Ray was feeling jittery, nervously adjusting his gloves as he looked across the battlefield at his opponent. Lillian was an older woman, which might have led some to think she was a push over, but Raymond knew better than to try and judge someone based on their physical appearance. The boy had seen his slim mother loading massive crates of freshly picked vegetables that he wouldn't attempt to lift in his wildest dreams, after all. But it wasn't the battle that made Ray nervous, but rather what was on the line.

About a year ago he had visited the Gym. However, he came there not to battle but to ask for Lillian's help. The boy had helped a little injured Joltik, helping it recover. But Ray wasn't able to part ways with the Pokemon, so rather than risk never being able to get his Trainer's License, he brought the Joltik, who he named Jasper, to Lillian to hold on to until he was old enough to try for his License. True to her word, when he got there Jasper's pokeball was waiting for him. Ray let the Joltik out and it was like a year hadn't even passed as Jasper leaped up onto his shoulder and nuzzled against him cheerfully.

They took a little time to reminisce, but Ray knew he would have to challenge Lillian if he wanted to keep Jasper. If he failed, if he couldn't get his Trainer's License, he would be separated from his friend forever. So this wasn't any simple pokemon battle, this was a fight to keep his friend. With a deep breath, Raymond pushed down his nerves, knowing he needed to focus if he was going to have any chance of actually winning. He looked at Lillian, offering her a friendly smile before saying, "I'm ready, Ma'am."