Chapter 97: Lucia!
Eli feet pattered up against the moist clay as he stalked back into the locker room, the crowd buzzing at him from all sides. A massive smile was plastered to his face, and he could not help but to wave to the crowd and high-five the fans that had made it to the bottom ring of the arena. He had done it. He made it to the third member of the Elite 4. Eli was then standing in front of the door, and he reached out and applied his proud, warm hand to the moon-frosted handle. He pulled the door open and made his way inside. After he made it inside, his brain immediately shifted gears. He moved away from his flawless victory against Nate and began to look ahead to the Psychic type member of the Elite 4, Lucia. Eli knew from the article that he had read earlier that Lucia was a skilled opponent, and often was able to utilize a plethora of moves in order to assassinate her opponent’s Pokemon with skill. Eli knew that her best Pokemon, Gallade, was well able to take out any challenger that Eli could throw out, barring Arcanine. Eli then took a seat on the leather chair that stood in front of the dome-shaped healing machine. Outside, Eli could hear the loud screeching of objects, telling him that the field was undertaking a drastic change. Eli set all of him Pokemon on the healing machine, and one quick pulsation told him that they had been healed. Now, Eli needed to think about what Pokemon he would want to bring into battle against Lucia. Arcanine had forgotten the move Crunch in place of Extreemespeed, so Arcanine held lesser value. However, Arcanine was still one of Eli’s best Pokemon, so he would need to choose him. Eli picked Arcanine’s Pokeball off of the healing machine and clipped him to the inside of his backpack. Now, Eli would need to choose two more of his aces to take into battle. Dragonite was a glass cannon, but Eli knew that he would need to crush his opponents if the situation got tough. Now, Eli would need to choose the last member of his team in order to take down Lucia. Eli could choose from 3 remaining Pokemon: Jolteon, Crobat, or Bulbasaur. Eli knew that Jolteon, even though his health was recovered, would lose health quickly due to his physical fatigue. Bulbasaur would be a decent choice, barring his weakness to Psychic. However, he was fully rested, which would mean that his health would deteriorate faster. Crobat would have a super-difficult time dealing with the Psychic weakness, but he also carried a Dark-type move, Crunch, which would help pave the way for victory. Crobat would not be the best option, and Eli needed more time to think. Eli pulled his pocketwatch out of his pocket and read the time. It was 8:06 PM, meaning that he had only 4 more minutes before his next match. Eli decided to go with his gut and go against the type advantage, just like Colby had told him. Eli was going with Crobat. Eli pulled Crobat’s Pokeball out of the healing machine and clipped it onto his backpack. Eli then swung the black bag over his back and was ready to walk out. He had just placed his hand on the door when the gate he had entered from before the first Elite 4 match burst open. Atlas came dashing through the door, and a smile popped back onto Eli’s face. Eli walked back up to him and shook his hand as the two greeted each other. It seemed like it had been forever since the two had seen each other. Atlas had just dropped by to say good luck, and that he and his Pokemon were all pulling hard for Eli. Eli thanked him and then pushed open the door to they battlefield, where a drastic change had occurred. Unlike the clay surface that had previously been the floor, there was now only floating panels that hovered in the air. Eli knew that this would be a super-difficult battlefield to fight on, but he was thankful that he had brought 2 airborne Pokemon with him in order to better navigate the playing field. Eli then wiped the concerned look off of his face and walked onto the first platform, where he was introduced to the crowd.
