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Out in the open seas on the north-eastern coast of the Battle Frontier island, Todd and Latias watch from the motor boat as 9 powerful energy beams blast out from the top floor of the Battle Tower, and strike right on the chest of the giant sea monster, starting to disintegrate that part of its body like a swirling whirlpool.

Standing along the window edge, the nine fully evolved starters struggle to hold their grounds and power up their respective ultimate elemental attacks. However, Green sees that while the combined moves are effective, the amount of damage caused on the sea monster is too minimal to disperse it. Sapphire gets worried as they have already unleashed all their powers, but Gold grins that they haven't really, and tells Yellow that now is the time they need to count on her for their success. Yellow is clearly still baffled about what role she could play, and Crys explains that Pika, Chuchu, as well as Pich, just like everyone else, have equipped themselves with new attacks before coming to the Battle Frontier.

Yellow bolts with realization at Crys's words, and looks up at the giant sea monster as she focuses her thoughts to link up with those of Pika, Chuchu and Pich, reading their minds and synchronizing their sentiments. Then, with a roar, she heightens her emotions to its maximum, and orders a Volt Tackle, the ultimate electric attack. Down in the raging seas below, Pika holds hands with Chuchu and Pich, and the three envelop themselves with electric sparks and currents as they charge upwards at the giant sea monster to unleash the combined deadly move.

With a powerful explosion of energy, the Kyogre-shaped creature bursts apart into sea water, and rains on the entire Battle Frontier like a heavy downpour. Emerald lets out an exclamation, and cries that they have dispersed it. With the efforts of all 10 Pokedex Holders, and the combined ultimate attacks of the 12 Pokemon, they have finally dispersed the giant sea monster.

Looks of relief and content appear on everyone's faces, until they are aware of Emerald's hair, now straightened out and let down after all the hair gel has been washed away by the heavy downpour. Gold purses his lips with a spit to hold back his laughter, while Sapphire squeals that Emerald's true hair shape is adorable. Ruby agrees that this hairstyle of his is much cuter, and Crys grins that she hasn't seen this look of his for a long time as well. Feeling embarrassed, Emerald tells them to stop it, and everybody starts to laugh.

Ruby looks around to see that the Battle Tower's rental Pokemon have all been calmed down and are sitting on the floor with peaceful looks on the faces. He points towards the ornament on Emerald's forehead, and comments that the Green Orb was artificially created with the intention to control Rayquaza. He believes that its power must have assisted Emerald in calming the several hundreds of rampaging Pokemon altogether in one go. Sapphire grins in agreement, and Gold laughs that the forehead accessory shouldn't receive more praise than Emerald, whose ability to tell a Pokemon's birthplace at a single glance played a much bigger part.

Gold's words remind Crys of a query she had in mind about the particular Soil of Stability Emerald used for the whole Frontier seal earlier. She is aware that the soil from a Pokemon's birthplace is capable of calming it by its scent and sense of nostalgia, but wonders which area's soil Emerald has used since all the rentals clearly did not originate from the same place. Gold gets into his bragging tone again, and tells Emerald to show it to Crys. Emerald happily complies, and takes out the little metal tube from his E-shooter, which writes the named 'Faraway Island'.

Ruby and Sapphire put on confused looks as they read out the unfamiliar name, and Gold explains that it is an island home to the mirage Pokemon, Mew, his answer causing Red and Green to share an astonished look with each other. Gold reveals that when Mr. Briney landed on the Faraway Island, where he found a broken note written by someone whose name contains the syllable 'ji', he took a sample of the island's soil, which was given to old lady Brinca and then passed down to him, and was what Pich handed to Emerald earlier.

Brinca has said that Mew is believed to be the ancestor of all Pokemon, and the soil might come in handy some day, which it already has. As Mew is said to possess the genes of all Pokemon, the soil of its island is essentially the birthplace soil of all Pokemon. Gold pats Emerald on the head and says he has created the perfect chance for him to make good use of his skills and the soil, and Emerald is apparently taking in Gold's arrogant attitude really well, something which Crys sweatdrops to.

