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[Just dumping the first draft/version of Foul Play]

Chapter One
Another battle, another loss for Grimsley.

He looked on as his opponent, a female trainer named Kelly, picked up her Whimsicott. Kelly twirled around with her Pokémon as she told the dual grass and fairy type how proud she was of him. Despite having scratches all over his body, the Whimscott waved his arms and cheered. Grimsley’s stare then lingered at his fallen Liepard, her body sprawled on the green carpet floor reminiscent of a poker table. The platform itself hung from the walls by golden chains, the entire battle area suspended from the ground. Grimsley didn’t mind the drop below. His fingers twitched as he muttered, “Good work, Raz, you deserve a nice rest,” and returned the feline. Grimsley clipped the pokeball on his belt, and then he approached his opponent.

“You and your Pokémon shined brilliantly out there while I’m nothing more than the one that lost his light,” he said, trying to sound positive for her, and that caused Kelly to stop and beam at him. She still held Whimsicott in her arms.

“I really enjoyed our battle there, Mr. Grimsley!” she said, and the two shook hands. “You’ve been the toughest Elite Four member I have gone against.”

“I was, huh? That means you have defeated every member of the Elite Four, astonishing.” The small smile on Grimsley’s lips faded. He shifted his face and sighed, his shoulders lowered. “There is one more opponent against whom you must prove your strength.”

He told the trainer to check the statue at the plaza, and he watched as Kelly returned her Pokémon, thanked him once more, and waved goodbye to him. After she used the teleporter to exit his room, Grimsley walked back to his sofa and sunk down. He plopped his elbow on his seat’s arm, and he stared up at the chandelier that hung from the ceiling.

There are bad ways to win and good ways to lose. That was what he always told himself. After losing the last several battles, that distinction grew hazier for him.

About half an hour later, Grimsley left his room and stepped into the plaza. Four doorways, each one leading to the corresponding Elite Four’s rooms, pulsed in blue light. There was also the large statue at the center of the plaza, glowing in the same color. He stepped into the ring that was around the statue, the warm light bathing his skin, and waited a few seconds before he was lowered to the courtyard. It was another several minutes of hiking up to the Champion’s room that resided in the temple at the summit, but once Grimsley reached there he stepped inside and passed through the pillars that towered over him. He made it up to the stairs, and stopped when he saw the Champion, Iris, gazing at the starry sky backdrop behind the throne, the four emblems and the large crest floating around like balloons. When Iris noticed someone had stepped inside, she spun around and grinned at Grimsley.

“Oh, hi Grimsley! If you’re wondering, Kelly has beaten me and is already inducted into the Hall of Fame. Boy, she sure is a force to be reckoned with.” She then furrowed her brow at him and gripped her hands at her sides. “Hey, are you feeling okay?”

Grimsley flinched. He drew out a breath, running his fingers through his hair. “You know how I’m the type of gentlemen to take his losses and victories with stride? Well, lately the past several battles I feel there’s a certain… spark missing.”

“Spark?” Iris titled her head, her eyes blinking. She crossed her arms. “You mean there’s no more excitement in you whenever you battle?”

“I guess you could say that.” Grimsley’s gaze fell on the floor, and he tugged at his scarf. “Because of my predicament, I’ve been pondering over my next battle. One where I’m not carrying the title of Elite Four.”

Iris pursed her lips and rubbed her chin. When she thought of something, she snapped her fingers and beamed. “Perhaps you need a nice long vacation!”

“Vacation? Like how Caitlin and Shauntal visit Undella Town on occasion?”

“Yes,” Iris said and nodded. “You take the least vacations compared to the other Elite Four members here. Some time off should do you good.”

Releasing his grip on his scarf, Grimsley said, “It would be nice to be out for a while. Although, what if I decided to be away longer than expected?”

“No problem!” Iris’s grin widened. “I’m sure Alder would be more than happy to take your place. And I think I know where your destination should be.”

“Oh? Where, then?” Grimsley raised an eyebrow with great curiosity.

“Have you heard of the Alola region? Very tropical climate and several islands you can drop by at. One of the most unique things about Alola is it doesn’t have a Pokémon League like Unova.”

