course. What Pokémon do you need? Bzzzt.”
“Stufful,” Cole said.
“Bzzzt. Give me one second. Checking for Stufful. Bzzzt.”
It took a second before Rotom pulled up the information on the screen.
“Bzzzt. Stufful. The flailing Pokémon. Despite its small size, Stufful has extraordinary strength and can knock out even well trained Pokémon if they are unprepared. The combination of its cute appearance, mannerisms, and fluffy fur make it very popular. However, Stufful actually dislikes being touched and will flail its arms if it is embraced. Bzzzt.”
Rotom brought up the picture of a cute, Pink bear Pokémon.
“Awh! Stufful is adorable!” I squealed.
“Don’t be decieved, Stufful is incredibly strong and can do some real damage,” Cole said.
“I’ll keep in mind while we look for it,” I said. “But wait, Cole. You said that this Stufful wasn’t pink. It was gold. Right? How is that possible?”
“Well this Stufful isn’t a normal Stufful. Usually in the wild, Stuffuls are pink like the one that Rotom showed you. However; there is a phenomenon that happens in the wild where the Pokémon’s genetics can be unique. This causes the Pokémon to be a different color. Some people call these uniquely colored Pokémon, ‘shiny,'” Cole explained.
He continued, “Shiny Pokémon are often sought after by Pokémon collectors and breeders which is why The Aether Foundation assigned me to Route 8 to find the shiny Stufful and bring it back to Aether Paradise.”
“Wait…hold on…what are those words you just said?” I asked.
“I’m not sure that question made sense,” He laughed.
“I can say the same to you,” I said. “What is the…Aether?”
“The Aether Foundation? That’s where I work,” Cole said.
“So that’s why you’re wearing that White outfit?”
“Exactly,” Cole said. “I work for The Aether Foundation which is an organization created to help Pokémon and provide for them a safe place from trainers and other Pokémon. We have an artificial Island off the coast of Akala called Aether Paradise which serves as our home base and Pokémon reserve.”
“Wow, that’s incredible,” I said.
“Yeah it really is,” Cole said. “Maybe you can come check it out sometime.”
“Well I have a Island Trial to complete, but maybe after that,” I said with a smile.
“Oh, so you’re working on your Island Challenge, huh? How far have you gotten?” Cole asked.
“Well I’ve completed the challenges of Melemele Island and now I’m working on Akala Island challenges. I just completed Captain Kaiwe’s challenge on the volcano’s peak and now I’m heading to Lush Jungle to complete Captain Mallow’s challenge.”
“That’s quite impressive,” Cole said.
“Bzzzt. Maybe we should look for Stufful now. Bzzzt,” Rotom said interupting our conversation.
Cole and I had gotten off task talking to one another that we completely forgot about our quest to find the shiny Stufful.
“You’re right, Rotom,” I said with a laugh. “Why don’t you go back in my bag and Cole and I will track down the Stufful.”
“Bzzzt. Ok Alexis. Bzzzt.”
Rotom then returned to my bag and deactivated.
“That’s a pretty nifty device,” Cole said.
“Yeah I guess so,” I said.
“Well let’s see if we can track down this Stufful.”
We began our search along Route 8 looking for the Shiny Stufful with its golden fur.
“Stufful! Stufful!” Cole yelled out.
I stopped a couple walking along Route 8 to ask them if they had seen Stufful and they said no.
We continued to search. I looked behind large rocks, trees, and bushes while Cole checked the patches of tall grass.
“Piki Piki Piki!”
A group of Pikipek were startled by Cole and took flight.
He waved them away and be both began to laugh.
“Any idea of where it could be?” I asked Cole.
“None,” He said with a sigh. “I was hoping that its yellow color would help it stand out, but so far that doesn’t seem to be helping us find it.”
“Well don’t give up,” I said. “I’m sure we will find it.”
“Wait…did you hear that?” Cole asked.
We both stopped and listened. There was a small cry.
“I think that’s coming towards the entrance of Lush Jungle,” Cole said.
We both ran forward towards the beginning of the jungle. The trees and foliage grew thick. There in the middle of the path was a large hole about 6 feet deep.
Cole and I peered over the edge.
There at the bottom of the pit was a golden colored Stufful.
The Shiny Stufful called out to us.
“Oh, no, Stufful!” Cole yelled down to it. “Don’t worry, I’ll be right down to help you.”
“You’re going down there?” I asked Cole.
“I have to rescue the Stufful from this pit,” Cole said.
“Not so fast! That’s my Pokémon,” A new voice called out.
I thought for a second. I recognized that voice.
Cole and I both turned our heads to see a young man standing there. I did recognize him. He was a trainer I had ran into before.
“I caught that Pokémon fair and square,” Ty the Pokémon Collector said.
He looked at me for a moment.
“Yeah it’s me,” I said with a smile. “I see you’re still using your traps to catch Pokémon.”
He gave a smile back.
“Yeah I’ve been improving my Pokémon catching tactic,” He said.
“Ummm…can someone explain to me what is going on?” Cole asked.
“Sorry Cole,” I said. “This is Ty. He’s a Pokémon Trainer who sets traps for Pokémon so he can capture them.”
“He’s…not a part of Team Skull, is he?” Cole asked.
“Not at all!” Ty protested.
“Sorry, it’s just that it’s unusual for someone to set up pitfalls like this to trap Pokémon,” Cole said.
“You have your methods and I have mine,” Ty said crossing his arms.
“Well I hate to tell you this, Ty, but we can’t let you keep this Pokémon,” I said.
“That’s right, Stufful here belongs to The Aether Foundation,” Cole said.
“What? No fair!” Ty said peering into the pit. “But this one is a special color! It’s super rare!”
