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  • Chara gave a nod before grabbing Cobalt's paw and dragging him behind her in the direction Sel and Blaze were heading.

    It didn't take long for them to catch up to their friends and congratulate the two on their victory.

    Sel gave a small smile at the congratulations and shook her head, "You know as well as I, Chara, that we barely made it in that battle. I must admit... We're out of practice." She glanced at Blaze, giving his hand a pat, "Perhaps we weren't ready for this, after all."

    "Nonsense," Chara objected, "You just need a refresher-a bit of training to get you back in the swing of things. How about we go to the Pokemon Center, heal your Pokemon, and see if we can get you back up to par before your next match, huh?"

    Sel gave a thankful smile and hugged Chara, "You are so sweet, there is no doubt in my mind you and Cobalt will make it to the finals and probably win this thing. Blaze and I will be lucky to make it to next week. But all the help we can get to do our best would be much appreciated."

    Chara gave a determined nod, "Just you wait, we'll get you back up to speed in no time!"

  • "She says it like it's going to be easy. Well, once she's set on something, I can't really stop her..." Cobalt sighed to nobody in particular, though Blaze was within earshot. "Not bad of a first battle Blaze. All things considered; you did pretty well for someone who just got back into the swing of things..."


    Maybe it was because Cobalt's guard was lowered, but something was different about his surroundings. It wasn't apparent to anybody but him, but the strange auras that had tailed him up until then had suddenly disappeared from his senses. Part of him was thankful for the reprieve in privacy, but he was largely concerned as to why they dropped from radar.


    Maybe he should keep the news from his Trainer; no need to occupy her any further while she was so enthusiastically driven. "I hope whatever ideas you have aren't just 'beat the tar out of Blaze until something happens.' He isn't a Magikarp that I can use as a bludgeoning device."

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  • Blaze gave a chuckle, shaking and scratching his head in slight embarrassment, "I have to admit, I didn't realize I was that out of shape or out it until I got in there... Guess I should've known better, should've done a lot more training beforehand than what we did. Any help you guys give will be much appreciated, Cobalt. Whatever it takes, I'll do my very best to get back to how I was-and to get better!"

    Chara rolled her eyes, giving Cobalt a side smile, "Of course I have a training plan in mind-one that doesn't involve you just beating the crap out of Blaze." She chuckled at the last part as Sel looked between the other Trainer and the Lucario, "No worries, just trust me and everything will work out just fine!"

  • Cobalt shook his head before gently pushing Char and Sel. "Alright, you can do the thinking for us; I'd rather be doing something than nothing while we're waiting for our next battle." The notion of helping Sel and her Pokémon was a noble undertaking, but Cobalt did intend to squeeze in a bit of practice for himself. The near-disastrous performance of Blaze and his teammates reminded the Lucario that he too had been out of practice from the last several weeks; he had been fortunate enough that years of experience had been committed into raw muscle memory, something of a rarity reserved for elite battlers like Steven's Metagross.


    "Heh, those two are almost sisters by the way they act around each other. If their hair color matched I'd dare say so..."

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  • Chara hooked her arm with Sel's and pointed ahead, "Onward, then! We shall train until you and your team are back up to par!"

    Again, she drug the girl behind her as she looked for an area they could privately train in. She almost thought to look for a 'peaceful' place, but private would be better, since there would be nothing peaceful about their training.

    Blaze chuckled, going after the Trainers as he replied to Cobalt, "They have known each other for quite some time, they might as well be sisters."

  • "Feh! If your Trainer didn't have a twin brother I'd bet Chara would actually consider it; the two are attached at the hip whenever the chance comes." Cobalt once again felt the prickling sensation as he chatted with Blaze and followed his Trainer; it was his senses again, and this time he was going to catch whoever it was! He whirrled his head around to see his supposed stalker, but just as his vision managed to get a glimpse, the person vanished. Literally. Despite Common Sense saying otherwise, Cobalt was sure that the individual that he barely saw just up and disappeared in front of his eyes.


    As Cobalt outwardly played off his odd action by shrugging and continuing his amiable chat, his mind raced to come up with an explanation. No person could do what the Fighting Type just witnessed, yet he was convinced that it wasn't a Pokémon that was following him. But who could do such a thing... besides...


    As Cobalt drew to a conclusion, his anxiety increased tenfold. He needed to tell Chara if it was who he thought it was...


    (Skip to Chara getting somewhere?)

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  • ((Yeah!))

    Chara stopped and examined the area she'd found outside the back of the stadium, it appeared to be the perfect spot for them to train, an open field surrounded by some trees with a privacy fence outlining the perimeter. It would due, no one would be able to see them without coming through a gate or the door they'd just come from. There were even yards lights if it got dark.

