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At the Battle Arena, challenges are carried out in the form of 3 vs 3 elimination combats. In the first battle between Emerald and the Arena Tycoon Greta, Emerald's Sceptile has lost to Greta's Heracross. Right now, the second battle, which Heracross will be up against Emerald's second Pokémon, Dusclops, is about to begin.

Without hesitation, Emerald orders a psychic, and Dusclops swiftly throws Heracross off its feet with the powerful attack. Todd cheers that it is a super effective attack, and says it should allow Dusclops to score high in the skill category. Emerald grins that an offensive move will also earn points in the mind department, at the same time lowering its foe's HP to gaint advantage in the body area. In contrast, Heracross's signature fighting attacks will do no good in the battle, since being a ghost type, Dusclops is immune to all of them.

Soon, the virtual Blackbelt referee blows his whistle to end the match, and Todd remembers that in the Battle Arena, each battle only lasts for 3 rounds, after which judgement will be made on 3 categories: mind, skill and body. He pulls out his guide book on the Frontier facilities' rules, and reads that the mind score depends on the amount of attacks made. The more offensive moves are used, the higher the score. On the other hand, a Pokémon who only uses defensive moves will be considered weak-minded and scored low.

The skill category is based on the effectiveness of the attacks used, and naturally super effective moves will earn higher points while non-effective ones are given little credit. Finally, the body department is determined by the end of 3 turns, granting higher scores to the Pokémon whose remaining HP is higher.

Although the order of Pokémon line up cannot be changed once decided, the utilization of such a judging system makes it possible to reward victory to a Pokémon whose type is disadvantageous against its opponent.

Just then, the results of Emerald and Greta's second battle is out, and Emerald beats Greta with a score of 5 to 2. Since the winning Pokémon must remain on the battle field, Emerald continues with Dusclops, while Greta proceeds to send out her second Pokémon, Umbreon.

Todd recalls the skill and power the moonlight Pokémon demonstrated back in the Artisans Cave, and starts to get worried since its dark type also gives it the edge over Dusclops's ghost type. As expected, Umbreon begins with a powerful dark move, faint attack, and almost knocks Dusclops unconscious. Emerald has Dusclops retaliate with a will-o-wisp, but Umbreon follows up with a confuse ray, and sends Dusclops running in circles hitting itself.

Todd sighs that being in a confused state greatly lowers its ability to score, and Greta grins that the results of their current round should be clear. The virtual Blackbelt soon declares Umbreon the winner at a score of 5 to 1, and Dusclops tumbles to the ground, exhausted. Todd is surprised how quick 3-turn battles can be, and realizes that Emerald is now down to his third and last Pokémon, Sudowoodo.

Emerald calls out the fake tree Pokémon as the match commences, and Greta notices that Umbreon is suffering from the burn status after it got hit by Dusclops's will-o-wisp in the previous round. Fortunately, it has the leftovers as a held item, and hopefully it will compensate for the loss of HP each turn.

However, Emerald is not about to give Umbreon an easy time. He orders a low kick from Sudowoodo, which swiftly knocks Umbreon across the battle field. The virtual Blackbelt soon declares Sudowoodo the winner of the round at 5 to 2, and Todd wonders what Greta's third Pokémon is.

The Arena Tycoon reaches for her last Pokéball to send out a Shedinja, and Todd is astounded that she is using such a weak Pokémon. Greta grins that while many don't think highly of Shedinja, the Pokémon possesses the special ability wonder guard, which makes it susceptible only to a limited list of attacks.

Yet, Emerald smirks that he is fully aware of that, and says unfortunately his Sudowoodo happens to know one of those attacks. The boy orders a rockslide, and Sudowoodo immediately sends a shower of boulders onto Shedinja. Just when everyone thinks the battle is over, the bug Pokémon manages to withstand the hit, and Todd realizes that it has used endure. However, he also knows that it is a defensive move which would score low in the mind category, and wonders why Greta is using it.

Greta states that she would pay little heed to the keys to winning in this final round, and simply make it a combat to fully demonstrate one's guts. Without another word, she orders a solarbeam from Shedinja, and the attack crashes square-chested into Sudowood, slamming it against the floor.

Looking at his battered Pokémon, Emerald puts on a sad look, grieves that he has lost, but Todd hasn't lost hope yet, yells at him for giving up so soon. He motions Emerald to take a closer look at Sudowoodo, and points out that the Pokémon is still struggling to get up. He hollers that Sudowoodo is refusing to lose for the sake of Emerald, and it would be absurb for Emerald himself to have surrendered already.

The reporter reminds him that the judgement is only made after 3 turns, and there is still a chance to win. He wants Emerald to remember how Sceptile, Dusclops and Sudowoodo, have all chosen to follow him on their own will, chosen to protect him with their own bodies, and now putting all their trust in him in the battle.

