Pokemon Story: A Normal Journey – Contest Extraordinaire Arc

~Ash Ketchum has completed the trials in Akala Island. Now he has to confront the Kahuna of the island for his Grand Trial. Before that, he meets up with an old friend and participates in a coordinator event that will help him grow as a trainer! How will it turn out? Will Ash win?~

-Opening: Kimi no Mamade ī - HAG, Kimi no Mamade ī (2021)-

~Contest 25 ~

"It's funny that I find out from Dawn that you're in Alola"

Ash chuckles a little at that, seeing where this was going "Well… I did get to talk to her before leaving, but…"

May stops him with a short glare "I could have come earlier to pass time with you! I was free of commitments until the ContEx, you know?"

"That would have been fun" Ash scratches his cheek sheepishly "Here we are though! I mean we did get to meet up!"

"Don't be so positive, Ash!"

It was a short moment of silence, but eventually they both started laughing.

"It's good to see you again, May" Ash shakes his head as he composes himself "It's been some years now"

"Close to three years I think" May leans back on the couch of her luxurious hotel room "It's been too long"

"We were busy, both of us"

"And we meet again in a coordinator event of all things!" May snorts at the irony "What are you doing in Alola? I mean, you didn't come all the way from Kanto for this"

"Professor Oak asked me to research about regional variants in Alola" Ash explains, showing her his notes, the latest entry about Alolan Marowak "I've been travelling for some time now and the Kahuna of Melemele Island invited me to participate in the Island Challenge, which is something like League Gyms"

"The Island Challenge? I heard that it was very selective"

"Yep, but I'm in because they recognize how great I am!" Ash strikes a pose to show his greatness.

"Don't overinflate your ego, Ash!" May laughs slightly at his attitude "Though I wonder how you got in the premium box of Wallace"

"Well, I'm friends with Lisia, who invited me to see the opening show with her uncle" Ash scratches his cheek sheepishly "Didn't know it was Wallace until she told me a while back!"

May sweat drops at that "Don't you watch TV at all?"

"You know me…"

She had to sigh at that "Yeah, I know perfectly well. You travel around, never staying much in one place…" she picks up a few Oran berries and pops them in her mouth "How has your journey been so far? I've seen last year's league but…"

Ash gets pensive at this "I'm progressing, I think. I mean I got to the finals for the first time. That's got to count for something!"

"It does Ash, I never saw you battle so well as in Kalos" May praises him with a smile "Still I wonder why you didn't bring some of your Pokemon back. You would have crushed that guy's team… how was he called… Alan?"

"Alain… and to be honest I don't know" Ash leans back in thought "I know that the Pokemon I raised in Kalos were strong, and they fought hard for it. I wanted to let them battle for that. It was a hard journey, you know?"

"Still…" May leans forward, an impish grin in her face "I would have paid to see whose Charizard was stronger!"

Ash laughs at the thought "That would have been a though one! But my Charizard can't mega evolve. That's a big difference!"

"But at least one of your Pokemon defeated a Mega Pokemon in the past! Your Hawlucha did! I saw the battle with the Mega Absol!"

"Hawlucha is really strong, but Alain's Charizard is on a whole new level" Ash's eyes glaze a bit as his mind wanders "But maybe you're right… I will use some of my old Pokemon in the upcoming league"

"They will appreciate it" May nods encouragingly "I mean, how long has it been since Charizard, Sceptile or your other monsters actually fought alongside you?"

"Too long" The answer came easily to Ash, something that actually surprised him "Maybe I should bring someone for this event…" Ash shakes his head and focuses on May again "Enough about me! What about you?"

"Well… I got to win my first Grand Festival in Johto while you were in Unova" May announces proudly "After that I won in Hoenn and won that moniker, Princess of Hoenn"

"Tomboy May a princess?" Ash snickers at her "Max would be rolling in the ground laughing"

"Why did you two say the same thing!?" May calms down and sighs "After that… well there aren't any tougher challenges for coordinator. I'm a Top Coordinator and because of that, and my popularity in Hoenn, they called me to be a judge in this event, rather than participating like I wanted"

"Why didn't you? I mean, they offered you to participate as a judge. It's not an obligation"

"This event, the ContEx I mean, is organized by very rich people who want to be more so. That the Princess of Hoenn wins the ContEx is not enough publicity as the winning return of an old coordinator like Lisia, you know?" Here she looks a little resigned, something that didn't sit well with Ash.

