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On the southern end of Route 214, Rad Rickshaw and Pearl continue to paddle hard on the tandem bike, and soon enter the proximity of the Valor Lakefront. Pearl wipes off a sweat from his forehead, and recalls how they ended up there by accident last time when Hippowdon's sand tornado hurled them up into the air. Looking around, he feels that something is different, and quickly realizes that the wooden planks that used to say 'Entry Forbidden' are no longer present.

Pulling their bike to a halt, Pearl immediately starts action, and sends out Chatlord, Chimlord and Raylord to keep an eye out for strange happenings. He states that the time has come for the real battle, and thanks the Cycle Shop owner for accompanying him on the long journey. Rad grins that he just did what he could, and says has never come to Lake Valor before. Seeing how magnificent this place looks, it is no wonder one of Sinnoh's top tourist spots. His two Clefairies, Clefairan and Clefairin, go air-borne and start looking around, but fail to find anything out of place.

Pearl warns that they must be careful, as today is the foretold day of the bombing, and Team Galactic could crop up at any time. Rad wonders where he plans to start his investigation, and without evening hesitating, Pearl points towards the center of the lake. Rad spots that there lies a small single isle, and as he turns around, sees that Pearl is dragging a fallen tree trunk into the water. The boy explains that he lacks a Pokemon that can surf, which is why he must resort to using other means instead.

Getting his three Pokemon onto the thick log, Pearl waddles into the water and clings onto one of the branches, keeping the lower part of his body submerged. Rad worries that it will be too risky to do that, but Pearl is confident that Chimlord's propelling flames will get them safely across, and tells the Cycle Shop owner to get home before Team Galactic strikes. With that, the boy gives s nod to Chimlord, and the Infernape instantly spits out a blast of flame towards the back, creating a powerful force to move the tree log forward.

Rad Rickshaw muses to himself that Pearl is surely a man of actions, and thinks of his ambitious attempt to stop whatever the evil organization is trying to pull off at the lake. He is amazed by the strong willpower that Pearl possesses, and decides that he should try to investigate the area as well and see if he could find any hints. However, a tentacle suddenly lashes out from the lake to wrap around his right leg, and drags him into the water as he lets out a horrified cry.

A few moments later, Pearl is getting close to reaching the lake center's small isle. He voices his encouragement to Chimlord, and fire ape powers up the flames from its mouth to create an even stronger propelling force. Pearl tells Raylord that he will need its help once they get onshore, and says there is a place where he wishes to have it investigate with its see-through ability.

Just then, a tentacle wraps itself around Pearl's left foot, and forcefully drags him downwards. Raylord and Chatlord quickly pull onto their trainer to prevent him from drowning, and the boy dips his head into the water to see that he has been ambushed by the jet Pokemon, Octillery. He notices the expression on the red octopus's face, and gasps that it is about to launch an Octazooka. He hurriedly surfaces to warn his Pokemon about it, but the powerful blast of ink has already been unleashed and punches through the tree trunk they are surfing on, snapping it into pieces and throwing everyone into the water.

A voice comes from behind to question why Pearl can anticipate a Pokemon's attacks, and the boy turns around to see a blue-haired man sitting inside a glass vessel which has two arm-extensors and two propellers on its sides to keep it air-borne. The man states that it has been quite a while since he personally showed up on the battlefield, but it seems that he has witnessed something interesting this time.

Pearl gasps at the appearance of the strange man, and wonders who he is. The man grins that he is Saturn, a Team Galactic Commander chosen personally by boss Cyrus, and says he has been spying on them from his vessel all this time. He remarks that his job is to fend away any intruders who are attempting to tamper with their important scheme, and clicks on his computer monitor to show Pearl what has happened to his companion. From the screen, Pearl sees the drowned Cycle Shop owner and his two Clefairies who are desperately tending to him, and bolts with horror at the sight.

