‘Ok then…’ Candice stuttered. ‘T-Thank you ma’am.’
She walked out of Maylene’s house, and Gardenia followed her. Even though she only knew her for a year, Candice was certain that Gardenia was holding back a gigantic rant about Maylene, who, as they have discovered, left for Johto without telling them. Gardenia was too experienced in the field that she knew they had to put a fair distance between them and the Gym before ranting away, as doing so just after the door was closed was not safe.
Candice walked slowly; a desperate attempt for Gardenia to forget about that topic, but the latter responded by grabbing Candice’s hand and pacing away, dragging the resisting girl with her. The pair had reached the meteorites before Gardenia opened her mouth and let it all out.
‘She’s an idiot!’ she started. ‘How could she go to Johto without telling us?! Is she too good for us now?! Did that stupid region with their stupid ‘We’ll walk with Pokémon!’ policy seem more important than our superior Sinnoh?! At least we have a League! They’re so poor that they share theirs with Kanto, another disaster I tell you. Did you hear about the sissy Erika? A tragedy! I should go there and release all her tormented Pokémon. And don’t even get me started about Hoenn; those idiots with their idiotic ‘We’ll be one with nature!’ attitude. I know I’m supposed to like grass and all, but come on! Can’t they grow up instead of living on trees?’
‘Are you done?’ Candice sighed.
‘I’ll tell what I’m done with,’ Gardenia started again. ‘I’m done with that idiot girl and her ‘I will be an Aura Master!’ attitude. Johto are lucky if they know what aura is! Only we have a trainer who uses aura, those idiots probably don’t even have the education to know what it is. A punch of morons I tell you. Did you hear about their stupid Pokégear? Who needs radio? The world has MOVED ON! I’ll tell you what, I once saw this tour book, and in it was a picture of a monument, or a landmark, for Johto. It’s a burnt tower.’
Gardenia stayed silent for a while, tapping her foot rapidly against the ground, and waiting for a response. ‘And what?’ Candice said and rolled her eyes.
‘And what?! I’ll tell you what. A burnt tower! Who keeps a burnt tower! ‘Oh look, we angered the rainbow clown bird and he burned out tower, we must keep it around cause we have bad memory’. At least we have something significant for a landmark. Mt. Coronet, that library thing somewhere, the temple in your snow land, the beacon. Do they have an underground? I DIDN’T THINK SO!’
‘I think they have a beacon as well, and it’s called a lighthouse,’ Candice said. ‘And we also have an abandoned building, remember? The one you were too scared to enter?’
Candice stood opposite Gardenia in silence for a few minutes as the latter kicked some stones every once in a while. ‘Did you let it out now?’ she asked and tilted her head.
‘We’re going to Johto.’
‘I would like to visit Sinnoh sometime,’ Brawly said. ‘Do you know anything about Hoenn?’
The pair was facing the waves as they clashed against the sands of the beach, while Riolu and Makuhita were in the water. Brawly had been trying to teach Maylene to surf, but she ended up breaking his surfboard. Their swimming suits were covered in sand and water, as well as their bodies.
At first, Maylene felt awkward being next to a shirtless boy, but she eventually managed to adjust to the situation. ‘I know that you have water,’ Maylene said. ‘More than us. But I don’t know about Johto, since I didn’t see anything else.’
‘We do have a lot of water,’ Brawly laughed. ‘Which is great for surfing. Crasher Wake will love it if he sees it. But we also have Drake, one of the strongest Dragon Pokémon trainers. There is a Space Center in Mossdeep City, and I think there is one in Sinnoh near your city.’
‘We don’t have anything like that in Veilstone, but we do have meteorites,’ Maylene said. ‘We should go back to Chuck now and continue the training; I’m sure he wouldn’t want us taking a long break.’
Gardenia had dragged Candice to the beach of Sunyshore City, a very impressive city in the Sinnoh region. It was always busy, with tourists coming in and out, teenager girls hanging around the Gym in hopes of seeing the Gym Leader, but Gardenia had something else in her mind.
‘We can’t take a ship to Johto,’ Candice said. ‘We’re too young to be allowed on without parents. Besides, I don’t think any ship is leaving from here.’
