AN: Decided to hold out on finishing and posting this chapter until after Hau and Ash's battle concluded. As usual I'll save mosts of my thoughts on the new episode for the end of the chapter. I will say this though...
Rowlet's a fucking troll and Hala abused his authority to rescind Nanu's decision to call the match over with Hau being the winner.
Hau was done dirty in this League. I'm attempting to do better to him.
AN #2: It's been two weeks by the time I have finished writing this and I've had some time to think over the Ash vs. Hau battles conclusion, and I'm still unhappy with it. Though I'm not feeling as ranty about it as I was initially.
Anyway onto the chapter.
The Qualifying Rounds Part 3 of 3: Ash vs. Lana! A Dragonic Debut!
"Jeez, Lana. With that glare your throwing my way, I'm having a hard time thinking you're supposed to be a Water-Type Specialist." Ash points out to the dimunitive blue-haired girl facing him from across the battlefield. This only serves to intensify the heat in Lana's gaze, so much so that for a second Ash blinks and thinks Lana is trying to use Flare Blitz given the fiery aura surrounding her.
Ash opts to change gears here, "Lana, even if you win against me, you still only have 2 Pokémon. The next 2 rounds of this tournament are Battle Royales where everyone has to use a maximum of 3 Pokémon. So if they let you compete in those rounds, you'll be at a disadvantage over everyone else you'll be fighting against."
Lana's answer doesn't ease Ash's concerns, "Then I'll have mom send me my Ride Lapras over to fight in those rounds."
"I'm assuming your Ride Lapras is like Kiawe's Ride Charizard in that despite it being raised up for the purpose of getting a person from point A to point B, it can still hold it's own well in a battle." Upon receiving an affirmative nod from Lana, Ash continues, "You still have the problem of what are you going to do if you get to the semifinal and final rounds of this Tournament which are both 6 on 6 Full battles."
Lana's fiery aura diminishes rapidly as those words sink in for her, "Oh." A frown forms on the prospective Brooklet Hill Trial Captain's face, "I didn't consider that."
Ash sighs as he pulls down his cap to hide his look of frustration at the lack of Foresight of his classmates, "Trust me Lana, you're not alone in that regard."
Mallow, Sophocles, and Lillie (Who were watching this battle.) felt that statement may have been directed at them in addition to it being thrown Lana's way.
Meanwhile Kiawe who was annoyed that 3 members of his group that are no longer competing in this League, all opted to see Ash and Lana's fight over his fight with Generic Nameless Character. Kiawe paused in the midst of delivering the final blow to their forgettable Pokémon when he suddenly had the feeling Ash was talking trash about him behind his back.
This pause was just what Generic needed to tell his forgettable Pokémon, Shuckle to use Stone Edge to take out Kiawe's Charizard, thus forcing him to bring out his Alolan Marowak who quickly ended the fight with an Iron Head.
Kiawe resolved to make Ash regret this in the next round.
Now back to Ash and a better Water-type Preferring Waifu than Misty.
"Listen Lana. How about after this League is over, I help you and the rests of the gang catch and train some new Pokémon." Ash offers the girl he still can't believe is the same age as Mallow and a year older than Lillie and Sophocles. Okay maybe Ash can believe Lana is older than Sophocles, but being older than Lillie is a bit of a stretch.
Lana considers Ash's offer though she soon pouts getting the feeling Ash is thinking something snarky about her waifish appearance that contradicts her age. Eventually Lana questions Ash's reasoning for making this offer, "What's your reason for offering to do that?"
"It's sort of an apology for keeping distant from you guys for the past couple of weeks. Since we were competing against each other, I didn't want you guys getting any ideals of what me and my Pokémon have up our sleeves for this Conference." Ash states sheepishly whilst scratching the back of his head.
"It's also an apology for any of you guys who took losing to me too personally." Ash states whilst trying to not look in Lillie's direction. He's fortunate that the worst he got from Mallow is that she was disappointed to not be able to use Shaymin in this League. Though Ash will have to sit her down later and remind her that using a Pokémon you haven't caught in a Poké Ball for a League-sanctioned Tournament is cheating and grounds for disqualification from the League along with getting a negative reputation stuck to you and possibly being exempted from taking part in any other League-approved Tournaments for the region.
Misty whose waiting for the battle to start scowls at the notion of Ash attempting to take her future pupil in training Water Pokémon. Her scowl worsens as Lana considers Ash's offer.
Lana's expression is serious which contradicts her next statement which is quite comical, "I want to play and hug your cute Water Pokémon such as your Squirtle, Kingler, Corphish, Buizel, Palpitoad, and Greninja."
Oshawott from within his PokéBall in Ash's backpack, (That is being used as a cushion for Rowlet along with a number of Ash's other Pokémon.) cringed as if struck hard via a Dynamic Punch feeling that someone doesn't consider him cute, yet has the nerve to think freaking Palpitoad is cute.
Palpitoad smirks from within his PokéBall having gotten the feeling that he just got one up on that stupid otter he blames for why Ash barely used him in the Unova region.
The referee for their battle having grown impatient with Ash and Lana's bantering speaks up, "Can you two please get the actual battle started." He sighs and mutters under his breath, "Why do these twerps have to drag things out by chatting away when they should be fighting."
Ash narrows his eyes at the referee's specific wording in regards to using the word twerp, before looking the referee over and feeling a bit of relief that they don't have blue hair. Though Ash figures they may be wearing a wig and the cap they are wearing is to hide the upper portion of their face.
