(OOC: Apologies for the incoming lengthy party shift! I need Nyx, Astrid and Yoshi swapped out for Valkyrie, Gaia, and Iceblight. And if a mod could also give them the following items, I'd greatly appreciate it ~ Valkyrie (Expert Belt)/ Gaia (Eviolite)/Iceblight (Rocky Helmet))
Returning to New Bark Town shortly after her win against Morty hadn't been on Tanya's itinerary, but here she was, standing on Route 29 with a few Pokemon she'd brought along for some fresh air. Well, two Pokemon at least - one was still residing in his ball due to the warm temperature. It was a lovely example of a summer day, clear skies and not too hot for wearing a pair of her favored jeans with boots. Gaia, her Deerling, wriggled in delight under the balmy sun, her Grass-typing clearly taking no issue with the day either. Valkyrie's face showed nothing of her feelings, but she didn't seem distressed, and Tanya let her be as she dug through her bag.
Her mother had passed along some information that piqued her interest, something about a couple from a faraway region moving into the area. Tanya, deciding a break from non-stop training would be nice, had taken her mother's suggestion to drop by and perhaps learn some more about this 'Alola' region. The thought made the redhead smile - she loved that her parents were so encouraging about her nearly insatiable curiosity. Coupled together with some down time from raising her team made it all the more appealing. "Argh!" Tanya grumbled, loud enough to make Gaia jump. She'd made note of where the couple were residing, only to lose it among the mess of her things.
Tidy, she was not, much to her mother's despair when Tanya was younger. Shaking her head at herself, Tanya looked at her Pokemon. "Okay you two, we'll just wander around for a spell. Keep an eye out for an older couple," she said, motioning for the two to stick close as they walked in the direction of New Bark Town. If she couldn't find them, or at least someone else in the area to question, maybe they'd find her. Valkyrie's sharp eyes swept the route, the Hawlucha less inclined to give in to her playful side like Gaia, currently dashing happily in and out of the grass with seemingly carefree abandon. Gaia was paying attention, just in her own way.
As Johto was built around the traditions created by hundreds of years, it was quite the ideal place for Alolan residents to move to. Whether it be a new setting or to share the culture that had grown separate from the rest of the world, many new citizens have come to inhabit the land. An elderly couple had moved into the area that Tanya was exploring, their presence in the land created quite the attraction for people who had never seen or heard of the traditions in Alola. Everyone wanted to try the trial for themselves.
The couple had noticed Tanya walking around with her Pokemon. There they stood, standing in front of the brightly colored gate that led into a clearing. “Alola!” The woman called out to Tanya, hoping to draw her into trying out the new trial they had come to integrate. “You’re a trainer, yes? Have you heard about the Alolan trials? It’s a fun way to challenge your team and gain some experience! Would you be interested in going through?” The woman said as her and her husband walked closer to her. “We’re retirees from the Alola region and figured we’d bring this fun pastime to Johto! You get to bring three Pokemon into the trial and search for the Totem Pokemon.” The man said attempting to explain the situation further.
Alolan couple wants you to take the trial! Do you accept?
Valkyrie was the first to spot the elderly couple - admittedly it was hard to miss the gate behind them when it intended to draw the eye from afar. But Tanya wasn't looking up, having returned to fruitlessly sifting through her belongings and items for the note. It was a task that made it hard for Valkyrie to get her attention, if one didn't also want to attract some of the local fauna as well. Gaia perked up her ears as she saw Valkyrie gesturing wildly, eyes landing on the gate. Intrigued, the Deerling skipped merrily through the grass on a path that nearly cut Tanya off where she was walking, causing the redhead to shout and stumble slightly. "Gaia?" Tanya exclaimed, finally lifting her head.
She still missed Valkyrie's gestures as the woman called out to her, Valkyrie sporting a rather epic pout as she stormed after her trainer, grumbling all the while. "Whew! You don't know how glad I am to see you," Tanya laughed as she walked over, smiling. Hearing about a trial of some sort stoked a paradoxical reaction, wanting very much to undertake it, but part of her chafing at the idea of doing more battling during her self-imposed down time. Expression thoughtful, Tanya listened to the couple's pitch as Gaia and Valkyrie emerged from the grass to flank her. Her Hawlucha's eyes were bright at the sound of this 'Totem Pokemon'. Surely something with an imposing title like that had to be worth fighting.