“Ladies and gentleman! Here comes the underdog that everyone is raving about! He cleared the last battle with Nate flawlessly, and he is set to plow through another trial of the challenge! His mighty Arcanine has proved to be one feisty Pokemon! Can anyone take it down? Only time will tell! Please help me in welcoming our current challenger, Eli, to the stage!” boomed the announcer. The crowd roared as Eli traversed his way across the platforms. Eli then got up to the platform just in time before the announcer began to introduce Eli’s opponent, Lucia. “Everyone! Our challenger Eli has made it very far, but he still has many huge challenges to face! The next Elite 4 member that Eli still has to battle against is the best Psychic type trainer in all of Perodia! Her Pokemon can scorch their opponents from both up close and afar, and she has the tactical skills like no other. Please give me a hand in welcoming the 3rd member of the Elite 4, Lucia!” shouted the announcer. Goosebumps trickled down Eli’s arms as he felt the cold rush of nighttime air rush in. Lucia pushed open the door that the other Elite 4 members had walked out of and waved to the crowd, her black dress flailing around as she greeted them. Eli could barely contrast the difference between the dress and the battlefield, making it difficult to see the contours of whom he was battling. As Lucia climbed the stairs to the platform, Eli took a sharp glance at the battlefield. There seemed to be more holes than platform area, which would make it more difficult for Arcanine to maneuver around. The holes went down further than Eli could see, so it would be essential to make sure that his Pokemon would not fall off the edge. As soon as Lucia stepped up to the mic, she wasted no time in giving a pompous pre-battle speech.
“Eli, I sure hope your ready. I will not hold back,” mumbled Lucia. Eli knew that Lucia would be a difficult opponent, which would put at least one of Eli’s Pokemon in jeopardy. Eli took a moment to figure out who would be the weakest link on his team. Eli knew that it would be Crobat, but Eli would need try to use his assassin to crush his opponents. Lucia then reached for her belt and plucked a Pokeball of of the belt that held her three Pokemon in place. She smiled as she held the orb in her outstretched hands, which made Eli nervous for which Pokemon she could be starting with. She then stepped up to the microphone before hurling her Pokemon out onto the field. “Now, Exeggutor, come on out and battle!” shouted Lucia. A Pokemon that resembled the shape of a palm-tree bounced out of the Pokeball, landing with a thud on the field. Once the white light disappeared from the release of the Pokemon, Eli could now get a feel of what Pokemon he was going up against. Eli had never seen the Pokemon before, so he pulled out his PokeDex for some insight into how he should go about battling the creature. According to the database, the Pokemon was a mix between Grass and Psychic types, which meant that this would probably be the easiest of Eli’s opponents in the battle. All of his Pokemon could hit it for major damage, and that would be a difficult factor for Lucia in the battle. Now, Eli would need to decided which Pokemon he would go out with first. Since this would likely be Lucia’s weakest Pokemon, Eli figured that he would try and use his weakest and get a quick score up on the board. Eli then slipped the PokeDex back into the pocket of his backpack and grabbed Crobat’s Pokeball from the sack. Eli stepped up to the microphone and tried his hand at intimidating his opponent.
“Lucia, I know that this will be a tough battle for both of us. However, I would advise you to keep your guard up at all times, because all of my Pokemon have the capability to gash your entire team if you aren’t careful. Now, for my first Pokemon! Screech, come on out and battle!” shouted Eli. He hurled his Pokeball out onto the field as the quad-winged Pokemon made his Elite 4 appearance. Eli knew that he would have the advantage in this fight, as he could stay airborne the entire time and avoid the traps and holes that were strewn across the field. Eli knew that his moveset would also help him out in the battle, as his Crobat knew Cross Poison, Pursuit, Aerial Ace, and Zen Headbutt (as a last resort). Being the challenger, Eli was entitled to the first move, and he was more than happy to take it. “Alright Screech, its your time to shine! Blast that Exeggutor with a Pursuit now!” shouted Eli. Crobat hovered above the battlefield now, furiously flapping his wings as he dashed around the field. Then, in a flash of dark light, he sprang towards Exeggutor and smacked into him, successfully hitting him with the attack. The foe slid back and almost fell off the edge of the platform, reinforcing the idea that this was a super-dangerous battlefield, and miscommunication would cost a Pokemon life. Eli smiled, as he knew that a quick knock out would capture the momentum in the match. However, Lucia stepped up to the microphone and shouted out to her Exeggutor in order to stop what Eli was planning.
