I may be exhuasted as hell, but ain't no way is that stopping me from updating the latest chapter, damn it! NeoShadows here and back with a fresh update to A Certain Unfortunate Trainer!

Yadda, yadda, yadda, I've been busy. What else is new at this point? I could have honestly updated this a long while ago, but I really wanted to reach the end of the Kokyu Tower event first. We're basically almost done with not only the Toxic Hazard arc but also the Index arc too. And I can't wait to start on the Haunted Blood arc to come!

So, how about we get through these reviews and get to the good part already!?

Angel Faux: My favorite part of writing is creating OCs. Especially ones that aren't hated or seen as meaningless to the plot. So, I'm happy you like Brittany after only meeting her. The Toxic Hazard arc is going to explode in these next chapters, so you'll come to see what it is they're up to. And you've already met their boss; pretty sure it's obvious who they are.

Mr.X: Brittany's an above B-cup, and yes, I've read GT. Currently going crazy over when Kamachi will release GT 4.

MrQuestionMark: I might as well call ya a Magikarp at this point. Now, a crossover ain't a crossover, especially one like this, without some world-building here and there. Honestly, I'm still an amateur when it comes to such a subject, but stuff like fanfiction helps in polishing and building on it. Writing this crossover has certainly helped in leveling up my world-building skill. Brittany is a fun character for this arc, but one that hasn't been fully experienced yet. After all, there is Brittany and than there is Mabushii. The Brain and The Head Researcher are two drastically different women facing two sides of the same coin. Once things get rolling, we'll come to see Mabushii show her face. I just wish I brushed up on my drawing skill so I could really show her off in a drawing. The Between The Lines from here on will help to explain the story of Toxic Hazard; specifically the two leaders of the group. So, you're right about it being a metaphor. And of course Aogami would have a Pokemon to match a few of his fetishes. This is the Fetish King we're talking about! But his partner, the one that is supposed to help develop his AIM, is different. Man, if you thought that boy will be left on the sides in this story than you're in for a surprise down the road.

Tazal Terminals: Well, I do enjoy cooking as well as writing. There is a reason why I work in the food industry outside of my hobbies. I didn't make manager due to a lack of passion after all. Though creating this unique mix out of the ingredients making up ToAru and Pokemon was certainly a challenge. You know, someone out to really write a story involving a yandere stalker of misfortune plaguing Touma's daily life. And yes, Kamijou Touma seducing female gang boss's is a serious concern, no matter what world he is in.

Doomqwer: God, I miss playing Silver! I had an elementary school friend lend it for me to play, long ago. Those were some fun times I wish I could get back. I'm glad you really enjoy the character interactions. Plenty more to come as Toxic Hazard begins the first step to their master plan. Pfft! Touma? Finding friends with self-respect when he doesn't even have any himself? This is the same boy who mumbled about losing his virginity to a dorm manager onee-san while helping Tsuchimikado escape Academy City; didn't he fantasize about a scenario involving helping an onee-san setting up her DVR, alone in her room?

Onilink500: Perverted as Aogami may be, he's far from being weak himself. Especially in this story. If he wasn't so desperate, surely Brittany would have been interested in him as well. But she's the type of girl who loves a prey that wriggles back and doesn't gleefully jump into her arms so easily. And you're right about Rakko-chan; she'd flip her personality to the meek girl she's playing if anyone sees her covered in blood.

0Jordinio0: Ya dare oppose the cool beauty that is Misaka10032?! Ya bastard?! Huuuuuuhhhhh?!

But to your explanation to the gym leader difficulty; you're right on that matter. I was more on the opinion of gym leader's battling challengers with certain Pokemon close to their level but still fighting at their hardest. I haven't really read the mangas, I've only ever played the games and watched the anime; the latter I had stopped watching after Diamon and Pearl with the occasional viewing of the future installments. So, my knowledge is not as great compared to others, something I've been trying to fix with rewatching some of the anime and looking things up online. If ya got anymore things concerning how I could do better concerning the lore and world of Pokemon, go ahead and let me know. Yeah, I understand the feeling of wanting more with a story that's just been written. Especially one like my own that sees an update maybe once a month. But that's the life of an adult working a 6-3 job as a manager; ya don't get enough time to sit down and write to your hearts content, nor have the energy at times either. Concerning Touma's trauma over having his own Pokemon, it will be addressed at the end of the Index arc, so don't worry about that. This story is called a Certain Unfortunate Trainer, after all. The Charmander line is grossly overlooked due to the overhype: I can agree with you on that. But I already have a certain person in mind who will have one. Touma's appearance is suppose to look normal and plain other than his spiky hair. But it's during those intense moments that his true appearance shines the brightest. In a normal setting though, it's fine if he's not seen as handsome but not ugly either. If he appeared handsome as when he's being TouMAN than he'd lose his appeal; in my opinion.

That's that! Scroll away already! We got some reading to do!


Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to A Certain Magical Index or Pokemon. Both rights are reserved exclusively to Kamachi Kazuma and GameFreak.

I'm beginning to believe I may have a Gacha problem. Seriously, I was dangerously close to spending over thirty dollars for some Primogems to summon a digital character that won't benefit me at all in the long run! If I wasn't broke, I would have done it too!

Hu Tao, you sexy and cute Pyro temptress! Leave me alone! Let me enjoy Lissa, Jean, Ningguang, and Beidou in peace! I have a type, damn it! Don't go making me betray my lovely onee-saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnaaaass!


Chapter 8: Vile Air.

Level_TOXIN.

Kokyu Tower: The Tower of Luxury.

Among the four known Battle Facilities designated to improve and optimize espers through various experiments, exercises, trials, drugs, and Pokemon battles, it was the leading expert in the growth of Level-3s. Considering the quantity of Level-3s was dismal compared to the number of Level-0s making up Academy City, it wasn't constantly churning out Level-4s nor was it accepting droves of new Level-3s. Battle Facilities were where espers could further grow, define, evolve, and intensify the bond between esper and Pokemon to affect their AIM Diffusion Fields. In actuality, it was rare for an esper to reach a new level once Level-3 was achieved.

In all of Academy City, it could be said that there were as many as 100+ Level-4s out of 2.1 million espers. Level-3s, as of last year, was found to be in the range of over a thousand. Level-2s were said to be around the same quantity as Level-3s. And Level-1s had been found to be close to 4,000.

60%, 1,260,000+, of Academy City's hopeful students partaking in the Esper Development Program, otherwise known as the Power Curriculum Program, were designated as Level-0s; the lowest and weakest in the hierarchy of the city of science.

Even at a thousand, the Level-3 Battle Facility had to have enough space to test those who labeled as Level-3s once a month during their System Scans and report any changes to their AIM to the higher-ups. Testing was easier and far quicker when compared to the Level-1 Battle Facility that saw over 4,000 students once a month during the monthly examination.

Such a research facility was unique in its design as the Brain of the facility had decided to build it in the image of a mall that would not only meet the needs of Level-3s but all other espers so that everyone below 3 could afford to shop in its walls. As with other Battle Facilities, Kokyu Tower's funding was determined by how many espers were shown to be progressing throughout the year, a system highly known to be unfair as leveling up could take months or years for even a Level-1 to reach Level-2 and only grew more difficult as they progressed. To keep the flow of funds required to maintain their research and projects that every Brain was allowed to work on, each Battle Facility Brain was allowed to seek additional revenue by offering additional services using the space they've required.

Battle Facilities in Academy City were unique in their designs due to being more than just research labs for espers to grow their Personal Realities. They offered more than just exams, battles, and research venues for the students, catering to the people as a whole in a variety of ways to generate large amounts of funding.

The Battle Facility designated for Level-1s was designed as an amusement park in District 6, known for some of the most thrilling rides and worthwhile prizes.

The Battle Facility in District 4's Battle Facility was created in the image of a fine dining restaurant offering delicious meals amid fierce battles.

And, of course, the Battle Facility in District 13 was designed as a shopping mall that offered a wide range of shops for nearly every conceivable want an esper or Pokemon had in mind. It wasn't as luxurious or expensive as the Dainoid, choosing instead to focus on widely offering affordable shopping experiences for students of all levels and their faithful companions. Their funds were greatly influenced by the rent space a business owner sought to set up their shops in such a wondrous mall that served as a facility for Level-3s to further develop their abilities and bonds developed by their Pokemons influence.

Kokyu Tower was nonetheless foremost a research facility to further expand an esper of Level-3s AIM Diffusion Field output percentage. Its front as a mall was simply a means to help create funding for its research.

Among other interests.

Each Battle Facility, the sections barring any other esper but the those who possessed the required level, in Academy City were operated by a Head Researcher, who was in charge of the many functions of the main facility. It was their duty to observe the growth of the espers, noting any interesting developments in growth between humans and Pokemon, and developing the necessary tests, exams, and training an esper would require to improve themselves. They were intelligent individuals who were well cultured in various fields of study from science, biology, and Pokemon that allowed them to reign over their facility with complete and total authority over the Level-3s development.

The Brain was the head of the entire building, deciding on its image, its influence, taking care of its funding, regulations, and all other matters concerning its second front that generated its funding. When it came to allowing new stores into the building, one would consult with the Brain. If repairs were needed, if any major changes were required, if discipline needed to be carried out, if the staff of either side had to be talked to; the Brain would be the one you would speak to. They were no different than CEOs to a large company.

As for the Head Researcher, they were the Director of Operations; DO. They oversaw the labs, the testing, the equipment, instructed the other researchers in multiple matters, designed the proper lesson plans espers should take, and even regulated the ASRL System's output of an esper as well as replacing ESP-Gems that no longer matched their AIM Diffusion Fields.

But compared to the Brains, the Head Researchers were allowed a different sort of special privilege when compared to the CEOs total reign of the entire building. Those gifted and intellectual Head Researchers were still researchers though and through, curious to matters beyond developing esper powers for Academy City. As the Head Researchers of Battle Facilities they controlled, they were allowed to spend a certain percentage of funding from their second fronts for their own private research.

Beneath the glamour and pristine shine of the metal tower, various research in matters that involved the benefit of one person was being undertaken.

In the world of Pokemon, there were many subjects of intrigue that continued to baffle men and women of science.

Legendary and Mythical Pokemon never seen by ordinary eyes but in childish stories of make-believe.

Mega Evolution brought upon by mysterious stones and bonds that defied logical reasoning to create momentary metamorphosis.

Z-Energy that flowed from otherworldly stones capable of instilling incredible and destructive power between humans and Pokemon.

And the gigantification of Pokemon to distort the world with spacial expansion, altering their appearance in certain cases brought upon by special stones and Power Spots found only in the Galar Region.

Study of certain regional practices was forbidden as the knowledge was kept secret by the leading researchers. In the wrong hands, the likes of Gigantamax could spell catastrophic results.

This was why one of the Brains of Academy City's Battle Facilities kept her study and research of those taboo phenomena to herself and her trusted colleagues.

Mabushii 'Brittany' Hoseki was not a native of Academy City. She was a bland-faced girl from Unova whose parents migrated from Kanto long ago. She was a talented woman who was fascinated by Pokemon and the strange power formed between those creatures of supernatural origin and humans. What caught her fancy most of all during her many research studies would have to be the accessories created by humans to harness the various energies capable of granting Pokemon with further abilities and destructive potential.

To her disappointment though, as a foreigner to those regions who held all research papers and material to Mega Rings, Z-Bands, Dynamax Bands, were all forbidden from being shared with other researchers. Certain information was provided but those deep and detailed secrets were safely protected by certain laws to prevent incidents and disasters by those who would abuse such knowledge. Even the most promising and gifted scientists were outright denied without permission by the government of said region.

But a scientist, a true and proper researcher, would not be dissuaded. From scratch, from nothing, they would find other means of obtaining the forbidden fruit of their curiosity.

Yes, beneath the technological metal skin of that luxurious tower laid a cache of forbidden knowledge.

A treasure trove of unique gems capable of granting even a Level-0 with firepower equal to Level-4s, or possibly, Level-5s.

And whoever wielded such symbols of power, would be seen as great and mighty.

[-]

One of the many finely designed and expensive dining tables to the Kalos-themed restaurant for the more well-off student body and adults was swung around by the viciously grinning Toxic Hazard thug as if it were nothing more than a simple weight to a rope. Like a rope of finely made fibers of steel, the spider web thread glued to the table held as it was spun around the thug in a perfect circle to smash everything in his space away.

Gathering the right amount of momentum, Byoki dug his foot in, breaking his spin to let go of his wrecking ball of a table in a straight path of destruction. The newly made projectile of wood smashed whatever cutlery, tables, chairs, and furniture stood in its way with the force of a rampaging Taurus.

Its target, a certain spiky-haired high school student without Pokemon, threw his body out of the way, rolling through the food and plates tossed to the wooden finished floor. The cannonball table continued its straight path of wreckage, eventually crashing through the large open window of the restaurant in a shower of sharp glittering glass.

"Spider Web!"

Touma tensed at the latest attack from the poison-themed thug. A large gossamer of translucent balled webs was fired from the Spinarak on Byoki's wrist like it were a mounted artillery piece. The quivering mass ball unraveled in mid-air, firing past the surprised Touma to cover up the new hole created by the wrecking ball table and even the entrance to the fine dining establishment. Large sticky webs made of threads as durable as steel now trapped both boys into the newly established arena.

