Ty responded, imitating a return bow. He halted for just a moment on the way back up... was he supposed to do that? Or was it supposed to be like a special thing just for monks.... ahhhh well, too late to take it back now."I'm trying to get back quick to watch some other battles, though. Could we keep it to a one-on-one?"
Hunk gave a confident smile and bowed. He seemed to think it was cool."As you wish."
With a nod, Nao let out his Pokemon of choice. A little beige, red-spotted bear swayed in place, lurching for balance merely trying to stand. "Are you ready, Spinda?"
Nao asked. The panda grinned, spun around, and tottered forward in a zigzag pattern like she'd gotten off a fairground ride. While such a clumsy-seeming Pokemon wouldn't look like much of an opponent, especially to a Fighting type, her staggering steps weren't for nothing."Start this with Double Team."
On command, the already difficult-to-hit Pokemon sped up her stumbling, the afterimages she left even more dizzying than her movements.
Hunk looked confused for a few seconds as his opponent appeared. Then he just shook his head and sighed. The Timburr felt a little bad about beating up a Pokémon who seems to have already taken a beating recently. But, a battle is a battle.
Hunk hefted up his thick plank to attack. In that short time, Spinda already made the first move. Hunk lifted up his log to crash it down on the skull of the wobbling Pokémon to his right, only to overcorrect and almost topple over himself to avoid leaving his left side open to attack from the Spinda on the left. A CRACK rang out as the log struck-- the cobblestone floor, and now somehow Spinda was behind him?? Hunk's brows furrowed with frustration, the Timburr already growing flustered."Remember not to look at their face while battling,"
Ty instructed. "Focus on their torso to see where their limbs are going."
Hunk still looked baffled but nodded. The beaver Pokemon took a second to close his eyes and take a bolstering breath. Maybe he could recover from his early mistakes with a little more focus. (Focus Energy)
As the Timburr took a deep breath, muscles tightening, Nao watched a slight red glow appear around him. Focus Energy. A smart choice, sharpening his concentration to counter Spinda's strategy of throwing it off. Which, of course, meant it was time to go on the offensive."Follow up with Tackle,"
he called. The Spinda seemed to veer completely off course, but arced towards Hunk at the last moment, launching herself with surprising accuracy."Wait 'til it hits you, then you can hit with Pound!"
Hunk still had trouble tracking Spinda. Rather that attempt to dodge her careening blows, the Timburr held his log to his back like a makeshift shield and dug in his heels, preparing to weather the hit. The Tackle came hard to the side of his leg, threatening to buckle his knee, but the fighting type managed to fight through the pain and stand strong. His hand whipped out to grab Spinda before she could get away. But the wobbling Pokémon ducked its head in a seemingly impossible Limbo move and slipped away from his grasp... this time. Hunk grunted angrily and steeled himself to deal a mighty blow next time she dared to get close.
The evasion strategy was still working, but despite the hit, the Timburr's fighting spirit showed no sign of wavering. The Spinda bounced and stumbled back from the blow she'd dealt, regaining her balance, or as much balance as she ever had. Her head tilted from side to side, yet those spiraling eyes remained fixed on the Timburr, showing focus beneath her ditzy exterior. "That's it, keep dodging and wearing it down,"
Nao encouraged. "Again, Tackle."
Whirling around like an overenthusiastic dancer, Spinda barreled towards her opponent again, the images from her earlier Double Team still accompanying her."You can hit it this time, I know it!"
Ty encouraged. He wished there was something more useful he could say, something that would be the secret key to beating Spinda. But it was all up to Hunk's reflexes and quick thinking now. Any more distractions might only lower his chances.
As Spinda went in for another Tackle, Hunk lifted his plank to a more offensive stance. The Pokemon seemed to be going for the same weakened leg, only to weave around to slam into his back at the last second. Hunk grunted as the wind was knocked out of him. The Timburr allowed the attack to push him a step forward so he could pivot on the spot. Hunk used his turning momentum to swing his log in a broad arc, risking his balance to cover as much area as possible. (Pound)
The log swept through the decoys, slamming into the Spinda's torso and knocking her flying. She thudded to the floor with a strained, breathless squeal, rolling like a ragdoll. Nao leaned forward, a hint of a frown the only break in his composure, but the bear staggered to her feet. Although she wobbled more than ever, she remained standing."Use Copycat this time,"
Nao commanded, straightening his own posture. Spinda careened at Hunk, lurching to the left as she aimed for an unguarded side. Swinging a paw at him, she used his attack against him just as he'd used hers to his advantage."Yeah!"
