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Flying on her Xatu, Tupeon, Crys declares that she shall capture Arceus, and kicks out a Level Ball towards the giant four-legged creature. However, the alpha Pokemon simply cocks its head sideways, and sends the Pokeball bouncing it back towards the ground.

The Level Ball rolls to the side of Archer, and the TR General picks it up to muse at Crys's choice of Pokeball. When one faces a Pokemon whose strength and characteristics are not known, the Level Ball provides a great means to assess the difference in power between oneself and the Pokemon, which helps to guide the strategy of capture. Proton states that the girl seems to be an expert in Pokemon capture, and Ariana wonders if they are really just standing back to watch when someone tries to capture this mirage ultimate being whom they pursue. Archer puts on a smirk at Ariana's question, and tells her to simply wait and see.

Hovering just in front of Arceus, Crys thinks to herself that the Level Ball seems completely useless, and reaches into her pocket for a Heavy Ball next. However, she suddenly notices something in Arceus's eyes, and for some reason detects a sense of sorrow in it. Usually, during a capture, she focuses on the level and critical point where the Pokeball should strike on a Pokemon. Yet, this time, her attention is oddly drawn to Arceus's emotions, and she really wishes to find out why the alpha Pokemon is there and what it wants. To do this, she only knows of one method.

With a look of determination on her face, the girl attempts another capture, and kicks out the Heavy Ball as she performs a somersault after jumping off from Tupeon. The ball flies straight towards Arceus, and hits it right on top of its head. In a flash of light, the deity-like being is sucked into the charcoal-coloured Pokeball, and the Four Generals, with the exception of Archer, gasp and watch intently at the outcome. Spinning around a few times on the ground, the Heavy Ball appears as if it has successfully done it job. However, cracks start to form on its surface, and in a matter of seconds, it splits open again as Arceus frees itself out with a bang.

The alpha Pokemon lowers its head to shoot a pensive look at Crys, who seems somewhat startled by its expression. Ariana laughs that she knows this would be the case, and calls Crys a fool to think that Arceus could be captured this easily. The white deity then levitates itself away from the ground, and without warning, starts to fly off into the skies. Crys quickly goes airborne on Tupeon again, and gives chase after the mythical being.

Staying behind, Ariana covers her mouth with her fan and laughs that Crys is really a little brat who overestimates herself. She remarks that they should perhaps start action themselves, but the three men simply respond by a giggle, and Ariana demands to know what is so funny. She points out that Arceus has already fled the scene and they ought to give pursuit immediately so as to stay in control of the situation, but Archer says she is wrong, and states that they are actually in full control of the current situation.

Raising an eyebrow, Ariana feels baffled by the remark and demands an explanation. Proton explains that their final destination is the Sinjoh Ruins. Despite having spent long hours of tedious effort in investigating on methods to get there, he is still unable to locate its exact whereabouts. However, one thing is clear. In order to establish a route to the Sinjoh Ruins, one must have Arceus in its company in a befriended state to open up its heart.

Ariana seems to understand what Proton is suggesting, and Archer confirms her suspicion that they are using Crys for that purpose. It doesn't matter if the girl managed to capture Arceus or not. What's important is she will help them open up its heart, and as a result show them the route that leads to the Sinjoh Ruins.

Petrel grins that he is taking a similar approach with the Plates, which he has decided on after being interrupted in his quest by a red-haired young brat. To him, it was clear that the boy is very eager in finding the Plates, and he is very likely to locate and collect them quicker than they do. As it is the final outcome that they care about anyway, he shall simply snatch them from the boy once he manages to find all 16 Plates. Ariana is glad that each of their assigned duties seems virtually fulfilled for now, and lets out another laugh behind her fan. Archer states that they shall reach their goal really soon, and puts on a smirk as he looks into the distance.

Meanwhile, up in the air, Crys is still chasing after Arceus on Tupeon. After the alpha Pokemon broke out from the Heavy Ball, she was sure that she caught a glimpse of what can be interpreted as trust in its eyes which suggested that it has momentarily opened up its heart towards her. She wonders if she is thinking too much, but then decides that it was more than just her imagination, and is convinced that Arceus had a shift in its emotions during their brief showdown. She struggles to keep up with the deity-like being in their flight, and soon sees that the creature is beginning its descent towards the direction of the Ecruteak Gym.

Down at the entrance of the Ecruteak Gym, Falkner, Bugsy and Chuck are still keeping guard. While the Gymleaders are still oblivious to their impending visitor up above, their Pokemon are already feeling a faint stirring in their surroundings..