“Exeggutor, its time to rally! Use Ancientpower now to knock that pest out of the sky!” shouted Lucia. Her bipedal Pokemon scurried back up to its feet in order to fulfill the requirements of the attack. Then, the irises of the Pokemon illuminated a soft purple as a rumbling was heard from under the ground. Then, rocks flew up from below the battlefield, homing in on their target. Crobat’s successful aeronautic skills allowed him to avoid most of the brutal boulders that were flying up, but he was critically struck by one of them. Eli winced as his Pokemon squealed in pain, flying downwards towards the platform. Thankfully, Crobat landed on one of the floating platforms, allowing Eli to take a moment to plan. Eli knew that Crobat could hardly attack from here on out, and that one more attack would leave Crobat dead. Eli could either return Crobat to his Pokeball and risk Exeggutor using Synthesis and regaining health, or he could try and trade an eye for an eye by sacrificing Crobat in return for Exeggutor. Either way, Eli would lose the momentum that he had built up in the battle so far. Eli frowned as the moon glinted upon his face. Fatigue had begun to swamp over him, as he had been battling for more than 2 hours now. Eli needed to make sure that he kept a clear head and made the right choice. And this time, the right choice was to send in Crobat on a suicide mission. Crobat would be proud that way. Both he and Eli had shared so many times together from taking care of Deoxys on Mount Aurum to fending off many gym leaders, he had made a noble 3rd Pokemon. However, all good things must come to an end. And now, Crobat had met his match.
“Screech! I know that we’ve had some great times together, but I need you now. I might not see you again after this, are you OK with that?” posed Eli. Crobat called out in glee, agreeing that a victory at this stage of the game was worth dying for. “Alright Screech, its time for your last hoorah! Hit him with the best Cross Poison you’ve got left in ya! I love you Screech!” cried Eli. A mist seemed to fog Eli’s vision as the weak Crobat pushed his way into the air and used his last strength to impale his toxic fangs into the torso of the opponent. Exeggutor swung back and knocked the creature off of his torso, ultimately killing the quad-winged beast that Eli had traveled for so long with. However, that swat also used up the last ounce of Exeggutor’s energy, killing off the creature. A single tear trickled down Eli’s face as he withdrew his Pokemon back into his Pokeball. That would be the end of the first stage of the match, tying the game up at 1 a piece. Lucia did the same thing, returning her Pokemon back to the orb. Now, Eli was entitled to kick off the second stage of the match, as the last one had resulted in a tie. Eli now had the choice between Dragonite- who was still injured- and Arcanine. While this seemed like a good problem to have, Eli knew that if Dragonite were to reinjure his arm fighting Lucia’s mixed attacking ace, Gallade, that he would be sidelined for the rest of Elite 4 matchups. That would mean that Eli would only have a pool of 3 to choose from for the rest of the trial. However, Lucia would likely not use her ace until she needed it, so Eli decided to use Dragonite for the meantime. “Lucia, we’ve fought one heck of a fight so far. However, I still have two aces left on my team! I have my trusty ace, who was showcased in the last battle, and I have my ace in the hole! Now, I show you the latter! Buddy, come on out and fight!” shouted Eli. In one swift motion, he unclipped the Pokeball from his backpack and hurled it out onto the field, releasing the dragon that was rearing to go in the battle. The crowd roared as Dragonite burst out onto the field, showcasing his powerful beauty as he screamed out in excitement. Lucia smirked as her thickly layered makeup was pushed up. She then stepped up to the microphone and spoke in a hushed tone. However, her voice still held the power of an Elite 4 member.
“Eli, that was one powerful bond that you just displayed with your Pokemon. The fact that your Crobat was willing to sacrifice himself for you speaks to the trust and resilience that you two possessed between each other. However, I can guarantee you that this next Pokemon shares a similar bond with me. While he is not the Pokemon that most people associate with me, he is still a courageous fighter. Behold, my next Pokemon, Metagross!” cried Lucia. She spun the Pokeball out onto the field as the majestic beast sprung out. A wave of terror jumped down Eli’s spine as the metallic behemoth bounced out onto the field. Eli knew that this would be a tough matchup for Dragonite, as he would resist many of the attacks that Dragonite could throw at him. Eli reached for Arcanine’s Pokeball, but he jumped back as his mind dissuaded him from the idea. Eli knew that Arcanine had just run the gauntlet in the last fight, and that even if Dragonite could only stall his opponent out for a while, he would do a ton of good. However, Metagross’ physical attacking style would leave Dragonite susceptible to re-injuring his arm. Eli decided to take the chance and test the waters. To do that, Eli let Lucia make the first move, which could result in disaster if Eli did not communicate with his Pokemon at a good level. Lucia took the hint from Eli and decided to make her move. “Metagross, show him how strong we are! Use Agility and get ready to fly around the field! I know that our opponent will try to take to the skies, so we need to stop him!” shouted Lucia. Eli moaned as he knew the decision to use speed meant that a physical attack was imminent. If Metagross had not use Agility, it would mean that he could try and hit Dragonite from range. The purple aurora that surrounded Metagross for a few crucial moments shined in Eli’s flickering eyes. Eli needed to come up with a plan to stall out a couple of turns to get Arcanine his final rest. Eli decided that he would need to at least act out attacks to make Lucia buy into the concept that this was a powerful, 100% healthy Pokemon. Eli knew that his Pokemon knew Fire Punch, but the threat of Dragonite breaking his arm again was a risk. However, Eli knew that it would take a few ballsy moves in order to take the Elite 4 out. This would be one of them.
