"Mawile! Use Fairy Wind!"

"Maw!" the deceiver Pokémon cried out as she let out a gust of air loaded with mystical energy. The blast hit a nearby bush, blowing off several leaves.

"Awesome!" said Ash. "You're doing great, Mawile!"

"Pikachu, Pika!" Pikachu said, encouraging his newest teammate.

"Maw, Mawile!" said Mawile, happy to receive encouragement from her father figure and uncle.

"Now," said Ash, "why don't you try out your Ice Fang?"

Maw!" the little fairy type said. She then rushed towards the bush, her jaws glowing with icy energy. She then turned around and chomped on the bush with all her strength.

"Yeah!" said Ash. "That's it!"

Mawile then let the bush go. As she did, a large ice-coated branch fell to the ground, along with a few icy leaves.

"That was great, Mawile," said Ash. "I'll bet you'll become really strong!"

"Yeah," said Serena. "You're gonna do great on Ash's team!"

"Maw, Mawile!"

"Yeah," she will," said Brock. "I mean, Ash can work well with pretty much any Pokémon. But Mawile seems even more motivated to succeed with Ash!"

"She does, doesn't she?" said Korrina. "You think it could be because Ash hatched her?"

"It could be," said Brock. "I mean, newly hatched Pokémon tend to imprint on the first person they ever see, identifying them as a parental figure. Remember Misty and Togepi?"

"Oh yeah," said Ash, remembering the way Misty's Togepi had latched onto her.

"Who's Misty?" said Korrina. "I mean, I know you mentioned her a few times, but not that much."

"Cario, Lucario," Lucario said, just as curious as his trainer.

"She's a friend of ours," Ash explained. "She's a Gym Leader from Cerulean in Kanto. She used to travel with me and Brock when we were traveling through Kanto and Johto."

"Oh," said Korrina. "What was she like?"

"Well," said Serena, "She was… interesting."

"Maw?" Mawile asked, wondering why her mom's tone had turned awkward.

"Yeah," said Ash. "She… had some pretty strong opinions, and she got angry pretty quickly. And she was pretty good at finding things to complain about. But she was also really smart, and she could be really sweet when she wasn't trying to get you to pay her back for her bike."

Korrina stared at Ash, not able to tell if he was being serious about the bike or not.

"Yeah," said Brock. "Trust me, though. Misty was a great friend, even if she took a little getting used to."

"Just a little?" muttered Serena.

As the trainers spoke, no one noticed Mawile looking away, her curiosity piqued by a strange green object that was moving close to the group.

"Yeah," said Ash. "There were some times that she drove me crazy. But that didn't mean she wouldn't try to support me whenever I needed it. And if anyone else tried to mess with me, she'd always be the first to challenge them. Truth be told, she really wanted me to succeed, even if she had a weird way of showing it.

"Pikapika!" Pikachu said, remembering all the good times he'd spent without Misty.

"Huh," said Korrina. "You sound kind of like my sister when she talks about me."

Ash and Serena looked at her in surprise.

"You have a sister?" said Serena.

Before Korrina could answer, Mawile cried out, catching everyone's attention. As they looked over to her, they saw her trying to grab a vine with her jaws.

A vine that was making every effort to throw her off.

"What the-" Ash said before composing himself. "Mawile! Let go of the vine!"

"Maw!" the deceiver Pokémon said as her jaws opened, letting the vine go. Ash then moved quickly to catch her before she could hit the ground. As he did, the vine shrank back down, disappearing into the ground.

"Mawile! Are you okay?" said Ash.

"Maw!" Mawile said excitedly, seemingly not bothered by the sudden vine attack.

"What was that?!" said Serena. "Did someone attack Mawile?"

As if in response to her question, even more vines began to sprout from the ground. The gang backed away in shock, doing their best to avoid getting hit. Fortunately, it seemed that the vines were not actively following anyone, and most of them were shrinking back as quickly as they sprouted.

