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In the countryside of Pallet Town, Yellow has just witnessed Red's private training session, and is surprised to see that the boy seems to be suffering from old injuries on his wrists. Chuchu runs up to where Red is, and Pika seems amused by the female Pikachu. Red puts on a grin as he pats their heads, and spots Yellow standing around the corner. He happily greets the young trainer, but Yellow is a little worried about Red's health condition. Daisy pulls Yellow aside, and secretly asks if she has revealed her gender to Red. Yellow blushes and says Red probably still regards her as a boy. Yellow thens walks over to Red and inquires about his wrists, but Red laughs it off and says he's recovering. Daisy and Yellow start to wonder if Red should call off his gymleader selection test the next day, since his current status seems to be hindering him from giving his best. But Red tells them not to worry, and says he's fully prepared to become the next Viridian gymeleader. He then goes off to resume his training, leaving Daisy and Yellow to look at each other doubtfully.

That afternoon, back at his own home, Red chats with Bill via his computer's visual phone system, and the young inventor remarks that Red should pass his test with flying colours. Red gets embarrassed, and says Bill is exaggerating his skills. Just then, the doorbell rings and Red opens the door to find Brock and Misty visiting. With a new hairdo, the Cerulean gymleader grins that they have brought over the tape recordings of their own selection tests, and hope it will help Red in his. Red thanks them, and Brock wonders if Red has come up with a strategy yet. Red says strength and peseverance, and Misty laughs that Red will certainly win no matter what. The two young gymleaders then decide to let Red go back to his preparations, and wish him good luck as they turn to leave. Lying in bed that night, Red remarks to himself that the test should go well with his sufficient training and the long hours of revision on the relationship between different Pokémon types, but he knows that his injured wrists and ankles will still be a problem after prolonged activity, and decides to breeze through the test quick before they start hurting.

The next morning, at the Viridian Gym, Red and his Pokémon stand and wait patiently on the battle field while the chairman of the Pokémon Association announces the rules of the selection test. The candidate will have to defeat six Pokémon in a row with the freedom to switch his Pokémon at any time. The Pokémon Association will not give commands to the six Pokémon, and they will battle on their own like wild ones. However, if any of the candidate's Pokémon faints, the candidate will fail the test. With everyone clear about the instructions, the chairman commences the test, and Red retrieves his Pokémon back into their Pokéballs.

His first opponent is a Pineco, and Red decides to call out Saur. He commands a vinewhip, and the Venusaur quickly knocks out the bagworm Pokémon. A Forretress comes up next, but Saur faints it instantly with another vinewhip. The audience exclaim at Red's fast pace, and gasp in awe when the next Pineco gets whipped unconscious as well. Another Forretress enters the battle field and starts scattering spikes on the ground. Knowing that the attack restricts his Pokémon to move around freely, Red commands Saur to unleash a sweet scent, then switches to his Snorlax, Lax, and orders it to do a bellydrum.

Sitting next to Yellow in the audience stand, the fisherman Wilton exclaims that bellydrum is a skill converting HP into attack power, and wonders what Red is planning. Lax suddenly stomps hard on the ground, and sends all the spikes flying off. With the battle field clear of spikes, Lax charges towards Forretress and instantly knocks it out with a megapunch. The audience exclaim once again when they realize that Saur's sweet scent earlier was to prepare for Lax's low accuracy attack.

The fifth Pokémon, Azumarill, gets sent out and unleashes a whirlpool. Water floods the whole battle ground, and Red recalls from his learnings that he can't switch Pokémon with the trapping attack in action. He orders Lax to use rest, and the giant Pokémon slowly recovers its HP lost during bellydrum. With his legs submerged in water, Red starts to feel the ache radiating from his ankles and knows that he has to end the battle quick. In the audience stand, Yellow and Daisy look on worried, and pray that Red will get it through. The water subsides, and Lax wakes up. Without warning, it charges towards Azumarill and quickly faints it with a megakick

. The audience cheer again, and Red retrieves Lax to switch out Vee, his Eevee that has evolved into an Espeon now. The Pokémon Association sends out Porygon2, and Red gasps in surprise when the virtual Pokémon focuses on Vee with a lock-on, and delivers a zap cannon that hits it head-on. Two-thirds of Vee's HP gets taken, and the audience start to get worried. Red, on the other hand, remarks that he has faith in Vee even though it can no longer freely evolve between different types. He orders it to recover its strength with a morning sun, and the Espeon starts to gather solar energy with the red jewel on its forehead. Red then commands a psychic, and Vee unleashes a powerful blast that knocks out Porygon2 instantly.

Red retrieves Vee, and the crowd roars that they finally have a new Viridian gymleader. Red's wrists start to tremble again, and after a moment of thought, the boy finally makes a decision. The chairman of the Pokémon Association comes up to congratulate Red for passing the test, but to his surprise, Red announces that he plans to forfeit his title. Red explains that he in fact wishes to take up the post, but his current body condition doesn't permit him from doing so. He remarks that he would gladly keep his title if the Pokémon Association could grant him some time to go in search of an ailment, but if it isn't feasible, he would have to regretfully give it up.

The audience start to gossip among themselves about the prospect of having a Viridian Gym without its gymleader again, but a voice comes from around the corner to remark that he would be happy to substitute if he could skip the selection test, and everyone looks over to the far end of the room to see Green and his Scizor leaning against the wall…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




115: VS. Forretress!


Volume 09