“It doesn’t?” Grimsley asked skeptically, and Iris shook her head.

“There are no gyms in that region, but the place still has a similar system where you battle strong trainers on each island, or something like that.” A smile tugged onto Iris’s lips. “You said you want your next battle where you’re not an Elite Four, so I figured Alola might be just what you wanted.”

As Grimsley pondered over Iris’s suggestion, his gaze locked at the background. He looked back at her and pulled out a coin from his jacket’s pocket.

“Tell you what, I’ll flip a coin. If it lands heads, then I’ll visit Alola. If tails, then I’m not taking that vacation.”

Iris glared at him, her hands on her hips. “Oh, really?” She sighed, then said, “Fine, do your coin flip thing.”

“Thank you.” Grimsley rubbed the coin with two fingers, tossed it in the air, then caught it with both palms of his hands. He lifted his left palm to show that the coin landed heads. “Well, guess I’ll go to Alola after all.”

“Great!” Iris clapped her hands and her feet bounced. “We should let Caitlin, Shauntal, and Marshal know that you’ll be away for a while and I’ll ask Alder to take your place temporary.”

“That would be appreciated,” Grimsley said, smiling in anticipation. While he had no knowledge of that region, Alola did sound interesting and he liked taking chances. Perhaps this gamble might be worth it.

xxx

Grimsley wasn’t sure how his other colleagues would react to him taking a temporary leave from the Elite Four. He worried that Caitlin, Shauntal, and Marshal would mock him for not taking his role seriously and not giving it his all. Then again, even an Elite Four needed some time off to recharge. So when he announced the news to everyone in the lounge the next morning, they reacted favorably.

“Oh, so a long journey to a new region?” Shauntal said, tapping her pen on her chin. Her notebook was set aside on the coffee table, the pages spilled open. “A change in scenery could do wonders for inspiration. It worked for me whenever I wanted new ideas for my stories.”

“I’ve never been to Alola myself, but I’ve heard it’s beautiful,” Caitlin said. She sipped some of her tea, then set her cup on the table. “I might consider going there for my next vacation.”

“I too think you should go for it,” Marshal said. “Before I became part of the Elite Four I traveled to several regions to develop my strength. I’m sure that’ll be the same for you, too!”

“That is one of my intentions, yes.” Grimsley then said, “It’s good to know that all of you are fine with me being away for a while.”

“When you get back, we can do a Pokémon battle to test out what you’ve learned from your Alola trip!” Marshal flashed him a huge grin.

Smirking, Grimsley said, “If we were to do that then we must agree on a wager. The loser has to groom and clean the winner’s Pokémon for a week.”

“Clean and groom the other’s Pokémon for a week? Ha, I’m game!” Marshal said. He and Grimsley shook hands.

“The both of you can be immature sometimes,” Iris said, shrugging and shaking her head. Beside her, Caitlin covered her lips and yawned, as if agreeing with her.

“Don’t forget to bring all of us souvenirs!” Shauntal said. “I bet Alola has all kinds of stuff you can take home with you.”

“I’ll make sure to do that,” Grimsley said with a small smile. His mind was more at ease now that he got the announcement out of the way. There was still one more person he needed to inform of his trip, and he planned to do that before the day ended.

When nighttime came, Grimsley returned to his apartment. Each Elite Four member had one within the Unova League residence. Some of the perks with being the Elite Four included having your own place, several people that did the cleaning and cooking for you, and a variety of facilities that he could use to train his Pokémon. It wasn’t so much different from when he used to live that rich lifestyle. He stepped inside his bedroom, threw his scarf on the bed, and sat down next to his desk. He turned on his computer, booted up the videophone feature, and waited.

A few minutes passed until the screen lit up, showing his mother greeting him with a warm smile. Minato Katsu was a woman in her mid-fifties with visible wrinkles underneath her eyes and graying wavy hair that barely passed her shoulders. While Grimsley had his black locks and angular face from her, he took his blue eyes and pale skin from his father, and why he was passed off as a Unovan on occasion.

“Grimsley, it’s been a while! How have you been?”

