After successfully defeating Skyla and earning her Jet Badge, Hikari now prepares to head to Twist Mountain. But when she and Tatsuya arrive, something unexpected has happened…
“Eh?! It snowed?” I exclaimed as I looked up at the huge mountain. It was summer, but Twist Mountain was covered with snow!
“That’s odd. There’s not supposed to be any snow right now,” Tatsuya muttered. “Somehow, I don’t think Team Plasma could’ve done this. It’s not their style.”
“Well, if they didn’t do it, then who…” My voice trailed off when I thought of the one mischief-making team who could pull off such a stunt. “Time for a head count,” I said as I let all of my Pokemon out of their balls. Tatsuya did the same.
“All my Pokemon are here,” Tatsuya said, with Victini nodding in agreement. He then recalled them and looked over at me. “How bout you?”
“I’ve got Dewott, Sawk-sensei, Unfezant, and Deerling,” I answered. “Two of them are missing, and that’s…”
“Zorua and Vanillish?” a voice asked from behind us. We turned to see Cheren walking toward us accompanied by Zorua, who was in his boy form, and Vanillish.
“Yes! Thank you, Cheren,” I said as I walked over to the two Pokemon, who both looked a little sheepish. “So you two were behind all this?”
“(Well, Tatsuya was telling you about Twist Mountain the other day, saying that in the winter it was covered in snow,)” Zorua explained. “(You were saying that you wished you could’ve seen it, so Vanillish and I snuck out last night and, well…)”
“(We told a bunch of Ice Pokemon to use Hail,)” Vanillish finished. “(Not to mention, it might slow down Team Plasma, cuz we really made it snow a lot!)”
I just looked at them for a few seconds before laughing. “Honestly, you two,” I said after calming down a bit. “I appreciate you letting me see the mountain the way I wanted to, but next time, ask me, OK?” Both Pokemon nodded in understanding.
“Anyway, Hikari,” Cheren said, getting my attention, “since we both hold the Jet Badge now, let’s see which of us is stronger!”
“If you insist!” I said with a grin.
“Oh boy, here we go,” I heard Tatsuya mutter. “OK, I’ll referee again.” The three of us got into position before the older Trainer made his announcement. “This battle between Hikari and Cheren is about to begin! This will be a standard battle: whoever beats all of their opponent’s Pokemon will be the winner! Ready? Go!”
Hikari vs. Cheren!
Hikari is challenged by Pokemon Trainer Cheren!
“Go, Unfezant!” Cheren’s Unfezant flew out of its ball.
“Vanillish, you’re up!” Vanillish floated onto the battlefield.
“Air Slash!” Unfezant flapped its wings, releasing several energy discs at Vanillish and hitting it.
“C’mon, use Avalanche!” Suddenly, a huge amount of snow fell on top of Unfezant, burying it for a few seconds.
“Air Slash again!” Unfezant burst out of the snow and sent more razor-sharp discs toward Vanillish.
“Dodge and use Ice Beam!” An icy beam of energy shot out from in front of Vanillish, knocking out its opponent.
“Unfezant is unable to battle. Vanillish wins!”
The foe’s Unfezant fainted!
As he recalled his fallen Pokemon, Cheren muttered to himself, “Your strength… and my strength… Right. Let’s test them.” Then he sent out a Simipour in Unfezant’s place.
“Simipour, the Geyser Pokemon and the evolved form of Panpour. The tuft on its head holds water. When the level runs low, it replenishes the tuft by siphoning up water with its tail.”
“Vanillish, return! Your turn, Deerling!” As the Ice Pokemon returned to its ball, the Shiny Grass Pokemon pranced onto the field. “Jump Kick!” Deerling turned and landed a solid kick on Simipour, sending it flying.
“Use Scald!” The Geyser Pokemon shot boiling water towards Deerling, who was barely standing after the attack hit.
“Deerling! Are you hurt?” I asked as I gave it a Hyper Potion. Deerling got back on its feet and shook the water out of its fur. “That’s good. Then use Energy Ball!” The deer Pokemon’s Energy Ball was right on target, hitting Simipour in the stomach. The attack proved to be too much for the Water Pokemon and it fainted.
“Simipour is unable to battle. Deerling wins!”
The foe’s Simipour fainted!
