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Dawn has broken in Unova. In the early morning hours of sunrise, the city of Nacrene is barely awake, but something has already started to stir at the Nacrene Museum. Standing in front of the huge dragon Pokemon skeleton which is displayed in the center of the hall, three Team Plasma female Grunts wear looks of admiration on their faces, and marvel at its glory.

The three recall hearing the prevalent theory that the dragon Pokemon encountered an accident while it was flying around the world, which caused it to disease and become a fossil. One of them states that the creature exudes the splendor of a 'hero' even as a skeleton, and believes that it is waste to leave it as a mere decoration at such a place. She proposes to make the dragon a part of Team Plasma's possession for the sake of their King, and her two companions promptly agree.

The next morning, at Nacrene's famous Loblolly's Studio, which sells highly sought-after decors, Black is getting impatient with White's tardiness. He yammers that they are done with every business in the city, and says they should not waste time to head for their next destination. However, White tells Black to stay quiet, and barely looks up from where her attention is right now.

Sitting comfortably on the pillow of a oval-shaped basket, Gigi stretches its arms and feels like it could doze off any time. White exclaims that the comfy little bed will be perfect for Gigi to take her afternoon naps, and Loblolly grins that every single piece of furniture in her store is unique and designed by her. White gasps in disbelief at her marvelous skills, and the two continue to share their mutual interest in the fancy Decors. Meanwhile, Black could only sulk and drop his head in despair from being ignored completely.

Later, Black and White exit the shop, and White remarks that Nacrene is truly an appealing city with its fashionable cafes and attractive stores. She spots another interesting shop around the corner, and voices her desire to pay a visit, which causes Black to fume with rage.

At that moment, the two hear the familiar cry of a man behind, and turn to see Hawes, the assistant director of the Nacrene Museum running around with a troubled look on his face. Black and White rush over to ask if something is wrong, and the man feels grateful that the two are there, since he needs serious help right now. He takes Black and White back to the Museum, the points to the platform in the middle of the hall which supposedly displays the dragon Pokemon skeleton. However, to the two young trainers' bewilderment, the platform is now empty and the fossil is nowhere to be seen.

Hawes states frantically that it has been stolen, probably sometime during the evening hours, and says he must contact Lenora immediately, who is currently away from Nacrene to meet up with Clay. Upon establishing the video-phone call, Hawes explains the situation to his wife, and the dark-skinned woman sighs that things start to go wrong once she is away. She hopes Hawes, as the assistant director, could have watched over the Museum a little more tightly during her absence, but the man could only repeat his apologies to her, supplementing at the meantime that apart from the skeleton, several other display items have also gone missing.

White tries to comfort Hawes and tells him not to worry, as her company's employee, Black, is already working on it at the crime scene. She heads downstairs with Hawes to find Black, and sees that the boy is standing in the middle of the platform with Musha clamped on his head. Scanning the area with his blank white field of hexagons, Black notices one single pair of footsteps on the ground and the lack of any other hints left behind by the culprit. He pulls Musha off himself, and concludes that the thief likely headed west, and if his estimation is correct, he or she shouldn't have gone too far away.

Hawes jumps in joy upon hearing Black's words, and the boy decides to head off on his own. He wants White to stay behind just in case anything happens, and before the girl could protest, he also disappears through the Museum's front door. White steals a glance at Hawes, and thinks to herself that the two of them would not be able to do much anyway even if something does happen.

Outside the Nacrene Museum, Black dashes through the streets towards west, and is soon spotted by a man with lean built and brown curly hair who has a Venipede on his shoulder. The man tries to stop Black, but the boy seems to pay no heed, which forces the man to roll out a Whirlipede to knock him off his feet.

Black crashes hard onto the ground, and demands to know what is going on. The man apologizes for his rudeness, but says he wishes to have a conversation with Black, and introduces himself as Burgh, an artist who has an interest in bugs. He wants to know if Black is investigating upon the Museum theft incident, but the boy steals a glance at the man's Venipede, and reacts coldly in his response. Burgh wonders if Black is hesitant to talk because he thinks that he is the culprit, but Black denies the idea and continues to be succinct in his replies.