Byoki grinned as he roughly smacked the chattering spider Pokemon on his forearm. The cry from his tool was ignored.

"Shut up, I'm trying to gloat here. Now we won't have a punk like you running away with your tail between your legs like some Wimpod. I need to finish this beat down up as quickly as possible. After all, I've got bigger things in mind other than fucking up the bastard who's bruised up one of my adorably idiotic grunts."

Touma pointed an indignant finger at the thug with a shout.

"Who are you calling a punk?! You're the real punk here who started a fight when this unfortunate Kamijou-san was simply eating fries! If you got a bone to pick with me, than why not pick a fight where no one has to get involved?" Touma growled in frustration, "If you're angry, if you want to punch my face, do so without bringing others into whatever petty Taurus shit you're spouting."

"Trust me, I would have loved nothing more than to do this at a more convenient time. But it just so happened that two objectives were laid out before me. Collateral damage was to be expected from the beginning with accounting for the Head Researcher, Brain of Kokyu Tower, Mabushii Hoseki." Byoki explained with boredom and a pinky finger digging a lump of wax out of his left ear. He grimaced at the honey-colored lump, raising the finger to his Spinarak's face who blew it away for him, "Fighting you and making you beg for mercy was nothing more than a personal bonus. Whatever the case, innocent people were going to be caught in the crossfire. Don't think yourself so important as to be the reason why others would get hurt."

The nasty grin on the toxic thug's face started a fire in Touma's chest.

His right fist clenched with a loud crack.

"What the hell are you idiots planning with Brittany-san?"

"Think about yourself first before you go asking about the well-being of someone else, dumb-ass." Byoki scoffed as he readied his spider-mounted gun of a Pokemon for another attack, "If it helps you go down faster, we're not planning on harming the woman more than necessary. If she gives us lip, of course, we'll smack her a bit. All she has to do is give us the necessary information for a project of ours and we'll leave her be. Everyone in this facility of a mall will be safe so long as we in Toxic Hazard get what we want. No one's going to die; be content with a Beat Down."

"You're going to hurt innocent people just to get whatever it is you want from one person? Are you guys out of your mind?! Whatever it is you're searching for, it's not worth harming so much as one person or Pokemon for your selfish wants!"

Byoki waved his hand at the furious spiky teen. His Spinarak's feelers chittered as a toxic glow of purple shone from its mouth.

"Again, worry about yourself first. None of this will matter much to you when you're knocked out for days. Now, feel the sting of harming one of Toxic Hazard's own! Toxic Spikes!"

Throwing his left hand up high into the air, Byoki's mounted Spinarak released a volley of sickly purple caltrops to fall to the floor with metallic clinks. A field of poisonous nails rained upon the floor between Touma and Byoki.

"I'd be careful if I were you. True, the poison of a Spinarak ain't much to boast about. It only serves to weaken its prey and hardly poses a lethal threat. To humans, the poison can only burn the inflicted area and cause irritation if not treated. But if you were to be continuously afflicted by it, your body would weaken and slow down. I, on the other hand, don't have to worry about it."

Once again, the Spinarak on Byoki's forearm was aimed at Touma, treated no differently than a loaded pistol as its body began to emit a translucent glow.

"Even if I were to be hit by twenty injections of Spinarak's poison, I wouldn't be affected! All members of Toxic Hazard have developed immunities to the very poison we use! Now, let's see if you can dance around a field of poison traps while being hammered by a Level-0s considered by Academy City as weak! Pin Missile!"

Spines of supernatural bug aura energy were fired from the glowing Spinarak's horn, growing large as its own body to be shot out like missiles.

Touma clenched his teeth at the incoming barrage of Bug-type missiles targeting him.

Imagine Breaker could deal with all of the projectiles with no trouble. This was not the first tie he was attacked by a large number of supernatural attacks. Even if he were to be afflicted with amnesia, he was confident in the many experiences he had garnered from facing countless strange opponents that his reflexes would help him evade being crushed. He'd entrusted his life to the cruel right, so he was positive, no matter the ugly stroke of luck he was hit with, he would push through.

He could even deal with the small caltrops glowing with venomous intent.

But he knew better than to play his only card in his deck early against a strong opponent.

The Toxic Hazard thug hadn't realized that Touma could negate his Pokemon's attack with his right hand. Even though he had shattered the sticky webs from the thug's Pokemon earlier, the once upstanding Judgent boy hadn't paid the action much attention. Anger had clouded the thug's thoughts.

If Touma wanted to end this fight as quickly as possible than he needed to save that unique and troublesome card for the right moment that would end it all.

With that in mind, Touma leaped out of the way of the stabbing glowing white spines. Due to the large number of Toxic Spikes scattered around the floor, he had to be careful where he landed. Thanks to the rampaging attack earlier, most of the table had been broken. He spotted a large broken circular table to land on like wooden plants floating out on sea after a ship was destroyed. Without Byoki noticing, he brushed aside the few Toxic Spikes on the ground when he landed, negating the hazardous items.

The missed Pin Missiles erupted into explosive bursts, scattering more of the restaurant's furniture, dishes, and food into the air along with a few Toxic Spikes. A shower of debris rained over Touma as he stood unharmed from the barrage.

Byoki sneered at the high school boy as he readied his Spinarak again.

"Don't think you're safe just because you dodged one attack! Hit the bastard until he falls, ya stupid idiot! Pin Missile!"

Barrage after barrage of Bug-type spines were fired from the small spider on Byoki's forearm, all aimed at either seriously wounding their prey or knocking him out. It didn't matter in the Toxic Hazard Admin's mind at all if his target was killed in his bombardment.

The punishment was brought onto him for harming one of his own.

Yet all of his attacks were missing despite the field of venomous spike traps laid out around the restaurant floor. The high schooler with a head of obviously gelled spiky hair was evading every missile of supernatural bug energy with twists, jumps, rolls, and incredible dodges.

Three Pin Missiles aimed to detonate into Touma's chest.

Before they could, a large pastry dish was thrown in the attack's line of fire. A premature detonation was created upon contacting the simple object. The explosive shockwave of the blast sent several plates, unfinished meals, and pieces of furniture flying in every direction.

A volley of five Pin Missiles headed straight for him this time. Instead of running away, Touma ran straight ahead of the attack and dived into a roll. The Bug-type attack flew over him, striking the back wall of the Kalos restaurant to explode and nearly crumble the wall to rubble.

Byoki began to sweat anxiously as he continued commanding his Spinarak to fire Pin Missile after Pin Missile at the charging spiky teen heading his way.

'He's a Level-0, right?! He's not even using a Pokemon to fight with! So, how is it that he's able to evade all my attacks!?'

Stranger than his prey's evasive talent was the none use of a Pokemon.

Even Level-0s who were powerless could gain an advantage against higher leveled espers if they were willing to use weapons and Pokemon. If they were creative, they could even take out a Level-3 with an ill-suited combat ability with a Pokemon. It wouldn't be strange for a Level-0 to fight back with a Pokemon to make up for their lack of ability.

Yet the Level-0 who had beaten up not only Toxic Hazard's Enforcer but one of their Founders/Admins wasn't calling for the aid of his Pokemon.

Was that arrogance? Stupidity? Carelessness?

Another volley of Pin Missiles ranging in random bursts of 1 to 5 were fired but evaded by the quick thinking of the ordinary high schooler charging straight ahead in a run. Byoki ground his teeth in frustration before readying his right hand, clawing his fingers to gesture for his middle finger wielding the claw modeled after a Toxicroak's own toxic stinger.

The stinger was coated in a strong paralyzing agent Gomi had developed for use. It was a powerful neurotoxin that ceased up the victim's muscles and nerves, leaving them unable to so much as twitch. Developed for Gomi's own perverted means against his female victims, it only lasted three minutes before the body's immune system fought it back. Potent as it were, it lost its strength gradually against antibodies.

Three minutes of paralysis was all Byoki needed.

If that arrogant high schooler wanted to run straight at him than let him. Byoki would only need to scratch him with his claw and he would drop in seconds without the strength to even cry in pain.

Ceasing his Spinarak's Pin Missiles, Byoki kicked off the floor in a sprint, his right hand's claw ready to slash at his prey.

Two Level-0s roared as they ran at the other with right hands about to meet.

One held no power in the ordinary world and was clenched in a simple fist.

One held no power in the supernatural world and was clawed into a jabbing stab of toxins.

Touma stepped to the far right of the stabbing jab before ramming his left knuckles into Byoki's right wrist, stunning the wide-eyed Toxic Thug member who soon found a right fist slamming into his abdomen with the force of a Machamp's Mega Punch. Byoki lost his breath as he staggered back with spit flying from his gasping mouth. His face twisted into an ugly grimace as his right wrist creaked and twitched. Swelling could already be seen building up from the intense pain piercing up to his forearm.

Dislocated? Seriously?!

"S-Spinarak, Poison Jab!"

Byoki endured the pain that burned his eyes as he quickly straightened himself up. The small horn on the green spider's forehead elongated into a seven-inch spine empowered by the sickly glow of deep purple containing venom that he swiped threateningly at the stern-faced prey.

"Just because you dislocated my right fist, doesn't mean that you're going to win! I'm not done pounding your face into the dirt for sending one of my brothers into the slammer!"

"Your brother? No offense, but you don't look anything alike to the Alolan haircut thug I beat up a few days ago."

Byoki cleaned the spit trailing his chin with his dislocated right backhand with a sneer.

"The bonds in Toxic Hazard go beyond blood. We're brothers and sisters in arms who've all shared the same experiences of being powerless against the system that's poisoned our bodies with false promises and unrealistic dreams. When our own blood relatives abandoned us to a city that injected us with venomous medicine to corrupt our bodies into their property, we came together as a family who understood another and the pain we've had to endure at the hands of those who look down on us! For giving us nothing, for doing nothing good for us, for leaving us nothing to be thankful of, we'll make them suffer!"

With a furious roar, Byoki dashed at the spiky-haired teen with his second toxic claw ready to make up his missed attack.

"And today, we're going to make that very city that calls its children worthless, zeroes not worthy of love or care, feel the same poisonous sting we've all had to take!"

Revenge fueled that toxic jab from the horn of a Pokemon used as a tool rushed forward without hesitation. A powerful toxin would seep into the wound via the Spinarak's horn, heavily damaging the nervous system like liquid fire. If not treated in half an hour, the poison would seriously cripple the boy's immune system.

The knuckles of a right fist barreled ahead to that poisonous horn claw.

The sound of shattering glass took Byoki back. Poison Jab broke apart into glimmering shards that faded to nothing, reverting Spinarak's horn to its original length. The negation of his Pokemon's strongest Physical attack stunned the Toxic Hazard thug numb, enough for his body to fail to register his clawed fingers being bent by the powerful blunt blow that nearly broke the bones of his fingers.

He stumbled back, unable to believe what had just happened at the hands of a fellow Level-0 who didn't possess anything special about him.

"Poison Jab...was negated?"

Byoki grit his teeth in both frustration and pain as his sprained fingers cried.

"You know, I can't honestly say that I dislike you or your gang if that's truly how you think of each other. If I remember right, I was attacked the second time by your group because I beat up an overweight pervert who tried to have his way with two girls in an alley. The Alolan Muk-haired thug said something about avenging one of his brothers. Bonds really are held closely to even delinquents like you, huh?"

Right hand clenched firmly, Touma took a determined step forward, his face set in a stern and defiant stare at the teen who viewed even his underlings as brothers and sisters no different than blood.

"But you're going at these bonds completely wrong! You idiots are using the strength of your connections of shared misery to attack others out of nothing more than anger! Instead of comforting another, you're actively feeding each other's frustrations to target innocent people who have nothing to do with your lack of ability. Academy City failed you? Your own family abandoned you because of a lack of growth? You're seen as worthless and empty zeroes? How the fuck is dealing the same poison back going to change anything?!"

Undeniably, Touma was pissed about the nature of those idiotic Level-0s. Those who wished to cause grief and pain had no place anywhere with whatever flimsy excuses they offered.

But something was said that truly infuriated this unlucky Level-0 who fought by himself.

"Have you ever considered your own Pokemon's feelings into consideration?!"

"My Pokemon's feelings?"

Byoki froze at those words. He wasn't sure why but his eyes fell away to seek the weakly chitter of the Pokemon clamped down on his forearm like a weapon.

The Spinarak who held no name had been hurt by the spiky teen's fist as well. One of its eyes was half shut and a small amount of blood seeped from its feelers.

"You feel worthless and abandoned by the adults of Academy City. But aren't they the ones who felt that even though you lacked any progress or worth, a Level-0 like you was worthy of a companion as miraculous as a Pokemon? They gave you a being that can be considered family, allowing you to form a bond that could make you both strong. But instead of continuing to improve your bond with your Pokemon, you lash out at the city and your family who left you and turned your own friend into a weapon to snap back at those who hurt you. The family who abandoned you isn't worth the trouble, not when you made new ones who understand you! The city who failed to give you supernatural powers isn't at fault for your frustration, not when the very curriculum that aims to build up your personal connection with your Pokemon is being rejected for senseless violence!"

Livid anger took over Touma's features as stepped forward, ignoring the metal toxic spike that was crushed beneath his shoes to inject a small dose of weak poison into his veins.