Ash shelves the matter of Team Rocket possibly interfering in the League for later, but resolves if they pull any of the BS that they pulled at the Indigo League that screwed him out of giving Ritchie and himself the awesome fight they deserved, he would personally see to those idiots getting locked up for a long time.
Overpowered Bewear who can't stop showing up and whisking them away before Ash can get the cathartic joy of seeing them blast off into the sky, be damned.
With a shrug Ash sends out Meltan who upon appearing on the battlefield hops joyfully into the air glad to get another chance to fight.
Taking note of Ash's Steel-Type Mythical Pokémon, Lana opts out of starting with Primarina and instead sends in Nagisa instead.
Ash frowns as he sees a Vaporeon appear on the battlefield instead of an Eevee. Ash turns a questioning look Lana's way as he holds the disappointment in his tone back. At leasts until he hears Lana's response to his next question, "Was evolving, Nagisa's choice?"
Lana looks confused hearing the nuetral tone in Ash's voice, more used to there being some emotion in it, "What?"
"Did Nagisa want to be a Vaporeon? Or did you pressure Nagisa into evolving after his loss to that Psyduck?" Ash states trying to keep his tone nuetral.
Lana gulps scared now understanding what Ash is trying to say. She speaks quickly wanting to not upset her friend (and in her dumb sister's opinion, boyfriend.) now that they are close to things being normal with them again, "I presented Nagisa a Fire, and Thunder Stone along with a Water Stone. I didn't exactly have the time to take him to a Mount Lanakila to find a Ice Rock or Lush Jungle to find a Moss Rock. Primarima wasn't around to help Nagisa learn a Fairy-type move and our bond isn't developed enough to see if he'd become an Espeon. Waiting for the sun to come down was also out of the question."
Ash takes a moment to process all that before stating his thoughts, "So in the end his choice was between being a Jolteon, Flareon, or a Vaporeon."
Lana winces hearing disappointment beginning to find it's way in his tone, "I told Nagisa he didn't have to evolve if he didn't want to."
"But did you say something along the lines, "But it would help if you did." Or something that would pressure him into becoming a Vaporeon."
"I didn't!" Lana yells distressed with her eyes closed and expression fearful.
Nagisa having enough of Ash giving his Trainer the 3rd degree, lunges towards Meltan with streaks of white trailing off of him.
Unfortunately all this earns Nagisa is a painful headache (that doesn't lead to a Power-Up because Nagisa isn't a Psyduck.) as she crashes into Meltan with an audible clang who just a few seconds before Nagisa reached Meltan, the puny Steel-type tensed it's body and used Not-Harden.
As Nagisa dazily retreats with a whimper, Meltan looks to the recently evolved Water-type worriedly.
Ash shakes his head and resolves to speak more over this matter later. Despite his preference that one of his newest Pokémon would ditch their Everstone and become a Dartrix, he still respects and cares for them enough to not force them to make a choice that there's no turning back from once it's been made.
"Meltan use that new move you ended up learning!" Ash ordered Meltan who turns to Ash confused before perking up as if an exclamation point appeared over his Hex Nut head. Meltan than starts waving it's limbs in the Vaporeon's direction, and nary a second later blue bolts of electricity reach out from Meltan and strikes Nagisa whose still working through her headache.
A moment later Nagisa seizes up as small sparks of electricity appears all over his body forcing him to his knees.
"Thunder Wave." Lana says with a frown as she pushes aside her fretting over Ash's probing into the exact circumstances of Nagisa's evolution for later, "Nagisa, try using Water Pulse!"
With a grunt whilst struggling to stand, Nagisa opens his mouth as a blue orb of water forms in his mouth. Nagisa then sends the Water Pulse hurtling towards Meltan.
"Meltan, busts that Water Pulse with Flash Cannon!" Ash calls out as Meltan nods and a second later a small sphere of white light appears in front of Meltan's head before a large Silver Beam of light erupts from the white sphere and spears through Nagisa's Water Pulse, before striking Nagisa whose attempt to dodge is foiled by his paralysis kicking in at an inopportune time.
A frown develops on Lana's face as she opts to take a page from Ash's book and indirectly calls out her next attack, "Use the move Lapras taught you!"
Nagisa struggles to stand and tries using that move only to collapse as his paralysis hits him again distressing Lana, "No!"
"Hit him again, Meltan!" Meltan doesn't need much more prompting as he fires another Flash Cannon at Nagisa.
"Roll to the right and throw out another Water Pulse!" Lana yells in a urgent tone that Nagisa responds by sluggishly rolling away just in time to evade Meltan's attack. Before Meltan can try hitting Nagisa again, the Bubble Jet Pokémon quickly let's loose a Water Pulse that upon making contact with Meltan releases a large surge of water onto the Steel-type who quickly shakes himself before looking back to Nagisa.
Though when Meltan does, Meltan sees 3 Nagisa'a where there should be one.
Ash blinks as he sees small yellow birds dancing in circles over Meltan's head, "What the heck?"
"Nagisa, Meltan's been confused! Let's try that new move again!" Lana states urgently to Nagisa who manages to stand up and with a loud cry of it's name the dispersed water droplets created from his earlier Water Pulse attacks begin to move back towards Vaporeon before they start floating in the air around him.
Ash curses having a good ideal what Nagisa is trying to do, "Meltan, finish this with Flash Cannon!"
Though all Meltan does is grip it's head and makes the closest approximation to groaning. As this happens rings of water form around Vaporeon who begins glowing a faint cyan light as strength returns to him and he stands perfectly upright though the paralysis still affects him.