    Grinning, Chara announced, "This is perfect! We can get some training done here, for sure!"

    Sel looked around the area before looking behind them to search for Blaze and Cobalt.

  • Cobalt and Blaze were not terribly far behind as Chara admired the untouched field. Quite strange that the bustling Manalo Stadium hid such a large piece of empty space, but who was he to judge? He wasn't an architect, and he wouldn't try to grasp the complexities of the trade.


    "So, fill the blanks in my head? What exactly is said training entailing? I'm not fireproof enough to be a test dummy." The tall fencing and sparse flora provided little besides concealment from onlooking eyes, and the field under him permeated with the scent of freshly-cut grass. It was well-kept, even if nobody seemed to know of its existence. "It wouldn't be too difficult for someone to peek over the fence... Speaking of..."

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  • Chara threw two Pokeballs, releasing Ditto and Gengar, "I've got that covered. Ditto, transform into a Flying Type Pokemon and watch overhead. Gengar, walk the perimeter. Both of you, make sure no one intrudes on our training session."

    Both Pokemon complied, getting to work immediately. As Gengar took off to walk the fence, Ditto transformed into a Pidgeotto and took to the sky, flying above to keep an eye out. Spotting someone trying to peek over the fence, Ditto dove, gaining momentum, and pulled up just above the fence. The force of the air the Pokemon had accumulated knocked the person over and Chara grinned.

    "See? I've got it covered. As for the training, I thought we'd start off with some hand-to-hand combat."

  • Cobalt stared blankly before ultimately shrugging to himself and deciding that it was best to tune out the chaos Gengar and Ditto might cause as they 'diligently patrolled'. He had more pressing matters, and it never hurt to keep himself up-to-par when it came to his core skills: Close Quarters with his own two paws and feet, and manipulating Aura. "Alright, if we're starting with the basics, then we may as well cover all the grounds. You help Sel while ditto with me and Blaze?" He really didn't need to ask because he knew the answer already, but formalities... or something like that.


    Cobalt took the time to spread his legs apart and draw himself into a sturdy defensive stance. "Alright, looks like Chara wants to help you guys, so we're gonna start at Square One. Try hitting me with a few miscellaneous punches and kicks "

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  • ((Sorry! I just got married so I had family visiting and all that going on and whatnot so it's been a rather hectic week lol but it is now over and I can get back to my normal posting!))

    Chara gave a nod before leading Sel away from the two Pokemon to give them space to practice. She motioned towards Cobalt and Blaze as they began, asking questions and gauging how much Sel remembered and how much she would need to be reminded of.

    Blaze nodded before starting at Cobalt with a series of kicks followed by swift punches before mixing the two, at first in random sets, but then changed to a pattern.

  • (you shoulda told me so I could give my congrats on the day of! Congrats on the marriage!)


    A punch told a thousand things about its thrower when it came at a seasoned fighter like Cobalt, and what he was being told about Blaze explained his tough luck in the arena. Judging his attacks alone, Blaze had more than enough weight behind his punches and kicks; his form was well balanced for individual strikes. The big problem for Cobalt was how he could trivially do whatever the heck he wanted in-between Blaze's awkward transition from punch to kick and vice versa; the Blaziken's form meant he had great power in his punches or kicks, but his attempts at moving from punch to kick or kick to punch... he had about as much grace as a Magikarp going up a flight of stairs. A Blaziken normally had a specialization, typically complete dominance in one specific martial art over the rest. Here, Cobalt couldn't tell if Blaze was trying to incorporate multiple styles, or hadn't decided to commit to one choice.


    He was going to have to fix that.


    "Oi! Settle on one style and stick with it; you can't change your inner tempo without plenty of time, so just pick something and commit to it!" Now that he said that, Cobalt now suspected that Blaze tried to mix in a bit of a Lucario's style of fighting. Such an aggressive and mobile way of combat needed a reactive rhythm, meaning someone without quick thinking or reflexes couldn't pull it together without failing miserably.

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  • ((Thank you!))

    As Chara explained their movements to Sel, and how making them flow better will help, Blaze tried following Cobalt's instructions. He tried finding his rhythm and sticking to a tempo as the Lucario said, but he began to get frustrated as he found it more difficult than he thought he should have.

    In his frustration, his movements faltered and became sluggish as he tried thinking his steps through instead of simply letting them flow.

    He practically growled in aggravation. No wonder they'd barely won their match, he was way out of practice. Even more so than he'd originally thought. How could he have let himself get like this?