The supernatural poison crawled its way to the high schooler's entire system, shattering to pieces once it traveled to a certain right hand's veins.

Byoki hesitantly stumbled back at the pure rage on that ordinary boy's face that spoke of a deep-seated nerve being pulled tautly.

A memory came to the surface of Touma's livid thoughts.

The memory of a Pokemon with big teeth, red eyes, blue scales, a yellow underbelly, red spines on its back and tail, and a mischievous habit of spitting water in his face.

And the ever-haunting silent Pokeball that refused to head his call after being splattered by red.

The glint of a large kitchen knife.

Madness, despair, and anger burning in orbs inflicted, plagued, by a curse.

Blood broke past the torn skin of his fingers digging into his palm.

"Did your own Pokemon share your hatred for Academy City? Did your own Pokemon share the same desire to hurt others? Did your own Pokemon believe you were all worthless? Did your own Pokemon ask to be treated as tools for your own selfish anger?! Don't fucking kid yourself! Your friend, your family, followed along to make you happy despite knowing they would be ignored to further appease your wants! As if a creature so loyal and kind to stick around with a bastard as you would ever ask to shed blood and create terror for its own enjoyment! It's that loyal and kind gift that those cold adults gifted you despite being a worthless zero, so how the hell can you say they've never given you anything to be thankful for?!"

"Shut up! What does an idiot who doesn't even use Pokemon know?! Pokemon are tools handed out by Academy City; they're no different than the drugs that were administered to make us espers! If they can't even help develop us into measly Level-1s, why not throw them back at the adults and turn them into weapons?! Who cares what they feel?"

The Spinarak on his forearm wasn't treated any better than a loaded gun. It was an accessory that allowed Level-0s an edge no different than a knife to intimidate others or draw blood.

"Unlike us Level-0s, Pokemon are gifted. What would they know about being abandoned when everyone is always coveting them for power? They're bred to be useful to humans. They're really no different than a firearm or pocket knife that can be sheathed. Why would I consider such supernaturally gifted and loved creatures as family?"

A right fist crossed the distance between them with remarkable speed.

A barreled knuckle smashed Byoki's nose with a sickening crunch. Blood gushed out of the thug's twisted nose as he stumbled back and hit the wall behind him.

A glob of toxic poison was fired from the chittering spider on Byoki's forearm in retaliation. Touma easily negated the Sludge Bomb with a backhand swing as he drew closer to the thug cradling his broken nose and a teary-eyed glare.

"Y-You bitch." Byoki hissed lividly.

Touma met a livid glare with his own.

"Even though you treat your Pokemon as a weapon, it still fought to protect an ungrateful bastard like you when you were hurt. And you have the damn gall to preach about bonds? If all of Toxic Hazard thinks like you than you're all better off running straight off a bridge into the water with Geodudes weighing you down. Before you start protecting strangers who know your frustration, think about protecting the friends who've stayed at your side that you've turned into weapons first, you fucking idiot!"

The chittering of a faithful spider fired a large glob of webs that unraveled into a spider web net of sticky threads that would wrap around its target and send him sticking to a wall.

Touma was careful once his right fist smashed the Spider Web to nothing, aiming his fist past the guarding forearms that held the weak Spinarak as a shield, and drilled into the face of the blind thug with no mercy.

A thick thud was heard as Byoki, Admin of Toxic Hazard, collapsed and hit the floor in defeat.

[-]

Ten minutes of searching revealed very little clues of a certain high school boy who was plagued with unfortunate events at every corner in the road of life he walked. Ten minutes of walking around a mall that lightly wafted of greasy food from the upper floors made a certain silver-haired Sister's stomach snap and bite from within. To the impatient holy human Munchlax girl, it felt as if hours had passed her by. She was nearing the end of her patience as she pouted and took the lead of the small party consisting of herself, her new friend Yumiya, and the Pokemon of Misfortune, Zenchou The Murkrow in their search of Kamijou Touma.

Currently, they were on the 8th floor of Kokyu Tower, the epicenter of the arcade and video games section of the mall mostly frequented by otakus, students, and gamers.

Per Yumiya's advice, the 8th floor was a good place to start if they were searching for a high school boy. Index found herself gawking at all the interesting displays of video games students were playing and the many fun games designed for both humans and Pokemon to participate. If it wasn't for her gnawing stomach, she would have been entranced by all the colorful sights, sounds, and fun going on around them as they walked around the large floor full of arcades and video game stores.

"I still don't see him. What about you, Zenchou?"

The Dark-type bird shook his head, his red eyes searching for a certain head of spiky hair that easily blended into the background. Such a plain face boy in a crowd of people was no different than a needle lost in a haystack. It was as if he was searching for a Spinda with a certain spotted pattern among a crowd of Spindas.

The pout on Index's face only grew more profound.

Little did she know that her adorable features, her choice of clothing, and exotic looks among the science side made her stand out to the boys and delinquents who inhabited such a floor. Several phones were taken out to take a picture of a Sister in the city of science while others who were more braved dared to get close to that silver-haired girl who struck an otaku cord in many.

Index was blissfully unaware of such gazes, her attention focused on searching for her friend/caretaker.

Her innocence was conveniently guarded by a certain dark twin pig-tailed middle schooler who followed behind her.

The busty school girl with a meek demeanor made many of those otakus blush and gaze at the plump bust strained by her shirt with perverse desire. They would have approached the two for their company if it wasn't for one little detail of said middle school girl.

Dark, cold, menacing orbs of deadly and vicious amber yellow intent stared back at those boys who thought they could approach Index with darkness shadowing her eyes. It was as if she was gazing at insects who still twitched after being crushed beneath her foot. Her stare reminded many of the Ability Intimidate or the Attack Scary Face. The crescent smile on her face that conflicted with such an icy and terrifying glare created a creepy visage that sent shivers down those foolish boys who quickly turned away with their tails between their quivering legs.

Wisely, those male otakus, students, and delinquents left Index and Yumiya be.

"Do you see him, Rakko-chan?"

Yumiya's cold stare was quickly shaken off as she regarded Index with a weak, timid smile.

"Sorry, Index-chan. But I can't seem to find him either. Maybe I was wrong in thinking he would be on the 8th floor. I-I'm sorry for wasting your time." she mumbled with watery eyes.

Index frantically shook her hands around, hoping to dispel her friend's guilt.

"It's alright, Rakko-chan! It's not your fault that Touma's bad luck struck and took him away from us. Besides, I should have known that it would hard to find him in a crowd. Touma's got that presence and face that easily blends in with others. Makes me wonder if he actually does have some kind of camouflage spell."

Yumiya sighed in relief before grinning happily. She was almost afraid that she had may have damaged her bond with the radiant and pure girl who drew in people like a moth to a flame. Her dream to popularity was riding in sticking close to such a popular girl who was already drawing in the gazes of those on the 8th floor.

Gazes she deflected with the promise of meeting bad ends if they dared to try and steal her friend away from her.

No trouble would befall them from some ignorant Mankey who believed they could snatch her prize away. The only person to come close to them was some eastern faced woman wearing the Mystic blue uniform from a recently popular Pokemon game for people on the GO. The busty Kanto woman bumped into Yumiya by accident, kept her face on the ground and held the brim of her blue sports hat over her eyes, and apologized quickly before swiftly walking away.

She tapped her chin curiously as she spoke to Index, her eyes continuing to ward away any unwanted attention while searching for a head of dark spiky hair. A search that was easily found as many of the students had spiky hair as well in different shades of color.

"Kamijou-san's a Level-0, right? I doubt he would have such a unique ability if that's true. He does have a rather plain face though. It would be much easier to find him if wore something flashy. Or better yet, had his cell phone on him."

"Too bad Touma crushed his phone under his foot when he and I met. Serves him right." Index grumbled with red dusting her pale white cheeks, "That's what a pervert gets for undressing a maiden such as myself with that creepy right hand capable of stripping heavenly garments with ease."

"Eh? Strip?" Yumiya innocently blinked with a tilt of her head.

"Where else should we look for him? I really want to find him quickly so we can all go eat already! Every second that I'm without food has my gaze turned upward to the unplucked chicken that would smell wonderful when dipped in bubbling cooking oil."

Zenchou trembled in absolute fear at the teasing of the brightly smiling girl with a single sharp tooth peeking out threateningly.

Just where did that dark aura bastard go?! Zenchou-san didn't want to go out as a Sister's lunch!

Ruby eyes containing mischief were now filled with terror of the hungry holy Sister he was watching over. Zenchou hurriedly searched the crowd for that spiky mop of hair that was far more cursed than a token of misery such as himself. In his frantic search, the Dark-type found his eyes stopping upon a familiar set of humans he had once seen before. Dark leather, purple, up to no-good. Zenchou had seen those figures before and found himself narrowing his red eyes cautiously.

An odd head of psychedelic hair colors came into his view. Shades of yellow, pink, gray, a toxic assortment of locks that fell over the owner's head like a wad of melting gum.

Walking into a nearby arcade, a group of about six similarly dressed individuals, all noted as delinquents by many whose gazes passed them by, slipped in behind that Alolan Muk-haired colored thug who held a rather dangerous grin on his face that reminded Murkrow of an Arbok's venomous leer. The feather's on his body began to twitch and stand up.

Murkrow, a Dark-type Pokemon commonly associated with tragedy, disaster, and ill-luck befallen on those who were unlucky to catch eye of such an occult being. It was said those dark feathered birds were responsible for spreading the winds of misfortune wherever they flew. They were the signs of the tides turning into the opposite favor of those who would lose their fortunes in a blink of an eye. Tokens of darkness associated with a world of the supernatural and held in a conflicted view by those who knew of the magical world.

Science had grown to reject such silly notions and myths about the Pokemon. In Academy City, Murkrow were regarded as thieves, misfits, bullies, and sadistic birds who loved to torment humans and Pokemon alike. Any disaster brought upon by their appearance was simply the work of those Pokemon who loved to create a disaster for their own enjoyment. It was all behavioral habits of a being that held supernatural power based on the dark influence and emotions of living creatures that researchers were still struggling to explain logically.

But at that moment, this Murkrow had sensed it.

Its dark nature had picked up on the ill intentions of humans that held the aura of a Pokemon. A clump of cruel emotions had made itself known to this Dark-type who found himself narrowing his red eyes as those thugs disappeared into the arcade.

Before any human could react or sense it, Murkrow had felt it.

The seed of disaster that would bloom in the span of a single minute.

[-]

"Where do we place them, Boss?"

A crowd of students surrounded them, all mindlessly playing away at the many retro arcade machines that served as the main attraction point of this particular arcade. No one paid the delinquents much attention, barely passing them a brief glance before hastily returning to their games. It didn't matter what level they were, all the students could tell at just a passing who they were no matter which gang they fell under.

Skill-Out was widely known as an organization made up of a splinter of gangs that held the name by association. For their safety, many ignored them and stayed clear of their type, no matter which gang of Skill-Out they were affiliated with. Not even the manager of the arcade regarded them other than a stern glare before disappearing into the back room where the staff could only enter.

In the mind of Gebi, Enforcer of the gang of Skill-Outs known as Toxic Hazard, he had already guessed the manager was currently on the phone to call for the assistance of the likes of Judgment or the mall security staff. It was to be expected and within the thought of actions of their plan about to unfold.

The fading bruises on his face from a nighttime rumble with a high school student were stretched by the excited grin on his face. His eyes were glued to the venting units currently blowing cool air into the stuffy arcade that would have resembled a sauna of sweaty gamers. To his left and right stood Toxic Hazard grunts with shrunken Pokeballs at the ready of his command.

"Pretty much. Once we got the signal from Aniki, we start unleashing the fumes from every point of exposure we were handed to help strengthen and spread the main source. Than we start with Phase 2 of the plan. Than we kick this show off with the real show!"

A passing look of uncertainty was shared by the Toxic Hazard grunts that stood behind the snickering Enforcer of their gang. All but the two grunts at his side showed signs of confusion by their leader's odd behavior resembling a child who was ready to unleash a prank of great magnitude to the entire school.

"The real show?"

"Did we miss something when you were broken out of District 2's Anti-Skill holding cells?"

"Is there something more we got to do once we begin Phase 2?"

"I don't like being left out in suspense, Boss! Come on, don't hold out on us!"

Gebi's cheshire grin went unnoticed as his cellphone rumbled and a simple text went out to everyone in Toxic Hazard.

The Pokeballs in the hands of the two grunts at his side enlarged and popped open to release the supernatural beasts contained in the simple red and white sphere capsules. Vacant-eyed spherical Pokemon colored purple with a cross-bone pattern on its body levitated in the air with vent-like protrusions all over its round figure. From its vent protrusions, mustard-like gases were emitted that caused all the arcade inhabitants to pinch their nose from the foul stench they created.

"That's the signal! Save the questions for later, boys. We got to move, NOW!"

From the pockets of the Koffings owners, odd vials were taken out that contained the swishing sickly green liquid within. Those foreboding vials were tossed to the Poison Pokemon without so much as a thought. The Koffing willingly opened their mouth, caring little for the hazardous material of glass as they swallowed the vials in one gulp. With the ingestion of the liquid within the Poison Gas Pokemon, they flew away to reach the two air condition vents above the arcade.

