Professor Kukui’s Dream

To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be posting things here every day. Yet so much happened today that I have to write it down not to forget. And first things first, Professor Kukui gave his okay, that I can write about it.

Early morning I headed eastward to a beach near Iki Town where Professor Kukui’s Laboratory is located. Jetlag didn’t hit me quite as hard as I feared. Actually it helped me to get up early very easily, although I always get up early anyway.

First time heading outside of the city made me realise how untouched and natural Melemele Island still is. You could think you’re the first person wandering these paths. The whole region of Alola is said to look as natural like this and I can hardly await to travel through it.
The ocean waves to the south were gently hitting the beautiful white shores, the lush jungle like forest to the left still seemed to be asleep but you could feel the presence of nightly active Pokémon silently watching your every move.
Far above me I could see someone riding on a Charizard, whose tail illuminated the quickly approaching dawn.

It didn’t take too long for me to reach the laboratory. Even though Melemele Island is one of the biggest islands here in Alola, you can still manage to get around the whole island within a day if you hurry a bit.
I was about to knock on the door when I heard a familiar but quiet “Alola!” behind me coming from the beach.

Finally seeing Professor Kukui in the flesh made me realize what a big presence this man has on this island. I did see him in a video call before but that call never did his posture justice.

“Welcome to Alola cousin! Again I am sorry I couldn’t pick you up yesterday. But how glad am I to finally meet you.
And sorry to quietly sneak up on you in the shadows. I had hoped to catch you on the way here but you’re very quick. My wife and son are still inside sleeping and I don’t want to disturb them.”

“Alola Professor! Thank you very much for having me.”

“No need to be so formal cousin! Here on Alola, we’re all one big family. You’ll get to understand this sooner or later yourself. Come, let’s head a bit further down to the beach where we can talk freely.”
I was very surprised and impressed by his welcome. He seemed a lot more friendly now in person compared to the phone.

We were walking along the beach to the west of the house. Professor Kukui jumped right to the main topic.
“Thank you for bringing the Pokémon Egg with you. Actually I would like you to bring it to another place later. Although first let me test if you’re actually worthy.”
“You’re a Pokémon Trainer, and a very good one I’ve been told. I didn’t have a real Pokémon battle in a while now that I have a child and I want the Pokémon to have some fun too now and then.
Someone told me once, that you can learn a lot about a person through a Pokémon Battle.”
Eagerly I replied “I am always ready for a challenge!”

I set the egg and the backpack down near the grass line o the beach and ordered Torny to guard it for now. I could see a glint in his eyes telling me that he wanted to fight too and I was very happy about it. “Your turn will come buddy!”
We took position, me facing eastward toward the ever brightening morning sky. I sent out my first contender, Gengar.
Professor Kukui gave a whistle and out of the night sky shot a somewhat drowsy looking Rowlet! “I don’t like, plus there is no need for me to keep the Pokémon in their balls. There’s plenty of space here for them.”
“Indeed there is. I am here not even for a day and I’ve already kinda fallen in love with this place.”
“Glad to hear! Now let’s start!”

“Rowlet use Leafage!” …

Now sorry to whoever is reading this, I’m not going to write down the whole fight “yet”. I’m a bit tired after this long day and the time change has now finally kicked in. Also I feel like this post will be a long one anyway already as more important things happened that I want to talk about. You will get to read the whole fight later, as my trusty Rotom did record it in all its glory.
But a quick summary needs to be stated here nonetheless.

Rowlet was a pretty tough opponent for my Gengar. It’s speed and sneaky attacks did cause quite some big damage. But in the end, Gengar triumphed.

It had however taken enough damage that I did switch it out for Luxray. Professor Kukui sent in a Lycanroc. He seemed a bit surprised that I didn’t react to it’s unusual colour. I did tell him after the fight, that this was only the second time I did see a Lycanroc. I knew that there were multiple variants and thought it just would be one of them.
As it had the type advantage, Luxray couldn’t pull through. Professor Kukui also confessed to me, that Lycanroc is at his best during Dawn and Dusk.
But during this fight I already started to notice, that these Pokémon were fighting differently to what I expected them to act from Professor Kukui’s commands. It was almost like they were “playing”.

