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Night has fallen in Johto. With a body that glimmers like crystal, the legendary Pokémon Suicune continues to dash across the land, and soon arrives in the northeastern city of Blackthorn. Meanwhile, in the Blackthorn Gym, the gymleader Clair continues her training battle with an apprentice, and orders her Kingdra forward. The opposing young man attempts a twister, smokescreen combo from his Seadra, but Clair quickly withdraws Kingdra and sends out Dragonair. Dragonair fends off the attack with a safeguard, and follows up by unleashing a dragonbreath, instantly knocking down the Seadra as well as the young apprentice.

Clair slowly walks over with a sense of pride, and the young man hurriedly admits defeat. Clair remarks that he has actually done well, and says she's rather impressed by his strategy to immobilize the enemy with a twister, smokescreen combo. The young apprentice grins that he is just learning from her, and says Clair certainly upholds her name as the granddaughter of the dragon clan's elder. Clair admits that she is proud to be born into the eigth generation of such a respected family, but points out that it also makes it hard to find good opponents that can match up with her skills. The young apprentice grins that Clair's cousin Lance seems to be the only person she has lost to, but the Blackthorn gymleader isn't too pleased to be reminded of that, and angrily stomps on his face before storming out of the gym.

Later, under the moon-lit sky, Clair surfs across the lake on Dragonair, and soon finds herself at the waterfall guarding the entrance of the Dragon's Den. Having heard her apprentice mention about Lance, she wonders where he could be now, and gets momentarily lost in thought. In the bushes nearby, a shadow dashes across and leaps into the den, but the Blackthorn gymleader is too occupied with herself to notice. Shaking off the worries of her cousin's current whereabouts, Clair decides to do some more training, and tells Dragonair to enter the Dragon's Den.

Once inside, Clair announces her arrival and calls upon the wild dragon Pokémon inhabiting there. Dragonites and Gyaradoses instantly come charging out from the water, and the young woman quickly prepares to attack. But to her surprise, the dragons suddenly restrain their aggressiveness, and start lining up in a humble manner. Not recalling a single time in which the wild dragons acted in such a weird way, Clair curiously looks over to a rock in the middle of the pond, and spots a blue and crystal-like creature she has never seen before.

Clair demands to know who it is, and barks that the Dragon's Den is a sacred place where only family members of the dragon clan and their Pokémon can set foot on. Without warning, the blue Pokémon, who happens to be Suicune, charges forwad to attack, and Clair laughs that no one ever dares to challenge the Blackthorn gymleader. Dragonair quickly holds up its tail to block Suicune's tackle, and manages to throw it off. Clair snickers that she doesn't see why the dragon Pokémon should respect it so much when its attacks are so weak, but then the jewel on Dragonair's tail crumbles into pieces, and Clair knows that she has underestimated her opponent.

Moving with the speed of light, Suicune jumps behind Clair, and unleashes a blast of cold air from its mouth, stunning Dragonair momentarily and shrouding the whole area with a thick mist. Clair decides that she has to slow Suicune down, and quickly orders Dragonair to fire a dragonbreath. The attack appears to hit the crystal-like Pokémon, and the paralyzing effect immediately immobolizes it. Clair grins at her victory, and remarks that no one deserves to possess such a beautiful Pokémon as much as she does. Unwinding the whip in her hands, she activates the greatball fastened on it and proceeds to hurl it out at Suicune. To her shock, the ball bounces back, and she realizes with a start that Suicune has fooled her with an ice mirror.

Clair hurriedly turns around to face the real Suicune, but the blue creature is already prepared and unleashes a powerful bubblebeam, instantly fainting Dragonair and knocking her off. Struggling to get up on the ground, Clair notices that Suicune is turning to leave, and yells for it to wait. She remarks that she still has plenty of dragon Pokémon to send out, but Suicune pays no notice and slowly disappears in the mist.

Clair then turns around to find her grandfather, who is also the dragon clan's elder, standing behind her with his assistant. The old man murmurs something indecipherable, and the man quickly translates it to say that the Pokémon Clair just faced is the legendary Suicune, a mythical beast who has just awakened from its long sleep underneath Ecruteak's Burnt Tower. Clair is curious to know why it is there, and the elder murmurs something again. The man explains that they believe Suicune is on a journey to test all skilled trainers across the land, and thus has arrived to fight her, the gymleader of Blackthorn.

Clair knows that she has apparently failed to meet Suicune's demanded standard, and wonders what is its intention behind the challenges. Looking out of the den to see the rising sun, Clair starts to think if it is possible that Suicune is trying to find a suitable owner.

That late afternoon, out in the open sea of route 41, Roy tells his Skarmony to speed up as he is running late for his appointed meeting with an old friend. Suddenly, he spots a mysterious light shooting across the water surface, and decides to fly low to check on it. Just then, a powerful blast fires up at him, and nearly shakes him off his Skarmony…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




123: VS. Dragonair!


Volume 10