"Okay, what's going on?" said Korrina.

"Luca! Lu!"

The gang looked over at Lucario, who seemed to have sensed something. Curious, the aura Pokémon made his way through the forest, having apparently picked up something interesting. Surprised, Korrina followed her partner, not willing to leave him behind. The rest of the gang looked at each other, then shrugged and followed them.

As the group moved through the bushes, they were careful not to touch any of the vines. While there weren't too many of them, they were constantly sprouting up, then being pulled back into the ground.

"You know," said Ash, "This looks vaguely familiar."

"Pika, pika," Pikachu said, remembering a certain trainer they had met in the past.

"You don't… think it's her, do you?" said Brock.

"Who are you guys talking about?" said Serena.

"Chesnaught! Frenzy Plant again!"

The group stopped. They all recognized that voice.

"That sounds like Calem!" said Serena

Now more determined, the gang rushed through the bushes until they reached a clearing. To their amazement, they saw a quartet of trainers that they, and especially Serena, were all very familiar with.

"It is Calem!" said Serena. "And Shauna!"

"And Tierno and Trevor!" said Ash.

They watched in amazement as Calem and Shauna commanded Chestelle and Chesnaught against Squirtle and Charmander.

"Charmander," Tierno ordered, "use Flame Burst!"

"Squirtle," Trevor called out, "use Water Pulse!"

"Dodge it, Chestelle, and use Pin Missile!"

Charmander fired a blast of heat from his mouth, while Squirtle breathed out a wave of water. Chestelle was just able to move out of the way of the fire type attack and fire off her own attack to counter, while her more experienced counterpart was forced to rest after the intensity of his previous attack. The fire type starter was able to dodge the attack, but his partner was hit by a large number of energized pins.

As the battle raged on, Calem briefly looked away, his gaze meeting Ash and his friends. However, he barely acknowledged the group, just nodding before turning his attention back to his starter.

"Chesnaught! Use Seed Bomb!"

"And you use Vine Whip, Chestelle!" Shauna yelled.

The larger grass type blasted out a number of explosive seeds, while his partner lashed out with a pair of vines. Squirtle did his best to dodge the attacks, but Squirtle's leg was caught by one of the vines. As he tripped, he was hit by one of the seeds and cried out in pain.

"Come on, Trevs!" said Tierno. "We can still win it!"

"Yeah!" Trevor replied, though his voice sounded uneasy. "Squirtle, use Ice Beam!"

"You got it!" said Tierno. "Charmander! Flamethrower!"

The two Pokémon fired off their attacks, which blasted right into Chesnaught. The spiny armor Pokémon cried out in pain, but still seemed unfazed.

"I think we should finish it now, Chesnaught!" said Calem. "Frenzy Plant!"

Chesnaught roared as he began to glow green. He then unleashed a number of massive vines which slammed into the two Kanto starters, tossing them back with extreme force.

"Chaaarr!"

"Squiiirtle!"

Tierno and Trevor watched in shock as Charmander and Squirtle landed in front of them, knocked out.

"Yeah!" said Shauna. "We won!"

"Heck yeah, we did," said Calem as he walked up to Chesnaught. "You were awesome, Chesnaught!"

"Chesnaught! Ches!" Chesnaught said happily.

"Chesnaught is crazy strong!" said Tierno.

"We certainly didn't stand a chance against you," said Trevor. "It seems like we have a lot of room to improve.

"Hey, don't worry too much," Calem said reassuringly, "You'll get a lot better over time. After all, it took me a long time to get to where I am now."

"Yeah, totally!" said Shauna. "I mean, I mostly do showcases, so I'm not that good at battling. It was mostly Senpai who did most of the work."

"Hey, you weren't too bad either, Shauna," Calem said reassuringly. "You managed to avoid taking too much damage, and you did actually do some damage. Just keep practicing and sooner or later you'll be just as good as me!"

"Aww, thanks, Senpai!"

