I Wanna Be the Very Best
Fanfiction is a stigma among storytellers, but everyone starts somewhere. I first stretched my creative writing muscles over a decade ago on the official SEGA forums’ Sonic Fanfiction subforum, and your assumption is correct - it wasn’t good fanfiction. As embarrassing as it is to admit I did such a thing, it was one of many necessary steps to develop my hobby in storytelling. While I stuck with fanfiction for years, I gradually branched out, using IPs such as Pokémon as a basis for settings and characters, but structuring tales around my own casts. Eventually, I moved onto trying to craft my own original stories in my own fantasy worlds, and I produced a handful of chapters I enjoyed. It was a fun pursuit, though to be honest, I always felt I lacked skills in building characters and interactions between them, which is generally key to building a strong story. Writing action sequences feels much more in my element. Regardless, I’ve shelved my creative writing efforts since this year. As much as I enjoy writing fiction, I’ve had more important things to pursue, such as my blogs here.
I didn’t think I’d be writing another story so soon, but since this month’s Bloggers Wanted prompt is about fanfiction, the planets have aligned! I’m taking another crack at fanfiction with a one-shot Pokémon story, placed in a setting derived from the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spinoffs. The ones populated fully with talking Pokémon. I use a giant sun moth bro as my avatar, I have very quirky preferences for fictional settings.
Without further ado, I present the least cringey fanfiction I’ve ever written, “Train on, Ledian”. Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee 0% cringe. Enjoy!
In the middle of a thin forest’s clearing, the dojo stood proud. Its walls clamored with shouts and strikes, drowning out the hustle of the town in front of it. Voices rang out with passion, frustration, and determination.
And the door clattered open as a large hand slammed it aside.
A gruff voice shouted furiously, tossing a Ledian out. His head struck the tree with a hollow crash.
“Iahiahiah…” the Ledian held his hand against his aching forehead, eyes swirling.
“Ledian!” A furious Heracross called out, barging outside. She knelt down towards her friend, who nodded slowly as he reached out towards her arm. A ferocious glare shot towards the door, where a Machamp stomped out sternly. “You can’t do this!”
“We told ya the rules,” the Machamp folded his arms, reaching for the door as he shot a thumb away from the dojo. “Ya can’t win, ya get the boot. ‘E’s just dragging the team down. The Topaz Tourney ain’t for lightweights.”
“You slimy, stupid…!”
“S-Stop, Hera…” the Ledian stumbled onto his feet, clinging onto her knee. The knee winced lightly. She turned her scowling head away from both of the guys.
“... you punks aren’t worth my time.” The Heracross spat, grasping him gently . “We’re leaving.”
Somewhere in the increasing distance behind them, a frustrated voice grumbled too quietly for the dizzy and defiant pair to register, before the wooden door slammed loudly.
“What in the WORLD do you mean, ‘he’s right’!?” The Heracross exasperated, pounding a tree in frustration.
“Hera, please…” The Ledian shook his head, as a cascade of Oran berries fell upon the insect that assaulted their tree. She was unfazed. He reeled back a foot, before inching a few meters towards the idle avalanche of foodstuffs. “My training just… isn’t working. Everyone else keeps getting stronger, and I feel… not that much. They told us from the start that I’m weaker than most Pokémon. I’m not keeping up with them. I can’t win a real fight…”
An awkward silence permeated the air.
“... is that what your dad would say?”
“My dad is a Volcarona,” Ledian’s voice dimmed further. “He can hit harder. He can move faster. He can take more. And he’s got better moves.”
“And you promised him you’d win the Topaz Tournament one day, too.”
“That was before I knew how weak I was…” he sighed. “I thought joining the best dojo in town would help me catch up. I didn’t know that some Pokémon are just… weaker.”
“But you’re still getting stronger, right?”
She threw a gravelly stone at him.
He slapped it aside, knocking it into the adjacent tree.
A Sitrus berry plopped onto his head, flinching a split second.
“... not enough, huh?” She juggled another stone within her left hand. “Funny. Your dad wasn’t hatched strong enough to do that, either.”
An awkward laughter permeated the air.
“Alright, let’s give this another go.” Ledian fastened his stance, planting his nubby feet against the grass.