"Eh? I don't get it"

May sighs at that "It's an ugly part of the coordinator world, I think. I see it because I'm on the top now. These events are more about the money than the passion of coordinating along your Pokemon"

"That's a bleak look on the world, May" Ash looks worriedly at her "Are you… I mean you look as if you don't know what to really do"

"I don't" May looks at Ash with a fake smile "I really don't know what to do with my life. I've achieved what I wanted and now I don't know what to do… sad isn't it?"

"There's always something to do, May" Ash leans towards her "You just have to find it and go for it!"

May smiles slightly at him, this time a little more real "Thanks Ash, I'll see what I'll do"

They kept talking about their journeys until night-time. They reminisced about their journey and updated each other with more stories about their newer ones.

Ash soon bid farewell to May and went back to the Pokemon Center, intent on resting for the coming day, where the Amateur Extraordinaire would start. That was not meant to be as he was met by Kiawe, Mallow and Lana as soon as he stepped inside the building.

"Hey guys!"

"You know the Princess of Hoenn!?"

Ash sighs… "It's going to be a long night…"

-o-

It was early morning and Ash was up working in routines with his Pokemon. It turned quite fruitful, as his Pokemon were at least interested in the concept. Ash had to admit that while he wasn't as experienced in coordinating as some of his friends, he certainly had the imagination for it. Seeing May, Dawn and Serena performing on stage several times certainly helped him to create new routines.

After that, he walked to the stadium. The backstage was blocked by a bouncer that quickly moved aside when Ash showed him his Coordinator Card. There were many aspiring coordinators in the backstage, among them, Lana and Mallow.

Ash quickly noticed that while many didn't dress up for the contest, like it is mandatory in Sinnoh, some did and that led him to the costume room. Seeing as he didn't have time to make one for himself, he decided to take one from the Backstage's wardrobe.

After suiting up, Ash was ready for his Alolan contest debut.

"Okay… with Pikachu and Eevee everything is alright… Dartrix your moves are a little rough around the edges… Comfey you'll do great I think and Wimpod…" Ash looks down to the small Pokemon and sighs "You'll be in the battling part"

The Pokemon sighs in disappointment. It was too much to ask for a respite after Kiawe's trial.

"So… the first stage will be with Eevee and Pikachu" Ash looks at both Pokemon with a smile "That new move of yours will come in handy here, Eevee. Remember you two, just like we practiced!"

"Vee!"

"Pikachu!"

Both Pokemon looked determined to shine in the contest.

"Now we'll see Coordinator Kiawe!" the TV in the waiting room shows Kiawe dancing with his Marowak and Darmanitan using fire batons.

Previously he saw some interesting performances by Lana and Mallow, who both participated with their Pokemon. Soon after them, came a surprise performance by Professor Samson Oak and his Exeguttor. Then several alolan citizens tried their luck with Pokemon Contests. Many failed spectacularly, while some shined through.

Among those that stood out, there was a young blonde haired woman called Mina that performed fantastically with her twin Rimbombee. She used some kind of painting style that meshed quite well with her two Rimbombee's pollen.

Ash watches the TV as the judges regard Kiawe's performance.

-o-

Kiawe looks proudly at the judges after his dance with Marowak. It really was impressive, not only the appearance of a Totem Pokemon, but also of someone of his talent, of course.

"It was a very impressive performance, young man" Mr. Contesta judges appraisingly "I look forward to seeing more of your Pokemon"

"It was remarkable" Mr. Sukizo gives his assessment of the performance.

Nurse Joy nods as well "I see your Grandfather's dancing moves in you"

May nods as well "It really was a great performance!"

Kiawe was crying rivers by the first review. He zooms around the judges table stretching their hands feverishly "I thank you for your judgment!"

The judges sweat drop at the Trial Captain's reaction to their words.

Kiawe gets off the stage and is met by Ash, Lana and Mallow "And that is how you give a performance"

"It was great, Kiawe" Ash praises the Alolan trainer "I wanna battle you again! This time it'll be a Contest Battle!"