Calem chuckled. He then looked away from his friends and finally acknowledged the presence of the newcomers.

"So, what did you guys think? Pretty good, huh?"

The rest of his friends looked up in surprise, finally realizing that they had some unexpected guests.

"Totally!" said Ash. "That was so cool!"

"Pikapika!"

"Yeah," said Brock, "I'd say Chesnaught has gotten even stronger since the last time we saw you guys!"

"Of course he has," said Calem. "We're always getting better!"

Before they could continue to comment on Chesnaught's strength, a blur of brown and pink rushed forward and tackled Serena.

"Serena!"

"Shauna!"

The two girls hugged each other excitedly.

"Oh my gosh!" said Shauna. "Serena, I heard about your first showcase! I'm so sorry! Are you okay? How are you And Fennekin doing?"

"Calm down, Shauna!" said Serena. "We're okay! I mean, it sucked, but we'll just have to do better next time!"

"Oh, yeah!" Shauna said with a smile. "I love that attitude!"

She then took a step back to look at her friend's new outfit.

"And I love your clothes! When did you get them?"

"Oh, yeah," said Serena. "I actually got them after the showcase. I wanted to change my style to show that I'm on my way to becoming the Kalos Queen."

"Well I like it!" said Tierno. "It looks so cute on you!"

Around this moment a particularly nasty growl could be heard coming from the general direction of a certain raven haired trainer.

"It does look pretty good on you," said Calem. "You always did have a knack for choosing clothes."

"Thanks," said Serena. "Though, to be honest, Ash was actually the one who chose these for me."

The other group looked at Ash in surprise.

"You chose them for her?" said Shauna.

"Yeah," Ash admitted as he scratched the back of his head.

"Huh," said Calem, a smirk forming on his face, "I didn't think you'd gotten to that part of your relationship yet."

At this, Ash and Serena's eyes went wide as their faces became red.

"What?!"

"R-relationship?!"

"But I don't-"

"We're not-"

"Aw, you two are so cute together!" said Shauna.

"Will you shut it?!" Ash and Serena said together, causing everyone else to laugh.

Or, at least, almost everyone.

"W-what did he mean by relationship?" Tierno said nervously.

"Char char?"


A short while later, the two groups were introducing each other to their Pokémon teams. Calem and the others were particularly interested in Mawile.

"So, Mawile just hatched, so she's not that strong yet," said Ash. "But I know she's going to grow up to be one of my strongest Pokémon!"

"Neat," said Calem. "You sure have a lot of faith in her."

"Well, yeah," said Ash, "but I also know that I'm going to do everything I can to make her the best she can be!"

"That makes sense," said Calem as he turned to look at the rest of Ash's team. "So you also have Pidgeot, Larvitar, Riolu, Litleo, and Froakie, huh? That's a pretty good team."

"Yeah," said Ash. "I'm proud of my whole team."

"Pi-Pikachu!"

"I hear you," Calem said as he turned to his own team. Most of them were familiar to Ash, being Chesnaught, Heliolisk, Gyarados, and Weavile. However, there were a few newcomers: a small pink birdlike Pokémon, and an orange quadrupedal Pokemon with a green hump.

"Who are those Pokémon?"

"I got it!" said Rotom as it flew down to scan Calem's team. "Spritzee, the Perfume Pokémon. In the past, rather than using perfume, royal ladies carried a Spritzee that would waft a fragrance they liked. When your whole role in life is acting as a scent pack for people to carry around, you have to wonder what you did to screw up your life this much!"

It then turned to the other Pokémon and scanned it.

"Numel, the Numb Pokémon. Numel is extremely dull-witted - it doesn't notice being hit. However, it can't stand hunger for even a second. This Pokémon's body is a seething cauldron of boiling magma. So if you aren't careful, it could blow up your house, and your whole neighborhood!"

"You enjoy this way too much," said Ash.

"I know," said Rotom.

