Trial of the Phoenix

Chapter 6: Suicune’s Challenge

Right outside the historic Burned Tower of Ecruteak City, Suicune had appeared before Misty. The great beast of water glared at Misty from atop the rock it was standing on. Misty could tell that Suicune wanted a fight. This troubled Misty greatly, as aide from Togepi she only brought two other Pokemon with her. At the time Misty thought it was only fair that she took a limited team, as the only Pokemon that Ash had brought with him was Pikachu. But as Suicune was getting ready to pounce she was starting to greatly regret that decision. Even so, it was clear to Misty that she had no other option but to fight.

“Go Corsola!” Misty called as she threw out a Pokeball in the exact second that Suicune leapt from its rock.

Emerging from the ball was a round somewhat rock-like creature that was pink on its top half and white on its bottom. On its back were four branch-like horns that resembled coral. It also had two stubby arms and four stubby legs. Corsola rammed into Suicune as soon as it had emerged from its ball. The two Pokemon bounced off each other and landed on their feet. Suicune fought back by firing a beam of multicolored light from its mouth.

“Quick Corsola, use Mirror Coat!” Misty commanded.

Corsola’s body became surrounded by an orange aura. The beam hit the aura and split apart. Each of the parts reflected back at Suicune, hitting the beast with an incredible amount of power.

“Now use Spike Cannon!” Misty commanded.

Just as the smoke had begun to clear, Corsola began to glow white and from its horns fired a barrage of glowing white spikes. Suicune was hit by the attack before it had a chance to recover from being hit by its reflected attack. As Suicune continued to be hit, Bolt showed up and was surprised by what he was seeing.

“Crud! Looks like it’s time for Ash to go on!” Bolt exclaimed before quickly turning to go get help.

As Bolt rushed off, a Fast Ball fell from his slightly open bag and rolled on the ground and hit Misty’s feet. Despite the battle before her, Misty noticed the ball and picked it up. Meanwhile, Corsola’s attack had finally ended. Suicune got back to its feet and bared its fangs at Corsola. Those fangs started to glow with a blue light, and an icy mist started to come out of Suicune’s mouth. Suicune charged at Corsola and bit it on one of its horns. Corsola cried out as ice began to form where Suicune was biting it.

“Oh no!” Misty cried out with a worried expression. Suicune jerked its head and threw Corsola into a nearby tree. The beast of water then fired off another beam of light from its mouth. “Corsola, use Mirror Coat again!”

Seconds before the beam hit, Corsola managed to recover and once again its body was surrounded by an orange aura. Suicune’s beam was reflected back yet again.

“Now use Recover!” Misty commanded.

Corsola’s body became surrounded by an aura of white light, and soon all the damaged it had suffered in battle had healed. Meanwhile Suicune was getting back to its feet again.

“Okay Corsola, hit Suicune with Tackle!” Misty commanded. Corsola leapt into the air and rammed into Suicune with an extreme amount of force. “Now use Spike Cannon again!”

Once again Corsola’s body began to glow white, and soon Suicune was being hit by another barrage of glowing white spikes. The attack ended after about three minutes. Suicune managed to get back up again, but it was breathing heavily. Misty could see that Suicune was starting to run out of steam. She decided that the time had come to try and catch it.

“Fast Ball, go!” Misty cried as she threw out the Pokeball.

The ball hit Suicune and sucked it in. It then jiggled a few times as the red light on the front button on the front flashed. Misty anxiously watched the ball, wondering if Suicune would break out. After what seemed like an eternity though, the ball finally stopped moving. The light on the front stopped flashing and the ball made the noise that signaled that the capture had been completed. As Misty walked over and picked up the ball, Bolt finally returned with Ash, Pikachu, Lisa, Morty, and Eusine.

“What happened?” Ash asked.

“…I captured Suicune.” Misty said with an expression of disbelief.

“What? Impossible!” Eusine declared. “I’m the one who’s supposed to capture Suicune.”

“First of all dude, get a life.” Bolt cut in. “Second, I thought that scroll said that Ash was supposed to be the one to catch Suicune.”

“I must admit I’m confused about this myself.” Morty agreed. “Just what happened Misty?”

“Suicune just showed up and attacked me.” Misty told him.

“So in other words it challenged you.” Morty responded. “That would mean that it wanted to test your worthiness to be its partner. Still, it doesn’t seem to fit with the prophecy.”

“I told you that prophecy was nonsense!” Eusine insisted. “Furthermore, I’m not willing to accept that Suicune chose Misty over me. Which is why I’m challenging you to a battle Misty, right here, right now!”

Before Misty could respond, Suicune, Entei, and Raikou suddenly emerged from their Pokeballs. The three beasts nodded at each other before gathering together and sitting in a circle. They then looked up at the sky and let out an ear-splitting roar that echoed through the land. Seconds later the air was filled with the sound of bells ringing.

