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 Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist

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PostSubject: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:54 pm

“Citizens of Kanto, we have an important announcement to make…” said Blue Oak, the champion of Kanto. “This is a message for all future trainers. The Kanto league is offering you the chance to become a future hall of fame trainer with new scheme. With this new development scheme, we will give you the tools, resources and training needed so that you can take on the even the best in the world. Think you are up to this? Well then, come and prove it! Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be as good as me!!”

The television blared loudly in the common room, and all the children in there burst into chatter about it. One boy, however, while curious, was near the adults and overheard them talking and so had his attention on them as well:

“So Blue’s still parading around on TV, huh? Does he truly have no shame?”

“Hush now, not in front of children. There has never been any proof against him -”

“Raphael! What are doing, young man? Go on with the others!”

Sheepish, Raphael scampered away to join the others. That announcement from the champion had made everyone excited. In the orphanage, all the orphans really had was their hopes and their dreams. To these children, this event was like putting a bright flame in front of moths. Raphael could hear his friends excited voices:

“A chance to be a trainer, that could be us!”

“One of us has to win it, we just have to.”

“I just want to meet Blue, he’s my hero.”

Raphael had to agree with his friends. This entire event felt like it had been pulled out of their collective dreams. This was a once in a lifetime chance and everyone was determined to make sure that they would win. The orphanage workers could see the excitement on their faces and the decision was made. They would take the orphans to the event.#

The next few days were incredibly hectic for the orphans. Any spare time they had was dedicated to learning anything and everything they could about pokemon. The competition details were unknown to them but there was too much at stake for any one of the orphans to come unprepared. Some had gotten the idea of trying to lure wild pokemon to the orphanage in order to try and learn more, but most of the time they scared the wild pokemon into running away. Raphael, while also learning from books, asked the caretakers about their pokemon. The caretakers had their own pokemon who often helped out around the orphanage:

“Raphael, the main aspect of a relationship with pokemon is control and respect.” One of the caretakers had told him “While you can learn much from books about them , every single pokemon, like humans, have their own personality. While respecting your pokemon’s nature and personality is important, if you allow the pokemon to take control of the relationship, then it’s all for naught. I hope this helps you, now run along Raphael, it’s getting late and you need your sleep.”

The sun rose on the day of the competition and the orphans that were selected to go, including Raphael, loaded onto a minibus and headed for the Indigo Plateau, the location where the competition would take place. As the stadium loomed into view, Raphael had Butterfree the size of Dragonite in his stomach. This was his one chance, his one opportunity to be free from the orphanage and become a trainer. All he could think was:

What if he failed?

That thought kept eating away at his mind. If he screwed up and didn’t win, then all his dreams and all of his hopes might as well be dust. The orphanage care takers said they all had a chance to soar like a Spearow, but Raphael felt like a falling Pidgey.

Then Raphael remembered what was around his neck. It was a pendant that was the only thing that he had on him when he was left on the doorstep on the orphanage. He opened it up and read the quote inside:

Sic Parvis Magna

According to the caretakers who had translated it for him, it was latin meaning Greatness from Small Beginnings. Raphael realised that this saying meant more to him now than ever before. This is his beginning and if he won this competition, he could reach greatness.

Raphael closed his eyes, took a deep breathe and set his eyes straight forward. He would win this contest and he would become the greatest trainer in the world. The minibus parked just outside the arena and the orphans got off, ready to face the challenges ahead of them.

***

As the orphans entered the indigo stadium, they were surprised by how many people were in the stadium. The announcement must have got the attention of a lot of people because the amount of people in the stadium rivalled that of the indigo league finals. On an elevated platform, Raphael saw various people in formal attire however there were a few people that he recognised from various television appearances. The cold and collected Ice trainer, Lorlerei, The brawling fighting type trainer, Bruno, The scary as heck Ghost trainer, Agatha and the heroic dragon trainer, Lance. Raphael recognised them as the Elite four, the best trainers in the entire region, all apart from…

“There he is!” said someone and Raphael looked to see the current best of the best, the Kanto champion, Blue Oak. Without even doing anything, Blue made his presence felt as the elite four and the people in formal attire stood up to greet him.

“Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, if I can get your attention please.” a voice went over the loud speaker “To kick to the festivities, please welcome the current president of the league competition committee, Charles Goodshow.”

A tiny man with an incredibly long white beard walked up to the stand, Raphael and several other children wanted to laugh at him but after seeing the respect other people were showing this guy, they fought back their laughter and clapped politely. Unlike the other people on the stage, he was casual clothes instead of formal attire.

“Welcome, everyone” Mr Goodshow went “I would like to welcome you to this special event. Amongst you, is an incredible trainer just waiting to become a hall of fame trainer. This is your chance to prove yourself to the Kanto league that you are the one to become the next big pokemon trainer. I wish you all the best of luck in this contest and even if you are not the one selected today, that is no reason to surrender your dreams. No matter what happens today, you can all become incredible trainer. I wish you all the best of luck.

The assembled crowd clapped again and some people even rubbed away tears. Then Blue took the stage.

“Thank you, President Goodman” he said “Now, onto the reason why you are all here, the competition.” Blue gestured to two people and they pulled the covers off tables that were set up in front of the stage. One the tables there were rows and rows of pokeballs.

“Allow me to explain,” he said “The trainer we are looking for, among other things, is able to control any pokemon they are able to capture. In these pokeballs are pokemon. You will each receive one of these pokemon and you will train and work with it. At the end of the week, we will reconvene to see which who of you is able to control your pokemon. The control we are looking is the pokemon fully listening to your orders and working with you, not against you. You will each receive a number, when that number is called come up to receive your pokemon. As President Goodman said, good luck.”

There was a buzz of excitement as we all waited patiently for our number to be called the butterfree in Raphael’s stomach came back as he waited. He wondered what pokemon he was going to get and how he was going to control it. Remembering what his caretakers told him, he started calming down.

“Number 76”

That was Raphael’s number and his heart started pounding again. He quickly made his way to the tables, hoping that he could just remain calm… and came face to face with Blue.

“Hey there!” Blue said “What’s your name?”

“R-R-Raphael.” he eventually said, as the realization that he was talking to one of his heroes dawned on him.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you Raphael.” Blue said, smiling “I have to ask, how old are you?”

“4” Raphael said, confused by the question, some of the people in formal attire on the stage looked at him, a couple with raised eyebrows

“Well, that definitely makes you the youngest person in this competition.” Blue said, quickly getting over his surprise “So tell me, which pokeball would you like?”

“Umm…. that one.” Raphael said, pointing at the pokeball in the far left corner. Blue picked up the pokeball and handed it to Raphael.

“Why don’t you see what’s inside?” he suggested and Raphael nodded, he threw the pokeball, almost tripping over his legs in the process and a large yellow rat popped out of the ball.

“Ah, a Raticate.” Blue said “Interesting, reminds me of my own. Well good luck, Raphael.”

“T-Thank you, Mr Blue.” Raphael said, before turning away, he face heating up. He couldn’t believe he had just talked to Blue, also that he was an incredibly nice guy.

After the rest of the orphans got their pokeballs, the caretakers decided that they would take the orphans home so that they could get lunch. As they were leaving though…

“Excuse us.” said a voice and the orphans turned to see a young couple in formal clothing. A man with blonde hair and green eyes, wearing an immaculate suit and a women with long flowing brunette hair and ocean eyes, wearing a shimmering dress. Raphael immediately recognised them as the people on the stage that had looked in his direction when he told his age to Blue.

“We wish to speak to Raphael if that’s alright.” The woman said and the orphans turned to look at Raphael, who was just as confused as they were. The caretakers ushered the other orphans back while one stayed behind with Raphael to make sure he was alright. Raphael gingerly walked towards to couple.

“I saw on the stage.” Raphael said. It was the only thing he managed to say.

“Indeed we were.” The man said “I am Richard d’Alcott and this is my wife Aileena. We are a couple of the sponsors for this event. Needless to say, we were quite surprised that someone as young as you was taking part in this contest. Are you with a school?”

“It’s not a school…” Raphael said sadly “It’s an orphanage. I’m an orphan.”

“Oh… we are sorry to hear that.” Aileena said, clearly upset by this revelation.

“It’s alright,” Raphael said “Soon, it won’t matter. Raticate and I are gonna win this contest and become the very best trainer in the whole world.”

The couple chuckled at the boy’s enthusiasm. “Well, we wish you the best of luck Raphael.”
“Thank you.” Raphael beamed before running towards the mini bus.

***
“Nice Raticate…” Raphael said, gingerly reaching forward towards the rat, trying to pet it. When he hand got close, Raticate tried to bite it but Raphael brought his hand back

They had returned to the orphanage around half an hour ago and Raphael was trying to get any response out of Raticate that wasn’t trying to bite his hand off. Something was definitely making Raticate angry and Raphael was determined to find out what.

“What is making you angry, Raticate?” Raphael said

The Raticate turned to look at the forest just outside the orphanage. The orphans weren’t allowed to go in unsupervised because of the fear that wild pokemon could attack them, but seeing Raticate look longingly at the forest made Raphael realize.

“You miss the wild?” he asked and the Raticate nodded. “You know, I get that. Maybe I can show you that trainers aren’t bad.” The Raticate turned back to Raphael and slanted his head in confusion. Raphael produced a small bag, it was filled with treats that was given to him when he received the pokeball. He placed a few of them on the ground then slowly walked backwards.