  • When Blaze's movements worsened rather than improved, Cobalt got suspicious as he blocked and parried with impunity. "You're thinking too hard about this Blaze; leave the complex thinking to your Trainer and just focus on how you're going to land hits on me." It was a bit of a crux of how the majority of Pokemon fought under their Trainers: they had their Human partner worry about the grand schemes while they focused on working out their commands. Some Pokemon took this a little too far and almost relied on their Trainers to think for them. Blaze was the complete opposite: trying to think of everything without due input from his Trainer.


    To be fair, it was partially Cobalt's fault for putting the Blaziken in that situation in the first place.


    "Hey Chara, things aren't working out as I thought one-on-one. Should we try having them work as a team? That should hopefully fix what problems Blaze's got."

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  • Chara nodded in agreement as Blaze stopped and kicked at a pebble, obviously frustrated. Turning to Sel, she explained, "We're going to work on your teamwork. I'm sure you guys will do much better with this. What I want you to do is tell Blaze exactly what you want him to do. Guide him through his own movements, don't let him think at the moment, you be his brain for him, ok?"

    Sel nodded hesitantly. She'd always trusted her Pokemon to think for themselves. Sure she would tell them her plan of action and how she wanted to go about things, but usually they executed it on their own. She hadn't had to talk Blaze through a battle since he was a Torchic. As Chara stepped onto Cobalt's side of their makeshift field and stood behind him, Sel did the same on Blaze's side before rattling off commands.

    "Blaze, start off with a roundhouse kick followed by an uppercut!" She shouted.

  • Blaze surged forward after further beckoning from Cobalt, putting aside his frustration and sweeping his leg out high as Sel specified. For the sake of the practice, Cobalt forgone his usual action and bit back his instinct to dodge the obvious attack. Instead, he blocked high, and to his pleasant surprise; Blaze smoothly spun on his heel, drawing his leg back to deliver his uppercut. It was a drastic improvement over what the Lucario witnessed just moments before, and now he knew the reason why Blaze struggled so much. "Yeah, I suspected as much. I think Sel gave Blaze a little too much independance, and it wound up overwhelming him."

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  • Chara relaid what Cobalt had said to Sel, "Try giving your Pokemon more direction in battle. Remember, they can have their own independence and that's fine, but you're their Trainer for a reason. They need your guidance and strategy."

    Sel nodded in understanding, "Alright. Let's try actual attacks then. Blaze, use Fire Spin!"

    The Fire/Fighting Type jumped back away from Cobalt to do as his Trainer commanded. Opening his mouth, he released a firey breath that twisted together towards his opponent-Cobalt.

  • To probably nobody's surprise, Cobalt quickly sidestepped the Flame Wheel moments before it could touch him; it might've been a simple practice, but Cobalt was not a major fan of being burned to death. "Okay, let's try being a little more aggressive' I don't wanna see them fall into the habit of calling out actions one at a time; they need to learn to act and react rapidly, so having them try multiple moves in rapid succession should test them..." He explained to Chara of his idea, still keeping his stance low in case Sel and Blaze got a cheeky idea while he was occupied.


    Hey, he wasn't above making low blows if it secured a victory, even if Chara sometimes disapproved of them.

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  • Chara pursed her lips agreeing with Cobalt again, "You're right... Hey Sel, try giving Blaze a strategy plan, either beforehand or during the battle. Call out multiple moves or one right after the other in succession. It'll help your Pokemon better prepare for what they need to do and give them a sense of control because they already know what their next move is. But also, you need to be prepared for anything unexpected, have a backup plan if your opponent does something you hadn't counted on. Remember, the more in control your Pokemon feels, the more confident they are."

    Sel nodded at Chara's advice. She knew all of this, she was a Trainer as well. But, she was ashamed to admit it'd been so long since she'd battled, that she was more out of practice than she'd thought she'd ever be. She was glad to be able to refresh herself on this again, "Ok. Blaze! Start off with a Fire Spin and get in close with a Blaze Kick followed by a Sky Uppercut!"

  • Cobalt steeled himself with a Protect, readying himself as a living target for Blaze to practice with. Said Blaziken unleashed a spiraling flame from his mouth aimed squarely at the Fighting/Steel Type, which singed the Lucario's arms but did nothing to damage him (thanks Protect!). Blaze forced himself to act quickly, lurching forward right behind his attack without second-guessing himself; he jumped up and twisted himself into a spin, one of his legs bursting into flame as he struck Cobalt with a spinning kick (again, Cobalt still had the effects of Protect active). Now Blaze Kick was a move most Blaziken knew by heart, but Blaze's momentum forced him to take a split-second to land and wind up his fist for Sky Uppercut. In a normal battle, that would've done him in, so Cobalt reminded Blaze of the opening he unintentionally provided...


    By ducking into a Low Sweep, kicking the back of Blaze's knees to force him to fall.

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