AN:

Welcome, dear viewer, to my interpretation of The Masters' Tournament, where I will be following the canon matchups and putting my own crrreative spin on them.

Big thanks to Raptor2216 for giving me the inspiration and permission to make my own version of this tournament. Go check out his version of The Masters' Tournament after this.

This story is rated T for violence. Some chapters will have blood in them, but I'll put a warning beforehand.

Enjoy the chapter!

Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon (obviously).

30/12/2022: Very minor edits here and there.

04/05/2023: Appended team moveset info after ANs.


Alain stood in the hall that led to the stadium's battlefield. Soon, he would be facing the reigning monarch, the currently undefeated trainer in the world.

He took a steadying breath. The pressure was nothing if not crushing.

"Hey! Alain!"

Alain looked behind him to see a teenager he recognized running over to him. "Oh. Ash."

Ash screeched to a halt in front of him. He panted a bit before speaking. "We didn't really get to talk at the ceremony, so I just wanted to wish you good luck on your match. I'm sure you'll do great!"

Pikachu also gave him a few words of encouragement.

Even if he couldn't quite understand it, Alain got the gist of it. He managed a faint smile. "It's appreciated."

"Say, after this tournament is said and done, how about a rematch one of these days?"

Hmph. Your carefree attitude is envious, Ash. "Perhaps."

Ash grinned. "Alright! See you later!"

After he was gone, Alain chucked a pokéball. Out of it came Charizard.

"Well, this is it. Are you ready for this?"

Charizard cracked his knuckles and held a confident look. Then, he gave Alain a look that reciprocated the question.

Alain rubbed his partner's neck, whose throat rumbled in satisfaction. "As ready as I'll ever be." He returned him. "Thank you."

Alain faced the exit into the stadium, taking in another breath. It was time to go.


The crowd's excitement skyrocketed as Leon and Alain entered the stadium and took their spots on the battlefield. Leon threw his cloak into the air and posed for the crowd, who exploded into a cacophonous uproar.

Goh glanced around him. "Woah, everyone looks really excited for this!" The crowd's energy practically swallowed his voice.

"Of course!" Hop triumphantly bumped his chest with a fist. "My brother always has that effect when he's on stage!"


Inside the masters' booth, Iris admired the picture she had taken with Cynthia and Diantha. She couldn't believe it! She was standing amongst the champions of every region! It was a dream come true!

Speaking of champions…

Her eyes located Ash staring at the monitor. "Hey, Ash."

He turned around. "Huh?"

She put her hands on her hips. "When were you planning on telling me you were a champion too?"

Ash laughed sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head. "Surprise?"

She huffed, rolling her eyes. "Whatever. I saw you walk out after that Alain guy earlier; friend of yours?"

"Yeah."

"Cool. Let's both cheer him on then!"

"Yeah!"


The referee positioned himself in the middle of the field. "You may each use three pokémon in this battle and are allowed the use of one gimmick between Mega Evolution, Z-Move, or Dynamax." His voice boomed across the field due to the speakers' amplification. "Furthermore, since this is the quarter finals, you may make the use of one held item, not including mega-stones."

He raised his arms in the air. "Now then, both trainers, send your first pokémon onto the field! Three! Two! One! Go!"

Leon and Alain threw their pokéballs.

"Come out, Rillaboom!"

"Come out, Chesnaught!"

The pokéballs bounced off each other, and out of them came their respective pokémon. Chesnaught slammed his fists together and roared. Rillaboom, fishing behind his back, produced his drum set equipment. He set it down and started beating on the drums, warming himself up.

"Let the battle begin!"

Alain took the initiative. "Hammer Arm!"

With a spring in his step, Chesnaught leapt, his fist clad in white energy. He slammed it down in an overhead strike. Rillaboom raised his arms to block the hit, gritting his teeth as his arms stung from the impact and his feet dug into the ground. Growling, he pushed Chesnaught off him.

Leon smiled. "That was a fierce attack; you've raised your chesnaught well."

"Your compliments flatter me, but please show me what your rillaboom can do."

"As you wish."

Leon returned Rillaboom. He twisted his wrist, where his Dynamax band flashed; tendrils of energy seeped into the pokéball, which got bigger and bigger until it reached the size of a beach ball. Leon chucked the enlarged ball. "It's time to Gigantamax!"

Rillaboom's pokéball glowed and released flashes of light like a disco ball; the sky darkened to a reddish purple, and storm clouds of the same colour materialized. Rillaboom's silhouette grew rapidly in bursts of sudden expansion.

