Haris smiled at the rookie Trainer that had challenged him; he was on his way to collect his fourth badge—the Balance Badge, from Petalburg—and had encountered the young boy, who grinned at him cockily as he released a Taillow.

It left him feeling a bit exasperated, but the rules were the rules—now that the battle had started, he would either have to forfeit, or win the battle. With a sigh, he withdrew Dusk's Pokeball and released the Lampent.

"Dusk, let's go!" he called. As Dusk stretched, glad to be released, the rookie laughed.

"Alright! Taillow, use Peck!" the rookie commanded. The Taillow lifted itself into the air before diving at Dusk, beak glowing and extending as the Pokemon activated the move.

"Dusk! Dodge it and use Will-o-Wisp!" he ordered. Dusk floated out of the way of the Taillow's attack before lighting three wisps of fire that consequently trailed around the Taillow.

"Taillow! Dodge it!" the rookie said, but it was too late. The ghostly flames converged on the Flying Type Pokemon, leaving the Taillow with a burn on its side; the shiny pink flesh of the fresh burn gleamed in the sunlight.

"Now, Dusk, use Hex!"

Dusk's eyes glowed, and shadows converged around the Taillow, hitting it harshly. The damage of the attack was doubled by the Taillow's burn, and the small Pokemon was knocked out. The rookie groaned.

"Aw, I thought I could beat you!" he complained. "Taillow, return!" as the rookie handed over the victory money, Haris spoke.

"You battled well," he said. "You might have won, if you had been battling someone on your level. I'm heading for my fourth badge, so I have a lot more experience, and I'm a lot stronger," he explained. "So don't feel bad; you did well."

"Thanks, Mister!" the rookie grinned at him. "Good luck!"

"Thank you," Haris murmured, standing as the rookie dashed off. He turned to the general direction of Petalburg, and grinned at Dusk, who floated beside him. Dusk's flame burned bright and hot, and Haris laughed.

"Right then. Let's go, Dusk!"