I hope this works Raphael thought. The Raticate slowly moved towards the treats, keeping it’s eyes on Raphael. Once it was satisfied that Raphael wasn’t going to try anything funny, it turned its attention to the treats. After sniffing at them and trying one, it was clear that it enjoyed them and ate the rest of them. Raphael moved closer and the Raticate didn’t try to attack him. It was clear to Raphael that the Raticate at least was willing to hear him out… as long as he had that treat bag close to hand. He sat down next to the Raticate and they both looked beyond the gates of the orphanage, towards the forest and beyond.

“Raticate, I wanna be very best, like no one else. I wanna meet and see all pokemon and form the greatest team ever. But I don’t think I can do it though. Not unless you help me out? So how about it? Please?”

Raticate thought about it for a moment and Raphael feared that it would say no, but instead it nodded his head and nuzzled against him.

“Thanks, pal” said Raphael “At the end of this week, you and I are gonna win this contest. Sic Parvis Magna.”
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:47 am

In Central Kanto, lies a city of affluence and wealth. Known as the rainbow city, this place is known for its colourful buildings, tourist attractions and where the richest in Kanto live. They call it Celadon city.

Just beyond the city and up a paved road stands a magnificent mansion. Taking the look of centuries old palace, it was truly a feast for the eyes. As the sun rose, the sunlight hit the immaculate front garden and then the house itself. One the third floor, in the master bedroom was a sleeping couple, Richard and Aileena d’Alcott. The sunlight woke them.

Richard was first to rise. As he stretched, he looked around the room. Looked at the expensive furnishings and to Aileena, who was just waking up and smiled. His closest friends had always said he was lucky, but that was an understatement in his eyes. Aileena rose, rubbing her eyes and greeting her husband with a smile.

“Good morning dear.” Aileena said, Stretching her arms

“Good morning, Aileena” Richard replied


They both leaned forward and shared a good morning kiss. As their lips parted, Aileena quickly grabbed a pillow from behind her and hit Richard full in the face, forcing him down. With him temporarily down, Aileena quickly climbed over him and dashed for the bathroom. By the time Richard could react, Aileena had locked the door.

“Too slow darling.” Aileena sang as Richard got out of bed.

“Come on Aileena, normally we give each other more time than that.” Richard said, playfully annoyed.

“I believe it was you who keeps saying “Take the deal while it’s open otherwise it will pass you by.” for a man who prides himself on his quick dealing, you sometimes are woefully slow.”

Richard sighed, his wife had him there. He would now use one of the spare rooms and meet his wife for breakfast later. He turned to find Aileena’s Liepard, Laylah, watching the whole affair with a smile on her face.

“Oh come on, it isn’t that funny.” Richard said before walking out of the room. One of the butlers happened to catch him.

“The madam beat you this morning, sir?” He asked

“Just update your scoreboard.” Richard grunted and the butler smiled. He took a page from his notebook and wrote and A on it. Catching a maids attention on the floor below, he threw down the note to her. The early morning antics of the d’Alcott couple had become a fun game to keep score of for the servants.

Half an hour later the d’Alcott couple met up in one of their smaller dining rooms to have breakfast. Joining them was Laylah and Agni, Richard’s Arcanine. As they were eating, one of the maids came in to discuss their timetables for the day. Before the maid could finish, the phone rang which she answered:

“Hello, d’Alcott residence.” She said and after listening for a moment she turned to the d’Alcotts.

“A Blue Oak on the line for you.” She said before handing the phone over to her. Aileena asked Blue to hold as she put it on speakerphone, letting Richard able to participate with the conversation.

"Hello, Blue," Richard greeted stiffly then.

"Richard," Blue's voice was just on the side of sneering. "I was asked by Mr. Goodshow to make sure the two of you were on board and ready for the competition today. Wouldn't want to be late, yeah?"

"You don't need to remind us." Aileena replied "It is our home and family that this person is entering"

There was a minute scoff on the other end. "Yeah, I know. But whoever the brat is, they've got to be accommodated and adapt well to his new situation, so you two better be there and make sure to make good contact with them."

"There is no need to be rude.” Richard said “Remember it was you and Mr Goodshow who practically begged us go along with this. We are all for supporting this new trainer though, do not get us wrong."

"Whatever. Like I said. Be there. Your presence is unfortunately needed, so don't embarrass the League," and then the Champion hung up abruptly, causing the other two to frown.

Richard sighed "While he may be an idiot, his point stands. We do have to attend."

"Indeed" said Aileena "I do wonder who will win?"

"I believe you have your preference, Aileena." Richard smirked "The small boy with the Raticate."

Aileena laughed "You know me too well, dear. I would be happiest if Raphael wins. We would become a proper family if he does, adopting him as our own."

Richard sighed "I know you are still thinking about it, Aileena. I hope that Raphael wins as well. No matter what happens, I will support you"

Aileena blinked away a tear "Thank you Richard."
The phone went off again and Aileena picked it up.

“d’Alcott residence, Aileena d’Alcott speaking.”

“Well, good morning Aileena.” Went an elderly voice “I hope you and Richard are well today.”

“Ah, good morning Mr Goodshow, one moment.” Aileena replied, putting the phone on speaker for Richard to hear as well. “Good morning, Mr Goodshow.” Richard said.

“Good morning to you to, Richard.” Mr Goodshow said “I’m guessing you two know that today is the results day of the competition.”

“Oh yes, we are just delightfully informed by Kanto’s wonderful champion.” Aileena said sarcastically.

“I know, Blue’s attitude is grating, but he is the champion. In any event, how are you to getting to the competition?”

“We didn’t have any solid plans to be honest.” Richard said “Either one of the cars or maybe getting one of our pokemon that knows teleport.”

“Well, why don’t I pick you up, it’s really not a bother for me.”

“Sure that would be fine, Mr Goodshow” Aileena said “When should we expect you?”

“Well...now.”

Richard and Aileena wondered what he meant until they heard a noise outside. They both turned to face the window and saw that the hedges and trees in their front garden where rustling as if shaken around by a heavy wind. They looked up to see a helicopter lowering down onto their frown lawn. The d’Alcotts immediately headed out of the mansion to see the helicopter land and Mr Goodshow jumped out.

“YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN US A LITTLE WARNING!!” Richard yelled.

“You are too uptight Richard!” Mr Goodshow said “Now come on, we have a tournament to oversee.”

[Break]

The helicopter landed on the helipad at the stadium and Mr Goodshow and the d’Alcotts headed for the stadium proper. The competitors had already lined up by the time they reached their seats. For what the competition was, the hopeful trainers were put into a tournament setting to see who had bonded with their pokemon and how well the pokemon listened to the trainers commands. Whoever emerged as the ultimate winner of the tournament would be the chosen trainer. The d’Alcotts greeted the elite four and other sponsors of the tournament and took their seats while Mr Goodshow made his way to the stand.

“Trainers...” he said in a loud clear voice “I bid you all the best of luck, now let the competition begin.”

A cheer rose from the gathered participants and the tournament began.

[Break]

Raphael took a deep breath. One more battle. That was all that separated him from winning the whole thing. All the work that Raticate and himself had put into training throughout the week was paying off. Raticate’s quickness and strength made a force to be reckoned with. Combined with Raphael’s quick thinking and the bond they shared, they had stunned the competition with how this little orphan was just one step away from being crowned champion. To be fair, the other contestants had made it somewhat easier for Raphael and Raticate. Not because they went easy on the two but because their pokemon would often disregard what the trainer said. If either doing its own thing or just plain ignoring them, it was an advantage that Raphael and Raticate always pounced on.

“Competitors!” said the announcer “It is time for the final battle. These two trainers have battled, scraped and clawed their way to this bout, but only one of them will emerge as the ultimate victor. So allow me to introduce to competitors. Standing to my left, we have Raphael!”

A spotlight from above shone down on Raphael and the crowd started cheering, making Raphael blush.

“This pint size battler has conquered everyone that has stood in his way and is now one step from the promised land. But can he and his resilient Raticate take down their last opponent? Who is that opponent, I hear you ask. Well, standing to my right, we have Harry!”

Another spotlight shone down on Harry.

“How surprising is it that both the youngest competitors stand before you in the final? Well just like Raphael, I am not surprised that Harry is here, with Butterfree taking down foe after foe with little difficulty. But can the battling Butterfree take down Raphael and Raticate? Well, lets find out shall we? Competitors, ready?”

[Insert Battle Text Here]

As Raphael’s name was announced, Lance nodded in approval "He's definitely got some potential..."

"Good fighter!” Bruno said “If his fighting instincts could be honed, there he'd definitely make a good candidate for a future Champion."

"I see this young one was exceptionally passionate.” Agatha said “We could definitely take this one in and stoke his spirit into one of a Champion indeed."

There is definitely real potential there.” Lorelei said “Truly something there that we can take and mold for sure."

Richard turned to his wife. “Well Aileena,” he said “It seems that your wish came true, Raphael won.”

“Indeed he did” Aileena said. “Finally Richard, we are going to be parents.”

Richard could only smile at his wife. He knew that this was something that his wife had longed for a quite a while. To see her with that kind of happiness in her eyes warmed Richard’s heart.