"That Rotom Pokedex is kind of weird," said Trevor, "but I guess it's pretty convenient."

"Yeah, I wouldn't really call it convenient," muttered Serena.

"Fenn, Fennekin," Fennekin said in agreement.

"Anyway," said Ash, "they look pretty cool. Are you training them for the League?"

"Numel just hatched," said Calem, "so she's not quite ready for training yet. "And as for Spritzee, I have other plans for her."

"What do you mean?" asked Ash.

"He's gonna trade it to me!" Shauna said excitedly, catching their attention. "And then he'll get Snacky!"

She then grabbed one of her Pokeballs and opened it to reveal a small fluffy Pokémon. Immediately, Rotom swooped in to scan.

"Swirlix, the Cotton Candy, and the pre-evolved form of Slurpuff. To entangle its opponents in battle, it extrudes white threads as sweet and sticky as cotton candy, which is why your mom always told you not to eat too many sweets!"

"Yeah, okay," said Ash. "So you two are going to trade?"

"Yeah," said Calem. We're just looking for the evolution items before we do so."

"Evolution items?"

"Ooh! I know this one!" said Rotom. "In order to evolve, Swirlix must be traded while holding a Whipped Dream, while Spritzee needs a Sachet!"

"I get it," said Brock. "So, you'll be trading your Pokémon in order to evolve them, right?"

"Yup!" said Shauna. "Also, that way we'll always have a Pokémon to remind us of each other!"

"Aw, that's so sweet!" said Serena.

"Really?" Korrina said in a mischievous tone. "Well, why don't you and Ash do the same and trade one of your Pokémon if it's so sweet?"

Immediately, Ash and Serena's faces became bright red.

"We're not together!" the two of them cried out together, causing everyone except Tierno to laugh.

"Anyway," said Calem as his gaze fell towards Lucario. "I can't help but notice that you have a Lucarionite now."

"Lu, lu?"

At this, Korrina looked towards Lucario's mega stone and frowned.

"Oh, yeah, that. It's… pretty awesome, I guess."

"You guess?" said Shauna.

"I mean, it is really neat, but… we've had trouble with it," Korrina explained. "Like, whenever we try to use it, Lucario ends up losing control and going berserk."

"Whoa," said Tierno, "that's just freaky."

"I know," said Ash. "It was kind of scary, to be honest."

Calem looked at Lucario, seemingly deep in thought. He then looked at Korrina's glove, and the Key Stone within.

"Show me."

The rest of the group looked at him.

"Yeah," he said. "I want to see what's going on with Lucario."

Korrina and her friends looked at each other nervously.

"Are you sure about that?" said Korrina. "He was really strong. If it ends up like last time, I don't know if we'll be able to get him back under control."

"Well, Chesnaught's pretty strong too," said Calem. "He should be able to handle anything that goes wrong."

Korrina looked at her friends, who seemed to be nervous at the idea. However, Ash also seemed excited.

"I think you should try it out," he said. "I mean, we have plenty of other Pokémon, so we can probably bring him under control."

"Are you sure?" said Korrina.

"Well, we need to figure out how to get Lucario under control when he mega evolves," said Ash. "And we won't find out if we don't try, right?"

Korrina frowned. She really didn't want to risk Lucario hurting someone. At the same time, however, she realized that Ash was right. If she kept avoiding the issue, she would never solve it.

With a sigh, she looked at Lucario, a smile creeping up onto her face.

"Let's do this, Lucario!"

"Lu, Lu!"


The group had made plenty of space for Calem and Korrina. Chesnaught and Lucario were both staring each other down, determined to do their best in the upcoming battle.

"This will be a one-on-one battle between Korrina and Calem!" said Brock.

"Do we even need a referee?" said Serena. "It's just Calem trying to help Korrina figure out how to get Lucario under control."

"Well, it's still a battle," said Ash. "Just because it's small doesn't mean we shouldn't treat it like a battle."

"Pikapika!"

