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Fanfic / Way Of The Aura

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Instead of getting Pikachu on his first day as a Pokémon trainer, Ash Ketchum finds himself Aura-bonded with a Riolu one innocuous night. This little detail sets off ripples of change that completely shake up his journey to greatness. While being a Pokémon Master has a nice ring to it, being an Aura Guardian throws open a completely different set of experiences that will shape this adolescent into a man of power feared by those who wish to bring harm to the world.


This is Ash's story, of how he became the greatest Aura Guardian since Sir Aaron, his tribulations travelling the world, and finding people who he would share his heart with forever.

Way of the Aura is a Pokémon fanfic written by SilentGhostWriter2017 who also authored Jade Lightning and Fire and Water: A Magical Tale. It can be read on Archive of Our Own here. Unfortunately, as of late March 2021, this is now an abandoned fic due to SilentGhostWriter2017 leaving Archive of Our Own.


Tropes in this fic include:

  • Adaptation Personality Change: Unlike his canon counterpart who started off his journey brash and naïve, Ash starts off his journey here much more calmer, collected, and not afraid of inflicting bodily harm to those who have ill intentions towards him or Luka, his Riolu.
  • Adaptational Badass: In-canon, Ash is only able to use his Aura when wearing Sir Aaron’s gloves. Here, he is able to use Aura without the gloves through rigorous training with Luka, and by the time he starts his journey, is already quite adept with his power.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Several Pokémon not native to Kanto have made early appearances in the story so far. Most notably, Luka the Riolu.
    • Riley and his Lucario make an earlier appearance than in-canon in the Kanto 15 chapter, where they hear Ash's summoning call for Ho-Oh and experience a sudden rise in the world's Aura following his Next Tier Power-Up.
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  • Adaptational Intelligence: Thanks to both Luka’s training and Professor Oak making Ash a research assistant, our protagonist is far more intelligent and well-versed in Pokémon when he starts out his journey, as compared to his canon counterpart in the original anime series.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • Brock is canonically straight (if his declarations of love to pretty women are any indication). Here, Brock has his bisexual awakening courtesy of Ash. And while it was never explicitly determined what was Ash’s sexuality in-canon, here, Ash is gay, given the relationship tags in the AO3 story page.
    • Lt. Surge can be seen as bisexual or gay here, since he asks Ash out on a date after the latter defeats him in a Gym battle. And before you go after the author with pitchforks, look at My God, You Are Serious! and Younger Than They Look below.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In canon, Misty’s sisters Violet, Lily and Daisy are airheads and love to tease Misty, but are ultimately good-hearted people. Here, however, they regularly demean and insult Misty. And while they shirk off their duties as Gym leaders like their canon counterparts, they siphon off funds provided by the League for the upkeep of the Gym towards their water ballet shows, leaving Misty to pay for the general upkeep and maintenance mostly from her own pocket. They get their comeuppance when Ash writes to his uncle, who happens to be the Champion of Kanto and Johto, alerting him on what has been going on.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Because of the story’s premise, Ash’s canon Pikachu is nowhere to be seen.
    • Team Rocket’s Jessie, James and Meowth essentially disappear from the story after their invasion of the Viridian City Pokémon Centre. They are beaten to a pulp by Ash and Luka, and are last seen restrained and taken away by the police.
    • A second example could be Serena, since she does not appear in the character tags nor has the author mentioned about including her in the story by the time Kalos comes around.
    • Several characters-of-the-day such as Samurai, AJ, Bill and Seymour have been adapted out of the story.
  • Adult Fear: When the S.S. Anne comes under attack from Team Rocket in the Kanto 15 chapter, Lance immediately deploys the G-Men agents to aid in the rescue, primarily because his nephew, Ash, is aboard the stricken ship. When the detective on the other side of the line reveals that most agents were on leave, Lance goes apeshit.
    Lance: Detective Morrigan, I need you to assemble all available G-Men agents and get them ready for deployment. The S.S. Anne is under attack, and I need as many as possible to deal with the attackers!