“You did great, Deerling!” I complimented as Deerling ran over and nuzzled me happily.
Cheren clicked his tongue in annoyance as he recalled Simipour and sent out Liepard. It looked pretty confident.
“Take a rest, little guy,” I said as Deerling returned to its ball. “Sawk-sensei, go!” Sensei gladly stepped forward and got into a fighting stance.
“(We meet again, Liepard-san,)” he said, addressing his opponent who just smirked at him in response.
“Karate Chop!” Sawk-sensei prepared to launch a painful chop.
“I don’t think so! Fake Out!” Cheren suddenly commanded. Liepard leapt toward sensei and clapped its paws, sending out a shockwave. The wave hit its target, but it didn’t stop the Karate Chop from hitting Liepard. “What?!”
“Whoops! I forgot to mention this, but sensei has the Inner Focus ability, which means he won’t flinch no matter what!” I explained with a confident smile. “Now use Brick Break!” The Karate Pokemon struck Liepard hard, and it sprawled onto the ground, defeated.
“Liepard is unable to battle. Sawk wins!”
The foe’s Liepard fainted!
As he called Liepard back to its ball, Cheren muttered to himself, “Can you be strong even if you lose? Is winning everything?”
I looked at my friend with concern. “Hey Cheren, are you OK?”
“I’m fine,” he replied firmly as he pushed his glasses up his nose. He then pulled out his last Poke Ball. “Go, Servine!” The Grass Snake Pokemon slithered onto the battlefield, looking as smug as ever.
“Sensei, return! Unfezant, it’s up to you!” My newly-evolved Unfezant hovered above the ground, ready for battle.
“Use Slam!” Servine rushed forward, preparing to slam into the bird Pokemon.
“Fly away!” Unfezant shot up high into the air to avoid the Slam attack before dive-bombing Servine. “Nice one!”
“It’s not over yet! Leaf Blade!” Suddenly, the leaves on Servine’s tail glowed green and the Grass Pokemon slashed at Unfezant, sending her flying back towards me.
“You can do it, Unfezant! Use Aerial Ace!” The Proud Pokemon took to the skies again before flapping her wings once. She began moving so fast she was a blur, and she slammed into Servine perfectly.
“Servine is unable to battle. Unfeazant wins! The victory goes to Hikari!” Tatsuya announced.
The foe’s Servine fainted!
Hikari defeated Pokemon Trainer Cheren!
“Alright! Way to go, Unfezant!” I cheered as I hugged the triumphant Pokemon.
Cheren sighed as he recalled Servine. “Pokemon battles are fun. But what is it to be truly strong?”
All of a sudden, we heard a voice from above us. “That was a fine battle! I’m happy to see you are both growing as Trainers!” We looked up to see a certain red-headed Champion standing at the edge of the cliff overlooking us.
“Alder!” I exclaimed at the sight of the man. Standing there, with the snow-covered mountain right behind him and his hair and poncho blowing in the wind, Alder seemed totally cool! He then leapt off the cliff and landed in front of me and the others before straightening up and smiling at us.
Cheren just folded his arms. “If it isn’t the Champion, Alder. I’m weak, so I lost!” Then he glanced away, as if he was ashamed. “…And, honestly, it bothers me when you call it a fine battle despite that.”
So much for being fine, I thought as I stared at my friend.
Alder closed his eyes and shook his head. “Oh, honestly, Cheren. Just accept the compliment without the stinging remark. I’ve asked you this before, but what do you plan to do after becoming strong?”
I thought that something had been bothering Cheren during our battle. He was still thinking about what he and Alder had discussed back when we had first met him. The spectacled Trainer seemed to look off as he answered. “If I get strong and become a Champion, that will be the reason for my existence. I want to prove that I’m really living.”
Alder was silent for a few seconds as he regarded Cheren. “Hmmm… You remind me of Marshal.”
“Who’s Marshal?” I whispered to Tatsuya.
“He’s a member of the Elite Four,” Tatsuya answered. “He’s Alder’s self-proclaimed apprentice.” I couldn’t help but snicker.
“Of course, having something you want to become is important,” Alder continued. “But what is even more important is what you do with your newfound power. Anyway, take this!” he said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out two small discs. He handed one to Cheren and one to me.
Hikari obtained an HM03 Surf!
