It was a crisp, clear autumn morning among the lower foothills of Mount Chimney. On one of the many plateaus overlooking Lavaridge Town, a figure stood, staring out upon the colored trees and jagged dells. He was dressed simply: a white tee-shirt and black jeans, held up by a tan belt dotted by six variously colored Poké Balls and a PokéNav. A black and silver flat-brimmed baseball cap sat on his vibrant red hair, bearing the Pokémon League insignia. He was also wearing a small backpack with a curious 'M' pinned to one of the straps. Despite the hour, he appeared wide awake and starry-eyed as always. The trainer took a deep breath of the clear, thin air that could be found here. It was invigorating, to say the least, and this spectacular view definitely made up for the hike to get up here.
Anyone familiar with the Pokémon League would instantly recognize him as Taylor Whitacre, the former Hoenn League Champion. While his successes had been somewhat stymied as of late, the famous trainer was still entering tournaments and constantly trying to adapt to the ever-changing league. Case in point, he had returned to one of his favorite haunts in order to adjust and tweak his strategies once again. This particular hill was somewhat difficult to reach, and he had only come upon it by accident at the age of eleven. Even then, this lovely view and clear air had inspired him to no end. This was where he was going to turn around his fortune. This was where his campaign to be Pokémon League Champion would start anew. First, he'd take Hoenn's tournament again in a couple months' time... then, it would be on to the Grand tournament before long. Only this time, he wasn't going to lose.
Turning from the edge of the plateau, Taylor strode to the edge of the forest and placed his pack against a tree. There were already fallen leaves upon the ground, and they crunched deliciously as his bag met them. There were snacks, a lunch, and plenty of water in there for this whole day of training. He also hadn't forgotten to pack pokéfood for his companions. Taylor peered into the trees, although he wasn't expecting to see anyone. The silent, empty forest stared back at him, no signs of life being shown. The trainer was almost positive no one knew about this place... not even his most diehard of fans. Still, a twinge of uneasiness crept into his mind for a split-second.
Something touched at the back of his mind. It was an emotion that did not belong to him, emanating from the green and white Poké Ball at his belt. That was Slash, his Gallade and the most trusted Pokémon he had. Slash was attempting to soothe him with reassuring thoughts, as was typical. The Gallade was even more certain than Taylor that no one could have possibly followed him here. A few seconds passed, as did the slight bit of uneasiness. Following that was a brilliant flash of white as the Gallade materialized next to Taylor. Tall and thin, the Pokémon gazed down at Taylor with its golden eyes. A thin scar marred the face of the otherwise majestic Gallade, running from below his left eye to the corner of his mouth. "I'm fine," Taylor smiled, flashing his teeth in reassurance that everything was back to task. Who cared if someone was out there? So long as they meant no harm, Taylor would be happy to see them.
Within a few minutes, two more Pokémon were out of their respective capsules. Myst the Zoroark had left her black and red one, and Blaise the Infernape had departed a ball of an orange and red hue. Blaise and Slash began to spar farther out on the plateau, a daily warm-up ritual for the two. They darted around each other as blurs, parrying each other's blows with practiced efficiency. A block became an attack... an attack, a block, and so on. Taylor paced around the combat, observing how they moved with a watchful eye. He would call out advice or orders at random intervals, allowing the two Pokémon to engage each other in a variety of ways. To an outsider, the combat appeared too frenetic to spectate knowledgeably, but to Taylor it were as if in slow motion. As all of this went down, Myst stared intently at the fight. As per her instructions, which she had only just started obeying once realizing how useful they would be to her, she was watching the two for anything and everything. Only through constant observation could she perfect her imitations of the two. Occasionally she would transform into one of the two and mimic something she saw, taking a couple attempts to get it right. Later, she would be asked to put that into practice.
This was just the beginning of today's session, but as the three current trainees went through their initial paces, Taylor felt as if this was going to be a wonderfully efficient day.