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Chapter 10: Self Study (1/3)

->Guys, try not to use swear words in your comments or reviews. Webnovel has been recently just auto-deleting all of them. (Also I noticed a lot more people lurk without commenting than I thought.)

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Man, he really needed a hobby.

While waiting for Sandshrew to get better, he realized he had pretty much nothing to do in this life except train and watch battling videos.

That much was made even more apparent when he posted his request and sat near the board for the rest of the day. No one approached him and man was it boring.

Near the end of the day, Nurse Joy wandered over to him.

"I thought you would want to know that Sandshrew is going to be alright and…" She drifted off as she saw his request. "That's an, um… interesting request you put up."

On the board was a piece of paper with pristine handwriting.

Well, he thought it was pristine. Anyone who thought otherwise was just jealous.

{F+ Class Trainer with a 100% Mission Success Rate seeking work!}

{Current Pokemon include a level five Sandshrew. Biggest job completed in the C-Rank!}

{Interested in joining a group part-time or working on commission. 25% discount for solitary requests.}

{If intrigued, search for Izan Ritcher.}

She dragged a hand down her face while reading it, her expression becoming one of worry.

"Izan… are you okay?"

"Eh?" He thought she would scold him for his embellishment or something. Her genuine concern threw him for a loop. "Yeah, I'm fine. I feel great, even, knowing Sandshrew is going to be okay. Why?"

"Well, a lot of new trainers from the Youngster program come in. They get their first Pokemon, they go on a few jobs, and they feel invincible. They feel like their potential is great enough to go far, some even saying that they'll become the Champion with ease."

"Wow, really?" 'I couldn't care less. Why am I being lectured?'

Ignoring his dry tone, she continued. "Most of them either pass away due to their hubris or get their Pokemon irreversibly crippled. I just want you to be cautious-"

"Wait wait wait." He put up his hands to stop her. "What, do you think I'm some sort of… battle junkie or something? That I'm just trying to guarantee my next 'fix' after… that?"

Joy's finger rose to briefly touch her lip, which she chewed on for a second, clearly uncomfortable. After looking away, she nodded.

"No!" He exclaimed heatedly. He took a breath, knowing she was just worried for him. "Sorry, no. I just need the money and experience, that's all. I'm not that much of an idiot."

She looked noticeably calmer hearing that, but her confusion was still clear on her face.

"What do you need so much money for? Even half of that C-rank would've gotten you enough for the rest of the month."

He sat back and looked down, contemplative.

She wasn't wrong. On both accounts, actually.

With the money he just made, he could probably stay cheap and live comfortably for about three months in the Pokemon Center doing absolutely nothing.

And if the circumstances were different, he would've become a battle junkie just like those foolish ones.

But there were a few details she couldn't have known about.

Before he became Izan, he dreamed of a life like this. In his dreams, it wasn't as modern, but it had all the pieces.

Fighting, magic powers, cliche lines, and enduring ridiculous training just to fight the next bad guy. Over and over.

A life of fantasy.

If he had been transported to a different world where he was a fighter, he would've thrived. But this was the Pokemon world.

His own training didn't matter. Only his Pokemon did.

Even with his mysterious power augmenting him, he barely moved that Fearow. The only reason he hadn't died was the [Leech Seed].

In battle, he most likely wouldn't be the most injured. He wouldn't be the one staring up at giants and steeling his resolve.

He'd just be a spectator. A commander. A king who would fall if his knights failed to protect him.

And watching Sandshrew get hurt wasn't the same as fighting himself. Watching one who he took care of put themselves in harm's way made his heart drop.

It wasn't the same as his dream at all.

So he made a decision.

It was time to stop being so stingy about his money. Every dollar, every cent, every resource he got his hands on would go towards his Pokemon.

In this life, where his dream of becoming strong was through his Pokemon, he would make them his top priority.

Plus, it wasn't like he had all the time in the world to just be living leisurely.

The Youngster Program was only a program for a reason. After a full league season went by, his temporary license would be gone.

Considering that a league season only lasted a year, it meant he had almost a year until he was either striving or had to hang up the towel. Maybe go back to his fishing job.

Or a farmer. [Rototiller] was a move, after all.

He looked back up at Nurse Joy, his eyes alight with orange. Yet there was no rage, only a sad but determined smile. "I've just had a realization, is all."

[}-{]

Half a week passed.

During that time, Izan spent the days mostly holed up in his room with a notebook, writing down every useful piece of information he could find on the ground-type forums.

He was considering becoming a ground-type specialist. He didn't want to have to think of new training methods and diets and patching up every hole that a new type would add to the team.

Plus it wasn't like he couldn't catch other Pokemon types, he just wouldn't use them for battle.

Even if the ground-type forums didn't have a consistent moderator like grass-types had Erika, it was lightyears better than the wild west that was the generalist forums.

Seriously, 'Theory: Venonat evolves into Butterfree' shouldn't even be a topic of discussion.

In other news, Sandshrew had recovered enough that Nurse Joy said she was ready enough for light training.

If the world didn't have such advanced medical technology and magic healing Pokemon, that healing process would've taken weeks if not months.