After Raphael had finished shaking hands with the other sponsors and the elite four and his picture taken for the newspapers, he finally made his over to the d’Alcotts.

“Congratulations Raphael.” Richard said fondly “You really made a name for yourself today.”

“Thank you.” Raphael said “But is it true, are you really going to adopt me?”

“Yes, that is true.” Richard replied “You are going to be part of our family now.” He watched as Raphael slowly produced a big smile. Aileena knelt down.

“So can your new mom get a hug?” she said and Raphael almost threw himself into her arms. As she held him close, she gently kissed him.

“Welcome to the family, Raphael d’Alcott.” She whispered.

[Break]

Before Raphael was taken with the d’Alcott’s home in Mr Goodshow’s helicopter, he quickly headed outside the arena to complete his promise. He took Raticate’s pokeball, which he was allowed to keep as the winner and threw it, allowing Raticate to spring out.

“Well Raticate.” He said “A promise is a promise. You are free to go.”

Raticate looked shocked, as if he wasn’t believing what Raphael was saying, but Raphael’s eyes showed sincerity. Raphael could only keep a straight face for so long as he sniffed, his eyes filling with tears. He quickly turned his head away.

“Don’t look at me like that!” he yelled “This is what you wanted isn’t it. So go already!”

As Raphael sobbed, Raticate came closer and affectionately rubbed again Raphael, as if in his own way saying “Thank you”. It then quickly turned around and ran into the forest. Raphael’s sad face quickly turned into a smile. Tears of sadness became tears of happiness.

“Thank you, Raticate.” Raphael sniffed “For everything.”

Raphael then turned and ran back towards his new family. His new life beckoned.

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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:23 am

This was really good! I greatly enjoyed reading this, well done!

Just some things I noticed:
“Take the deal while it’s open otherwise it will pass you by” should be in singular quotes, and either replace "otherwise" with "or" or use a comma after "open".
"No matter what happens, I will support you": What exactly is he supporting her in?
"YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN US A LITTLE WARNING!!" Why is he shouting? And why are you using two exclamation points?
If possible, try to avoid using two breaks so closely. You can probably get rid of the first by saying something like "After a short flight".
"His eyes filling with tears" Can someone really develop so close a bond that quickly? And why is he allowed to release the League's Pokemon at all? Was he actually given the Pokemon to keep?

Please note that my questions reflect genuine curiosity and don't necessarily mean you have to change it.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:49 pm

Announcer: You were waiting for it. You were anticipating it. You were on the edge of your seats. So now I give you... the battle between Raticate and Butterfree!

Me: Sorry, I felt like announcing it.

Because Raphael is about four here, he was confused as to why Butterfree would be sad. It lost a battle, but it got to go back home to the wild. He didn't consider that Harry and Butterfree had honest to goodness wanted to stay together. Not only did Harry's dream get crushed, but Harry had to say goodbye to Butterfree.

Harry also becomes convinced that training up Pokémon with kindness only goes so far. Because of Raticate's tamer nature, he though that Raphael had trained Raticate differently (i.e more harshly) and became convinced that the harsher method wins out in the long run.

I'm thinking that after the letter from Oryse to Harry he finds Butterfree and has some redemption. With symbolism, too; the only Pokémon of his to have something positive in its name (free) is his redeeming Pokémon.

And now I'll shut up and let you read! (Apologies for typos.)

-

“Competitors!” said the announcer “It is time for the final battle. These two trainers have battled, scraped and clawed their way to this bout, but only one of them will emerge as the ultimate victor. So allow me to introduce to competitors. Standing to my left, we have Henry!”

A spotlight from above shone down on Harry and the crowd started cheering, making the young boy blush. He put up his hand, as if to ask a question. “Uh, sir? It’s, uh, Harry. Not Henry. Harry.”

The announcer looked confused for a moment, then smiled and continued.

“This pint size battler has conquered everyone that has stood in his way and is now one step from the promised land. But can he and his lightning Buttefree take down their last opponent? Who is that opponent, I hear you ask! Well, standing to my left, we have Raphael!”

Another spotlight shone down on Raphael, and cheers followed him as well. He smiled shyly, glancing at Raticate.

“How surprising that the two youngest competitors stand before you in the final! Well, just like Harry, I am not surprised that Raphael is here, with Raticate taking down foe after foe with little difficulty. But can the resilient Raticate take down the skilled team that is Harry and Butterfree? This could be Raphael’s chance for redemption, as Harry defeated him in their first battle in the round robin! But it could also be the battle to cement Harry’s place as top trainer!”

With a flamboyant gesture, the announcer produced a flag. “We will now find out!”

Harry locked eyes with Raphael. “Kinda embarrassing, huh?” His voice was so low that over the cheers of the spectators and the Announcer’s spiel only Raphael heard it.

Raphael shrugged, trying to replicate the casual ease of Harry and his low whisper. “I guess.”

Harry gave a fleeting smile, but it quickly faded, replaced by a mask. “Good luck.”

Raphael was slightly taken aback. “Y-you too.”

The two walked to their spaces at either end of the battlefield.

[PAGE BREAK]

“What do you think?” Bruno tried to be quiet as he leant over to Lorelei, but his whisper was the volume of someone else’s normal voice.

Lorelei didn’t answer for a moment. She surveyed the battlefield below with narrowed eyes, examining the two boys. “If chance doesn’t interfere, the one on the left should win.” Her voice was cold and uncaring. “He has great skills with understanding of tactics and analysis of the battlefield.”

“Harry?” Bruno said, voice back to booming. “Nah, I think little Raphael’s got it! He’s got the passion for battle! His belief will pull him through, you’ll see!”
Lorelei didn’t respond.

“Personally I have to agree with Lorelei,” Lance said slowly. “Belief isn’t enough against careful calculations and dedicated training.”

“And he has a better win rate,” Lorelei commented. “If you follow the numbers, Harry is more likely to win.”

“Numbers? Pah!” Bruno slammed his hand down on his thigh, leaning forward. “Forget the numbers! We’ve all won uphill battles before! That’s what’s proved that we’re great trainers! Raphael will—”

“Bruno, will you stop your shouting? You’re killing these old ears.” Agatha’s voice held such a sharpness that made Bruno suddenly quieten.

“Ah, you’ve arrived.” Lance smiled thinly at Agatha. Lorelei didn’t smile at all, but simply nodded. Agatha sat down beside her.

“Do you have an opinion yet, Agatha?” Lance questioned.

“I don’t care,” Agatha grumbled, shifting in her seat. “I still think it’s all unnecessary.”

“Come on!” Bruno pleaded. “Help me convince these two that Raphael’s gonna win!”

Agatha gave him a death glare. Bruno shut up.

“Quiet down and watch,” she said crankily. “The match is about to start.

[PAGE BREAK]

The announcer turned to Harry and Raphael, grinning widely. “Competitors, are you ready?”

Raphael looked to Raticate, a smile on his face. “You’ll win this. I know it!”

“Rat!” Raticate clacked its teeth with a rodent-like grin. “Rati!”

Raphael smiled. He pumped his fist. “We’re ready!”

The other boy scowled, glancing at the Pokémon by his side. The Butterfree lounged back in the air, giggling and generally looking spaced-out.

The announcer smiled at him. “Harry, are you ready?”

The boy nodded uncomfortably. He turned to Butterfree. It gave a little chirp. “Yeah. I am.”

“Okay, then!” The announcer smiled. He held out a flag. “Send out your Pokémon!”

Raphael smiled. “Let’s go, Raticate!”

But Raticate was already there, leaping into the battlefield with a joyous cry. It hissed, showing its teeth, the old ferocity flaring again with full force.

“Butterfree?” Harry looked up at the Pokémon. It ignored him in favour of floating around his head dreamily. “Argh! Butterfree, come on, the battle’s starting!”

In response, the Pokémon settled itself on the boy’s head.

“Damn it!” Harry grabbed the Pokémon and pulled it of his head.

“Butterfree…” the Pokémon pouted dejectedly.

“Come on,” Harry pleaded. “One more battle. Just one more, and then it’s over.”

Butterfree pulled the Bug-Type version of a pout. After a moment, Harry released the Bug-Type, and with a flash of sudden speed it zipped on the battlefield. Raphael cringed. He’d underestimated the speed the first time, as Butterfree were supposed to be slower than Raticate, and that had been his undoing. His memory flashed back to that battle, where Butterfree had completely destroyed them. Raticate, too, seemed to remember, hissing violently as it watched Butterfree zip through the air, almost lazily, as though it could go much faster if it actually tried.

The announcer smiled. “Battle begin!”

Raphael opened his mouth, but Harry beat him to the punch.

“Gust, go!” Harry swept his arms in a cutting motion. Again, Raphael was caught off guard by the pure pragmatism in his voice; the strength, the hardness, there without emotion.

“Free!” The Pokémon flashed forward, zipping above Raticate. With a powerful beat, a lash of air smashed into Raticate, throwing it back.

“Rati!” Raticate flipped and landed on all fours with a hiss. It didn’t seem shaken at all.

“Hyper Fang!” Raphael called before Harry could continue his offence. Raphael did have a strategy. The only two times Harry’d lost, the same thing had happened; he’d lost the initiative. If Harry lost the initiative, his attack crumbled and he toppled easily.