Tanya didn't have to look at her Pokemon to know they were just as curious as she was, and it sealed the choice for her. "Sign me up!" the redhead grinned. "Anything else I should know before I head in?" She'd already decided on which Pokemon were coming with her - Valkyrie would never forgive her if Tanya left her aside, and Gaia would be useful for possibly defusing tense situations. Iceblight too, even if he didn't appreciate the lovely summer weather. Tanya peered up at the gates, thoughts already wandering to the Totem they'd mentioned. She'd never heard of anything like it before, and it made her wonder if it was one of the stranger Alolan traditions.
The couple was delighted that Tanya had accepted the request to begin the trial. “Ah yes! The Pokemon you will be looking for is simple and at times very unaware of its surroundings. This characteristic is found deep within its DNA, mostly all of its species have this trait.” The woman gave a simple yet puzzling hint, trying to be informative but still giving the trainer a bit of a challenge. It wasn’t called a trial for nothing!
“Well, if you have your three Pokemon handy, you’re all set! Right this way.” The man motioned towards the opened gate. Down the path, 4 Pokemon could be seen. It became evident that Tanya had to choose the correct one that fit the description. There was a Ledyba, Bidoof, Tailow, and Sentret. Out of the selection, Tanya should choose one to fight. Choose carefully, as choosing the wrong choice when you get to the clearing could stall the quest much longer!
The reactions of the senior couple were so genuine that Tanya felt any last lingering shreds of uncertainty fade away. If doing this trial to understand a bit of foreign culture made them this happy, it made her happy. Besides, she mused as she glanced at Valkyrie's intense expression, she doubted she'd be able to talk her Pokemon out of it. Gaia pressed herself close to Tanya, nudging hopefully at the girl's hand until Tanya took the hint and absently stroked the Deerling just behind the flower on her head. The redhead listened patiently to the woman's clue, mind already picking it apart. But until she saw what lay ahead, she was going to wait before making any assumptions and somehow mess up.
She was instructed to proceed, lifting a hand and flashing the couple a parting smile before she walked through the gate. Only a few steps in did she properly see the Pokemon lying in wait, four of them to assess with the hint she'd been given. Tanya gazed at each one with a critical eye, eventually settling on the rotund Normal-type native to the Sinnoh region. (I need to fight that, huh? It seems like an easy win with Valkyrie, but Gaia could use some experience too...) Figuring out the clue had been simple enough; this was the real difficulty. Her Hawlucha was the obvious choice, and strong enough to boot, though Tanya couldn't help wondering if it was too easy.
"Gaia, up front," Tanya said, to Valkyrie's loud exclamation. Steeling herself, the redhead faced the outraged bird and crossed her arms, Valkyrie imitating the pose with a fiery glare. "You'll get your chance, Valkyrie. But I didn't bring Gaia to be a mascot. She deserves a chance to fight, too," she explained. Valkyrie relented, albeit reluctantly, and uttered a soft huff as she watched the summer-green Deerling trot towards the Bidoof on the path. "Alright Gaia, use Double Kick!" Tanya ordered, hand extended in Bidoof's direction. Eyeing her foe with some nervousness, Gaia sprang into movement as she readied herself to start the battle.
(OOC: I'm sure it's obvious what Pokemon are being taken along, but just to clarify: Valkyrie, Gaia and Iceblight.)
The four Pokemon looked cautiously at the trainer near them, waiting to see which one of them she would try to fight. When Bidoof was selected as the opponent, the rest of them fled, every Pokemon for themselves. Luckily, the Bidoof was the correct choice for the trial! It didn’t really make any sort of face though, it seemed a bit dead in the stare. Surely it was the simple type of Bidoof, one of the three characteristics previously mentioned by the couple before Tanya had begun the trial.
Gaia would be a good choice for this Bidoof, as easy kill for the Deerling with that handy double kick. The beaver stared blankly at the foes, wondering what they were about to do. Gaia went in for a fierce double kick, really rattling up the normal type. As a super effective move, Bidoof panicked and curled into a defensive ball. Perhaps now it could wait out the battle until it was time to retreat to the totem…