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Antoinetta's facade may have cracked earlier, but it now broke completely as Troy's Shuckle put the plan into action. Stomach plummeting, she stared, watching Shuckle use Mellona's Gust against her - and miss. She breathed a sigh of relief. If that Defense Curl and Gust-bolstered Rollout had hit, the battle would have been over in one turn.

She pulled herself together right away. The crowd must have seen that mini freak-out, but she faced Troy with her usual prideful smirk as if it had never happened. "Did you really think that was going to work?" she taunted, while making a mental note to call a move that wouldn't give Shuckle so much leverage. "Mel, prepare yourself with Struggle Bug!"

A sparking, shimmering red aura built up around Mellona, just as it had in the previous battle. Holding her ground and keeping a safe distance, the Combee unleashed the energy in a firework-like burst.

Shimmering red sparks flew out of Mellona before transitioning to green missiles and curving towards Shuckle. Troy was impressed. Although it probably came down to training with Combee, everything she did was pretty flashy. Shuckle can use struggle bug as well, so it was easy to see how the Combee's struggle bug was more brightly colored and bombastic than usual. Frankly, Troy was out of his depth. It was hard to even think of ways to make Shuckle's current moveset be more flashy. Just using Rollout over and over again wouldn't really be in the spirit of a contest, he would think, since they usually have a short timer. That being said, going for a knockout with rollout is probably the best option in a contest as well...

In any case, he doesn't need to give the most impressive performance, he just needs to be more impressive than his opponent. "Return fire with Infestation."

Shuckle begins to generate tiny black particles around Mellona, swirling into Mellona from all around her like a vortex. The particles move in currents, giving the appearance of flower petals curling inward or eldritch tentacles reaching for Mellona, depending on your point of view. They'll cling to Mellona on contact, producing an unpleasant stinging sensation continuously. Ideally, her performance will suffer under duress, though residual damage doesn’t hurt either. Shuckle is likely too weak to beat Mellona in the first hit of Rollout anyway, even with the extreme type advantage. Some Infestation damage might remedy that.

More or less at the same time, the red sparks of Struggle Bug begin to crash against Shuckle. They converge onto Shuckle, forcing him into his shell and battering it in small bursts of light.

Mellona's graceful flight patterns gave way to frantic squirming as she tried to flap away the black specks. It was no use. The particle cloud kept converging in, threatening to overwhelm her. Netty's ribs clenched. From what she knew of this particular Bug move, it restricted opponents' movement - not good for a dance based contest battler.

There was only one possible counter. "Another Gust!" Netty called. "Blow them away!" Mellona, her twirling much more urgent and rather less agile, whipped up another whirlwind, aiming it at Shuckle while trying to dislodge as many particles as she could in the process.

As the insectoid dust ‘clears’, Troy presses the attack. ”Now, rollout through anything in your way.”

@LuckyBlackCat @Ryik
@LuckyBlackCat@Crimson Flame@Jujube@Ryik

Updated the ooc battle rules! Please read the Battle hider under the rules section. and if you have any questions, just post them here. Thanks!
"Aw, Magnet! You alright?" Zaria exclaimed as the floating ball of steel took a hit. He was able to shake it off somewhat, but his defenses had been lowered for the rest of the battle too, so those Tackles would do even more damage.

Magnet let out a metallic cry and unleashed a Thundershock which somehow connected, which Zaria thanked her lucky stars for. Although who knew if it would hit again? She considered using a Supersonic attack, but the move had pretty shaky accuracy to begin with, and Rocky's evasion was already up.

She let out a short breath. There really wasn't anything to do except attack and hope for hits. "You're doing great! Just keeping going for Thundershock!" Zaria encouraged, trying to look effortless and relaxed. Magnet charged up an attack once more.

Even though Tim said he didn’t want to look, he still peeked through his fingers. Rocky landed a Tackle on Magnet, but he also got hit with a thundershock. Rocky yelped in pain. “Rocky, are you ok?”

The Rockruff barked. Even though he was still paralyzed, and had just been hit with electricity, he still acted chipper.

Tim breathed a sigh of relief. Rocky seemed to be fine for now. That relief did not last long. Zaria went in for another thundershock, which meant he still had to be on the offensive. ”Ok... um... use Sand Attack, and try another Tackle.”