"What are you punks doing?!"

The startled shout from the arcade manager was ignored. Gebi didn't need to hear the pops of Pokeballs from the other grunts to know that he would be guarded by both themselves and their released Poison-type Pokemon. All of his attention was aimed at the two gaseous exuding Pokemon that were stationed at the air vents. The bodies of those two balloons of toxins trembled unstably as if they were holding back some great force as a great fume of mustard-colored steam puffed from their protrusions.

"Don't hold it in! Let it rip, you glorious noxious bastards! Let all of Kokyou Tower feel the same weakness that all Level-0s have to contend with and drop them like the lousy Butterfrees they are!" he cackled.

Heading the Toxic Hazard Enforcer's orders, the two Koffings broke through the ventilation guards to enter the air ventilation system. Their bodies continued to rumble madly from the chemical reactions taking place within their bodies before they stopped a good distance within the maze of metal carrying purified cool air to the mall. Their normally purple-skinned faces were red, their eyes tearing up, and their mouths clenched comically before they released a great sigh of bubbling vapors born from swallowing the vials containing chemicals. From their many holes, the toxic gas that would normally cause sniffles, coughs, and red eyes erupted like furious steam escaping a pressured pipe. The mustard yellow fumes enveloped the metal labyrinth of cooling air, spreading their foul gases to every branch of the connecting ventilation system.

The bombs of gaseous toxic vapors went off together with the many other Koffing that had been strategically placed and released from every floor of the Battle Facility. An echoing burst of air could be heard escaping the vents that startled the mall-goers at the violent barking vibrations heard within just about all corners of the tower.

Gebi allowed himself to gleefully pump his fist even as he heard the sound of several heavy footsteps arrive at the arcade. The crowd of gamers and students had parted, leaving the Toxic Hazard thugs at the center of attention of the security forces belonging to the Battle Facility beside a few Judgment officers arriving at the scene.

How pointless.

He wanted to fall on his ass and laugh as he felt a dozen glaring eyes aimed at his back, point his finger at the useless numbers, and stick his tongue out like a Lickitung.

By the time he turned around to meet the eyes of those gathered higher level espers, he had already won as the ventilation vents released a falling cloud of mustard-colored gas into the room.

"Too late~! Get ready to feel what it's seriously like to be just another Level-0 and more!"

[-]

Not even a minute later after the Toxic Hazard thug crumbled to the floor did Touma begin to notice the odd mustard-like gas beginning to leak from the vents embedded onto the ceiling of the restaurant.

His nose crinkled, immediately covering his nose to prevent himself from taking in that stench of waste? What was that smell? It was like a mix of moist garbage doused in chemicals with a hint of rotten eggs!

And what had been that sound earlier? It was as if some metal cap popped. Did something in the ventilation system break? Did it have something to do with the disgusting smell that was making his eyes water?

Touma gagged as he swore he could taste the very stenches contents on his tongue before lifting his shirt over his mouth as a pseudo face mask.

"Heh...you feel it yet? The sting of...Toxic Hazard's vengeance? Even if you're a Level-0, the toxins carried by the gases of our Koffings will be enough to weaken even your immune system. You should already be feeling a bit of vertigo, right?"

The taunting words of the defeated Toxic Hazard Admin caught Touma's attention. He frowned at the blue-haired fake Judgment teen who had gathered enough strength to lean himself against an overturned table to nurse his dislocated wrist with a grimace. The grin of victory spoke of his loss being nothing more than an annoyance.

A certain Bug/Poison-type was missing from the defeated false Judgment boy's arm. Had the bastard recalled the wounded Pokemon back to its capsule?

"Vertigo? What are you talking about? All I'm feeling is a sickness similar to being stuck inside a car with my eyes on the screen of my phone. Not to mention the urge to throw up!" Touma gagged again as the stench grew stronger.

By now the entire restaurant was flooded by the fog of mustard yellow that made Touma want to vomit.

Byoki frowned quizzically, showing disbelief as all the high school who defeated him was showing was a green-tinted expression.

"You're...not feeling it yet? Shit, that must mean that Level-0s are more resilient to its dampening effects. Doesn't matter." Byoki scoffed as he gingerly stood back up, flinching as his bloodied and bruised face stung, "Level Toxin was created in mind for disabling espers at Level-1 to Level-4. Theoretically, it could also affect Level-5s but even Gomi wasn't that much of a dumb-ass to test it out on one of them. By now, just about all of the inhabitants of Kokyou Tower are breathing in the gaseous toxins that are weakening their bodies, attacking their thoughts, creating knots in their stomachs, and causing them to break out into uncontrollable sweats and shivers. Their calculating ability, the cornerstone of the efficiency that relies on controlling and defining their powers, is basically weakened like a wrench thrown between gears of a machine."

Even if his face was covered in dried blood, hues of green and blue, and his nose had been twisted in a sickening angle by a mere punch, Byoki's expression was nothing short of smug and victorious.

Touma grew alert as the poison-themed thug reached for his pocket and revealed another Pokeball at his disposal.

"Even Level-0s like us will be affected with vertigo eventually and create something similar to going under a slight fever if we continue to breathe in this gas for another ten minutes. And that's the worst of the symptoms to affect us when compared to even measly Level-1s! I still don't understand how that fat-wad was able to do it, but Level Toxin is a poison gas that grows stronger and more potent the higher the espers level! Said it had something to do with brainwaves being more prominent in higher levels, causing the toxins they've breathed in to worsen to the point they'll drop like twitching bugs and lose control of their brain's functions to even breathe if they continue to soak it in for more than half an hour! They'll go into a fucking seizure and pass out in pools of bile! Even Pokemon, who've undergone the same drugs as us to help build up the foundation of the poison, are affected the same!"

The entire Battle Facility modeled after a mall was being poisoned?

Touma grew livid by the news as he struggled to breathe as the very gas that made him want to vomit and clutch his twisting stomach surrounded him.

Everyone was a victim. Indiscriminate malice. It didn't matter the age, the gender, the status, or Level, or species: everyone currently within the walls of the Kokyou Tower was now breathing in the same foul stench that would weaken them and slowly sicken them the longer their lungs took in the toxins created by a group of thugs. They were all under a chemical warfare attack.

Zenchou, Yumiya, Aogami. His friends who had no stake in this attack were going to fall ill and go into a seizure.

Even Index, who wasn't part of the world of science, would be no exception. Her body may not have taken the drugs undergone by all of Academy City's student body that changed them, but the gas was still a poison that would harm the human body regardless if enough poison was soaked in.

"You bastards!"

Byoki grinned viciously at the furious hiss from the spiky-haired teen's snarling lips. The Pokeball in his hand grew large enough to fit perfectly in his hand.

"Don't worry, it's not in our plan to kill everyone here. We just want the good Brain/Head Researcher known as Mabushii Hoseki to comply with our demands and lead us to her research facility on the 31st floor. We need her expertise to fine-tune a special little gem we've come upon. You're all basically hostages now. So long as she follows through with our demands, gives us what we want, and Anti-Skill and Judgment don't go busting in, we'll deliver the antidote in the form of another gas to everyone in the tower. Which means it would be better for everyone here if you just went down and got out of my way!"

From his Pokeball, Byoki released the strongest and most deadly of his tools to wrap his personal grudge up. The fading stream of red light freed a blue bipedal frog with black lines on its body from its capsule. Its yellow eyes were menacing as it stared at Touma, the red sac below its chin bulging as it croaked and lifted its red claw seeping with poison.

The Pokemon was known as Toxicroak; a Poison/Fighting-Type capable of knocking out its prey with just a scratch of its poison coated claws.

Due to how injured Byoki had been, he could no longer fight himself and decided to leave the heavy lifting to his strongest Pokemon. Even if it wouldn't be as good as pummeling the spiky bastard himself, at least he would be rid of one annoyance.

Now wasn't the time for being selfish. He had other important matters to his gang's cause taking precedence over some high school idiot. Work before pleasure as they said.

Reaching into his pocket again, Byoki covered his mouth and nose with a red ventilator mask to protect him from the airborne toxins traveling within the fog of poisonous gas that flooded the entire tower. Even he had some immunity to certain toxins, Level Toxin was a nasty breed concocted by the chemist pervert. Anything foul brewed by such a cruel charmless Emboar was bound to be stronger than anything a Poison-type could produce.

"I still have to retrieve Mabushii-san if those idiotic little brothers and sisters of mine haven't caught up to her. Not to mention I have to meet up with that fat-wad and Saiua-san. So, I'm just going to leave you at the hands of my Toxicroak who will fill in for me."

Byoki's eyes were lidded with cruelty as he noticed Touma's face begin to sweat and his focus weaken. Level Toxin seemed to be taking effect now.

"Toxicroak, watch out for his right hand and hit him with Brick Break. Make sure every bone in his body gets snapped!"

The fingers and claws of the Poison Dart Frog were enveloped by a bright glow of brute force capable of destroying columns of stone with one hit. Byoki's Toxicroak croaked in response, his mouth set in a menacing grin as he charged forward at the command of his master. Brute force was focused to a fine point within the toad Pokemon's fists, allowing the Pokemon to shatter some of the greatest defenses with one hit.

Brick Break was a move that dealt a great deal of damage, a purely physical attack harmful to those weak against Fighting-Types. To a Pokemon. To a Human. It went beyond simply inflicting a great deal of damage which could be easily healed with a trip to the Pokemon Center. The barrier-shattering blow could easily crush bones and organs in one blow. It was an OHKO that could prove fatal to ordinary humans.

Touma understood just how devastating such a move could prove to be against a simple Level-0. Right hand at the ready, he fought against the nauseating stench filtering into the entire tower and charged ahead to meet the Poison/Fighting-type's fist with his own. As long as the attack he was up against was of a supernatural nature, he could deal with it with just a touch of Imagine Breaker to cancel out its destructive potential.

An unnerving grin was seen on Byoki's Toxicroak.

There was no time to properly react as he usually did to the humanoid toad's next course of action. Within the growing mustard fog, the Pokemon leaped far back from the plowing right fist he had sensed was unnatural. A blur of movement was seen as Toxicroak flitted around the restaurant to confuse its prey's gaze in confusing running patterns a regular human could never track. More of the sickening gas lazily spewed from the ventilation as the Pokemon thought for himself without the commands of his master to create feints.

A clawed fist speared forward.

Touma flinched but prepared to deflect with his right fist. Before he could swing his fist, the Brick Break empowered limb retreated just as it was ready to connect.

Was the Poison/Fighting-type so adept in battling he didn't need his own Trainer to provide him with tactics or the proper course of attack against his opponent?

Another feint drew Touma to try and block the brick-crushing blow. Toxicroak croaked in a form of a taunt before vanishing with a burst of speed. Touma clenched his teeth, noticing how it had blurred in an odd motion. Even if his thoughts were beginning to grow uneasy due to the poison fog, he still reacted to the slightest tingle on the back of his neck warning him of an impending attack.

He had no idea why. There was no reason for him to do what he did next. Perhaps he really had been in so many battles with espers and Pokemon that he had grown a sixth sense to various forms of violence to allow him to react to even unseen attacks. Whatever the case, he turned his gaze up and wisely jumped back.

Just in time to avoid the diving jabbing Brick Break from the airborne Toxicroak from above.

What struck the battle-scarred restaurant was similar to a brute force dive bomb that nearly collapsed the floor. The tiles were torn asunder with a shockwave sending a whipping wall of displaced air to strike Touma even as he dodged the blow itself. Like shrapnel, shards of the shattered floor sliced into Touma's body as the shockwave sent him crashing against a broken round table.

A crater of cracks reminiscent of spider webs was left behind in the rubble of tiles created by one Fighting-type move. The sheer force had been enough to nearly puncture through the floor's durable material and had been powerful enough to create a small centered shockwave. It was an attack suitable only for the likes of powerhouse Pokemon like Machamp and Hariyama.

Yet a Toxicroak was able to throw around a Brick Break with that kind of brute force?!

Said fighting toad ripped his fist out of the crater he created, shaking off the dust and bits of rubble clinging onto his arm as he croaked in a tone reminiscent of an arrogant laugh.

"Impressive, right? I know what you're thinking; how can a Pokemon with the secondary classification of Fighting-type deliver such a ridiculous attack? The answer's simple: Genetics, Nature, and plenty of old-school Vitamins! Its Attack overshadows all of its stats, including its Special Attack. It's to the point Toxicroak's toxins have taken a slight hit to compensate for its muscle power but that's fine. Its purpose is to act as my muscle more than a toxic dagger for my disposal."

Touma grunted as blood slowly trickled from the wounds he was inflicted by the shrapnel traveling along with the shockwave. Several aches hit his body, worsened by the sickly fog making him want to gag. Carefully, he sat up from the shambles of the table he crashed. He glared at the mirthful Toxic Hazard thug who now stood close to the entrance of the ruined Kalos restaurant.

"Out of all my tools, it's the most battle savvy of the lot. Admittedly, I ain't the greatest of Trainer's and tend to just give simple linear orders. But Toxicroak knows its way around a fight without needing to be told anything! All I need to do is give it a few bits of useful information and it goes off into being an autonomous brawler who can plan for itself! Do you see what I mean when I said I have no reason to think about these monsters as worthy of being pitied or thought of as family?"