Once his form stabilized, it revealed the humongous form of Gigantamax Rillaboom, who let out a cry before beating on his drums in a frantic beat. Sonic waves coursed through the battlefield, shoving Chesnaught back a few metres.

Alain clenched his fists. "Chesnaught, brace yourself! We're going to endure it!"

Chesnaught produced a shield with his arms to hide behind. He held fast against the barrage of sound.

Leon crossed his arms. "A champion has many duties, one of which is to get the crowd fired up! G-Max Drum Solo!" He motioned as he gave the command.

Rillaboom started playing an intense beat on his drums. Giant vines sprouted out of the ground and slithered toward Chesnaught with immense speed.

"Spiky Shield!"

Chesnaught's shield flared up with green energy just before the vines bashed against it, flinging him upwards. He made a three-point landing, still looking strong despite sporting a few bruises.

Leon shook his head. "Spiky Shield won't be enough to completely negate the damage."

"Perhaps." Alain smirked. "Even so, Chesnaught will still withstand them!"

Leon briefly closed his eyes. "Let's see if you've got the bite to go with the bark, then. Max Airstream!"

Rillaboom twirled his sticks before he engaged in another beat. A massive swirl of air coalesced in front of his drum set and shot straight ahead, forming a whirlwind.

"Gyro Ball!"

Chesnaught jumped and spun, riding along the airstream and picking up its momentum. Once he got close, he flew upwards and whammed into Rillaboom's jaw.

"All right!" Alain cheered.

"Impressive."

Alain swung his arm forwards. "Keep up the pressure; Pin Missile!"

Chesnaught braced himself and fired a barrage of needles from his spikes, each glowing with explosive power.

Leon paused for a split second, his brow furrowing in thought. He punched the air. "Max Quake!"

Rillaboom engaged in a frenzied drum solo; pillars of earth rose out of the ground and blocked the missiles. Afterwards, Rillaboom shrank down to his normal size.

"Gyro Ball!"

"Acrobatics!"

Chesnaught went into a topspin and launched himself at Rillaboom, whose body glowed with a faint aura as it moved swiftly out of the way, leaping and rolling around the attempts Chesnaught made to hit him.

As he moved, Rillaboom dodged Chesnaught's attacks with increasing ease. He soon found an opening — He jumped and intercepted the spinning pokémon, slamming his fists into him, then kicking him into the ground.

Alain had to shield his eyes from the resulting dust cloud. "Chesnaught!"

The dust cloud parted to reveal the knocked-out form of his pokémon.

"Chesnaught is unable to battle!"

The crowd cheered for Leon's first knockout.

Alain returned Chesnaught. "You did well. Take a rest."

Even though he lost the first fight, Alain felt confident. If he didn't let Leon take advantage of Rillaboom's stat boosts, the momentum would shift back in his favour.

He threw his next pokéball. "Come out, Charizard!"

Charizard gave a mighty roar as he entered the stage. He glared at his opponent with the utmost confidence. Leafy gorilla? No problem at all.

Leon observed him, smiling. You've got a good glare. I'll make you show me how strong you are. "Drum Beating!"

Rillaboom started beating his drums; vines shot out of the ground, launching themselves at Charizard.

"Flare Blitz!"

Charizard thumped his tail on the ground; blue flames erupted around him. He flew straight into the vines, incinerating them. More vines sprung out and lashed out at him, but the flame pokémon did not let that deter him; he blazed through all of them and slammed into Rillaboom.

An explosion rang out, sending smoke everywhere.

Charizard surged out of the smoke and touched down on his initial position, shrugging off the recoil damage. Like he had said — No problem at all.

Once the smoke cleared, the referee flew down to examine Rillaboom. "Rillaboom is unable to battle!"

The crowd cheered.

"Good work, Charizard," Alain said.

His pokémon bellowed a triumphant cry at the praise.

Leon returned Rillaboom. "That was a marvelous performance. You may rest, now." He switched pokéballs. Alain had shown him his ace, so now he would show him his! "My second pokémon, let's go!"

Out of the ball came Leon's charizard. He sized up his opponent and grinned. Fighting a fellow charizard was always interesting.

"Dragon Claw!"

"Air Slash!"

Alainzard took to the skies and dove in, claws encompassed in a bright green veil of energy. Leonzard's wings glowed white as he beat them, firing crescents of wind. Alainzard manoeuvred around them, slashing with his claws when he couldn't dodge. The closer he got, the harder it became to avoid damage, resulting in him getting nicked quite a few times.