"It was so-so" Lana smirk wryly at Kiawe, who seems incensed by her words.

"Care to repeat that!?"

Mallow sighs at that "They really get along like water and oil…"

"Indeed" Ash laughs slightly.

Coordinator Ash, it's your turn on stage

"That's your call" Mallow turns to him and smiles "I'll be cheering you on!"

"Thanks Mallow" Ash turns towards the stage and calls Eevee to his shoulder "Let's go, Pikachu! Let's go, Eevee!"

"Pika!"

"Vee!"

With that both Trainer and Pokemon run to the stage, ready to start a show.

-o-

"It's interesting that we'll see Ash Ketchum perform while May Maple is the one on the side-lines" Solidad leans back in her seat, intent on seeing what the trainer intended to do "Though I wonder what he's looking for in this competition"

Drew was eyes May meanwhile, who looked expectant about what's to come "I'm honestly unsure, but I've seen him compete and he's not that bad. Certainly not what he enjoys"

"Indeed… leads you to think what his end goal is"

Drew narrows his eyes for a bit, his mind wandering to past journeys, the person that is Ash forming in his mind "Ash is… someone who enjoys being with Pokemon. In any way there is, he'll try to connect with Pokemon. That is his goal I think"

Solidad hums in agreement.

-o-

May looks expectant at the stage as Ash's name is called. She had to wonder what he would do. Ash wasn't half-bad when he did participate in contests, so she was expectant of what he would do.

The lights dim down to highlight the center of the stage, where a single person stood. May quickly recognized Ash and had to admire that he went so far as to dress up for the occasion. Ash had a red leather jacket over a black shirt. He wore black jeans and red boots. He wore no hat, which was unusual for her to see.

To the side of him, two spotlights show two Pokemon, one of them known to her while the other was an unknown.

Ash smiles at the crowd as energic music starts pounding around the stadium. The Kantonian Trainer starts nodding to the rhyme and is followed by his Pokemon.

"Come on, Pikachu and Eevee! Let's start!" Ash starts running with his Pokemon, issuing orders as he did "Electroball and Shadow Ball!"

Pikachu and Eevee charge up their respective move as they run along Ash. Both Pokemon send their moves to the ceiling, following a collision course.

"Now Psychic!" Ash punches the sky.

Eevee stops both ball in the air and starts meshing them with Psychic into an electric purple ball contained in Psychic energy.

"And now we play!" Ash shouts to the confusion of the judges and the crowd "Iron Tail!"

Pikachu jumps towards the ball and bats it towards Eevee with Iron Tail, the containment of Psychic making it painless for the Pokemon. The strange ball left specks of electricity that illuminated the stage along its path, aweing the people who saw that.

Eevee was ready for it as she also received the ball with her own Iron Tail, playing a kind of tennis with Pikachu.

The ball came back and forth, leaving light particles all around the stage. The Judges looked quite impressed, May included.

"For the finale!"

Both Pikachu and Eevee got the message and jump together to the ball smacking it at the same time to the ground, right towards Ash.

"Pika!"

"Vee!"

Ash smirks as he pumps his fist to the sky and punches the ball, making it explode into thousands of yellow and purple balls of light that reached even the farthest seats of the stadium.

Ash stands in the middle and keeps the punching pose as his Pokemon land at each side of him "Finish!"

The crowd cheered wildly as Ash and his Pokemon bows to them and then to the judges.

May looks dazzled by the performance Ash made, and when he makes eye contact with her, she reacts and starts clapping as well 'It was beautiful! Ash got way better at this than I thought! How… How did he do it?'

Mr. Contesta looks at Ash with a knowing smile "That was a splendid performance, Coordinator Ash. I seem to recognize some Kalosian flair to your performance. I applaud you"

Ash smiles at seeing the man recognize what he learned from watching Pokemon Performances.

"Very remarkable" Mr. Sukizo nods at him with a smile. Considering his limited vocabulary, Ash thought it was a great response.

"Indeed, I saw your Pokemon having fun just as much as you did, and that speaks volumes of your bond with them" Nurse Joy gives he opinion with a cordial smile as usual.

May was silent for a moment before she smiles at him "That was a great performance. I loved how you integrated yourself in the routine. You and your Pokemon were in complete sync while doing this. Congratulations, Ash"

Ash smiles at her and bows once again, leaving with his Pokemon in tow. He was soon met with the crying figures of Kiawe and Lana.