@Crimson Flame@Jujube

Rocky ran forwards to kick up sand and land another Tackle onto the Magnemite. But just as he did so, the rock puppy began to slow and seize; the visible yellow current of paralysis sparked around his body. Since the real Rocky had just telegraphed his attack and then stopped quite abruptly, it made it just a teeny bit easier to tell him from the various clones still on the battlefield. Magnet was able to land another successful Thundershock. As of now, the current states of the pokemon on the playing field were different; Rocky was looking winded and damaged, while Magnet had sustained a few scratches. Yet the battle wasn't over just yet. Would there be any changes in strategy?

Zaria swallowed and stared ahead, her brows furrowed and her teeth clenched. This was exactly like the Charmander battle had been, and she'd barely scraped by that one on luck alone, she was sure. But Rocky had thankfully been paralyzed, so the only thing do now was keep attacking and hoping for hits. She scanned the field, trying to discern one doppelganger from the next, then took a deep breath and crossed her fingers. Damnit!

"Alright! I can't tell one from the other but we're gonna go for it anyways 'cause I believe in you! Use Thundershock, Magnet!"
Magnet charged up a yellow green wave of electricity towards the target he hoped was the real one.

”Hang in there Rocky! Tim exclaimed once Rocky got hit by the paralyzing waves. He bit his bottom lip nervously. Rocky still got the Double Team off in time, but he had been paralyzed. Now he would be slowed down, and sometimes be unable to move. He also didn’t think Paralysis was going to be pleasant for the Rockruff. Even so, the rock dog still seemed chipper.

Zaria went in for the Thundershock, and Tim wrung his hands truing to come up with a solution. It might miss, and hit one of the duplicates, but it also might not. He could try a sand attack but, he knew sooner or later he’d have to go in for a hit... Rocky’s only move that could inflict damage was Tackle. That wouldn’t do much to a Steel type... There was one idea, but he wasn’t sure it would work...”Ok... uh use Leer to lower it’s defenses, then go in for the Tackle!” He covered his eyes with his hands. ”I can’t look.” This could end badly.

@LuckyBlackCat @Crimson Flame @Jujube

The two pokemon clashed. Rocky's eyes shot a piercing glare right through the Magnemite's soul it seemed, and a blue glow washed over the mechanical creature as their defense fell. With Magnet temporarily distracted by the debuff, Rocky was able to successfully nail a solid Tackle onto the pokemon. However, Magnet countered with a Thundershock, and a large bolt of green and yellow electric energy swathed the Rockruff directly. Neither paralysis nor evasion had won the upper hand this time, it seemed. The battle went on.

Zaria's triumphant grin stiffened as she heard the words of her peers echo around her, but she tried not to miss a beat. "That's fine, luck is a part of a lot of battles," she said shrugging and trying to feign an air of nonchalance. Marching up to Rorie, she shook her opponent's hand. "Well, uhm...I'm still in training. We've still got a long way to go. But thanks, your Charmander was pretty tough."

After their pokemon were healed, Zaria found herself standing in the semi-finals facing off against Tim. It felt unreal. Troy and Netty were here too and Zaria briefly wondered who she'd face off against next—but she was getting ahead of herself. Need to focus on what's happening now, she told herself. If she didn't, the round would be lost, if it already wasn't.

"Magnet! Thunder Wave!" The battle against Tim could be tricky; Zaria wasn't sure what moves Rockruff learned, as the battles from earlier had taken up her attention completely. Still, it seemed like a status ailment was a safe bet in most situations. "We're going for paralysis!"

Tim blinked in disbelief. Did he really just win that battle? Carpea made it official. “I-I-I actually won?” Tim quietly muttered. He couldn’t believe this was actually happening. Tim completely ignored Gerard’s words. There was clearly nothing he could say at this point. Instead, he went to the battlefield, and rubbed Pachi’s belly. “You’re a good boy! Yes you are!”

Rocky barked, slightly jealous that his trainer was giving another dog Pokémon attention.

Tim got up, picked up his own Pokémon. “You did a good job Rocky.” He patted his own dog on the head, as we walked away from the battlefield.

After Rocky was healed, Tim found out that he and the other transfer students made it to the semifinals. He was facing off against Zaria and her Magnemite. At which point, Tim lost all hope he could actually win this. Not that he had much of that to start with. How was he supposed to defeat a Magnemite? It was a Steel type. Not much could hurt it.

Still, Rocky was enthusiastic. He barked and wagged his tail.

Zaria went in for the Thunder Wave. If this connected, Rocky would be paralyzed, and that would hinder him greatly. “Um... uh... use Double Team!” That worked out well the last time.

