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In the right tunnel of the Granite Cave, Sapphire is working hard to train her Chaka and Ronono. Chaka unleashes a flamethrower on a swarm of Zubats and Golbats, while Ronono headbutts a pack of Geodudes and Gravellers. Sapphire recalls the somewhat arrogant tone of Brawly when he teaches her about the brutal and subtle forces, and knows that the gymleader must be a very skilled trainer to reveal his own secrets about battling. She looks at Mr. Stone's letter to Steven, and feels bad about not dealing with it before doing the gym challenge. Yet Brawly has said his only available time is from that night to the next morning, and she has no other choice but to challenge him first. Just then, she remembers how Roxanne manipulated the direction of battle last time, and realizes Brawly must have something up his sleeve as well to limit her time of challenge.

The sun has begun to set in Hoenn. Sapphire rushes out from the Granite Cave after her intense training, and heads straight towards the Dewford Gym. She finds Brawly already waiting for her, and hurries down to the battle field. Brawly announces that each trainer could use up to two Pokémon, and will be considered defeated if either one of the Pokémon is fainted. He proceeds to release his Machop and commands it to lunge forward. Sapphire releases her Chaka, which has evolved into a Combusken, and orders a peck. Chaka dodges Machop's attacks with an amazing speed, and swiftly pins it down with a peck. Brawly compliments on Chaka's agility, and Sapphire remarks that she has trained hard to prepare for the challenge. She switches out her Ronono, which has also evolved into a Lairon, and tells it to charge towards Machop. Brawly takes a look at Makuhita in its pokeball, and sees that it is pumping with energy. He quickly switches out Machop and orders Makuhita forward instead.

Ronono does a metal claw, iron tail combo, but Makuhita eases out of the way and Ronono crashes to the ground. Brawly laughs and tells Makuhita to attack with the grace while it is surfing. Makuhita dances across the field like it is riding a wave, and rams its fist hard on Ronono. Sapphire quickly withdraws Ronono, and Brawly grins that Sapphire could have lost if she didn't retrieve the Lairon in time. He remarks that speed and power cannot counteract subtle forces, and that even intense training sessions wouldn't help much. Sapphire decides to change strategies and orders a flamthrower from Chaka, but Makuhita keeps its grin while taking the attack, and Brawly laughs that the thick fat characteristic of Makuhita renders fire attacks ineffective.

Chaka charges forward with a scratch, but Makuhita once again eases out of the way and Chaka rams into the wall instead. Its claws get stuck in the concrete, and Sapphire remarks that Makuhita truly is skilled at using subtle forces. She then takes out a vine rope and says she knows there is more to subtle forces than Brawly told her, and the Dewford gymleader wonders what she's talking about. Sapphire tosses the rope to a pipe near the ceiling but it wouldn't reach. She then swirls it in circles before tossing and it snaps on the pipe immediately. She explains that while a single throw is weak, a twirling motion slowly adds up power to the rope and unleashes the pent up force all at once during the throw. She states that the same goes for Pokémon who use subtle forces. By converting the opponent's attacks into their own power bit by bit, Pokémon using subtle forces can stockpile a great amount of energy in their bodies.

Brawly applauses Sapphire's insight, and projects Makuhita's data on a TV screen. He remarks that what Sapphire said about stockpiling energy is true, and that subtle forces are especially useful on Makuhita because they can store energy in their bodies for evolving. Makuhita begins to glow and quickly evolves into a Hariyama as it charges forward...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




195: VS. Makuhita!


Volume 16


Sapphire starts her Gym Battle in the Dewford Gym
Chaka has evolved into Combusken
Ronono has evolved into Lairon
During the battle...Brawly's Makuhita evolves into Hariyama