Nyxx in all her charisma and grace of a Tauros in a glass shop bumbled her way through the forest as if she were completely blind, and only manage to make her way back to town when she tripped over a fallen branch and fell down a hill. Her mother’s Gengar who thought this little accident was funny decided to use its psychic powers to steer the ebony girl down more cliffs dodging trees and bushes or anything that could slow her down really all the while literally busting its gut with laughter if that were even possible. Eventually she came to a full stop as city concrete was harder to slide on than wet grass thus ending her ten-minute fall.
Raising her feet and stumbling back and shook her head clear or at least tried too looked up and noticed she was at the front door to the gym, the exact place she was looking for anyway. Having been training in the woods away from everyone else since leaving the caves she found moderate success in being able to command her team decently and decided she would have a go at the gym before she got lost to which it seemed Cheshire the Gengar helped in his own messed up way.
Never minding her ragged clothes, the fact that sticks jutted out from her lion’s mane of hair that seemed to explode from her head in desperate need of a trim and her unwashed face; Nyxx took the first step into the gym itself.
“I’d like… to challenge the gym!” she proclaimed after catching her breath
The man at the counter raised an eyebrow at the girl's unkempt state, but nodded and quickly paged the gym leader once he'd taken a look at Nyxx's trainer card. "Head to the arena when you're ready," he said, gesturing towards the doors to the main hall.
There, as he heard the announcement, Lan looked in the direction of the voice. He'd battled a few trainers earlier in the morning - some had lost, some had won, and hopefully, all had learned something - but nobody from the Aerodactyl incident had challenged him today. Given that Oscar wanted him to relay a message to Sophia, the psychic would probably rematch him before the day was out. The girl in the doorway, however, wasn't Sophia, but the redhead who'd kept an air of nonchalance throughout the ordeal.
Right now, she seemed a great deal more worked up, panting and bedraggled as if she'd run a woodland obstacle course. In contrast, Lan's only movement was a step forward as he kept his usual stoic expression. "You may start," he addressed the challenger.
Cheers filled the hall as the referee announced the terms, a three on three battle. Lan, calm amidst the excitement, reached for the capsule containing the Pokemon he'd begin this with, waiting for Nyxx to choose hers.
Nyxx took a few steps forward to come face to face with the gym leader of the normal type gym before bending over putting her hands on her knees and panting slightly, the sweat building up on her body made her ebony skin shine in the gym lights. Picking herself back up to her feet, she suddenly regretting not actually attempting ye-old nap before coming in here or at least a shower, but she was already here so might as well get it over with.
“Yeah, let get this started,” The slacker of a girl called out reaching her hand back and throwing out her few Pokemon the thieving Swablu named Lupin, the cotton winged bird Pokémon outstretched its wings giving it distinctive cry before settling into a neutral hover position just in front of its trainer.
The man at the front desk explained the battles would be fought in a three on three type of match rather than going in with all her Pokémon she had to choose which she would send in; Golett was a feisty fighter, but was also a ghost type Pokémon and its signature move would be useless here in a normal gym so that cut him out fast and Bounsweet’s habit of crying whenever it was hit would cause Nyxx a headache in a half so her three to choose were basically the most obvious choices.
“Lupin use sing!” she commanded once the battle started and Lan chose to throw out a Munchlax.
At first, the Munchlax looked ready to doze off, teetering in place. Then, despite being of a notoriously lazy species, he shook his head, resisting the song's sleep-inducing effect.
The spectators calmed considerably, some slumping in their seats and yawning, for all their previous enthusiasm. Lan's own eyelids felt heavy, but his voice remained commanding. "Chip Away."
Shaking off the last of the drowsiness, the Munchlax launched a series of punches at Lupin.
Somehow a Munchlax, a Pokémon that primarily slept most of the day away and had no wings to speak of managed to not only avoid its lazy nature and avoid the sing but it also counter-attacked with quick footwork and lighting punches. Swablu was struck and bounced back into flying position quickly countering with Feather dance to lower the Pokémon’s attack power just in time for another chip away to strike and quite literally bounce off the bird’s body even though it hit dead on a second time.