Alainzard ultimately had to retreat from his assault.

Alain gritted his teeth. "Flamethrower!"

"Counter it with Dragon Pulse!"

Both charizards blasted their respective attacks; they exploded upon impact with each other.

A stalemate, Alain remarked. He could gain the upper hand by mega-evolving, but was it the right time…?

He shook his head. No, not yet. "Charizard, return!" He should try to weaken Leon's charizard first. "Come out, Malamar! Your powers will change the tide of this battle!"

The overturning pokémon softly landed on the field and straightened herself. She scrutinized her opponent and cackled. So this was her victim? It would be her pleasure to bring him down.

Just then, Malamar hitched, her forehead gaining a purple tinge. She recovered her stance swiftly enough.

Leon frowned. This was a new pokémon in his book. And that poison… "Charizard, play it safe; use Air Slash!"

"Knock them away! Superpower!"

Leonzard fired a barrage of wind blades. Malamar's tentacles lit up with orange energy, and she bashed away the wind blades, defending herself as best as she could, but still receiving some cuts throughout.

Once the onslaught ended, Malamar's tentacles lost their lustre, leaving a feeling of exertion to grow in its place.

Malamar scowled. That would not do. Through her ability, Contrary, she willed the aftereffects of Superpower to reverse. She felt her body lurch with an increase in strength and mass.

Then, she flinched as the poison seeped her stamina away.

"Good. Now use Psycho Cut! Attack from different angles!"

Malamar slithered swiftly, attacking as her trainer commanded her to. Leonzard pirouetted out of the way, managing to only get grazed by Malamar's attacks.

"Charizard, use Fire Blast!"

Leonzard gathered fire in his maw. He took aim at Malamar, locking eyes with her. His intent was clear: to turn this pokémon into fried calamari!

When Malamar sneered at him, his look turned to confusion. When Malamar's spots began to glow an enticing, eerie light, his look turned to transfixion.

Leonzard forgot everything—what he was doing, where he was, who he was.

Leon gasped when he saw his pokémon's Fire Blast fizzle out and his eyes dilate. "Charizard, what happened‽ Charizard! Charizard!"

Leonzard didn't respond.

"It's no use." Alain splayed his hand. "Now, Malamar, use Switcheroo!"

Malamar giggled maliciously. She loved it when ignorant pokémon fell for her trap. She commanded Leonzard to approach her and offer his item for trade if he had one. Leonzard lowered himself to the ground, produced a lumberry, and presented it to Malamar. She slithered forwards, swiped the berry, and exchanged it for the toxic-orb she was holding. She ate the berry greedily, sighing as the toxins faded from her body.

Meanwhile, Leonzard reeled back from a sudden wave of nausea that overtook him. What just happened? Why was he poisoned‽ The last thing he remembered was—

He noticed the purple orb in his grasp. He noticed how Malamar seemed healthy now, and how she was flashing a smug look at him.

Everything clicked into place.

He didn't realize how his grasp on the orb had tightened until it cracked and broke off into a hundred chunks. Roaring in fury, Leonzard shot a star-shaped blast of fire at Malamar. She slithered out of the way, and her tentacles glowed purple; she fired psychic crescents in retaliation. Leonzard prepared to escape through the air when a wave of weakness flowed through him. He wavered.

His opponent's attack struck dead-on in the centre of his chest. He tumbled backwards, hissing in pain.

"Charizard, you alright?" Leon asked, his voice laced with worry.

The flame pokémon picked himself up, wincing from how the poison drained his stamina once more. No, no, this was fine. Really! He glared at Malamar, snarling. He devised a plan to roast this squid's arse until it was medium-rare.

His tail swished about as he thought about it. He was ready. All that was left was for his trainer to give him his command.

"Charizard, return."

Tch. Leonzard gave one last deadly glare at Malamar. Then, he disappeared into his pokéball.

"I'm sorry my mistake has made you suffer, but please simmer down." Leon stashed his pokéball on his belt and turned his attention to Alain. "Well, Alain, you've got me beat there. I didn't know your malamar could do that!"

"Thank you. I made sure to conceal her until it was the right time. She's my trump card."

Leon nodded, then prepared his next pokéball. "Let's see how you handle this, then! Let's do it, Dragapult!"

The stealth pokémon bellowed a cry as it came out of its ball. He observed his opponent. Didn't look that fast. Dragapult started zooming around the stadium. Malamar seemed to have trouble keeping up with him. He smirked. This battle would be a cinch!

The trainers shouted their commands.