"That moved me so much, Ash Ketchum!" Kiawe explodes as Wela Volcano materializes behind him.

Lana quickly moves him out of the way and suddenly, the Whirl Islands appeared behind her "It was a great performance! You truly are a master of the art!"

Ash had to sweat drop at that "It was nothing, you should see the one who showed me this, my friend Serena!"

Suddenly, it was Mallow who stood in front of him, Lush Jungle, Viridian Forest, Ilex Forest, and more materializing behind her "YOU KNOW KALOS PRINCESS SERENA!?"

It was then that Ash realized that he really knew many famous people around the globe…

"Now it's time for the final contestant of the night, one of the four amateurs from outside Alola that has been allowed to participate! He's from Unova and his name is Hugh! Give it for him!"

Ash quickly turns towards the screen, surprised to see that Hugh was actually in the Amateur Contest, that is until a talk he had with Hugh and Lisia in Melemele came to him.

"It's a simple fact" Hugh continues "I will not battle you unless you prove to me you can, but you…" Here he points at Lisia who looks surprised by her being in the middle of the discussion "You I will battle. I want to battle your Altaria"

Lisia takes a step back at that "What?"

Hugh's eyes bore on her like a beacon "You participated in the Contest Extraordinaire some time ago" He spoke with clear determination to obtain what he wanted "Your Altaria Mega Evolved in the finals of that tournament. I want to battle it"

Lisia shakes her head in negative "I don't do battles just like that" She gathers her wits and her voice evens out "I only battle in Contests, and it's the part I usually don't like about my job"

"So you do it for the showing part only?" Hugh asks for confirmation, to what he gets a nod "Then I'll say that it's a waste of mega stone on your Pokemon"

Ash intercedes with a scowl on his face "Hey that was uncalled for. If she has a Mega Stone then she can do as she wants, you don't decide what it's useful for"

Hugh turns to Ash, to stare at him for a bit before smiling "What a hypocrite"

That makes Ash stop and Lisia to stare at both of them with a wary expression.

Ash blinks at what he heard and asks back "W-What!?"

Hugh keeps his smile as he walks up to him "You won't admit it, but you know the power behind a mega stone is better used for battle… because that's the way we connect with our Pokemon… am I wrong?"

Ash is left without words as Hugh starts making his way towards Route 02.

"For you Lisia, I'll say that we might get to settle this soon in Akala" Hugh stops and looks over his shoulder with a smirk "For you, Ash, I'll tell you what. Prove me wrong, battle me. You're doing the island challenge. Get to Nanu and beat him. After that, we'll talk about a battle"

With that said, he walks away leaving a pair of silent trainers.

"He's going after Lisia…" Ash reasons to himself.

It was logic, if he won this tournament, then he would have a spot in the ContEx proper. He would have a clear chance to battle Lisia despite her not wanting to. It was smart of him because this way Lisia wouldn't be able to reject the challenge.

A part of him really wanted to see that battle, but at the cost of Lisia's wishes?

Ash resolves to battle him before that.

The problem was that he didn't quite know if it was because he wanted to help Lisia or actually battle Hugh at last…

-BREAK-

-Ending: Ame wo Matsu - Minami, Ame wo Matsu (2020)-

Hello once again everyone!

Welcome back to a new chapter of Pokemon Story: A Normal Journey!

As you can see, I'm finally posting after a few weeks, mainly due to catching up to my written material. Now I'm back for now!

So Ash starts his contest campaign in Alola! In the amateur section he gets to perform and certainly, he learned a lot from Serena in Kalos, that's for sure. She may not be in Alola, but she left her mark for sure!

Also some characters make their presence known! Among them Samson Oak and Mina! Yeah, Mina the Trial Captain!

Oh and Hugh is there as well! That is not a minor thing, is it? Rival battle in contest setting? Who signs up for it?

May and Ash reunite and have a long talk about their last few years apart! Here we see that May has a few insecurities about her career… what will happen?

Let's cut to the reviews then!