“Let’s try sing again!” Nyxx called out, pointing her finger outward, but it was entirely too little too late as the gym leader swapped out the hungry Pokémon with a Furfrou who was immediately hit by the sing attack sending the dog-like Pokémon directly to sleep. “Follow up with peck!” called out the dark-skinned trainer which landed but seemed to damage Swablu right back due to the rocky helmet item.
The jabbing beak jolted the Furfrou awake. "Try not to get too eager," Lan advised Nyxx, as serene as she was enthusiastic. "Presence of mind is essential to a Pokemon battle. His stoic gaze descended to the canine Pokemon. "Use Toxic."
The Furfrou shook, purple spores flying from his coat towards Lupin, who flitted out of their way. The bird's next move made good use of his agility as he twirled above Furfrou, a shower of glowing feathers scattering down. When they settled over him, the dog tried to shake them out of his fluffy fur, to no avail.
Lan's expression didn't change as he watched. This move, Feather Dance, was known to lower physical strength, but Furfrou didn't rely on brute force. It was a matter of outlasting opponents while wearing them down. "Again, Toxic." This time, the spores hit home, sticking in the Swablu's plumage.
After Furfrou woke up and landed its toxic the battle became a battle of attrition, who could wear down the others’ defenses the fastest and It didn’t take a genius to see who was winning. After taking down The dog Pokémon’s attack to a shadow of what it used to be, it seemed Lan favored making his Pokemon strengthen its physical defense, cotton guard to which Nyxx was counting on to be shown more of its move set, as it told her what she should do as soon as Lupin fainted. Swablu looked to be on a failing side of things as it started to lose some weight in its flying; the last thing the bird Pokémon manage to accomplish was putting Furfrou asleep one again before fainting and needing to be recalled.
“Sorry for putting you through that Lupin but you’ve sealed the entire battle for us,” she whispered to the poke ball before putting it out. “Alright Sloth time to earn that pay!” she called out releasing the Pokémon now known as Sloth revealing itself to be a Jolteon, who had curled up into a ball and attempted to take a quick nap as if to mimic the Furfrou.
“I know you’re not sleeping now use Thundershock!” Nyxx shouted which was returned with quite possibly the laziest thundershock in existence. Wobbly and slower than a normal, but it hit all the same somehow it didn’t wake Furfrou at the slightest neither the next three, but it had to be close to fainting and it seemed Lan thought the same as well as he recalled his Pokemon and replaced it with his Munchlax.
"You're doing well," Lan told Nyxx, "but it doesn't do to become overconfident early on." He turned his attention to the Pokemon he'd sent back into the fray, the Munchlax. "Chip Away."
Before the hit could land, Nyxx had already called a Sand Attack. With a kick from his hind leg as if twitching in his sleep, Sloth sent a cloud of dust flying at the Munchlax. The little bear stumbled, rubbing his eyes, then threw a punch - in the wrong direction. Missing his target, he fell flat on his face. He stood up only for a ThunderShock to send him jittering back. Pulling a slightly charred Sitrus Berry from his sparking fur, he gobbled it down and stomped towards the Jolteon, launching a blow that missed once again.
"Recycle this time," Lan commanded as Sloth sent forth another burst of electricity. Munchlax shook off the attack and picked up the berry stalk, which glowed, a fresh fruit growing from it. He wasted no time in chomping down the snack, but right as he restored his strength, a third electrical bolt sent him reeling. He sank to the ground, limbs convulsing.
Lan took in the scene with his usual solemnity. Paralysis wouldn't hinder Munchlax too much in terms of speed, since he didn't rely on that anyway, but his attacks would be even less likely to land. Nonetheless, the monk's Pokemon were trained in tenacity as well as strength. "Again, Chip Away."
Forcing himself upright, the chubby bear teetered forward, aiming a stiff yet powerful punch at his opponent. Against the odds, it connected. The retaliating ThunderShock was all it took for him to fall unconscious, but it seemed the Jolteon, no matter how strong a Pokemon for a beginner to have, may be easier to deal with.
Recalling the fainted battler, Lan sent out his third Pokemon. "Bunnelby." The rabbit hopped to his place in the arena, undeterred by the larger, fully evolved opponent.