“Sorry Ty,” I said.
“No. No. No. I’m not going to let you take another Pokémon from me, Alexis. Not at least without a fight,” Ty said.
“Not a literal fist fight, right?” Cole asked.
“You mean a Pokémon battle, right Ty?” I asked.
“How about we wager this Shiny Stufful,” Ty suggested. “If I win, I get to keep the Stufful and if you win, you can take it to The Aether Foundation, whatever that is.”
“I…I….” Cole started.
“Deal!” I interrupted shaking Ty’s hand.
Cole looked mortified that I wagered the Shiny Stufful.
“Don’t worry, I’m good,” I said with a wink.
Ty and I got in position to battle on the outskirts of Lush Jungle, while Cole lowered himself into the pit. He pulled Stufful out and had it in his arms.
“Ok this will be a one-on-one battle,” Ty said. “Whoever wins gets to decided what happens to the Shiny Stufful.”
There was a flash of red light from Ty’s Pokéball and standing before me was a large, armored Pokémon with piercing yellow eyes staring at me.
“Shelgon,” The Pokémon growled.
“Woah! I haven’t seen that Pokémon before,” I said.
“This here is Shelgon. The evolved form of Bagon who you met last time. It’s a powerful Dragon-Type Pokémon with a hard, defensive shield,” Ty said.
“Well lets see how good it is against my Pokémon. I’m sure you remember, Mud Puddle,” I said.
I opened my Pokéball with a red flash and standing before me was Mud Puddle the Mudbray.
“Ah I see you’ve kept your Mudbray and made it a part of your team,” Ty said. “I can’t wait to see it in battle.”
“Well let’s battle, then!” I said.
“Shelgon, use Dragon Breath!”
Shelgon opened its mouth and let out a torrent of green fire which shot forward towards Mud Puddle.
“Mud Puddle, dodge and use Bulldoze!”
Mud Puddle jumped out of the way of the fire and started slamming its hooves on the ground. Its hooves caused small fissures that cracked the ground around both Mud Puddle and Shelgon.
“Shelgon, use Dragon Claw!”
Shelgon launched itself forward and extended one of its paws. The end erupted in the same green fire. Then it swiped at Mud Puddle making direct contact.
Mud Puddle fell forward and made a few somersaults before landing on its butt.
“Mud Puddle, use High Horsepower!”
Mud Puddle charged forward and lower its head. It charged quickly at Shelgon and hit it. It slammed its body into the Shelgon. The Shelgon dug its claws into the earth to keep balance and it slid 10 feet before coming to a rest.
Shelgon’s exterior was tough, but I could tell it was already getting worn down.
“Mud Puddle, use Bulldoze!”
Mud Puddle again began slamming down its hooves and caused small fissures to open up in the ground. These cracks surrounded Shelgon who was unable to move.
The Dragon Pokémon seemed shaken.
Ty looked nervous. He looked from me, to Shelgon, to Stufful, and then back to Shelgon.
He ran forward.
“Stop! Stop! You win! You win! Just stop!”
“Stop, Mud Puddle!” I called out to it.
Mud Puddle stopped stomping and it looked up to me.
Then it began to glow bright and white. It was so bright I shielded my eyes. I knew what this meant. I had seen it many times before. Mud Puddle was evolving.
The white light grew larger and larger before finally disappearing. Standing before me was no longer a small Donkey Pokémon, but a large Horse Pokémon.
“Mudsdale!” It neighed.
“Woah, Alexis. You’re Mudbray just evolved into a Mudsdale!” Cole exclaimed.
I ran over to Mud Puddle which was now taller than me. It was so big that I could ride it if I wanted to.
“You’re just like the Mudsdale that Hapu had when she battled Team Skull,” I said.
I petted Mud Puddle’s main and it neighed with affection.
“Well congrats Alexis,” Ty said after taking care of his Shelgon. “On both the victory and the evolution. I can see that you are a strong trainer and tough adversary.”
“Thanks Ty,” I said with a smile.
“Maybe we’ll run into each other again and we can have a rematch,” Ty said.
“I’d love that,” I said with a smile.
“Maybe you should avoid making pits from now on,” Cole suggested.
Ty looked him up and down.
“Nah,” He said with a laugh.
He then waved goodbye and South; away from Lush Jungle.
“He sure is an interesting guy,” Cole said.
“Yeah he has a lot of energy and you have to admit, he’s pretty good at digging holes,” I said with a laugh.
“Yeah I guess so,” Cole said.
I looked down at the Golden Stufful.
It had begun to fall asleep in Cole’s arms.
“Well I think this one has had enough adventure for today,” Cole said. “I better get it back to Aether Paradise.”
“That’s a good idea,” I said.
Cole pulled a Pokéball from his belt. He tapped it on the Stufful’s head and it disappeared inside the ball. He then pulled a separate Pokéball from his belt. He opened it and appeared a large, Bird Pokémon with long plumes of feathers.
“Pidgeot!” It cawed.
“Woah, you have a Pidgeot?” I asked Cole.
“Best way to get around,” He said with a smile.
His Pidgeot bowed its head and he climbed up on its back.
“See you around Alexis, I hope you come visit me in Aether Paradise,” He said.
“I will, Cole! I’ll see you there!”
I waved goodbye and Pidgeot flapped its mighty wings and unleashed a whirlwind. I held on to Mud Puddle to keep balance. The Pidgeot flew higher and higher into the sky before I couldn’t see Cole or Pidgeot anymore.
Header Photo Credit to The Official Pokemon Page about Stufful
Shiny Stufful Image comes from HGSS94’s DeviantArt page
Pokémon images come from Bulbapedia