Tentacles glowing a purple hue, Malamar shot her psychic blades. She tried to predict where Dragapult was headed, but his movements were wild and unreadable; he weaved himself between her projectiles like a leaf in the wind. Dragapult retaliated by firing a pair of dreepies from his horns, which zeroed in on Malamar, exploding on contact.

She flew backwards a few paces but managed to right herself, albeit her stance was beginning to slouch.

"Now use Shadow Ball!"

"Superpower! Aim for the ground!"

Dragapult formed a dark purple ball of energy in his maw. He launched it at Malamar, who, with her orange glowing tentacles, struck the ground, sending chunks of rocks to intercept Dragapult's attack. The Shadow Ball detonated prematurely, coughing up some smoke.

Malamar's body lurched once more, gaining another increase in strength and toughness. She relished in the feeling.

"Trick Room!"

"Stop her! Dragon Rush!"

Malamar tensed her body; she began to glow a white gleam. Dragapult bellowed a sharp cry as a veil of blue energy enveloped his form. He swooped down and crashed into Malamar.

An explosion rang out; smoke went flying everywhere.

Dragapult exited the smoke skyward. He observed his handiwork, congratulating himself when a shiny cube made of shimmering glass panes expanded from the smoke until it had enveloped the battlefield. He tried moving around and cringed. What happened to his speed? Why did moving through air suddenly feel like moving through thick honey‽ This was nonsense! Madness!

"Calm down, Dragapult, and stay put. Trick Room has made you slower than you normally are."

Dragapult followed his trainer's command. So it was this 'Trick Room' that did this. He shuddered, hoping it would go away soon.

Concurrently, as the smoke parted, Malamar breathed heavily. She was still standing despite all the scrapes and bruises she had accumulated. She gave a small smirk.

"Alright! Malamar, use Psycho Cut!"

Thanks to Trick Room, Malamar fired off her psychic blades at a quicker rate. Dragapult, helpless to dodge, took the hits, wincing from the stinging pain that each blade caused upon impact.

He wasn't used to this. Normally, Dragapult would be dodging anything that came his way. And yet, here he was, helpless. Desperate. His instincts screamed at him to find a way to make the pain stop.

Reeling from the last blow, he cried out, his voice cracking and unconsciously sending an imperceptible pulse of energy toward Malamar.

She shuddered as an intense chill coursed through her. It was as if hundreds of invisible needles prickled her skin. The feeling alone made her halt her attack.

A few seconds later, the chill subsided. Malamar glowered at Dragapult and prepared another onslaught of Psycho Cut. A mere annoyance like that wouldn't stop her.

She swung her tentacles, firing nothing.

Confused, she tried again and again, producing the same result.

A realization struck Alain. "Malamar, you can't use Psycho Cut for now; Cursed Body has disabled it!"

She looked at her arms. Indeed, they weren't glowing purple anymore, and she couldn't imbue them with that familiar, psionic glow, no matter how hard she tried.

Leon grinned. "That's right! I've got tricks up my sleeves as well! Dragapult, let's finish this; Shadow Ball!"

Alain clenched his fists. "We're not done yet! Superpower! Aim for the floor again!"

The two pokémon launched their respective attacks. Once again, Shadow Ball detonated early, but this time, Dragapult dived into the smoke.

After gaining another increase in her capabilities, Malamar braced herself, tentacles glowing orange in anticipation.

The smoke parted to reveal nothing.

Malamar's eyes widened. She swept her gaze around the battlefield. She checked behind her, above her, everywhere.

Dragapult was nowhere to be found.

Alain wracked his brain. If it wasn't anywhere to be seen, it was either invisible or… "Move, Malamar! It's below you!"

"Too slow!" Leon punched the air. "Do it now, Dragapult!"

As soon as he finished speaking, Dragapult phased out of the ground, Shadow Ball already launching out of his maw.

Caught off guard, Malamar could only gasp, eyes wide.

The attack struck her in the chest, exploding and sending her flying. Moments later, she hit the ground with her back.

The referee inspected Malamar's unmoving form. "Malamar is unable to battle!"

Alain drowned out the crowd's cheering and recalled Malamar. "Don't worry, your efforts won't go to waste."

Alain took a deep breath. One pokémon left; all-or-nothing.

He threw his final pokéball. "Let's finish this, Charizard!"

The flame pokémon stomped the ground, roaring. He scrutinized his foe, who looked completely silly with that flat head of his. Like seriously, he looked like a delta plane!

Alainzard shook his head. Focus.

