A/N: (I am very sorry for the obscenely long delay to the story but I'm back. A family member of mine passed away due to COVID-19. I was in grief for a month and after that I myself was diagnosed with COVID-19 though I recovered. After that my laptop had a battery problem and I couldn't get it fixed till yesterday. So after over three months I am returning to writing. I started writing this chapter on fourth of June and believe me I was just on the 6th line when I heard the news about the death of my family member. I just didn't have the heart to write this anymore. So I took a break. Now I'm back. The way I am writing chapters is going to change. The main focus will be on battles as this story is primarily focused on Ash improving as a trainer and less on other things. However for those worrying about Amourshipping do not worry I have something planned. Remember to VOTE regarding whether Bonnie and Clemont should travel with Ash or not. The poll is on top of my profile. This is the last chapter to VOTE. Review, follow and favorite. They help motivate me to write chapters sooner. Anyway onwards to the chapter!)

After getting back his gym team and spending the night at the Pokemon Center, Ash was refreshed. Though he himself hadn't fought against Darkrai the battle had taken a toll on him mentally. He had returned Charizard and Sceptile though he still had Darkrai on hand. Who knew when the next criminal organization would pop up or a legendary would go mad? It was better if Darkrai was with him at all times. Better safe than sorry.

As the plane landed in Lumiose City, he looked outside his window to see various unique pokemon he had never seen before. Though he had matured he still couldn't find it in himself to contain his excitement. Exchanging a look with Pikachu, Ash knew they were thinking the same thing. A new journey had begun.

After exiting the airport he tried to find the nearest Pokemon Center but failed in doing so. Rather than waste any more time he quickly released Staraptor and climbed aboard. He was then quickly able to locate the nearest Pokemon Center from where he directed to Professor Sycamore's lab.

As he entered the building he was greeted by an assistant who introduced herself as Sophie. He was then taken to the Professor. As they approached the Professor, Ash assessed the Garchomp he was tending to. The size of the Pokemon rivaled Cynthia's own Garchomp though he doubted it stood a chance against her Garchomp. Still it was an impressive specimen and would most likely give him a good fight if he ever fought against it which wasn't very likely. He would later realize how wrong he was.

After exchanging pleasantries with the Professor, he inquired whether his Pokedex could be updated with this region's data. He was replied that it would be done right away. Whilst his Pokedex was being loaded with new information, the Professor began telling him about a process called mega evolution which apparently recently had a major breakthrough.

"Mega evolution has recently become more popular and well known throughout all regions though Kalos remains the focal point. It's a temporary evolution that can be initiated only if a Pokemon holds a Mega Stone which is particular to its species. The trainer also has to have a Keystone to trigger the evolution. However the most important thing in my perspective is that a strong bond must be woven through trust and experience with each other as partners to trigger this process which will allow you to access this great power. Be mindful though, only specific Pokemon can mega evolve."

The Professor finished his speech with a smile and Ash could see why this man was regarded as the foremost authority on this subject. The passion with which he talked about mega evolution could clearly be heard in his voice.

However, Ash was more focused on one specific part of his explanation.

"What do you mean that only specific Pokemon can mega evolve?"

"So far only 46 species of Pokemon have been found that can mega evolve. We do not yet know why but other than these specific Pokemon none can mega evolve. Pokemon that can mega evolve include Pokemon such as Heracross, Sceptile, Charizard, Pinsir, Pidgeot, Lucario and the list goes on. Even legendaries such as Latios can mega evolve."

Ash was amazed by the fact that even legendaries could mega evolve. However he was more excited by the fact that he had many Pokemon that could mega evolve. He could only imagine how much more powerful Charizard would be when mega evolved. He was distracted from his thoughts when the Professor began speaking again.

"In fact, just before you arrived I was about to mega evolve Garchomp. Would you like to see it?"

He replied in affirmative and watched as the Professor took out a stone and pointed it towards Garchomp. A light began to glow but at that moment the glass ceiling above exploded. He had just enough time to see two people dressed in orange suits and a Houndour jump in before the area was covered by a Smokescreen.

The smoke was cleared away by a hyperbeam from Garchomp except it didn't seem normal anymore. His eyes had turned red and it looked like he was in enormous pain. The cause of his anger was unveiled to be a collar on his neck.

