A began the day with a brief walk to the yellow Apricorn tree in the south of Violet City. Another one was ripe, so I picked it. Then, I went to Sprout Tower to train against the monks there. Scrounger needed the most, being the newest, so I kept him out of his pokéball. He was able to defeat Sage Nico by himself, but needed a rest after that.
On our return, we started encountering wild pokémon - specifically, Rattata, as the ghosts don't come out until night. My journey through the tower was also frustrated by its unusual layout: I would go up a ladder only to descend another ladder, reaching another area of the same floor that seems to be otherwise disconnected. It was easy enough to figure out, though, as there were very few options actually left to me as to where to go. That is, despite its odd layout, the journey up Sprout Tower is essentially linear.
Scrounger learned Focus Energy during a battle with Sage Chow, which may well come in handy, though these trainers seem to use Bellsprout exclusively. I should also note here something that I realized while fighting Sage Edmond, which is that any one of their Bellsprout is weaker than any one of the wild Rattata here, which may go far in explaining why the Rattata are so prevalent.
This, of course, was less true of the monks in the very top of the tower, whose Bellsprout were about the Rattatas' equal, though also fewer in number. My little Arsonist dispatched most of them with ease. To my surprise, though, Sage Troy actually had a Hoothoot in addition to his Bellsprout. I retreated to the pokémon center after that, though, as I could not guarantee my pokémon's safety against a stronger opponent without it.
On my return, I sought out the Elder, but, when I passed the central pillar - which, legend has it, was crafted from the stalk of an enormous Bellsprout - I found him already in conversation with Hobbes. He gave him a Technical Machine, apparently having already lost to him, but warned him to care more for his pokémon. Of course, had he known, he would have been using the possessive rather loosely. Hobbes even said himself that he only cares about strong pokémon for winning battles. Before I could confront him, though, he escaped with a rope that he had apparently lain in advance.
Elder Li was quite a challenge, indeed. Sting, having already been worn out on the way up against a wild Rattata, was safe in her pokéball as I kept Pitcher out. I switched to Arsonist to handle his Bellsprout. When he sent out Hoothoot, I chose Scrounger, but his Hoothoot was quite strong indeed. Between him and Watchman, I almost lost one of them. Fortunately, both survived, and Watchman is even tougher than before. Not wanting to take any chances against his final pokémon, I used Arsonist to finish his Bellsprout in one go. Arsonist even learned Quick Attack. I'm so proud. : )
Elder Li said that I should be able to take on Falkner, but my battles against him and his apprentice taught me that I am not at all ready to take on a gym of Flying types. Even at full health, I would never dare send Pitcher or Sting out against a bird. Having nothing with an advantage, nor even a resistance, I'm going to have to train my rodents thoroughly.
I ended the day with some light training: I traveled back along my previous routes, collecting the black, pink, and green Apricorns that could be found along the way. This meant fighting some wild pokémon, which provided some battle experience for my own.
[NOTE: This day corresponds to Sunday, November 11th, 2012.]