The house of the powerful Toxicroak was lazily bounced up and down in Byoki's left hand as he savored the pained grimace on the bleeding high school boy.

"Powerful freaks like my tool here can protect themselves. Weak? Powerless? Useless? Worthless? Gifts? Such labels are unknown to the lucky monsters blessed by science from birth. I can leave them to fend for themselves and not feel a shred of worry. And if they fail to live up to their own gifted powers than they were never worthy of such gifts in the first place."

CHITTER.

A weak chitter was heard from the bits of broken plates close by to Touma. He saw movement, a green-colored spider littered with wounds crawled out from the debris thrown around by the battle. The Toxic Hazard's injured Spinarak revealed itself with a pained expression as it tried to crawl its way back to its master, only to collapse by Touma's feet.

"Toxicroak, take him out. Go wild, use whatever attacks you think will get the job done. I'm going off to meet the others; come back once you've bloodied the bastard up into a fine heap of red, black, and blue."

A weak, trembling leg from the Spinarak was raised and reached out for its master who turned his back to the Pokemon. It chittered, calling out to be returned to its home so it could be healed.

"Oh, right. I almost forgot."

A collapsed Pokeball was brought out, belonging to a certain Bug/Poison-Type.

Spinarak happily chittered.

"I guess I won't be needing this useless, broken, weak tool anymore."

[-]

A red and white marble was tossed back as if it were a piece of trash carelessly thrown onto the street. The Pokeball bounced a few times on the floor of the restaurant before rolling to a stop in front of the paralyzed spider who stared at its home laying before its eyes. If it were possible, the Spinarak sniffled with watery eyes at the realization symbolized by its capsule being abandoned. The lowly bug pushed the marble a bit and chittered loudly in what could only be a sorrowful cry.

Spinarak had always known he was a tool.

He was a creature breeder by Toxic Hazard's breeder to aid the organization's grunts. Someone special had asked him to protect those rowdy and cruel humans with a pure smile.

But it had been a long time since he had met that single human who had given him compassion. He couldn't even remember their features any longer. All he had known since he had been handed down to his current master was the life of a tool.

His master had said so countless times. His master had never even bothered to give him a proper name. He was nothing more than a convenient item to help the thug gain an upper hand in fights with espers and other Pokemon. Kindness was rarely shown to the small Pokemon who had found himself in the possession of a boy who believed Spinarak was a gifted beast who could fight for himself.

Pokemon were creatures possessing immeasurable power and potential, biological miracles produced by the world to change the world. They were gifts who had once lived alongside humans as equals. Unlike espers, humans who've gained a sense of reality similar to Pokemon, they were born with supernatural powers not tethered to the laws of humanity. In short, they were powerful creatures who could save themselves.

Pokemon were strong.

Pokemon were tools for humanity.

Pokemon were gifted.

But even they had feelings. Even those talented beings found themselves loving those who treated them like dirt. A tool like Spinarak knew he was being treated horribly but found himself wanting to be loved by the cruel master who fed him, trained him, gave him a home, and bothered to keep him even if it was to be used as a violent instrument for revenge. The small bits of kindness Spinarak had been given had been enough reason to believe he would be seen as a friend.

And possibly be given a name Spinarak could cherish as a symbol of being loved.

A small heart no bigger than the small Pokeball staring Spinarak in the eye found itself breaking in two.

Yes, how could he forget?

Spinarak was a tool.

Tools useful for human's to exploit for their own means. Objects who could be replaced easily. Items that could outlive their purpose. Disposal trinkets unworthy of affection.

The only master, the only human, Spinarak had ever known since he had found himself under the possession of such a cruel human boy, left him with the mission to protect said human. How could he forget his place as a tool which would be tossed aside when he failed to live up to his gifts?

As if such a talented weakling would ever be shown any warmth.

"You...you really are a toxic piece of shit!"

Spinarak was startled from his despair by a powerful roar ripping out of the odd aura teen with spiky hair beside him. The very human who injured the Bug/Poison-type was giving off waves of hostility and anger as he picked himself up from against the broken wooden round table. A hand possessing an odd ability to erase the Pokemon's special gifts was clenched tightly with a crack.

The spider was afraid. He was terrified. The creepy human revealed a purely violent, rage etched, expression promising pain to those unlucky to be his enemy. Being already wounded, Spinarak flinched, knowing he was still a target for the right hand which had an odd effect on the talented beings known as Pokemon.

Like the bug he was, Spinarak would be squashed beneath the foot of a human who saw him as trash.

"How the fuck can you be so cruel to the very Pokemon who was protecting a useless bastard like you?! Can't you see your Pokemon is in pain? Can't you see your partner is struggling to move? Can't you see how your friend is reaching a hand out to you?! Someone who's hurt and crying out for help is asking to be saved; how the hell can you turn your back on someone who's been by your side because of something as stupid as being gifted?!"

To the surprise of Spinarak, the sluggish spiky teen hadn't crushed him beneath the dirty heel of his shoe.

The human, the very human boy Spinarak had bombarded with various attacks meant to inflict nothing short of agony via toxins and puncture wounds, stepped past him to stand over him protectively.

"I get it now. You're the type of idiot who thinks their more well-off friends aren't deserving of any worry, of any kindness, of any help simply because they're labeled as talented. You'll complain about being the only one who suffers despite whatever tears are running down the face of the genius standing next to you. It doesn't matter if those labeled as gifted are human or Pokemon; your kindness is only extended to those whose pain equals your own! Only those labeled the same as you are deserving of being saved and those labeled as anything above you should be left to pick themselves up. You really are fitting for the title of toxic."

Venom was spat in the form of words of the human glaring furiously at the human Spinarak regarded as a master. It was almost…

"An ungrateful bastard like you, who spouts bullshit about seeing pissed off thugs as brothers and sisters worth protecting but treats his own Pokemon as tools to cause pain to others who see the loving value in their friends, IS SOMEONE I CAN'T FUCKING STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDD!"

Almost as if the spiky teen was defending the beaten Spinarak who had been abandoned.

Byoki, the master of Spinarak, scoffed without ever looking back as he kicked the restaurant door open to leave.

"Are you still spouting crap? How long does it take for Level Toxin to make a bastard like you fall to his knees? I don't have time to take pleasure in beating you to a pulp anymore; I got work to do. If you want to defend a tool blessed with power, go ahead. I could care less if it was mangled in Toxicroak's rampage."

Not even one last glance.

Spinarak's master had completely abandoned him without another thought to spare.

All while some stranger, a human Spinarak had been ordered to harm, stood in defense of him.

The loyal tool used for violence grew silent.

The used Pokemon grew still before standing up on his trembling legs.

The gifted bug who desired to be loved by such a cruel figure narrowed his eyes as his mandibles grew tense and fire grew in his belly.

For once, the tool known as Spinarak grew furious at the treatment of the human who regarded him as gifted and unworthy of being saved.

Something bubbled within the small spider, a viscous liquid oozed from his mouth feelers and grew in size until a cannonball-sized orb of purple formed at his disposal.

If the bug could roar, he would have as Spinarak launched a speeding glob of toxins at the back of the cruel human he had once regarded as a master.

[-]

The Sludge Bomb from the abandoned Spinarak would have hit its mark if it weren't for the smug-faced Toxicroak intervening with a Brick Break. Its brutal fist smashed the great ball of venom, creating an explosive reaction to erupt from the detonation of poison splashing over him. Toxicroak didn't mind the weak liquid of a bug who could do little more than cause a mild burning to a normal being. His body was coated in a far more vicious coat even as it had dipped in potency to cope with his unnatural strength.

Having protected his master, Toxicroak moved to dispose of the twitching runt who dared to harm their master. The fighting toad moved to part the purple smoke born from the detonating Sludge Bomb but found no need to.

Under the cover of purple smoke shattering to nothing, a right fist took advantage of the smokescreen to charge ahead and drill itself deep into Toxicroak's chest. A twist of the hips, a deep breath sucked in, a tightening of the fist twisting in flight, and the full weight of a human thrown in with their back. Yellow eyes flew open wide in agony of the powerful punch before its vision grew blank and blood spurted from its broken nose.

The human fist felt...wrong. Unnatural. Its very touch sent a prickling sensation running along his skin as the impact of the fist picked him off his feet.

And sent him flying back into the Toxic Hazard thug who glanced back in surprise of the Sludge Bomb's explosion.

"Wha-!"

The heavyweight that was Toxicroak crashed into the stunned thug's body with no mercy.

Byoki's bones groaned from nearly a hundred pounds striking him suddenly. His body bent in a worrying angle it should have never been capable of forming. He swore he heard a sickening crack originate from his left arm before the full weight of his Pokemon pushed him down to the ground with a heavy impact. Bones groaned and his ribs threatened to snap. His vision grew disoriented as a pulsing ring scrambled his thoughts. All he could do after being struck by the abrupt flying body of his Pokemon was hoarsely groan and twitch.

'W-What happened?! I had this in the fucking bag and had already checked the fuck out! Toxicroak should have been able to take care of one measly high school prick, no problem! I didn't pay a shit load of Pokeyen for such a heavy hitter from the underground to have a glass cannon who would be taken out with one hit!'

To Byoki's disbelief and fury, the silent fighting humanoid toad atop of him wasn't responding. If he had taken a glance at his tool's face, he would have noticed the comedic swirls on the face of his heavy hitter along with blood wetting its face from its broken nose. One punch from a common-faced high schooler knocked out his Pokemon in what could be said was a Critical Hit.

Weakly, Byoki lifted his head up, glaring at the defiant eyes of the spiky-haired teen making his way over to his downed body. Did that bastard think an Admin of Toxic Hazard would be done in so easily? He had more tricks, more Pokemon, more tools up his sleeve! Just because he was labeled a Level-0 didn't mean he was without any means of fighting back!

It had taken more effort than it should have to reach for another Pokeball but Byoki grinned all the more at the smooth feel of the round ball in his hand. Now all he had to do was make a simple click and he would resolve this troublesome detour-!

Webbing, a translucent, sticky, steel fiber-like webbing of silk splattered over Byoki's right hand. The Pokeball he was ready to enlarge was trapped beneath the tough webs sticking his hand to the floor like a fine adhesive reminiscent of glue cement. His remaining weapon was taken out, he couldn't even wiggle a finger to press the all-important release button.

"W-Who…!" Byoki snarled furiously before he noticed a green object hanging by a threat above him. His eyes stared in disbelief at the sight of one of his tools, Spinarak, glaring down at him from the silk thread keeping him suspended in the air from the ceiling.

The abandoned tool he had thrown away made an odd noise from its pincers, seeming to talk back to the human he had worked to be given love with the gift of a name.

"I wouldn't say I'm adept at understanding what Pokemon say, but I think I can summarize the little guy's feelings with words of my own."

Byoki struggled to move the pressing weight of Toxicroak from his damaged form but paused as the spiky-haired teen he had been gunning for a beat down stopped at the side of his left. He weakly sneered at the Level-0 who appeared to wield a gift yet remain as a worthless child in the eyes of Academy City's toxic system.

"Oh? And what would the little talented bug have to say?"

"A bastard like you is unworthy of fighting alongside Pokemon. Go back to zero and try to learn some human decency from scratch, you idiot."

A chitter of confirmation from the green spider spoke of agreeing with the human standing by his side. Touma grinned and cracked his knuckles, much to the sweating thug's worry.

"If you think you can decide to save others, treat others with kindness and decency, based on a screwed up system of familiar titles and shared suffering which ignores the pain of those considered talented and gifted..."

The shadow of a fist descended onto the Toxic Hazard Admin.

"Than let me shatter those topsy-turvy illusions!"

One more echoing impact of knuckles meeting flesh was heard throughout the empty battle-scarred Kalos restaurant.

[-]

Another body hit the filthy floor stained with remnants of meals beyond the grasp of a simple Level-0 like Kamijou Touma. A heavy mustard-like fog filled the eating establishment of the higher class. The sickening odor of rotten eggs and other foul stenches replaced the clean air to fill the lungs of the poisoned high school boy who collapsed with a swimming vision. The urge to throw up intensified as he felt his body break out into a full-body sweat.

Level Toxin was now taking effect. A gaseous poison designed by a gang of Level-0s to weaken the mentality and body of an esper and grew more intense based on the level of the students. It was a poison unlike the kind created by Pokemon, one his right hand couldn't destroy. Even if said toxins came from a Pokemon, if it was by natural means and not supernatural means, he was affected no differently than anyone else.

It was a curious food for the thought. Why was it his Imagine Breaker could erase the effects of Flamethrower by a Fire-type but failed to do so when said Pokemon breathed flames naturally? Weren't the two elements the same? How could his right hand differentiate the two flames as something natural and unnatural? Was it a matter of a filter between Black and White? What was so unnatural from either power for the other to be erased?

Seemed he didn't understand enough about his own cursed ability which could crush both the systems of Magic and Science. Even his previous theories had been shaken by the introduction of a new system.

Now wasn't the time to be mulling such brain-scratching thoughts. At the moment, he was slowly being poisoned by the efforts of those who wished to use an entire shopping mall of students, adults, and Pokemon as hostages to force the Head Researcher, the Brain of Kokyu Tower, Mabushii Hoseki, to do whatever they were demanding. Three of his friends were being harmed by those who cared little about their violence spraying onto bystanders.