Leon splayed his hand. "Dragapult, Thunderbolt!"

Static sparks danced across Dragapult's scales before electricity overtook his body. He fired a bolt of lightning at Alainzard, who countered by launching a stream of flames out of his maw. The two attacks clashed, sending sparks and embers everywhere before cancelling each other out.

"Dragon Claw!"

"Dragon Darts!"

Alainzard rushed forwards, claws covered in green energy. Dragapult fired two dreepies out his horns, prompting him to evade the move by swerving upwards. He swooped down and raked his claws on Dragapult's flank, who cried out in pain. Another swipe knocked the stealth pokémon away from him.

"Charizard, behind you!"

Alainzard turned around and flummoxed. the Dragon Darts were barrelling toward him.

His reaction was too slow.

The explosive impact sent him crashing into the ground. Alainzard righted himself, groaning, but not quickly enough to be able to dodge an incoming Thunderbolt. He roared in agony as the volts overloaded his nervous system, making his muscles spasm sporadically.

"Charizard!" Alain cried out in worry about his pokémon.

Hearing this, Alainzard shook the numbness out of his limbs and tested their responsiveness.

... No paralysis. Good.

"Are you alright?"

He growled in confirmation. It would take more than that to put him out of commission. He was ready to deliver a solid payback to this delta plane pokémon!

The shimmering panes of Trick Room faded away. Dragapult cheered, zooming around with his maximum speed. However, he winced a few seconds later as all the damage he had endured caught up to him.

"Looks like Trick Room is done," Leon said. "How will you counter my dragapult's abilities now?"

Alain furrowed his brow. From the looks of it, one or two good hits would finish off Dragapult. But now that he had regained his speed, a frontal attack would be too risky, especially if he covered himself with Dragon Darts.

He needed a window of opportunity, but how…?

If I can take him by surprise…but I have to play around…can't risk a frontal attack… That's it! "Charizard, get ready!"

Alainzard gave a cry of acknowledgement.

Leon nodded."Let's see what you've got! Dragapult! One more Dragon Darts!"

The stealth pokémon shot two more dreepies from its horns.

Alain pointed above him. "Charizard, to the sky!"

Alainzard spread his wings. In one powerful beat, he soared into the air; the dreepies followed in quick pursuit. He pirouetted and maneuvered around the sky, unable to shake them off. Higher and higher he went. Soon, he reached the roof level of the stadium.

"Now dive down, Charizard! Flare Blitz!"

Putting all his trust into his trainer, Alainzard folded his wings and started a freefall. Fire trickled around him until his entire body lit up with a blazing coat of blue flames.

Seeing this, Leon ordered Dragapult to use Thunderbolt. it struck Alainzard. His fire coating absorbed some damage, but it was still enough to make him wince. Growling, he powered through, continuously closing the distance.

Not yet, Alain thought. Not yet… Now! "Rise, Charizard!"

With mere centimetres before impact, Alainzard unfurled his wings, swerving out of the way of Dragapult and its Thunderbolt. The dreepies did not have enough time to change course; they collided with their bedazzled dragapult owner.

The Dragon Darts caused an explosion, coughing up a sizable amount of smoke.

Leon gasped. "Dragapult!"

"Finish him, Charizard!" Alain made a gripping motion with his hand. "Dragon Claw!"

Ignoring the recoil damage from Flare Blitz, Alainzard swerved back around, his claws clad in that familiar draconic energy. He slashed through Dragapult, who was still reeling from the previous attack. The stealth pokémon fell from the sky and crashed into the ground, unconscious.

The referee flew down to confirm it. "Dragapult is unable to battle!"

Cheers broke out from the crowd.

"That was great, Charizard!"

He roared in approval. Although, he soon started panting as the adrenaline began to fade. His muscles felt sore and numb from the voltage he endured, and they ached from recoil damage and the hits he took in this bout.

One more battle. It would not be a 'walk in the park,' as humans sometimes said.

Leon returned Dragapult. "You did great. Take a good rest." He smiled at Alain. "Your battle tactics are impressive!"

"Thank you, but my charizard deserves an equal amount of the praise."

"Hm. Your bond with your pokémon is strong." Leon flashed his last pokéball. "But can you overcome mine? Charizard, it's champion time!"

Leon's charizard came out and unleashed a roar at Alain's charizard, who replied with a roar of his own.

Leonzard sagged, huffing, as the toxins coursed through his system. Damn poison. He observed his fellow flame pokémon, who bore numerous scratches and bruises. He felt some consolation from knowing he wasn't the only one in pain.