@Crimson Flame @Jujube
Netty stood speechless. She’d expected Nicholas to keep talking tough, so the sudden apology caught her by surprise, and resonated with her. So he did know what it was like to have people make fun of him and his Pokemon. She opened her mouth to reply, to say something similar… But no, she couldn’t. Not in front of all these people. She was the winner, she had to act like it.

“Well, does this prove a point about overlooked Pokemon?” she said instead, gesturing to the victorious Mellona, who squealed and twirled. Netty glanced at the crowd to drive the point home, briefly wondering if she came across as badly as Nicholas had.

It didn’t matter, she decided as she went to get Mellona healed. What mattered was the crowd might now think twice before underestimating someone.

That bout of confidence faded as Netty stepped up to face her next opponent, Troy. Hundreds of battles, if not thousands… His earlier words replayed through her head as she gripped the Pokeball containing Mellona. Assuming he actually had been telling the truth, she and Mel wouldn’t be in for an easy time.

“Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to back up those claims of yours,” she said nonetheless, sending Mellona back into the fray.

Troy on the other hand, remains blissfully oblivious. Claims? Was she referring to the homeroom icebreaker? Could it really be that hard to believe he didn’t like talking about himself? What does that even mean, if she’s saying it here and now? Is she trying to provoke Troy or is she referring to something else? What is there to even prove in a matchup this lopsided? A Shuckle versus a Combee just feels downright unfair. Maybe things would be different if Shuckle was running a more defensive set, but considering the sheer unga bunga that Troy’s been making use of, Shuckle may as well be using one of the most aggressive strategies in the class, if only because he has the defense to get away with it.

Troy couldn’t help but to hate this. This battle, this feeling of arrogance, like his win was already assured. It was a sickening feeling of unavoidable complacency. He wasn’t sure why it felt so disgusting. Aiming to be the very best meant there should be countless easy battles along the way, so surely there’s more to it than just that. It wasn’t fear of failure; his only concern was the opportunities lost through it and that was solved in the previous matches. It wasn’t vicarious either, since Antoinetta had good matches earlier as well. She proclaims her goal is as a pokemon coordinator anyway, losing a battle shouldn’t even be an issue to her, so what exactly is the problem?

Maybe it’s the same feeling you get when you can’t help but think you know better than your parents.

Well, as Troy has told his class, he didn’t like talking about himself. Troy puts it out of his mind and tosses out Shuckle’s pokeball. Shuckle springs forth, chipper as ever, nonchalantly smiling in an infectious way that instantly put him at the focal point of Troy’s attention. It was always easy to forget all else and focus when Shuckle was involved.

”What say you we make this interesting?”

At the sight of Troy's Pokemon, Netty's facade of composure faltered. A Shuckle. An irresistibly cute one, yes, but of all the Pokemon to face, it just had to be a Rock type. Netty could practically feel all eyes on what was likely the worst match-up in the tournament.

Mellona, however, seemed up to the challenge, squeaking a cheery greeting as she took her place. Overcoming type disadvantages, Netty reminded herself, was an important part of Pokemon training.

"I see you really do appreciate the Bug type," she replied, trying to sound unfazed, even though the way Troy said 'interesting' put her on edge. "Hmm, interesting in what way? I guarantee Mel's battle style is gonna be show-stopping as it is, but let's hear."

”I was just thinking this battle might be better training for you if we treated it as a contest showdown.” Troy’s knowledge of contests is limited, but conducting the battle this way seemed like it might be somewhat less depressing for both parties. If fighting Antoinetta wasn’t going to feel good, he may as well help her train instead, right?

A contest battle. The suggestion should have made Netty feel better. She and Mel might just have the upper hand now, right? But if he was simply letting them look good, would it mean anything? Shouldn't they shine by their own merit?

"Sounds good!" Netty replied nonetheless. "For us, anyway. You may end up regretting it." For all the tough talk, her voice still shook. Ugh, she had to get a grip. This uncertainty wouldn't inspire Mellona at all. "Ok Mel, show off your dance moves with Gust!"

Mellona twirled in elaborate loops, round and round, her buzzing reaching a crescendo as she sent a mini tornado spiralling towards the Shuckle.

It only now dawns on Troy how unprepared he is for a contest showdown. His moveset and win conditions weren’t exactly flashy, at least compared to his father’s rental pokemon. It may be an unfair comparison, but it nonetheless serves as his standard of normalcy. Regardless, it’s important to be able to improvise. ”You’re no stranger to a little spinning, right Shuckle? Get ready with Defense Curl, then use the tornado to jump-start Rollout.”

