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At the Striaton Gym, the fierce battle between Cheren, Black, Bianca and the Striaton brothers ensues. Yet, it seems that the elemental monkeys, Pansage, Panpour and Pansear, are gaining the upperhand against the three starters, Oshawott, Tepig and Snivy so far.

Cheren gazes up at Cilan, Cress, and Chili, the three Gymleaders who are triplets, and steals a glance at his two childhood companions, Black and Bianca. Unlike the conventional Gym challenge, they are now having a 3-on-3 battle, where each person sends out one single Pokemon to fight. There is also a 30-minute limit to the battle, which is shown on a digital clock on the wall, and the side that has more Pokemon standing at the end of the count-down will emerge victorious. Although both sides are equal on the number of trainers and Pokemon, it is clear that the three of them are faring poorly against the Gymleaders.

Black orders an Ember from Tep, but Cress calmly motions to Panpour, and the water monkey easily fends off the shower of flames. It then unleashes a Water Gun from the tip of its tail, and blasts Tep across the room. Bianca decides to retaliate with Oshawott's Water Gun, but Cilan commands a Vine Whip from Pansage, who shoots out a vine from its tail to whack the little sea otter down.

Cheren gets Snivy to use Wrap, and the grass snake successfully immobilizes Pansear with its long and flexible body. However, Chili grins that it is not the wisest move, and orders an Incinerate from Pansear, which burns Snivy badly and forces it to release its grip.

Cheren and Bianca watch helplessly as Snivy, Oshawott and Tep struggle to get up on the floor, and wonder what they should do. Black, putting on a bitter grin, states that Gym challenges are indeed tough, and says it surely doesn't help that they are at a complete type disadvantage in terms of Pokemon line-up. Indeed, Cheren sees that Tepig's opponent is Panpour, Oshawott's Pansage and Snivy's Pansear. Bianca gasps that every match up is to the Gymleaders' advantage, and Black wants to know how the brothers decide on whom to face.

Cress explains that they pick their opponent after seeing the Pokemon of their challengers, and Cilan states that while it may seem unfair, it is a Gym battle after all. Chili elaborates that there are different kinds of Gyms out there, and the Striaton Gym's mission is to teach challengers about type interactions, which is the sole reason it exists. Cilan grins that it is not possible to change the line-up of the Pokemon, and Chili wonders if they plan to whine about it.

Black mutters that they have no intention of whining, but asked simply to confirm their suspicion. He declares that this battle will be about how to counter a type disadvantage, and urges Cheren and Bianca to work with him. Bianca gets inspired by Black's determination, and agrees to try her best with Oshawott. Knowing that water attacks barely hurts grass types, she orders a Tackle, and Oshawott rams its body hard against Pansage, slamming it against the ground and causing leaves to fall off from its broccoli-shaped head.

Bianca lets out a cheer, and Cheren commends her effort in inflicting damage with attacks that are not bounded by type interactions. He believes that if they manage to chip off their opponents' health little by little while trying not to take hits at the same time, they may just be able to last and win at the end of the 30-minute countdown. Black, impressed with Cheren's smart idea, gives him a friendly slap on the back and decides to do just that.

Chili giggles that the three of them seem to be showing some team spirit finally, and believes that their cooperation in clearing the pre-battle quizzes has really helped. However, Cress points out that being triplets, their hearts are also synchronized, and the Striaton brothers order a combined Work Up from the three elemental monkeys, causing waves of energy to swirl up and around them. Bianca gasps that Pansage, Panpour and Pansear seem to have raised their powers, and the brothers grin that their attacks have now become much harder to dodge and withstand.

With that, Pansage, Panpour and Pansear unleash a simultaneous Vine Whip, Water Gun and Incinerate, and send Oshawott, Tep and Snivy crashing hard onto the ground. Cheren rushes over to check on Snivy, who has taken a massive it, and Cilan states that it is clearly on the verge of fainting with no chance of standing up again, essentially making it a 3-on-2 battle from this point on.

Cress explains that Striaton actually stands for the three aligned stars, and them three brothers are certainly three aligned stars that shine. Chili grins that their talent goes beyond simply running a restaurant, and doubts if Black, Cheren and Bianca could even take out one of them.

Hearing Chili's words, Cheren feels discouraged, and starts to wonder if they could win after all. However, Black tells him not to falter, and recalls the triple battle which he had against a Hiker named Andy on his way to Striaton. In a triple battle, each trainer uses three Pokemon at the same time, which format is rather similar to their current battle, only that there are three trainers on each side, and each controls one Pokemon as if in a single battle. Yet, the similarity still stands in that a Pokemon's attack is capable of hurting opponents who are not directly in front.

Cilan feels impressed, and compliments Black's vast knowledge. Chili agrees with the observations and facts stated by Black, and Cress thus believes that the best way to describe their combat is the trio battle.

Cheren wants to know if Black has any strategies in mind, but the boy is clearly short of ideas as he stutters in his response. Bianca, on the other hand, volunteers that she has a plan, and Cheren worries that she is going to try something stupid again. However, the girl assures him that it is a trick she has learnt thanks to previous experience, and orders Oshawott to charge towards Pansage.

The grass monkey quickly shoots out a Vine Whip from its tail in response, which hits the little sea otter directly on its belly. Cheren gasps that Oshawott has been hit again, but soon sees that its scalchop has actually stopped the attack. What's more is that the air around them has suddenly turned ominous, and Oshawott's face darkens as its eyes turn into an angry glare. Bianca cheers that she has done it, and in the next instant, Oshawott peels off its scalchop to hurl it towards the startled Pansage, Panpour and Pansear.

