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Outside the Gear Station of Nimbasa City, White focuses her gaze on the bushes and gets into a combative stance. A wild Deerling in its Summer Form soon pops into view, and White quickly tosses a Pokeball out. However, the ball misses the Deerling by a great distance, and falls into the river with a splash instead.

White falls to her knees as she moans in despair, stating that it is so hard, and Baker Chris laughs wholeheartedly. White apologizes to Chris for wasting so many of her Pokeballs, but the woman assures her that she has a lot of them, and not to worry about it. She suggests White take a break and have one of her freshly baked buns, and the girl thanks her for the offer.

Just then, White's Xtransceiver beeps, and she answers to find one of her agency Pokemon owners calling, whom she has left a message to. She explains to the owner that the agency will indeed be temporarily suspending its business, which is why she is returning all of the Pokemon to their original owners. She promises that all owners will be contacted once the agency reopens, and thanks the owner for bestowing a Pokemon to their care. As soon as she hangs up the call, the Xtransceiver beeps again, and she picks up to find another owner calling in, one whose Pidove is being trained at the agency. White repeats her speech, and tells the owner that Pidove is a superb artist, whom she surely looks forward to working with again someday.

Baker Chris waits until White finishes all her calls, and wants to know what she is busy doing. White explains that she is currently returning all the Pokemon receiving talent training in her entertainment agency to their original owners, and Chris wonders if she recruited them all from the event a while ago which advertises turning one's Pokemon into a star. White is surprised that Chris knows about it, and Chris grins that although she didn't apply, she heard that there were a lot of participants. White recalls that it has been a great function, and admits that all the Pokemon at the agency were indeed recruited from the event, apart from Gigi, their mascot actress, of course.

White takes a seat as she holds a cup of tea in hand, and remarks that since she has decided to take the Battle Subway ride, she knows that she cannot continue managing all her celebrities at the same time, which is why she suspended the agency's business, and returned the Pokemon to their owners. By now, she has already returned every celebrity in the agency, and is essentially job-less, which makes her feel somewhat empty.

Baker Chris voices out her encouragement to White, and says she should look forward to the future, and capture new partners to accompany her on the Battle Subway. She points out that she is having a good chance now since Alder has attracted so many wild Pokemon to gather, and White promises to work hard as she attempts another go at Deerling.

Standing on front porch of the Gear Station, Black watches White's actions, and wears an indifferent look. Marshal approaches him, asking what is wrong, but Black pouts that it is nothing. Marshal states that Black is clearly upset that White gets to ride on the Battle Subway but not him, and reminds that he was the one who turned down the offer and the girl got it afterwards. Black protests that he turned it down because he thought it was the right decision at that time, and fails to understand why it has to be a one-person ride and that they can't both take it together.

Marshal remarks that the Battle Subway trial run will be a chance for White to receive training in Pokemon battling, and points out the fact that she is a beginner who is just learning how to capture a Pokemon. In contrast, Black is someone who has obtained four Badges and is aiming for the Pokemon League, and it will be unfair and impractical to place them on the same level. Before Black could argue back, the muscular man lifts the boy off his feet, much to his surprise, and grins that a man should help the people around him even though his own wishes didn't come true. At a minimum, Black should show some kindness.

With that, Marshal tosses Black down towards the grassland where White is, and the boy crashes as he lands. He shoots an annoyed look at Marshal as he climbs back onto his feet, and White, who heard his fall, hurries over to ask if he is alright. Black wears an embarrassed look at her concern, and pouts that he could not stand watching her further. White apologizes that she really hasn't done this before, and Black wants to know if she really wants the Deerling. White says she found it adorable, but apparently, after having provoked it so many times, it has become really angry at her.

Indeed, the Deerling raises its forelegs, and starts charging towards White. The girl lets out a scream as she runs around in circles, and Black sweatdrops that it's almost like the Deerling has her completely under control. At that moment, White trips over a rock, and falls flat on her face. Deerling gets ready to stomp on her with its powerful forelegs, and Black quickly bolts to his feet, rushing over to save her.

However, to their surprise, Servine suddenly cuts in, and whacks Deerling away with its vines. Black gasps in shock that it has protected his president, and wonders what its true intentions are. All this time, they thought it stayed around the girl to keep an eye on their actions, but its actions as a bodyguard just now totally contradict its role as a spy.

Black assesses the situation, and decides that White will need help anyway, since she requires something to weaken the Deerling before capturing it. He makes the bold suggestion of asking White to command the Servine, and the girl thinks he must be joking. However, Black says he is serious, and tells her to order a Leaf Tornado. Left with no choice, White makes the command, and her shock, Servine really pulls off the attack and traps Deerling into a swirl of spiraling leaves.