“I’m doing good, just been a little distracted that’s all. And you?”

Minato pressed her lips and tapped her chin with her finger. “A little bored, but otherwise I’m fine myself.”

“Bored? How about Skyla?” His mother at the moment resided in Mistralton City, and Skyla was still the gym leader there. The last few times he and his mother had talked, she and Skyla seemed to get along well.

“Skyla is a sweet girl, but she’s always either busy with a gym challenge or flying her plane. Also, I don’t like the rain here sometimes.” She cleared her throat, and then said, “I take it you’ve been busy with your Elite Four duties?”

“Indeed, I have.” Grimsley leaned against his seat and let out a dramatic sigh. “So many challengers left and right, it’s unbelievable.”

“But you’re having fun at least, right?”

Grimsley stopped himself, considering his words carefully. “Well, about that… I’m beginning to feel some detachment from my responsibilities as an Elite Four.”

His mother raised a confused eyebrow at him. “So you’re considering retiring from the Pokémon League, then?”

“Oh no no, it’s not that,” Grimsley said immediately, waving his arms around. “I’m just thinking of taking a short break and travel to a new region.”

“Which one you’re thinking of?” When Grimsley told Minato that he plans to travel to Alola, her eyes widened. “Isn’t that the region where a lot of tourists go?”

“Yes, that region. Iris told me how their set up is different from Unova’s and that I should check it out.”

“Is that so…” She shifted her gaze away from the screen for a second and her eyes darted, her face looking uneased. “Your father and I thought about visiting Alola for our next anniversary, but then he got sick and we had to cancel our plans. And well, you know what happened shortly after.”

Grimsley grimaced, and a dreary silence hung over them. His father’s death was something they didn’t like to speak much about, but that event still lingered in his mind even today. Grimsley’s mother then spoke once more.

“Anyways, have you started looking over how much this trip of yours will cost? I imagine if you’ll be journeying there for a while it won’t be cheap.”

“I haven’t gotten the chance to do that yet. With the money I have earned as an Elite Four, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Now remember, we aren’t as wealthy as several years before, so don’t go spending as you please.” Wagging her finger at him, she then said, “Also, keep your gambling tendencies to a minimum.”

A sly smile pulled onto Grimsley’s lips. Of course she would mock him for that. “You’re the one that taught me the tricks of the trade ever since I was a kid. Besides, there are other ways to gamble besides money,” he said, and his mother glared at him.

“You’ll still get in trouble if that’s the case. And also, I quit gambling after I settled down with your father and we had you.” She glanced over her shoulder at the clock on the wall behind her, then faced back Grimsley, her expression softening. “It’s getting late, I should be going to sleep now. Do let me know how your trip went.”

Grimsley told her that he would, and the two said goodnight to one another. The screen on his mother’s end turned black, and he began to tap his fingers on his desk. He chuckled and shook his head. She didn’t sound as optimistic as his friends over this news, but she seemed supportive enough with some hints of skepticism. Well, now to get started with planning for his trip.

xxx

Grimsley prepared for his trip by first looking up some basic information on Alola online. Their set up was indeed different from Unova’s— they had a system called the Island Challenge that fit Iris’s island hopping and battle description. That sounded interesting to him, and made him wonder how it looked in action. Grimsley also briefly looked up some of the hotels for his stay there, his mother’s voice nagging in his head each time he checked the prices of the rooms. For now he had reserved a room at a hotel in Hau’oli City and would worry about trying to find other accommodation during his journey. Once he was satisfied with his travel plans, he booked a flight to Alola and packed his clothing and other essentials.

He first used the Pokémon League’s helicopter to have a pilot take him to Castelia City’s Airport. When he arrived there, several people noticed him and asked either for his autograph or to take pictures with him. Grimsley took some time to say hello to his fans before he went through the security screening and check-in at the receptionist desk. He soon boarded on his plane, and sat down on his seat. More than half of the seats around him were filled by a mix of tourists, businessmen, and trainers. After some waiting, the plane took off and Grimsley gazed down for a while until he wasn’t able to see Castelia City’s tall skyscrapers from a distance anymore.