‘We’re not taking a ship,’ Gardenia said. ‘We’re swimming!’
Candice looked at Gardenia for a few seconds, slowly tilting her head. ‘You’re crazy, aren’t you?’ she said as her head shot back into place. ‘We can’t swim to Johto!’
‘I am swimming,’ Gardenia replied and pointed at herself with her thumb. ‘And if you don’t want to come with me to get Maylene back, then maybe you’re not a true friend.’
‘Fine,’ Candice took a few steps forwards untill her face was almost touching Gardenia. ‘You want to swim, swim. I am sick of you and everything you dragged me into this past year, and Maylene. I’m glad she’s gone actually, at least now you’re not around her anymore. I only put up with you because you helped Maylene sometimes, but not anymore. I have no reason to stay friends with you. You’re a horrible person. Swim on your own. I hope you never come back.’
There was a cave under construction on the west of Cianwood City. They have just begun digging, and are apparently planning on reaching the other side, where they have just discovered is not just sea. Maylene was grinning, thinking of all the possibilities. She could easily go to the other side and prepare a surprise for them. It could be a tribute to Gardenia, who she met exactly one year ago today.
She walked towards the steep walls and started climbing. Riolu followed her closely, with a grin similar to Maylene’s on his face. The cliff was very slippery, and Maylene would occasionally slip, but she always managed to grab back onto the rocks before falling to the ground. The climb took a lot of her time, and when she reached the top, she was drenched in sweat.
‘What should we do, Riolu?’ she asked her Pokémon, who shook his head. ‘Gardenia would have had an idea by now. I wonder how everyone is doing back in Sinnoh. Now that I think about them, I regret leaving without telling them.’
Maylene sighed and kicked a stone, and in the most comical way, started a chain reaction of small rocks hitting each other for a few seconds. Maylene grinned and sat on the ground, but the collision caused the small rocks to fall off of the edge. It was then that she realized that this formation was not stable.
She could hear larger rocks colliding with the beach, and felt the earth shake beneath her. The formation tilted a little, and the sound of an avalanche was clearer. Her mind searched for the safest way down as soon as she got up, but she was unable to think clearly when her life was in danger. Before she knew it, the entire piece of land she was on fell to the opposite side of the edge she climbed, towards the water.
Riolu tackled Maylene and held on to her. The pair flew away from the rock. She screamed for help, but her voice was drained away when her right shoulder scrapped against the wall of another formation. She winced in pain and tried to grab the wound.
There was a large splash, followed by Maylene and Riolu falling into the water. The wave from the rock caused her to flip upside down, and the salty waters made her gasp as the wound ached her even more. She tried swimming out, but couldn’t operate her limps in her state of panic. The force of her body crashing into the surface left a pain that didn’t help.
Riolu was just a few meters below her, and he was just as hopeless and she was. Her arms became weak, her wound stopped hurting her, and her entire body became still. She felt her body rising before she lost consciousness.
Canalave City held ‘that library thing’ that Gardenia had mentioned, which was called the ‘Canalave Library’.
But Candice wasn’t interested in that. A boat was leaving to Johto soon, and that was the only thing that was important to Candice. She hated to admit it, but Gardenia was right; Maylene was irresponsible in going to Johto without telling them, and she was doing the same thing. No one knew that Candice planned on going to Johto, not even Gardenia. Just because Gardenia came up with the idea didn’t mean they had to go together.
Roark was the only person that saw Candice in Canalave, and she covered her actions by lying and saying that she was here for the library. She felt bad about lying to him and about not being with him to support him. His father was selected as the replacement for the Canalave Gym Leader, and asked to pick his own replacement. Roark wanted to become a Gym Leader, but Byron chose someone named Riley, whose current whereabouts are unknown.
She managed to sneak onto the ship, and his with the cargo. She hoped that Gardenia wouldn’t be able to sneak onto the ship as well, but couldn’t tell whether she was here or not; the places for hiding were varied.
She heard the sound that indicated for everyone to climb aboard, and she gave out a sigh of relief. The ship began moving slowly, the sound of the bridge rising echoed in the small cargo chamber, it began picking up speed, and Candice prepared herself for whatever happens to her in Johto.
Maylene had better have an explanation.