People and Pokemon were being hurt by the selfish desires of those who ignored the cries of ordinary people and creatures who simply wanted to live their lives.

Knuckles struck a fancy porcelain plate, smashing it to bits that bit the skin of the right hand.

Eyes struggling to remain open were set in a defiant scowl.

The wounded, poisoned, sore body of a normal boy arose from the first battlefield of the Battle Facility filled with who knows how many more enemies standing in his way.

Even as more of the foul gas was drunk with every breath he made, Touma clenched his right fist.

"I have no idea what is you punks are up to, but I can't feint to a few measly blows. The stamina of a high schooler is far greater than you'd believe. A simple case of being inflicted with a negative status ailment as Poison isn't anything to send my HP to the blaring red!"

Past the double-wide doors of the rich Kalos establishment laid another battlefield. High leveled opponents would pop out due to the terrible enemy RNG the developers created to the annoyance of the player. Several objectives were set with a time limit to be completed before a Bad End was locked in place with no hope of a Reset. There were no healing items to make things easier for him, he couldn't set the difficulty down a notch, and there were no continues or extra lives if he failed on his first run.

Touma's situation was similar to a Nuzlocke challenge created by the minds of gamers who wished to make Pokemon games more challenging and have an impact.

"I don't know how I'm going to do it and I'm pretty sure I'm way in over my head, but I'm going to shut down these Toxic Hazard thugs and cure everyone of their sickness! Get ready, you self-righteous bastards! Because a low leveled Normal-type is going to deal you all a Super Effective hit and KNOCK YOU OUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!"

A challenge to those who took over the Battle Facility mall was made and heard by no one.

At least that was what the high school boy thought.

Suspended by a thread of silk, a curious spider watched the brave spiky-haired human charge out of the dining establishment. The Spinarak's onyx eyes trailed after the human boy, tilting his head at the oddball before coming to a decision of his own. The spider turned his gaze to his defeated ex-master, narrowed his eyes, and fired a few threads of strong webbing to ensure Byoki didn't cause any more trouble.

A few items were taken from the thug's jacket before he was left in a cocoon of steel tough webs alongside the brutish Toxicroak.

A comedic knapsack was created from the Bug/Poison-types silk to safely carry the items Spinarak had taken with him as he followed after the only kind human he had ever met.

[-]

"I just got confirmation from the team we sent to secure the center of the entire building's ventilation. A couple of Magnemite got in their way, lead by a Magneton, but they were put down with a few losses. We now have complete control of the Battle Facility's air condition, heating, and purification mechanisms. By now Level Toxin should be spreading to the civilian levels of the Battle Facility and should be creeping up on Level-3 facilities where the Brain is keeping all her nifty little secret projects."

Bodies were strewn about outside the main security room where college students working as private security for the mall/facility were gathered to protect the people who visited for both leisure and studying. Many of those older students were struck with sickening patches of poison inflicted by Pokemon and humans. Luckily, they appeared to be breathing despite their shallow breathes.

Just as the rest of the many floors of the luxurious tower, a mustard-like gas replaced the clean air now filled with various toxins designed by a chemist of the foulest sort.

The room resembled a conference room typically found in any office building. A long table fit for over fourteen with various screens centered on the surface, paperwork which had been in the process of being filled out but now laid about in tatters, and a couple more of who were believed to be the head members of the security detail slumped in their seats with a few Pokemon to add to the scene.

At the head of the conference table, a raven-haired girl with two streaks of sickly bright green sat herself down as she typed away at a rhythmic pace at the personal laptop in front of her. Her entire demeanor screamed punk girl and dominatrix. Every part of her screamed sensual yet dangerous, emphasized by the loose black belly shirt strained by her busty chest and the cruel emerald eyes stoically monitoring the data displayed on her laptop's screen.

A familiar purple jacket with oozing green decorated on the cuffs was unzipped to her belly button, pushing out and emphasizing her large breasts.

The woman's name was Saiua; one of the three Admin's of the Skill-Out gang known as Toxic Hazard.

In Toxic Hazard's hierarchy, there were four leading figures below the boss. At the bottom of the list were of course the grunts which were kept in line by the Enforcer. The job of the higher-ranked grunt was to make sure anyone stepping out of line was punished and to ensure the fodder didn't misbehave. Said position was held by a middle school boy known as Gebi.

The one in charge of operations, keeping their gang out of trouble, made sure everything was running smoothly, training, and seen as a positive role model would be Byoki.

When it came to the various poisons, venom, toxins, gases, and even weapons and Pokemon at their disposal, the duties were left in the hands of Gomi who handled all their arms and maintenance.

And when it came to abusing technology, destroying evidence, slipping through the city's security undetected, and breaking into cybernetic locks, and digging through digital archives for information, Saiua was the one to be trusted with said work.

She was once a rather talented computer programmer who had come up with her own little programs designed to crash entire networks with a simple string of code. She had been a girl who could be considered a genius, someone with a future in this city of science and technology, a Level-0 who had considered herself more than powerless with her set of skills. She was smart, she was beautiful, she had a great figure, and she was friendly to everyone and loved to help those who didn't understand whatever school work was driving them to scratch their scalps furiously.

Yes, in this city that cultivated supernatural powers based on the realities of Pokemon, she was someone who could be seen as having worth.

But she was a Level-0, an alluring figured girl who could be a little too trusting to helpless strangers and lacked any real power against those who would gleefully abuse their gifts for their own selfish and greedy desires.

In the eyes of the punk girl, the passed out college boy at the bottom of her seat, a Level-3 with an ability born from his connection with a Geodude's power to harden their power to the durability of stone, girls like her were easy targets who couldn't fight back when he wanted his way. Which was why she had added a broken jaw to the list of injuries she had inflicted on him.

A bluetooth device could be found in her ear, allowing her to speak to whoever was on the other line hand's free so she could continue her work. The voice in her ear made her face twist in disgust and bite her lip. A seething rage twisted in her stomach, hating herself for being left with no other choice to achieve her own goals than to work with the likes of a pig.

"Nice! All of the Koffing's being fed my lovely Level Toxin should have gone off by now then. And with our grunts taking over the main ventilation room in charge of all the ventilation for the entire building, we should have more than enough leeway to make demands! All that's left is to send out a message to Anti-Skill and Judgment, who have no doubt caught wind of what's going on inside the Battle Facility, warning them that any drastic actions on their part to break in will be met with a lethal penalty to our hostages. Knowing Byoki's work ethic, he's probably captured the Brain by now and is heading back to the meeting spot. The Brain/Head Researcher is a woman, right? Hehehehehehe, just leave the threats and torture to me. I promise to show her a good time before we're granted access to her private facilities."

Saiua's shoulders trembled as her body grew hot in rage to the pathetic shit stain of a man she had to share a seat of power with.

Typical man. Even if he's a Level-0, he's no less cruel or perverse.

"Keep talking like that, and I'm going to rip that lulling tongue out with my bare hands and tear off your tiny human horn."

"Oh, how terrifying~! You know, a woman dressed as scantily as you has no right to bitch about being taken advantage of. Its loose chicks like you that are at fault for fueling the hungry fire in men in the first place."

Never before had Saiua wished she had discovered a Personal Reality to allow her to reach her hand's past dimensions to gouge the eyes off of the snickering Admin known to take advantage of women. To think such a piece of shit as Gomi was considered the second in command of their gang.

"Shut the fuck up and tell me when you're going to be sending the message to the outside. Once our demands have been made, I'll finish up taking out the last of the security protocols getting in our way of accessing the main elevator leading us to the Battle Facility reserved for Level-3s. I've nearly cracked the code and already have access to all of the commercial security feeds. It won't be long until I've gotten ahold of the ten levels concerning the Battle Facility only meant for Level-3s and researchers."

"Who cares about the Battle Facility floors? Data concerning high-level espers don't mean squat to us Level-0s. Focus on simply accessing whatever is impeding our goal to the real treasure trove even us failures can abuse. I've already finished everything on my end. All that's left is for you and Byoki to get your shit together."

The hateful flames had to be controlled as Saiua put a lid on her temper to speak professionally with her fellow Admin. They were so close to the completion of their project. She simply had to hold out a little longer. She just needed to use that uncharming Emboar a little longer.

Accidents happened all the time, after all. And with how high risked their mission was, it wouldn't be surprising for a single piece of shit to have lost their life.

"I'll be done in ten minutes. Just remember not to fuck up because you decided to have fun with a poor defenseless girl. Don't want you having your nose broken or locked up again." Saiua sneered with a mocking grin.

The waves of hostility and anger could be felt even from far away.

"Trust me, ya skank, I haven't forgotten. Thanks for the reminder though. I'll be seeing your fine ass and jiggling tits soon, sweetie."

The mustard odor emitted by the gas engulfing the room had nothing to do with Saiua's urge to retch.

No more was said as Gomi ended the call with a chuckle that made her skin crawl more than usual. An odd sense of foreboding hit her. She shook her head, ignoring how disgusting she felt by working alongside such a vile being. Just speaking with him left her drained and queasy.

Gomi was far different when compared to working with either Byoki or Gebi. All three were men and all three were men she disliked due to how cruel, vicious, and arrogant they acted. They were no different than the ugly image of men she had implanted into her after the scarring event she experienced at the hands of higher-level espers and Level-0s. But the Admin chemist was far worse. He was the very picture of why she despised men in general.

If it weren't for their boss, the true leader of Toxic Hazard, she would have never joined this gang to get the revenge she desired.

Saiua slumped in her seat, rubbing her aching forehead as she breathed through the custom ventilator mask designed to keep the toxins in the air from affecting her.

Just a bit longer. She simply needed to put up this toxicity a bit longer. Just until she had her fill of revenge against those who abused her and others like herself. Everyone, including those she worked alongside, would feel the sting of being truly powerless and weak.

"I'll...I'll make them pay, Utsukushi-chan. I'll make all those sick bastards pay for what they did to you. For what they did to me. I'll make the pain go away. You won't have anything to fear anymore. Than...I'll...I'll...I-I'll..."

Within the security room designed like a conference room, flooded with mustard-like gas, and knocked out beaten bodies of college-level espers, a lone tear fell soundlessly onto a single computer key.

[-]

Devastation.

Complete brutal domination.

The level of violence displayed to counter the wave of hostility bearing down on them was unlike anything else Mabushii had seen from a Trainer.

Let alone on the level of a Level-0.

"Tch, not a pretty female thug among you bastards. I mean, I'm happy I didn't have to bloody my fists with a girl's blood, but I was hoping to activate an event with such an archetype. Where the hell's my high school romance comedy?! Why does Kami-yan get all the spotlight? I'm just as much of a harem protagonist as that playboy! When's it my time to shineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?!"

Mabushii, Brain/Head Researcher of the Battle Facility known as Kokyu Tower, found herself speechless in regards to the blue-haired and pierced high school boy who stood in the center of various Toxic Hazard thugs knocked out around him in a ring. Just about every thug was bleeding, bruised, and had a few broken bones on their person. The Pokemon they were using to fight for them were in the same sunken boat, beaten by what appeared to be a brute of a Pokemon.

And while Aogami had been fighting back with his own Pokemon, he was responsible for many of the wounded creatures as well.

What...what had she just seen?

Level-0s were the bottom of the barrel among espers. Being a researcher, she knew it to be fact. A large majority of the student populace who had undertaken the Power Curriculum Program for years remained as Level-0, possessing low scores in AIM despite how powerful and meaningful a bond they possessed with their Pokemon partners. Researchers considered 60% of the student body as failures until a student revealed potential to reach the point of discovery which would reveal either a unique Personal Reality influenced by the 'world' of their Pokemon or another common ability.

As cold as the assessment was seen by those outside the circle of scientific research, it was the truth.

Those labeled as zeroes were powerless and held no value other than being fodder.

Speaking logically, a lone Level-0 cornered by a large group of Level-0s who wielded both weapons and Pokemon should have been crushed beneath those who could only become a threat when they gathered together.

A band of failures abusing Pokemon for their own justice were defeated by a perverted high school boy and one of his Pokemon by his side. Seven Toxic Hazard thugs, nine Pokemon belonging to the Poison-type family, were squashed without a sign of sweat on the fox-eyed boy complaining about not meeting a female thug to ogle while bad-mouthing his friend.

Mabushii was understandably gaping at the blue-haired student as she stared from the safety from behind a large dark blue four-seat sofa.

The two had been chased by several of the poison-themed thugs for quite some time, forcing Mabushii and Aogami to escape the food court/restaurant-themed floor to find themselves running around the lower floor catering to students and adults interested in acquiring furniture for either their office or home. To better escape their captors, Aogami had led her to hide in a store providing both places to conceal themselves or offer cover from attacks.

Unfortunately, a few of the Toxic Hazard thugs were already going about their shady business in harassing the people on the floor and quickly tracked the two as Aogami had been trying to find a safe place for Mabushii to hide until the heat died down. They had been cornered, Pokemon were released from their capsules, and various weapons were drawn for further violence. Even if being circled by delinquents was a nice fantasy for the young woman in her late twenties with rather dirty desires, she wasn't all for the current situation playing out when it would be at the danger of the high school boy she dragged along.