After a few more moments of confused groaning, a light bulb appears over Meltan's head who looks to Nagisa with a determined glare before quickly scurrying towards the Water-type as the lightbulb disappears in a poof.
"Meltan, what are you-" Ash cuts himself off as just before Meltan reaches Nagisa, Meltan hops and turns in the air and swings it's tail at Nagisa that suddenly gains a grey metallic sheen to it.
An audible clang is heard as Meltan's Iron Tail strikes Nagisa across the cheek and sends him flying to the arena's edge where he lands in a heap.
"Nagisa, please tell me you're okay?" Lana asks with a worried look on her face. The response her Eeveelotion gives her is the Aqua Ring surrounding Nagisa pulsing as it draws in water vapors from the air before sending it to Nagisa whose cyan glow returns as he slowly picks himself back up.
Ash meanwhile sports an amused grin at the recent development to this battle, "Somehow Meltan managed to figure out how to use Iron Tail whilst being confused. First Pikachu and I try teaching him Thunder Shock to prepare him for Thunderbolt and he ends up learning Thunder Wave instead, and then this happens."
Ash looks to his Hex Nut Pokémon whilst sporting a fond grin as Meltan looks upward and sees the yellow birds flying around his head and starts hopping around whilst waving his arms about trying to catch one of the birds in his hands.
Ash's grin drops as Lana orders out Nagisa's next move, "Time to switch out, Nagisa! Baton Pass!"
Unfamiliar with the move Ash watches intently as Nagisa's Aqua Ring flows into a red bar of energy that forms in front of Nagisa who grabs it with his mouth and throws it skyward before getting pulled back into his PokéBall as moments later Primarina emerges onto the battlefield where Nagisa was previously standing with a fin extended out that catches the baton Nagisa threw into the air previously just as it was coming down.
"Prima!" With a melodic grunt, Primarina squeezes the baton causing it to burst as energy realeases from it before turning into water that forms a trio of rings that orbit themselves around Primarina.
Ash frowns as it begins to dawn on him what Baton Pass does, "Meltan, toughen up!"
Meltan's response is to look to it's Trainer confused whilst Primarina stands on it's tail and releases a melodic tune as an orb of water forms above her before bursting releasing a multitude of smaller pressurized bubbles of water at Meltan whose confused state results in Meltan taking the brunt of the attack.
The high-pressure water bubbles end up knocking Meltan back until he lands in front of Ash who bears a small frown.
Ash throws a worried look down Meltan's direction who gets back up and shakes it's head as the yellow birds circling above him disappear, "Meltan, can you still fight?"
Meltan looks to Ash and nods whilst giving him it's best attempt at giving a thumbs up.
Ash throws Meltan a grin hearing that, "Alright. I just need you to use one more move then me and the new gal will have all we need to end this battle."
Meltan gives Ash a determined nod as he turns back to Primarina and Lana, and then gives the two a determined glare.
"Primarina, Aqua Jet!" Lana orders not wanting Ash and Meltan to carry out whatever plan they are cooking up.
Water surrounds Primarina as she rises into the air and hurtles toward Meltan who stands tense and glares at her waiting for Ash's command. Meltan doesn't wait long as Primarina draws near, "Launch yourself with Iron Tail"
Meltan nods as he swings his tail down, it takes on the grey metallic sheen indicative of Iron Tail just before striking and cracking the ground with enough force to propel Meltan upwards just in time to avoid Primarina and her Aqua Jet.
"What!? How!?" Lana yells out baffled Meltan managed to pull that off who lands and turns back to glare at Primarina who is still using Aqua Jet and is doubling back to hit him again.
"Thunder Wave!" Meltan nods as he throws his little arms out and fires a blue bolt of electricity at Primarina.
"Dodge it!" Lana says a second too late as the Status move connects and causes Primarina's watery veil to disperse as she crashes a few feet before Meltan with the tell-tale sparks of electricity courtesy of paralysis.
"Good job, Meltan. Time to hand things over to our new teammate." Meltan gives Ash a nod before looking to Primarina and turning around and cheekily wagging his tail at her earning a scowl from the Soloist Pokémon as Ash recalls Meltan and pulls out an Ultra Ball.
Ash gives the Ultra Ball a confident grin, "Ready for your debut?" The Ultra Ball's rumbling is all the indication Ash needs to know how excited it's occupant is. Ash looks up to Lana across the battlefield as his grin widens and gains a savage edge to it that unnerves Lana, "Alright then! Let's go, Hakamo-o!"
From the Ultra Ball, the Dragon and Fighting-Type materializes in the air and does a forward flip as gravity pulls her down. As Hakamo-o descends she thrusts a clenched fists downward, that serves to crack the ground when she does a 3 point landing.
Hau who had just arrived from his last match for the day winces seeing Hakamo-o pulling that off, "Tried that once with Decidueye. I ended up falling flat on my face."
Hakamo-o then turns her head up to throw a viscous grin Primarina's way who recoils in fear, briefly forgetting that she has a type advantage over Hakamo-o.
Hakamo-o's grin grows as she stands up straight and throws her head back and let's out a war cry, "Hakaaa!"
Lana tries to maintain a strong front as she throws Ash a questioning look, "Where and when did you get a Hakamo-o?"
Ash is quiet as he observes Hakamo-o throwing test punches into the air. His eyes are narrowed as he observes Hakamo-o preparing for the fight. Eventually Ash focuses back on Lana and answers succinctly, "I went to Vast Poni Canyon a few days ago to take on the Trial there and see about earning a Dragonium-Z."