“Right now? You sure, pal? You’re still a little tired from that last fight…”
“I’m fine,” he grit his teeth, breathing deeply. “If we’re facing Machamp’s dojo in the Tournament, I just have to get strong enough to face them. And I’m not going to do that unless I train harder than them…”
“If you say so!”
Heracross lunged forward with her horn pointed forward. Ledian instantly lunged to the side, Heracross twisting her pursuit towards him. He sprinted aside, yet her horn swung at him, striking him in the back.
He stood himself back up, dragging his feet through the ground. With a defiant growl, he leapt into the air, tackling back at her. Her body stood its as he bounced back, fists humming with energy as he leapt again. With the glimmer of a falling comet, his fists descended upon her -
And she knocked him aside with a thrust of the arm.
“A good idea,” she remarked as he picked himself up, “But aggressive tactics against someone with stronger defenses just leaves you open for a counterattack.”
“Agh…,” Ledian stretched his arms, winding them up with a smirk. “Okay. If I’ve got no way to break her defense, maybe I can wait for her to leave herself open…”
“Strategy break’s over!” She called out, blitzing towards him. Ledian held his ground, watching her advancement carefully. He bent his legs -
- Ledian leapt over the tackling Zigzagoon, watching it stop in its tracks to turn back towards him. With a gleam in his eyes, he fell upon his opponent with two left fists. His right ones pumped the air with a cheer, just in time to find another one heading right towards his face.
“Eyes on the prize, Ledian!” Heracross cheered from the sidelines, Ledian picking himself up as the pack of raccoons circled him. “You’ve got this!”
He wiped his mouth, putting his fists back up. One by one, he traded blows with the horde, claws and fists colliding against each other. A pair of Zigzagoon crossed in the air. Ledian’s wings froze for a split second. He stumbled out of the way, sliding across the ground perpendicular to the crashing Zigzagoon. A third rushed into his side, knocking him across the ground.
As he rolled, he grasped the ground, pulling himself onto his legs. A dim light filled his fists. He grinned. “I’ve been saving this new move just for a time like this…” His dirt-smidgen face grinned, rushing forward with his fists glowing an umber aura -
- The Frogadier croaked as Ledian struck his face with his aura-infused fist.
“M-Mach punch…” The Frogadier observed, regaining his composure. “Not bad! But I’ve got a few tricks too!” He smirked, his throat inflating. Ledian held his arms at his face, bracing for the coming attack. Instead, a bellow of thick smoke blew forth from the frog’s mouth.
“S-Smoke…!?” Ledian coughed, lowering his arms to get a better look at his opponent. He was just in time to see Frogadier’s foreleg raising towards his face. Ledian recoiled back, wings unfurling as he buzzed away from the cloud. The cloud remained in place, concealing his target in an ominous cloak of black dust. No noise but Frogadier’s almost mocking growling, continually gnawing at his will to fight.
Ledian shut his eyes for a second, diving into the smokescreen. His wings hummed faster, louder, waves of energy rippling from them. The Frogadier shouted out in confusion, lashing out his his tongue. The moment he was licked, an uncanny numbness came over him. A numbness that tried to imprison him.
The spectating Heracross giggled a little. “Ohhhohoh dear… confusion and paralysis…”
The two combatants locked eyes with each other, stumbling frustratedly at each other in their conditions. Ledian’s strikes halted constantly. Frogadier constantly slammed his face into the floor. The smoke thinned ever so slightly in their constant whiffing. With a furious shout, Ledian raised his hands towards the sunny sky, a bright energy gathering in them. The energy sparkled and shined brilliantly, forged into the shape of stars as it launched towards Frogadier -
- the stars flew through the cloudy sky, grazing the Honchkrow’s wings. The bird scowled angrily, soaring up for a counterattack - and immediately was pelted in his back by the stars which flew past him. Ledian saw her wings freeze for a moment, diving forth with all of his hands alight. A flurry of blows struck once, twice, thrice, four times in Honchkrow’s stomach. She scowled angrily, screeching as she flapped her wings with a dark energy.