"Besides," said Trevor, "you do need to have some respect for the rules when you're a trainer."

"And it's just cool!" said Tierno.

Brock chuckled at this, then turned to the two battlers.

"Let the battle begin!"

Korrina smiled as she grabbed the stone on her glove.

"Lucario! Respond to my heart! Mega Evolve!"

The blue fighting type cried out as he began to glow. The rest of the group watched in awe as his body changed, becoming shaggier and spikier. Finally, the light dissipated, revealing the newly mega evolved Lucario.

"Carr!"

"Whoa," said Calem. "That is really cool."

"I'm glad you like it," said Korrina. "And I hope you're strong enough to fight him!"

"I think we are!" Calem declared. "Right, buddy?"

"Cheees! Chesnaught!"

Korrina grinned, excited despite her previous apprehension. She then gave her first command.

"Lucario! Use Bone Rush!"

"Block it with Spiky Shield!"

The aura Pokémon attacked with a glowing bone, only to be blocked by his opponent.

"Wait for him to drop his shield, then use Power-Up Punch!"

"Counter with Seed Bomb!"

Chesnaught dropped his shield and blasted out several large seeds at Lucario. The seeds exploded all over Lucario, but did not deter him from slamming his fist into his opponent.

"Chesnaught! Use Drain Punch!"

"Jump over him and use Metal Claw!"

Lucario rushed forwards with his claws glowing. He then jumped over his opponent just as the larger fighting type tried to slam his fist into him, and slashed at Chesnaught.

"Keep it up, Lucario!" Korrina yelled. "Power-Up Punch!"

"Block it with Spiky Shield, and then use Drain Punch!"

"Watch out, Lucario!"

Chesnaught roared as he set up his shield. Fortunately for Lucario, he was just able to hear his trainer's command, and managed to cancel out his attack just before it could make contact with the sharp spines.

"Hit him now!"

"Dodge!"

The spiny armor Pokémon lunged at his opponent, who just barely managed to evade the attack. However, he wasn't so lucky with the next attack.

"Seed Bomb!"

"Get out of there!"

Lucario was pelted with explosive seeds, causing him to cry out in pain.

"Now use Drain Punch!"

"Block it with Power-up Punch!"

The two Pokémon threw their fists forwards, and their attacks collided against each other and sent a shockwave across the field. Both Pokémon tried their best to overpower the opponent's attack. For a moment, neither combatant had a clear advantage over the other. However, after a moment Chesnaught was able to muster just enough strength to push Lucario's fist away.

"Cheees!" the spiny armor Pokémon roared as he punched Lucario with all his might, sending the blue canid flying backwards. Lucario grunted in pain as he landed on the ground.

"Lucario!" Korrina yelled. "Don't give up! We can still win this!"

However, as Lucario slowly got back to his feet, he began to growl in an ominous tone.

"Lucario?" Korrina said as a drop of sweat rolled down her forehead.

The aura Pokémon then roared, his eyes now devoid of mercy.

"Oh Arceus."

Lucario snarled as he rushed forwards, extending his Metal Claws as he slashed as Chesnaught with a level of ferocity that no one would have expected beforehand.

"Whoa!" said Calem. "You weren't kidding when you said he went berserk!"

"Yeah!" said Korrina. "What are we gonna do now, though?"

Calem looked at Lucario, who was attacking Chesnaught ferociously. While he was certainly strong, he clearly didn't have any real plan; he was simply attacking wildly without any real thought or consideration. Admittedly, that did make him dangerous, but it was something he could take advantage of.

"Chesnaught!" he called. "Spiky Shield!"

Chesnaught didn't need to be told twice. He quickly lifted his shield just as Lucario attempted to hit him with a Power-up Punch. The aura Pokémon cried out in pain as his fist connected with the sharp spiny barrier.

"Now trap him with Frenzy Plant!"