His flight from Unova to Alola took several hours and the plane landed at Hau’oli City Airport. He got off, put his luggage in his room at the hotel he was staying, then took a ride on a carriage pulled by a Tauros. The breeze that picked up was warm but crisp, tickling his skin. He glanced around, drinking in the sights and sounds around him. Grimsley’s ride passed through the beachfront where several people sunbathed, strolled near the edge of the shore, or swam in the ocean. In the shopping district, customers came in and out from the shops and more people lined up at the fruit and vegetable stands. Grimsley spotted many trainers and Pokémon together with smiling faces, looking like they enjoyed themselves here. One of the buildings with the sign Alola Tourist Bureau caught Grimsley’s interest and he told the driver to stop his Tauros.

Stepping inside, Grimsley first fixed his gaze at the colorful posters highlighting the region’s cities and famous tourist sights. He moved a little further and stopped at an area that displayed various souvenirs like cups, postcards, and Pokémon plushies. Grimsley picked one of the toys up, a black bird with blue eyelids and a large shiny beak, his fingers rubbing at the soft fabric. After he put the souvenir down, he headed to the right where the brochure stand was. He glimpsed at the television screen on the wall that showcased videos of Alola’s outdoors and people chanting “Alola, alola,” and then he picked up a few brochures from the stand. Grimsley first looked at the ones that had facts on Melemele Island and Akala Island, and while some of the sights featured looked fun they didn’t grab his attention. He then checked out Ula’ula Island’s brochure and this time he smirked. He liked the aesthetic of Malie City from the pictures, and the island also had two mountains and an area that used to be a village called Tapu Village. Grimsley shoved the other two brochures back in the rack, and approached at the receptionist area where one of the ladies at the desk greeted him with a smile.

“Alola, welcome to the Alola Tourist Bureau. What can I help you with?” the female receptionist asked.

Grimsley cleared his throat. “Yes, well, I’ve got my eye on Ula’ula Island and I was wondering if you could tell me your own opinions on it,” he said, and handed the brochure to the receptionist. She gave it a quick look, and her smile widened.

“Sure! As you can see from the brochure, Ula’ula Island is home to two of the tallest mountains. I went to Mount Hokulani some months ago and it’s gorgeous. Malie City is also a great city to check out. ” Grimsley then asked about Tapu Village and Mount Lanakila, and the receptionist added, “While I didn’t get to climb Mount Lanakila due to it being reserved for trainers taking part in the Island Challenge, I did check out Tapu Village. You should check that place out!”

“Hm, I see,” Grimsley said as he scratched his chin. “How about this ‘Ruin of Abundance’? Apparently it’s home to one of your tapu guardians?” When he was looking through the brochures, he caught on fast that Alola has Pokémon that acted as its guardians for each island. It didn’t sound too much different from Unova’s own legendary dragons and the musketeers.

“Oh, you mean Tapu Bulu? Yes, the people of that island worship it, though in order to visit the temple you need to pass through the desert. If you want to know more about Tapu Bulu or any of the other guardians, Malie City’s library should have more information on them.”

“The brochure did mention something about that library…” Grimsley grunted in consideration. “Very well, then, that shall be my next destination after I do some sightseeing here.”

“The Marina has a ferry that can take you to Ula’ula Island. You can go over to the terminal and check the schedule.”

“I’ll make sure to do that. Your input there has been very valuable.”

“Not a problem! Have fun at Ula’ula Island!” The receptionist flashed him another smile. Grimsley responded back with a nod of acknowledgement before he left the building.

Grimsley headed to the Marina next. When he reached there, he passed by a guard and a few people gazing at the crashing ocean waves and stepped inside the terminal. More people were sitting on the seats, either waiting for their ride or waiting to pick up someone that was on their way back. He gazed up at the large screen that showed the schedule for all the ferry rides. Grimsley bought the ticket for the morning ferry for Ula’ula Island that would leave in three days. He then left the Marina and strolled around the shopping district a little more.