The Level-0 known as Aogami Pierce, a name she wasn't sure she believed to be his real name, didn't panic in the face of the band of thugs with cruel grins and vicious smirks aimed at him. The oddball simply smiled rather enigmatically before calling out another of his Pokemon to take the place of his Tangrowth.

Than a whirlwind of violence had erupted between those labeled by researchers such as herself as useless and powerless.

How long had the battle lasted? Ten minutes? Fifteen? Or had it seemed long to her due to the suspense of watching a lone boy fight by himself with the aid of one Pokemon?

However long the one-sided fight lasted, it was over.

"Y-You son of a bitch!"

Mabushii's head snapped to her right, discovering one of the defeated Toxic Hazard grunts weakly raise one of his Pokeballs for one final attack. The capsule machine released a new threat in the form of a Rock-type Pokemon made of bluestone and red-orange crystal spines.

"Iwa! Take them all out with Flash Cannon!"

Following the desperate command of its master, the Pokemon known as Boldure gathered a silver luminescent glow from its crystal spines to fire at the targeted blue-haired boy's back.

"Hmm? You're rather persistent, huh? Why couldn't you have been a chick? Go die, switch genders, and then come back so we can restart this flag-raising event on a better note. Kuraiika, Psycho Cut."

The Pokemon fighting alongside the mirthful blue-haired boy was widely known to attain the strongest hypnotic power among Psychic-types. It resembled a squid who had learned to live upside down and gained appendages resembling arms and legs. The flashing yellow lights on its translucent stomach were hypnotic to even herself, forcing Mabushii to shake her head again. Dark tentacles were slicked back to resemble hair on the Pokemon's head and its eyes were both black and yellow, giving it a rather menacing expression.

Malamar, The Overturning Pokemon, a Psychic/Dark-type capable of great malicious potential in the wrong hands, obeyed his master with a cool glance at the Boldure ready to fire a destructive beam of metallic particles.

Kuraiika swept his left tentacle arm at the Rock-type, firing his own Special Attack.

Psycho Cut; a psychic attack resembling a blade of various shapes with a high critical hit ratio. It was a powerful move, one of the hardest-hitting physical moves in the pool of Psychic-types. Mabushii had seen it performed more than enough times by Pokemon and noted a few espers who had gained an ability influenced by said move.

The towering rose-purple blade of every nearly twice the height of Aogami himself produced by the nonchalant Malamar was nothing like the typical Psycho Cut she had come to know. It resembled a towering wheel of grinding rosy-purple tainted with darkness overshadowing its target and touched the ceiling.

The blade of mental energy rolled forward like a bulldozing wheel, digging a deep groove as it spun after the stunned Boldore and its Trainer. There was no escape before such a devastating attack running them both over like Ratticates.

What overshadowed those trembling targets was a giant's yo-yo of crushing and slicing malevolent psychic energy.

Upon impact, the cutting wheeling blade erupted, sending a powerful shockwave to strike any more thugs who dared to rise up and continue fighting. The Toxic Hazard thug and his Pokemon were taken out and swallowed by the dust in the wake of the explosion. There was no clue to their state of injury but Mabushii hoped the boy known as Aogami hadn't intended to kill his opponents.

Aogami dusted himself off, observing the aftermath of his partner's attack with an observant gaze far out of character to the goofy pervert who had been more than eager to grope her at the slightest hint of consent. It was almost as if he had become a different person. To see such swift change in character was rather unnerving and chilling.

"Guess that's the last of them. But we still got to deal with the rest of those grunts after us. Not to mention whatever this gas filling the floor is too." Aogami said with his usual free nature smile.

Mabushii snapped out of her staring at the odd pervert whose figure was obscured by mustard yellow to realize the store they were in was indeed enveloped in the gas flowing from the vents. It was a foul-smelling fog reminiscent of spoiled eggs and trash juice coming together to make up a rancid chemical cocktail. Just a whiff of the fog of dirty yellow made her eyes water and her lunch churn in rolling waves.

"Is this...some kind of chemical warfare tactic?" Mabushii said in alarm.

She knew whatever the gas was had to be more than a simple juvenile stink bomb. Coming from a gang of Level-0s obsessed with poison, she had to believe the gas had some toxic effects on those who breathed it in. What effects they could be, she had no idea. She didn't feel anything other than being repulsed by the stench even after succumbing to the gas for a while.

"Good job, Kuraiika. You were the best you, you could envision. But it looks like you're feeling it too. Take a nap. Our spotlight may have been brief and out of sight, but we played our part. Guys like us who work behind the scenes should leave the starring role to a certain hero."

A suddenly out of breath Malamar was returned to his Pokeball by the intensely sweating Aogami. Mabushii grew worried at the exhausted boy who appeared to have been stricken with a sudden sickness. It was as if he was suffering from a high fever.

The Level-0 who appeared so much more than what was believed on the surface turned to Manbushii. He smiled brightly despite stumbling and panting lightly.

"Oi, Brittany-chan! If you see Kami-yan, tell him I tried to play the role of hero for him but fell short. As always, that idiot has to take the heavy workload upon himself. I suggest heading for safety, runoff, and barricade yourself in your labs until Kami-yan's solved everything with his brand of violence. A useless Level-0 like myself will only drag a smexy woman like yourself down. And not in a good way!"

It was only as the blue-haired boy with piercings turned her way did Mabushii gasp at the sight of his figure.

The Level-0 hadn't come out of the fight unscathed. His face was bruised, his clothes were torn by all manner of attacks from Pokemon and human, and she found a concerning patch of deep crimson on his left forearm from a blade. It was no wonder he appeared weak and exhausted. It had nothing to do with the mustard fog he was breathing in.

Right?

Mabushii shook her head, leaving the safety of her cover to walk over to the injured blue-haired high school boy who had protected her.

"I-I can't just leave you! You're hurt, deeply hurt because of me! And you expect me to just save myself and let you collapse because you would slow me down? How selfish do you think I am!?"

"This isn't a matter of selfishness. This is a matter of logic. If I join your party, no matter how much I'm kicking myself in the groin for missing out on gaining more points to secure the route of capturing the heart of such a rare culmination of archetypes, I'd regret it. Because, as I am now, I'll only make it that much easier for those grunts to have their way with you. And even a depraved guy like me known as a The Fetish King isn't into such dark themes." Aogami grinned widely with a show of blood smearing his white teeth, "I'm more of a fan of vanilla genres rather than stuff like NTR and rape!"

Even now, the strange Level-0 wasn't afraid to speak his mind.

"But-!"

"Don't worry about me. I'm not passing out yet. The least I can do is take out any more thugs on this floor so you can safely make your escape. I don't know what they may want with you, but it is better if you don't give the simps whatever they want. And like I said, Kami-yan should arrive at the stage and play the hero. So, even if you find yourself in a sticky situation at the hands of a slimy bastard feeling your mid-grade B cups up, Kami-yan will surely come in with a hard knuckle and a charming smile to capture your heart and the heart of any other suffering girl with a hundred percent capture rate; that son of a bitch."

Waving his hand at her, Aogami wandered away from the conflicted exotic researcher. One last word of advice was thrown back by the Level-0.

"You got Pokemon of your own, right? I'd suggest having them guard you as you escape to safety. Seems those who've undertaken the Power Curriculum Program, human and Pokemon, are at a disadvantage right now. An adult like yourself should be able to handle the simps after your tanned ass just fine."

Mabushii tried reaching out to the wounded Level-0, but failed as the powerful foul odor from the gas made her gag and stumble. She shut her teary eyes as she fought back her lunch swimming its way up her throat.

By the time she settled her stomach and rubbed her eyes of tears, Aogami Pierce was nowhere to be seen. Only the shadow of thugs running off in the distance told of where the odd boy ran off.

[-]

Chaos had set upon the 8th floor of Kokyu Tower's arcade floor once the mustard-like gas drifted from the open vents. The students and adults were left in varying states of sickness by the gas; ranging from dizziness coupled with stomach sickness at the lightest, to head-splitting headaches coupled with intense sweating among the lesser symptoms. Espers weren't alone as even the Pokemon of said students were equally affected as their partners. The only ones not affected negatively were the adults who only complained about the foul stench that made them want to vomit and blurred their vision.

Those unaffected were dealt with swiftly by the members of Toxic Hazard's Enforcer and his grunts. No one was spared from their bared fangs dripping with venom. Their plan had no room for error. Any loose cogs were to be taken out of the picture. Far too much rode on the success of this single mission.

Not even an out-of-place holy Sister, a busty chick with raven hair, and a Murkrow were exempt from a beat down into unconsciousness.

"Just stop running and play dead like good little girls! Either you knock yourselves out or have your pretty faces busted up! It's your choice!"

"Uhhh, Zenchou! Do a move! You know how to fight, right?!"

"CAW!"

Toxic Hazard's Enforcer, Gebi Shizen, clicked his tongue as he followed after the silver-haired nun and her busty friend up the emergency stairwell leading to the higher floors. The Murkrow resting on the nun's headdress flapped his wing, firing several razor disk blades of wind to pepper the thugs.

"Sukota, Night Shade!"

To counter the volley of wind saws in his way, Gebi ordered his Haunter to intercept the Air Cutter with a ghostly black beam of despairing energy. The Ghost-type attack disrupted the wind saws, erupting in a small blast that saved him the worry of scoring a wound. The same couldn't be said to those behind him who weren't able to defend against the Air Cutter blades bypassing his Sukota's attack. A few of the grunts he regarded as brothers were taken out, falling back as supernatural saws born of wind cut them up.

Gebi grit his teeth, silently swearing to avenge his brother's with an extra dose of pummeling.

'How the hell can a nun wearing a long white robe run up several flights of stairs without stumbling once?! It shouldn't be this hard to knock out a couple of middle school girls! Chasing them down is a big waste of my valuable time but I can't afford to leave them be. The nun doesn't appear to be affected other than the typical reaction to the foul smell and the big tittied girl with raven hair is wearing a special ventilator mask. It's almost as if she was prepared to deal with a situation like this! That's a red flag I can't turn a blind eye to!'

An alarming thing to note was the raven-haired girl with a busty chest had taken out a mask once the toxin plagued gas was noticed. At the sight of people feeling the effects of Level Toxin, she had taken the hand of the nun and attempted to escape. A few of Gebi's grunts tried to stop them but fell to the attacks of the Murkrow guarding the girls' safety.

No one should have been prepared for today's attack. Suspicion set in, answers were needed. And someone had to hit the floor.

PFFFT!

What sounded like an airsoft gun firing warned Gebi to lean his head to the right. A chunk of his colorful hair was pierced and reduced to shreds by a small metal bead. One of the grunts' body jerked and fell back, a small trail of blood flowing from his collarbone as his body crashed to the floor. He caught the slender hand of the suspicious girl with amber eyes and a busty chest swiftly return to her side. The smallest hint of something metallic in her sleeve caught his attention.

Gebi clicked his teeth with a frustrated scowl.

That sealed it then. A hidden weapon, a gas mask, and amber eyes regarded him coolly without any hesitation to kill.

The twin ponytail girl had the scent of darkness on her. She needed more than a beating.

She needed to be eliminated before she could cause any harm to their operations.

Someone just became a high-priority target. As the Enforcer of Toxic Hazard, it would be up to him to get rid of the out-of-place darkness threatening to derail their intentions with their own. His entire team of Pokemon would need to be called on if he was to deal with such a dangerous individual as quickly as possible.

'I need to cut off their escape. Which means I just need to steer them onto a floor where I have room to take them out with everything we have!'

Eyes turning up to the many stairs above, Gebi pointed his finger up high as he shouted to his Pokemon.

"Sukota, blow away the top floors with Dark Pulse, NOW!"

Following his master's command, Haunter gathered a bundled mass of dark energy rings before firing the chaotic beam. The beam of vile energy crashed into the stairs above everyone, raining rubble onto the heads of all those running up the stairwell. There was no other choice to those ahead than to run to the door on the next flight and escape the avalanche of destruction with the thugs on their tail.

Gebi smirked in victory as he readied another Pokeball.

In order to get rid of darkness, one just needed to swallow it up with far greater darkness.

[-]

"Thunder."

A storm of black clouds swirled unnaturally above the heads of the gathered force of Pokemon and armored men and woman standing before a sparking Toxtricity lazily staring at his opponents. Within the man-made mall of science, storm clouds were born. The rumbling of the ensuing attack from above served as a warning.

A warning far too late to heed.

The Electric/Poison-type aimed his pointer finger up at the raging black cotton candy fluffed bringers of rain and lightning before swinging his finger down like a gavel. A bright flash burned the retinas of all those present.

Than the thundering hammer was swung down, crashing onto its victims with an earth trembling roar.

Thunder scorched the earth, shattering the tiles of the third floor of Kokyu Tower as the mighty sparking bolt from the heavens born of Pokemon seared the flesh of humans and Pokemon alike. The yellow flash raged for only moments before dying away with faint sparks popping in the air.

No one stood up after such an attack from a unique and rare Pokemon who wielded two deadly forces in his hands. The members of Anti-Skill and their Pokemon were out of the count by a single force.

The Low-Amp Toxtricity yawned at his effort, smacking his lips before turning back to his trainer with a bored gaze.