Burgh decides to volunteer his situation in that case, and says he actually received a call from Lenora personally, who requested his help in solving the incident. He reveals that he happened to be having an artist's block in painting when Lenora contacted him, which is why he welcomed the chance to have a scene change and the possibility of encountering excitement that may inspire him. The man strikes an elegant pose as he finishes his explanation, but Black remains indifferent in his attitude, and Burgh starts to think that Black dislikes him as a person.

Black states that he has nothing against Burgh, and flips out his Pokedex to show him an entry about Venipede, which describes it to be an archenemy of large bird Pokemon. Black points out that Burgh's Venipede has naturally poised itself in a standby mode ever since it saw Brav, and he could sense that Brav is feeling threatened from it. That is the reason why he kept a distance from Burgh, for he certainly doesn't want to see Brav injured by Venipede's potent poison bites.

Burgh is amazed that Black manages to pick up such fine emotions in his Pokemon, and the boy is not ashamed to admit it, remarking that Brav is one of his important companions who will conquer the Pokemon League with him. The man wonders if Black has been acquainted with his Braviary for a long time, and Black nods in response. He is about to elaborate on his past with Brav when he suddenly spots something out of the corner of his eye, and quickly gestures Burgh towards it.

On a pair of footbridges nearby, the dragon Pokemon skeleton stands erect in the center of one of them, and next to it is a trolley which contains the other stolen display items from the Museum, including a mask, a meteorite and an ancient golden coffin. Burgh finds it odd that the criminals are bold enough not to hide their stolen goods, and wonders if they actually fled after knowing that Black and himself are giving chase. Black states that he has no idea, but believes that they should have a closer look.

The two cautiously make their way towards the footbridges, and Burgh starts to marvel at the magnificence of the dragon skeleton, framing it with its fingers and describing it to be an exciting scene. However, the fossilized skull suddenly quivers, and in the next instant, the entire skeleton starts to movement as if it is alive, causing Burgh to jump in horror.

Back at the Nacrene Museum, Hawes continues to fret, and keeps asking why they still haven't heard from Black. He wonders if the boy manages to find the skeleton, and whether or not they should try to call Lenora again. He begs White to teach him what to do, and the girl finds the man's peskiness almost intolerable. She agrees to call up Black to check on him, and dials the number through her Xtransceiver. Soon, she manages to make contact, but to her shock, hears frantic sounds coming from the other side of the call.

Speaking with a tone of urgency, Black explains that they have encountered a dire situation, and White wonders what he means. Black informs Hawes that they have managed to find the fossil, but that is where things got complicated. He positions the camera of his Xtransceiver to the footbridge, and White and Hawes both exclaim in terror when they see the dragon Pokemon skeleton thrashing around. Hawes cries that it is unbelievable, and Black says what's worse is that it is currently holding Burgh in captive, a name which draws confusion from White and a gasp of acknowledgement from Hawes.

The dragon skeleton throws out a punch with its left arm to crack the side walls of the footbridge it is on, while keeping its clutch on Burgh with its right hand. Burgh hollers that his situation is beyond crazy, but at the same time, it is fantastic, artistic, and even inspirational. Yet, he still wishes to be rescued, and demands the dragon skeleton to release him at once.

Black tells Burgh not to worry, and remarks that things are indeed as he postulated. He is positive that a set of skeletons is incapable of moving on its own in reality, which indicates that something somewhere must be controlling it, making it appear as if it is moving on its own. He cries that it is time for the culprits to show themselves, and orders Brav to deliver a gust of wind towards the other footbridge, cracking down its side walls and revealing three female Team Plasma Grunts as well as a bald man dressed in a long robe and a tall cap.

White sees the appearance of the four people through the screen on her Xtransceiver, and gasps that it is Team Plasma again. She recognizes the three female Grunts as the same ones at the Dreamyard, and wonders who the man is.

The robed man requests to know what Black meant when he said things are indeed as he postulated, and is also curious as to how he knows that they escaped through the western side of the city. Black states that the hint came from the footprints' pattern in the Museum, and says if someone came in to steal the fossil, there would be footprints facing both directions, one set on the thief's entrance, and one set on his exit. However, at the Museum, there was only a single set of footprints, which were moving out and away from the platform. He therefore postulated that some kind of Pokemon power, probably from a psychic or ghost type, must have animated the fossil and made it walk out of the Museum on its own.

As for the escape route, if it is true that the skeleton did its own walking, it would not have been able to leave through the eastern side since its built would not permit it to go through the gate. On the other hand, Nacrene's western border lacks a gate, and it is only logical to think that it is the direction where the skeleton headed.