The next few hours Grimsley passed the time by visiting a few shops and walking along the beach. When night fell, Grimsley made his way back to the hotel, passing the receptionist still helping guests in the lobby on his way up to his room. He turned on the light. He put his bag of clothes on the chair that was in front of the desk, lied down on his bed, then grabbed the remote to turn on the television. On screen, a female reporter was speaking.

“Over at Akala Island, an incident occurred in Diglett’s Cave, a short distance from Heahea City. Several Team Skull grunts were harassing the Aether Foundation employees and Pokémon in that cave, but then Kahuna Olivia and two other trainers, Hau and Moon, managed to defeat them.” As the reporter was speaking, a picture of two young men wearing dark baggy clothing and chains with a silver S around their necks was shown. Their headwear resembled a skull. The screen then changed to a young woman in pink clothing and nice jewelry being interviewed.

“When I heard that the Diglett had been growing restless for sometime, I thought I should go see what the commotion is about,” the lady, that Grimsley assumed to be Olivia, said. “Turns out some Team Skull grunts have been up to no good there. Fortunately Hau and Moon have helped me in getting rid of them, and now the Pokémon inside the cave have settled down.” After the interview with Olivia finished, the screen turned back to the news reporter.

Grimsley pressed his lips and tapped his chin at the mention of “Team Skull” and “gang”. He recalled several years ago when Unova was invaded by Team Plasma twice. The group had taken over the Pokémon League upon their first incarnation; a rather unpleasant experience. If Team Skull were acting the same way in this region, then he would keep an eye on them. His eyes getting heavy, Grimsley yawned and pulled out from his bed to change into his nightclothes, and then he went to the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth before going to sleep.

xxx

Heavy rain cascaded down Route 17. Dark clouds covered the sky like smoke from a forest fire. As Nanu patrolled the area with his gray furred Persian by his side, many Pokémon took shelter next to the trees. There were a few exceptions that still rummaged through the wet grass, such as the Goomy and Pancham. For today’s patrol, he had on a raincoat over his regular clothes and rain boots that splashed the puddles left on the cobbled path. After Nanu stared at the fortified wall that fenced all of Po-Town, he turned his head to see Persian growled in dissatisfaction and shook her fur.

“Never a fan of water, huh buddy?” he asked, and Persian mewled. Nanu dropped on his knees and stroked the blue gem on his Pokémon’s forehead, causing her to purr. “Hmph. Me neither.”

Suddenly an explosion shook the earth, and a shockwave knocked back Nanu’s raincoat. Smoke rose and stained the rain black. He stood back up to see smoke coming from the cliff, his ears ringing and heart pounding. His mind raced with concern that Pokémon and people were in danger, and he gritted his teeth as he reminded himself that he needed to do his damned job and get there as soon as possible.

They trudged through the dry grass and steep climbs, the mud getting stuck on Nanu’s boots and Persian’s paws. Eventually they made it to the top and stopped at the end of the cliff to see three people there. A female trainer cradled his injured Golduck in her arms while the other two with their Pokémon, a Haunter and Raticate ready to pounce, stood in front of her.

“We won fair and square, so hand over your Pokémon,” one of the trainer’s harassers told her. He and his female partner both wore the Team Skull clothing Nanu had been familiar with for a long while now. Nanu groaned and his shoulders slumped.

“Not surprised you clowns are at it again,” Nanu said.

“Yo, Dennis, it’s that police officer one of our homeboys warned us about,” the female grunt said.

“Yeah, I think it’s him, Felicia,” the other grunt said, glaring at him. “Nothing to see here, old man. This nice girl here is about to hand over her Pokémon to us like she promised before leaving.”

“I didn’t promise anything! You guys forced me to,” the trainer sobbed, hugging her Golduck closer against her chest.

“I’ll have to agree from the way that Golduck got beaten up there,” Nanu said. “Why don’t you guys mind your own business and scram back to your playground?”

The grunts exchanged disgusted looks, then Felicia pulled out her knife from the pocket of her pants and pointed it at the trainer. The trainer gasped and her face grew pale.

“Leave, or the kid and her Pokémon are done for,” she warned, her fingers curled around at the knife’s handle.