The ladybug twirled his body into a spiral, rolling out of the dark pulse’s pathway. Warring growls resonated against each other, wings flapping rabidly against each other. Honchkrow pursued, a fierce tailwind behind her wings. A bright, reflective wall of light shimmered in front of Ledian’s arms, as his opponent chased after him with a shrill scream. She lashed out his wing at him -
- Machamp’s fists assaulted Ledian’s barrier, his legs sliding against the tiled arena floor with every strike. The hundred-strong voices of the audience clamored, cheering for opposing sides. Ledian’s legs stiffened, his reflection wavering and cracking gradually. They crouched. They sprung, wings whirring across the air as he accelerated. The clock kept ticking, and the judges locked their eyes onto him.
The Exploud emcee narrated every move. Cross Chop. Swift. Submission. Comet Punch. Brick Break. Swords Dance. Bulk Up. Constantly trading blows, breathing only to shore up their offenses. Ledian kept his eyes locked on Machamp with a begrudging glare. Machamp was simply infuriated that the ladybug wasn’t fainting yet, scatterings its scales everywhere like it owned the arena. Scales that buffeted against his body like a rain of needles. A silvery wind that Ledian’s wings continued to cast, hovering faster, scales sharpening. Pounding his fists together, Ledian’s wings flapped downwards, halting them as he descended his fists upon his rival like a comet -
- Ledian bumped his fist with Heracross’, buzzing softly towards the horizon. Wind blustered fiercely against his head and the topaz necklace he now adorned around it. She checked into his shoulder, and he returned the notion. Both laughed with abundant enthusiasm.
They wandered over to the edge of town.
He stared at the horizon.
Her claw clasped atop his head, between his antennae.
“You’ll be fine, champ.” She rubbed it. “Come back soon, alright?”
Ledian nodded, smiling gently. “Don’t worry about me. After all, I made - “
“ - I made a promise to become stronger.” Ledian stretched his arms, smiling towards the bright figure hovering on the other end of the field front of him. “Strong enough to prove to the world that my weakness doesn’t really matter. Strong enough to inspire people who doubted themselves like I did. Strong enough for people who don’t have a friend like Hera. That’s why I wanna battle you.”
The figure laughed joyously, rolling in the air against the setting sun. “You’ve grown, alright. If that’s the main reason you came all the way here, how could I refuse? But don’t expect me to hold anything back!”
“You better not,” Ledian smirked, rolling his joints. “I want to see how strong you really are this time!”
“Then let’s begin!”
The Volcarona unfurled his wings, stirring a searing crimson flame that shot forth. Ledian hovered patiently -
- and he summoned a screen of light to deflect the azure blast, mist bouncing off of it. The Lucario rushed forward, palm alight with a similar blue fire. Ledian danced around, striking with his fists repeatedly. Fists rapidly collided, glowing energies clashing and sparking from both sides. Both of their faces winced and smudged in the dust, but neither yielded. Lucario’s palms glowed again, and Ledian braced to parry the blow, only to find a bone-shaped construct of energy slammed into his face. Smacked into the cliffside, the ladybug quickly bounced back, wings buzzing rabidly as a strange energy swirled forth from them -
- the Hydreigon flailed about in the air as the energy from Ledian’s wings struck it, eyes spinning in a brief daze. As his foe reeled back, Ledian dove into cover, catching his breath as he recited the dance he learned. Phantasmal swords swirled around him, vanishing the instant his feet touched the ground. A loud crash crunched behind him, as his cover vanished in a cloud of dust and darkness. Hydreigon’s heads growled, roared, and smirked, gnashing out at the little bug. Dashing, diving, accelerating through the air Ledian’s wings buzzed. His eyes gleamed with a fiery passion, a vacuum of air bellowing around him. Wind coursed rapidly around his hands, like a localized storm. An edge of winds formed in his grasp, and he lunged forward -
- his air cutter lashed into Moltres’ wing. A high, mighty cry rang across the air. Moltres’ beak seethed with flame, the air around the volcano growing drier and hotter. Ledian’s wings scattered a hailstorm of silver scales in the wind, honing his strength further as his scales slashed against Moltres. An array of flames coursed around the sky, raining upon him like a meteor shower. He shuttled over the lava, under the flares, between the fireballs. A searing ember struck his back, halting him in his tracks. He grunted and recomposed himself, furiously charging forth with fists alight. Moltres’ beak fell agape, losing its flare for a long second. Ledian swirled overhead and struck the firebird’s backside, pummeling it rapidly as the lava grew closer, and closer, and closer, and he dashed for safety. A sharp warcry muffled underneath the pool of lava, Moltres stirring and mixing it as it moved erratically underneath its surface. Ledian watched the volcano like a Watchog, hovering back a safe distance as he awaited his foe’s next move. His beady eyes blinked just once -
- Ledian opened his eyes as they darted around the caverns, following the craters and broken stone across the floor. Embers of magenta energy faded out. A pair of menacing, glowing eyes shot forth from the dense dust clouds.