-o-

blizzardblaze17: Hmm that was definitely an interesting chapter. So not only is May back, but Dawn and Serena have met up. Who knows, Serena may be the push for Dawn to get out of her comfort zone and start over with contests again. If she's not that into modelling(honestly it's just Buneary who's into it from what I can see) she should definitely take up contests since it's what makes her happy.

Me: It was definitely atypical haha. And definitely off-topic, but a chapter to see how everyone's doing. And I also hope Dawn keeps up with this new journey.

(A little something for his reviews, they were too many and it would make the chapter long. Check the rev section of the fic and check them out, it's really interesting what he says. This reply will be spoilery)

InfamousPlayer:

Me: I understand your point, but Ash in this fic is 17 going 18, and that's the point where I set that he starts realizing things. Yeah, I'm going authoritative here because it's my fic. What I'm saying these are the rules. Back on track, Lysandre was one of them, the most recent person that marked Ash negatively. This is not something I branched in the story yet, but I'll do it here to reply properly to your reviews. Ash was marked by this and he tries to take his mind of the negative things he encounters around the world by travelling, making friends, etc. Being alone makes one person think on things about your life. Imagine what travelling alone will make to Ash. Him growing up means that he is faced with realities that as a kid he didn't want to admit. It is at this point that Ash will show the most maturity and reach the climax of one of the plots going on at the moment. Yes, others were important for Ash, but Team Skull is his current problem. Team Skull and Team Rocket of course. About the recommendation, I'll be sure to check it out :)

Gularadato: waiting for a few weeks will not be a problem for me if you need to catch up with writing the story. It is interesting so i look forward to it.

Me: Thank you! Hope this lives up to the expectative!

Kagayaki-sama: So this interlude mainly focuses on Dawn instead of Ash and the others? Looks like Dawn is in some crisis on what she would do then, until SERENA appeared! Maybe this was her answer after all. Who knows? Maybe Dawn and Serena will travel to Alola after the Hoenn Grand Festival. So, that was short, but the snippets of the upcoming ContEx Arc is getting me pumped! Can't wait for that! See you in the next chap, bud!

Me: Yep, kinda saving that for this moment, Serena is kind of like those cameos in franchises. The chapter was short, but to the point I think. It also did a little more of world-building. Next arc hopefully lives up to expectations!

Buterflypuss: good chap

Me: Thanks!

Reader: Sort of an interlude chapter. I was a pearlshipper before amourshipping and aureliashipping showed up so this chapter felt like the meeting of best girls and potential rivals (though not for contests).

Me: Ash is a chad, what can you say? Haha love Pearlshipping more than amour, to be honest, so I'd have liked to write about that, but…

Ashpool: 'Dawn declares war on Serena'. Pearl and Amourshippers: There can only be one. Short but sweet chapter on the characters not in Alola. Kind of like Pokemon Chronicles.

Me: You know what, it does feel like those specials episodes. Anyway, war is underway, though I wonder where it'll lead to…

MetalBatt: "...I'm seriously considering turning it into a crossover fic with a certain whiskered character we all know and love/hate." YES! MY DREAM OF A POKÉMON X TOM AND JERRY FIC IS BECOMING A REALITY!

Me: *Cue sweat drop ah. Tom Vs Pikachu… Toon vs Anime… what a mix haha. Well whiskered character can be anyone, but for the benefit of… whoever needs it, it's Naruto ah.

Guest: Short but sweet chapter. Out of curiosity which Pokemon anime character of the day do you consider most memorable? Basically a character that never appeared beyond the one episode. For me it's AJ from Season 1, basically Paul before Paul without the abandonment issues. Could've been an awesome long term rival imo. So far Gary is the only person Ash has considered a rival for more then one region since Ritchie only appeared in Johto but wasn't involved in the Silver Conference. Journeys might change this since reused Korrina to be a Coronation opponent and might reuse others too.

Me: Yep, short but to the point I think. Character of the day? The guy from the Pokemon Examination episode, the one where this guy asks Ash, Jessie and James what Pokemon is it, and it is revealed to be a Jigglypuff seen from above. That shit makes me laugh even now, like 24 years years later. That is one memorable way to troll a few generations!

Nightbell1804: Cuando habra actualización?

