Chapter 98: Joel
The roar of the crowd closed on Eli from all sides as he kept his head low, trying not to erupt after his victory over the 3rd Elite 4 member, Lucia. A small grin was lingering on Eli’s face, as it was difficult for him to hide his excitement that he had after the victory over his opponent. The only thing that kept him from flooding the walk back to the locker room with joy was the looming fact that he would have to face Joel in just a short 20 minutes. Joel was the last of the Elite 4 members before the champion, and that meant that he could exert all of his energy to stop the few people who made it through to him. Eli then made it to the door, where a security guard opened the door for him. Eli stepped inside and immediately made his way to the healing machine in the center of the room. Eli sat down on the curved couch and deposited two Pokeballs onto the machine. He kept Crobat’s Pokeball with him, just like Alakazam’s. Even though they could not be with him out on the field, they could certainly be with him in spirit. The room felt desolate without anyone in there with Eli. Eli guessed that no one wanted to mess with Eli’s groove that he had working for him, so they would not come to see him. Eli wiped the thoughts of loneliness away from his mind as the security guard behind him divulged that he only had 18 minutes left. Quickly, Eli turned to his analytical side to find out which Pokemon he would use next. Eli knew that Joel would be a grass type user, and that Arcanine would be a good choice. However, Eli would need to limit Arcanine’s usage if he was going to use him in the battle with the Champion. Eli slipped Arcanine’s Pokeball from the healing machine and tossed it in his backpack. Now, he could choose from either of the remaining 3 Pokemon: Jolteon, Bulbasaur, or Dragonite. Bulbasaur would have a hard time setting up offensively using Leech Seed, as that move would not affect other grass types. However, all of Jolteon’s moves would not be very effective against the grass types. Both of those seemed to be tough plays for Eli, so he took up his second choice, Dragonite, to push the problem to later. Eli withdrew Dragonite from the healing machine as the creaking of the floors in the arena disrupted his train of thought. That could only mean that there would be another massive landscape change. After the creaking subsided, Eli looked back towards the healing machine to make his decision. Neither of his remaining two options were great, and Eli knew that depth would be an important aspect in the next battle. If Arcanine could not do as much damage as Eli hoped in the next battle, then Eli would be forced to resort to the fragile Dragonite or his third Pokemon. Bulbasaur had the aspect of experience going for him. Additionally, he had a slightly higher level than Jolteon. On the flip side, Jolteon was more evasive and could hit with more powerful attacks that Bulbasaur. Eli sat in the chair and pondered the upcoming decision. According to the guard, Eli still had 3 minutes left to make a decision, so he could still take a moment to think about what he wanted to do. After a cluster of thought, Eli decided to go with Jolteon for the next battle, as Bulbasaur would be more helpful for the Champion battle, assuming Eli made it that far. After sliding the Pokeball out from the machine, Eli was let out onto the battlefield, where he was greeted with a massive roar from the crowd. Eli, unlike all the other times, failed to smile. The most he showed was a smirk as his eyes remained cross. He was hoping to intimidate his opponent, Joel, so that he could gain a mental edge. He was hoping that he could get a quick beatdown and get to the champion battle, as the fatigue of 3 straight battles had left him a little woozy. Eli then walked up to the podium and scaled the stairs before putting his hand up to the crowd to acknowledge that they were cheering for him. Eli then looked towards the battlefield before Joel came out in order to see how the battlefield would be affecting his play style. A plethora of large grass was sprouting up on the field, and there were a few tall trees that looked like they could be used as shields or manipulated to take a height advantage over other Pokemon. Now, Joel was ready to make a grand entrance. The announcer broke out his all too familiar voice in order to introduce the famous but powerful Joel.
“Ladies and Gentleman, we have been shown quite a performance by the confident but skilled Eli. However, he will be facing the best trainer on his journey so far! He is the best grass-type trainer in the entire Perodia region! He never stops working and training, and he is next in line for Champion! He has the most powerful Pokemon that anyone has ever seen, excluding Zach, the champion. He never looks down on his competition, always taking them on as a threat. He is from the land of the best weather in Dysporium Town! Please help me in welcoming Elite 4 member Joel!” shouted the announcer. The crowd roared louder than Eli had ever heard them as the doors slid open. As the doors opened, a gruff man stood inside of it. He had obviously dressed up for the battle with hopes of intimidating his opponent, and it had worked on Eli. The man that Eli saw was wearing a cut-off tank top that was textured with camouflage. He had sleek brown cargo shorts on and his tall black socks tied into his worn shoes well. Tattered gloves immersed his hands, but these were not the type of gloves that one would wear to a party. These were custom military gloves, and they showed that Joel meant business. He stalked his way down the grassy path with three Pokeballs strapped to a round of bullets that went across his chest. Eli knew that Joel was the last Elite 4 member for a reason, and that there would be no easy victories in this fight. As soon as Joel got up to the microphone, he wasted no time in welcoming Eli to the venue.
