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At the Great Marsh Observatory Gate, Dia looks through the binoculars, and lets out an exclamation when he spots a Carnivine standing right next to the swamp. However, his view suddenly blacks out, and he grunts that the usage time per turn of these pay binoculars are really too short. He digs into his pocket for more coins, and feels grateful that he and Pearl get their own source of expenditure now.
Just then, Pearl appears at the stairway with an annoyed look, and scolds Dia for taking too long with the binoculars. He hollers that the train is about to depart, and Dia hurriedly follows him downstairs.
Pearl: Speaking of Pokemon!!
Dia and Pearl rush towards the train platform, where Lady Berlitz is already waiting, and hears the announcement that the Quick Trams departing at 1:30pm to Area 6 is about to start up. The Lady grins to Dia and Pearl, addressing them by their first names, and says it is time to take the ride. The boys follow her onto the shuttle train, and the three settle themselves down next to some window seats where they can enjoy the scenery outside.
Dia and Pearl exclaim with excitement when the engine finally starts, and marvel at the sight of the great Pastoria marshland. Pearl is amused that a facility within the city can get its own internal transportation like this, and Dia agrees that it is really cool. Lady Berlitz, however, doesn't understand what is so special about it, since she also moves around with cars within her home mansion. Pearl bangs his head on the window glass upon hearing that, and with an annoyed look, recalls how it was the Lady's unmatched eagerness that got them to the Great Marsh in the first place...
Continuing on their journey, the trio searches for a route that will lead them back to Mt. Coronet, and finds themselves at Pastoria City. Upon arrival, Lady Berlitz voices her desire to visit the gym, and it ends up being the first place they head for. It seems like following her battles with Roark, Gardenia and Maylene, the girl has become addicted to gym challenges.
Entering the gym, the trio sees a burly man practicing squats with his back turned against them, and Lady Berlitz announces that she is there for a challenge. The man instantly spins around with an enthusiastic look upon hearing that, but two Sailors suddenly appear from nowhere to hold him back. For some reason, they try their best to cover his face, and remind him that he is not wearing his mask.
While one Sailor drags the man into the gym's interior, the other one comes forward to greet the trio, and welcomes them to the Pastoria Gym. He states that the gymleader Crasher Wake is extremely powerful, and any Pokemon who have not gone through tough training will be having a hard time facing him. He wishes to see the challenger's team, and Lady Berlitz proceeds to send out Empoleon and Ponyta. The Sailor is surprised that those are all she has, and comments that while they don't appear to be weak, they won't give her any advantage against the gymleader. He wonders if she knows the expert type of Crasher Wake, and the Lady admits that she has no idea. Just then, something makes a big splash in the water pool inside the gym, and the trio looks over to see a masked man standing on a Gyarados next to a Floatzel and Quagsire.
The other Sailor who has disappeared into the gym earlier returns to make an introduction, calling for everyone to behold the greatness of their water type expert, Crasher Wake, the water stream masked man who can stop everything with his water attacks. Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz watch with astounded looks on their faces, and Dia suddenly cries that the masked man is the same guy who was practicing squats.
The Sailors quickly deny it with stuttering tones, and say they have absolutely no idea what he is talking about. They then return the subject to the issue of type advantages, and Lady Berlitz remarks that a grass type should be able to handle water types easily. One of the Sailors compliments her knowledge, and suggests her obtain a useful grass type from the Great Marsh to better equip herself before making a challenge.
The Lady has apparently never heard of the place before, and after hearing some information about it from the Sailor, beams with eagerness to experience it, causing Pearl to sweatdrop. Dia, on the other hand, has his attention diverted to the little drama between Crasher Wake and one of the Sailors, who is furiously reminding the gymleader that it was he himself who said he didn't want outsiders to see his face. Crasher Wake puts on an embarrassed grin, and says he always gets carried away when he encounters challengers...
Soon, the Quick Trams arrive at Area 1, and an announcement comes on to tell its passengers to alight. Lady Berlitz reads from their guidebook, 'Walking In Sinnoh', that the Great Marsh is an invaluable place in the sense that it is the habitat to many rare Pokemon. Pastoria, the city where it is located, is built on the goal to preserve and protect the marshland, and people who have come to visit will be able to enjoy themselves at the Great Marsh's Safari Game, in which they can capture wild Pokemon inhabiting the area.