Shuckle does as Troy instructs, curling up into its shell and spinning with the same rotation as the tornado once it hits.


Could I please get my name changed to: wisteria ?

Would appreciate it. Thank you! Happy Holidays :D
The Thundershock hit once more! The Charmander, already strained from his paralysis, couldn't take much more than a few attacks, especially Thundershocks from an electric type. With a groan, the fire lizard slumped over, his eyes positively dizzy looking. "Chaaar..." He let out a puff of smoke before falling down completely.

"Hey! Char!" Rorie returned him before he could hit the ground. "I can't believe we lost..."

Zaria won! Magnet gained one level!

She shook her head, looking just a little dejected. But then she snapped up and glared at Zaria. "It am down to luck and you won, good job." She extended her hand for a conceding handshake, her once harsh expression now softened. "I guess that forest fire story was true. Your Magnemite seemed to know their way around the stuff. Not bad."

The students were aflutter with whispers. "She won?"

"Not bad..."

"It was more luck than anything else though, wasn't it?"

Zaria would have time to respond if she wanted to, or Rorie would walk away.

"Emmy! Defense Curl!" Nicholas shouted, his once arrogant eyes now furrowed with a little more uncertainty. As the Gust swooped the Sentret up once more, the pokemon rolled up protectively. "Seeeee!" The little rodent cried. When the gust slowed, the Sentret stood up, strained and tired looking.

Nicholas jabbed a finger towards Mell and Netty, snarling. "I've got you now! You've triggered our ultimate attack! Reversal! Emmy, use it!"

Emmy balled her tiny paws and glowed a fierce orange. A vortex of fighting type energy swirled around her before coalescing into a solid glow that then faded. Emmy shook her head drooped her ears as she let out a small, "sen..." Her strong tail gave out beneath her and she stumbled to the ground, too tired to go on, much to Nicholas' chagrin.

"Em- Emmy? No! We lost to a bug trainer?" He grabbed his face with his hands. "Arghh, no! You've got to be kidding me! And I trash talked the whole damn time! Damnit!"

Netty won! Mellona gained one level!

He ran to his pokemon, hugging the little Sentret's soft, round body before returning the creature. "I'm sorry, okay? I was an ass. To tell you the truth I got made fun of a lot last year when I caught Emmy. Everyone said Sentret couldn't be strong, so I guess it kind of got to me. That's not an excuse. But anyways, you won." He would stick around to hear what Netty had to say before walking away.

The students talked more. "She's got style."

"I guess she is a coordinator... Huh."

"I really like her dress!"

Crash! Though the sharp defense boost softened the blow, the Shuckle's attack was powerful and painful. "Gup..." It said feebly before passing out heavily.

"Gulp!" Bobby returned the pokemon, looking at his pokeball. He laughed, trying but failing miserably to hide the stream of tears running down his face.

Troy won! Shuckle gained one level!

Bobby walked over to Troy. "I just... I really wanted to win I guess. But we were no match for you. I guess we're not main characters after all..." He covered his obvious sobs by shoving his face into the crook of his elbow, his other hand stuck out in wobbly gesture for a hand shake. "But I won't give up!" He wiped the ocean of tears away from his eyes. "We won't give up! Let's shake on it!"

Troy would have the chance to respond, otherwise Bobby would simply run away bawling.

"All that with just a Shuckle!"

"The Gulpin wasn't that strong though."

"That Rollout's strong no matter what though."

@Crimson Flame
Another Sand attack landed on the Yamper with little effort from Rocky, who landed the hit squarely. "Arf! Arf!" Pachi yelped, still seeing double clones of Rocky and now he had sand in his eyes! As the Discharge came crashing down on the field, he ran around, trying to see where Rocky was-- but his attack hit nothing and nobody! Frustrated, the Yamper howled before rolling around on his back in a ferocious tantrum.

"Pachi!" Gerard tapped his foot impatiently. "Up! Come now, we've got a battle to win!"

"Arr... Woof..." The Yamper snuffled the ground and hid his tail between his legs before rolling onto his back and exposing his soft tummy. "Arrrr?" It was clear he wanted belly rubs. Students began to snicker. Gerard was furious.

"Pachi, Damnit! Up! You've got a battle to win!" Gerard rushed to the field while Caprea, who had been judging the match, cleared her throat. "It's clear that he doesn't want to battle," she said with an amused smile. "And as the trainer, you've already interceded on the pokemon's behalf, so it's over." Before Gerard could protest, Caprea waved a green flag in Tim's direction. "We have a winner for this match! Tim Wolfe!"