Before Nanu could react, he heard Persian growl deeply. He looked down and saw her claws had dug on the soggy dirt. He stared back at Team Skull to see their Haunter and Raticate had also assumed battle stances. A crooked smirk pulled onto the corners of Nanu’s mouth.

“I think you two should have listened to your homeboys, then,” he said. He pressed his fingers close to his lips and whistled.

The grunts swung their heads in confusion when a bird’s cry and flapping wings were heard. Coming from the air, Nanu’s Honchkrow dove at the female grunt and grabbed the knife from her hands with his claws. He approached Nanu, dropping the weapon onto his hand.

“That’s some dirty trick you did there,” Felicia seethed through gritted teeth. Besides her, her partner wore a similar expression.

“You kids shouldn’t play with knives, anyways,” Nanu said as he put the knife back in his raincoat’s pocket.

“Oh that does it!” Dennis said and thrust his arm forward. “Haunter, get back at that Honchkrow with Thunderbolt!”

“Move at ten o’ clock and then Nightslash,” Nanu said calmly compared to the grunts.

The ghost Pokémon chuckled in glee and electricity burst out from his body. Honchkrow was able to dodge and his feet glowed with a purple aura. When he got in contact with Haunter, his claws slashed onto his opponent and left three deep scratch marks on his face, causing the ghost type to scream in pain.

“Raticate, go ahead and Hyper Fang that bird!”

Felicia’s Raticate opened his mouth wide open, his teeth flashing, and rushed towards the Honchkrow. Nanu commanded Persian to hit the Raticate with Swift. The gem on Persian’s forehead glowed and an array of stars shot at Raticate. The rat Pokémon screeched each time he got barraged with those, and when that was finished his already fluffy cheeks puffed up like a balloon and his tail thumped on the ground.

Both grunts clenched their fist and gritted their teeth. Dennis ordered Haunter to use Poison Jab at Persian whereas Felicia had Raticate use Ice Beam at Honchkrow. Nanu countered by having Honchkrow use Steel Wing and Persian Play Rough. Haunter’s arms turned pink and punched Persian’s cheek. The cat Pokémon growled and a bruise appeared on her face, but then she pounced at her opponent. Thick white smoke surrounded with stars puffed up, leaving Nanu unable to see clearly, but from the shadows’ movements and Haunter’s screeches he could tell the ghost Pokémon wasn’t enjoying any of that. When the smoke faded, more scratches and bruises were shown on Haunter’s body and he panted as Persian lifted her head and smirked. While that was going on, Raticate inhaled cold air and let out a beam of ice from his mouth, which shot straight at Honchkrow’s chest and made him screech. Honchkrow shook his wet feathers, and then his wings changed into a metallic color just as he flapped those rapidly. He dived at Raticate, smacking his back with his wings and that caused his face to smash onto the mud. Raticate bounced back after a few seconds, spitting the dirt out.

“You know, I’m getting bored already,” Nanu said, then he yawned. He pulled out the black shard from his necklace, held out his arm that had his Z-ring bracelet, and slip the shard inside there. “Let’s finish this with our Z-move, Persian.”

His Persian growled in agreement, and Nanu got ready his stance. In one fluid motion, he moved his arms around, bent his back, and stretched his arms wide after he got himself back up. A warm aura surrounded both his and Persian’s body as he watched as Persian’s gem glow. A black ball was shot up in the sky and within seconds it turned into an eclipse that began sucking the mud, grass, and leaves in its reach. As the black hole grew stronger, the grunts and their Pokémon tried to withstand its force, Raticate digging his feet and hands onto the dirt and Haunter floating away from as far as possible, but that proved to be futile when Raticate and Haunter too got sucked in. Seconds later, the eclipse faded and Raticate and Haunter dropped on the ground hard and collapsed instantly. The grunts reacted unfavorably, Felicia taking her hat off and stomping on it while her partner dragged his hands on his face.

“Hey, you can’t do that! That’s foul play!” Dennis complained. He and Felicia then returned their defeat Pokémon. Nanu snorted, and behind him his Persian shook off her wet fur.

