Trial of the Phoenix

Chapter 5: Prophecy

Ash and his friends continued on through the forest. Looming before them in the distance was the tallest building in Ecruteak City, the Tin Tower. From seeing the tower the group knew that their destination was not too far away. Bolt’s Luxray had taken point. The electric lion constantly looked around for any sign of Noir Mask. Misty and Lisa followed behind Luxray, while Ash, Pikachu, and Bolt took up the rear. There had been little conversation during the walk, and the whole time Ash had been preoccupied with what had happened with Misty minutes before.

“Hey, don’t worry dude. My pal Luxray will let us know if there’s trouble.” Bolt assured Ash after noticing Ash’s troubled expression.

“Huh? Oh, I’m not worried about that.” Ash told him. “I’m just trying to figure out why Misty got so mad at me earlier.”

“You haven’t figured that out yet?” Bolt chuckled. “She got ticked off because you said she was the last girl in the world you’d want as a girlfriend.”

“Why would that make her mad?” Ash asked with a confused expression.

“Boy, you really are clueless.” Bolt observed. “She’s sweet on you dude! She probably wishes that you and she were a little more than just friends if you catch my drift.”

“What? You’re nuts!” Ash told him. “Misty doesn’t think of me that way. In fact the only reason she started following me around in the first place was because she expects me to pay her back for wreaking her bike.”

“And how long ago was that?” Bolt asked.

“Uh, well I guess it’s been a couple years now.” Ash realized as he rubbed the back of his head. “Come to think of it, Misty hasn’t brought it up for awhile.”

“Well two years is a pretty long time to be mad about a bike getting wrecked.” Bolt pointed out. “In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if that was just an excuse for her to tag along.”

“You’re way off on this.” Ash insisted.

“Okay, okay, I could be wrong.” Bolt admitted. “But let me ask you this dude, why’d you get so ticked when I tried asking Misty out?”

“Well… I just didn’t like the idea of Misty dating a guy like you!” Ash told him.

“Okay, well here’s a follow-up question, how do you feel about Misty?” Bolt asked.

“I… guess I haven’t really thought about it before.” Ash admitted.

“You might wanna think about it now.” Bolt suggested.

“Hey guys, we’re here!” Misty called back.

Moments later the group found that they had left the forest and entered Ecruteak City. The buildings and houses looked as if they were built hundreds of years ago, yet everything looked so new. They felt as if they had stepped back through time.

“Well we’re here, so now what?” Lisa asked.

“The errand Professor Oak wanted me to run was at the Ecruteak City Gym.” Ash informed her. “We might as well go there first.”

“The Gym Leader Morty knows about the Legendary Beasts.” Misty pointed out. “He might be able to help us figure out what’s going on.”

With a plan of action decided, the group entered the city. As they did so however, they were unaware that Noir Mask had caught up to them and was watching from a few feet away. A few minutes after walking through the city, the four finally arrived at the gym. Waiting in front of the gym was a man with slightly long blond hair wearing a blue headband, a light-blue long sleeved shirt, and black pants. Right away, Ash and Misty recognized this man as Morty, the leader of the Ecruteak City Gym.

“I’ve been expecting you two.” Morty said to Ash and Misty. “It’s good to see you again.”

“Hey Morty.” Ash greeted. “Sorry it took us so long to get here.”

“It’s quite alright.” Morty assured him. “It’s a long journey from Pallet Town to Ecruteak. I see you’ve made some new friends though.”

“I’m Lisa Flare.” Lisa said as she introduced herself with a bow.

“And I’m the bad-ass rocker of Sinnoh, Bolt Hanson.” Bolt proudly announced.

“It’s nice to meet you both.” Morty told them.

“We actually have something we need to ask you about Morty.” Ash cut in.

“I’m afraid it will have to wait Ash.” Morty said with a serious expression. “Right now I have an important matter to discuss with you. If you’ll please all follow me into the gym.”

Ash and the others all shrugged at each other and followed Morty into the building. Moments later the group entered the stadium of the gym. Waiting there for them was another man with brown hair wearing a white cape and gloves, a purple tuxedo, and a red bowtie. Ash and Misty remembered the man as Morty’s friend Eusine.

“Well it’s about time those two kids showed up!” Eusine complained. “I still think you’re wrong about this Morty.”

“What’s going on here Morty?” Ash asked.

“I’m afraid Professor Oak wasn’t entirely honest about his reason for sending you here Ash.” Morty revealed. “The true reason he sent you here was because I had requested it. There is something I want to show you. It is something that I think you have a right to see, because I believe that you may actually have a connection to Ho-Oh.”

“What is it?” Ash asked.

“It’s on this wall.” Morty answered. “Behold!”

“Ash and the others turned their attention to the part of the wall Eusine was standing next to. On it was an outstretched scroll depicting several written characters, as well as a picture of a large red and gold bird that Ash right away recognized as Ho-Oh.