Having put on colland-like waterproof pants and boots on top of their normal outfits, the trio gets ready to start their capture challenge, and as usual, Dia keeps his mouth busy with an orange that he has peeled on the shuttle. Lady Berlitz keeps reading that with the help of binoculars at the Observatory Gate, visitors can see which area the Pokemon they wish to capture is located at, and travel there with the help of the train. They then find their way around in the swampy marshland, and once the wild Pokemon appears, a capture can be attempted by tossing out Safari Balls received at the entrance.
Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz slowly move through a shallow swamp, and something begins to move in the long grass ahead, gradually revealing itself to be a wild Skorupi. The Lady quickly hurls out a Safari Ball, but to her despair, it simply bounces off the Pokemon's head, and the purple scorpion immediately flees into the swamp.
Lady Berlitz moans that she has failed, but Pearl reminds her that they it is their very first attempt in capturing Pokemon since they began their journey, and it is just logical that the initial try goes haywire. He remarks that they each get 30 Safari Balls, and they are free to use as many of them before the time limit is up.
Just then, a wild Budew jumps out from the bushes and onto a footbridge, and Pearl grins that another chance has just surfaced. Dia suggests tossing out some bait before using the Safari Ball this time, and Lady Berlitz accepts his advice. To their delight, the Budew stops to nibble on the bait, and Dia cheers that it likes the food. Pearl believes that this will make the capture easier, and the Lady proceeds to hurl out her second Safari Ball.
This time, it manages to trap the wild Pokemon inside, and the trio instantly rejoices. However, after a few wiggles, the Budew breaks free from its restraints, and the Lady cries that she has failed yet again. Pearl gets into a fury, and finds it unacceptable that they have screwed up not only the first but also the second try. He hollers that they have to get serious from now on, and both Dia and Lady Berlitz cringe at his booming voice.
And so the trio begins hunting down other wild Pokemon, and continues to make capture attempts. Lady Berlitz spots a Marill and tosses out a Safari Ball, but just like Skorupi, the ball gets easily bounced off. Pearl sees a Hoothoot and decides to use the mud, but it angers the Pokemon and causes it to escape right away. Dia is still a believer of baits, and gives another go at a Barboach, but the whiskers Pokemon simply enjoys its free food while easily evading all the Safari Balls. Beh finally gives in to temptation and grabs of piece of bait to chew on, causing Chatlord to swat it on the head with an annoyed face.
A while later, the three young trainers plop themselves on the ground, feeling exhausted, and Pearl grunts that he never expected it to be so difficult. Having had multiple attempts, he has come to the conclusion that neither the bait nor the mud makes a real difference in altering the capture's success rate. Just then, he notices Lady Berlitz wincing in discomfort, and wonders what is wrong. The Lady groans that the mud is starting to get into her eyes, and Pearl quickly fastens a pair of goggles on her face to help her shield it out.
Dia sighs to Pearl that Lady Berlitz seems rather disheartened, and Pearl feels a bit sorry to have yelled at her earlier and given her so much stress. He counts that each of them only has one Safari Ball remaining, making it three in total, and wonders how much luck they have left. Lady Berlitz is determined to make a capture however, even if it's only one, for she needs a grass type to challenge the Pastoria Gym.
She begins to step into the swamp again, but no sooner has she walked a few feet, she suddenly finds herself stuck in the mud and unable to move. Pearl hears her cry for help, and quickly dashes to her rescue while Dia follows suit. Unfortunately, the two boys soon find themselves jammed as well, and the Lady notices that she is starting to sink. Pearl frantically thrashes around, but becomes even more stuck, and Dia worries that the swamp is going to eat them up gradually.
Lady Berlitz tells him not to scare her, and Pearl wants everyone to stay calm. He states that there is one other thing he is more concerned about from their current situation, and says they are now highly vulnerable to the ambush of wild Pokemon given the fact that they have close to zero mobility. He believes that creatures living inside the swamp are generally safe, but wild Pokemon also live on trees, in grasses, and along the shore. In particular, there is one species which takes on the appearance of an ordinary plant, but is in fact a highly ferocious Pokemon, known to reside around regions like the swamp they are in.
On the shoreline, a creature shaped like the venus flytrap stealthily creeps out from the bushes, and gaps its mouth wide open as it lashes out to Beh and Chatlord, who have their gazes set on their trainers and are completely oblivious to its presence.
Meanwhile, back at the Pastoria Gym, the Sailors put on confused looks as they watch Crasher Wake scrub the floors, and wonder what their gymleader is doing. Wake grins that he is preparing the place and making it prettier for their challenger, and proceeds to fill the empty pools with water to float up the planks and platforms. Behind him, the mask that he forgot to wear earlier has been taken off and lies on a side bench...
(Original Japanese Jokes)
364: VS Skorupi