Chapter 5: Training Day

The first day of school was marvelous. Regardless of my dispute with some of the bullies, the day went better than I expected it to. I made new friends, enjoyed the class and its criteria. It was a great day.

By the end of it, I was prepared to leave the classroom until Trey halted me, grabbing my shoulder before I could exit the room.

"Hey Damian!" he exclaimed behind me.

Treecko pushed the door open and gestured me out of the classroom. I nodded with a grin and said, "Thanks."

He smiled in reply, and as I walked out of the door he began to walk by my side.

"So whatcha doin' after school?" he asked me.

"Umm... I dunno really. I might just hang out with Zorua for a little bit," I replied.

Trey pursed his lips, "Ohh, that's cool. But I was wondering if uhh... Maybe you'd wanna hang out with me and the team for a bit?"

I shrugged, "I'd have to ask my mom and dad. I think they'll wanna know how my first day went."

Trey crossed his arms nervously, shoving through the crowd of Pokemon alongside me.

"All you gotta do is tell them it was good! Doesn't take that long does it?" chuckled Trey.

"Nah... I guess you're right. But I still gotta make sure my mom and dad are cool with it."

Trey pouted in disagreement.

"Yeah, I see whatcha mean," Trey sighed as we exited out the front door of the school, "I guess I'll see ya tomorrow then?"

I nodded, "Yeah! Maybe we can go over this rescue team thing some more?"

"We'll show ya the ropes. Ohh... There's my mom. I'll see ya later, bro"

Trey clenched his fist and turned it my direction, as though to punch me. But he wasn't going to strike me it appeared. Unfamiliar with the gesture, I said, "What?"

"You've never fist bumped anyone before?" he chuckled.

"No..." I replied honestly.

He grabbed my arm with his other hand, and the tip of my paw made contact with his fist with a gentle bump.

"It's like a greeting thingy. Later..." Trey concluded sheepishly.

He whirled around and ran to the large tan and brown bird, who I believed was his mother but somehow couldn't believe she was. She looked nothing like him!

I shrugged at the mental note and caught up to mom and Zorua who were standing waiting patiently for my arrival.

I approached them with a grin and said, "Hey mom."

She grinned also, "Hi sweetheart. How was your first day at school?"

"It was awesome! I made some friends today."

She chuckled, and we started our walk home.

"That's great news, Damian. Did you like Mrs. Rose?" she asked.

"Yeah! She's an awesome teacher."

"Well... I'm glad you had a great first day," she paused, then set her attention to my brother, "Zorua, how was school today?"

"Meh... Like every other day I guess..."

For some reason, I was expecting him to mention the bullies and how he stuck up for me but I guess he wasn't ready to tell that just yet.

"That's always your answer, Zorua. I'm sure there was something different about today compared to any other school day," mom remarked.

"Nope... Same old, same old. Still feels like school," Zorua pouted.

"Nothing exciting with Damian at all?" Mom chimed.

"Like what?" he asked, getting somewhat frustrated.

"From what I've heard... You stood up for your little brother today. Is that true?"

Zorua almost blushed, as though embarrassed.

"I guess I did. But it wasn't a big deal, mom."

"Wasn't a big deal?" she echoed, "You helped your little brother in need. I think that's a pretty big deal, don't you Zorua?"

"Kinda..." he mumbled.

Mom simply grinned, "I'm proud of you, Zorua. And I'm proud of you, Damian for not fighting back. Although, I don't want you boys starting a fight with these bullies. Just stay out of their way and don't bother them. I'm gonna have a chat with the principal tomorrow."

"There's a thing about bullies, mom. They bother us, we don't bother them," Zorua sneered.

"What I'm saying, Zorua, is don't fight them. Just back off and ignore them," she snapped.

Zorua rolled his eyes. My brother was a lot more rebellious than I thought he was. It seemed like day one was just a show and tell. I mean the way he talks to mom and dad always makes it seem like they're an enemy. I only hoped I wouldn't catch onto his habits. I didn't want to do anything to upset mom or dad.

"Anyways... We'll talk more when we get home. Your father definitely wants to hear how your first day of school was," said mom.

As we walked along the dirt path to home, I couldn't help but relieve myself of this endless curiosity I had.

"Hey mom? What's a rescue team?" I asked.

"Ohh... Well..." she trailed off for a moment, "A rescue team is a group of three or more people. They're like an independent law enforcement if anything. Basically going out and helping others with things they can't do themselves."

"Things like what?" I queried.

"Things like... Umm..."

"Rescue teams do stuff like helping anyone in danger or finding something someone lost or y'know...? They sorta do small tasks to help out."

I nodded in reply, but I was still unknowing of information I required. The rest of the walk consisted of mom and Zorua answering all of my questions about rescue teams, and although the information was plenty, I knew that my knowledge would not be perfected until I have actually performed a rescue mission myself.

