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In the southern city of Pacifidlog, the stormy seas are shaking up the floating houses, and causing them to sway back and forth vigorously. On the second floor of his flat, old man Ghem loses his balance and crashes against the wall. He struggles to look out of the window, but once again the Mirage Island is nowhere to be seen, and he begins to sulk.

Wally lets out small coughs as he walks up the stairs to join Ghem, and reminds the old man of his promise to leave he city with him if the Mirage Island is still out of sight that day. The boy remarks that everyone else in the floating city has evacuated following the warnings of the Pokémon Association, and the two of them are the only ones left behind.

Suddenly, another huge wave crashes into Pacifidlog, and the powerful force manages to throw Ghem out of the window. Ghem cries out in horror, and Wally quickly reaches for a Pokéball. Right before Ghem plunges into the sea, a red zigzag line grabs him by the waist, and the invisible creature reveals itself to be Kecleon. The camouflage Pokémon then shoots out its long tongue to latch onto the ceiling girders inside the flat, and slowly pulls Ghem back in through the window. Ghem thanks Wally for his help, but the boy feels his lungs tightening again and begins to cough. His Roselia climbs out from the pocket in his olive green pullover to soothe him, and his Cacturne, Kecleon, and Ruru, the Ralts that Ruby lent him, all stand close to make sure their trainer is alright.

Wally soon regains his breath, and urges Ghem to leave again. The old man agrees, and together with Wally and his Pokémon head down to the floating platforms. They climb into the two small and interconnected lifeboats docked there, and Wally orders Ruru to direct them towards sea route 123 with its psychic powers while Cacturne helps by oaring at the back.

Heavy rain starts to fall as they travel west, and Wally remarks that he sure wasn't expecting such kind of journeys when he set out from Petalburg. He recalls meeting Ghem at the Verdenturf Hospital, and admits that he never would have thought the beautiful and interesting hometown the old man told him about is a city floating on the sea. Ghem puts on a grin, and wonders if Wally is regretting all this, but Wally giggles, and says he's been having a great time. He takes a look at Cacturne, who was still a Cacnea and came to his rescue when he was lost in the desert; and Roselia, whom he befriends on route 117, and feels grateful for his new companions in addition to Ruru and Kecleon.

Just then, the horn on Ruru's head begins to glow, and Wally remembers that it happens when the little Pokémon catches the powerful emotions of someone nearby. He wonders if Ruby could be around, and apologizes to Ruru again for still not being able to track down its original trainer and return it to him. Looking up at the dark and stormy skies, Wally really wishes to know if Ruby is doing alright, and is curious if the boy is still taking part in contests amid the catastrophe striking Hoenn.

Suddenly, he notices a partially unzipped bagpack being knocked around in the turbulent waves ahead, and spots a Pokéball with a Treecko inside it. He is about to have Ruru save it with its psychic powers when he remembers that Ruru is controlling the stability of the lifeboats and should not be distracted. Another giant wave throws the backpack high up into the air, and Wally gets an idea. He quickly orders a needlearm from Cacturne, and has the scarecrow Pokémon pin the bagpack down onto the nearby rocks before it falls into the sea again.

Cacturne successfully pulls off the stunt without hurting Treecko, and Ruru hurriedly moves the lifeboats over while Kecleon retrieves the bagpack with its long tongue. Wally releases Treecko from the Pokéball, and notices that it is very weak from staying too long in the furious seas. He immediately orders Roselia to heal it with aromatherapy, and once Treecko's breathing becomes steady, has Roselia put it to sleep with grasswhistle.

Covering Treecko's body with a towel, Wally hears the sound of applause from above, and looks up to see the shadow of a man standing on a flying Pokémon. The man compliments on the good teamwork of Wally's Pokémon, but is curious of what made Wally choose the powerful needlearm from Cacturne to save Treecko. He comments that the attack is highly dangerous with the potential of piercing through the Pokéball inside the bagpack as well, and wonders why Wally was willing to take the risk.

Wally wants to know who the man is, and suddenly notices Ruru's horn glowing with an intense light, which only happens when it is someone that Ruru knows. The man gets impatient and demands an answer from Wally. With a shaky tone, the boy blurts out that he made the choice because he trusted his Cacnturne, and that a physically weak trainer like he is has nothing to count on but the trust he has in his Pokémon.

The man puts on a content smile, and hops onto the lifeboat with his flying Pokémon, stating that he is starting to see Wally in a new light. Wally gasps in surprise when he realizes it is Norman and his Flygon, and the Petalburg gymleader remarks that it has been long since they met. Ruru hops towards Norman happily, and Norman quickly recognizes it as Ruby's Ralts. Picking it up into his arms, he says he actually wondered where it was since he didn't see it in Ruby's team last time, but then puts on a solemn look, and murmurs that it is all fate.

Old man Ghem greets Norman and wonders what took him so long, and Wally is surprised that the two knew each other. Norman admits that he finally sees the hidden strength in Wally that Ghem has mentioned to him, and Wally wonders what they are talking about. Not bothering to give an explanation, Norman says there is no time to waste, and they should head over to their training ground as soon as possible.

Wally wishes to know what Norman means, and Norman grins that he is fulfilling his promise to train and teach him about Pokémon, the promise that he didn't keep back in Petalburg before…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




240: VS. Treecko!


Volume 20