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The sun has begun to set in Unova. At Nacrene City, Black arrives at the Nacrene Gym, and enters to find a huge dragon Pokemon skeleton on display near the front door. He tells Musha that the Gym also serves as a museum, and shows it various valuable items around, including a meteorite from space, stone plates which are carved in ancient languages, as well as fossils of extinct Pokemon.

A middle-aged man with glasses walks up to greet Black, and Black tells Musha that the man is the museum's assistant director, Hawes, whose wife is the museum's director and Gymleader, Lenora. The man is awe-struck that Black knows so much about him, and Black grins that he has done extensive research before coming. Hawes wonders who he is, and Black introduces himself as a Gym challenger.

Just then, Lenora appears on the screen behind the reception, and laughs that Black must be the trainer who made the appointment that morning. The woman is seen cleaning up bones next to her Stoutland and Patrat in a room filled with book shelves, and she states that she will be waiting for Black in her chamber. Hawes tries to explain the method to access Lenora's chamber, but Black says he already knows and quickly heads off.

According to his research, Lenora's chamber lies in the deepest part of these display rooms, but its entrance is not readily accessible. To find the entrance, one must search for clues from books inside the library, which is where Black has just stepped into. Starting with a bookshelf on his left, Black finds a book named 'The First Pokemon'. He reads the hidden memo inside, which has a hint on the next book. Going through the clues one after another, Black soon comes to the final bookshelf, and sees the red button hidden behind two heavy books. As he presses it, another bookshelf moves sideways and reveals a flight of stairs downwards.

Black hurriedly rushes down the stairs, and arrives in Lenora's chamber, where the dark skinned woman awaits at her working desk. Lenora looks at her watch and states that Black took 3 minutes and 30 seconds to reach her, which is quite remarkable and is certainly a new record. Black explains that he is someone who likes to find out answers to things he wishes to know as soon as possible, which is why he has spent a lot of time in the library when he was little.

Lenora grins that Black is not only energetic but also well prepared, and proceeds to pull off her apron. She wastes no time in commencing the fight, and proceeds to call forward her Stoutland, stating that Black must have investigated on her details as a Gymleader as well. Black assures her that he has, and sends out Musha to fight. He remarks that one must look out for Lenora's extremely powerful Stoutland, and the Nacrene Gymleader feels glad that she has a worthy challenger.

Lenora reminds Black that they are having a 2 VS 2 switch-in battle, and reveals her other Pokemon as a Patrat. She grins that Black should show her his as well, and orders a Roar from Stoutland just as Musha is trying to use Hypnosis. Instantly, the Munna is sent back into its Pokeball, and Black's second Pokemon, Brav, pops out instead. The boy gasps that Lenora has forced him to switch Pokemon, and Lenora wonders if Stoutland's Roar astounded him. She then gets the giant dog to attack with Ice Fang, which lands right on the chest of Brav, sending a chill throughout the entire body of the eagle and causing it to tremble.

Black cries out in horror, and Lenora grins that the battle must have deviated from Black's plan, as she believes that Black's initial strategy was to gain the upperhand by putting her powerful Stoutland to sleep by Hypnosis. Black feels stumped that Lenora has read his thoughts, and wonders what has gone wrong.

Lenora's second Pokemon is Patrat, which his own second Pokemon Brav would have no trouble handling. Yet, the Nacrene Gymleader must have known this somehow, and thus switched things around by using Roar. Black soon realizes that it was Patrat, with its marvelous vision, who spotted Brav in its Pokeball. Indeed, he has made extensive research and knew that by disabling the more powerful Stoutland with Hypnosis, he could pretty much control the outcome of the match. However, he has clearly underestimated his opponent. It is not the powerful Stoutland in front, but the Patrat behind that he should have paid heed to.

Lenora grins that even with good preparation, strategies do not always work in actual situations. She gets Stoutland to slam Brav against the wall with Take Down, and follows up with another Ice Fang. Black wonders if he should make a switch out, but figures out Stoutland will simply use Roar again. Brav winces in pain as the front part of its body starts to get frozen, and Lenora wonders if Black has already reached his limit.