“This scroll was found a few weeks ago during the Silver Conference while I was going through an old storehouse.” Morty explained. “It took me awhile to translate the writing, but the scroll is apparently an old prophecy concerning Ho-Oh and the Legendary Beasts. According to the scroll, it is said that Ho-Oh will one day choose three trainers, each who have lost their path in life. And those three will become the partners to Raikou, Entei, and Suicune. Once the three beasts have chosen their partners, Ho-Oh will return to the Tin Tower to test a fourth chosen one, a trainer who will unite with Ho-Oh to destroy an army of evil.”

“I still think it’s all nonsense.” Eusine insisted. “I’m the one who’s going to capture Suicune.”

“Don’t be too sure.” Lisa cut in. “Go Entei!”

Entei emerged from the thrown ball with a growl, startling both Morty and Eusine.

“If you need more proof than that, check this out.” Bolt added. “You’re on Raikou!”

Raikou came out of the thrown ball with a roar and sat down next to Entei. Both Morty and Eusine were simply amazed.

“I don’t believe it.” Morty said with an expression of awe. “Both Entei and Raikou… captured.”

“This is what we wanted to talk to you about when we got here.” Ash told Morty. “Not only did Bolt and Lisa capture Raikou and Entei, but they both saw Ho-Oh before coming to Johto.”

“Yeah, and at the time I guess you could say we had both lost our path.” Lisa added. “I… lost my reason for living when someone close to me passed away.”

“And I lost my fighting spirit after being clobbered by one of Sinnoh’s Elite Four.” Bolt cut in. “I guess seeing Ho-Oh and chasing down these two cats gave both Lisa and I a new reason to live.”

“Then perhaps the prophecy is true.” Morty realized. “It might not have been a coincidence that I had just found that scroll. Nor is it a coincidence that the four of you have met.”

“Then who’s the person that’s supposed to partner with Suicune?” Ash asked.

“I think it’s you Ash.” Misty spoke up. “You saw Ho-Oh when you started your journey, and you saw Suicune the day you came to Johto.”

“But you and Brock saw Suicune too, remember?” Ash pointed out.

“But Brock and I never saw Ho-Oh.” Misty reminded him. “Plus you’ve lost your path like Lisa and Bolt did. Ever since the Silver Conference you’ve been trying to figure out what to do next. It all fits Ash.”

“She has a point dude.” Bolt agreed. “Why else would you’ve run into Lisa and I?”

“I still don’t think I’m the one.” Ash insisted.

“I couldn’t agree more.” Eusine cut in. “I’m the one who’s going to be Suicune’s partner! I don’t care what any prophecy says!”

With that, Eusine stormed out of the room.

“As single minded as ever.” Morty sighed.

“Dude seems like he needs to get a life.” Bolt observed.

Meanwhile, Entei and Raikou looked at Ash and Misty. Raikou growled at Entei as it it was try to ask the beast of fire something. Entei responded by making a low growling noise and narrowing its eyes at Misty.

* * *

Meanwhile on the roof of the gym, Noir Mask had overheard the whole conversation and had contacted Giovanni. She had informed him of the prophecy concerning Ho-Oh.

“I see, so are you certain this prophecy might be true?” Giovanni asked.

“As hard to believe as it sounds, there are too many coincidences at work sir.” Noir Mask pointed out.

“Well then, the Legendary Beasts are one thing, but Ho-Oh is another prize all together.” Giovanni said with a sinister grin. “Continue to observe and report. I will be arriving in the city in a few hours. Until then keep me informed of any changes.”

“Yes sir.” Noir Mask replied, and with that the hologram disappeared.

* * *

A bit later, Misty had gone out for a stroll by the Burned Tower, one of Ecruteak City’s other well-known landmarks. She wondered why Ash found it so hard to believe that he might be the one destined to partner with Suicune. But she did admit to herself that she would find it hard to believe too if she were in Ash’s position. Togepi meanwhile was happily trotting around Misty’s feet. But suddenly the little egg Pokemon stopped and looked back as if it sensed something.

“Is something wrong Togepi?” Misty asked after taking notice of Togepi’s behavior.

As if in answer to her question, Misty suddenly heard a growling noise behind her that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Slowly she turned around to see what made the noise. Standing atop a large rock was a creature that looked like a cross between a wolf and a leopard. Its eyes were red and it had no visible nose. It’s snout and underside was white, while the rest of its body was blue with large white diamond-shaped spots in various places. It had two tails like long white streamers that curved around towards the front of its body, and on its back was a sort of purple cape that resembled an aurora. On the creature’s forehead was a large blue diamond-shaped crest. Right away Misty recognized the Pokemon as Suicune the third Legendary Beast, and she could tell from the look in Suicune’s eyes that it wanted to battle.