Three hours and two interviews after lunch, we arrived at the TV studio to collect our money. It took another interview and another photo shoot before we could get out. Sapphire told us there was five thousand Pokéyen there for us. I gathered by the look on her face that that was a lot. If each of the other two interviews meant that much, I'd be happy to continue.
As I had expected, the stadium was packed. People were crowding even on the steps and in the walkways, just to view the legendary ice god. A cheer went up as we entered the stadium.
The other trainer was looking very worried at the sight of me. I was afraid she might give up and forfeit the match right there and then, but she gathered her courage and walked in from the other side, taking deep breaths all the while.
"Well, Snowfall, it's a little more than obvious what the people want, so how about you go up first." Sapphire almost had to yell to make herself heard over the crowd.
"Yeah, go for it, Snowfall!" yelled Shelly.
"Okay, I'll do my best." I walked out into the centre of the stadium and breathed deeply. The other trainer pulled out a ball and beamed a Graveller into the arena. It clenched its four fists and growled at me. I didn't like this thing.
"Right, Snowfall, just like we practised, spray it out," called Sapphire over the noise, spreading her arms out. I nodded and turned back to the Graveller. I opened my beak and shot a sprayed ice beam at it. Unlike real rock, the Graveller didn't explode, thank goodness; it just fell back, fainted. That was easy. The crowd rose to their feet, those that weren't already, and cheered me.
Next came a bunch of pink eggs that called out 'Exeggcute' when they were beamed out. They fainted back just as easily. I turned around to Sapphire and the crew.
"Anyone else want a go? This is too easy."
They all giggled. Sapphire turned to Dewdrop. "You want to try? I don't think she'll send out an Onix."
"I'll try," barked the pup, bounding out into the arena. I strutted over and took my position with the rest.
A mouse-like brown creature with spikes and long, grey claws was standing at the ready. Its trainer, looking relieved that I had exited the arena, ran her fingers through her hair and let out a sigh of relief, then turned once again to the battle.
"Quick, Sandslash, before it attacks! Dig!" she yelled at the thing.
The Sandslash jumped up and dived underground as if it were water.
"Dewdrop, run around in circles and try to avoid its attack," called Sapphire. "When it comes up, give it as powerful an aurora beam you can manage."
The little Seel began bounding around in circles, her eyes big and shining, searching for the Sandslash's attack. It burst up from the ground right under the poor Seel, making her howl in pain. But when she landed, quick as a flash her horn began to glow and a relatively powerful aurora beam shot at the Sandslash. The beam knocked it three metres back. It did a roll and finished up on its stomach, out cold.
Dewdrop jumped up on her tail and clapped her front flippers together, her face filled with joy. She bounded over, feeling very happy with herself, and nuzzled against Sapphire's legs.
"Good on you, Dewdrop," said Sapphire, rubbing the Seel's head, "It won't be long before you're a Dewgong, I can tell!"
Shelly, ponytail swinging, waddled into the arena. She stood in a battle stance, fists raised, ready to face whatever the other trainer would throw at her.
It was another Jynx.
Shelly dropped her fists and shook her head. "You can't be serious. Anyone else want to fight her?" she queried us, jerking her thumb in the direction of the Jynx.
Sapphire shook her head. "Shelly, you chose to go out there. Now show that Jynx who's boss!"
"If you insist." Shelly turned back to the Jynx and resumed her battle stance.
"Okay Shelly, try a mega punch. Same as an ice punch only more powerful and without ice."
I heard her mutter an 'Oh Rudgura', then she ran up to the Jynx, left fist raised and glowing. This time however it was glowing more of a yellow than blue. Bringing it down with a great force, her fist crashed into the opposing Jynx. The Jynx tried to dodge the punch, raising her arms to block the blow, but it was all in vain. She was knocked to the ground, flat on her back.
But unlike the previous three, the Jynx rose to her feet again and glared at Shelly. Her eyes started glowing pink and the air around Shelly began to shimmer. I now knew that this was a psychic attack. But despite all the pain it caused me, Shelly just stood there.
She calmly raised her arms to tighten her ponytail, then backflipped to the Jynx. Lost in concentration with her attack, the Jynx didn't see Shelly coming and was knocked by Shelly's flying feet to the ground. This time she didn't get up.
As per usual, Shelly punched the air and ran over to us, her face beaming. "Huh! I sure showed her who's best!"
Three easy wins later and we were another thousand richer. Or so I thought.
When Sapphire picked up her bundle of winner's money and finished counting it, she had a big smile on her face.
"There's one and a half thousand here!" she told us, "Five hundred more than usual! Must be because of such a big crowd. Wow! Well done guys!"
So we arrived home to another interview one and a half thousand Pokéyen richer.