“Eli! I am impressed at your performance in the last couple of battles. Honestly, I did not expect you to make it this far. You have shown resilience in your matches, and that has made me rethink my team and whom I am going to use. However, do not think that I am intimidated by you. You and I are equals in my mind. I trust that I have trained harder, but you present a challenge for me. You have battle skills that others cannot possess by training. They will make this difficult for me, but I will pull through. First, I will send out my lead Pokemon! He has trained with me for many years, and I will be utilizing him throughout the battle to shut down anything that you can throw at me! Ludicolo, come on out and fight!” shouted Joel. Joel swiftly ripped the Pokeball off of his chest and slung it towards the field, releasing his first choice in Pokemon. In a flash of white light, the dual type water and grass Pokemon was released. It wore a grass hat upon its head, and a straw poncho padded its body. Eli knew that this Pokemon was designed to combat fire types that normally would rip apart this team, such as Arcanine. Eli understood why Joel said that it would shut him down. Arcanine was Eli’s ace, and the water typing would push Eli to choose another Pokemon. This was a great counter, as Eli was hoping to just use Arcanine to tear through every Pokemon Joel had. Eli decided that since Ludicolo possessed a part typing of Water, that he could take advantage of that. Eli grabbed Jolteon’s Pokeball from his backpack and ripped it into his hand, glaring at Joel with a sinister smile.
“Alright Joel, if it’s a fight that you want I can guarantee you that you’re gonna get it! This next Pokemon has been with me for a while, and he has already helped me throughout my fights in the Elite 4! JJ, come on out!” shouted Eli. Eli hurled the Pokeball towards the field as the electric dog came exploding out. Eli knew that he would be able to take a good advantage over his opponent with Jolteon’s special moves. Eli had used a stalling grass type, Bulbasaur, for long enough to know that Ludicolo was not in here to deal out significant damage to Eli. Ludicolo was in here to annoy Eli and force him to switch out to Arcanine. When that switch came, Ludicolo would be more than prepared to take down Eli’s Arcanine. Since, Eli was the challenger, he had the right to make the first move in the battle. Eli knew that he would use it, so he stepped up to the microphone and cried out to his loyal Pokemon. “Alright JJ, let’s get this battle cooking! Go ahead and break Ludicolo’s strategy and use Thunderbolt on the grass now in order to draw all of the moisture out! Make sure that his Leech Seed attack can’t spread across the field!” bellowed Eli. The crowd roared as Jolteon engulfed himself in a yellow charge and blasted the energy across the field. Joel’s rugged jaw clenched as his initial stall out plan had been thwarted in the first move of the battle. Joel was not left in a sticky situation, as his entire team revolved around getting an early, strategic lead. His Ludicolo could now only use Razor Leaf, and that would leave him in a difficult situation. Joel made the difficult decision to stay in with Ludicolo, as he could not do much more at the moment without risking mutual destruction from another Pokemon on his team.
“I must admit, that was one clever move Eli. However, don’t think that I’m all out of options! Ludicolo, go out and use Razor Leaf on that Jolteon, now! Make sure that he regrets leeching that ground!” shouted Joel. Ludicolo’s eyebrows furrowed as his once inviting face was now bent on the destruction of Jolteon. While Ludicolo pounced towards his smaller target with sharp blades made of grass equipped in his hands, a plan was sprouting in Eli’s head. Eli was just able to reach the microphone to articulate his plan.
“JJ, quick! As soon as Ludicolo hits you with the blades, use Thunderbolt one more time to make his blades of grass lightning rods!” shouted Eli. The look on Joel’s face was evident of the beatdown that was imminent. Even if Ludicolo landed multiple hits before the crowd of Thunderbolts swarmed him, there would be no way to avert disaster. Jolteon was too skilled of a special attacker, and this would be a victory chalked up on the scoreboard for Eli. Ludicolo smashed his leaves into Jolteon, who rapidly released a plethora of electricity from his body that coursed down Ludicolo’s structure. The grass Pokemon shook as the sheer force of the attack made him fall to his knees. Eli had taken a 1-0 advantage in the first battle of the Elite 4. Eli smiled and pumped his fists. The 1st third of Eli’s final Elite 4 matchup had been cleared. Joel cut off the announcer from making a remark, as he knew that hype up from the announcer would swing the crowd in the challenger’s favor.