    Detective: But Champion, most of them are on holiday or on leave-
  • Age Lift: Ash is thirteen, instead of ten, when he starts out on his journey.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Ash goes on his journey later than in-canon, and his starter is Luka the Riolu, not Pikachu.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Just like in canon, we never see Ash’s father here, and it currently remains unclear if the author is going to bring him up, if ever.
  • Ambiguous Gender: All Pokémon so far, except for Ash’s team, are never specified to have a certain gender unless explicitly stated.
  • Ascended Extra: In canon, Brawly only appeared for a couple of episodes and is never seen again after Ash and co. leave Dewford Town. Here, although he has yet to make an appearance, Brawly is destined to become a major character due to his future romantic relationship with Ash. The same can be said for Raihan.
  • Asshole Victim: Proton is arguably among the most evilest of the Team Rocket executives, as his actions in the Kanto 15 chapter clearly indicate. But even he has his fears. After Ho-Oh and Ash's intervention during the attack that resulted in hundreds of grunts killed and twenty-seven submarines destroyed, Proton was made to answer for the failure of the operation to the 'Boss' in the Kanto 16 chapter. The 'Boss' sentences Proton to someplace called the Chamber. And while we don't actually see what this Chamber is or what actually happens there, Proton is visibly afraid and he has to bite down on his instincts to beg for mercy so as to not worsen the punishment that awaits him. Clearly, it is some kind of inhumane torture, as the author describes the pain that would come from the punishment as being dipped into the Distortion World and left to fester for centuries.
  • Aura Vision: One of many Aura abilities Ash can use as an Aura Guardian-in-training. Ash uses this specifically when navigating the dark caves of Mt. Moon to investigate the odd behaviour of the native Pokémon.
  • Berserk Button: Dare display ill intentions towards Ash’s team? You might not live long enough to even think about it ever again.
  • Bilingual Animal: Played with. Luka uses telepathy to better communicate with humans and acts as a translator for other Pokémon.
  • Butt-Monkey: So far, Brock is the only example. Just like in-canon, he falls in love with every pretty woman he meets, and pays for it dearly as a result. Ash is the one to rein in Brock’s hormones with a plastic bat to the head.
  • Character Overlap: The author loves Winx Club and My Hero Academia, which is reflected in the characters brought over into the story from both fandoms.
    • Brandon and Riven from Winx Club make appearances in the Kanto 11 chapter as trainers facing off against Ash in the Clubsplosion Tournament taking place aboard the S.S. Anne.
    • When the Kanto 12 chapter was released, another Winx character, Bloom, made an appearance as another participant of the tournament, alongside an OC of the author, Rykios (who appears in another work of the author's, Fuoco e Acqua) and Midoriya Izuku from MHA, who in this story is Rykios' husband.
    • Kanto 13 chapter brought the arrival of Flora, Helia, and Musa, all of whom Ash battled against in the tournament.
    • Tecna makes a few non-speaking cameo appearances in the Kanto 14 chapter as the third runner-up of the Clubsplosion Tournament.
    • Eri from MHA makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the Kanto 18 chapter as the little girl whom Ash and his group saved during the attack on the S.S. Anne. Unfortunately, her parents did not survive the attack, and last we have seen of her, she is being taken care of by Rykios and Izuku.
  • Child Prodigy: Ash can be seen as some form of this by the time he sets off on his journey.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Luka easily beats Gary’s Squirtle after the latter challenges Ash to a battle. Happens again when Ash and Luka thoroughly savage Jessie, James and Meowth.
    • During the attack on the S.S. Anne, the armoured creature (Mewtwo) destroys three helicopters containing G-Men agents sent by Lance to defend the Anne without even breaking a sweat. The helicopters are literally crushed into a ball of twisted metal, before being dropped into the ocean.
  • The Chosen One: Ash, naturally. Even the tags say so.
    • On an additional note, in the Kanto 6 chapter, when reporters mob Ash over his encounter with Ho-Oh, several call him 'Chosen One', unknowingly foreshadowing the events of Shamouti Island.
    • Another foreshadowing happens in the Kanto 14 chapter. Ash's prize Pokémon for coming in second in the Clubsplosion Tournament, an Absol, prophesises an attack on the S.S. Anne, ending that disaster will ensue, if the Chosen One does not intervene.