Hakamo-o winds back her fast and throws a jab out with a concentrated look on her face as Ash supplies her origin story, "Hakamo-o here was one of the Pokémon I had to fight to battle the Totem Pokémon. She was pretty impressed my Gible beat her and that the Dragon Pokémon I beat Totem Pokémon with was able to win despite not looking that tough in her eyes."
Hakamo-o let's a small toothy grin form thinking of that cute Gible who managed to best her in combat as she throws another jab. Her grin grows as she sees small sparks begin to crackle around the air displaced from her punches.
"She decided coming along with me and my Pokémon would bring her to stronger opponents than on the rare occasion someone goes to Vast Poni Canyon and heads in deep enough that Totem Kommo-o let's her fight."
Hakamo-o takes a readied stance as Ash finishes recapping her circumstances for her joining his team as Lana decides to next question the logic in Ash's choice of Pokémon to fight Primarina with, "You do realize Primarina is immune to whatever Dragon-Type moves Hakamo-o knows, is resistant to whatever Fighting-type moves Hakamo-o has, and finally Hakamo-o will go down in one hit if Primarina's Disarming Voice connects, right?"
"Hakamo-o will be fine. Me and my Pokémon do our best when at a disadvantage." Ash responds flippantly as he gestures for Lana to start the battle again.
Put out by that, Lana commands Primarina to use Icy Wind. The paralyzed Pokémon exhales a cold gust of wind with light blue sparkles inside in Hakamo-o's direction who doesn't need to be told by Ash to dodge the attack. Hakamo-o rolls to the left and starts running as the attack strikes the ground she was standing at and freezes it over.
Primarina keeps the attack going as she turns her head following wherever Hakamo-o goes. Soon though Primarina has to stop using the attack as her paralysis kicks in.
Ash and Hakamo-o to capitalize on this, "Hakamo-o, use Echoed Voice!" The Dragon/Fighting-type nods as she begins swishing her tale about as she shakes her head and throws her arms out towards Primarina.
Doing this results in the scales on her body to begin rumbling as audible and visible clanging sound waves are released from the scales and travel towards Primarina and hit her eliciting a slight pained grunt from the fully evolved Water Starter.
Though Aqua Ring kicks in and starts healing her drawing a frown from Ash who notes that if he and Hakamo-o want to take her out of the fight, he will need to quickly deal a lot more damage than Aqua Ring can heal over time.
"Again!" Ash declares as Lana commands Prinarina to use Icy Wind once more.
This time the sound waves are louder and travel faster as they meet and clash with Primarina's Icy Wind. No victor emerges from this clash of attacks as the two moves are of near equal power.
"Primarina, try Sparkling Aria." Lana issues to her Pokémon who rises up and sings to create the water orb before launching it as a cascade of smaller fast moving water bubbles.
Like before with Icy Wind though, the attack can't reach Hakamo-o as Echoed Voice intercepts the attack.
This time the Scaly Pokémon's sound move struggles to push back Sparkling Aria despite the fact it's speed, power, and the loudness to it has increased to the point Ash, Lana, and Primarina wince upon hearing the attack. Hakamo-o appears to have no problem with the loud noise.
"Disarming Voice!" "Take it!"
Lana is flabbergasted at Ash's response to her declaring to use the move that will end this fight for Hakamo-o. Primarina gives out a melodic shriek that sends a beam of purple hearts traveling towards Hakamo-o who guards herself against the attack.
When the attack connects Hakamo-o stands strong and waits for it to end. When it does, Hakamo-o relaxes and throws a baffled Primarina a mocking look.
"How did Disarming Voice not work? It's a Fairy-Type move!" Lana yells shellshocked.
"Sound based moves do nothing to Hakamo-o." Ash answers giving Lana a less snarky grin though it still holds a slight lilt to it.
"What are you talking about?" Lana questions throwing Ash a petulant look.
"Hakamo-o's Ability is Soundproof. The name of the ability should make it clear what it does." Ash answers in a tone like a teacher explaining to their student how exactly the answer they gave on a test was wrong.
Ash continues as Lana displeasure with his answer grows, "It's probably also a good thing Primarina isn't one of the lucky few amongst it's species who has Liquid Voice as their Ability. Liquid Voice makes sound based moves into Water-type moves which would make Icy Wind the only move Primarina has that can actually threaten Hakamo-o."
Lana scowls thanking Tapu Lele for small miracles since if Primarina had Liquid Voice, she would have lost to that Master Fisherman in the last round due to his Poliwrath having Water Absorb.
Whilst Lana fumes, Ash makes his next move as he plugs his ears and yells, "Turn up the noise, Hakamo-o!"
Hakamo-o roars in response as the rumbling of her scales starts up again this time they are shaking and clanging so much the vibration speed has traveled through the rest of her body making it appear as if she is using Extreme Speed whilst standing still to appear as a Hakamo-o like grey and yellow blur.
With a swing of her arms Hakamo-o sends the cacophonous attack at Primarina traveling at such speeds and volumes that Lana can't order a counter to the move before it can hit Primarina who is holding her paws to her ears trying to drown out the incredibly loud attack that has some people watching the battle regretting not bringing noise canceling headphones.
The attack connects with Primarina in a deafening crash that sends her flying back and digging a trench into the arena a few feet away from her Trainer. With a grunt Primarina rises exhausted as she feels her strength slowly return to her due to Aqua Ring, though she throws a glare at Hakamo-o due to her ponytail coming undone and getting dirt in it making her look like a mess.