Once Lan sent out Bunnelby the brown rabbit Pokémon Nyxx’s eyes squinted almost as if the sun was in them, she had never seen this Pokémon and due to its brown coloration she put the thought together that it was a ground type and thus immune to electric type moves. Not wanting to recall Sloth without doing something she didn’t know anything of this particular Pokémon other than its apparent typing and had no clue how tough it would be for Buneary to fight. And there was Sloth just laying there pretending to be sleeping in hopes of being left alone long enough to actually be able to go to sleep, offering little to no body language to help Nyxx gauge its status.
“I wouldn’t call myself overconfident, more like the dark horse” Nyxx replied back to Gym leader, being the slacker of their group, no one actually expects her to do well and it's understandable honestly. “Sand-attack!” She called out loud enough to make Jolteon’s ears perk up even as it was trying its absolute best to sleep right now. The quadruped’s hind legs once again twitched and kicked up a massive cloud of sand, sure enough, sticking to the rabbet’s eyes blinding it partially.
The lowered accuracy didn’t stop the fact that the attack bulldoze was used completely knocking the electric Pokémon out instantly. “Well, at least I know it’s a ground type now…” she complained throwing out the star of her team Nellz the Buneary.
Lan watched as both rabbits faced each other. Bunnelby, in fact, would not be a Ground type until he evolved, but moves such as Bulldoze served to teach new trainers they couldn't guarantee victory by catching Rock and Steel types in Mesalon's caves. It had come in useful against the Electric Pokemon, but to counter this new opponent, moves of Bunnelby's own type would work best.
"Quick Attack." Before the Buneary could move, Bunnelby launched himself in a blur, swiping with a paw-like ear. As it turned out, Nelz had ways to counter the tunnelling Pokemon's strength, hunching into a little ball of fluff when Nyxx called for a Defense Curl. "Now, Bulk Up," Lan commanded. Bunnelby flexed his ears, trying to regain the physical advantage, but even as he braced himself, Nelz' Pound attack sent him flying.
His retaliating Quick Attack, despite the boost from his ability and bulked state, only did so much as Nelz kept her ears curled to block the blow. Another Pound, and he flopped to the floor.
There was only one thing for Lan to do. "Furfrou. Your turn again." At the press of a button, the dog appeared, still sleeping. "Secret Power."
It was Nyxx who decided the next move. Before Furfrou could wake and attack, the Buneary leapt up, delivering one more Pound in the form of a flying kick. The dog moaned, blinking and stirring as if waking up, only to slump back down. Nelz, sporting scrapes from the Rocky Helmet, tottered upon landing, but remained upright.
"It was a close one, but the winner is Nyxx Hollow!" the referee announced as applause filled the hall. On the wall screen, the monk's picture turned dark, leaving only the challenger's trainer card photo illuminated. Lan, serene as ever despite the loss, recalled Bunnelby and bowed before fetching several discs from a box. He presented it to Nyxx, along with a yin-and-yang patterned badge.
"I see enhancing your Pokemon's skills and lowering those of your opponents is your chosen strategy," he commented. "A wise decision, although be careful of the ways such techniques might be countered. And your Jolteon may be a formidable fighter, but needs to learn to be more alert at crucial moments, and that hard work pays off no matter how strong one may already be. Even so, this Simplicity Badge is a token of your potential. As for your second reward, you may choose the TM you think will best help with future battles."
He held out the discs, labeled Hidden Power, Double Team, Swagger, and Round, each with the effects written beneath the names.
Nyxx came out victorious against the normal type gym leader now her heart was racing even more so than her tumble down a mountain of a molehill nearly twenty minutes ago. Pinching the Simplicity batch between her index finger and her thumb, she held it up against the shining lights of the Pokémon gym. “Yeah Sloth listens to me, but doesn’t all at the same time, ” she complains looking down on the electric Pokemon’s ball, but her head snapped back up as her second rewards were brought out. “I have no idea what Round is, so I’ll take it, ” she said, giving probably the most under thought out decision of her Pokémon career so far.
The crowd cheered for Nyxx causing the young trainer to look around in awe, catching sight of even her mother, Mistress Hollow, giving a standing ovation to her little girl so proud she earned her first gym battle. Getting a double takedown at her own shadow she noticed she couldn’t feel Gengar hiding anymore, although her mind's eye could see an image of the ghost snickering somewhere at her expense of telling her mother of the gym challenge. With badge earned the bowed to the leader and turned to leave on a new quest to take a much-needed nap and locate her friends.