Emerald then notices something in the flooded rooftop of the invisible house, and dashes down towards it. Digging his hands into the water, he pulls out an ill-looking Archie, and everyone immediately lets out a gasp. Ruby and Sapphire rush over to warn him not to stay too close to the dangerous man, but Emerald assures them that it is alright as he obviously lacks the strength to struggle already, having lost both his sword and armour.

Emerald remarks that all the rental Pokemon have been freed from his evil control, and says if he continues to carry the same attitude, he will end up alone. Archie hesitates for a moment at the word 'alone', and puts on a weak grin, claiming that he doesn't care. Rather, it is something that he has perhaps asked for. Not only has he left behind his loyal minions and his organization, even for that one man whom he could call a friend and strived against life's turmoil with, he has also abandoned. It is simply who he is.

Ruby wants to know what he is talking about, and Archie begins to recall what happened after the deadly battle nearly 10 months ago. At that time, high up above Sootopolis City, he and Maxie were caught up by the powerful whirlpool of electric energy inside the air-car. Having the Red and Blue Orbs taken away from them once again, they had the sense to realize that everything was over. However, someone suddenly lifted the hutch of the air-car which they thought would not be opened again. Leaving the air-car, they found themselves standing within an incredibly mysterious light that seemed to contain nothing but void, an entirely different place from where they were, and before them stood a purple-haired tall woman on her Starmie...

Facing the fallen leaders of Team Aqua and Team Magma, Storc puts on a contemplating look and compliments them for their evil virtues, which are clearly a waste to vanish here and now. Archie gasps in bewilderment at the comment, and wants to know if she is planning to help them. Storc lets out a giggle, and says there is no way to help them anymore, as the jewels are not things that should be assimilated into the body for so long, and the bodies of the two men are already on the verge of crumbling. She reaches out a finger to stroke the cheek of Archie, which begins to rot and vanish upon the light touch, causing the man's eyes to widen with horror.

Storc states that it doesn't mean there is no way to tackle their situation though, and shows them a sword that exudes a purplish glow, and a set of armour that emanates a bluish tinge. She explains that the sword is named Instant, which is made of a metal capable of reflecting all physical and special attacks in a moment. The armour, named Eternal, can allow the wearer to live in separation from the outside world for eternity.

Maxie and Archie seem baffled by the term 'eternity', and Storc explains that time flow within the armour is not synchronized with that of the outside world, which is similar to how things work on the Mirage Island in the Hoenn region. The two men's eyes immediately light up at her words when they realize its implication, and Storc nods that in other words, the armour can sustain a person's body by stretching its limit, interfering with a state considered helpless in the real world. Of course, no one knows if this little limit can be prolonged indefinitely, and it is up to one's choice to chance it.

Obviously, the two evil team leaders are so intrigued by the properties possessed by the armour that they hardly care about the little portion of uncertainty. Maxie grins that this is actually no different from giving them help, and Archie urges Storc to give them the armours as they would do anything to have them. However, Storc giggles at the plural form, and believes that there might have been some misunderstanding.

Squinting her eyes to smirk at the two men, she states that there is only one set of the sword and the armour, and they will have to fight right there and then to determine the one winner who shall inherit the items. She cannot wait to witness this thrift, held in the nature of eliminating the weak, escalate their pure evil virtues to something even greater.

After a brief of moment of astonishment, Maxie and Archie recognize what is required of them, and narrow their eyes into a primal glare as they turn to face each other and pull out their Pokeballs...

Sapphire's legs begin to tremble out of fear as she realizes what must have happened to have Archie standing before them right now, and cannot believe what Archie did to Maxie. Ruby catches her shoulders to stabilize her, and finally understands why Guile remarked earlier that he should not have shown his face for too long. The purpose of the armour of never intended for disguising his true identity. Rather, it was meant to suppress the effects of time flow on his body.

A look of pride flashes across Archie's sunken eyes as he recalls his victory, and grins weakly that he has indeed ended up claiming the sword and the armour...