  • Darker and Edgier: To some extent.
    • Ash literally murders Jessie and James’ Pokémon, Ekans and Koffing, during their attack on the Viridian City Pokémon Centre. Said grunts are also grievously harmed with graphic depictions of their injuries made clear.
    • During the attack on the S.S. Anne, many passengers and crew were murdered by the attacking Team Rocket grunts. However, Ash and his team take things to the next level. By the end of the attack, 788 grunts were slaughtered, the majority of which after Ash's Next Tier Power-Up.
    • In-canon, the doll Sabrina carries around with her is the physical manifestation of a split personality that embodies the emotions that she tried to lock away as she developed her psychic powers. Here, however, the doll embodies a darker entity, presumably the manifestation of her anxieties of others trying to take advantage of her. See Hollywood Exorcism below.
  • Death by Adaptation: Jessie and James’ Koffing and Ekans, courtesy of Ash.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jessie, James, and Meowth.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Just like in-canon, Brock with every pretty girl he meets. Expanded here with Brock often becoming distracted by Ash’s built physique, he even burned dinner once because he was too distracted watching Ash train instead of paying attention to the food he was cooking.
  • Divine Conflict: Ash summons Ho-Oh during the attack on the S.S. Anne. The Legendary avian dukes it out against the armoured creature (Mewtwo) in a battle that quickly becomes a stalemate until the latter is recalled by Team Rocket following the subsequent slaughter of most of the grunts at the hands of Ash.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Averted for Ash. Every Pokémon on his team has been given a nickname. His Riolu is called Luka, Scyther is Adira, Eevee has the name Arion, Poliwhirl is named Zarya, and Charmander is Agni. Played straight with Absol, who has not been given a name as of the Kanto 15 chapter.
  • Doorstopper: What this story could potentially become. The author plans to cover all of Ash’s journeys around the world, while taking out some parts that are redundant or carry no significance to the plot. Nonetheless, the story stands at over 72,000 words as of the Kanto 17 chapter. One could only imagine the sheer size of the story once the author takes on the Galar region.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The three male characters who are going to be shipped with Ash - Brawly, Leon and Raihan - make early cameos in the Kanto 12 chapter through a Sneeze Cut.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Played literally with Daisy, when Ash challenges her and her sisters to a battle for the Cascade Badge.
  • Filler: Just like with the anime, this story makes use of filler chapters to keep things interesting. Though it should be noted that not all episodes of the anime will be adapted into the story.
  • For Want of a Nail: Several instances.
    • Ash doesn’t start his journey with a Pikachu as in canon. Instead, he leaves Pallet Town with Luka, a Riolu.
    • Ash is not attacked by a flock of Spearow as in-canon.
    • Misty’s bicycle does not get destroyed. In fact, she does not appear until the Kanto 7 chapter when Ash arrives in Cerulean City in pursuit of the Cascade Badge.
    • Many of Ash’s canon captures, such as Caterpie, Pidgeotto, Bulbasaur and Squirtle, do not happen here.
    • Ash properly beats Brock in a sanctioned battle, as with Misty.
    • Ash’s encounter with Ho-Oh is different from canon. While in the anime, where Ash sees Ho-Oh flying off into the distance, here Ho-Oh actually accosts Ash in front of Brock, his father Flint and a watching crowd. Ho-Oh also gifts Ash three of his feathers, which according to Lance in the subsequent chapter, can be used to summon the Legendary avian once per feather.
    • Misty does not join Ash on his journey as of yet, since she has to run the Cerulean Gym after the League revoked her older sisters’ positions and forced them to vacate the Gym. Although, given the character relationship tags, the author hints of Misty joining Ash sometime in the future.
    • Ash and co. save Agni the Charmander upon first meeting him. Agni was being attacked by a flock of wild Pidgeotto instead of being completely fine as in-canon. In doing so, Ash and co. inadvertently save the Charmander from almost dying when the rain storm comes in, as in-canon.
    • Damian, Agni’s former trainer, is not dealt with immediately as in-canon, though Ash swears vengeance should they ever encounter one another for the abuse done to Agni and subsequent abandonment.