As we stepped into the cave we call home, dad instantly greeted us with a smile and a salutation.

"Hey kiddos! How was school today?" dad said with great vigor.

"Feels like school..." Zorua shrugged.

"Nothing changes hunh Zorua?" dad replied.

"Nope. Let Damian tell ya about his day," Zorua yawned, "I'm gonna take a nap."

Dad gave my brother a look of great concern, "Well... Alright, have a good sleep."

"Mmhmm," and with that Zorua strolled into the bedroom with another lengthy yawn.

My parents exchanged glances as though bewildered by a shocking sight.

"A nap?" mom muttered.

Dad shook his head and shrugged, "Beats me," he set his gaze upon me, "So Damian? How was your first day at school?"

"School was awesome! I made a couple of friends and they're really cool. And umm... Mrs. Rose is really nice too..." I trailed off.

There was an awkward silence, in which dad quickly broke.

"Friends hunh? Anyone in your class?" he asked.

"Yeah! Just one though. His name is Trey or umm... Treecko. I dunno really, he has a nickname now for our rescue team-"

"Rescue team? Whaddya mean OUR rescue team?" he interupted.

"Trey showed me some of his friends and I guess they're part of a rescue team and they wanted me to join in."

Dad sighed, "Rescue teams can be dangerous, Damian. I don't wanna scare you but... if you join a rescue team you will be in the face of danger more than you like. There will be teams who will compete against your team and will even fight you for no reason. And some missions require you to battle Pokemon twenty times your size."

"There's a saying on Earth... What goes up, must come down..." I paused thinking of the logic behind my statement.

"I think you mean the bigger they are, the harder they fall," dad corrected.

"Ohh... Yeah, that's the one. You say everyone here has powers right? Maybe if I join a rescue team I can..." I was looking for the correct words, "Perfect my powers."

"That quote doesn't exactly fit here with us, kiddo. No matter what, you will always have someone stronger than you are. You might win every battle you fight, until a day that one guy beats you to the ground. Son, I'm not trying to lower your spirits. I'm trying to tell you to be careful. Okay? And don't worry about any of it, 'cause I'll protect you from anything that tries to hurt you."

I nodded, "Yeah, I get it."

"And Damian... Try not to mention you-know-what at home okay? We just wouldn't know how to explain it to Zorua yet," mom muttered to me.

"Try not to think about it at all even. You're here and that's all that matters," added dad.

I nodded in reply, and dad decided to continue our conversation.

"Anyways, I'm glad your first day turned out okay. So... You up for some training?"

I stood up in excitement, "Yeah! Let's go!"

"Goodness, I love your enthusiasm," chuckled mom.

Dad and I went outside to begin my first day of training.

"Now the question is, where to start? Hmm..." dad paused, "I know! First let's discuss some of your basic 'powers' as a Riolu. First off, close your eyes as tight as you can."

"Okay," I said as I then followed his instruction.

It wasn't all that new to me, but then again I was still bewildered by the ability.

"I showed you this the other day. That's your aura vision. It lets you see other Pokemon through trees and other things. Now it's a lot more than just a bunch of colors. Aura vision also gives you the ability to see in the dark, and see anyone's emotions."

"Wow... That's pretty cool," I stated simply.

"Before we start any combat, I want you learn some basics of yourself. You are a fighting type, which basically means your stronger and faster than most others. Our advantage as fighting types is our quick reflexes that help us dodge and avoid getting hit. Now, I mentioned evolution before and well... You remember what I said about evolution right?"

I nodded.

"Well... My brother had a partner... She was an Absol and Absol's are known to have crescents on their head. Turns out, her crescent was made of everstone thus as you were born, the stones on your forearms are made of everstone. But just because you can't evolve doesn't mean you can't be as strong as me."

"What's everstone?" I inquired.

"Everstone is basically a rock that keeps one from evolving," my father replied.

"Ohh," was all I could say.

"Anyways, you can't evolve into a Lucario like myself. But just because you can't evolve doesn't mean you can't be as strong as I am."

"When will I be strong enough to help the rescue team?" I asked.

"Depends how much we cover today. I'll try to get some defense in before we do anything else, and maybe after that I'll show you some basic fighting techniques. Now that being said, let's start… When battling someone you have to learn what they are like. Ask yourself some questions. How large is the Pokemon you're fighting? Are they fast or slow? Do they prefer attacking or blocking? What attack do they use a lot? Do they use the same attack over and over again? Stuff like that is always important to think of before you fight, but first you have to learn after you've started battling with them."

"Everyone has a weakness no matter who they are. You just have to find it. Now for the first part of training. I'm gonna show you the many basic attacks we use. Punches, kicks, tail strikes, and whatnot. Then I'm going to show you the best blocking and dodging techniques for each move. First…"

Dad cocked his arm back and performed a straight punch.