Hakamo-o scoffs at this not caring much for appearances when in a climatic battle between two strong opponents that are to give each other their all.
Deciding enough was enough Lana opts to use the Z-Crystal for Primarina's signature Z-Move.
After giving Lana and Primarina the time to do the poses, Ash watches as Primarina rises (Ash blinks confounded as he thinks he sees a spotlight shine down on Prinarina.) and starts a siren's songs that draws all the water in the arena displaced from Primarina and Vaporeon's water attacks to gather up in a large sparkling bubble that hovers menacingly over the Soloist Pokémon.
Primarina turns a chilling glare Hakamo-o's way as she begins the next verse of the performance to have her attack close the distance between it and Hakamo-o.
Unfortunately she'll never get to see the song to it's end, "Let's steal the show Hakamo-o! One last time, Echoed Voice!"
With a battle cry and a sadistic grin, Hakamo-o leaps high into the air and throws a vibrating punch into the great water bubble.
At the moment Hakamo-o's punch with the Z-move connects, the bubble stops moving and a shudder travels through it, that draws a dumbfounded gasp from Primarina and Lana.
"No way!" Lana cries in disbelief before a thunderclap is heard from Hakamo-o scales just a moment before the bubble explodes releasing a great deluge of water that sprays outward towards Primarina who braces herself for the downpour.
As the impromptu rain shower from the failed Z-Move draws to an end, Hakamo-o lands in the battlefield with a grin directed at Primarina whose glaring balefully at her with wroth. Though soon Primarina snorts in amusement as she notes a change in Hakamo-o's appearance.
The scales on Hakamo-o's arms are chipped in some places or cracked in others, the scale on the end of her tail is missing, the one on her forehead has a crack going halfway down the middle, and one of the two along it's neck is missing altogether.
Despite all this Hakamo-o remains jubilant despite Primarina openly laughing at the ruined state of Hakamo-o's scales.
Lana sends a questioning look Ash's way, "When Echoed Voice gets loud enough, Hakamo-o's scales have a hard time staying attached to her. Or staying in one piece." Ash states as he picks up a small fragment of one of Hakamo-o's scales and puts it in his pocket.
Hakamo-o gives another battle cry eager to finish the fight as Lana bites her lip unsure what to do now, 'Sparkling Aria and Disarming Voice won't do anything. He'll just counter Icy Wind with Echoed Voice.'
Lana sighs and bows her head knowing there's not much more she can do here to win, "Still I'm not going out without at least giving it my all. Primarina, try Aqua Jet!"
Primarina gives her opponent a determined glare as water surrounds her only to stop as paralysis stuns her and causes the water she was gathering to drop and form a puddle around her.
"It's our turn. Sky Uppercut!" Hakamo-o dashes forward and stops before Primarina crouched down with her fist reeled back glowing with white light.
A second later Hakamo-o rises and swings her fist upwards, a trail of light following after Hakamo-o's fist, driving it into Primarina's chin sending the Soloists Pokémon up into the air.
"Go after her and finish this fight with Thunder Punch!" Ash declares with finality as Hakamo-o leaps into the air after Primarina whilst swinging a fists back that starts crackling with electricity.
Lana closes her eyes and bows her head as Thunder Punch connects with her Pokémon eliciting a discordant shriek from her.
When Lana looks back up her Pokémon crashes into the ground unconscious as Hakamo-o lands tensed ready for the next battle.
With a shake of her head Lana recalls Primarina back to her PokéBall and sends Nagisa back out, her mouth set in a line, "Water Pulse."
"Knock it away with Dragon Tail!" The sphere of water that Nagisa fired at Hakamo-o is deflected as a result of getting smacked away by Hakamo-o's glowing green tail.
"Aqua Ring!" "Don't let her! Finish this with Thunder Punch!"
Nagisa let's out a desperate cry as the water on the battlefield flows towards him, unfortunately Hakamo-o reaches the Vaporeon first and lands a Thunder Punch that cuts off the Water-type's yowl and ends the battle as the water Nagisa was trying to form an Aqua Ring with stops flowing towards him as he is no longer conscious enough to direct them his way.
Seeing her opponent is down, Hakamo-o relaxes herself as the referee declares the match to be done.
Lana recalls Nagisa to his PokéBall and before looking down to the PokéBall with a tired smile as she holds out Primarina's PokéBall in her other hand, "Thank you, both of you. You two gave it your all."
When Lana looks back up she sees Ash approaching her, giving out a congratulatory fist bump to Hakamo-o who returns it with a toothy grin before following alongside him.
When Ash stops in front of Lana, he closes his eyes and takes a deep breathe as Lana grimaces and ducks her head expecting a scolding.
Hearing those words result in Lana tearing her gaze away from the ground as she looks to Ash flummoxed, "What?"
"It was arrogant of me to judge what you do with your Pokémon." Ash continues whilst maintaining eye contact with the shorter girl, "I just didn't want to see you going down the path where you'll do whatever it takes to win, even if that means forcing your Pokémon to evolve when they don't want to."
Lana nods slowly in understanding with a small frown as she looks away and speaks nervously, "I think I was starting to go down that path when I learned our battle would be one of the last ones held for this round. I sent Nagisa home to learn Aqua Ring with my family and my Lapras's help."
"That's okay. Moves can be forgotten and relearned without much problem." Ash assures Lana as he offers a hand to her, "Friendships are harder things to lose and get back."
