“Do you have a trainer role model? Someone who inspires you as a trainer?”

“I can think of someone, but I don’t actually know her name. I just happened to battle her this one time, but afterwards, I felt like a whole different trainer.”

“Can you share what happened?”

“I knew that she wasn’t going to be a usual opponent right when she asked me for a battle. She wanted a simple one-on-one battle to train a Pokémon she just caught recently, and I obliged; secretly, I was relieved since I only had two Pokémon with me. We readied ourselves and sent out our Pokémon—mine an Electrike, hers a Feebas.

“Now, I know there are trainers out there with weird teams. I’ve battled a Fisherman with six Magikarp and a Ninja Boy with four Koffing. But you sort-of get a certain vibe from all of them. I didn’t get that vibe from this lady at all; she certainly didn’t look the part, as she donned a good-looking black dress and had the aura of someone experienced. So I had to bite my tongue to hold back any comment about her choice of Pokémon.

“The battle started, and I immediately ordered my Electrike to pummel the Feebas with his Spark and Thunder Fang attacks. As I expected, the Feebas was evading all of my attacks, but what I didn’t expect was how my opponent didn’t seem to say anything, as if she knew that Feebas was going to evade. Did she lie to me about only having caught the Feebas recently? Or did they bond that quickly over such a short period of time? As the battle progressed, I became pretty sure it was the latter.

“Knowing that I’d be dumb to fall for an easy trick, I told my Electrike to use Charge, then before she could even speak, I ordered Electrike to use Thundershock and to cover as much ground as possible. The strategy worked like a charm—no matter where it went, the Feebas was struck by lightning.

“Surprisingly, my opponent didn’t seem to be fazed by the situation at all. Her long, yellow hair covered a part of her face, but I could see that she still had the same serious and determined look, not even a hint of worry or uncertainty tainting her face. It was almost as if she wanted this to happen—and then I realized why.

“She ordered her Feebas to use Mirror Coat. That one play won her the battle.

“I still get embarrassed when my friends tease me about being beaten by a Feebas, but I keep reminding myself that it was owned by this amazingly skilled trainer. I have no doubt in my mind that she could be the League Champion someday. In fact, now that I think about it, she looked an awful lot like Cynthia, the Champion of the Sinnoh League…

“Wait a minute.

“Holy crap.”