Meanwhile, at Café Warehouse, the Director is getting ready to establish connection with the Nimbasa organizing committee for their project. White is still shocked that she is asked to join a video conference, and feels nervous as to what she should say. The Director assures that it is alright, and soon, connection is established via their Xtransceivers, with cameras showing on one side the Director and White, and the other side the two representatives of the Nimbasa committee, the Mayor of Nimbasa and a fashionable young lady with short blonde hair.

White anxiously introduces herself as the president of the BW Agency to the group, and the Mayor of Nimbasa reveals that he has heard all about her fascinating skills in advertising. He urges her to give him a good idea quickly, his straightforwardness startling the girl, and says it is for an entertainment project to boost up the popularity of Nimbasa.

In the meeting room where the Nimbasa organizing committee is, the others in the room inform the Mayor that they have already run out of ideas. Previously, their movie-making project has failed, just like the CD project and the photobook project. All these promotional goods have been stocking up in their storage, and it seems like they have entered an era where items don't really sell anymore. Someone states that facility-wise, they already have the amusement park and sports venues. To be honest, there is nothing more than they could think of.

The Mayor expresses his frustration that their annual number of visitors has remained static for a few years, and if they do not introduce something new to breathe in a fresh air to the staleness, people will soon get bored of Nimbasa, which is renowned as the center of entertainment. Someone in the committee argues that it may not be a bad thing to have a static number of visitors, since at least it guarantees a steady amount of income. It also makes it unnecessary to spend money on building new things and reduces their expenses. However, another committee member points out that it will eventually the existing ventures to downsize, which may affect quality.

At that moment, White voices out a thought, and wonders what they think about Musical. She explains that if they have a designated theatre house where visitors could both watch and take part in a stage performance, it may attract a considerable amount of people to come. While movies, CDs and phobobooks are good, they are one-way offers and do not involve participation from their guests, which is why she thinks an interactive project will be better. Hearing no response from the others, White regrets having spoken out, and quickly says she is just buffing and tells the others to ignore her. However, to her surprise, the Mayor cries that White is a genius, stating that he likes the idea very much.

Back at the Nacrene Gym, Black crouches next to Brav, who is still hurting from the Ice Fang of Stoutland. Knowing that Lenora is waiting for his answer, he responds by asking her why she built a hidden chamber underground. Lenora remarks that one should know simply by looking around at the ancient displays she has, and says the chamber is not only the Gym's battleground but also where she does her research. Compared with the exhibits in the museum above, ancient artifacts and Pokemon battling mean more to her, and she keeps them close because she doesn't want to lose them.

Black echoes Lenora's thoughts that one should do anything to secure things that are important to them, and turns his head to tell the Nacrene Gymleader that he and his Pokemon feel the same way. They have set out on a dream to conquer the Pokemon League, and it is a goal that no one can thwart them from. That said, they have gone through many hardship to polish their skills, bodies and souls, so as not to be stumped so early on their journey.

With that, Brav straightens up itself to shake off the ice from its body, and Lenora is surprised that the Braviary could still stand its ground after taking in such strong hits, although she doubts that its near frozen body could be a match to her Stoutland which is basically unharmed. Black states that it will not matter, and proceeds to order a Whirlwind from Brav.

The giant eagle flaps its wings to create a swirl of wind, which sends Stoutland back into its Great Ball and causes Patrat to pop out instead. Lenora and Patrat both gasp in shock, and Black grins that Brav knows the same trick to force its opponent into switching. He remarks that although Patrat has superb vision, it still cannot see things that are invisible. In that instant, Brav hovers above Patrat to deliver a flap with its right wing, which sends an invisible force downwards to hit the scout Pokemon from behind, fainting it in the process.

Lenora exclaims that it is Air Slash, blades made from air that cannot be seen, and Black announces that Lenora has one Pokemon down…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



473: VS Patrat


Volume 45