“If you use the move Surf, you can travel over water,” Alder explained.
“Cool!” I commented as I put the HM03 into the TM case in my bag. “Thanks, Alder!”
“You’re welcome,” the Champion said with a grin. “I shall see you again, young Trainers. Don’t forget about the needs of the Pokemon at your side!” Then with a final wave, Alder began walking down the road.
“See ya, Alder!” Tatsuya and I both said at the same time. We then glanced at each other and smiled.
Cheren watched as Alder left, and was silent for a minute. When he started speaking again, his voice was soft and he was staring at his hand. “What I do with my power… I don’t know the answer to that yet.” He then closed his hand and gazed up at the sky. “First, I want to become a strong Trainer so everyone will acknowledge that power!” He turned to face me. “Hikari… Next time, I will win!”
I smiled and nodded. “I’ll be looking forward to our next battle!”
“Hey Hikari, we better hurry and enjoy that snow while it’s still here!” Tatsuya said. “I’ll race ya!”
“You’re on!” I said as he and I got into position. “Cheren, race to the mountain?”
“Sure,” Cheren shrugged as he joined us at our impromptu starting line.
“Dew, dewott… (Uh, Hikari…)” Dewott said, tapping my leg.
“Oh, that’s right. You can’t go inside the mountain,” I said as I pulled out his Poke Ball. “Sorry, buddy.” I recalled him and Zorua, and then got back into position.
Victini hovered over us. “Victi… ni! (Ready… Go!)” it said, and the three of us raced toward the mountain entrance with the Victory Pokemon flying behind us.
It wasn’t long before Tatsuya got ahead of me and Cheren, and we struggled to keep up. Finally, he was the first to get inside the mountain. “Victory!” he exclaimed as he skidded to a stop.
Cheren and I came up behind him. “Still faster than us,” I grumbled.
“I blame Victini,” Cheren panted, earning himself a punch in the arm from me.
“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t use Victini for something like that, Cheren,” Tatsuya reassured. Then something – or rather, someone caught his eye. “Well, look who’s here!”
The person walked over to us, and we saw that it was Clay. “What a surprise. Seein’ ya here while I was inspectin’ Twist Mountain. Ya wouldn’t know what caused th’ sudden snowfall, would ya?”
Tatsuya, Cheren and I all exchanged glances before telling him “Nope.” We figured it was best that he didn’t think that we caused another weird incident.
Clay scratched his head before addressing me and Cheren. “Th’ two of ya seem a bit more rugged than the last time I saw ya. A li’l bit, anyway…”
“Is that so…” Cheren muttered, a hint of a smile on his face. It was kinda hard to imagine Cheren being rugged, but whatever floated his boat.
“By th’ by… You folks seen that Team Plasma crowd lately?” Clay asked.
“Hikari and I ran into their leader, N, a few days ago,” Tatsuya answered. “And Skyla thought she saw them recently. Other than that, we haven’t seen anything.”
“Well, after all the trouble, we Gym Leaders met up and had a chat,” Clay explained as he folded his arms. “But we’ve got no clue where they are. It’s like they’re hidin’ under a rock.” He then shrugged his shoulders. “Well, not much to do but wait for ‘em to move. Anyhow, this’s none o’ yer concern. Squirts like the three of ya should just enjoy travelin’ with yer Pokemon.”
Squirts? I thought irritably.
Tatsuya apparently sensed my irritation and placed a hand on my shoulder, which calmed me down. “Thanks, Clay. But we were just hoping we could around Twist Mountain for a while before going to Icirrus City.”
“Sure thing,” Clay answered with a nod. “Twist Mountain’s a fine place to explore! You’ll have some fun if you just leave this here path…” he said as he pointed further down the path. “Weeell… Better ya just see it yerself, ‘stead o’ listenin’ to me yammer.” Then he walked past us. “Be seein’ ya, sprouts! Feel free to train yerselves on my mountain fer as long as ya like,” he said before leaving.
Cheren seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. “I thought he was going to get us involved in all that bother again, so I was bracing myself before I knew it. I’m going in first, but I’ll be seeing you.” And with that, he went ahead of us.
I was barely listening to Cheren, my mind focused on what Clay had just said. “His mountain…?” I asked in astonishment.