The spiny armor Pokémon unleashed his strongest attack, sending out a number of massive vines which ensnared his berserk opponent. Lucario was too distracted by the pain to react until the vines had completely trapped him. Upon realizing that he was trapped, he cried out and tried to free himself.

"Finish him off with Drain Punch!"

Chesnaught roared as he rushed towards Lucario with a glowing fist. He slammed it into the trapped canid, siphoning energy from his body. Lucario cried in pain as he was struck by the attack. However even as Chesnaught broke off the attack, he still did not seem to be fully knocked out.

"Huh, he is pretty tough," said Calem. "Let's see if he can stand one more-"

"Wait!"

Calem looked up. To his surprise, Korrina was rushing up to the twisted mass of vines that was trapping Lucario.

"I… want to try to calm him down."

Calem opened his mouth to object, but soon closed it. After all, if it had been his Pokémon that was going berserk, he would have wanted to reach out to them too.

Cautiously, Korrina approached the struggling fighting type. He snarled as he saw her approach, but she refused to falter.

"Lucario," she said, doing her best to not seem nervous, "it's me, buddy."

"Luuu," Lucario growled.

"Hey, it's okay," she said as she gently placed a hand on his cheek. "I'm here for you."

Lucario was still wary. However, its growling seemed ever so slightly quieter now.

"Don't worry, buddy," she said. "You don't have to fight anymore."

As she stroked Lucario's muzzle, the growling seemed to fade away, and the aura Pokémon's eyes started to widen in recognition.

"Hey, buddy," she said with a smile. "You gave us all a pretty big scare, you know?"

"Lu?" Lucario said in surprise.

"Don't worry," Korrina said as she petted him. "You're okay now."

Surprised, Calem gestured to Chesnaught, telling him to let go. The spiny armor Pokémon nodded and released the vines, freeing Lucario. As the vines moved away, Lucario almost fell over, but was quickly caught by Korrina.

"I got you, Lucario."

Lucario smiled as the Mega Evolution energy around him dissipated, leaving him in his regular form.

"Well, that was pretty scary," said Shauna.

Korrina looked up to see Ash and the others walking up to her and Lucario.

"Lucario is pretty strong," said Brock. "Unfortunately, he does seem to have some trouble when Mega Evolving."

"I think it's getting better, though," said Ash. "At least Korrina was able to get through to him that time."

Korrina looked to her friends, then back to Lucario.

"Yeah," she said, feeling better than before. "It's getting better. I hope."


Cynthia groaned as she sat down. Her investigations had hit a bit of a roadblock, and her attempts to find the piece of information she was missing was not going well.

"Ugh!" she said as she sank into the couch. "Why is it that whenever I don't need something I keep finding it, but every time I suddenly need it, it disappears?!"

"You really should take a break, my dear. It's really not good for you to spend so much time working without rest."

Cynthia looked up and glared at the speaker.

"This is important, Gurkinn! The fate of the entire world could be at stake!"

"Yes, I've heard," Gurkinn said with a jovial smile. "Which is why you should take some time to rest, so that you don't fry your brain before you find the answer."

He then waved a plate full of Shalour Sables at Cynthia. The blonde woman gritted her teeth, doing her best to resist the allure of the sweet treats.

"Come on, Cynthia," said Gurkinn. "I got them fresh!"

"Fine!" Cynthia said as she grabbed the plate. Gurkinn chuckled as she began to devour the pastries with a level of ferocity that hardly seemed befitting of a regional champion.

"Well, you certainly enjoy them a lot for someone who claims to be busy."

"Shut up and pass me some milk," Cynthia said between mouthfuls.

Chuckling, Gurkinn passed her a glass of milk.

"Have you heard from Korrina recently?" Gurkinn asked as Cynthia guzzled the milk down, eager to change the subject. "Last I heard of her she was trying to get a 100-win streak."

"I actually saw her not too long ago," said Cynthia as she put her glass down. "Astrid mentioned she had met her not long after finding a Mega Stone for her Absol."