A small smile returns to Lana's face as she looks back to Ash and returns the handshake he's looking for. Though she doesn't let go of his hand after doing so which prompts a curious look from the Trainer from Pallet Town that Lana returns with a mirthful grin, "Come on. There are still a few more battles before they announce whose facing who in the Quarterfinals tomorrow. That's plenty of time to set things right with Lillie."
Ash follows after Lana who begins pulling him along by the arm as they leave battlefield. A determined look settles upon his face, resolved to make amends with the girl that in his time here in the Alola region has become something of a little sister to him.
A mirthful look develops after that thought, as Ash notes to himself that Bonnie probably wouldn't take well to having competition when it came to Ash doting on her.
Lillie is suddenly hit with a feeling of dread that she believes has to deal with her confusing warm and happy feelings towards a certain raven haired Trainer from another region.
The mirthful look on Ash's face drops as he hears the next words to come out of Lana's mouth, "And after you and Lillie make up, you can explain what you have been doing for the past couple of weeks before the League after you left when Kukui told us the League was being delayed."
Ash is going to have to amend a few things in his explanation if he is going to keep everyone surprised for what else he has in store for this League.
AN: And finally after 2 weeks of delay, I have finished this chapter. Though I'll be going over it again to see if it flows well before I update the fanfic. So it's probably coming out after the next episode in a few hours.
Going forward with this fic I decided that the Battle Royales this take on the League will have shall be contained to just the Quarterfinal Rounds rather than before where the Semifinal round was also a Battle Royale.
The Semifinal and Final Match for this League will be Full 6 on 6 Battles. So in the case of certain characters from the show who don't have a full team or even 3 Pokémon, I'll be basing the rest of their teams for the next couple battles in this fanfic off of the Pokémon they have in the Sun and Moon games.
So this fanfic's Hau has a Flareon when we are being left in the dark if anime Hau has one or not.
Speaking of Hau in the anime... (Lot's of rambling and rants incoming, skip to Go Away Junichi if you want the next chapter's title and a bit of summary for what happens in it.)
He should have won his battle against Ash, and I say that as someone who usually (always) roots for Ash.
This isn't because I feel Ash didn't give the battle his all. He did.
The battle just showed Hau is the better Trainer since he and Decidueye gave it their all in that battle and they fought with the strength and skill they worked hard to obtain.
Ash is the more experienced Trainer though and that should translate to him being the better battler in that match.
Unfortunately a Trainer can't win a Pokémon battle alone. They have to be working together with their Pokémon for the whole battle and they have to both give it their all if they want to win.
Unfortunately despite being fired up initially about wanting to fight Hau's Decidueye again, Rowlet was too lazy to stay awake throughout the whole fight.
Or to stay awake when the Pikipek, Trumbeak, and Toucannon he used to live with before Ash decided to come to the Conference to work with Ash to help him learn a new move to give Rowlet an edge over Decidueye.
A Feather Dance that works more like a Substitute than an actual stat-lowering move.
The issue with Rowlet falling asleep in the middle of his battle with Decidueye and Hau being called the winner isn't that Rowlet was considered unable to battle because of a status move like with Squirtle during Ash's match with Ritchie at the Indigo league.
The referee who made that call for that match was an idiot in my opinion, and should be fired for not being able to tell a status effect apart from a Pokémon that's been KOed.
Since by his logic Sleep Powder and Hypnosis are more broken than Hyper Beam was in Gen 1, Rest is more useless and unhelpful than Splash was before Z-Splash, and apparently Dream Eater is unnecessarily torturing a downed opponent. (The last of these 3 statements is true.)
And I don't think Sleep Talk existed until Gen II.
The issue here is that Rowlet chose to take a nap. Rowlet chose to not battle anymore. That means he doesn't want to battle anymore.
A battle should be over when a Pokémon either is in a state where fighting anymore will do irreparable damage to them, they have been knocked unconscious, or they or the Pokémon's Trainer doesn't want to battle anymore.
Once any of these criteria have been met, the battle should be over and nothing should reverse that. Even if the Pokémon or Trainer changes their mind a moment later.
That's why I felt Mallow returning Tsareena because she doesn't want to see Tsareena get hurt anymore, and then Tsareena sending herself back out because she wants to fight more and they are allowed to continue battling after Mallow is told off by her Pokémon and Lana is a rule violation and their battle should be over the moment Mallow recalled Tsareena.
Unfortunately this League just won't subscribe to any of the rules the 6 other League Conferences Ash has been involved in have established.
Which leaves me feeling that if this League won't obey the rules whenever it pleases, then Guzma isn't in the wrong for standing against this League and what little it stands for.
It's like nobody involved with organizing the Alola League bothered to get a rulebook for any of the other League Conferences that are held on a yearly basis in the world.
To me Hala pretty much abused his authority as a Kahuna and the head referee for this Conference to have Ash wake Rowlet up and force him to battle again.
This battle was supposed to show us Rowlet at his best. This is Rowlet's most important battle in the series (If Ash intends on not using him for the next two or three battles, and I hope Ash doesn't make the mistake of doing that.) and he blew it. The last memory we will have of Rowlet is him screwing up big time.
We were supposed to see growth in Rowlet's character. He should have developed in some ways from the lazy, simple-minded, and sleepy bird he was at the start of the SM anime.
And Rowlet has progressed somewhat since then. Sure Rowlet needing an Everstone to use Seed Bomb is ridiculous and a transparent excuse on the writer's part to keep him in his base form because Rowlet won a popularity poll in a magazine and the writers want to sell plushies of a 'cute and funny' Pokémon to kids in Japan.