    • Ash beats Lt. Surge on his first try.
    • Ash and Brock do not board the S.S. Anne by the machinations of Jessie and James. Instead, they are given tickets by Lt. Surge as a prize for Ash beating him in a Gym battle.
  • Free-Range Children: Averted. The author personally finds it weird that ten-year-old children are allowed to leave home and explore the world without parental supervision, so they, through Word of God, made it that Ash is thirteen years old when he leaves for his journey.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Ash, plain and simple. Cross his lines and you will pay for it dearly.
  • Groin Attack: Ash gives one to James during the Rocket’s attack on the Viridian City Pokémon Centre.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: The Kanto 18 chapter plays with this trope. Also, look at Darker and Edgier above for further context. Luka reveals to Ash that one of his duties as an Aura-adept is to exorcise people and Pokémon of any dark energy or malevolence within them. This plays out for real after Ash's victory over Saffron City Gym leader Sabrina. Sabrina loses her temper over losing, and tries to turn Ash into a doll. Ash uses his Aura to block the attack, and having sensed a dark presence coming from the doll in her lap before the battle, he tries to yank it out of her grasp. When he succeeds, the doll turns into a terrifying, demonic monster that tries to attack him for removing it from its host. Ash pushes it back with his Aura, and when it tries to return to Sabrina, he uses Aura tendrils to immobilise it. Then, with much exertion, Ash tears the monster in two, thereby freeing Sabrina from the dark embodiment latching onto her soul.
  • Immoral Journalist: Played straight with the reporters who swarmed into Lavender Town following the attack on the S.S. Anne. In order to protect his nephew, Lance had Officer Jenny and her deputies hold back the reporters from storming into the Pokémon Centre. Later, in the Kanto 17 chapter, Lance handpicked a journalist, original character Edward Jacobs, from a small news outlet to interview Ash. As a deputy escorts him and his camerawoman inside, the other reporters try everything and anything to be let in, even going so far as bribery. Lance's disdain for sensationalistic media was also established, suing news outlets into bankruptcy for exploitative reporting and authorising a restraining order protecting his nephew from harassment by unscrupulous journalists.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Also several instances.
    • Jessie, James and Meowth still attack the Viridian City Pokémon Centre as in-canon, but are dealt with in a far different manner.
    • Brock joins Ash on his journey after Flint, the former’s father, returns and relieves him of the responsibility of taking care of his younger siblings.
    • Brock’s attempts at flirting with pretty women are still thwarted as in-canon, through Ash’s intervention.
    • Ash encounters his Charmander as in-canon. Charmander, later named Agni, also joins Ash.
    • Ash and co. still board the S.S. Anne as in-canon.
    • Team Rocket still attacks the S.S. Anne as in-canon, though Jessie and James do not spearhead the attack due to being Adapted Out.
    • The S.S. Anne still sinks, just like in-canon.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Ash always corrects someone to say a Pokémon’s actual gender instead of using the term ‘it’.
  • Jerkass:
    • Gary, what else is new?
    • The Sensational Sisters, even more so than in-canon
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Ash has traits of this. While he is certainly a hunk thanks to his training with Luka, Ash doesn’t really classify as a Barbarian Longhair since he keeps his hair tied up in a ponytail to prevent it from getting messed up in the wind.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the Pokémon on Ash’s team have names that are either symbolic to their future forms, or higher beings such as gods and mythical protectors.
  • Modern A.U. Fic: It has been stated that Ash’s birthday is 22nd May 1997. Given that he is thirteen when he sets out on his journey, the year at that time is 2010. Ash’s birth year here may also be a reference to the year when the original Pokémon anime series was first aired in Japan.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Ash. His built physique, sculpted from years of training with Luka, results in Brock having his bisexual awakening. Brock has been seen ogling Ash on a few occasions.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: Lt. Surge’s reaction when asking Ash out on a date following their Gym battle. Ash points out that he is only thirteen, and Surge laughs it off as a joke, only to realise that the trainer who defeated him was far from joking.