Raticate burst from the ground, its fangs elongated and sharpening with a gleam. Harry nodded and Butterfree dodged seamlessly, flashing upwards. The announcer wasn’t kidding when he’d said ‘lightning Butterfree’. It was fast, faster than a normal Butterfree, and more powerful too. It was as though…

“Raticate!” Raticate fumbled, landing awkwardly on the ground. Its teeth receded.

“Confusion!” This was the moment Harry had been waiting for, and he seized it with alacrity. Buttefree didn’t hesitate, it’s eyes glimmering with odd energy. Raticate was blown back by a pulse of that same eerie energy, surprisingly powerful.

“Rat!” Raticate smashed and rolled on the ground, barely able to regain footing.

“Gust!” Harry kept the pressure up. Butterfree prepared to attack, drawing it’s wings back.

“Quick, Raticate, Sucker Punch!” Raphael called. Raticate leapt up, dark energy building up around him, with speed to rival Butterfree.

“Dodge it!”

Butterfree thrust its wings downwards and shot up. Raticate landed straight this time, but was breathing hard.

“Poison Powder!” Harry called. Butterfree swirled lazily over to Raticate, and suddenly dove, thrashing it’s wings violently. Huge clumps of purple spores burst into Raticate, and the Pokémon screeched. A sudden burst of light flared around Raticate as its ability activated.

Raphael hesitated. Harry knew that Raticate had the Guts ability. What was he thinking?

Harry looked onto the battlefield with a creased brow. His eyes were sharp, calculating.

In a sudden epiphany, Raphael realised what he was doing. Harry was counting on keeping the initiative— playing to his strengths. As long as Harry kept attacking, kept the initiative, Raticate wouldn’t have a chance to get a hit in. And if Raticate couldn’t get a hit in, the extra attacking power from Guts wouldn’t matter— Raticate would faint before they could use it.

Butterfly twirled away, chuckling maniacally.

“What power! The announcer cried. “And keep in mind, spectators, these trainers were given equally low-level Pokémon! Butterfree and Harry must have trained hard for this moment!”

Raticate let out a shriek as Poison-type energy crackled around it. With horror, Raphael watched as its health was drained.

Raphael clenched his fists. Of course. Harry must have spent so much time training Butterfree that they’d grown beyond the level of the rest of their Pokémon; no wonder it was so fast. Each child had been given a Pokémon judged to be of the exact same skill level, so Harry had known he’d have a huge advantage if he trained his Pokémon beyond that skill level.

“Rati…” Raticate pushed itself up. Defiantly, it stood straight. “Raticaaate!”

“Yeah!” So what if Harry had trained? So had he. “Raticate, use Bite! Go for the wing!”

With a glower, Raticate leapt into the air. Butterfree, too absorbed in itself to react fast enough, screeched in agony as Raticate’s powerful teeth snapped down on its wing.

“Yes!” Raphael pumped his fist. Harry had lost the bet.

“Oh my!” The announcer cried.

Harry’s eyes took in the battlefield, calculating, assessing. He winced as Butterfree was slammed into the ground, eyebrows creased. He’d lost the initiative.

Raphael seized the opportunity. “Raticate, use—”

Raticate recoiled from Butterfree as the poison damage took hold, face locked in a grimace. Butterfree took the chance to get back in the air, but it stumbled in flight. Its wing looked severely damaged. Butterfree may’ve been fast and powerful, but it was a glass cannon.

“The tables seem to have turned!” The announcer cried out. “Does Raphael have a window of opportunity here?”

Harry gritted his teeth. “Confusion!”

As Butterfree prepared itself for the attack, Raphael snapped an order of his own. “Sucker Punch!”

Once more, Raticate leapt through the air, embroiled in Dark-type energy. But this time, Butterfree couldn’t dodge.

“Butterfreeeee!” The Bug-type was slammed into the ground with a cry. Raticate stood over it, triumphant, breathing hard. Poison damage took ahold of it, but Raticate gritted its teeth and held on.

“You haven’t won yet.” Harry’s gaze was set. “Butterfree, use Supersonic!”

“Dodge it!” Raphael cried. Raticate leapt away, but it was no use; the Supersonic hit.

“Raticate!” Raphael wanted to run over to it, but stopped himself. 

“You aren’t the only one with an ability.” Harry crossed his arms. “Butterfree has Compound Eyes. Supersonic may have poor accuracy, but with Butterfree’s ability it’s much harder to avoid.”

Raphael just stared helplessly as Raticate teetered on the spot, eyes glassy. It stumbled forward, as if trying to attack Butterfree, but tripped and landed awkwardly.

“It’s over now!” Harry cried. “Butterfree, Confusion!”

Raticate pushed itself up, swiping at the air.

“Come on, Raticate!” Raphael’s voice was filled with panic. “I know you’re stronger than this! You have to dodge this attack!”

Raticate froze. It shook its head as though trying to clear it.

“You can do it, Raticate!”

Butterfree released its Confusion attack.

“Raticate!” Raphael cried desperately.

Raticate’s eyes cleared. A cloud of dust erupted around Raticate as the Confusion attack pounded into the ground.

Raphael looked anxiously at the field, the dust settling slowly. He could hear the crackle of the Poison damage. Butterfree flew in jagged circles around the dust, notably much slower than before, a slight wobble in its flight.

The dust cleared.

The crowd burst into a roar, and the announcer cried out. “Would you look at that! Would you look at that, ladies and gentlemen! Raticate has dodged the attack!”

“Butterfree!” The Bug-Type recoiled, and Harry’s eyes widened.

Panting, Raticate looked up at Raphael, and smiled.

“Yeah!” Raphael jumped up in jubilation. “I knew you could do it! Quick Attack!”

Raticate, determination in its gaze, burst up from the ground, enveloped in white light. It barrelled into Butterfree, knocking the Pokémon back.

“Put everything into this one! Use Bite!” Raphael cried. Raticate hit the ground and jumped straight back up. Butterfree tried to duck away but Raticate caught it in its jaws. With a final screech, Butterfree was brought down to the ground.

There was a moment of complete silence.

“Butterfree is unable to battle!”

Raphael stared, wide-eyed, as the announcer’s words faded to the background. He had won. He and Raticate had actually won.

Raticate and Raphael ran towards one another, as the Pokémon leapt into the four year old’s arms, and the two embraced.

“Thank you so much, Raticate,” Raphael whispered. He buried his face in the small Pokémon’s fur. “Thank you.”

“Rati.” The small Pokémon wiggled deeper into Raphael’s arms. Raphael giggled, feeling the warmth soaking into him.

He looked over to see Harry, kneeling beside Butterfree. His balled fists were pushing into his knees, and his head was bowed. He appeared to be shaking. A tear fell on the ground in front of him.

Raphael began to walk over. In that moment, Raphael was conscious of them both; Harry looked like a darker version of Raphael. Darker hair, darker eyes, sallower skin, scrawnier and messier.

As Raphael approached, Harry reached out to Butterfree, cradling the Pokémon in his arms. Slowly, it awoke, sitting up.

“We both failed.” Harry’s voice cracked. “You were too arrogant to dodge that Bite.” 

Butterfree whimpered in his arms. “Butterfree…”

“It’s my fault too,” Harry bit his lip. “I should have gotten you to use Supersonic way earlier.”

Butterfree looked dejected. Harry’s eyes were unfocused. “Maybe I trained you wrong…”

“Harry?” Raphael broke in quietly.

Harry’s head snapped up. He cradled Butterfree protectively. “What do you want?”

Raphael was startled by the ferocity in the other boy’s voice. “I-I just wanted to say thanks for the battle—”

Harry stood up and turned away from him. “Don’t talk to me.”

Raphael was at loss. Raticate snuffled in his arms, confused. “But I—”

“Shut up!” Harry hissed. “Because of you… Because of you... Everything’s gone wrong!”

Butterfree could only curl up in Harry’s arms, antennae drooping. It’s eyes were filled with tears.

Raphael was confused. Why would Butterfree be sad…?

He was about to ask when the announcer grabbed his wrist and held it up. “Our winner, ladies and gentlemen! Our winner!”

Raphael smiled, flushing proudly. The announcer gave Raticate a Pecha berry, and the Pokémon gnawed on it happily.

Raphael saw Harry turn tail and run from the battlefield. He felt a stab of anxiety, but it was replaced with the joy of winning.

“We worked hard, Raticate,” Raphael said, leaning down to the little Pokémon. “I’m proud to have worked with you.”


Last edited by ParallelDimension75 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:21 pm

“Over the last 2 weeks since he was chosen, I have extensively tested Raphael’s mental ability, in order to fully gauge how to tailor his training in order to gain optimum results.” Said Lorelei.

The Elite Four, Mr Goodshow, Blue and Raphael were sitting on the top floor of the Kanto League’s tower. Raphael had learned from Blue that all of the registered pokemon leagues need to have a central headquarters of sorts for them to plan tournaments, challenges or perform other such duties that the league required. Mr Goodshow had a private office in all of headquarters as he was the president of the pokemon league and presiding over each region.

“I rigorously tested Raphael’s capabilities in five separate categories and have thus complied this report to demonstrate my findings.” Lorelei continued “One key note is that given Raphael’s age of four, I lowered the difficulty of all tests to the easiest settings. As such, I advise the league to take all the findings in this report with caution and request that Raphael be retested at key points of his growth in order to fully test him.”      