But at least Rowlet put actual effort into learning that move than how he learned Razor Leaf via taking a nap on a tree that Tapu Bulu enchanted with nature energy. It's still sad Rowlet needs a Tapu's help to learn such a basic and simple move like Razor Leaf.
The Everstone Seed Bomb thing is ridiculous since before this anime we have seen plenty of Pokémon use Seed Bomb without needing to hold a rock in their mouth so it could be the projectile. So is Rowlet just terrible at using Seed Bomb if he needs an Everstone as a crutch?
Heck if Rowlet needs to learn Seed Bomb then Ash should introduced Rowlet to his Sceptile, who Ash worked with back when he was a Treecko to teach the pure Grass-Type Bullet Seed, so the Forest Pokémon can teach the Grass Quill Pokémon Seed Bomb.
After all Seed Bomb and Bullet Seed are moves that work similarly enough in how they work and how they are learned that when Ash tried teaching Rowlet Bullet Seed, he learned Seed Bomb instead.
Moving past the episode where Ash felt he should actually train Rowlet for once and Rowlet is fired up enough to actually try for once all because Ash suddenly had butter fingers with getting his Grassium-Z into his Z-Ring so he can Z-Move one shot Hau when he previously had no competency problems with using Z-Moves and after the episode he never again has this problem. It's almost as if the writers wanted a cheap excuse for why Ash should lose to Hau in their first battle so Ash and Rowlet have a reason to try and grow stronger. That episode honestly felt like it should have aired 80 or so episodes sooner if we wanted to make it better.
The episode where Rowlet battled with Meltan was good since Rowlet learned a move without anyone's help or Rowlet needing to be forced into trying to learn the move.
But for what growth Rowlet did get at long last in the 3rd season of the show, they threw it all away and had Rowlet regress back to how he initially was for the sake of poor humor and a terribly written battle.
And Ash looks like a fool and putting his faith in Rowlet over a more sensible choice like Torracat whom Ash knows will give it his all throughout this battle. Rowlet shows that faith is misplaced and now it feels like Ash made a mistake ever bothering to catch Rowlet.
So yeah, I just can't like how the show has decided to end things with Rowlet.
And this all thanks to Junichi Fujisaku. The screenplay writer for this episode.
Junichi Fujisaku was a new addition to the Pokémon anime writing staff for this series, and if you ask me, he should either be let go or not allowed to have anything to do with episodes with Pokémon battles. Here are some episodes Junichi was the screenplay writer for.
Episode 28: Pulling Out the Pokémon Base Pepper! The well recieved baseball filler episode. One of the few good episodes Junichi has done from what I heard.
Episode 33: Big Sky, Small Fry. The episode that Lana took on Totem Wishiwashi to get a Waterium-Z with Popplio. Where Ash and Pikachu helped her complete the Trial. Didn't see it, but I now know enough about it to see the dumb/contrived BS in this episode's battle.
Episode 76: A Battle Hand-Off! I disliked this episode long before I even knew Junichi existed. Ash is denied an opportunity to battle Nanu whose a lazy ass and sends Ash to battle some Trainers with a Mimikyu at the Thrifty Megamart.
I already dislike the parts of the show where Ash goes to Ula Ula for his Island Challenge because Tapu Koko switched the Fightium-Z Ash earned from Hala with an Electrium-Z, thus denying us the chance to have Ash earn it from Sophocles through doing his Trial.
This was back when Sun and Moon started when we still doubted this whole nonsense about the Trial Captains not being Trial Captains for the whole show, so I figured Ash earning the Electrium-Z was going to tie into Sophocles's character growth into becoming a Trial Captain.
Like how Clemont left the party in XY briefly to ready himself for Ash's Gym Battle with him, so Clemont could give Ash the awesome Gym Battle he deserved. I guess there is a reason I call Sophocles, Lamer Clemont, after all.
But back to Ula Ula, I wasn't cool with there being no Island Trial at the observatory or Ash just skipping the Trials there and trying to get straight to the Grand Trial, and then have Nanu be okay with it at first. Why even have Ash or anyone do the Island Challenge if there are no Trial Captains and they are just going to be screwy with the rules?
So Ash not doing the actual Abandoned Thrifty Megamart Trial for the Ghostium-Z and instead having him fight Team Rocket who Nanu decided to give them of all people a Z-Ring, was lame.
It kind of makes the Kahunas and Tapus look shitty when they will deny supposedly scummy people like Guzma and Plumeria a Z-Ring, but give even scummier people like Team Rocket a Z-Ring.
Team Rocket winning against Ash again because of Mimikyu's signature Z-Move debuting was lame, but acceptable since Ash could confront Nanu about giving them a Z-Ring and probably tell Kukui, Hala, and Olivia what Namu has done.
But then the Junichi Fujisaku BS happens. Pikachu blocks a Z-Move by learning Electroweb. Which is a pretty meh move compared to Electro Ball that I hated for replacing Volt Tackle.
It was a stupid and contrived way to win the battle and an equally BS, but not agitating way I'd accept Pikachu surviving Let's Snuggle Forever is Ash suddenly remembered to use Counter Shield.
After beating Team Rocket through having stupid Plot Armor, does Ash get a Ghostium-Z? No. Does he ever make anything of Nanu giving Team Rocket a Z-Ring? No.
And oh, I just learned this from bulbapedia. Ash uses the literal never gets explained Deus Ex Machina Z-Move, 10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt.
As if that episode could get worse. Anyway onto the next episode since the only thing that comes from that episode is Ash battling Nanu and not getting a Darkinium-Z because Ash isn't dark and edgy enough. (But Team Rocket are dark and edgy to keep the one they stole despite being the furthest thing from dark edgy.)
