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Night has fallen in Unova. At the Dragonspiral Tower, Brycen and his Beartic put on pensive looks as they follow the circling paths. According to what Drayden said, in order to understand the legendary dragons, one cannot avoid visiting this tower. However, to the Icirrus Gymleader, this place is just an ordinary maze, and he truly hopes that there are clues that he could find here.

The masked man reaches the top floor, where crumbled pillars lie around, and suddenly notices some burnt marks from electric shocks which are fairly recent. He soon finds several giant footprints on the dusty ground, and could visualize them belonging to Zekrom, implying that the legendary black dragon has been restored to its original state there. Yet, this isn't what Brycen has hoped to find. He looks around the area, but sees no hints that could suggest the location of headquarters of Team Plasma, which they call their castle.

For the past two weeks, they have searched through ruins, caves, empty buildings, and all places which are frequented by people, but failed to spot anything that suggests a hideout of Team Plasma. The Icirrus Gymleader closes his eyes to think of his companions, Clay, Lenora, Elesa, Skyla, and Burgh, and wonder where they are now.

Meanwhile, on the Tubeline Bridge, Cryogonal sulks that its ice chain has been broken, and Black rejoices with Bo that they have succeeded in clearing Brycen's quest. However, as he jumps around, his body suddenly aches from all the bumps and crashes he had, and the Doctor quickly tells him to sit down and let him tend to his injuries. Black takes off his jacket as he plops down, and thanks the man, who introduces himself as Doctor Logan.

Just then, someone applauds Black's marvelous achievement in shattering Cryogonal's ice chain, and Black turns around to see a white-haired man who wears a big beard, standing next to a dark skinned girl with big purple hair. He bolts in realization that the man is Drayden, the mayor and Gymleader of Opelucid City, and also recognizes the girl as Iris, whom he has met in Castelia.

Seeing Black's indifferent look upon recognizing her, Iris frowns that he is rather cheeky towards a senior in training. Her words confuse Black, and Drayden explains that the Opelucid Gym has always specialized in dragon types throughout the generations. Iris is in fact the latest dragon master in training under him, and it has already been one year since she set out on her personal journey. He adds that the girl has also been bestowed upon the task to investigate the legend of the dragons by Lenora, which was why she attended Studio Castelia's exhibition on Unova's legends to study the pieces related to the dragons.

Black feels slightly surprised to learn the fact, but mocks that Iris doesn't seem to have achieved much even after a year of training. His words immediately tick off Iris, who barks that he should show some respect. She turns to Drayden, and requests that they show the boy her accomplishment. The Opelucid Gymleader agrees, and sends out his Druddigon while Iris gets Fraxure ready.

The two dragons stare down at each other in the middle of the bridge, and Iris decides to make the first move by ordering Fraxure forward. However, Drayden commands a Dragon Tail, and Druddigon easily wipes both Iris and Fraxure off their feet. The two fall backwards and crash onto the ground, but they promptly stand back up, and shake the dust off themselves. Iris then states with a proud grin that this is what she has achieved, and Black instantly collapses with Bo.

Drayden thanks Druddigon for its work, and the red-faced dragon steals a glance at Black and Bo before returning into its Pokeball. Black bolts back a little by the fierceness it exudes, and can see that Bo also feels intimidated. However, he knows that he will have to face the dragon some day because he must challenge Drayden to obtain his last Badge for the Pokemon League. Yet, on a deeper thought, Black wonders if the League is still going to proceed with all the recent happenings.

Doctor Logan taps Black on the shoulder to snap him out of his trace, and congratulates him for completing Brycen's quest in escaping from the ice chain. He alerts him that his Tirtouga, Munna and Galvantula have also succeeded in defeating the Vanillishes, which brings a conclusion to the current parts of their special training on the Tubeline Bridge. He remarks that they should move on to the next quests, and Black is surprised to hear that there are more things planned for him.

Drayden tells Black that Iris will be accompanying him for the rest of his training to spice things up, and the girl grins in excitement while Black sweatdrops. The Opelucid Gymleader then places his hands on Black's shoulders, and says he looks forward to him becoming the 'Truth' to counter 'Ideals'. Without elaborating further, the man turns and departs, leaving Black with a confused look.