“Your request is granted, Lorelei.” Mr Goodshow said. “Please continue.”

“The five categories tested were Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility and Problem Solving. Of the tests performed, I have come to the conclusion that Attention and Memory are Raphael’s strongest asset at this moment. His attention to detail and ability to recall even the smallest changes to scenarios are incredibly impressive for his age. When asked to recite the type chart, Raphael was able to complete the entire chart while also giving its strengths and weaknesses to other types. Both of these traits are extremely important for a trainer and seeing Raphael demonstrate such incredible feats from this early age gives me confidence in his future progress.”

Raphael beamed slightly, while he did find Lorelei scary because of her attitude, it was clear that she did care about his growth and did provide compliments when she wanted to.

“Raphael’s weakest asset is his problem solving abilities. When confronted with such tasks, he routinely struggled and often had to ask for assistance or additional hints. While not uncommon for his age to struggle with such tests, it is clear to me that this is a problem area and additional attention must be given to this area in order for Raphael to improve as a future representative of the league. In conclusion, Raphael has managed to dissuade some of my initial doubts about his prospects as our trainer with impressive scores in various tests, but I remain cautious considering his age and the difficulty of the tests. This concludes my report. For any additional information I have included all test scores and percentiles with this report.”

Lorelei gave her report to Mr Goodshow. Blue looked over at the report quickly before smiling at Raphael.

“I have to say well done, Raphael” Blue said in a hearty voice “It seems that you weren’t just lucky in the tournament.”

Raphael blushed under his mentor’s compliment.

“I agree with Blue, an excellent start. I only can hope that you will keep that standard as the basis for all your work.” Mr Goodshow said.

“I will, Mr Goodshow.” Raphael said cheerily.

“Now, onto the physical report. Bruno?” Blue asked.

“Oh, right… one second.” Bruno said, before clearing his throat and reading his paper. “Considering his age and health issues, I and the doctors could not perform physical exercise tests so we kindly ask that they be postponed until all other issues are addressed.”

The other league members blinked a few times before Mr Goodshow stepped in. “Request granted, Bruno.” He said “What health issues does Raphael have?”

“While Raphael does not have any serious or chronic medical conditions, he is have some problems. The chief of which being his weight. For his age and height, Raphael is underweight according to official measurements. Obviously this could lead to serious problems for his development so I ask that diet always be kept in mind regarding Raphael’s health. Other vital signs all show normal readings and as seen from Lorelei’s report, Raphael’s mind is sharp and he can hold conversation well with others. In conclusion, this report is short because we cannot properly test Raphael at this stage of his life in regards to physical fitness however we can confirm that most of his health is perfectly fine at this stage. We do ask that the league pay close attention to Raphael’s diet and allow doctors to keep a close eye on Raphael’s development as he grows. This concludes my report.

Raphael looked up, confused.

"What's wrong, Raph?" Blue asked.

"I didn't know you hired a second Lorelei." Raphael replied.

"You know that's funny... neither did I.” Blue chuckled before eyeing Bruno suspiciously. To Bruno’s credit, he held out rather well until he faltered under Lorelei and Agatha’s punishing glares.

“Ok, I admit.” Bruno said “I saw Lorelei’s report and copied some of the language. More professional sounding.”

“Well when a four year old can easily tell you’re lying, you’ve obviously failed.” Lorelei said before looking down at Raphael with a smile. Raphael smiled back, albeit rather confused. He hadn’t seen Lorelei smile all that much in the two weeks he had known her so it was nice to see. Embarrassed, Bruno handed his report to Mr Goodshow.

“In any event, this does give us a good picture of Raphael.” Mr Goodshow said “Now, onto different matters. Raphael, considering that you are an orphan, the league is now taking personal responsibility for you, which includes your education. In light of this, we have enrolled you here.”

He passed Raphael a pamphlet which Raphael took and read the name on the front.

“Ashford Academy?”

“Correct.” Mr Goodshow said “One of the most prestigious schools in the world with many influential people amongst its graduates. It is an elite private school that is usually reserved from the rich and the social elite. Like us, the school sees a great deal of potential in you and wants to help it flourish in the best education environment possible. The head-mistress of the school has also promised to look for you.”

Raphael’s eyes widened, barely 3 weeks ago he was wondering whether he would go to a good school, now he was heading to an elite private school that people would give an arm and leg to attend.

“We are also continuing our efforts to find you a suitable family.” Mr Goodshow continued “We have not forgotten about your status as an orphan and as such we are interviewing and screening potential parents to take care of you.” Mr Goodshow reached over and took Raphael’s hands in his “I know this is all incredibly big and scary Raphael, but from what we all saw in the tournament, we know you can succeed. Just promise me that no matter what happens, you won’t give up. It will get tough but we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe in you. Do you promise, Raphael?”
Raphael blinked away a few tears before replying, “I won’t give up, Mr Goodshow. I promise.”

“Atta boy!” Blue said in a proud tone “Right now, the grown-ups have to talk about other stuff, why don’t you go back to your room and relax for a while.”

“I will, thanks everyone.” Raphael replied before leaving the room. After Raphael’s footsteps were gone, Blue looked over at Mr Goodshow.

“Do you truly believe in what you just said to Raphael?” He asked incredulously

“I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t believe in that boy.” Mr Goodshow replied “I can see in his eyes the potential for greatness and I can confident that he won’t let me down in that regard.”

Lance nodded “But even with that, Raphael has a very tall mountain to climb. To reach the expectations of Ashford Academy and then later the league when he goes out as a trainer it going to be excruciatingly difficult. It goes well above and beyond what normal trainers are expected to achieve. While I agree that he does have the right attitude for this, I’m not sure that he can.”

Lorelei adjusted her glasses. "Hmph. The numbers indicate that he has incredible potential. With dedication and training he will likely pull through. He has an approximate 82% chance of succeeding. But that is still only from the results of the easiest tests I have, further analysis is needed."

“For now, let Raphael find his feet and let him work.” Mr Goodshow said “It will be years before he becomes a trainer so for now, we should focus our efforts his education and tailor his needs accordingly. Let the boy prove his worth.”

Everyone in the room nodded in agreement.
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:45 pm

“Over the last 2 weeks since he was chosen, I have extensively tested Raphael’s mental ability, in order to fully gauge how to tailor his training in order to gain optimum results.” Said Lorelei.

The Elite Four, Mr Goodshow, Blue and Raphael were sitting on the top floor of the Kanto League’s tower. Raphael had learned from Blue that all of the registered pokemon leagues need to have a central headquarters of sorts for them to plan tournaments, challenges or perform other such duties that the league required. Mr Goodshow had a private office in all of headquarters as he was the president of the pokemon league and presiding over each region.
“I rigorously tested Raphael’s capabilities in five separate categories and have thus complied this report to demonstrate my findings.” Lorelei continued “One key note is that given Raphael’s age of four, I lowered the difficulty of all tests to the easiest settings. As such, I advise the league to take all the findings in this report with caution and request that Raphael be retested at key points of his growth in order to fully test him.”

“Your request is granted, Lorelei.” Mr Goodshow said. “Please continue.”

“The five categories tested were Speed, Memory, Attention, Flexibility and Problem Solving. Of the tests performed, I have come to the conclusion that Attention and Memory are Raphael’s strongest asset at this moment. His attention to detail and ability to recall even the smallest changes to scenarios are incredibly impressive for his age. When asked to recite the type chart, Raphael was able to complete the entire chart while also giving its strengths and weaknesses to other types. Both of these traits are extremely important for a trainer and seeing Raphael demonstrate such incredible feats from this early age gives me confidence in his future progress.”

Raphael beamed slightly, while he did find Lorelei scary because of her attitude, it was clear that she did care about his growth and did provide compliments when she wanted to.

“Raphael’s weakest asset is his problem solving abilities. When confronted with such tasks, he routinely struggled and often had to ask for assistance or additional hints. While not uncommon for his age to struggle with such tests, it is clear to me that this is a problem area and additional attention must be given to this area in order for Raphael to improve as a future representative of the league. In conclusion, Raphael has managed to dissuade some of my initial doubts about his prospects as our trainer with impressive scores in various tests, but I remain cautious considering his age and the difficulty of the tests. This concludes my report. For any additional information I have included all test scores and percentiles with this report.”
Lorelei gave her report to Mr Goodshow. Blue looked over at the report quickly before smiling at Raphael.

“I have to say well done, Raphael” Blue said in a hearty voice “It seems that you weren’t just lucky in the tournament.”

Raphael blushed under his mentor’s compliment.

“I agree with Blue, an excellent start. I only can hope that you will keep that standard as the basis for all your work.” Mr Goodshow said.

“I will, Mr Goodshow.” Raphael said cheerily.

“Now, onto the physical report. Bruno?” Blue asked.

“Oh, right… one second.” Bruno said, before clearing his throat and reading his paper. “Considering his age and health issues, I and the doctors could not perform physical exercise tests so we kindly ask that they be postponed until all other issues are addressed.”

The other league members blinked a few times before Mr Goodshow stepped in. “Request granted, Bruno.” He said “What health issues does Raphael have?”