Ty shouted as Hunk got a solid hit in. It would take more than that to take Spinda down, though, and part of Ty feared he wouldn't be able to get enough accurate Pounds in. The Timburr wobbled for a couple seconds to regain his balance after that wild swing. He looked a little weary already."Alright buddy,"
Ty commanded as Spinda headed back into the fray. "This is your big moment! Trip it up with Low Kick!"
A determined look flashed across Hunk's face as he took a solid stance. Then Spinda's punch to the jaw dazed the Timburr, and he fell to one knee. Well, looks like... this attempt at Low Kick would just have to be lower than ever before! Hunk fell back to support himself on one elbow and one knee, mustering what remained of his strength to attempt a sweeping kick with the other leg.
Spinda yelped and flailed as the kick struck her ankle, knocking her foot from under her. Unable to steady herself, she fell in a dazed heap. Nao's grip tightened around the Pokeball, but it turned out he didn't have to recall her just yet. Letting out a moan, Spinda clambered to her feet. That supereffective attack had left her looking the worse for wear, her movements even more erratic as she limped forward. Nonetheless, she kept that intent gaze on her opponent."You can win this is you keep at it,"
Nao called. "Use Tackle."
Pushing off of her good leg, the Spinda leapt once more."Woooooah!"
Ty enthused after the successful Low Kick. "You did it, Big Man! Whatever you did that time, remember that."
Hunk celebrated with a tired smile and casually pushed back up to his feet. But the battle was not over yet. The Timburr hastily crouched back down as Spinda headed back toward him."You gotta hit it first this time!"
the punk trainer shouted. "Low Kick again."
Hunk needed no more encouragement to kick with powerful force the instant Spinda entered his range. But- he missed! It was an after-image! However, Hunk's near miss caused Spinda to also kilter off-balance and falter in the strength of her Tackle.
The Timburr ended up striking Spinda's leg in a move that could better be described as a flail than a kick, while Spinda hit Hunk's chest with more of a flop than a tackle. Both Pokémon tumbled to the floor. A slight shuffle of movement could be seen from the tangled pile of limbs. Then Hunk's heavy log, apparently tossed up in the commotion, crash landed on them. Two short yelps came from the Poké-pile, followed by silence and stillness."C'mon champ, you got this..."
Ty murmured. Both trainers waited for several long, breathless seconds. Then Ty cautiously took a few steps forward to get a better look."Uhhh... I think they're both out?"
Nao approached the two unconscious Pokemon as Ty did, crouching down. As before, the only sign of emotion was a slight furrow in his brow. "This match does indeed seem to be a draw,"
he confirmed, holding out the Pokeball, his expression settling back into serenity. "You did well though, Spinda."
She wouldn't hear him while out cold, but he'd praise her once she was healed.
Recalling her, he stood up, facing Ty and Hunk. "And so did the two of you. Let's think of it as a step forward on our journeys. I wish you luck for the gym battle, and for your travels.""Thanks, man!"
Ty responded, recalling his Timburr. "And good luck with your monk stuff! Tell Spinda she was awesome for me."
Ty pocketed Hunk's Pokeball and speed-walked back through the modest halls. He tried to focus on his feelings of pride- his well-deserved pride over his Pokémon learning a great new move. Pockets of doubt came unbidden into his thoughts, though. If Hunk tied against one gym trainer's Pokémon, would he be able to handle the gym leader's team?
The leather-clad man took a few steps outside and spotted some long dark pigtails swaying in the distance. Sophia, maybe? Maybe she already finished her battle and was also heading toward the Pokémon Center? But that would have to be a pretty fast battle... it must be somebody else.
Still, Ty hustled so that he might have a chance to see some of his companions' gym battles before his own turn. Another minute or two passed before a thought occurred to him. With a flash of light, Reaper appeared from his ball. The Scyther let out a chillingly ferocious hiss, blades flashing, blood boiling for a fight to release some energy after the stressful event earlier that morning."Reaper,"
Ty said with a slight chuckle. "We're not fighting yet."
Reaper froze for a second and then let out a different hiss, reminiscent of a balloon deflating."It's almost time, though,"
Ty assured as he held out Hunk's Pokeball. "For now, I need you to take Hunk to the Pokemon Center. It's the one with a big red roof, remember?"
The blond pointed vaguely in the right direction."You can fly as fast as you can without hitting anything. Just take him to the counter. Come fast back to me when he's ready OR if there are any problems."
Reaper grabbed the Pokeball in his mouth and flew up, performing a few tight spins in the air before zooming off toward the main town. Boy, Ty hoped the bug came close to understanding and caring about his directions. This would be a bad time for two of his Pokemon to soar off to Galar or something.
As Reaper became a green speck in the sky, Ty went back inside and waited outside the doors to the main arena. If his battle was fast enough, he could slip in between the first and second challenges.