Yo: Ahora mismo ah, gusto de ver un hispano hablante! :D

-o-

Pokemon and Z-Crystal CHARACTER GUIDE

Ash: TRAINER

-Pikachu: Thunderbolt, Quick Attack, Electro Ball, Iron Tail

-Breakneck Blitz

-Dartrix: Peck, Leaf Blade, Leafage, Ominous Wind

-Breakneck Blitz

-Supersonic Skystrike

-Comfey: Flower Shield, Dazzling Gleam, Magical Leaf, Floral Healing

-Wimpod: Struggle Bug, Sand Attack, Defence Curl, Aqua Jet

Z-Crystal: Normalium Z, Fightinium Z, Flynium Z, Waterium Z, Grassium Z

Travelling with:

-Eevee: Miracle Eye, Psychic, Shadow Ball, Iron Tail, (Protect)

-o-

Hau: TRAINER

-Torracat: Scratch, Ember, Fire Fang, Double Kick

-All Out Pummelling

-Pikachu: ?

-Eevee: Sand Attack

-Noibat: ?

-Komala: ?

-Crabrawler: ?

Z-Crystals: Normalium Z, Fightinium Z, Waterium Z, Firium Z, Grassium Z, Rockium Z, Incinium Z

-o-

Keith: ELITE MASTER

-Suicune: Aurora Beam, Tailwind, Extrasensory, Hydro Pump

-Greninja: Water Pulse, Ice Beam, Mat Block, Water Shuriken

-Quagsire: Mud Shot, Sludge Bomb, Amnesia

-Empoleon: Brine, Aqua Jet, Flash Cannon, Hydro Cannon

-Lapras: Hydro Pump

Z-Crystal: Waterium Z

-o-

Lisia: IDOL

-Altaria (M): Dragon Pulse, Sky Attack

-Pikachu Idol: Draining Kiss, Electro Ball

-o-

Hugh: MEGA TRAINER

-Medicham (M): Protect, Psychic

-Houndoom (M): Fire Blast, Dark Pulse

-o-

Sun: TRAINER

-Primarina: Disarming Voice, Aqua Jet, Sparkling Aria, Icy Wind

-Oceanic Operetta

-Charjabug: Sticky Web, X-Scissor, Dig

-Marowak: Shadow Bone

Z-Crystal: Normalium Z, Fightinium Z, Waterium Z, Firium Z, Grassium Z, Rockium Z, Primarium Z

-o-

Plumeria: TEAM SKULL ADMIN

-Salazzle: Toxic, Flame Burst, Nasty Plot, Venoshock

-Golbat: Air Slash, Poison Fang, Agility

-Haunter: ?

-Grimer: Gunk Shot, Minimize, Crunch.

-o-

Soliera: Ultra Recon Squad

-ASSEMBLY/Stakataka: Rock Blast, Automatize, Iron Defence, Meteor Beam

-STINGER/Naganadel: X-Scissor, Dragon Rush, Dragon Pulse

-Grovyle: ?

-Alolan Meowth: ?

-o-

Phyco: Ultra Recon Squad Leader

-BURST/Blacephalon: Mind Blown

-o-

Gladion: Trainer

-'NULL': Crush Claw

-Zoroark: Pursuit, Night Slash, Agility, Aerial Ace

-o-

Kukui: POKEMON PROFESSOR

-Lycanroc (Dusk): ?

-Alolan Ninetails: ?

-Snorlax: ?

-Magnezone: ?

-Braviary: ?

-Crabominable: ?

-o-

Mallow: TRIAL CAPTAIN

-Tsareena: Trop Kick, High Jump Kick, Triple Axel

-Bloom Doom

-Lurantis (Totem): Grassy Terrain, Leaf Storm, Solar Blade, Grassy Glide

Z-Crystal: Grassium Z

-o-

Kiawe: TRIAL CAPTAIN

-Marowak (Totem): Shadow Bone, Bone Rush, Flame Wheel, Fury Cutter

-Turtonator: Dragon Tail, Shell Trap, Overheat, Scorching Sands

-Inferno Overdrive

-Darmanitan: Fire Punch, Incinerate, Thrash

Z-Crystal: Firium Z

-o-

If you want more Pokemon content, I invite you to my profile where I have two more Pokemon stories, 'Switch Up' and 'Mew and the Faraway Lands', both completed and ready to read! Also I have some traitorous Digimon content there, so knock yourself out!

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