"You know, Charizard and I have one ambition," Alain said. "To fight against your charizard.

"And to surpass it!"

He showed off his key-stone and pressed two fingers against it. "Respond to my heart, key-stone!" It glowed, and threads of energy began to flow out of it. "Beyond evolution, mega evolve!"

Alainzard's mega-stone reacted in the same way—energy tendrils spewed out and connected with the key-stone's. Multicoloured light encompassed Alainzard's form, and he roared as he began transforming, his wing membranes becoming triangular, spikes jutting out of his shoulders, and his horns growing longer.

Once the light faded, Mega Alainzard X opened his eyes and roared about. His weariness from earlier vanished, replaced with a renewed vigour.

Leonzard gaped at his opponent's sudden power-up. How was he meant to defeat this? The odds were stacked against him. The poison would certainly do him in before he could finish the fight. What was he supposed to do...?

.

.

.

A grin etched itself onto his muzzle. Despite everything, the challenge excited him.

He roared in defiance, vowing to win!

Leon felt his partner's emotions through his roar. Do not worry. We will win this! He motioned with his arm. "Charizard, use Ancient Power!"

Leonzard held his wings wide apart. He conjured rocks and flung them at his opponent.

"Crush them all! Dragon Claw!"

With his newfound power, Alainzard plowed through the onslaught of rocks with relative ease. He broke through and swung his claws against Leonzard's flank, sending him reeling.

Leonzard wavered as a wave of nausea coursed through him. Tch. He forced himself upright and fired a pulse of draconic energy. Alainzard countered with gouts of flames; the attacks cancelled each other out, sending smoke flying in all directions.

Leonzard snorted in surprise when Alainzard broke through the smoke, claws gleaming with Dragon Claw. He tried to dodge, but his movements were sluggish; he received a slash on his shoulder and another on his chest.

His body stung—everything stung. But he could not fall; not yet. Leonzard countered with another Dragon Pulse, which connected with his target before he could pull back. Alainzard's back skidded on the ground, his face morphed into a cringe.

Leonzard wavered once more as his status condition seeped away more of his stamina. His vision had begun to blur. He growled, trying his best to keep his focus from slipping.

"Stay strong, Charizard! One more Ancient Power!"

Alain's stance betrayed some wariness. "Counter with Rock Slide!"

Both charizards conjured up their respective rocks, with Alainzard soaring into the sky to do it while Leonzard remained grounded. The flame pokémons flung their projectiles; they cracked and crashed against each other, sending rubble everywhere. Some stones struck each charizard, earning winces from them.

Leonzard took it the worst; he stumbled backwards, unable to find his balance as the world around him began to spin. His mind was muddled, his muscles felt like jelly, and everything. Felt. Awful. He needed a miracle right about now.

Just then, a second wind reached him. His muscles tensed with newfound girth, and his senses sharpened to a new edge.

This sensation… It was unreal… It was amazing! He felt incredible!

YES. YES. YES! YES! HE COULD WIN! HE FELT GREAT! HE! COULD! DO! THIS! RAAAAHH—

Leonzard stumbled to one knee. Ugh, stupid poison was still there. Out of all the rotten—

He devolved into incomprehensible, garbled growling.

"Charizard, listen to me."

Leonzard turned to face his trainer.

"Are you going to let this poison defeat you?"

A growl rumbled in Leonzard's throat. Of course not. He would like nothing more than to get rid of this stupid poison.

"Then fight it! You are my most reliable partner. We've been together since the beginning, and I know that this isn't the extent of your power!" Leon pointed at the mega-evolved charizard. "Now get up and show us your champion might!"

Hmph. His trainer always had a way with words.

Pushing himself through his nausea, Leonzard stood up. He closed his eyes, searching deep within himself for a certain pool of strength, perpetually locked and only accessible when on the edge of defeat.

Now that the conditions were met, he could draw from this pool at will.

Leonzard roared. His entire body burst into flames, completely evaporating the toxins inside him. The flames coalesced into his tailflame, which tripled in size and became a dazzling white.

He grinned, relishing in his power.

Leon snapped his fingers. "Let's have a champion finale! Fire Blast!"

Leonzard took a deep breath, then shot a Fire Blast as big he was tall.

Ah, it felt great.

A sweat bead went down Alain's forehead. "Charizard, Flamethrower!"

Alainzard unleashed a swirl of blue flames at the incoming attack. However, it did nothing to stop it from engulfing him.

There was a massive explosion, which sent embers and smoke rushing in every direction.