Saturn smirks that he is impressed by Pearl's willpower in trying to investigate everything himself, but the truth is, there is much less time than he expects before the detonation is going to happen. To be exact, there is only 3 minutes left. Pearl gasps in disbelief at the revelation, and Saturn states that although no one except the boss knows which of the three lakes is going to be blown up, deep inside, he is hoping that it will be Lake Valor.

Pearl fails to understand why, and Saturn laughs that it is a silly question, because the Galactic Bomb is the product he has devoted his entire heart and soul to create, and he should be rewarded with the chance to witness its true power in person. The man then giggles that since Pearl and his Pokemon are now submerged in the lake, they will be evaporated together with the huge body of water once the bomb goes off.

However, before that, there is something that Saturn wishes to inquire from Pearl. Lifting the boy up into the air with the vessel's hand-extensors, Saturn demands to know why Pearl chose to come to the lake's central isle right from the beginning. He believes that there must be a reason why he didn't even hesitate about it, and is desperate to find out what Pearl really knows about the isle. At the bottom of the vessel, Chimlord and Raylord struggle to claw for their trainer, while Chatlord keeps pecking at the glass dome, but to no avail. High above on the shuttle, a timer goes off, and starts to count down from 60.

Meanwhile, at Lake Verity, Dia is caught up in difficult situation as he finds his Mom held captive by a red-haired woman and her Zubat. The woman demands that he drop his Pokemon immediately, and Dia has no choice but to let go of the Great Ball containing Drifblim. However, the woman gestures at his other Pokeballs, and says he will have to do the same to every single one of his team member, which Dia reluctantly complies.

Putting on a smirk, the red-haired woman says she has always wondered what kind of kids is brave enough to interfere with Team Galactic's plans ever since she heard about their existence. She honestly never expected it to be Dia and says it's been quite a while since they last met. Dia feels confused about the remark and couldn't get she means, and the woman giggles that he couldn't have forgotten their encounter at the Valley Windworks.

Right away, images of the powerplant's incident flash across Dia's mind, and he gasps that the red-haired woman is the silhouette back then. The woman nods her head with a big grin, and introduces herself as Mars, a Team Galactic Commander chosen personally by boss Cyrus. Next to her, a Purugly, Yanmega and Bronzor gather close, and each wear a hostile look on their faces.

In the bushes not too far away, Roseanne starts to get restless and wonders why Dia still hasn't gone air-borne on Drifblim. Sebastian is already standing by on the Rapidash carriage, and will be ready to take off once Beh finds Dia's Mom. The old butler puts on a worried look, and hopes that nothing has gone wrong.

Back at Dia's area, Mars remarks that in order to create an explosive force powerful enough to dry up a lake, huge amount of electric energy must be instilled into the Galactic Bomb, and that was the reason she had to steal electricity from the powerplant. Now that the bomb has been completed, the only left to do is to wait for its detonation, which is finally going to happen today.

Dia keeps an angry glare on Mars, and demands that she release his Mom since he has already dropped his Pokeballs as she instructed. However, Mars giggles that Dia is in no position to bargain, and walks over to poke at his nose, stating that the only thing he could do is watch. She cannot wait to let him witness the interesting events that are going to take place at the lake, and says they should get closer to have better view, though not too close since they might get blown up together as well. She begins dragging the boy by the arm, but Dia forcefully breaks free with a determined look, and Mars asks with a teasing tone if he is planning to resist.

Dia states that he is, and declares that blowing up the lake is not interesting at all, one thing that he is very certain of. Mars mocks that he wouldn't be able to do anything even if he thinks so, as he hardly possesses the power to defeat them all and stop their scheme. She sighs that one by one, people are losing the spirit to treat things interesting in life, and snickers that they are all stubborn. With that, she orders a Gyro Ball from Bronzor, and the attack blasts straight at Dia and Beh.