  • Mythology Gag: After Ash personally deals with Jessie and James at the Viridian City Pokémon Centre, he casually remarks that what he did to the two Team Rocket grunts was better than, say, blowing up the entire Pokémon Centre. This is a reference to canon events, where Ash's Pikachu discharges so much electricity that it not only sends Team Rocket blasting off, it decimates the entire Pokémon Centre in an explosion that could be seen for miles around.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: Ash undergoes this during the attack on the S.S. Anne. When his Aura and the power of Ho-Oh's Rainbow Feather come together under the stress from the attack, Ash's strength and power skyrockets. His physical appearance changes, and a pair of wings sprout as he becomes, what Riley calls, an Aura-adept. Later, Luka explains that an Aura-adept is the next step up from an Aura trainee and the precursor to becoming a full-fledged Aura Guardian.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted. Ash is eleven years old when Luka comes into his life, and when he starts off his journey, Ash is thirteen.
  • Obligatory Swearing: Ash adds on to the insults when Flint makes himself known to both him and Brock. Lance echoes his nephew’s insults when asking about Flint after he boards the S.S. Anne via helicopter.
    Ash: Huh?! You mean you’re the good-for-nothing, syphilitic, gonorrhoea-and-crabs-infected father who left home and never came back?!
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Meowth when he realises that Jessie and James were incapacitated and his fellow Pokémon murdered following Ash and Luka’s intervention.
    • Lance when word reaches him that Team Rocket is attacking the S.S. Anne.
  • Open Secret: Played straight in that the Cerulean Gym leaders Daisy, Violet and Lily give away the Cascade Badge to trainers without even a battle, as one quick search through the Internet will reveal.
  • Potty Failure: In the Kanto 12 chapter, a gentleman attempts to buy Luka off of Ash. Despite Ash's repeated refusals, the man does not take the hint. Ash assaults the man and threatens to kill him if he does not back off. The acrid smell of urine subsequently fills the air.
  • Put on a Bus: Ash bids farewell to Flora, Musa, Helia, Rykios and Izuku following the end of the S.S. Anne arc in the Kanto 18 chapter as he continues on his journey. However, the author has stated that these characters will reappear again sometime in the future.
  • Race Lift: In the original anime series, Elite Four member Bruno had a dark skin-tone. However, subsequent media portrayals have shown Bruno with a paler skin-tone due to whitewashing in the games. This story returns Bruno to his original dark skin-tone.

  • Related in the Adaptation: In canon, Lance and Ash have interacted only in a few instances throughout the anime and are acquaintances at best. Here, Lance is Ash’s uncle on Delia’s side, and they share a close relationship.
  • Running Gag:
    • Brock getting hit by Ash’s bat every time the former flirts with a pretty woman. There is even a counter going on about the number of hits to the head Brock has taken so far, which as of the Kanto 18 chapter, is at six.
    • Ash dramatically throws his cape to the side before every major battle he partakes in.
  • Ship Tease:
    • First, Ash / Brawly, then Ash / Brawly / Leon / Raihan
    • Flora and Helia
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lance reveals to Ash in a video-call that he owns over fifty pairs of character-themed booty shorts. This is a shout-out to fellow AO3 author OasisLake76 and her chatfic Pokémon Chat Broke, where Lance was discovered to own character-themed booty shorts and this secret is outed to the group chat. Interestingly, Way of the Aura was made as a giftfic for OasisLake76.
    • In another nod to OasisLake76, Ash uses a plastic bat to rein in Brock's hormones around pretty women. This is inspired from an infamous object from Pokémon Chat Broke, the Wiffleball Bat, which was used by several characters, including Ash, to beat up one another, Played for Laughs.
    • The Kanto 15 chapter brought two main shout-outs. First, Ash's summoning call for Ho-Oh is inspired from the siren's call to Elsa in the Disney movie, Frozen 2. Second, as Ash undergoes his Next Tier Power-Up, a pair of wings sprout on his back. As revealed in the chapter's ending notes, the wings are directly inspired from Tecna's Season 3 Enchantix wings from Winx Club, with a different blue colour since it comes from his Aura. The author wrote that Tecna's Enchantix form is their favourite of all the Winx girls, but they didn't like how incomplete the Season 3 wings appeared, preferring the Season 8 incarnation. As of Kanto 15, only the forewings are currently present, with Luka explaining in the subsequent chapter that only when Ash becomes a full-fledged Aura Guardian, will he get a complete set of wings.