"Charizard!" Alain shielded his face as hot air pummeled him. He had not anticipated such a drastic increase in strength from Leon's charizard. Was he doomed already?

The smoke cleared to reveal a singed and panting Alainzard, holding a determined glare.

Alain gritted his teeth. He couldn't afford to get hit again. "Charizard, covert Rock Slide!"

"Dragon Pulse!"

Alainzard growled in acknowledgement, then directed his arms and wings in Leonzard's direction, firing off his conjured rocks. Leonzard's maw lit up with draconic energy. He fired his Dragon Pulse, destroying each rock that threatened to strike him. Dust and debris scattered around him. The resulting veil of smoke reduced his field of view.

Normally, being blinded like this would make Leonzard feel disoriented, but in his invigorated state? He felt more aware than ever. He focused his hearing and prepared himself to move at a moment's notice.

.

.

.

Whoosh…!

Leonzard whipped his head around to see Alainzard swooping down, claws glowing green and ready to strike. With his heightened speed, Leonzard twisted out of the way, letting Alainzard pass by him. He blasted him with a pulse of draconic energy. However, Alainzard was faster than he anticipated; he managed to cleave the attack in half with his claws. It exploded at his sides and dispelled the smoke.

Now that they were visible again, the trainers hastily gave their commands.

Leonzard's wings glowed white; he fired a barrage of crescent-shaped wind blades. Alainzard dodged acrobatically, escaping into the sky as Leonzard pursued him. Alainzard turned around to fire a stream of blue flames, forcing him to back up.

They ended up on their respective sides of the field, both panting and waiting for the command of their respective trainers.

Leon and Alain both came to the same conclusion: this next attack would be the last.

Leon splayed his hand. "Charizard, give them your champion Fire Blast!"

Alain punched the air. "Charizard, finish this with Rock Slide!"

Once more, Leonzard dug deep into his pool of inner fire which was pulsing with limitless strength. He greedily pulled from it and charged up the biggest Fire Blast he could muster.

When he released the attack, it was twice his size.

Alainzard knew there would be no escaping this. He focused on summoning a cascade of rocks above Leonzard. They tumbled down and struck him at the same time the Fire Blast engulfed Alainzard. An intense heat seared Alainzard's scales while boulders cracked against Leonzard's back and wings.

The fire attack exploded, sending Alainzard thudding into the ground, smoke rising from his body. Leonzard impacted the ground at the same time, buried in a mound of rocks. Only his tail protruded out from it.

A tense silence followed; the crowd's excitement had devolved into deafening whispers.

Alain held his breath. There was nothing more he could do except put his trust in his partner.

Leon crossed his arms and waited, his confidence brimming.

The referee flew down, inspecting both pokémon for signs of consciousness. He perceived movement from the rocks. They rocked back and forth until Leonzard fully extracted himself from his prison. His body sported many bruises and scratches, and his tailflame had returned to its normal size.

As soon as he was up on his feet, he almost stumbled, panting. What a battle! Leonzard had rarely been pushed this hard. He flexed his sore muscles and bellowed a victorious half-roar; it was the best he could muster right now. Still, it was a great feeling to have claimed victory once more—oh?

Intrigued, Leonzard watched Alainzard, who, scratched, bruised, and scorched, was straining to stand up. He staggered up to his knees, then to his full height, breathing heavily. The mega-evolved charizard made eye contact with Leonzard, shooting him a glare, one that spoke respect.

Leonzard responded with one of his own.

Alainzard sagged. Then, he righted himself and gave one final roar of defiance, which deflated halfway through; he succumbed to his exhaustion, returning to his base form.

"CHARIZARD!"

The referee raised his arm in the air. "Charizard is unable to battle! As such, the winner is Leon!"

The crowd went mad with cheers.

Leonzard swelled in pride at his victory; it was tough, but then again: victory would be meaningless if it came too easily.

He felt a hand on his back. "Great job, partner."

Leonzard gave his trainer an affectionate nuzzle, who chuckled in response. The glory of his victory wasn't by his strength alone.

He slumped, his trainer catching him. He uttered a fatigued growl.

"I hear ya." Leon bumped Leonzard's forehead with his pokéball; red light engulfed him, and he returned to his domain.

Leon smiled fondly at the pokéball. "You've earned this rest."

Meanwhile, Alain approached his charizard, who was sprawled on his belly. He knelt to rub his partner's back. "You did great, Charizard."

Alainzard gave a tired growl in response.