The sharp-edged piece of shell boomerangs in the air, and as it spins around, slams right into the body of Pansear, fainting it in one hit. Cress states that the water-based scalchop attack has scored a super effective hit on the fire-type Pansear, and Chili grits his teeth in anger and frustration, annoyed that his monkey is the one that got taken out.

Cheren and Black both gasp in bewilderment at what Bianca has done, and exclaim that the Gymleaders' defense has been cracked. The girl does a victory sign to show her exhilaration, and grins that the battle is now down to 2-on-2. However, Cilan reminds the three young trainers that the same technique can only be pulled off once, and orders another Vine Whip from Pansage. The attack lands precisely on the scalchop Oshawott is holding, and shatters it into pieces, much to the horror of Bianca, Cheren and the sea otter itself.

Cilan states that Oshawott's scalchop is just like the nails of human, which can grow back after some time. Yet, he points to the clock in the room, which shows that there are barely five and a half minutes left, and believes that it will not be able to regenerate in time.

Pansage delivers another Vine Whip on Oshawott to slam it against the wall, and the sea otter finally collapses weakly onto the ground, nearing the verge of fainting. Pansage and Panpour high-five each other, and Cilan states that the battle is 2-on-1 now.

The water and grass monkeys then tag-team on Tep, and Panpour wastes no time in firing a Water Gun. With its agility, Tep manages to jump out of the way, and directs an Ember on Pansage instead. Pansage hurriedly dives sideways to evade the attack, and soon, it comes to the situation where Panpour is chasing Tep around while Tep is on Pansage's tail.

Unfortunately, Panpour eventually manages to land a critical hit on Tep, and knocks it down onto the floor, crashing right next to Snivy and Oshawott. The fire piglet struggles in the puddle of water that it is stranded in, but is clearly running low in health points already. Cilan alerts everyone that there are only 30 seconds left, and Chili believes that they have already won as Tepig is certainly in no condition to continue the battle. With all three Pokemon down on the challengers' side and Panpour and Pansage remaining on theirs, it is a clean cut 2-0 victory.

However, Chili suddenly notices a stir among the fallen starters, and sees that something isn't quite right. He notices that Tep is reaching out its little arms to place pieces of leaves into the mouths of Snivy and Oshawott, and afterwards does the same to itself. Cilan gasps in shock that they are leaves which fell off from Pansage's head during the battle, and as soon as he says that, the three Pokemon miraculously regain their health, and are able to stand up again, right at the moment the clock strikes zero.

Black rejoices that they have won a 3-2 victory, but both Cheren and Bianca are extremely baffled as to what has happened. Black flips out his Pokedex to show them the entry of Pansage, and they read that the leaves from the grass monkey's head can magically whisk away weariness in an instant. Cilan seems both impressed and frustrated that Black manages to know even such fine details about Pokemon, and the boy grins that he had to look for other ways to win in view of the clear type disadvantage and power deficit on their side, which is why he took the time to study the Pokedex during their 'appetizer' quizzes.

Cheren feels bewildered that Black has gained victory with the help of data from the Pokedex, and never imagined it could serve such a purpose. He calls Black a genius, but Black blushes that he simply feels the responsibility to use the device properly, since his copy is the only one that works now and those of Cheren's and Bianca's are broken.

Cress grins that it doesn't matter how they won, but they have proven themselves worthy by beating the three of them, and thus deserve the symbol that recognizes their strength. With that, the Striaton brothers each presents a Trio Badge to Black, Cheren and Bianca, and the three young trainers happily accept their reward.

Later, at the hedge garden on the western side of Striaton, Black fingers the Trio Badge on his collar impatiently, and finally sees Cheren and Bianca appearing. He moans that they are very late, and wonders what they have been up to. Bianca passes the blame on Cheren, and says he went thanking and apologizing to everyone at the Gym for their impromptu battle, and Black sighs that Cheren has been such a fussy guy since a long time ago, which Bianca agrees wholeheartedly.

Bianca then tells Black that Prof. Juniper and the two of them wish to find a way to keep in touch with him, and after a moment of thought, Black gets an idea. He digs out two Xtransceivers from his pocket, one blue and one red, and gives them to Cheren and Bianca, stating that it is a simple but marvelous communication device. He remarks that the BW Agency has an abundant supply of its samples, and wants his friends to each keep a copy of it.

Black postulates that commercials about the Xtransceiver has to be airing on television already, and says it should accompany a drama named 'Marge's Town', which Tep stars in. Bianca cries that she knows of that show, and finds it hard to believe that Black has really become a member of a performing arts company. She is glad that they can communicate with Black with the Xtransceiver from now on, and at that moment, White also returns to the scene.

The ponytail-haired girl greets everyone with a smile, and wants to know how Black's Gym battle went. Black introduces Cheren and Bianca to White as his childhood friends, and says the two of them fought alongside with him at the Gym. White proceeds to pull out her name card to formerly introduce herself as well as the BW Agency, and Bianca is shocked to read that she is indeed the president of the company.

After exchanging a few more casual lines, Black decides to continue on his journey, and thanks Cheren and Bianca for challenging the Striaton Gym with him. He waves them goodbye as he heads off with White, and it is only after they are gone that Bianca suddenly asks Cheren about the Xtransceiver number of Black. Cheren is bewildered that Bianca didn't obtain it, and realizes that they will have to chase after Black again…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



470: VS Pansage & Pansear & Panpour


Volume 44