“Yep, Clay owns Twist Mountain, too,” Tatsuya said. “We were lucky he didn’t find out that Zorua and Vanillish’s mischief caused that snowfall.”
“Speaking of which, let’s go!” I said as I hurried down the path. Tatsuya followed me to the cave entrance, and what we saw was incredible! There was a ton of snow covering the mountain, and I saw several Ice-type Pokemon still using Hail and Powder Snow to make more snow fall. I had to pull out my black jacket and put it on in place of my vest.
“Cubchoo, the Chill Pokemon. When it is not feeling well, its mucus gets watery and the power of its Ice-type moves decreases.”
“Cryogonal, the Crystallizing Pokemon. When its body temperature goes up, it turns into steam and vanishes. When its temperature lowers, it returns to ice.”
“It’s beautiful!” I said as I gazed at the snow-covered landscape. Suddenly, a snowball hit me right in the arm. “Ow!” I exclaimed as I looked around to see who had thrown it. I saw Tatsuya smirking at me and holding another snowball. “Ohh, you asked for it!” I shouted as I knelt down and scooped up some snow to pack it into my own snowball. I threw it, but he ducked, and the snowball hit Victini instead.
“Uh-oh, looks like I’ve got some back-up,” Tatsuya said as Victini flew down and started making his own snowballs.
“Two against one? I don’t think so!” I said as I released all my Pokemon from their balls. “Free for all!” I exclaimed. Unfezant and Deerling watched while Dewott, Sawk-sensei, Zorua and Vanillish joined the snowball fight.
“Oh, that’s how it’s gonna be, huh?” Tatsuya taunted as he too let his Pokemon out. Minnie, along with a Throh and a Delibird, joined the fight, making snowballs and throwing them at whoever they saw first. It was a blast!
“Throh, the Judo Pokemon. When it tightens its belt, it becomes stronger. Wild Throh use vines to weave their own belts.”
“Delibird, the Delivery Pokemon. It carries food rolled up in its tail. It has the habit of sharing food with people lost in mountains.”
Finally, we were all just lying in the snow laughing. “That was so much fun!” I giggled.
“Yeah,” Tatsuya agreed. “Hey, why don’t we let the Pokemon wander around a bit?”
“Sure, why not?” I said with a nod. “Feel free to do what you want, guys! Just meet up with us before sunset, OK?” The Pokemon agreed, and they all went their separate ways.
Minnie, Samurott and I went off toward a nearby slope. Samurott looked it over for a minute before turning to me and Minnie. “(You ever try sledding before?)” he asked.
“(Unless sliding down a muddy riverbank counts, no,)” I answered, although I was a little embarrassed to admit it. Overtime, I had come to look up to Samurott like a big brother, and because of that, I didn’t like to admit that I had never done something before.
“(Oh, you’ll love it! Watch me,)” Samurott said before flopping down onto his belly and sliding down the snowy slope.
“(Wow! Let me try!)” I said excitedly. But before I got on my belly, I looked at Minnie. “(Wanna get on my back?)” I asked.
“(Um, are you sure I won’t get dirty?)” she asked nervously. She had already cleaned herself up from the snowball fight, and knowing that she hated dirt, I could understand why she was reluctant.
“(Just hold on tight. You won’t get dirty,)” I told her. “(C’mon, it looks like fun!)”
After a few seconds, Minnie finally nodded and I let her get on my back. I flopped down, just like Samurott had done, and effortlessly slid down the slope. “(Wheeeee!)” I ended up doing a face plant in the snow at the bottom, but it was so worth it!
“(Having fun?)” Samurott asked before he started back up the slope.
“(Let’s do it again!)” Minnie said as she hopped off my back and followed the larger Water Pokemon.
I was about to go with them, but I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. “(I’ll be right there!)” I called after them before going to investigate. There was something shiny partially buried under the snow. I dug it out and found a stone roughly the size of one of my scalchops. It was emitting a pretty light just like the sun, and I knew right away that I had to give it to Minnie as a present.
However, I didn’t want to give her the stone right away, so I looked around for Delibird. After a few minutes, I spotted him. “(Hey, Delibird! Wait a sec!)”
The Delivery Pokemon stopped and turned to face me. “(What can I do for you?)” he asked.
“(Could you hold onto this for a while? It’s a present for my girlfriend,)” I said as I held out the stone.