I switched to Lucario which had no trouble taking on the other cannie Pokémon. As I wanted to give professor Kukui a real fight, I refrained from giving verbal commands for once and we only used the aura. Instead of me, Professor Kukui was now the surprised one.

Next Professor Kukui brought out a Pokémon that again was supposed to shock me, but I already was quite familiar with this big fellow named Melmetal. And since Lucario was also acquainted with this type, we again managed to beat it pretty quickly.

Professor Kukui remarked, that he does see our potential and was quite happy. Now however he’d have a real challenge for us. He actually took a PokéBall this time and out came an Incineroar! Not only that, once it made its name justice and let out a huge roar, another Incineroar sprinted to us from behind the laboratory! They stood side by side, flashing their claws while behind them the sun started to rise. What a majestic sight!

“Care for a double battle to finish this off? Alola is known for Pokémon to be helping each other when they have to face off a strong opponent.”
“Bring it on! Torny, I guess your time to shine has come now! Greninja would you keep an eye on the egg for us meanwhile please? Thank you!”

The double battle was intense.
I don’t want to go into all the details but it was the first time I did see one of these infamous Z-Moves during the fight. I noticed that it was the Incineroar out of Professor Kukui’s PokéBall that used the move in the end. I was wondering after the fight why he did use such a strong move only once. Apparently, it’s too draining to use multiple times throughout a fight, beginners are even only able to use one per day. In due time I would hopefully learn more about them myself.
But back to the fight! It was the Z-Move that finished off my Lucario. I wanted to show Professor Kukui my Mega-Evolution, yet he outsmarted me.
Nonetheless Torny had the upper hand over the other Incineroar from the beginning. I could see that he was reminded about the fierce battle we had in Kalos where we also faced one.
After the Z-Move, Professor Kukui’s first Incineroar was too weak already and Torny could finish it off easily while also taking care of the second Incineroar just a short while after.

Professor Kukui smiled at us, sweating from the hard fight. I was also pretty beat though not as much as him. The Z-Move really seemed like it took a toll on both the Pokémon and the trainer.

After the friendly battle, professor Kukui asked me a pretty odd sounding question. “Did something seem strange about the Pokémon that I just used against you?”
I remembered what I noticed earlier already, that “They seemed to be more playing than fighting. Except for the Incineroar you did call out from your PokéBall. That one did behave the way a trained Pokémon would behave to his trainer. The others might have been trained by a different trainer?”

A huge laugh escaped Professor Kukui. “That’s an even better answer than I hoped to get! You’re 100% correct, they don’t belong to me. They are another trainer’s Pokémon who left them in my care after he left the Alolan region. But don’t worry, he’s coming back from time to time to see them. Hopefully you will meet him too one day. He’s a very strong trainer…”
I could see a glint in Professor Kukui’s eyes and flicker in his aura yet I could not quite place it. It was a mix between being proud, joyfulness and even nostalgia?

“Thank you for the fight. Let’s head inside and talk some more there. I’m sure, Incineroar woke up almost all of Melemele with that battle cry” and as if on queue, I did see another figure step out of the house, holding a toddler in their hands.

“Alola! You must be Miingno. Kukui was pretty excited to finally meet you. I’m Professor Burnet, Kukui’s wife and this is our son Lei. Please come in and have breakfast with us. Your Pokémon too.”
“Sorry for disturbing your sleep” I apologized.
Professor Burnet calmy answered with a smile “Don’t worry. Lei was up early this morning.”
“How was your battle?”
Professor Kukui looked a bit embarrassed but happy . With a wink he remarked “Miingno Body Slamed my team hard. But I have full faith in my cousin to help me with my missions!” I was certain he was overemphasising the S to make sure she heard that there were multiple missionS.

“Thank you for having me. Here, a gift from my home town.” It’s custom where I grew up to bring gifts with when visiting someone outside of the region. Ecruteak City is known for many things but the most welcome gift is always a pot of the famous matcha powder. “As hot tea here in Alola might not be the best idea, I looked for one that can be used for cold tea or desserts as well.”

We had a friendly chat over the tropical breakfast, containing lots of fruits and berries. Thinking back, the atmosphere was so familiar, that it felt like we knew each other for years and I was just coming back for a visit after a while.