“Wow Eli, that was one special tactic that you just used. That is where your natural given talents as a trainer shine through more than any other trainer I have ever faced. However, your Jolteon got a lucky matchup against my Ludicolo. I guarantee that he will not do as well against my other two Pokemon! I will save my ace for the end, but this next Pokemon is still a worthy opponent for someone as skilled as you. Roserade, come on out and play!” shouted Joel. Joel swiftly returned his limp Ludicolo to his Pokeball and threw his other Pokemon, Roserade, out onto the field. In a flash of light, a small Pokemon with flowers for his hands exploded out onto the field. Eli knew that Roserade could be a strong special attacker, and that this would be either a quick loss or a speedy victory for Eli. Roserade had a lacking speed stat, which encouraged Eli to use Arcanine, but the powerful attacks of Roserade made Eli question whether Arcanine would be defensive enough to absorb the attack. Dragonite would be a good counter, mainly because Roserade would not go after Dragonite physically due to its smaller size and deficient skills in that category. Eli knew that Jolteon would not want to stay in on this matchup, so it was necessary that Eli switched. Eli decided that he would try to clean up Roserade quick and put it out of its comfort zone with Arcanine, so that Dragonite could be more rested for the champion battle (assuming Eli made it that far). Eli then outstretched his arm and returned him Pokemon to his Pokeball. After a short smile at the Pokeball, Eli exchanged Jolteon’s orb for Arcanine’s. Eli then stepped up to the microphone before shouting out at his noble opponent.
“I will take your word that this Roserade is a valiant fighter. However, I know that if its not your ace, it sure as heck can’t beat my ace. My team is a unique one in the sense that I can alternate my aces depending on whom I am facing. As a grass type trainer, I know that you expected me to lead with Arcanine, my original ace. That explains why you lead with Ludicolo, a part water type. Now, you will face the full wrath of my beast, Yippers! Come on out!” cried Eli as he slung the Pokeball out onto the field. The powerful hound burst out onto the field as Eli prepped himself for battle. Surely Roserade would have a decent check to fire types, as that would be a massive check to him. However, Eli would find out next as Joel had the first move. Joel tightened his gloves, as his eyes became those of a warrior’s fiery glance. He then stepped up to the microphone after mentally moving on from the previous battle.
“Alright Eli. It seems that you have the confidence that can hold with the best of ‘em. However, I doubt that you can talk the talk when faced with elite members. The first 3 members of the Elite 4 are there to soften people up and fatigue them. Some fall to them due to the fatigue, but they were just there to make sure that you had no chance against people like me. While I will be the first to admit that if both of our Pokemon were fully healthy, then I would lose in a heartbeat. However, that is not the case Mr. Pearce. Your Arcanine has been forced to produce his clones in two straight battles. He is now exhausted. So, I will take you on right here. Roserade, show this Arcanine your power with your Sludge Bomb!” shouted Joel. Roserade spun around before sliding around on the grassy field. Then, the Pokemon jumped into the air and shot the toxic sludge out of the bulbs on its hands. The sludge was deadly accurate, and Arcanine was just able to avoid it by spinning out of the way. Eli knew that Sludge Bomb could not have been the best attack that Roserade knew. That attack would be a good counter for Fire types, but a Grass type move would be much stronger. Eli now had the opportunity to move again and show Joel that Arcanine was better than anyone thought.
“Alrighty Yippers! This guy thinks that his grass types can take you down right now! We’re not gonna let that happen! Use your Double Team and get the most clones out there possible!” bellowed Eli. Arcanine let loose a low, intimidating growl that signaled the indication of his attack. Then, two clones sputtered out of thin air. Eli knew that these two clones would help absorb an attack from Roserade, but that Arcanine had begun to feel the effects of the fatigue that Joel had been talking about. A healthy Arcanine would have produced 7 clones, easy. But this level of fatigue had made it so that Arcanine’s power had been vastly decreased. Eli had used a turn that he may want back later, but this could provide Eli some cover for now. Joel refused to hesitate before his next move, as he wanted to keep the flow of the battle moving. If Joel hit the correct Arcanine, which he had a good chance of doing, then he would blow Arcanine away.
“Eli, your tactics are getting old. Its time to wipe your chances of making it to Zach away like the sun on a clear morning. Roserade, hit those 3 Arcanines with a massive Leaf Storm, now!” shouted Joel. Roserade closed her eyes for a brief moment before pointing her two bulbs towards one of the Arcanines like pistols. Then, two columns of swirling leaves came blasting towards one helpless Arcanine. It obliterated the Arcanine, but the lack of shouting from the mess of leaves told Eli that the real Arcanine had not been hit. Now, Eli could take to the offensive to rid Roserade from the battlefield. Eli knew that Flare Blitz would be the only option here, so he geared up his plan to launch an assault on his opponent.