Dia's Mom gasps in horror at the sight, and cautiously reaches for a Pecha Berry in her basket. Pressing the Berry against the cover, she squashes it to squirt its juice onto Zubat's face, and manages to free herself from its menacing blade-like wing when the bat Pokemon becomes temporarily stunned. She then calls out to Dia to let him know she is no longer under threat, and the boy quickly gathers up all the Pokeballs on the floor before sending out Drifblim and throwing himself on top of it.

Mars bolts with surprise at the sudden turn of events, and Dia makes use of the time to retrieve Beh, and hollers for his Mom to run straight past the bushes where Sebastian and Roseanne will be waiting. Mars realizes that Dia is trying to aim for the air-shuttle, and cries that she will not allow it. She furiously climbs onto her Yanmega's tail which has curved downwards to form a seat, and orders the ogre darner Pokemon to give chase immediately.

In midair, Drifblim strives to hover up as quickly as possible, and Dia states with a determined look that he must break into the air-shuttle and stop it since there is definitely nothing interesting about blowing up the lake. Mars soon catches up with them with Yanmega's greater speed, and orders a U-turn attack. The gigantic dragonfly immediately performs a somersault as it slams its body against Drifblim, and causes the blimp Pokemon to wince in pain.

Dia gasps in recognition that he has fought the Yanmega back at Prof. Rowan's Science Lab, and Mars admits with a giggle that she was the one choreographing the ambush. She then sends Purugly forward to continue attacking, and the tiger cat jumps onto Drifblim to strike down with a Shadow Claw. The powerful attack throws Dia off his balance, but Drifblim manages to catch him just in time, and struggles to resume its ascend towards the air-shuttle. However, Mars holds up her handheld computer, and remarks that the simultaneous count down at the three lakes has begun.

20...

Dia's Mom finally meets up with Sebastian and Roseanne, and hurriedly gets on the Rapidash carriage as the old butler sets it into motion.

19...

While Dia struggles to climb back onto Drifblim, Mars hovers down and tells her grunts to get ready. She grins that after the explosion, the Pokemon that governs emotions, Mesprit, will appear, and they must not let it escape.

18...

The air-shuttle at Lake Verity that has Mesprit's drawing at the bottom goes stationary in its flight, and slowly begins to open up its hutch.

17, 16...

Platinum, Maylene and Candice gather close to each other in their battered state, and watch helplessly as the countdown goes on. Jupiter states that following the detonation, the Pokemon that governs knowledge, Uxie, will appear, and her only remaining task is to catch it once it does.

15, 14...

Hovering above the set point, the air-shuttle at Lake Acuity that has Uxie's drawing at the bottom proceeds to open up its hutch.

13, 12...

Still keeping Pearl hoisted with the hand extensors, Saturn reiterates his question, and demands to know why Pearl headed for the small isle and if there is something that he knows about.

11, 10...

Pearl grunts in pain as he futilely tries to free his collar from the extensors' grasp, and the countdown clock begins to blink on the transparent screen in Saturn's vessel, catching the Commander's attention.

9, 8...

Saturn laughs that the time has come, and shoots a look of mockery at Pearl as he orders his grunts to stand by. Once the bomb goes off, the Pokemon that governs willpower, Azelf, will appear, and they must capture it as soon as possible.

7, 6, 5, 4...

High up in the air at Lake Valor, the air-shuttle that has Azelf's drawing at the bottom gets into position, and opens up its hutch.

3...

At Lake Verity, Dia cries out in horror that the air-shuttle's hutch has opened, and is washed over by a wave of terror.

2...

At Lake Valor, Pearl gaps his mouth wide open, and exclaims that the detonation time has come.

1...

At Lake Acuity, Platinum fearfully stares at the air-shuttle, and knows that they are already too late to stop the bombing.

All three Pokedex Holders wait in suspense, and simultaneously question which lake is going to be blown up by the Galactic Bomb. Descending from the air-shuttle's hutch via a cord of wires, the Galactic Bomb glows with intense heat, and explodes into a potent burst of energy...

(Original Japanese Jokes)
There are no jokes or Manzai in this chapter.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



397: VS Octillery


Volume 36