Goldenrod city was bustling that morning. It was the twentieth of June, and that marked the beginning of a lifetime journey for many young boys and girls. Each year around this time, each of the eight cities with a gym acted as the starting spots for young aspiring trainers. They would gather to the city nearest to them, pay their licenses and, if they didn’t already have one, receive a partner Pokémon to accompany them in exchange for a small fee. After that the local Gym Leader would test the newly appointed trainers in a mock fight. If the contestants passed they would be be granted a stamp on their license to proceed on their journey as they wished, and if they performed exceptionally well, they could even get their first Gym Badge straight off the bat. All this was to ensure the safety of people and Pokémon alike, since while most Pokémon were friendly and most starting trainers had good intentions, there had been cases of injury and even death to both trainers and Pokémon in the wilderness before.
Either way Goldenrod, being in the centre of the Johto region and often a hotspot for travelers, was one of the more popular choices for young trainers so start from and it definitely showed; people poured into the city from land, sea and sky, and the railway station was packed to the brim. There was excitement in the air in the form of shouts, but at the same time the mass of people made it a tad bit difficult to breathe or move about, especially in temperatures as high as today. No doubt many people found the city uncomfortable that day, and the fourteen year old boy leaning against the cold stone wall of Goldenrod gym in hopes of cooling off was certainly no exception.
Mumbling to himself the boy shot another impatient look at his watch, only to roll his eyes and look away a second later. He wasn’t sure why he even bothered to check the thing – it wasn’t like he had been given an exact time for their meeting, anyway. He swore, for the largest city in Johto, Goldenrod was disturbingly disorganized in holding this event. If he had been the one in charge, there would have been clear instructions in minute detail and guards patrolling the streets to uphold them at all times. None of this “meet me at the Gym around midday” bogus Whitney had given him. He did understand that there must've been tons of people willing to take on the gym (as evidenced by the fact they had to do it in teams of three) and that probably caused stress for her, but wasn't that exactly why organization was needed? And to boot, midday was such a loose term, and the ‘around’ didn’t help a tad either. It was past one in the afternoon now, surely that should have constituted as late no matter how you looked at it?
He sighed, and the small Dratini besides him perked, tilting its head. Emil gave it a glance and shook his head just a tad.
“Worry not,” he assured it, offering a small pat on its head before he turned to look at the passing crowds again. “I’m certain the two other trainers should arrive any minute now. I heard they already had a Pokémon with them as well, so it’s just a matter of them receiving their license. They’ve probably done that by now.” At this, he gave a sort of pleadful look at the radio tower, before he turned back to the Pokémon. “Surely they’re on their way. And once they arrive, we can hold our scheduled match with Whitney.”
The Dratini nodded in understanding before curling back down to rest. Being a reptilian, the heat was making it sluggish. Emil truly hoped the Gym, at least, would be properly air conditioned. For now he just leaned back against the Gym, allowing his gaze to wander. From somewhere on the other side of the street, he could hear pushy salesmen trying to get people to visit the city’s humongous store. No doubt there was a special sale of some sort going on. Thousands of new trainers needing supplies for their journeys? There couldn’t have been a better day for the store than this. That didn’t make the pushy advertisers any less irritating, however; they were practically pushing some people along, from what Emil saw.
The worst thing was, he’d need to visit the store eventually as well.
Maybe it wasn't so bad to wait it out a tad after all...