“Yippers, finish this then you can get a nice rest! Hit that Roserade with a Flare Blitz, now!” shouted Eli. Eli knew that Roserade would not have time to get out of the way due to its atrocious speed. Both Arcanines engulfed themselves in fire and pounced towards their target, who was much smaller than her mercenaries. Roserade attempted to keep her eyes on both Arcanines, but when the two split in direction, that became impossible. She swiftly turned her vision to the nearest Arcanine who was heading at her at a blinding speed. Roserade made a poor attempt to hurdle the first Arcanine, which resulted in her flying back into the real Arcanine. With that double-whammy of an attack, Eli knew that he had taken a 2 Pokemon advantage in the match. Joel, much like the last time when Eli won, cut the announcer off from giving analytics in order to limit the momentum that Eli could get.
“Come on back, Roserade,” spoke Joel as he returned Roserade to his Pokeball using the red stream of light. “I must admit Eli, you are better than I thought. Even when your Arcanine was weakened and fatigued, he was still able to take out my Roserade. However, I still have my best Pokemon left. He is similar to one of your Pokemon, but he is much stronger than you would think. He will fight for me, even when I am down in tough situations like this. Venusaur, come on out!” called out Joel. Joel whipped the Pokeball out onto the field as Eli’s jaw dropped. Eli had no idea that Joel would use a Venusaur. This meant that Arcanine, who would normally have a great chance at wrecking this Venusaur, was too fatigued to take this Pokemon on. Dragonite would be tasked with taking this behemoth on. Eli stepped up to the microphone and withdrew Dragonite’s Pokeball while returning Arcanine to his respective Pokeball.
“Well, Joel, I did not expect you to use one of those Pokemon. However, if you think that I will take it easy on you simply because I show sympathy towards his evolutionary line, then your dead wrong. I will stop at nothing to abolish every Pokemon on your team, whether I can do it without losing a Pokemon or whether I must sacrifice some of my friends. I am putting my foot down here- I will not lose this battle. I have worked for far too long and trained far too hard to give up now. I have reclaimed my Arcanine on the field to get a fresh start. I can see why you would be more confident around a hound. However, I know that you will be quaking when I send out my DRAGON! Buddy, come on out and finish this battle!” cried Eli. He threw the Pokeball out onto the field as the massive beast was unleashed onto the battlefield. Now, Eli had a bit of a swagger to him. It could either be the best thing for Eli, or the worst. Joel waited and nodded towards Eli, signaling that he would like to see what Dragonite could do before his attack. This meant that Joel was conceding his turn, and that Eli could make the next move. “Buddy, he has given us the green light to tear down the house! Hit ‘em up with an Outrage, now!” bellowed Eli. Dragonite jumped up into the air and was aided by his small wings to fly up into the air. As the beast became engulfed in a blue aurora, Eli knew that he would be locked into this attack- and that it could easily be the end of his Pokemon if he did not play this carefully. Dragonite came smashing into his target, who made no effort to move out of the way. Both of Dragonite’s fists pounded into the padded leaf on top of Venusaur’s back. While this attack would have destroyed any other Pokemon, Venusaur had a way of holding steady. He seemed to be unaffected by the attack as his face remained mute. Eli was shocked, unlike Venasaur. That attack should have knocked out Venusaur, but it seemed not to affect it. Joel now had the next move, and the turn in momentum would help energize the crowd in his favor.
“Venusaur, capitalize on the sequence now! Use Sunny Day and change the weather on ‘em, now!” shouted Joel. Venasaur’s face remained motionless as he released an orb of sunshine from his Outrage-Resistant flower. The orange orb floated up into the air like a balloon before enveloping the sky and making a harsh sunlight shine out onto the field. Eli knew that Venasaur would be either trying to lure Arcanine out for a quick kill, or make Solarbeam an instant attack- maybe both. Either way, Eli would need to approach this situation carefully or risk losing his Dragonite. However, there was not a lot that Eli could do to change the situation since he was locked into Outrage. Eli would just have to proceed.
“Buddy, you know what to do! Hit him with another Outrage!” shouted Eli. Dragonite still circled in the air, engulfed in a blue flame. He then came down at a lower level and smashed his reckless body into Venusaur. Venusaur winced this time, showing that Eli’s attacks were making a heavy impact. However, this was not even close to enough damage to knock out Joel’s massive tank. Joel now could attack freely, knowing that Dragonite was chained to the same move and he could not change his moves.
“Venasaur, let him feel this one! Hit him with a monster Solarbeam! Make sure to make him feel this one!” cried Joel. Venasaur finally showed some emotion in his fight as he pried open his jaws for long enough to build up a beam of power in his mouth. The Venusaur then launched the beam towards his foe, Dragonite, before shutting his mouth again. The beam of green energy smashed into Dragonite, which caused his flying rhythm to fall towards the ground. However, the blue aurora still surrounded Dragonite, and he was falling faster than ever towards Venasaur. When the two collided, Venasaur was knocked out cold and Dragonite was barely able to get up. Quickly, Eli withdrew his Pokemon before nodding towards Joel and dashing off for the doors.
END OF CHAPTER 98