Black cheers that she has done it, but White says she has no idea what to do next. Black believes that he has to show her himself, and looks around for a target to capture. He soon spots a Tirtouga on the shore of the river, and decides upon it. He sends out Tula from its Pokeball, and tells White to look at the opponent before using an attack. White does as she is told, and orders another Grass Tornado from Servine while Black gets Tula to fire an Electro Ball. The attacks hit Deerling and Tirtouga respectively, and Black says they will need to do it once more to ensure that the Pokemon doesn't run away.

Black and White repeat their moves on Tirtouga and Deerling, and once the two wild Pokemon are weakened enough, Black declares that it is time to throw the Pokeball. Both trainers toss out a Pokeball at the same time, and in a flash of light, Tirtouga and Deerling get sucked into the capturing devices. After a few shakes, both Pokeballs become static, and Black rejoices that White has done it.

Later, back in the underground floor of the Gear Station, Marshal, Black and White walk over to the platform of the single battle train as the girl gets ready to take the ride. Black believes that she will do fine, and in that instant, the Tirtouga he just captured thrashes around vigorously in its Pokeball, causing him to lose his grip on it. The fallen Pokeball rolls towards Marshal, and he picks it up to find the creature inside extremely familiar. He asks if Black recently caught it, and the boy nods that he found it alone the shore of the river.

Marshal reveals that he actually just released the Pokemon back to the wild one day ago, and says he has kept it with him for some time in hopes of training it. However, he failed to crack its stubbornness, which is why he decided to let go of it, and it apparently belongs Black now. Before Black could respond, they hear Alder calling out to them, and they look over to see that the burly man has returned. He asks where the Mayor has gone, and Marshal explains that he has already left, which was in fact one day ago.

Alder pouts that the Mayor is quite an impatient guy, and Marshal states that he has already filled in his advisor role for him. He informs his mentor that they are now going to have trial run by a normal trainer, and says White has agreed to take up the role. Alder gasps that he had no idea they were going to do that, and Marshal sweatdrops that he has actually already told him.

White whispers to Black that the Champion doesn't seem too dependable as he has played so hard that he forgot about his job, and Black doesn't know how to respond to that. Alder cries that he could hear them, and thinks young people nowadays are so mean. However, he admits that what she said was the truth, and laughs wholeheartedly as he presses his hands on the two young trainers' head playfully. He points out that there is one thing he would like to correct them, and says he wasn't actually playing, but living out a journey. Black feels confused, and the burly man puts on a musing look as he states that he is living out a journey of the heart.

Alder then wants to know why White is taking the subway ride, and asks if she wishes to become stronger. White remarks that there is a Pokemon who is very dear to her, although it isn't currently with her, and believes that there will come a time when it decides what it wants to do in life. When that time comes, she wants it to know that there are more than one path to choose from, and hopes that she could help it achieve what it wants from the path it chooses. For that to happen, she has to know these paths herself in order to support it, which is why she is taking the subway ride to learn about Pokemon battling.

Alder falls into silence after hearing White's words, and suddenly turns to Black, wondering what he should do since he thought he made a good speech but White apparently beat her to it. Black collapses at the Champion's quirky remark, and simply has no answer to his question.

Soon, the sound of engines is heard, and Ingo and Emmet announce that it is time to depart. They escort White into the cabin, and says they will be responsible for everything from this point on. White thanks them both, and takes a seat next to the window with Servine as the door slides close. She leans out of the window to say her goodbyes to Black, and the boy blushes as he thanks her for everything. He recalls how they met in Accumula, how they travelled through Striaton, Nacrene, Castelia, and Nimbasa, and counts that they have spent 5 cities, 4 Routes and 1 bridge together.

He wonders how much he still owes her from the filming equipment he damaged on their first encounter, and White, not expecting the question, thinks for a moment and believes that there should just be a little left. Black feels glad by it, and says he is thus still a staff of the BW Agency. At that moment, the train starts to move away, and Black runs along the platform, stating that even though they are apart, she will always be his president and he will remain as her employee. He promises her that he will fulfill his dream, and when he enters the Pokemon League tournament, he will keep their pact and wear the agency's logo on him.

White feels moved by what Black says, but could not find the right words to respond and simply smiles. Black soon reaches the end of the platform where he could not advance further, and as he watches the train speed away, he yells at the top of his voice and tells White never to give up her dreams.

Black's silhouette slowly disappears from sight, and White couldn't help but feel a sense of sadness washing over her. Suddenly, something comes flying at her, and before she realizes what is going on, a Pokeball bounces off the tunnel wall and lands into her palm, which she discovers contains Black's Braviary.

Back on the platform, Black pants to catch his breath, and says Brav volunteered to go with White. He thinks it is only natural for it to do so, since White's current team simply consists of the Servine whom they don't even know if it is a friend or foe, and a Deerling which she recently caught. In order to take part in the Battle Subway, one needs at least 3 Pokemon, and for that, Brav decided to help her and become her third team member.

Black grins that his president will have to do her homework like he does, and silently wishes her good luck as the subway train vanishes into the dark tunnel…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



488: VS Deerling


Volume 46