“Funny you should say that as I used that move to make that Z-move. Now would be a good time to hurry your *** off or my Pokémon won’t hesitate to hurt you.” On cue, his Persian growled and Honchkrow let out a sharp chirp at the grunts.

“All right, all right, we’ll leave,” Felicia said, lifting her hands in defeat. “This is way whacked, man.” Both grunts hurried out, not turning back.

Nanu dragged a sigh and touched his forehead, then he turned around to see the trainer, still holding her Golduck, looked at him in awe. He and his Pokémon approached her.

“Are you alright, miss?” he asked, bending his knees.

“I am, but my Golduck isn’t,” the trainer said, her voice laced with worry. Her Golduck’s chest moved very slowly and he made uneven breaths.

“I have some potions and other medicine down at the police station. I’ll take you there.” Nanu stood up and waited for the girl to return Golduck in his pokéball. He then took the girl’s hand and they headed out together.

Po Town’s police station was a fairly small building with only a handful of jail cells and rooms. The bookshelf, bulletin board, and his clothes were settled on one corner of the room. One of the couches had bags of chips, cans of various food, and Pokémon food dumped there. Various stray Meowth walked around inside, a couple of them sleeping on the beds Nanu had put on the desks. After Nanu grabbed some potions and sprayed them on his Pokémon, Persian went to play with a few of the Meowth while Honchcrow ignored them. As soon as the trainer let Golduck out, she and Nanu laid him down on another couch that was across Nanu’s workspace, a computer and monitor on a table. Nanu touched Golduck’s forehead, which was very warm against his palm. He sprayed the rest of the potions all over Golducks’ body. It was a few minutes until a portion of the Pokémon’s cuts and bruises began to disappear. Nanu then let Golduck slowly chew some berries from his palm.

“Your Golduck is starting to have a fever and will still have some scars on him, but he should be good after he gets some rest,” he said just as the girl puffed up a pillow for Golduck and tucked him in under a blanket. She faced Nanu, smiling at him in gratitude.

“Thank you so much for saving me and Golduck out there. I was trying to find the kahuna of this island, but then I bumped into Team Skull and they harassed me to giving my Pokémon to them.”

Nanu didn’t flinch, but he did raise an eyebrow and glanced at the colorful amulet attached to her bag. “Oh, so you’re one of those kids that’s taking part in the island challenge, er…”

“Rachel,” the girl Rachel said. “And yes, I am. I already challenged both Sophocles and Acerola’s trials and defeated their totem Pokémon, so I’m wondering if you know where I can find Kahuna Nanu.”

“You did, huh? Well, you’re looking at him right now.”

Rachel’s eyes grew wide. “Wait, you’re Kahuna Nanu?” she asked, and Nanu nodded. She grinned. “Oh, can we have a battle right now?”

“Woah, hold up,” Nanu didn’t hesitate to say. “How about your Golduck there? He’s still in bad shape.”

“I have other Pokémon I can use, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

“There isn’t a working Pokémon Center nearby and I don’t think I have enough potions for the rest of your friends. Besides, the next island, Poni Island, doesn’t even have a kahuna yet last I heard.”

“Oh, I see.” Rachel hung her head down with a frown, her gaze at the sleeping Golduck.

Nanu stared at Rachel, regarding her in silence. He still thought it was dumb of her to ask a battle like that, but he was hasty in denying her request. With a sigh, Nanu pinched his nose.

“Tell you what, why don’t you stay here for a night or two and then we can have our battle. I ordered some more potions earlier that should be sufficient, but I won’t go easy on you.”

This time, Rachel’s face lit up. “Oh thank you, thank you thank you,” she said then threw her arms around Nanu’s waist. He froze, taken aback by her reaction. At length he rolled his eyes and forced her to let go.

“All righty, that’s enough sappiness there.” He shifted his head, his finger pointing at the couch where the food got piled. “I’ll move that junk in the other room and then I can make us some sort of meal to eat.”

“Okay!” Rachel said and nodded. When she turned back to watch over Golduck, Nanu moved away from them and began grabbing some cans and bags from the other couch that he intended to put in another room.

He wasn’t the most welcoming person and easiest to warm up to, but this should do.

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