“Alright Buddy! Hang in there for me! Use Fire Punch now, and try to take out this Metagross, now!” shouted Eli. Dragonite pushed himself up off the platform and allowed his disproportionate wings to lift him into the air. He circled around the battlefield for just a moment before reaching his apex above Metagross. Suddenly, he began to swoop down, his fist engulfed in flames. Eli could see the wincing look that Dragonite was making with his face, and his trainer adopted the same look as well. This had to work if Eli was going to win. It HAD to. Dragonite then reached his target, Metagross, who combatted Dragonite’s attack with a Meteor Mash of his own. Both of their fists hit together, and Eli let loose a squeal as that shot could have easily broken Dragonite’s arm again. Both Pokemon seemed to take a plethora of damage after the attack. However, the collision between the two’s fists rang so loud, the waves of noise were still bouncing around in the abyss below. They rang off the metal walls of the tube, growing in sound at every second passed. Then, the platform that Metagross was standing on collapsed. Both the Pokemon and the platform trickled down into the tube, with an audible BANG coming from the ground. Eli knew that he had won that round, even if it was just by dumb luck that the sound waves were able to destroy the platform for him. Eli smiled as Dragonite flew over to Eli’s platform and took a perch on the railing. Eli patted him on the arm before retracting the Pokemon back into his Pokeball. Eli now held a 2-1 advantage in the battle, and he still had his ace, Arcanine, left to battle. However, Lucia still held her signature Gallade in play, and that would be a heck of a fight that Eli would have to push harder than ever to win. Eli then clipped Dragonite’s Pokeball securely to his backpack and switched Arcanine’s Pokeball back into his hand. Eli knew that this would be a turning point in not only the battle, but Eli’s journey. Man, it would REALLY suck to lose Arcanine now. Eli then stepped up to the microphone and smirked as he addressed Lucia. “Lucia, that was one heck of a finish. However, don’t you think that this next match will be that close and exciting. Me and my best Pokemon are gonna wipe you right off the field. He is my best fighter, and he has the tactical skills of any Pokemon that you have ever feared. You probably observed him from the last battle, and I am confident that nobody can take down this beast. Yippers, come on out to the field!” shouted Eli. Eli then slung the Pokeball out onto the field as the fiery hound sprang out from the capsule. Eli grinned as the crowd exploded with excitement. This type of atmosphere was one that Eli enjoyed battling in. It was almost like a drug, having all the people in the stadium glued onto every move that you were making. However, the limelight that Eli was receiving was snapped by the sound of Lucia’s voice cutting out the crowd.
