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In the rocky area outside the P2 Laboratory on Route 17, the Striaton brothers, Cilan, Cress and Chili, continue their fight with the Shadow Triad. Cilan is not very pleased with the Triad's accusation that their skills are dispensable, and Cress cannot let pass the line that they need three people to secure one Gym. Chili is particularly ticked off by the suggestion that their strength combined wouldn't even match that of one single Gymleader, and decides to let the Shadow Triad know how wrong they are. However, Cress stops him, and says it is pointless to argue. Cilan states that they should prove their point with their strength, and the brothers quickly gesture to their elemental monkeys.

Pansage immediately flicks the vine dangling from its head to whip Larvesta off, and Panpour delivers a powerful punch into the chest of Lilligant while Pansear unleashes a blast of fire into the open mouth of Basculin. The Shadow Triad gasps that their opponents are adeptly working against their type disadvantage, and the Striaton brothers grin that the interaction between types is exactly what their Gym specializes in. In fact, this is also the reason why the Striaton Gym has three Gymleaders instead of one.

On the day that Cilan, Cress and Chili officially received the Gymleader titles, Lenora personally came to congratulate them. The Nacrene Gymleader told the brothers not to regard themselves less worthy than the other Gymleaders simply because the three of them were assigned to one single Gym. On the contrary, she revealed that this arrangement was specifically made to educate trainers the concept of type interactions, especially the new and rookie ones. The three types the brothers specialized in, grass, water and fire, demonstrated this concept perfectly, since grass beat water, water beat fire, and fire beat grass. Basically, the interaction mirrored that of paper, rock and scissors, each having an advantage and disadvantage in a looped manner. Lenora wanted the brothers to consider their Gym as special, and hoped that they could carry their title with pride. In response, Cilan assured Lenora that they did not have any hard feelings since they individually earned the Gymleader qualification, and Cress promised not to doubt their recognition. Chili even challenged Lenora to have a battle with them right away, and the Nacrene Gymleader laughed that it seemed she had nothing to worry about.

Cilan wonders if the Shadow Triad knows the real reason why they are there, and it suddenly dawns on the Triad that the brothers have deliberately skipped the group battle in order to chase after them should the others lose. The brothers are glad that the Triad finally realizes it, and resume commanding their Pokemon to attack. This time, the monkeys take on the foe that they have a type advantage against, and gain the upperhand with the super effective attacks.

Chili reveals that the three of them did not only come for this battle but came in search of special items as well, and reaches into his pocket for a Fire Stone. Cress follows suit by taking out a Water Stone, and Cilan unveils the Leaf Stone that he is carrying. Without another word, the brothers toss the evolutionary items to their respective monkeys, and in a flash of light, Pansage, Panpour and Pansear evolve into a Simisage, Simipour ad Simisear. Powered up by their new forms, Simisage whacks it thick leafy tail onto Basculin, Simipour shoots a powerful water jet from its tail to hit Larvesta, and Simisear breathes out an eruption of flames to engulf Lilligant. Unfortunately, the Striaton brothers' upperhand in the battle is short-lived, as the Shadow Triad's Pokemon prove to be stronger than they expected, and the elemental monkeys soon begin to struggle again.

On top of some boulders nearby, Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo stand and watch as the two groups face off each other. Cobalion grunts that humans have begun fighting among themselves again as it expected, and tells Keldeo to take a good look at how despicable humans are. The water pony widens its eyes in shock as it watches the intense battle, and wants to know which side are the bad guys. Cobalion states that there are no good or bad sides in a human battle, and mocks that they are all selfish beings with ugly souls who strike down others that oppose their views.

Keldeo continues to watch with keen eyes, and soon sees that the three men with masks appear to be the stronger side. However, although they give perfect commands, their Pokemon follow them well and are apparently winning, it could not feel any joy or happiness from the Pokemon's hearts. In fact, it feels that they do not really want to battle. It could sense the fear they have for losing, the fear of the pain that they will suffer when they lose.

On the contrary, for the weaker side, the three trainers do not give commands as perfectly, and sometimes make the wrong decision. Yet, it could feel the happiness and liveliness from their Pokemon. From their expression, eyes, voices and words, it could see that these humans know the condition of their Pokemon well, and the Pokemon are truly connected with the humans' minds.

Keldeo then turns its gaze to the building that has been making it feel uneasy since their arrival on the little island. It senses an ominous vibe emanating from the building, a powerful yet evil energy, the same feeling that it is getting from the three masked men. It recalls what Cobalion said previously about it being a sin to ignore the evil deeds of humans, since it is equivalent to neglecting the welfare of Pokemon, and wonders if there are really no good or bad when it comes to humans. The water pony ponders on the question while continuing it watch on the battle, and soon decides that as a Pokemon, it should have its own perspective as well.