Episode 79: Showering the World with Love! (The english sub names are crud compared to the original Japanese ones.) A good filler episode about Minior that I hear it's high points are apparently about how Poipole makes friends with a Minior that later breaks out of it's shell to return to space where they fade away into the aether. Depressing. But good considering it was handled well in a kid's show. Junichi should stick to filler and filler alone.
Episode 104: That's Some Spicy Island Research! The episode where Ash meets and gets into a battle because Hapu assumed the first people to take an interest in her radishes are the thieves who have been plaguing her and Ash is too much of a battle hungry idiot to care to clarify he's not so Pikachu gets rekt by Golurk.
Junichi seems to like characterizing Ash as a moron who can't think or plan his battles. Projecting much, Junichi?
Episode 109: A Grand Debut! Another episode I hated with a burning passion before I knew the thing it shares with other episodes I like. The conclusion to Ash's Island Challenge is a 1 on 1 fight. Ash's opponent uses Ground-Types. Pikachu, Torracat, and Lycanroc are weak to Ground-Types. Rowlet is the Pokémon with moves strong against them who isn't weak to them.
Unfortunately Rowlet is squishy and Rowlet, so Ash has no good Pokémon on hand for this battle.
Ash uses Pikachu against Hapu's Mudsdale.
The bullshit in this battle... Ash wins because luckily Mudsdale gets a little water on him and becomes a Water-Type because that's all it takes to replicate Soak apparently.
Ash didn't plan for this, it was convenient. And worst of all it's a callback to Ash vs. Brock and lots of people questioned the legitimacy of Pikachu's win over Onix because of the sprinklers going off.
This was a terrible attempt to call back to that episode.
I would have been happier if Ash had done the Vast Poni Canyon and Mina's Trials as prep work for the Final Grand Trial and in the process Ash gets a Hakamo-o in the manner I described this chapter who knew Aqua Tail, Rowlet learned Steel Wing in order to beat Totem Ribombee, and Ash had a training episode to help Lycanroc so it could beat Gladion's Lycanroc for their next battle via having Dusk Lycanroc learn Drill Run.
Then have Ash do a 3 on 3 fight with Hapu where Ash can't use Pikachu and has to rely on Rowlet, Lycanroc, and his new Hakamo-o coming through and winning the battle. That would have been a better and more satisfying way to handle the end of the Poni Island Arc than the crap Junichi gave us.
Episode 129: The Great Fray! Battle Royale 151! I hated this one before I knew who Junichi was as well.
First of all it's not a Battle Royale. It's a big chaotic free-for-all that IS the schoolyard fight that Guzma predicted the League would be like that would make it suck.
Second of all too many battles are quickly resolved via one shots from Ash and his classmate's Pokémon. I hate one-shot battles in any shape or form that isn't from One Punch Man. Also Lillie kill steals, Kahili shows up for only a few seconds and it's presumed Ash took out her Skarmory though we can't confirmed that since she got the shaft this League like Hau and Plumeria.
Speaking of Hau and Plumeria. Do they get to do anything for this match? We don't see Hau do anything but apparently he got to the Top 16. Plumeria had Ilima and his Eevee on the ropes, until she didn't.
Screw Junichi for denying Plumeria more battling time, but apparently Jessie and James disguised as the two useless idiot lab assistants Sycamore hopefully fired should get to go to the top 16 instead.
Lillie kill steals from Kiawe and plays it off as teamwork, Kiawe's a one trick pony with Z-Move one shotting his enemies, Togedemaru has a second move finally, and Nagisa and Shaymin win off, but we don't get to see how.
Also Mallow cheated using a Pokémon that she doesn't officially own via having caught said Pokémon.
Thirdly the League starts with 151 participants and I was annoyed with that for the longest time since it was an odd number, it wasn't 128 or 256 which would would have made more sense, and I didn't know why the writers went with that stupid number.
Then eventually someone pointed out it was a reference to how many Pokémon there were in Gen 1. I usually don't care about Pokémon excessively pandering to Gen 1 for Gen 7 due to the 20th anniversary, but barely anyone would catch this pandering. So what's the point of implementing it?
So I also hate Junichi for pandering to Gen 1 in a stupid manner. If he was a smart ass about it, then maybe I would be okay with it. Maybe.
And the last Junichi Fujisaku written episode I hate (Or in this case, will hate.) is Episode 138: The Finals! The Strongest Rival Showdown!
It hasn't aired yet and all we got to go on is it's title and speculation, but since Junichi has a terrible track record with battle episodes I'm already cringing wondering how he will screw up what is hopefully the first part of the Alola League Finale and the Final Rival Battle between Ash and Gladion.
The only hope that the League will end on a high note is that the final match is a two part episode and Junichi or some other hack isn't writing the second part of the battle.
So here's my very salty verdict about Junichi Fujisaku. I don't like the battle episodes you write. You aren't good at them. You give Ash poor characterization, the battles have some stupid BS happen so someone can turn things around and win, and you effectively ruined Ash's Rowlet for me who I held some hope would do something good at this League to make up for doing nothing for most of the series and the Everstone nonsense.
Go away Junichi.
Next chapter: When Divergence Occurs. Ash's Preparations for the Alola League!
So you guys are getting a flashback chapter as filler to explain why this League is different, show some of what Ash has done to train his Pokémon for the League, and how Hakamo-o joined the party.
See you next update everyone. Bye-onara.