Takachi signed his release papers, suppressing the need to flinch in pain. If he showed to much they probably would make him go back and it would be even longer before he could get back on the road. In the month since he had apparently teleported all the way from Hoenn to Celadon covered in burns, the young man had learned very little. His back and arms were still in bad shape from the fires, but he was functional. He had no memory of the three years prior when he had left to go to Hoenn. And he had no possessions, short of Kalista's PokeBall.
Recovery had been interesting. It was something between constant trying to keep him in a state of tolerable pain, and probing for questions from the authorities. But after a few days they believed his story of not remembering anything, and he was able to focus on getting better.
Takachi had no family in Kanto, so there was no one to notify. However he was able to confirm his identity with Prof. Oak in Pallet town, which meant he would be able to get his PokeDex replaced at the very least. But that was a long walk from Celadon to Pallet.
As Takachi left the hospital, he was greeted by a blur of green and white suddenly hitting him in the chest and hugging him.
“Oof! You miss me that much Kalista?” He said, patting the Ralts on the head. Kalista looked up at him with her big red eye and nodded. “I missed you lots!” her voice echoed in his head as he lifted her up and placed the Psychic Pokemon on his shoulder.
“They wouldn't let me in! The people here are meanies!” Takachi laughed as he walked down the street headed for the Pokemon Center. “It's ok Kali, I'm here now. Let's focus on getting back on track.” On track, as it were, was getting back to Hoenn. The two headed out to Route 8, Takachi having gotten a map from the Pokemon Center.
“So what's the plan, Taka-sama?” Kalista pushed her hair out of her eye to look at the map with him. Takachi traced his finger along the route they were on.
“Well first stop will be Saffron, we'll stop there and radio home. After that it's a short walk to Cerulean, but then a reeeaally long walk to Pallet Town, and that's if we take the back roads and avoid Viridian and Pewter. My best guess is about two weeks walking non stop.”
Kalista made a face. “That doesn't sound fun...” Takashi nodded and folded up the map, slipping it into his back pocket. “You're right, it doesn't. We have no gear, no backpack, I don't even have my hat anymore. And I can't...”
He frowned, stopping his walking for a moment. Kalista looked at him, placing her hand against his cheek. Takachi took a breath and walked on. “Anyways,” he continued, his feet beating the worn path that lead to the Saffron West Gate. “We have our work cut out for us. Let's put some space between us and Celadon, shall we?”
The next hour of walking was uneventful. The wind was cool, the clouds kept the sun from shining to bright, and many Pokemon were just huddling into their burrows. As the duo approached the West Gate, Takachi dug into his back pocket and pulled out an ID. Since he'd lost his previous PokeDex and PokeGear it was hard to be a 'legitimate' Trainer. But a quick word from the Professor in Pallet was able to get a temp ID card printed out.
Takachi made it through the checkpoint with no problem, although Kalista was getting weird looks. She hugged her Trainer's neck as they entered the streets of Saffron. “Why are they all staring at me Taka-sama?” Takachi rolled his shoulders a bit. “You're not from this region originally. The Gardevoir line hasn't been migrated to the Kanto/Johto area yet.”
Kali blinked. “Huh?” “They haven't seen someone as pretty as you.” “Oh.”
The PokeCenter was open, and a quick explanation of the situation was able to get Takachi and Kalista a temporary room for the night. However, that only solved one problem.
“Eh...” Takachi blinked at the monitor of the free-to-trainers computer that was in the lobby. The computer was big, and old. Like... “Are they still using Windows Onix? That's so outdated!” He used the mouse to open the Entie Explorer browser, which made him wince even more.
“Okay okay... Worry about the terrible state of their tech later. For now let's get something to eat.” The local directory gave him a pretty good list of places that served food, however the drawback was most of them were geared to the Sliph Co. Employees. E.I. They got discounts and he wouldn't. And his money situation was bare bones to begin with. In the short time he'd been at Celadon he'd managed to sneak into the casino and make a few dollars, but that would only get him so far. No, he needed to get back into the fights. Back into the Trainer Battles.
As he was scrolling through the window something caught his eye. An advertisement for...
“Sub-League Gym Battles?” He muttered, frowning and clicking the link. It took his to a page, which was very basic, showing a BlackBelt and a Hitmonchan sparing in a looping GIF. Under the image was an address and a Makuhita giving a thumbs up.