With that, Keldeo hops off the boulder it is standing on, and leaps towards the battle scene. Virizion and Terrakion gasp in shock, and wonder what it is doing. Keldeo asks for permission from its mentors to use the 'sword', and Virizion and Terrakion turn towards Cobalion. After sharing a brief moment o thought, the three respond to Keldeo's request with a nod, and the water pony instantly summons the yellow-hued sword from the horn on it forehead. It jumps between the Striaton brothers and the Shadow Triad, and before anyone could react, it swings its sword towards the Shadow Triad to knock them off their feet.

The Striaton brothers are bewildered to see such this strange Pokemon they have never met before, but could tell that it seems to be helping them. On the other hand, the Shadow Triad is disgruntled that their opponents have received help, angrily sends their Pokemon forward to attack. Keldeo performs a back flip to evade the attacks of Larvesta, Lilligant and Basculin, and stands on its forelegs to raise its hind ones. It then shoots out two powerful blasts of water from its hooves, and easily knocks back its opponents.

Cilan, Cress and Chili gasp at how powerful Keldeo is, and the water pony turns to look up at its mentors, telling them telepathically that it has managed to stop the fight. However, at that moment, Lilligant ambushes Keldeo with Grass Knot, and Keldeo trips over as one of its hindlegs are tugged by a long piece of grass. The Shadow Triad grin that such powerful Pokemon must be captured to assist Team Plasma, and command their Pokemon forward to catch it. The Striaton brothers bolt to their feet at the scene, and quickly order Simisage, Simipour and Simisear to protect Keldeo.

Yet, before the monkeys could reach the water pony, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion have already cut in. Virizion and Terrakion slash the Grass Knot off while teasing Keldeo that it has let down its guard again in the last second, but are glad that it got to use its 'sword' properly for the first time. Cobalion tells Keldeo that when they use their 'sword', they cannot do it half heartedly. Instead, they must be resolute to cut through everything, and the word 'resolute' hits Keldeo like a radical. Cobalion adds that there is actually one more 'sword', and the hint to acquire it is exactly the word 'resolute'.

Terrakion and Virizion then urge Cobalion to finish off the battle here quick, and the three older legendary Sacred Swords proceed to summon their respective swords from their foreheads. The Striaton brothers could see that these three do not seem to target the Shadow Triad alone, but it is too late for them to react. Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion swing their swords around in a circular manner, and slash into the Striaton brothers and the Shadow Triad, hurling them off while sparing their Pokemon.

The Shadow Triad each gets their clothes and masks ripped, and crash hard onto the rocks along the shore. Cobalion towers over them, and thinks to itself that if it shall catch these humans setting foot in this place again, it will slash apart not only the clothes that they wear next time. With that, Cobalion turns to leave, and beckons its companions to come along.

The Shadow Triad lays defeated on the ground, and are certain that if they have possession of Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus, the situation would certainly not be the same. Unfortunately, the three weather flyers are currently not with them, and are being researched on the method to return them to their Therian Formes. Once this has been accomplished, they will surely seek revenge on the Sacred Swords with them.

However, on second thought, the Panpour-mask man decides that it is not really appropriate to leave loose ends untied now, especially when their scheme has reached the final stage at the League. He struggles to climb back up, and states that Ghetsis will not be happy to know that they allowed potential intruders and thwarters to get away. H starts heading back towards the P2 Lab, and his two teammates are startled when they realize what he is planning to do. The Panpour-masked man grins that it is important to seize the moment, and says he has in truth been yearning to witness the actual power of the being.

With that, the Panpour-masked man deactivates the gate of the P2 Lab, and calls upon the creature inside, which he refers to as the ancient hunter. As soon as front gate opens, the insect-like creature's eyes flash an intense red, and it fires off an ice-blue beam from its cannon. The beam courses all the way towards the four Swords of Justice Pokemon who are about to leave the scene, and quickly closes in on Keldeo.

Right before the beam hits, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion become alerted to the incoming attack, and without thinking shield themselves in front of Keldeo, taking the blast for their disciple. A powerful bang occurs, which is followed by crackling sounds, and when Keldeo opens its eyes again from the blinding flash, it is horrified to see its mentors frozen solid. Overwhelmed with shock and disbelief, the water pony could only watch helplessly as the frozen Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion plummet into the sea and start sinking…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



519: VS Keldeo II


Volume 51