  • Slash Fic:
  • Skeleton Government: Somewhat averted. While there is no clear form of government in the anime, this story paints the Champion as the person who runs the region they are in charge of. The Elite Four acts as their advisors, but other than that, there doesn’t appear to be a proper government body running regions as of yet.
  • Supreme Chef: Brock, naturally, is this. Though he has taught Ash cooking on the latter’s request.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Just because Ash’s Pokémon learns a move, doesn’t mean that they are masters of it right away. In-between battles, Ash spends long periods training with his team to get them ready to take on their opponents. And even then, the Pokémon in question may not fully execute an attack at its maximum potential due to limitations in biology and strength.
    • Who in their right minds would let ten-year-old children go out into the world without proper skills or training, or parental supervision for that matter? The author certainly doesn’t, which is why Ash is thirteen when he leaves for his journey, and only after years of training with Luka.
    • Unlike in the games, where Pokémon can dodge attacks only either due to random chance or a close relationship with the player, the Pokémon here dodge attacks just like one would expect a reaction to an incoming attack to be in real life.
    • Any progress when it comes to healing from past trauma can be undone in an instant. After Agni the Charmander beat Riven’s Roserade during the Clubsplosion Tournament aboard the S.S. Anne, Riven loses his temper and tries to attack Agni. This triggers horrific flashbacks for the healing Charmander, who regresses in terror. Ash spends the rest of the chapter comforting his traumatised friend, while Lance promises payback by having Riven kicked off the ship and investigated on allegations of Pokémon abuse.
    • As much as Luka's training and tutelage under Professor Oak has given Ash a much further head-start into his journey, there will always be someone who has more experience and is better than him. This becomes evidently clear in the Kanto 13 chapter, where Ash loses a match for the first time ever in the finals of the Clubsplosion Tournament against Character Overlap trainer Musa, who's Meloetta narrowly defeats Luka to win the tournament.
    • As much as losing can be painful, experiencing it for the first time is an unknown, scary feeling that can easily spiral out of control. When Ash loses his Finals match against Musa, he is barely able to send Luka to be healed and make it back to his suite before he completely loses it. It is only through his uncle Lance's intervention is Ash able to begin pulling himself together.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Played with. Ho-Oh gifts Ash three of his feathers that fuse into the hem of the latter’s cape. According to Lance, this gives Ash the power to summon the Lord of the Skies to him exactly three times.
  • Violence Is Not an Option: Inverted. Ash will not hesitate to resort to physical violence if his team or friends are threatened. As of the Kanto 15 chapter, Ash has a body count that totals at 790 corpses.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ash, but not without good reason. As the author states in the chapter ending notes, Ash will only assault a woman if she poses a threat to himself or his team. He will never attack innocent women for the fun of it. In one case, Jessie tried to capture Luka, justifying Ash's subsequent ruthless beat-down of the Team Rocket grunt for attempting to steal his partner.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Played with. In the Kanto 14 chapter, Ash's prize Pokémon for coming in second in the Clubsplosion Tournament is an Absol, who prophesises that the S.S. Anne will be attacked by hostile forces. Ash later discusses this prophecy with his uncle Lance and Brock. Brock suggests having the ship sail back to the mainland, but is vetoed by Lance who promises to have the crew be extra vigilant. Despite Lance's assurances, Team Rocket attacks the S.S. Anne at the end of the chapter in a fleet of submarines that surround the ship.
  • Younger Than They Look: Thanks to his training with Luka, Ash is well-built for a thirteen-year-old. So much so that after he beats Lt. Surge for the Thunder Badge, said Gym leader is so impressed by Ash that he actually asks him out on a date, thinking that Ash is an adult who is just on the short side. Ash has to point out that he is only thirteen before things cross into the illegal.
  • Your Size May Vary: Averted. The author takes careful consideration of each Pokémon’s height or size and portrays them realistically in the story.

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