“Listen Miingno. As I was alluring already, and as you might have heard already, I have a few favours to ask. Please let me finish first and I don’t need an answer right away. Think about it.
First of all, I would like you to bring the egg to the Pokémon School tomorrow. The kids surely will love to see a Pokémon Egg as well as hear some stories from a strong Pokémon Trainer. Maybe even a battle with a Mega Evolution?”
I was totally fine with that.
“The egg I would like to leave in your care. Professor Elm and Burnet would love to study the Egg and the Pokémon but they want it to have a normal life not in a laboratory.” Professor Burnet added “Could you do this for us?”
“Most certainly. It has been a while that I took care of a Pokémon out of an egg. But I’m sure this little fella here will have a good time!” I gently patted the egg that I put on the table and it wiggled slightly, affirming that it wanted to have that ‘good time’!
“Most wonderful!” cheered Professor Burnet. “I’ll now do the washing up. You stay here! Kukui has something else he would like to discuss.” And with that she made her way behind the counter of the small kitchen, still within hearing range though.

Professor Kukui looked a bit nervous. “Yes. You see I managed to realise a big dream of mine only recently. The establishment of the Alolan Pokémon League. We have the tournament and are currently working on the badges and gyms. They are not yet ready but in a few months it will be time to have the next tournament already.
Again, you don’t have to answer right away.” he quickly added. It seemed like he really was feeling almost embarrassed to have to ask for this favour?
“Come’on Professor, let me hear it.” I refrained from reading his aura. I didn’t have to, to know where this might be going.
“Yes. You see, I would like to have more capable Pokémon trainers to battle in the tournament. There are plenty of contestants here in Alola, but they know each other almost too well. The kids and trainers what will be taking part, need a strong opponent.
There is a catch however. In order to be allowed to participate, the contestants must have faced the island challenge and have all four grand trials completed.”

He explained to me then what this so called island challenge is and these trials are. “But it’s not only up to you if you want to participate in the challenge. You will need the blessing of one of the four Kahuna, although I don’t think they will have anything against it.”

There was no need to me to think about it. “I came here to Alola to strengthen the bond between my Pokémon and myself. This challenge will be the perfect opportunity to achieve that.
Also I would love to fight in your Pokémon League, as long as you have some strong trainers like yourself ready!”

“Hahaha! A Wild Charge straight ahead! I knew I had the right guy when I heard about you from Willow and Elm!
I will introduce you to the Kahuna as soon as I can. But now I need to head out to the school! The teacher shouldn’t be the one being late! The school is right at the edge of the city. You probably passed it on the way here.. although it might have been too dark to see.. I’ll be waiting for you there tomorrow morning!”
And with that he was out the door.

“He’s still as busy and dedicated as he was the day I met him.” Professor Burnet came back out of the kitchen. “Thank you for agreeing to help with his dream. He struggled to find suitable trainers as most that are coming here to Alola these days only want to get stronger, learn the secrets of the Z-Moves and then leave again when they find out the true meaning behind them. You’ll understand when you will be able to perform them yourself because I’m sure you will be able to master them. They are not about pure strength, they are a manifestation of the bond between the Pokémon and their Trainer.”

We kept chatting a bit more and Professor Burnet wanted to do a quick check up on the Pokémon Egg. I meanwhile agreed to take care of Lei though all the Pokémon around the house helped too.
About an hour later she handed me the Pokémon Egg back. “Everything looks to be in order. It’s already very active and it won’t be long until it hatches. So be ready!”
“I will be. Thank you very much Professor Burnet”.

I was getting ready to leave as she asked me if I had ever heard of a special kind of Pokémon called Ultra Beast. Until then, I had not and she explained to me that these Pokémon… to be honest, I probably shouldn’t write about them here on this blog. Not yet at least. Also this post got long enough by now. Let’s just say she told me about them and hoped I would see one myself too while I was in Alola… “After what I have seen today and heard from you, I could highly recommend your for a temporary job… Oh, but all later. First, the important impression at the Pokémon school tomorrow! You better get some rest after the travel!” Professor Burnet wished my Pokémon and me farewell and we headed back to the Pokémon Center for now.

In the afternoon I’ll probably take a look around the island until the jet-lag hits~

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