Doctor Logan starts leading Black and Iris towards the western gate, and Black wants to know what his next quest is. Logan checks on his list, but in that instant, the roaring sound of motor bikes fill the area, and Black looks ahead to see that their road is blocked by a gang of Bikers. Logan tells Black to proceed, but the boy doesn't understand how they are supposed to get past the group.

A bearded Biker with a Scraggy on his shoulder, who is obviously the leader of the gang, calls Black a punk, and says he will need permission to pass through. Black asks whose permission he should get, and the man laughs that it is him, Jeremy, the leader of the Black Empoleon Bikers.

Black feels annoyed by the man's arrogance, and says he doesn't have time to waste on this. He turns around and decides to take another path, but Doctor Logan stops him, and reveals the shocking fact that this will be his next quest, causing Black to jump in shock. Logan explains that according to Brycen's orders, Black's first quest is to escape from the ice chain that trapped him by the ankle; his second quest is to defeat the three Vanillishes; and his third quest will be to defeat the Bikers in order to cross the Tubeline Bridge.

Black cannot believe that the Icirrus Gymleader made such an arrangement, and his unwillingness to fight the Bikers infuriates Jeremy, who hollers that it is his privilege to battle them. At that moment, the other Bikers start to gossip among themselves, and says how their team has gradually gone downhill since their action subleader left. They recall how fearsome the combo of their subleader and his Ducklett was, and wonder where their action subleader is now. One Biker says he heard rumors that their subleader released his Ducklett, and everyone gasps in disbelief at the news.

The gossiping soon irritates Jeremy, and the man turns around to tell his men to shut up. He hollers that they need to show the boy the terror of their gang, and says it is time they demonstrate the midnight wraith of the Black Empoleon on the Tubeline Bridge. With that, Jeremy orders his men forward, and the Bikers start charging towards Black on their motorcycles. However, a force suddenly pulls their bikes upwards, and the men are all thrown off their seat.

Jeremy gasps in shock, and watches as all the motorcycles get crammed together and suspended into midair. High up on the side rail of the bridge, Black's Galvantula, Tula, wields a handful of silk threads, which was what trapped the bikes and hoisted them up. Black grins that Tula has threaded the motorcycles together when Jeremy was busy addressing his men, and thinks to himself that the electric spider has really gotten stronger, being able to lift so many bikes at the same time even when they are all charging at a high speed.

Tula then drops the bikes back on the bridge, and causes the Bikers to cry out in horror when they watch their bikes crash and break. Jeremy becomes extremely enraged by the scene, and vows to let Black see the strength of the leader. He gets his Scraggy ready and prepares to charge forward on his bike, but to his surprise, his vehicle fails to start, and he looks at the meter to discover that his tank is empty. The man exclaims that it is impossible, since he has just filled it up before coming, and Black wonders if he knows of the move Teleport.

As soon as Blacks says that, Jeremy feels his trousers swelling out, and it turns out that Musha has used Teleport to transfer the gas in Jeremy' bike into his pants. The Biker gasps in shock, and furiously orders Scraggy to attack. Black sends Costa out to command a Hydro Pump, but Scraggy manages to dive out of the way. Yet, the jet of water unleashed by the Tirtouga suddenly takes a sharp turn, and Jeremy cries in disbelief that the attack has switched directions. The man starts to flee with Scraggy, grabbing the waistline of his gas-filled trousers as he does so, but the Hydro Pump eventually catches up with them, and blasts them with full force.

Later, dawn has broken once again and the sun has begun to rise on the horizon. Jeremy and his Bikers fall to their knees, and say Black is free to cross the bridge as he wishes. The Biker leader remarks that in order to show their respect to Black's strength, they will change their gang's name to Black Tirtouga.

Doctor Logan congratulates Black for completing his third quest, and states that it is time to head over to the Icirrus Gym. He proceeds to escort Black and Iris towards the western gate of the bridge, and as Black disembarks from the enormous steel bridge, he finally takes a good look of it and marvels at its spectacular built. He finds it amazing that he has just been battling and training on it, and at that moment spots another train passing by along its lower part. The thought of trains suddenly reminds him of the Battle Subway, and he wonders how White is doing right now…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



499: VS Tirtouga


Volume 48