Danny considered congratulating the girl on her performance, but she was even more intimidating after that fierce performance, so he decided against it. After a couple more performances, it was Danny's turn. He took a deep breath and stepped out on the stage. He began to smile. This is what I've been waiting for for years. No need to be scared, Danny thought. "Now it's time to shine!" Danny shouted, throwing Buddy's Pokeball in the air, releasing his partner. The Grass Pokemon waved his leaf at the audience and winked cutely. "Let's start off with out new move, Energy Ball!" Buddy closed his eyes and concentrated as a shiny green ball of energy began collecting in front of him. "Now juggle it and use Poisonpowder!" Using the leaf on his head, Buddy tossed the Energy Ball while simultaneously using Poisonpowder. This caused the ball to sparkle with even more colors. "Now time to finish this up!" Danny called out. Buddy nodded and summoned spinning leaves that spiraled up toward the orb of energy. The leaves swirling around the Energy Ball caused power to leak out, creating rings of green and purple that spread over the stage and sprinkled down.
James was in awe at the performances; he'd never thought about using the abilities the Pokemon had in an aesthetic manner. As he thought about that, he smiled after his friend finished with his first, and impressive, appeal.
Danny stepped off the stage and grinned at his Pokemon. "I think that went pretty well for our first performance. Hopefully it was good enough to get us into the next round," he said. Buddy cried out in agreement. After the last few performances went on, the MC said that there was going to be a 10 minute intermission while the judges were tallying their scores and the finalists were picked. Danny took this opportunity to find his friends. "So how did I do?" he asked. His Pichu jumped into his arms, obviously enjoying the show.
"Thanks guys!" Danny said. "I just wanted to make sure you guys were enjoying it. Anyway, I think I'm supposed to be backstage when the 10 minute break is up, so I'm going to head back." He set down Tess. "Keep watching carefully, Tess. You'll learn a lot." Then he ran off.
Danny got backstage to see the MC appearing on the screen. "The judges have made their decisions about who will be moving on to the next round!" she exclaimed. "The results will now be posted on the big screen!" The faces of eight competitors appeared on the screen. The girl with the Lucario was near the top and Danny, to his surprise, saw himself on the list too.
"Awesome!" Danny cheered, hugging Buddy a little too hard. "Chika!" Buddy yelled. "Oh, sorry," Danny said. He looked back up to see who he was going to be battling in the next round of the contest. His face was displayed right next to the Lucario girl. He glanced in her direction. "Looks like we have a strong opponent right off..." he said, trying to fight back the nerves and stay smiling.
Danny smiled big on the outside, but inside his heart was thumping faster than normal. "You too!" he said cheerfully. Buddy looked up at him, obviously knowing that Danny was nervous. The first competitors went out on the stage and began battling.
Danny stood at the end of the stage opposite of Carly. He looked down at the Pokeball in his hand. Good luck, Buddy, he thought. He heard his cue from the MC and stepped out on stage. He saw his opponent on the other side of the stage. Ok, don't think about the crowd or the opponent. Just about doing your best. The thought made him start smiling and he sent out his Chikorita.
"Dodge it while using Swords Dance!" Carly ordered as the Lucario shifted out of the way swiftly, while gracefully performing a Swords Dance. The Pokémon kicked and punched, yet included a spin to ensure a safe escape from Buddy's attack. Lucario's strength was visibly building up, which gave Carly the signal to send her next command. "Metal Claw!"
The Lucario stopped his dance and rushed toward his opponent without hesitation. Silver claws formed at the ends of his paws. They shimmered with a bright light and seemed massive due to the stored power from the Swords Dance.