“While Raphael does not have any serious or chronic medical conditions, he is have some problems. The chief of which being his weight. For his age and height, Raphael is underweight according to official measurements. Obviously this could lead to serious problems for his development so I ask that diet always be kept in mind regarding Raphael’s health. Other vital signs all show normal readings and as seen from Lorelei’s report, Raphael’s mind is sharp and he can hold conversation well with others. In conclusion, this report is short because we cannot properly test Raphael at this stage of his life in regards to physical fitness however we can confirm that most of his health is perfectly fine at this stage. We do ask that the league pay close attention to Raphael’s diet and allow doctors to keep a close eye on Raphael’s development as he grows. This concludes my report.

Raphael looked up, confused.

"What's wrong, Raph?" Blue asked.

"I didn't know you hired a second Lorelei." Raphael replied.

"You know that's funny... neither did I.” Blue chuckled before eyeing Bruno suspiciously. To Bruno’s credit, he held out rather well until he faltered under Lorelei and Agatha’s punishing glares.

“Ok, ok, I admit.” Bruno said “I saw Lorelei’s report and copied some of the language. She just sounded so professional so I wanted to try myself.”

“Well when a four year old can easily tell you’re lying, you’ve obviously failed.” Lorelei said before looking down at Raphael with a smile. Raphael smiled back, albeit rather confused. He hadn’t seen Lorelei smile all that much in the two weeks he had known her so it was nice to see. Embarrassed, Bruno handed his report to Mr Goodshow.

“In any event, this does give us a good picture of Raphael.” Mr Goodshow said “Now, onto different matters. Raphael, considering that you are an orphan, the league is now taking personal responsibility for you, which includes your education. In light of this, we have enrolled you here.”

He passed Raphael a pamphlet which Raphael took and read the name on the front.
“Ashford Academy?”

“Correct.” Mr Goodshow said “One of the most prestigious schools in the world with many influential people amongst its graduates. It is an elite private school that is usually reserved from the rich and the social elite. Like us, the school sees a great deal of potential in you and wants to help it flourish in the best education environment possible. The head-mistress of the school has also promised to look for you.”

Raphael’s eyes widened, barely 3 weeks ago he was wondering whether he would go to a good school, now he was heading to an elite private school that people would give an arm and leg to attend.

“We are also continuing our efforts to find you a suitable family.” Mr Goodshow continued “We have not forgotten about your status as an orphan and as such we are interviewing and screening potential parents to take care of you.” Mr Goodshow reached over and took Raphael’s hands in his “I know this is all incredibly big and scary Raphael, but from what we all saw in the tournament, we know you can succeed. Just promise me that no matter what happens, you won’t give up. It will get tough but we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe in you. Do you promise, Raphael?”

Raphael blinked away a few tears before replying, “I won’t give up, Mr Goodshow. I promise.”

“Atta boy!” Blue said in a proud tone “Right now, the grown-ups have to talk about other stuff, why don’t you go back to your room and relax for a while.”
“I will, thanks everyone.” Raphael replied before leaving the room. After Raphael’s footsteps were gone, Blue looked over at Mr Goodshow.

“Do you truly believe in what you just said to Raphael?” He asked incredulously

“I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t believe in that boy.” Mr Goodshow replied “I can see in his eyes the potential for greatness and I can confident that he won’t let me down in that regard.”
Lance nodded “But even with that, Raphael has a very tall mountain to climb. To reach the expectations of Ashford Academy and then later the league when he goes out as a trainer it going to be excruciatingly difficult. It goes well above and beyond what normal trainers are expected to achieve. While I agree that he does have the right attitude for this, I’m not sure that he can.”

Lorelei adjusted her glasses. "Hmph. The numbers indicate that he has incredible potential. With dedication and training he will likely pull through. He has an approximate 82% chance of succeeding. But that is still only from the results of the easiest tests I have, further analysis is needed."

“For now, let Raphael find his feet and let him work.” Mr Goodshow said “It will be years before he becomes a trainer so for now, we should focus our efforts his education and tailor his needs accordingly. Let the boy prove his worth.”
Everyone in the room nodded in agreement.
*
A few days later, Raphael found himself in a private car, dressed in the Ashford Academy school uniform, heading for his first day of school. He had butterfrees in his stomach the size of Ursarings. Until recently, he hadn’t thought about where he would attend school, the orphanage caretakers had made brief mentions of Vermillion public because that’s where the other orphans attended but now he was heading to of the most elite and internationally recognised schools in the world. Couple that with the expectations the league had on him for his education (Straight A’s no less) and it was a wonder on how Raphael was scared to death. Well, two things prevented that. The first was the pendant around his neck, reciting the latin saying of his parents and the second was his promise to Mr Goodshow. Raphael had promised him that he would never give up, on this or on his training or battles. He was the league chosen and now it was up to him to live up to their expectations. Raphael clutched his pendant one more time and breathed deeply. This was his one chance to create a new start, one false move and it could be game over. Raphael was determined to not go back to orphanage, to face his former friends as a failure. He would shine out and become a legend. He would do great things, from the smallest beginning.

“Master Raphael.” The driver said, getting Raphael’s attention. “We have arrived at Ashford.”
Taking one more deep breath, Raphael opened the door and headed out, waving to the driver as he drove off. Raphael to a moment to just admire the immensity and grandeur of the schools architecture. The academy was a complex of large and upscale buildings spread out across a large amount of land. Lorelei had likened it to traditional Kalosian architecture when Raphael asked about it. She also said that the school was only populated by children of rich and affluent. Since Raphael was the chosen trainer of the league, his “predigree” as Lorelei termed it, had risen exponentially which was why he was allowed to become a student. Raphael wondered about how rich the other students were a he walked towards the grand entrance, when he saw some students pull gold pocket watches and female students wearing diamond necklaces. It was almost like they were showing off and Raphael couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disgust. Just one of those necklaces or watches could pay for renovations to the orphanage and then some. He quickly shook the thought from his head, it was not his place to judge them; no-one chooses where they are born.

As he entered the academy, he joined the line at reception for his class assignment. The acceptance letter he had received from Ashford had told him to get his assignment and timetable before attending the mandatory welcome assembly.

“Name.” The receptionist intoned

“Raphael Bennett” Raphael replied and the reception quickly typed in his name on her computer.

“Ah yes, welcome Raphael.” The receptionist said, suddenly with a bright voice “There has been a lot of talk about you coming to our academy. You have been assigned Class A. Here is your timetable and map of the school, please be sure to memorize them. The opening assembly will be on shortly so please make your way to the assembly hall.”

“Thank you” Raphael said before turning away. As he followed his map to the hall, he noticed that a lot of students were looking at him and speaking in hush whispers.

Raphael rushed to the assembly hall, where he met up with the rest of his year and entered the massive hall. We were shuffled into seats and the low hum of conversation between students was suddenly silenced when adults took the stage, the teachers. An older woman in a purple suit took to the podium, adjusting her spectacles.

“Good morning and welcome, students.” She said in a clear and loud voice. “We welcome you to Ashford Academy and it is my esteemed honour to introduce to you the headmistress of this institution. Please welcome, Aileena d’Alcott.”

A young and beautiful woman took the podium, with flowing brunette hair and piercing emerald eyes. She wore a resplendent light blue dress with matching gloves and a gold necklace. She hadn’t even said a word yet and yet all attention was directly on her.

“Good morning everyone.” She started “As my colleague has just said, welcome to Ashford Academy. You are now students of the most elite private school in the world. This academy in the past has welcomed future politicians, world-leading business magnates, nobel winning scientists and future leaders of prominent noble families. I want you now to look around the hall at the paintings on the wall.”

All the students looked at the paintings on the wall, featuring people in different dress and in different scenarios.

“The people on this wall are some of our most distinguished Alumni.” Aileena continued. “These are the people I want you to look up and be inspired by. You are the next generation of nobles and leaders and with that comes incredible expectations. To hold the linage of this academy is daunting, but when I look at all of you, I see that you are all capable of continuing the proud legacy of this institution. And who knows? Maybe after you graduate here, it will be you that we call back to have your painting upon our walls. Above all students, I wish you the best time here at Ashford and I wish you every success in your work. Thank you.”

The assembled students and teachers clapped at the conclusion of Aileena’s speech. Afterwards the students were ushered into their individual classes and began their first day of school.

Near the end of the school day, Raphael was summoned to the Head-mistress’ office. Mr Goodshow had said that the head-mistress would help Raphael but he was unsure as to how.
All the same, he headed to the office where the secretary told Raphael to sit in the waiting room as the head-mistress was in a meeting. As Raphael waited, he could hear voices from the other side of the wall, one of them belonging to Headmistress d’Alcott. Knowing it was impolite but too curious not to listen, Raphael pressed his ear to the wood and listened.

“You do know I’m working right? It’s the start of the new school year, I have no time to look for love.” Aileena said

“I understand that Aileena.” Went another female voice. “But you haven’t had a single serious relationship in years. It’s hard to believe I am even speaking about this subject with you. It wasn’t too long ago that you were engaged to Adam.”

“Yes I was, however you and I both know who that ended and you know I don’t like talking about what happened.”

“I know how much what happened hurt, believe me I still feel the pain myself. But that is in the past and there is nothing we can do about it. They wouldn’t want to see their friend imprison herself in isolation and lonliness.”