Delibird took the stone and slipped it into his sack-like tail. “(No problem. Leave it to me!)”
“(Thanks! I’ll come back later,)” I said as I rushed over to rejoin Minnie and Samurott. Oh, she’s gonna love it! I thought excitedly.
As I followed Throh-san to a more secluded area, I wondered why Tatsuya-kun hadn’t mentioned that he had a Throh at his disposal sooner. It had been a while since I had faced a fellow practitioner of martial arts, and even during the snowball fight, I was intrigued.
“(We should be good here,)” Throh-san said as he tightened his belt. “(Are you ready then?)”
“(It is my honor to face you,)” I responded. “(Best of five rounds. Let’s begin!)” And with that, we bowed and got into our fighting stances.
I was fast enough to make the first move, launching a Double Kick. But before my attack could connect, Throh-san caught me and used Vital Throw to force me onto my back. “(Not bad,)” I commented as I stood up.
“(Enough of the basics,)” Throh-san said as he made his next move. He was about to use Storm Throw on me, but I was able to avoid it and counter with Low Sweep, which sent him to the ground this time.
“(I agree,)” I said with a smile as Throh-san got up. “(I have no intention of letting Hikari-san down!)”
“(Then our goals are similar,)” the Judo Pokemon said. “(I fight for the sake of Tatsuya-kun.)”
This time, I launched a Karate Chop, but my opponent grabbed my arm and pulled me in a half-circle before forcing me to the ground again. That was… Circle Throw, I thought as I caught my breath.
“(You’ll have to do better than that, Sawk-san,)” Throh-san said as he held up a hand to help me up. I allowed myself to be pulled up, and he backed up a bit before launching himself at me in a Body Slam.
Holding up my arms at the last second, I only stumbled backwards from the attack. I then delivered a painful Brick Break to my opponent, making him fall to his knees. We were tied two for two.
I steeled myself for the next attack. Throh-san was powerful, and I was running out of energy. Suddenly, I felt a new strength within me… a new attack! As Throh-san was about to use Body Slam again, I clenched my fist and threw a punch. My fist was suddenly sparking with electricity and it hit the Judo Pokemon square in the jaw, sending him reeling into the wall.
After the electricity died down, I walked over and held out a hand. “(You fought well,)” I commented.
Throh-san took my hand and I pulled him up. “(As did you, Sawk-san. Hikari-san is lucky to have you on her side. I admit, that last attack was unexpected.)”
“(Yes, I wasn’t expecting a Thunderpunch, either,)” I said honestly. The two of us shook hands and agreed to spar again sometime.
While the other Pokemon were busy having fun, Vanillish and I were on a mission. We remembered Skyla’s tip-off about Team Plasma being somewhere in Twist Mountain, and while we were sure all this snow slowed them down, we weren’t taking any chances and were checking the tunnels for any signs. We had even recruited Deerling for the cause.
“(Remember, keep your eyes peeled for anyone suspicious,)” I reminded my companions.
“(You’re awfully serious about this, Zorua,)” Deerling commented.
“(If you ask me, I think he’s just trying to impress Hikari,)” I heard Vanillish whisper, making the Shiny Pokemon snicker.
“(I heard that!)” I warned my friend. “(Look, we can’t be sure that Team Plasma isn’t still in the mountain, so we gotta make it easier on Hikari and check every single tunnel.)”
“(Hey, I’m with you, pal,)” Vanillish said.
“(Good!)” I said before turning and running face first into a fuzzy white barrier. “(What the? What’s this doing here?)”
“(Think we can move it?)” Deerling asked as he started pushing against it.
“(Yeah, maybe,)” I said as I turned into my boy form and also started pushing.
“(Uh guys, that might not be a good idea,)” Vanillish said nervously.
“(Why not?)” Deerling and I asked at the same time. Then we heard growling behind us.
“(Vanillish, is that what I think it is?)” I asked. When Vanillish nodded, Deerling and I slowly turned around only to see a very angry Beartic growling right at us!
“Beartic, the Freezing Pokemon and the evolved form of Cubchoo. It can make its breath freeze at will. Very able in the water, it swims around in northern seas and catches prey.”
“(RUN AWAY!!!)” the three of us shouted as we ran to get away from the Beartic. We managed to get out of the tunnels and back outside, where we stopped to catch our breath.