The robed man applauds Black's correctness and preciseness in his postulation, and is glad that he stayed behind to ask him personally. He confirms with the three female Grunts that Black was the young trainer they told him about at the Dreamyard, and believes that it is best if he cease to exist. With that, the dragon skeleton ambushes Black from behind, and slashes its claws at his back, causing tears on his jacket.

The boy winces in pain, and thinks to himself that there is still one issue that has not been solved, and that is the location of the Pokemon who is responsible for animating the fossil. He sees how quick the skeleton responds to the command of the robed man, and rationalizes that the Pokemon must be within visual distance. He scans his surroundings once more, from the robed man, the three Grunts, the dragon skeleton, to the trolley of other stolen items, and suddenly calls out to Burgh, requesting assistance from him. He tells the man to send his Whirlipede rolling towards him again, and Burgh could see from the boy's determination that he must have received inspiration somewhere.

The man proceeds to call forward Whirlipede to spin towards Black as he asked for, and just as it is about to make contact, Black gets Brav to smack it sideways with its powerful wings, sending the purple cocoon rolling towards the trolley behind the dragon skeleton, in particular, the ancient golden coffin. As soon as the coffin gets hit, black shadowy arms start to extend from it and a face gradually materializes near its top, revealing it to be a Cofagrigus. Burgh gasps in shock that a ghost Pokemon is hiding among the stolen items, and Black states that the reason why he became suspicious is that he doesn't recall an ancient coffin being one of the stolen items.

The robed man hurriedly attempts to call back Cofagrigus, but Burgh orders a Pursuit from Whirlipede, and lands a super effective hit on the ghost coffin before it could retreat. Cofagrigus faints from the powerful attack and collapses to the ground, and instantly, the dragon skeleton is freed from the psychic power that is controlling it. The skeleton releases its grip on Burgh, and the man skillfully somersaults to land on his feet.

Black stands in front of the other display items, and says it is time to return them to where they belong. The three Plasma Grunts cry in disbelief that the fossil which they stole is now lost, and the chance to fulfill Team Plasma and their King's desires is now destroyed. The short chubby Grunt even breaks into tears, but the robed man tells his fellow subjects of the King not to despair.

He states that although he lacks the evidence to prove it, this set of dragon skeletons is actually different from what Team Plasma is seeking. The dragon Pokemon they seek is said to show itself to aid the hero, a hero who will lead the world, and he is convinced that it is a dragon unlike this which the skeletons belong to. The three Grunts feel instantly relieved at the man's words, and show their respect by calling him Master Gorm of the Seven Sages. In the next moment, the robed man unleashes a blinding flash to shield himself and the Grunts, and when Burgh and Black regain their vision, the four are no longer in sight.

Later, back at the Nacrene Museum, Hawes is overjoyed that the dragon Pokemon skeleton has returned safely to them, and says Lenora can stop worrying about it. Burgh grins that he also had his dose of excitement, which gave him new inspirations to create, and thanks Black for the marvelous experience. The boy shakes hands with the man, and compliments on his strength as well as that of his Whirlipede.

Black's words remind Burgh of how the boy handled the situation earlier, and he muses that Black actually didn't rely on his own Pokemon at all during the battle. Black giggles that he has been busted, and jokes that he actually deliberately did so to avoid Burgh knowing too much about his team members, since they will surely meet each other in a battle soon. With that, Burgh addresses Burgh as the Castelia City Gymleader, and Burgh is surprised that Black knows of him. Black reveals that he has done extensive research on every single Gymleader in Unova in order to help him conquer the Pokemon League, and Burgh feels impressed at the boy's diligence.

Black then waves goodbye to Burgh and Hawes, and hopes to meet him shortly at Castelia City. White bows to thank the two for their hospitality, and the two young trainers turn to leave as the Castelia Gymleader watches them disappear from sight, musing that he ought to prepare himself well for such a smart trainer's challenge.

Yet, on another thought, what Team Plasma said disturbs him. He recalls what the Sage Gorm said about dragons and a hero that will lead the world, and wonders if a fateful course has already been set in motion. Perhaps, the legendary dragons in Unova's myth, the vast white Reshiram and deep black Zekrom, will arise once again…?

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



475: VS Cofagrigus


Volume 45