“Hey Kali, you feel like fighting?” The Ralts blinked and looked at the screen. “I guess... Are they ghosts?”
“Naw, they're fighters.”
The Ralts got an uncharacteristically evil grin on her face, before nodding again. Takachi grinned and nodded as well, standing up. “Well then, let's pay the Saffron Dojo a visit, shall we?”
By the time Takachi got to the Dojo, the sun had set and night was upon the city. However that didn't seem to have much of an effect on the crowd of people in the Dojo. Shouts of fury and battle ruptured from the building, making Kalista's ears hurt. The inside of the Dojo was a large room, the walls covered with pictures, martial weapons, and trophies. Many people were here tonight, two fights going on in the center of the mats, while a good group lined the outside of the mats. Takachi managed to make his way to one of the mats, where a Hitmonlee was fighting with a Primape. On the side a man with a black-belt and karate gi was fighting another guy in maroon fighting pants and pulled back brown hair.
The fight was reaching its conclusion, the humans and the Pokemon trading blows in near unison. Finally the two groups broke off, and bowed to one another.
“Fantastic fight as always, Koichi!” The brown headed man said with a boisterous laugh. The two shook hands as only manly men could. “You as well Chuck. It's always a pleasure to spar with you.”
The Hitmonlee and the Primape bumped knuckles before returning to their Trainer's sides. Koichi then raised his hand. “Ladies and gentlemen, Trainers and Martial Artists. Warriors! We are all here for the same thing, to fulfill the burning desire to trade blows and earn each others respect! So I ask you now, who here is ready to step into the ring? Be it Pokemon Battle or a few minutes on the mat, the Saffron Dojo is ready to step up.”
The chatter in the room turned to a buzz, and a few people actually stepped up to fight. Takachi and Kalista watched a few people fight, and mentally had a conversation between them.
“So, how you feel about this?”
The Ralts looked around the room for a moment before responding. “... I'm thinking as long as I fight a member of the Dojo, I stand a better chance.”
“Fair enough... I mean from what I've seen you wouldn't be the first Psychic type to enter tonight.”
On another mat a Poliwrath deflected strikes from a flying Starmie, before breaking through Confusion and hitting it with a powerful Payback punch. Koichi finished his match, bowing to his opponent before clapping the Trainer on the back.
“Very good to once again spar with you, Judah! Is there anyone else?” He addressed the crowd once again. “Any new blood want to take a turn in the ring?”
“Sure, why not?”
The group around Takachi got quiet and looked at him while parting the way to the mat. The man let out a laugh, hands on his hips. “Very well then! Let's see what you've got! I'm assuming you'll be using that Ralts on your shoulder?”
Kalista hopped off of Takachi and stood before her Trainer. Takachi nodded “Might I make a request though?” Koichi took a few steps back, reaching for a pokeball. “Do not worry, I'll give you a handicap due to your Ralts's size.”
Takachi held up his hand “Actually... I'd rather you didn't. Kalista can handle herself in a fight.” He couldn't keep the grin off of his face, and even Kalista was bouncing up and down and shadowboxing with her little fists. Koichi narrowed his eyes at the two of them. “Cocky little shits...” he muttered, before walking to the wall and pulled out a black and yellow pokeball.
“As you wish. Let me give you a formal welcome to the Saffron Dojo!” Koichi let out a shout and assumed a martial stance. “I am Koichi Yoruyari, Leader of the Saffron City Fighting Gym! And this is an official League match!”
The buzz in the Dojo died down as suddenly all eyes were on the Challenger and the Master.
“This will be a 1-on-1 fight, no swap ins, no items... And no time limit.”
Takachi's eyes narrowed slightly. But he nodded nonetheless. Koichi grinned and threw his pokeball onto the ring. “Go, Dhalsim!” A flash of red light made Takachi blink, and before them was a tall Medicham with it's hands pressed together and balancing on one leg. Kalista blinked up at the taller Pokemon, then tilted her head.
“I can sense him... He's a Psychic too?”
Takachi gritted his teeth. So this was how it was gonna play out? Koichi let out a battlecry, punching the air with his fist. “Battle Start!”