“(Whoa, what happened to you guys?)” Unfezant asked as she landed next to us along with Tatsuya’s Braviary.
“Braviary, the Valiant Pokemon. They fight for their friends without any thought about danger to themselves. One can carry a car while flying.”
Vanillish, Deerling and I exchanged looks and then said, “(Don’t ask.)”
“(I take it these guys get in trouble a lot?)” Braviary inquired.
“(Well, Zorua and Vanillish do, anyway,)” Unfezant explained. “(I’m a bit surprised at Deerling.)”
Deerling flushed at that comment before glaring at me. “(Next time, don’t run into a sleeping Pokemon!)”
“(Sorry!)” I said with a guilty grin.
I waited patiently by one of the tunnel entrances. Victini had told me that Dewott wanted to meet me there, and naturally I was curious. Tired of standing, I sat down and preened my tail as I thought of that cute Water Pokemon.
I admit, when I first saw him at the Musical Theater in Nimbasa City, it was love at first sight. Back then, he acted quite proper, but that was because one, he was nervous; two, he was acting. It was during our second meeting that more of his real personality came out: he was honest, funny, and a little shy… and that didn’t disappoint me in the least. I still remembered when he told me how he felt about me on the Ferris wheel and we shared our first kiss; possibly my favorite moment from our relationship!
“(Been waiting long?)” I heard Dewott ask. I snapped out of my daydreaming and looked up at my darling boyfriend.
“(Not terribly long,)” I answered. “(So what’s so important that we had to go away from the others?)”
“(Well, that’s, uh… Yeah, there’s a reason for that,)” Dewott stumbled over his words, his cheeks flushed.
So adorable! I thought as I watched him. Then I noticed that one of his paws was behind his back. “(Are you hiding something?)” I asked slyly.
“(…Maybe,)” he admitted. “(Hold out your paws and close your eyes.)” And so I did, and I felt him place something into my paws… a box, maybe? “(Open your eyes.)”
I opened them and in my paws was a small present, all wrapped up. “(Oh, Dewott!)” I gasped in surprise.
“(C’mon, open it!)” Dewott urged.
I quickly undid the ribbon and pulled the lid off the gift box. When I looked inside, I saw a pretty glowing stone. “(It’s so pretty!)” I exclaimed as I took the stone out of the box and gazed at it. “(Thank you so much, Dewott!)” I leapt up and hugged Dewott around the neck, still holding the stone.
Dewott hugged me back and nuzzled my cheek. “(You’re welcome. I’m glad you like it.)” But all of a sudden, my whole body started glowing, much to my and Dewott’s surprise! “(Minnie?!)”
What? Minnie is evolving!
I could feel myself grow a bit taller and parts of my fur grow longer. When the glow died down, Dewott had an astonished look on his face. In his eyes, I saw my reflection… and just how much I had changed!
Congratulations! Minnie evolved into Cinccino!
“Cinccino, the Scarf Pokemon and the evolved form of Minccino. Their white fur is coated in a special oil that makes it easy for them to deflect attacks.”
I just could not believe it! And apparently, neither could Dewott. He still wasn’t saying anything, but he hadn’t put me down either. “(Dewott, I think that was a Shiny Stone,)” I explained slowly, amazed by the fact that even my voice had changed a bit. “(When you gave it to me, it made me evolve into Cinccino. I know it’ll take a while to get used to it, but I’m still Minnie. Right?)”
Dewott gazed at me for a few more seconds, and then hugged me again. “(Aww, you’re so cute! Of course you’re still you!)” he cried as he held me close. I couldn’t help it; I started tearing up. As soon as Dewott felt my tears, he set me down and wiped them away. “(Please don’t cry,)” he said softly before leaning down and kissing me. I giggled into the kiss as he picked me up in his arms again and I hugged and kissed him back. When we broke the kiss, he looked me in the eye. “(You’re still the same sweet, adorable Pokemon that I fell in love with.)”
I smiled back. “(Oh Dewott, I love you too,)” I told him before kissing him again. I take back what I said earlier: This is definitely my favorite moment from our relationship!
Our heroes and their Pokemon have enjoyed their time on Twist Mountain. But all good things must come to an end, and Hikari and Tatsuya will renew their search for Team Plasma! Stay tuned!