"Just a simple punch. There are many ways you can avoid these. And it also happens to be one of the easiest attacks to avoid. First there's the side to side lean which looks like this…" he sidestepped one side, then the other.

"Easy right? Then there's the back step, which is a little more risky but gives you a better chance to counter. Next is the duck. Now ducking down is also risky, but depending how far away the opponent is it can be really effective for countering as well. The problem is that you have to be really quick when you duck, but it's really useful once you've got the hang of it. Now up next are blocking the strike. Now blocking can be dangerous when your opponent is really strong. Before we go any further though, I want you to practice the dodges I showed you. I'm not gonna hurt you, in fact I'm going to take this really slow and all you have to do is avoid my attack. Ready?"

I nodded.

Dad stepped closer to me, then pulled his arm back and very slowly thrusted it towards me.

"Sidestep..."

I followed his instruction with ease, and after his first strike, he followed up with another punch using his left arm.

"Again."

I sidestepped again successfully avoiding the slow attack.

Dad put his arms to his side, then said, "Alright I'm gonna go a little faster this time. And from there I'll keep going faster. Don't worry though, I'm not going to hurt you."

The exercise began once again, and I managed to successfully dodge after two more attempts. His strikes were too slow to do any real damage to me.

After that attempt, we went again. Every two successful attempts moving me onto the next level of speed.

It wasn't until the sixth level that I began to find some difficulty dodging, as his attacks were almost too fast. Just as his paw was about to make contact with me, I saw his paw halt an inch from my face.

I could feel my heart racing.

"Sorry about that… I told ya I wasn't going to hurt you."

"You better not hurt my son, Lucario! Unless you wanna try dodging my claws!" mom said from the sidelines.

Dad chuckled, "I'll be extra careful then."

"You better."

Dad looked at me, "You've got the basics down. So right now your limit is level 6; not a bad start. We'll just go over it some more and you'll get better with time. Level 10 is where we'll stop and move onto the next technique. Let's start from level 5 a couple of times, then try 6 again. Okay?"

"Alright," I replied.

The time seemed to fly as dad and I trained. We managed to cover quite a bit today. I completed level ten of the sidestep, then reached level 7 with the back step. Dad eventually decided we should go over some basic attacks. He wanted to keep me entertained with the training, so he showed me a move called force palm which had to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I was adjusting to the attack, but it was getting late so I didn't have much of a chance to learn it.

After our training, we went inside and mom had dinner prepared. Zorua and mom were already at the table.

Dad gave mom a kiss and took a seat. I took my seat as well.

"How was training, Damian?" asked mom.

"It was fun! There's so much to learn. I can't wait till I'm strong enough to beat a big Pokemon!"

"Damian did really well today. Proud of ya, son," dad added.

I took my first bite of a poffin.

"What did you learn today?" mom inquired.

"I learned some dodging stuff, and then dad showed me this thing called force palm."

"Force palm, hunh? That's your father's favorite attack. I swear he overuses the darn move in the tournaments."

Dad laughed, "It works doesn't it?"

"It makes you more predictable in battles, dad," Zorua blurted.

"Tournaments?" I asked.

"Yeah, there's battling tournaments every two months or something like that. They have a junior division, which I meant to ask…" Zorua started.

"The answer is no," mom snapped.

"Why nooooot? I'm old enough!"

"Those tournaments are dangerous, Zorua. Kids get really injured in a lot of the fights. I thinks it's not right they even have a junior portion of those things," mom stated.

"I'll be fine, though! I'm strong and I know I'll win for sure. Plus, they have nurses in case any one does get hurt. And they have rules that you can't do certain attacks. And if you break the rules you get disqualified."

"You're not going to the tournament and that's final," mom said with an iron fist.

Zorua grumbled under his breath.

"Excuse me?" dad jumped in.

"Nothing… I didn't say anything," my brother lied.

Mom sighed, "Let's just eat okay? You kids have school in the morning."

We all finished our dinner, then mom and dad escorted us to our room and waited as we each got into bed.

Dad approached my bed and smiled, "You were great today, Damian. Have a good sleep okay?"

I yawned and smiled, "Thanks. Are we gonna train tomorrow?"

"For sure. Good night, son," he replied.

"Good night… dad."

Mom then approached my bed as dad went over to Zorua's.

"Have a good night, sweetheart. Glad you had fun training," mom kissed me on the forehead and with that mom and dad were gone from our room.

I yawned and relaxed my body.

"Damian?" Zorua whispered.

"Yeah?"

"If that guy messes with you again, tell me. Mom's gonna tell the principal but all that's gonna do is make him even more mad at you. He's gonna learn the hard way if he does anything else. Okay?"

"Okay," I yawned.

"G'night…"

"Night…"

I closed my eyes and in little time I fell asleep.