Before the situation could escalate he ordered Pikachu to attack the two people who seemed to be controlling Garchomp with a remote. They were shocked along with their Pokemon and dropped to the floor twitching. However in the commotion the remote had also been destroyed.

Garchomp roared in anger and turned his head towards the sky for another hyperbeam. Just then a Froakie came out of nowhere and attacked Garchomp. Ash could only gaze at the Froakie in confusion, shocked both by its courage and its stupidity. Really, who would be stupid enough to take on an enraged Garchomp especially given how weak he was in comparison.

As Froakie approached Garchomp sent it flying back into the bushes with a Dragon Claw and then took off flying out of the broken glass ceiling.

Ash ran out of the lab to see several buildings damaged and people taking cover. Garchomp stood upon the top of the Prism Tower firing a range of attacks all around.

Ash knew he had to do something to stop this rampage before people got hurt. He ran towards the tower only to find it blocked. Two blonde headed siblings offered to help remove the rubble but that would take too long.

Ash released Staraptor and instructed it to drop him on the roof. Only a few seconds later he found himself only a few feet away from Garchomp. Ash knew he could release Darkrai and finish this quickly but in his peripheral vision he could see a news helicopter which was probably providing live feed to all of Kalos. Releasing Darkrai would mean his trump card would be revealed.

No, that was unacceptable. Relying on Darkrai too much would only result in his own failure. He had to trust his other Pokemon. In this situation a Pokemon that was good in close combat would be ideal. Of course Pikachu was a given and Staraptor was there for support. Despite this he did need another heavy hitter. So naturally he chose him.

"Come on out Heracross."

As Heracross materialized in front of him, Ash knew he had made the right decision. Not only did he specialize in close combat but in case of any emergency he could fly as well.

His team had worked hard to improve themselves and it was time to showcase their new skills. Just as Garchomp opened his mouth for yet another Hyperbeam, Ash gave his orders.

"Staraptor and Heracross use Close Combat. Pikachu stay back."

In just a moment both his Pokemon vanished then reappeared in front of the startled Garchomp. He had no chance to fight back before he was pelted with attacks. After being bombarded with attacks for a few seconds he regained his composure.

Heracross was forced to retreat in the face of Dragon Claw and Staraptor was forced to swerve out of the way of an incoming Dragon Rush. Well another tactic would be used then.

"Staraptor distract with Air Slash. Pikachu use Electro Ball and then get in close but be stealthy. Heracross when it's distracted, Megahorn."

His orders were carried out perfectly. Staraptor used Air Slash which caused Garchomp to fire Dragon Pulse consecutively in hope to catch Staraptor off guard. However, its barrage was interrupted by an Electro Ball which it was forced to redirect with a Dragon Claw.

The smoke from the resulting explosion was enough to distract Garchomp who was struck in the mid section with a Megahorn. It dropped to one knee but still wasn't defeated.

Ash smirked. He knew that Garchomp wouldn't go down that easy and that's why….

"Pikachu use Iron Tail."

The collar was sliced clean off the neck of the suddenly exhausted Garchomp. He flew down the tower and collapsed in front of the relieved Professor.

He returned Heracross and thanked him for his good work before following Garchomp on Staraptor. Garchomp gave him his equivalent of a grin and Ash returned it before Garchomp became unconscious.

Ash turned just in time to see a microphone thrust in front of him and a reporter asking a question.

"Who are you, young man?"

Ash climbed aboard Staraptor to escape this interview. He would remember to thank Staraptor profusely later. He considered not answering the question but that would be rude so he answered.

"I am Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town, the trainer who will take the Kalos League by storm this year."

As he flew off towards the Pokemon Center, Ash admitted just to himself with a small grin. That parting shot was pretty cool.

In Vanville Town, a girl with honey blond hair shrieked and fainted. Grace looked curiously towards her daughter. Why was she blushing? Looking towards the television she grinned. Ah, teasing material.

A/N :( There you have it folks Chapter 9. Remember to VOTE regarding whether Bonnie and Clemont should travel with Ash or not. The poll is on top of my profile. This is the last chapter to VOTE. Review, follow and favorite. They help motivate me to write chapters sooner. See you in the next chapter!)