"Oh, she found an Absolite?" said Gurkinn. "Good for her. Korrina must have been surprised."

"From what Astrid told me, she was," said Cynthia. "In any case, I decided to check up on her. Luckily, I was able to catch her at Geosenge Town."

"Good," said Gurkinn. "How is she?"

"Well, she's been traveling with a group of friends," she said. "One of whom, I should note, is the son of Red Ketchum."

"Red's kid, huh?" Gurkinn said, a hint of interest in his voice. "I hear he's growing up to be quite the trainer himself.

"Ash is certainly determined to become a Pokemon Master," said Cynthia. "He was quite eager to have a battle against me, even though I was a Champion."

"Just as impetuous as his father," Gurkinn said with a chuckle.

"Indeed," said Cynthia. "Anyway, Korrina is also traveling with Serena, the daughter of the famous Rhyhorn Racer Grace Gabena, as well as Dwayne "The Brock" Johnson, the former Gym Leader of Pewter City in Kanto. Or Brock as his friends like to call him."

"Interesting group," said Gurkinn.

"That's one way of putting it," said Cynthia. "Anyway, I had Korrina try to Mega Evolve Lucario."

Gurkinn gave her an incredulous look.

"You had her use Mega Evolution? Don't tell me you-"

"Oh, don't be so dramatic," said Cynthia. "You know Dill would have loved to see her use his Mega Stone, especially when she also has his Key Stone."

"That does not give you the right to give away Dill's Lucarionite!" Gurkinn snapped.

"I'm not giving it away," said Cynthia. "I'm just giving it back to its rightful owner."

"Rightful or not, Korrina isn't prepared to wield Mega Evolution!" said Gurkinn.

Cynthia sighed. While she didn't often have disagreements with her father-in-law, this was still a sore point for them.

"Even if she's not, she deserves the chance to prove herself. And more importantly, she deserves to have a reminder of her father."

Gurkinn gritted his teeth, but did not respond. Cynthia smirked and began to munch on another Sable.

"And what if she doesn't manage to master Mega Evolution?" Gurkinn asked. "You know just how dangerous it can be if a Pokemon loses control of its Mega Evolution. Especially Lucario."

"I have faith in Korrina," said Cynthia. "And besides, she has Ash and Brock on her team. If anything goes wrong, they can bring Lucario under control."

"And you really believe that she will master Mega Evolution?"

"I know she will master it."

"How?"

"She's my daughter," Cynthia said with a hint of pride in her voice. "And in case you've forgotten, she's Dill's daughter."

Gurkinn was silent for a moment, contemplating what his daughter-in-law had told him.

"I wish I could argue with you," he said quietly, "but I know that Dill would have taken your side."

"He always did, didn't he?" Cynthia said, her eyes seemingly wetter than they had been before.

The two were silent once more, seemingly left with nothing else to say.

"So what does that say about Verity?"

"Oh, you know she wouldn't have run away if she wasn't me and Dill's daughter."

Gurkinn couldn't help but laugh at this.


A/N: Oh my, we're seeing some familiar faces today! Also, I believe this is the first time Gurkinn has appeared in this story.

Speaking Of Gurkinn, I decided to give his son (Korrina's dad, and Cynthia's husband) a name that fit the family theme. Since his dad is named after a gherkin (which, according to Wikipedia, is what they call pickles outside of North America), and his daughter is named after the French word for those (cornichon), I have dubbed him Dill. As in dill pickles. You're welcome.

(He presumably won the rock-paper-scissors game for his first daughter's name, but Cynthia got luckier with Verity)

And on the subject of names, you may have noticed that I retconned Brock's name. Why? Because I can.

Anyway, Lucario's getting better. There's still progress to be made, but luckily Calem's invincible juggernaut of a starter will be able to keep him in check. Probably.

And Cynthia's investigating something important. Hopefully nothing the heroes will have to get involved with.

So that's that! Hope to see you soon!