Tim won! Rocky gained one level!

"Noooo!" Gerard sank to his knees while Pachi, blissfully oblivious, rolled around with his tongue hanging out, mucking up his fur. "Ugh, Pachi, you're so spoiled..." Defeated, he knelt to give the puppy some affectionate pets. "Hmph, I suppose you won... But this doesn't mean we're friends. You're a breeder, don't you know that pedigree pokemon are the best?"

Tim would have a chance to respond before Gerard walked away. The students were in titters over Gerard's Yamper, although quite a few people did find his pokemon purely endearing anyways.

"So that transfer student won! I can't decide between Rockruff or Yamper! They're so cute!"

"His parents are pokemon doctors, right? I wonder if his Rockruff's specially bred..."

"No fair! Some people get everything handed to them."

As it came down to the final rounds, the class was quite shocked to see that none other than the transfers had made it into the semi-finals! There had been some impressive contenders in the second round, but now there was just Troy, Zaria, Netty, and Tim. "Well then! Let's randomize the matches... There we are! Tim and Zaria, along with Netty and Troy!" Caprea was all smiles and beaming as usual. "Yes, it's getting heated up now! I wonder how the top students will deal with each other?"

"Ha, well you know I'm rooting for the electric type pokemon, naturally." Tessa said, grinning as she adjusted her goggles and shrugged shamelessly.

"I want to say I don't have any favorites, but that's just because there are no grass or psychic types on the field," Caprea said with a chuckle. "So then... shall the matches get started?" With that, the transfers were now opposing each other on the field. Tim stood across Zaria while Netty stood across Troy. The entire class' eyes were glued on them, along with Tessa and Caprea. The two ladies grinned at each other before exclaiming:

Thank you for the Candy Cane!
@Crimson Flame
"Pachi! Use Bite!" Gerald commanded. "We'll best you, don't you worry-!" But as the Yamper dug into the Rockruff wth his jaws, the pokemon poofed away in a cloud of smoke. It seemed that there were still a few Double Team clones about, enabling Rockruff to get in a good Tackle after Pachi's missed bite.

"Arf!" Pachi let out a yelp as he was flung back. Even with a single hit, it was clear the Yamper didn't have the best defenses. That didn't stop Gerald though. He was determined to win and prove how pedigree pokemon surpassed all else.

"Pachi, go for another Discharge!" Gerald shouted.

"Arf! Arf!" The Yamper let off another blast of electricity just like before. Tim's response?

"Heh, I'd remember your name if it was worth remembering... Wait--what?! Emmy!" Nicholas' smug smirk twisted into a look of surprise as Mellona's Struggle Bug swept across their field, sparkling and fabulous. Emmy the Sentret did get a Scratch in on Mellona, but taking a direct hit from the Struggle Bug hurt the Sentret quite a bit.

"Sen!" The pokemon was pushed back once more. Emmy wasn't looking too good, having taken a Gust and a Struggle Bug. Nicholas gritted his teeth.

"Hmph, we have one more trick up our sleeve Bug Catcher... and it's something nobody's ever been able to beat before." He smirked, crossing his arms. "Now then, Emmy, get another Quick Attack off!"

What was Netty's response?

The strategy executed well. Shuckle, with some shoddy steering, was able to swerve towards the Yawn bubble, kicking up quite a bit of rubble and debris. The bubble popped, but before the Yawn gas could envelop Shuckle, the turtle rolled away to avoid the effects.

"No! Damn it, at this rate..." Bobby wracked his brain. Gulp just wasn't good with his Poison Gas. What other moves could they use? "Gulp, use Acid Armor!"

The Gulpin's form slowly melted into a puddle before reforming once more. His cells rearranged, he could now withstand stronger physical moves. "Gup!"

"We're powered up!" Bobby pumped his fist into the air. "Let's see what you can do, RIVAL!" How would Troy react?

Magnet's aim was true, Thundershock made a direct hit on the Charmander. The pokemon howled and spewed a jet of flame from its mouth. "Chaaaa!"

"Char! Hang in there! Oof, you just got lucky!" Rorie screeched, jabbing a finger at Zaria. "This doesn't mean you're better or anything! Char, use another Smokescreen!" But as the Charmander went to belch another burst of smog, he froze in place, trying to move but his limbs seemed locked. A thin thread of electric current snaked around his body. It was a sure sign of the paralysis working.

"Char!" Lucky for Zaria, the Charmander couldn't attack this turn due to paralysis. How would she react then?
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