Watching Archie put on the armour Eternal and swing around the sword Instant, Storc giggles that they certainly fit him, and begins to recite the line, 'if you bear your sword to bring harm upon us, with claws and fangs, we will exact a toll'. She hovers over to Archie on her Starmie, and says a new born person must be given a new name, which she shall now decide for him, a name that entails his dreams. She wishes to know where Archie intends to fulfill his ultimate evilness, what he has lived for so far, and what his desires from now on will be.

Without much hesitation, Archie utters that it is the sea, water and Pokemon. All his life, he has led a water army to seek the sea, and this desire has not changed. His dream is to conquer everything with the powers of the sea. Storc muses over Archie's words and takes out a black-feathered quill pen. She makes up her mind, and states that Archie is the man who disguises himself in armour with a vile desire to cause sea turmoil. From the words 'disguise' and 'vile', she shall name him Guile. Writing the name on a piece of paper, Storc shows it to Archie as the former Team Aqua leader accepts his new identity...

Archie reveals that it was at that time that he heard about Jirachi as well, and Emerald says it would be enough for now. He states that everything is over, and says they shall work together to figure out a way to stop his body from vanishing. However, just as he is about to reach out to Archie, Masquerain surfaces from the water and points the horn on its head to him, keeping him at bay.

Ruby and Sapphire cannot believe that Archie is still not giving up, and the man puts on a weak but nevertheless maniacal grin, warning Emerald to stay where he is. Archie scrambles to his feet, and with shaky movements, begins to crawl around the flooded place in search of his broken armour. He finally sees them scattered in a corner, and hurries over to reclaim them, strapping the pieces back onto himself as he mutters that they shall delay his limit towards eternity. He fastens his helmet on, and starts to plan how to generate another sea monster with Jirachi's last wish tag, but soon notices that something is wrong.

Emerald, with his hands held up under Masquerain's threaten, tells Archie that this armour is the fake one which Gold wore, and the man's eyes widen in despair as he lets out a roar. Gold puts on an arrogant look, and brags to Crys that his fake armour has finally served it purpose, something which he anticipated right from the start. However, Ruby, Sapphire and Crys simply know too well to be fooled, and shoot him a look as they call him liar in their minds.

Archie becomes frantic as he thrashes around, trying to locate his real armour, and finally sees its blue tinge in the distant corner of the invisible house's rooftop. He throws himself towards the direction like a hungry animal while Masquerain follows suit, and Emerald tries to call after him, clearly to no avail.

As Archie comes into contact with the broken armour Eternal, scattered next to the sword Instant, a blinding light explodes from his body and rapidly radiates to engulf everything before dispersing just as quickly. Standing atop of the invisible house, Emerald sees that Archie has vanished, along with his Masquerain, the sword and the armour. Ruby and Sapphire are relieved that the whole thing is finally over, and walk over to Emerald, only to discover that the boy is starting to doze off.

Gold grins that Emerald must be exhausted, and with the help of Crys, lifts the boy onto his back to carry him. Inside the Battle Tower, Pika, Chuchu and Pich make it to the top floor where Red, Green, Blue, Silver and Yellow are, and the two Pikachus merrily hop up to reunite with their trainers and return their respective cap and straw hat while the five Dex Holders put on content and thankful smiles.

High up in the skies, Latias and Latios look on as Gold carries Emerald back into the Battle Tower with the other Dex Holders gathered around them. They feel grateful that Emerald has finally linked and bonded with so many, and met true companions who would treat him like real brothers and sisters. The two of them have made a pact to stay by Emerald's side until this day arrives. Now, they have finally witnessed its coming and their promise has been fulfilled. Holding the belief that everything will be alright from now on, the two mystical dragons wish Emerald best of health and begin to depart, heading back to the Southern Island.

Down in the Frontier's open area, Scott and the seven Frontier Brains rejoice at their success while Todd does the same on the motor boat. From the horizon, the first rays of sun shine upon the Battle Frontier, signifying the beginning of a new day...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



336: The Final Battle IX


Volume 29