“That is one bold claim to make against the best Psychic type trainer in Perodia,” taunted Lucia. She beamed at Eli as he clenched his fists, desperately trying to prevent himself from screaming at Lucia’s arrogance. “Well, I’m sure that a well-prepared trainer like you knows what Pokemon I will be sending out next. He is my pride and joy, and I have saved him from dying many times as he has repented the favor to me. He can conquer any trainer, even the ones who use gimmicky tactics like you to pull out victories. He has faced trainers of all sizes and is well prepared to annihilate anybody. Gallade, come on out and show this pest who the better trainer is!” cried Lucia. The prominent Elite 4 trainer launched her Pokeball out onto the field and stood atop her perch, overlooking the battlefield. Suddenly, a large Pokemon with scythes on its hands popped onto the field. Eli’s heart sunk as he saw the complexity and athleticism that the Pokemon possessed. Eli had hoped that Lucia would try out a bulkier, more powerful Gallade that couldn’t move at fast, but that was not the case here. Eli would need to utilize Arcanine’s Double Team to make sure that he could make up for the lack of speed that Arcanine had. Arcanine was bulkier and could take hits, but he could not keep up with others at a high speed. Lucia, who had the option to make the first move in the fight, again pulled Eli out of his strategic thoughts. She was more than happy to take it, as she was still down in the fight even with her ace. “Alright Gallade, let’s get this rally underway! Let’s start out with a Psycho Cut, now!” cried Lucia. Gallade bent down and jumped from pad to pad, maneuvering his way around Arcanine. Then, he jumped into the air as one of his scythes illuminated purple. He swung his arm down, and nipped the edge of Arcanine’s leg as the fiery dog jumped out of the way. A purple singe was left on Arcanine’s leg, and Eli could tell that Gallade’s Psycho Cut was not an attack that Arcanine could take a lot of hits from. Now, the ball was in Eli’s court as he had the opportunity to set up his strategy for the rest of the battle. Eli stepped up the microphone and called out to his commander-in-chief.
“Alrighty Yippers, its time to show Lucia that this battle is not going to be as much of a cakewalk as she thought, even if she does have her ace out on the field. Yippers, use your Double Team now! Occupy all of the other platforms, now!” shouted Eli. Arcanine bent down before letting loose a howl that amplified in strength as the clone Arcanines appeared upon all of the other platforms. Now, Gallade would have to fight his way across a herd of opponents in hopes of finding the real target. Eli then grinned as Lucia went into a world of disarray. Eli knew that even if Lucia could eliminate all of the fakes, then her Gallade would be so out of energy that either Dragonite or Arcanine could take her final Pokemon out. Lucia now had the option to take the next move in the battle, but it would be all-uphill from here on out for Lucia and her slimming chances of winning.
“Gallade, quick, search for the Arcanine with the seared leg and attack that one! Try to avoid the swamp of other Pokemon from beating you before you get there! Take him down with you!” shouted Lucia. Suddenly, the table had turned as Eli was now put on the sudden defensive as Gallade finessed his way around the field in search of the marked target that he was after. Eli knew that Gallade would find his opponent in just a couple of moments. Eli needed to do something to stop the onslaught, and fast. Eli had no moves that could attack from range, and Flare Blitz would be a risky move as it allowed Gallade to turn the other Arcanines against each other and deteriorate Arcanine’s defenses. Eli then stepped up to his mic in haste, knowing that he would have to take a risky move in order to pull out the win.
“Yippers, act now! Get all of your clones to take out Gallade or knock him off the edge! Do anything that you can to stop this attack!” blurted out Eli. In a flash of haste, a plethora of Arcanines bounded towards Gallade, who had now found his target. Gallade put a move on the first Arcanine, causing him to fall off the edge and into the abyss. The second Arcanine narrowly missed Gallade and joined him comrade in the abyss. The third Arcanine looked like he had a clear shot, but Gallade wiped his blade through the target and he evaporated into thin air. Then, the fourth and fifth Arcanines bounded towards their target, but the sly Gallade jumped over his two mercenaries as they crashed into each other and crashed into the abyss. However, the final and real Arcanine was able to take advantage of the loud crowd noise that the fans were producing after the missed attacks. As Gallade came down, he had no time to dodge the Arcanine that was coming from behind him. The true Arcanine crashed into Gallade, sending another Pokemon flying into the abyss. For a short moment, all the people in the crowd gasped as Eli had won the battle. Then, they erupted louder than they ever had so far. Eli grinned as Lucia shot him an impressed look. Eli didn’t take the time to gloat about the victory. On the outside, he tried to look as if he had not expected anything else the entire time. However, on the inside, Eli knew that he had gotten away with a couple of cheap victories, and that Joel would be much harder on Eli than Lucia.
END OF CHAPTER 97