And due to Pokemon's ability to become stronger after healing battle injuries, Sandshrew had leveled up enough that the scanner didn't have to estimate anymore.

[Sandshrew (♀)]

[Type: Ground]

[Level: 8]

[Energy Mastery: Ground (Beginner), Normal (Beginner)]

[Ability: N/a]

[Moves: Scratch, Sand Attack, Defense Curl, Mud Shot]

Her new status confirmed one thing for him, and that was that Pokemon didn't magically learn moves upon level up. She should've learned [Poison Sting] by now if that was the case.

It made sense, considering she'd never used poison energy in her life, but it was a bit disappointing.

Yet even with her newfound power, healing didn't mend her shattered spirit.

Instead of the bold, haughty, and oddly graceful way she used to be, she shambled from place to place. She avoided eye contact with him, deliberately not climbing onto his shoulder.

At one point she even asked to be put in her Pokeball.

That was the tipping point that made him pause in his research and decide to get to work.

But before that, he needed to go shopping.

The first thing on his list was a few books recommended to him by some veterans in the forums.

He had been treating Pokemon less like living creatures and more like one's and zeroes like in the games. They weren't just data on a screen. Physical changes, lifespan, body language, and even breeding were all things he needed to at least have theoretical knowledge on.

Breeding was still a mystery despite all the research done. Pokemon didn't have sexual organs nor did they even excrete waste. Their bodies were perfectly efficient, meaning they didn't have to poop or pee.

Finding the bookstore was the hard part, but after that he bought more books than he could comfortably carry, having to put them in a bag.

Realistically, only a few would be useful for becoming stronger. But he didn't want to be like Ash who didn't even know Pikachu was the 'Electric Mouse Pokemon' until someone told him.

His next stop was a home improvement store.

Confidently, he strode in and bought a mini fridge before strapping it to his back like a backpack. It wasn't as heavy as he'd thought it would be.

He ignored the looks people were giving him and focused solely on the bewildered look Sandshrew was sending him, her eyes adorably wide.

She sobered up and looked away when she noticed him giving her a big smile.

He frowned.

Still, there was one more place he had to head to before he dealt with that problem.

The Pokemart.

Without hesitation he walked through the doors of the Pokemart and right towards the counter, causing the cashier clerk to grimace at the sight of him.

He was probably just jealous of his sick new fashionable backpack.

"Sorry, but I can't be bothered to look around with this big ass fridge on my back. You mind just telling me if what I want is even here?" He began.

Most likely surprised that he wasn't a crazed weirdo, the cashier gave him a polite smile. "That's perfectly fine sir, what exactly do you need?"

Izan pulled his small notebook out of his pocket. "Let's see here… Ah, right. I need a gallon of Moomoo milk, Sandshrew-specific Pokefood, an Apriblender, three dozen white and yellow apricorns, and three type gems."

Surprisingly picking up most of that, the clerk was ringing up the total cost that would be when he stopped in thought.

"Actually, we don't have food specifically for Sandshrew. That would have to be ordered or created yourself. We do have ground-type Pokefood if you'd like?"

Izan clicked his tongue. Of course, they wouldn't have that. That'd be freakishly convenient. "Yeah, that's fine."

Clicking some more a number appeared on the cash register as the man finished up. "Got it. Your total would be ₽5,300. Is that okay with you?"

Izan's expression became strained. "Yes, That Is Completely Okay With Me. I'd Like For The Gems To Be Poison, Rock, and Steel." He spoke robotically.

The clerk gave him a knowing and sympathetic look but nodded anyway. "Rrrright… I'll be just a moment."

After walking into the back room, Izan awkwardly stood there, burning a hole in the wall with his intense stare.

He really didn't like spending a lot of money.

Five minutes later the clerk came back carrying his purchases in a big blue bag with a white Pokeball symbol on it.

"This should be everything. Is there anything else you'd like to buy today?" He asked politely.

Making sure that nothing was out of order, Izan quickly passed his card over, ripping the metaphorical bandaid off.

All of that money; gone in an instant. Considering the mini-fridge cost 200₽, and the books were 15₽ each, he was back to square one.

Dejectedly, he took his card back after the vile man drained it of all its money.

Now holding two bags and a mini-fridge on his back, he walked out of the store. He waved off a faint 'thank you for shopping at-' blah blah. He wasn't listening.

It was finally time to address the elephant in the room. Er, mouse. Pangolin? The Sandshrew. It was time to address the Sandshrew.

"Let's go, Sandshrew. After I set all this stuff down, it's time we had a talk." She visibly cringed at his tone.

---

-> Next chapter tomorrow. I wanted to do another one today but I'm pretty sure I don't have the time for it. I really should just stock up on chapters before posting. Oh well.

I have a question: Although I have his main team solidified, does anyone have any Pokemon recommendations? Like utility Pokemon or even reserve ground-types? The max he'll probably ever catch (and stay relevant) is 12.


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Khyrrid Khyrrid

Power Stones, perhaps? Comments, maybe? How about a review? I ain't getting paid for this, so these are my motivations!

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