Inside, at Morty's chamber, Gold is pleasantly surprised to see Silver coming through the door. Morty is bemused that the two boys know each other, and Gold, who runs up to Silver to throw an arm around his neck, grins that they are old acquaintances, his dramatic action startling and slightly annoying the red-haired boy.

Gold introduces Silver to Morty, and says he has no idea they would meet up there. He offers to tell the Ecruteak Gymleader about their history, but Silver suddenly senses something in the air, and alerts Gold to it. Morty decides to phone Chuck and ask if something is going on, yet, after the call is established, all he hears are inaudible murmurs, spoken through the shaken voice of the Cianwood Gymleader.

Outside, Falkner, Bugsy and Chuck are trembling with astonishment, even with an element of fear. In front of them, a giant four-legged creature towers over them, and glares at the Gym with angry eyes. Without warning, the golden ring on the Pokemon's abdomen radiates with an intense glow, and the being fires off an intense blast of energy straight at the building. Instantly, the ceiling and top half of the entire Ecruteak Gym are blown off, and Morty and Silver are thrown into the air by the impact. The two crash against the trees at the side of the Gym, and right before they pass out, Silver catches a glimpse of Arceus's looming shadow, wondering what it could be.

Standing among the smoke and dust which is stirred up by the destructive blast, Togetaro feels a sense of horror wash over it, and frantically looks around for its trainer. Fortunately for Gold, he has stood clear from the range of Arceus's attack, and is only temporarily blinded by the intense light from the explosion. Standing on what used to be the Gymleader's chamber, he looks up and sees the silhouette of the alpha Pokemon towering over the nearly demolished Ecruteak Gym. Almost immediately, the name 'Arceus' pops up in his mind, and his entire body starts to tremble from the pressure it exudes. Although he only knows the mirage Pokemon by name and has no idea how it looks, he is certain that the creature standing right before him is Arceus.

Retrieving Togetaro into its Pokeball, Gold states that despite the alpha Pokemon's mirage state, it is still not acceptable for it to attack without warning all of a sudden. He sends out Explotaro from its Pokeball, and orders a Blast Burn from the Typhlosion. However, Arceus quickly sets up a barrier in front of itself, and sends the erupting flames back towards Gold and Explotaro, blowing them off their feet.

Gold gasps in shock that even the ultimate attack is bounced back, and decides to send out Aitaro to test out its enhanced skills from its evolution. The Ambipom leaps towards Arceus to deliver a Double Hit, but attack barely does anything, and the alpha Pokemon sends Aitaro crashing back onto the ground with a simple flick of its hoof.

Gold grunts in frustration that Arceus is much stronger than he expects, and wonders if there is any strategy that he could use. He tries to ask Silver for his advice, but only notices at that moment that his companion is no longer by his side. He realizes that the boy must have been thrown off by the impact of Arceus's previous attack, and starts to panic for his safety.

In that instant, Arceus hops towards Gold and attempts to squash him with a stomp. Aitaro quickly pushes its trainer out of the way, and narrowly evades the attack itself. Gold starts running on the wooden bridge outside the Gymleader's chamber to head for the exit, but nearly loses his ground at one of the turning points. Luckily, Explotaro grabs him just in time, and gets the boy the ride on it instead. Gold turns around to steal a glance at Arceus, and remembers how much he wanted to see the mirage Pokemon in person after hearing about it from Lance's hologram message. He now regrets having such a thought at that time, and tells Explotaro to run as fast as it can.

As they dash through the Gym's now broken front door, Gold spots someone sprawled across the ground outside. He climbs off Explotaro to check on the unconscious person, and finds that it is the Azalea Gymleader Bugsy. He tries to get him onto the back of the Typhlosion as well, but Arceus manages to catch up with them at that moment, and traps Gold between its two front legs. Knowing that he has no way to escape now, Gold closes his eyes and gets ready to take a hit. Yet, to his surprise, the blow doesn't arrive, and he looks up to see that Arceus has turned its head towards the skies.

The deity-like being then exerts pressure downwards from its golden hooves to propel itself off the ground, and stirs up a cloud of smoke which causes Gold to choke as it flies off. Gold hollers that it is not alright for the alpha Pokemon go on a rampage, destroy everything, and without a word of apology or explanation, flee the scene just like that. He gets both Bugsy and himself onto the back of Explotaro, and makes up his mind to learn more about Arceus, especially the reason behind what he interprets to be sorrow in its eyes, a subtle thing that he noticed when the alpha Pokemon stared down at him.

Pulling down his goggles from his cap, the boy starts to give chase on Explotaro, and declares that he will go wherever Arceus is…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



451: VS Xatu


Volume 42