Todd's words seem to have made Emerald realize something in his mind, and with a blushed face, the boy begins cheering for Sudowoodo. Emerald's cheering quickly rejuvenates Sudowoodo's will to fight, and after a few moments of struggling, the rock Pokémon finally manages to get back on its feet again.

Soon, the 3 rounds are over, the virtual Blackbelt ends the match. Greta, seeing that Sudowoodo is still standing after all this time, is eager to know the results. The Blackbelt announces that in the mind and skill categories, both Emerald and Greta receive triangles. But in terms of body, Emerald gets a circle while Greta gets a cross, making Emerald the winner of the match at a score of 4 to 2, also granting him the ultimate victory of the Arena challenge.

Emerald finds it a little hard to believe that he has actually won, and Greta excitedly runs over to reward him the Guts Symbol, a golden badge with the letter G on it which proves one's conquest of the Battle Arena. The Arena Tycoon then praises Emerald for fully demonstrating his guts in the battle, which gave Sudowoodo tremendous support in the form of cheering. She admits that she was wrong in deeming Emerald as someone with no guts in the Artisans Cave, and says she now certainly sees it in him.

But while Greta remains all hyped up about the heated battle, Emerald is beginning to doze off, and groggily greets her goodnight. Greta wants to know where the boy sleeps every night, and is not pleased to know that he has been camping together with his Pokémon under the stars all this time. She makes him promise that he will start using the Battle Frontier's accomodation services from then on, but the boy has already fallen asleep on top of Sceptile, Dusclops and Sudowoodo, who have drifted off to slumberland as well together with their trainer.

Greta frowns at Emerald's eccentric behaviour, and picks the boy up into her arms while he begins drooling in his sleep. All the while, Scott and the other Frontier Brains watch with smiling faces from the balcony.

Just then, a familiar voice comes on to express his surprise that they are already getting along with the little imp during his short absence, and everyone turns around in pleasant surprise to see Noland. The Brains hurry over to him, and Brandon is glad that Noland has finally regained consciousness. Noland jokes that he is finally able to break free from the rehabilitation room, and says he's been anxious to rejoin the team.

The Factory Head then asks Anabel if they really had a showdown with the enemy who ambushed him, and the Salon Maiden solemnly nods, feeling sorry that they didn't manage to seek revenge for him. Lucy and the other Brains also sigh that they have completed failed in that battle, but Noland tells them not to worry, and says he might just have some hints to help them in the next fight.

Anabel wonders what he is talking about, and it turns out that Noland didn't get knocked out immediately after Guile attacked him inside the Factory's maintenance room. While the armoured man was in the process of stealing the rental Pokémon from his master computer, Noland has managed to reach Guile's sword with his fingers, and scratched off bits of the heavy weapon's metal powder into his nails, which he has done an analysis on immediately after he woke from his coma.

The Factory Head holds up a small vile which contains the metal powder, and explains that it seems to be made of a kind of special barrier item, possessing the characteristics of the moves reflect and lightscreen, which aim at defending against physical and special attacks respectively.

Anabel remarks that she was right in her guess in that case, and Lucy wonders what she means. The Salon Maiden explains that she was only speculating, but back in the Artisans Cave, while it seemed that it was Guile's armour which protected against and threw back the combined attacks of Brandon, Spenser, Tucker and Lucy, she has wondered if it was the sword which did the work instead.

Now that Noland has confirmed the sword to be made of a special barrier item, it all starts to make sense. Whenever Guile swings his sword, he creates a veil of vacuum around himself, which renders all kinds of attacks useless. That is why even under the furious lightning bolts of Raikou's thunder, Guile's Surskit was still able to freely unleash its own attacks.

Noland is glad that they have solved the mystery, and grins that his ambush serves a purpose afterall. The Factory Head then turns to Scott, and requests to take a look at the confidential report regarding Jirachi made by Prof. Oak. He states that while he is no position to dwell deeper into the phantom Pokémon's investigations than the top authority of the Pokémon world already has, he feels that it would be worth a try to figure out where Jirachi will show up next at the Battle Frontier.

Brandon agrees that they will certainly gain an advantage if they manage to do so, and Lucy smirks that they will be able to fully prepare themselves and take the armoured man by surprise in their next encounter. Scott is glad that his Frontier Brains have such foresight, and puts on a grin as he hands Noland the confidential report of Jirachi.

Tucker cheers that they are finally seeing hope on their side, and brings the discussion back to Emerald's demonstration challenge to the press. He remarks that since Anabel's Tower challenge is set to be the final battle, the next facility will either be his Battle Dome or Spenser's Battle Palace.

He pats Spenser's on the shoulder, and wonders if they should have a special training beforehand to get ready. But to his surprise, the old man brushes off his hand with a cold look, and apologizes that he must excuse himself for a while.

Supporting his weight on his crutch, Spenser begins walking away, and requests the others not to disturb him since he needs to take a rest at the Palace. Scott and the other five Frontier Brains watch with confused looks on their faces as the Palace Maven slowly move away, and couldn't help but wonder if something is wrong…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




016: VS Umbreon!

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