“Is that sound just the ringing in my ears, or can everyone else hear that too?” Bolt asked.

“Those are the bells of the Tin Tower.” Morty explained. “They’re meant to signal the return of Ho-Oh.”

“So then Ho-Oh is coming here?” Ash asked.

“It does fit with the prophecy.” Morty answered. “The scroll said that once the three beasts had chosen their partners, Ho-Oh would arrive to test another trainer.”

Before the conversation could go any further, the three Legendary Beasts began to head in the direction of the Tin Tower, with Suicune leading the way. Ash and the others immediately followed close behind. After a few minutes the group had finally arrived at the base of the Tin Tower. The three beasts then went inside with the others following. Once inside, Suicune stopped in front of a door and blew it down with a beam of light.

“What’s Suicune doing?” Misty asked as the beast of water went into the room.

“It’s going into the shrine containing the Rainbow Wing.” Morty explained. “It’s a feather that’s said to have fallen from Ho-Oh when it flew away from the original Tin Tower.”

Suicune returned from the room carrying a red, almost glistening feather in its mouth. It then stopped in front of Ash and dropped the feather at Ash’s feet. Suicune then nudged its head in the direction of the staircase leading to the next floor of the tower.

“You want me go up those stairs?” Ash asked. Suicune nodded in response.

“Ash, this can only mean that you are the one that Ho-Oh is coming to test.” Morty realized.

“Me?” Ash said in amazement.

“This was all meant to be. Ho-Oh probably chose you for this the day you started your journey.” Morty theorized. “You must take the Rainbow Wing and go with Pikachu to the roof of the Tin Tower. Ho-Oh will soon arrive and test the both of you.”

“I don’t see why I’m the one to do this. I mean I’m not the strongest trainer out there.” Ash admitted. “That was proven to me at the Silver Conference.”

“Ash, you saw Ho-Oh that day for a reason.” Morty told him. “This is your chance to find out what that reason is. If you turn back now you’ll never know.”

“Ash, I don’t know why Ho-Oh picked you to test, but I know you can pass, whatever that test is.” Misty cut in. “I believe in you.”

Ash looked at Pikachu, who gave his human partner an encouraging look. He then looked back at Misty.

“Okay then.” Ash said as he picked up the Rainbow Wing. “Let’s go Pikachu.”

With that, Ash and Pikachu headed up the stairs to the next floor. Suicune, Entei, and Raikou headed out of the tower. The rest of the group followed close behind. Though Misty stayed a moment to look at the staircase that Ash had gone up before joining the others. Moments later the group had gathered outside the foot of the tower. Misty looked at Suicune with a confused expression as the beast of water licked its front legs to clean itself. Togepi then trotted over to Suicune to visit it.

“I still don’t understand why Suicune chose me for its partner.” Misty said as she watched Togepi run around in front of Suicune. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to have a legendary water Pokemon. But I never saw Ho-Oh like Ash did.”

“I’ve been thinking about this on the way over here, and I’ve realized something.” Morty began to explain. “Of the three beasts, Suicune is closer to Ho-Oh and is a bit more trusting of humans. “It’s possible that Suicune simply chose you itself.”

“But why? I haven’t even lost my path in life like Ash and the others have.” Misty pointed out.

“You sure about that?” Lisa asked. “When we were talking last night before Noir Mask attacked, it seemed to me that you were unsure about continuing to travel with Ash.”

“Well, you are right about that.” Misty admitted. “Since our friend Brock left to go run his gym, I’ve been wondering if maybe I should just give up on Ash and go back home. He sure seemed to make it clear this morning that he doesn’t feel the same way I feel about him.”

“I would be too sure about that.” Bolt cut in. “Ash and I talked on the way here to the city, and it seems to me that he’s just starting to figure out how he really feels about you. So if I were you I wouldn’t count Ash out just yet.”

“I’m still not sure.” Misty told him.

“Before this is over, many paths will be decided.” Morty declared. “For now we must wait and see what happens. Ho-Oh’s trial of Ash will show us all which path we should take.”

* * *

Just outside the city, Noir Mask stood as a black helicopter landed in the clearing. Stepping out with ten men in Team Rocket uniforms was a man with slicked-back dark-brown hair wearing an orange suit and red tie. This of course was Giovanni, and walking at his feet was his Persian.

“Any new developments to report?” Giovanni asked.

“Suicune was captured not too long ago.” Noir Mask reported. “Right now the trainer that former members Jessie and James were chasing, Ash Ketchum, is heading to the top of the Tin Tower to await Ho-Oh. At least that’s what I’ve heard.”

“Well then, I think we should head over to the Tin Tower ourselves.” Giovanni said with a sinister grin. “Once Ho-Oh lands at the tower we’ll strike. First we shall take the Legendary Beasts, then Ho-Oh itself!”