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At the Dewford Gym, Hariyama charges towards Chaka, and Sapphire quickly orders the young fowl Pokémon to deliver its final attack. Brawly laughs that Combusken wouldn't be able to retaliate with its claws stuck in the wall, and Sapphire prays that her strategy will work. Chaka starts to bend its legs up as Hariyama approaches with its big hands. The slap and the kick collide, and everything freezes for a second. Brawly grins that Hariyama has finished the battle with a counter, but Sapphire shoots back a smirk, and the fighting Pokémon suddenly drops to the ground.

Brawly immediately notices two wounds on Hariyama, and Sapphire slowly helps Chaka pull its claws out from the wall. She explains that while Hariyama's subtle forces deflected Chaka's first strike, it wasn't prepared for a consecutive second strike. Brawly realizes the Combusken has countered Hariyama's counter with a double kick, and Sapphire reveals that she was actually waiting for Makuhita to evolve and deliver that final attack. Brawly wonders how Sapphire predicted his Pokémon would evolve, and the girl grins that she knew the gymleader was planning something when he limited her challenge time to that night. Brawly chuckles and compliments on Sapphire's sensitivity. He remarks that while most trainers couldn't wait to see their Pokémon evolve, he likes to save those moments and let them happen during battles instead.

Brawly takes out a Knuckle Badge and pins it on Sapphire's backpack, stating that he seldom comes across amazing trainers like her. Just then, an enormous rumble is heard from the direction of the Granite Cave, and Sapphire quickly rushes out of the gym after remembering that Ruby is currently there. Brawly stops Sapphire and says the Granite Cave is a dangerous place to visit. He remarks that ferocious Pokémon inhabit the area, and that even residents of Dewford refrain from entering the cave. Sapphire explains that someone she knows is in there, and Brawly asks if the person is her friend. Sapphire immediately denies treating such people as friends, but the gymleader grins and says the spirit of friendship can overcome all obstacles. Brawly reveals that he has a companion living far away who unlike himself, is an expert of brutal forces in battles. He then decides to depart on his training journey, and wishes Sapphire good luck before turning around to leave.

Sapphire starts making her way through some crumbled rocks near the Granite Cave, and soon spots Ruby walking around with his Pokémon. Ruby notices Sapphire as well and asks with a smirk if she's looking for weeds and rocks to feed herself. Sapphire angrily shoots back that she just came over to make sure Ruby is properly buried under huge boulders after seeing the collapse of the cave's cliff. Ruby grins that luck is always with him, and brags about being saved by a smart young man called Steven. Sapphire jumps with a start after hearing the name, and brutally grabs Ruby's collar to question him Steven's whereabouts. Ruby says the young man flew off towards the east, and Sapphire grits her teeth with frustration while holding the letter of Mr. Stone.

Sapphire decides to give chase, and roughly pulls Ruby along to guide the way. She throws herself and the boy off a cliff onto Wailulu, and orders the giant Wailord to head east...

Countdown to our heroes' rival showdown: 69 days!

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




197: VS. Hariyama!


Volume 16


Sapphire gets a Knuckle Badge
Sapphire meets up with Ruby and go East to look for Steven