Ledian erected a screen of light as a wave of psychic energy shot forth from the eyes. Dust and energy scattered, uncloaking Mewtwo’s shape. Ledian darted forward, smashing into his torso. The psychic reeled back against the floor, watching the bug rapidly dart back to his original position.
“You deceptive little...” Mewtwo growled, swiping the sweat from his face as Ledian jabbed at the air. Mewtwo’s fist clenched the brilliant stone in his hand, staring at it with a remorseful fury. He swallowed his grumble. The stone shone a spherical rainbow, cocooning Mewtwo with an overwhelming light. His sillhouette darkened, shifted, transformed. The light cracked, colorful mist swirling into the shape of an emblem above his head. Mewtwo emerged with an echoing roar, his body streamlined. Hovering above the air, an elongated ponytail-like fin dangled behind his head. His extremeties reshaped and rounded. His eyes dyed crimson, his head adorned with a circlet of what seemed to resemble antennae. “This farce ends now!”
Beams of energy rocketed forth from Mewtwo’s fingertips. Ledian bent his back, the rays grazing his face.
“Pulling out all the stops, huh?” Ledian smirked, tossing a lime-green crystal into his hand. “No more holding back here, either!”
Mewtwo held out a palm, a golden light gathering around it. The air thinned, a tiny spark forming, expanding rapidly. And it exploded, blasting forth as a massive laser of hyperactive energy.
Ledian raised a screen, straightening his legs.
The Hyper Beam smashed into him, bending a shower of light around his shield. The shield shimmered and wavered, energy echoing across every wall. A spark filled the room. The shield cracked and fragmented, bits of the laser leaking past the shield. The spark brightened, blinding the both of them.
An excruciating, stinging heat overcame Ledian’s body. He cried out.
The light faded.
“Wh… wh…” Mewtwo panted, stumbling as he fell limp. “Ho… how… why…!?” His eyes widened, shaking his head sluggishly. “How can… you be… so strong!?”
“Lemme show you how!”
The crystal in Ledian’s hands shone brilliantly, his body surrounded with a golden aura. His wings buzzed rapidly, threads spewing out from behind them. Ropes of silk shot forth. The exhausted Mewtwo winced, turning away only to find his sight clouded by a wall of thread. His body, encapsulated. Ledian’s eyes gleamed fervorously as he yanked his silken chain overhead, slamming the cocoon into the earth behind him. He twisted and pulled and swung his threads around, dragging it against the floor, stones upheaved and crumbled in its path. He let go. The cocoon flung into the air, soaring haphazardly across the damp air. He pursued it. His wings cut through it. Its threads scattered in turbulent winds.
Mewtwo’s reverted form thud against the floor.
Scraps of silk littered the stalagmites.
Mewtwo’s eyes swirled, his vision fainting.
“Hooooo man! That was awesome!” Ledian jumped into the air, pumping a fist. Mewtwo shut his eyes tightly, until a nub nudged his hand. The nub took took it, pulled him gently onto his feet. “Thanks a ton! I haven’t had a fight that tough in a long time!”
“You…” Mewtwo’s voice echoed dully into a sigh. “... very well. I’m a man of my word. Ask me any question you like.”
“You know a lot about every Legendary Pokémon, right?” Ledian enthusiastically sat down.
“Something so trivial?” Mewtwo cocked his head, folding his arms. “That’s all you wanted to fight me for?”
“Yeah! Well... sorta. I’m on a journey to prove I can get strong enough to defeat any Pokémon,” Ledian twiddled his arms. “But there’s one that nobody knows how to find. Can you tell me about Arceus?”