“Please, Laylah. I still have nightmares about that day.”

“Aileena, Gabriel and I are worried about you. Remember what we promised each other when we were younger, that we would both get married and act as each other’s bridesmaids. You don that for me and I want to do that for you.”

“You two are acting like it’s a crime against nature that I’m not married. I’m in my twenties, just like you and like you I will find someone when I am good and ready.”

There was a paused before the other woman spoke again.

“You’re still thinking about it aren’t you?”

“Laylah, don’t!” said Aileena and even from the adjoining room Raphael could feel the temperature drop.

“I knew it.” Laylah said “I’m actually kicking myself I didn’t think of it sooner. I know it’s hard but if you are ever going to be happy you need to accept it and move on.”

“Well, I’m sorry Laylah, but please excuse me if it’s rather difficult to accept it! It hurts so much and you already have a beautiful child of your own!”

There was another pause. “Malcolm looks up to you, Aileena.” Laylah said “He is inspired by your work ethic and he really does like you. I don’t say anything like this to be mean to you, I just want you to find the happiness that I felt when I married Gabriel. You are my closest friend, I think of you like my sister for heaven’s sake. You are a stunning, beautiful and hard working woman and you deserve happiness… please promise me that you’ll at least let me introduce you to some people, there are quite a few men out there I know who would love to be within the same room as you.”

“…Ok, I’ll let you.”

There was suddenly squee “Oh thank you Aileena, I promise you that you won’t regret this. Look, I have to go but thank you so much for saying that Aileena. Farewell for now, my sister.”

“Farewell for now, my sister.”

Raphael heard footsteps and quickly moved back to his seat before being detected. Just as he sat down, a beautiful woman in a white dress passed by and noticed him. Remember what he learnt for manners classes, Raphael stood up and nodded his head at her.

‘It’s nice to meet you!’ Raphael said. He remembered his manners class and added, ‘U-uh, madam.’

The woman chuckled “Oh, Ashford Academy students and manners class.” She said “It’s alright young one, my husband still remembers his classes here as well. What is your name?”

“Raphael, madam.” He replied “Raphael Bennett.”

“The league trainer?” She responded and Raphael nodded “I must say it was quite a shock to learn that someone so young won the tournament. In any event it’s a pleasure to meet you Raphael, I am Laylah Thrones.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Mrs Thrones.” Raphael cheerily said

“Anyway, I must be off and I don’t want to get you into trouble with Headmistress d’Alcott, bye for now Raphael.”

After Laylah departed, Raphael turned to the Headmistress’ office and knocked on the door.

“Come in!” Aileena called. Raphael slowly opened the door to reveal a well decorated office, with a warm wooden palette that made him feel instantly comfortable. Sitting behind a wooden desk was his new headmistress, her fingers interlaced and her green eyes assessing.

“Ah, Raphael,” she said in a cheerful voice. “Please, come have a seat.” She gestured towards the seat opposite her.

Raphael sat down, shifting slightly. “Thank you, headmistress,” he responded nervously.

Aileena smiled kindly. “Now, we have a lot to discuss.” She brought out a folder with Raphael’s name on it. “The League has informed me of your situation as their future trainer and your current status. I want you to know that I am happy to help in a any way I can and that I will do all the League has asked of me. If you need anything, feel free to come to me and we can discuss it. Finally, any meetings will remain completely confidential. No one will ever hear anything we say.”

“What if someone pressed their ear to the wood?” Raphael wondered aloud. “Ah, I mean, thank you, headmistress.”

Aileena laughed slightly. “The walls are soundproof, Raphael. Don’t worry.”

Raphael grinned back, albeit sheepishly. He was glad to have the headmistress on his side.

“It must be a rather exciting time for you, Raphael.” Aileena fitted his folder back into the drawers in her desk. “A trainer sponsored by the League, and a student at Ashford?”

Raphael nodded happily.

Aileena smiled. “I hope you find my school’s facilities to your liking?”

“Yes, headmistress!” Raphael beamed. “They’re amazing. Must better than the school they were going to send me to.”

“You mean the school the orphanage was going to send you to?” Aileena asked curiously.

“Yea.” Raphael said. “I still can’t believe that I’m here right now, headmistress. My old friends from there can’t believe it either!”

“Speaking of…” Aileena looked at him carefully. “How goes the search for a new family? Isn’t anyone in the League stepping forward?”

Raphael shook his head, but didn’t stop smiling. “Mr Goodshow says that the league is looking for new parents for me. They said they want me to have a good mother figure, but the League members couldn’t do it. Most of the Gym Leaders are too busy and stuff, and the Elite Four can’t either. Something about Agatha already have a grandkid and Lorelei being… well, Lorelei.”

Aileena chuckled. “Raphael, thank you for coming to see me today. I will do all I can to help you. Welcome to Ashford!”

“Thanks!” Raphael nodded.

“You may go now.”

“Okay, yeah!” Raphael headed for the door.

“Oh… Raphael?”

Raphael turned back.

“We say ‘yes’ at this school, not ‘yeah’, and we use ‘thank you’ instead of ‘thanks’.” Aileena smiled, raising her eyebrows. “I don’t want to catch you speaking like that again.”

Raphael furrowed his brow in confusion.

Aileena laughed. “There is a reason we run manner classes here at our school! Manners is becoming a lost art. We intend to keep it alive, at least here. Do you understand, Raphael?”

Raphael opened his mouth, then paused. He closed it, thought, then replied. “Yes, Headmistress. Thank you.”

Aileena smiled. “Much better. Off you go now! I’m sure you have a class to get to.”

*

As Raphael returned to the league building after school, he notices a note from Lorelei:

In an important meeting discussing future prospects. No afternoon training today. Do not disturb us.
Lorelei

Raphael smiled, he wasn’t looking forward to afternoon training but at least for today he had the day off. He decided he was going to look around the league building; there were some rooms he hadn’t seen before and it wasn’t like any of the five were going to be there to tell him off. So Raphael went off to do some exploring.

After wandering around for a while, finding nothing really that interesting other than more meeting rooms and some locked doors, Raphael came towards the room where the league had meetings and saw another boy sitting outside the meeting room. He look roughly Raphael’s age and had incredibly pale skin. He also had glossy, pitch black hair and grey eyes. He notices that Raphael was coming towards him and smiled. Raphael smiled back at walked to where he was sitting and sat down.

“Are you Raphael?” The boy asked in a whisper, not wanting to interrupt the meeting in the other room. Raphael nodded. “My name is Veritus, it’s nice to meet you.”

Raphael smiled back “It’s nice to meet you to Veritus” He said, holding his hand out for shaking as he had been taught in manners classes. Veritus’ eyes widened and he recoiled from Raphael’s hand like it was a sword.

“No” He said, but stopped himself from shouting considering the meeting “Don’t you know that shaking a psychic’s hand is a bad thing?”


“Oh sorry, Veritus.” Raphael whispered, quickly withdrawing his hand “Really sorry, I didn’t know you were psychic.”

If Veritus’ face was shocked before, now it was in a state of absolute fright. His eyes went so wide Raphael was sure they were going to pop out before his eyes grew dark and his hold expression changed into one of anger.

“You... don’t…. know!” He said, breathing quickly and tears started rolling from his eyes.

“Hey, I’m sorry!” Raphael said, trying anything to avoid the situation getting worse, then he made the biggest mistake. He reached over with his hand.

“GET AWAY!” Veritus screamed before Raphael felt himself being pushed backwards by an incredibly powerful force. Raphael’s body turned and slammed arm first into the wall. He crumbled to the ground screaming in pain and suddenly the door burst open and the league members poured out to see what happened. After a few shocked gasps, Mr Goodshow was overheard yelling:

“CALL FOR AN AMBULANCE! RAPHAEL’S HURT!”

*

A few hours later, Raphael was in a hospital room with a heavily bandaged arm. If anyone were looking upon that room they would see Raphael’s fixed expression. One of absolute fear and despair. Raphael had never felt anything like that in his life, the power of a psychic and the fear that came from those who felt it. Something else was getting Raphael’s attention, he had felt that fear before. Something in his mind was telling him that this had happened before… to someone he cared about. But before he could think anymore on that, someone knocked and entered the room. It was Agatha. She put a letter down on his bedside table before turning to Raphael.

“Raphael Bennett” She started “It’s clear from your face that you are in pain and fear, I came here today to see how you were dealing with it.”

Raphael turned his head to Agatha, his expression not changing and he didn’t respond.

“So you are aware that I’m here, good.” She continued in a brittle voice “Raphael, Veritus didn’t mean to hurt you. The attack was an accident, there is a massive difference to what you are currently thinking it is.”

Raphael continued to stare at Agatha, still unresponsive. Agatha sighed.

“Raphael, I need you to answer me.” Agatha snapped, causing Raphael to lightly flinch “In your fancy private school, how much did they teach you about psychics?”

“N-Nothing…” Raphael said, shakily

“That’s my point.” Agatha continued “Veritus is young and as such can’t control his gift. Or his curse, depending on your outlook. He didn’t hurt you on purpose. His powers reacted on their own accord, against you. That’s what happens when you make psychics emotion. It’s called losing control and as such, this was an accident.”

“W-Why… do...you… c-care?” Raphael responded, slowly “Y-You’ve...nev-never… cared… a-about… me… before… Why… now?”