A college boy with eggplant-colored hair styled with a fang-like bang falling over his right eye, revealing only a visible vermilion eye staring back. The boy's clothing had a rather toxic theme to them, reminding others of a punk rock singer.

The aloof boy suddenly grinned with certain ebbing darkness flowing from his visage.

"That should take care of the last of those annoying pests. Seriously, pointing a gun at me? Did they expect me to simply surrender so easily? Get real. You're not even worth the EXP you're worth."

The floor they were located on was designated as the office level reserved for the staff in charge of matters pertaining to typical busy work involving paperwork, receipts, contact with store owners, and office space to those seeking to do business in the Battle Facility. The room seemed to represent the front office of any ordinary corporate office but large enough to fit the ten adults who laid passed out with burns and twitching limbs. Like the many floors of the Battle Facility modeled after a mall, a fog of yellow mustard gas replaced the clean air with toxins. It was also apparently one of the few places where an emergency tunnel could be found in case of evacuation procedures. Which was why a party of Anti-Skill had shown itself when said college boy had been busy with his own matters before he was interrupted.

Sparing the still breathing officers and Pokemon a small glance, the eggplant-haired boy began to walk away from the office setting, followed closely by his Pokemon. A small USB drive was casually slipped into his pocket after copying the necessary information he was after in one of the computer's hard drives.

Originally, he had been enjoying a nice afternoon out at the mall to celebrate his official start to summer vacation. College exams were a pain, so he was happy to relax without having to deal with the usual pile of textbooks he had to memorize for his classes. Not to mention the matters concerning his other responsibilities had become a pain in his ass as of late. All he wanted was a chance to relax, to stop thinking about college or other matters, maybe stop by Floor 12: The Electronics Center, for the latest music file by the lovely punk rock star, Roxie. A die-hard rock fan such as himself would buy the latest song from his favorite idol even if it meant spending all of his Pokeyen.

He had been having a nice time and had been scrolling through his phone on the message board where rock idol obsessed fans like himself could chat and compare their rare merchandise when he had been alerted to a certain group's activity. And like that, his relaxation had been cut short.

Before the college boy with eggplant hair left the General Office center, he threw out a small glass vial once filled with a cleansing liquid to combat the mustard yellow atmosphere.

"Seems the show's already begun without me. Not even a warning to the audience, huh? Guess that just means I'll have to do the same. If Toxic Hazard's moving, it's only natural I should start playing too. Maybe I can get some exp for my little buddies while I'm at it. I shouldn't be the only one having a rocking good time!"

[-]

"Hmm? Is that...who I think it is?"

A stumbling figure could be seen sluggishly running through the toxic riddled fog. Concern filled the reddish-purple eyes of the woman taking shelter behind one of the greasy fast-food establishments of the 13th floor Level A. She squinted, hoping to get a better view of the figure before gasping at the familiar spiky head she found.

"Kamijou-kun?"

"Yuri-san?! What are you doing? You shouldn't be moving out of the range of my Swanna's Defog! Otherwise, you might be further poisoned by the toxic fog outside the safe bubble!"

Behind the Onee-san-like figure that was Yuri Sumire, a party of both students and adults were huddled behind the counter and kitchen as a Judgment member stood protectively over them. A beautiful and graceful white-feathered bird Pokemon known as Swanna stood in the middle of the terrified and sickened civilians, spreading her wings far as she released a translucent wind of pure air to clear whatever mustard fog tried to touch the clean bubble of air she created with her power. The cheap, greasy burger establishment was the only place where the chemical attack was unable to spread its malice and further harm those already feeling its ill effects.

Several students were already laid out with sweaty faces and found themselves struggling to breathe. A few members of Judgment who had time off had donned their signature green bands to step up in the disaster. Those trained in first-aid moved swiftly to treat those suffering from poison; few of said espers found themselves being stricken far worse. Even the leading Judgment member, a short blue-haired high schoolgirl with glasses and an impressive chest, found herself sweating even as her Swanna dispersed the poison gas.

Having gone to the mall to relax, shop around, and possibly grab a coffee before heading to her dorm for a long study session on Young Pokemon Development, Yuri now found herself playing nurse to those sickened children. She, along with a few other adults, had taken it upon themselves to care for those suffering children.

Anyone who was foolish enough to step out would immediately fall under the toxic sting of the fog that seemed to affect espers. The glasses wearing Judgment girl had forbidden anyone from leaving the safe space provided by Defogs cleansing ability. No matter what, no one was to leave. It was far too dangerous given the unknown situation as they began to notice suspicious figures running around the fog in search of people.

The warning was disregarded by the frantic faced Onee-san about to jump over the countertop of the registers.

"I'm sorry, Judgment-chan! But someone I know is walking out there and he looks like he's suffering! I can't leave that boy out there where every step he takes could lead to death!"

Fear was heard in her voice as she frantically dove into the yellow fog harmful to an esper like herself. Her heels made it difficult but she pushed on, determined to reach the spiky head of hair now being followed by several thugs and their Pokemon.

Yuri heard her heart beating into her ears as her blood pumped furiously in response to her frantic rushed steps after her senior's student and Level-0 she had taken a liken to in only one meeting.

As someone who cared deeply for those the city overlooked, she'd be damned if she allowed that boy to be harmed!

[-]

Between The Lines-7.

It was an artificial forest created by humans. Its roots were made of plastic, aluminum, and copper. Barks of shining metallic silver speared up the heavens. Panels of clear glass leaves reflected those supernatural beings at every corner of the forest. Below their feet was dirt-colored a dark gray and had no need for the rays of the sun to absorb nutrients. Unlike the natural-born trees of the world beyond the enclosed forest, it exuded a strange light created by the creatures inhabiting its steel world.

This was a forest designed by humans to breed phenomena that could be explained by human logic and went against the miracles of Arceus and God. An oasis of strange and wonderful prosperities for anyone who desired something greater.

The fruit such a forest bore was riddled with odd vitamins and chemicals mother earth would never implant into her soil. One bite of such fruits would forever change the biology of whatever Pokemon decided to eat it.

Hope.

Promise.

Power.

Recognition.

A troubled and frustrated Trubbish who felt he was destined for far greater things in this world because of his name, had been told the tempting fruit he devoured contained such wonderous things. So long as he continued eating, eating, and eating the fruit that contained a cocktail of strange vitamins and chemicals, he would be blessed with something unique. If Trubbis simply followed along to the carefully laid instructions of the humans observing Pokemon like him in the artificial garden, he too would gain something undeniably powerful to twist the very logic and physics of the world to his whim.

Study these books and you too could gain an ability.

Eat these fruits and you too could become special.

Meditate and control your breathing, and you too could unlock a power.

Endure the electric shocks and needles brimming with strange liquid, and you too could have a superpower.

Follow the lessons and rules of us, the humans who stamp you with a number of value, and we can help you become someone special.

Lies.

Lies, lies, lies, lies!

Everything Trubbish had been told had been nothing but ridiculous lies!

After years of doing everything he was told, Trubbish had failed to make any impactful strides in his results. After all the money spent on developing him, Trubbish had nothing to show for it! No matter how hard he studied or how many fruits he ate, he never saw any change in his body.

His efforts amounted to Zero.

Failure after failure had left the promising Trubbish with a high Special Attack resentful of the artificial forest that had lied to him. Something dark and foul had been planted into his heart.

It was only when Trubbish had met a fellow failure that his anger had been momentarily quelled.

Trubbish met Toxel, a Pokemon whose years of efforts had left them with being branded a failure too.

Toxel was different than the disgruntled Trubbish. Toxel had found they had become lethargic and lazy after all their hard work had amounted to nothing special. They had become dispassionate, they had stopped trying, and grown sullen. They no longer had the energy to try for something more and stood in place like a Sudowoodo.

But when Toxel met Trubbish, the two had found a common ground to spark a friendship.

Hate for the artificial forest that had lied to them, poisoned them and marked them as worthless.

Trubbish and Toxel became friends over their shared pain.

And, in time, they had found others who shared their pain.

Unfortunately, to Trubbish's envy, it was not him who had created their organization or had drawn in the likes of the loyal Croagunk and talented Ekans. To his surprise, the dispassionate Toxel possessed a certain charm to them and was even talented in battles. His best friend outshined him, outdid him, and had become the leader of their little club.

When once before they had been alike, as time passed, Trubbish had noticed just how different they two had been.

Once again, something dark and foul stirred in his heart at the beacon of popularity and charisma his fellow failure possessed.

Somehow, his best friend had 'evolved' into something more. Lethargic Toxel had become a promising Toxtricity who went on beyond their organization to search for something more. Toxtricity's visit to their club had lessened until their leader no longer showed up to plan their next scheme to attack the artificial forest. They had become a shadow figure who left the responsibility of their club to Trubbish and the now evolved forms of Toxicroak and Ekans.

Even if Toxtricity did show up every once in a while, used their title as the leader to change whatever plans they had formed if it went against their liking, and helped fund their club, they were no more than a shallow headpiece.

The dark and foul poison in Trubbish's heart grew until he could no longer take it.

A different sort of evolution had overcome him to reach the status of Garbodour.

One that thrived in the dark and foul poison running through his veins.

He no longer cared if others looked at him in disgust as he decided to take what he desired or caught his fancy, he no longer held back when his anger came over him to attack other Pokemon, and he no longer thought twice to infecting others with his nasty brand of poison in petty squabbles.

Garbodour found he no longer needed the fruit containing a strange cocktail of vitamins and chemicals to give him the power of king. He would forge his own crown by whatever means he could find in the toxic sludge surrounding him.

Garbodour went by another name other than Gomi; Trash.

Gio; The Name of The Righteous. His proof of deserving.

Garbodour had every right to everything the artificial forest had promised him. The empty seat of his organization was rightfully his. He was done with being a failure and seen as trash.

Dark and foul.

Fueled by such human emotions, Garbodour would take what was rightfully his.

No matter the damage done to the artificial forest that had failed to deliver him a crown or a sword of destruction.


The stage was set.

The setting: Kokyu Tower, the Level-3 Battle Facility modeled after a mall catering to all the students of Academy City and their Pokemon.

All those tied to Toxic Hazard were now in motion and ready to sink their fatal fangs into the innocent for their goal of discovering a recipe for an even greater attack on the city which envenomed them with toxins that robbed them of any worth.

The players of this event have been revealed and the real battle has now begun.

A concert of violence has started with a noxious opening song to those regarded as gifted and without talent.

Ready or not, the drums are pounding, the guitars have begun to shred chords of pure fire, and the singers have begun screaming notes of rebellion against the unfair world.

Kamijou Touma, stand above the noise and screams of violence.

And make your voice echo above all others.

The actions here, so prepare for a rocking time!

As the release of Level Toxin is seen and Toxic Hazard moves out into the open, one of their Admins is taken down in the opening act.

Byoki is a character who truly cares about his fellow Level-0s despite his rough nature. If he had real siblings, he'd be the the older brother type who affectionately call his little siblings idiots and dumb-assess with a bright smile on his face. He's the type of person who can accept being called trash, being called a failure, and being harrassed for being a Level-0. He's tough and he would simply answer back with violence like any other thug. But he has a soft spot for children and can't stand that they have to suffer like him.

He had been abandoned by his parents who desired him to succeed. He's a Child Error. He knows just how much his fellow Child Errors are hurting.

If things had been different, if he had gone down another road, he could have been a kind caretaker.

But the thing is, his kindness is only exclusive to those who share his suffering. He refuses to believe those with power and gifts could ever feel his pain. He just can't accept such a thought as even a Level-1 knowing the sensation of failing and tears falling down thier cheeks. Pokemon are seen the same. Because of thier power, he sees them as tools no different than a loaded gun. Academy City were the ones who handed those tools down as if they were pieces of equipment meant to develop thier none existent powers.

To Byoki who remained a Level-0 for years, he sees such creatures as another fault of Academy City.

Such an attitude to Pokemon was a powerful trigger for Touma. To a boy who found himself traumatized and unable to stand beside such a warm being that exuded understanding and kindness despite his curse, it pissed him off to encounter a person who sees such beings as only tools branded for revenge.

As we move onto the next few chapters, we will come to understand more about 'Sauia' and Gomi Gio. For Gomi, the Between The Lines will help in getting some insight into his thoughts. To be honest, the Between The Lines focused on the artificial forest was a last-minute thing that hit me. I liked the idea of the artificial forest in explaining Gomi's story so much, I just had to go with it.

Sauia, on the other hand, has a rather tragic story behind her hate for men in general that will be explained.

Everyone who is apart of Toxic Hazard has their reasons for growing hateful of Academy City and its system. Each has evolved under horrible circumstances to attain a new form and the nature of Poison.

Oh, did you enjoy some of Aogami's spotlight time? Let me say this; that boy is severely underused in most fics! As if I could treat him as some afterthought! He's going to have his moments in my story, you can rest assured about that.

This chapter was mostly focused on Toxic Hazard making their move. What they're after is clear; data and help on completing a certain project to create a special accessory to allow them to go wild on Academy City. And Brittany-chan, or Mabushii-san, holds all the secrets and knowledge to achieve their goal.

Just what will a normal high school boy who doesn't even have a Pokemon to fight with be able to do against such a noxious force?

We're just going to have to wait and see.

Read and Review! It's common courtesy.

NeoShadows fading in and out.