Alain returned him to his pokéball, telling him to take a well-deserved rest. Then, he approached Leon. "Thank you for the battle; it was an enlightening experience."

He extended his hand, which Leon shook. "The pleasure's all mine. I will keep this battle's memories close to my heart, and I will improve thanks to it."

The two trainers bid each other farewell and left the stadium.


"Well," Lance said. "I guess we'd better prepare ourselves, then, Diantha?"

She smiled. "Of course. I look forward to our performance on the battlefield."

The two champions exited the masters' boot.

Ash ignored them, however, as he was too busy gawking over the battle that just happened. "Did you see that Pikachu‽ When Leon's charizard's tail went all like"—he gestured with his hands—"fwoosh!? Kinda reminds me of Infernape, don't you think?"

Pikachu nodded, giving a few cries of agreement.

Ash's eyes gleamed. "And that dragapult—it was so awesome! I can't wait to battle Leon!"

"You seem quite confident about yourself."

Ash turned around to see Steven approaching him. "But how can you plan to scale a mountain without first having learned how to climb over a hill?"

"What are you implying, exactly?"

"That my upcoming battle with you is more important than your daydreams."

Ash shook his head. "That may be true, but my 'daydreams' fuel me with the strength to overcome any hurdle that comes my way! Isn't that right, Pikachu?"

Pikachu cheered in confirmation.

Steven briefly contemplated what Ash had said. "Very well, then. I look forwards to testing that mentality of yours."

He walked away.

Ash crossed his arms, frowning in thought. Steven was right, in a way. The road to reaching Leon would be riddled with challenges, which would only get tougher as he progressed.

He shook his head. As if that would stop him. Leon, I will be the one to face you in the finals. And this time… I'm gonna win!

"You seem pretty fired up," Iris said.

"Of course!" Ash straightened up, forcefully exhaling out of his nose. "Why wouldn't I be? All the strongest trainers in the world are gathered here — Including us! Doesn't that excite you‽"

She averted her gaze. "I mean, yeah…"

To be frank, ever since the opening ceremony, butterflies danced in her stomach, and their frenzied dance only intensified with each passing minute.

Iris would be facing Cynthia soon.

She had grown a lot over her journey, and this would be like her graduation test — The chance to prove that she belongs here!

… But why did it have to be so soon?

She took a deep breath and gave Cynthia a steely stare. Cynthia… I'll show just how far I've come!

Cynthia noted the determination in Iris' eyes. She smiled, wordlessly acknowledging the challenge.


AN:

And there you have it, folks. The first chapter.

How was it? Be sure to let me know all your thoughts in a review. Your feedback will be very appreciated. And while you're at it, consider following and favouriting my story if you're enjoying it.

I'll try to shoot for biweekly updates. If not, one week afterwards. If not, then I'm sorry; life will have gotten in the way.

This is my first story, so I'll do my best to provide an entertaining experience.

But that's all from me. I'll be seeing you guys...


"And here you go!" Nurse Joy slid a tablet that held three pokéballs in front of Alain. "Your pokémon are as good as new!"

Alain retrieved his pokéballs, thanking her for her services.

Once he exited the poké centre, he called out his charizard, who gave a small bellow.

Alain gave him a treat; he happily gobbled it down. "How are you feeling?"

Charizard roared in response, then beamed, his eyes gleaming with vigour.

"Hmph. Of course you're excited."

Charizard gave his trainer an inquisitive, offended look.

Alain shook his head. He recognized the playfulness in that look. Smiling, he petted his charizard, who uttered a satisfied growl.

Alain turned away. "Come on, we don't want to miss the other matches."


Pretty soon.


Leon's team:

Charizard (M)

Item: Lum Berry

Ability: Blaze

- Dragon Pulse
- Air Slash
- Ancient Power
- Fire Blast

Rillaboom (M)

Ability: Overgrow

- Acrobatics
- Drum Beating
- High Horsepower (unused)
- Focus Blast (unused)

Dragapult (M)

Ability: Cursed Body

- Dragon Darts
- Dragon Rush
- Thunderbolt
- Shadow Ball

Alain's team:

Charizard (M)

Item: Charizardite X

Ability: Tough Claws

- Dragon Claw
- Flare Blitz
- Flamethrower
- Rock Slide

Malamar (F)

Item: Toxic Orb

Ability: Contrary

- Superpower
- Psycho Cut
- Switcheroo
- Trick Room

Chesnaught (M)

Ability: Overgrow

- Spiky Shield
- Gyro Ball
- Hammer Arm
- Pin Missile