Agatha sighed “For the record, I am not the one who wanted you two to meet. I was in favour of you being exposed to psychics only when you were old enough to understand. Once again, I am proven right. Right now you are an injured and angry four year old and no one will blame you for what happened. But I ask of you, only one thing. Do not let this cloud your judgement. Do not paint broad strokes about many people because of one incident, it will cost you greatly in your future. Do you understand that, boy?”

Raphael slowly but surely nodded his head to which Agatha let a silent sigh of relief.

“Maybe there’s hope for you yet.” Agatha said, smiling “Good day, Raphael.”

“G-Good day.” Raphael responded as Agatha left the room

As Agatha walked down the hospital corridor, she ran into Lance. She stopped and said one thing:

“There may be use for this boy after all”

After that, she walked away. Just before she left the hospital, Agatha notices Aileena d’Alcott entering the hospital with a worried expression on her face. She asked for Raphael’s room from the nurse and she followed her. Agatha took no notice after that and walked out of the hospital.

*

Raphael heard another knock on the door and saw Headmistress d’Alcott enter, a worried expression on her face.

“Raphael, I came as soon as I heard what happened.” She said before sitting down next to him “How are you feeling?”

“I...I’ve been...better” Raphael responded “It hurts.”

“Shh…” Aileena said, gently “It’s alright, you don’t need to be scared. I promised I would do all in my power to help you and I intend to keep that promise. Don’t worry, I will explain everything to your teachers, so you’ll won’t be in trouble.”

“Th-Thank you.” Raphael said smiling at her before yawning heavily.

“It’s not a problem, little one.” Aileena said “But you need to rest now, darling. Get some sleep and dream happy dreams.”

She started humming a sweet tune as Raphael’s eye-lids began to droop. After Aileena draped the blanket over him, his eyes fully shut and he drifted off.

“That was rather impressive, Miss d’Alcott.” a voice went and Aileena turned around to see Lance in the room.

“Just doing it the same way my mother did to me.” Aileena said “The sooner you find him a good home, the sooner he can be focus on being a child again, and focus on his deeps of being a trainer.”

“I agree with that.” Lance said “We have been looking for parents round the clock for Raphael. Now, originally the search was for couples, married or not, but considering how close you are to the plan and Raphael very clearly likes you, I can see no harm in him being raised by you. That is… if you want to?”

“Yes!” Aileena immediately responded “I’ll do it, I’ll take Raphael in.”

Lance was shocked by her quickness but quickly regained his composure. “Very well, I will organise the paperwork.” He said “I will tell the league we have found a suitable mother for Raphael. I wish good luck with having him as your son, Aileena. Good night to you.”

Lance left the room and Aileena inwardly screamed with delight. She was a mother. She would have to prepare a room for her new child and a lot of other things needed preparation but she looked forward to it. Before she left, she kissed her new child on the child.

“Sweet dreams… Raphael d’Alcott.”
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PostSubject: Re: Story Feedback: Raphael Perfectionist   Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:14 pm

It feels rushed, and it's not that creative... I'll probably end up working on it a bit more. Excuse typos 'n stuff.

-

In one fluid motion, Janette snapped up two Poké Balls and tossed them into the air. A Koffing burst out of one, spurting foul gas into the air, and an Elekid from the other, whirling its arm to the crackle of electricity.
Raphael glanced at Sola and Lune. The pair of Eevee leapt into action, hackles raised, growling at the enemy.
“Kansen! Smokescreen!” Janette directed, commanding and efficient. “Senkai! Swift!”
Before Raphael could react, the Koffing blew out dark, acrid smoke. Raphael coughed and squinted his eyes as the smoke blew over him, Sola and Lune. The two Eevee looked around, squinting, trying to see through the smog, their aura subtly affected.
From nowhere, bright stars cut through the smog and struck Sola and Lune. The two Eevee were thrown back, but then another volley of stars flashed at them, striking them again.
“Sola, Lune, use Swift back!” Raphael commanded.
The two Pokémon released their own volley of stars; no sooner had they done so did their opponent’s Swift come streaking towards them. The Swifts collided together in a burst of energy, sending out a wave of force that beat back the Smokescreen.
Janette was reading and waiting. “Poison Gas!”
“Dodge it!” Raphael called.
Kansen blew out a dark green gas, and Raphael covered his mouth. The two Eevee scrambled to the side, trying to avoid being near the cloud, but the gas caught up to Lune. The Pokémon coughed, shuddering, the poison latching on to his aura.
Raphael gritted his teeth. “Quick Attack!”
Both Eevee turned to their opponents and launched themselves forward, streaking at them at high speed.
“Counter with Assurance and Low Kick!” Janette directed.
Kansen flashed forward with a dull, wheezing laugh, it’s body glimmering with Dark-type energy. Senkai leapt forward athletically, cartwheeling and leaping forward and pushing off with its arms and flipping.
Kansen collided with Sola, the two forced back apart. Senkai swung its leg forward and connected with Lune’s, sending the Eevee tumbling forward and crashing to the ground.
“Quick Attack, Senkai!” Janette commanded. The Elekid complied; before Lune could get back up, it smashed a speedy fist into Lune’s body.
“Sola, Quick Attack the Elekid! Knock it off Lune!”
Sola rushed forward and tackled Senkai in the middle of a flying leap, sending the Electric type stumbling away.
“Kansen, Sludge!” Janette directed. “Senkai, Shock Wave!”
“Lune, Sand Attack!” Raphael cried.
Lune pulled himself up and slammed his paw into the ground, sending a spray of dirt at the two opposing Pokémon, but it went wild as his paw landed awkwardly as he took Poison damage. Kansen shot up to dodge it and Senkai let it hit, releasing the Shock Wave anyway.
Sola and Lune stumbled as the Shock Wave hit, Lune falling to his knees. No sooner had the two recovered did the Sludge strike, a purply ooze that hit Sola and Lune with enough force to make them fall back, covering them in poisonous gunk.
Raphael gritted his teeth. “Swift, both of you!”
Sola and Lune sent stars after their opponents, their expressions locked in grim determination. 
“Shock Wave!” Janette hadn’t lost her cool the entire battle, delivering orders with military precision and command. Senkai obeyed and let loose a Shock Wave which shattered the Swift, mostly cancelling them out.
"Guard!" Janette directed.
Some of the stars had made it through, battering lightly at Janette's Pokémon. Kansen tensed and Senkai put up his arms, the two taking in and absorbing the stars, shaking them off as though they were nothing.
Before Raphael could make his move, Kansen had shot forward.
“Sludge!”
The purple gunk hit Sola and Lune once more, forcing them back to the ground. Lune was almost too tired to battle, Poison damage taking ahold of him once more. Sola pushed herself up, but she was running out of energy.
“Quick Attack, both of you! Target the Elekid!” Raphael cried. He had no plans; he was simply outmatched. He needed to figure something out, but nothing was coming to him; he was drawing blank after blank. This was the best he had.
Sola and Lune rushed at Senkai, imbued with the speed of their move. Senkai acrobatically ducked and weaved and leapt and flipped, dodging over and over, but not able to attack back.
Kansen hovered around, trying to find and angle to attack, but it couldn’t— not without risking attacking its teammate.
Janette crossed her arms. “So that’s your plan? Stall?”
Raphael gritted his teeth. It was a very bad plan, but he needed an idea. He noticed Lune staggering as Poison damage caught him, but the dedicated Eevee continued his assault. Sooner or later the Poison would make him faint, or the two Eevee would smash into each other, or by weird chance one or both would hit Senkai.
“And you’re supposed to be the League’s golden trainer,” Janette said, huffing with slight laughter. “Honestly?” She looked him up and down, shaking her head. “Not impressed.”
Sola quickly glanced over at her trainer, worry in her eyes. But she narrowed her eyes in determination and continued to attack, despite the fatigue wearing in her muscles.
“Face it, kid; you’re weak,” Janette said matter-of-factly. “That’ll be a lesson. Don’t trust the League with training someone up.” Janette spread her hands. “I’d like to believe you have potential. But there’s no way I can tell like this.”
“The League has done their best.” Raphael clenched his fists. “And I think their best is pretty damn good! You can’t talk about being weak when your group’s favourite pastime is hiding in the shadows!”
Janette snorted. “Team Rocket doesn’t hide in the shadows. It rules Kanto from the shadows.” She turned back to the battlefield. “Kansen, Smokescreen!”
Smoke blew out of the Poison-type, covering Senkai and the two Eevee.
“Shock Wave!” Janette cried before Raphael could call out ‘Swift’. A moment later, Sola and Lune were thrown from the smoke cloud, sparking with electricity. Senkai leapt out with a forward flip, landing perfectly.
Sola pulled herself back up, ready for battle. Lune, however, with one last attack from the Poison damage, fell to the ground.
Raphael recalled Lune, crying out “Baby-Doll Eyes!” as he did so.
Sola made her best Baby-Doll face, her aura twisting and attacking at her opponents.
Janette’s lips twisted disdainfully. “Swift and Sludge!”
“Dodge the Sludge and Swift to counter the Swift!”
As Sola ran, twisting and ducking, and as Kansen and Senkai continued their assault and Sola got closer and closer to collapsing like Lune, Raphael could only think of one thing;
What happens if I lose?

-
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