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Letting out a loud roar, Brawly connects his strong will with Hariyama, and the fighting Pokémon delivers one last powerful armthrust to send the two Slugma’s blasting through the walls of the museum together with the flames they created, while Hank watches the scene in disbelief.

The loud bang draws Roxanne’s attention, who is fighting at the Cover Lily Motel, and the Rustboro gymleader quickly looks out of the window to see flames and crumbled cement surging out into the city streets from the Lilycove Museum. From the intensity of the blow, she rationalizes that it must be Brawly who unleashed it, and instantly gets excited at their first victory.

But then, she hears Courtney warning her to focus on the opponent she is facing, and quickly spins around to see the Team Magma admin sending forward her Ninetales to attack. Reaching into her pocket for another greatball, she calls out the fossil Pokémon Cradily, and orders it to constrict its foe with its many tentacles. Courtney smirks that Roxanne sure reacts fast, and Roxanne barks that she knows Courtney is after her Nosepass because Groudon is currently locked down by its block, and the only way to free the land titan is to faint the compass Pokémon.

Courtney laughs that Roxanne seems smarter than she appears, but says holding back her Ninetales merely by a Cradily is hardly the way to beat her. Wearing an evil grin, the nine-tailed fox flames itself with burning fire, and soon begins to deplete the strength of Cradily. As the barnacle Pokémon slowly weakens and loosens its grip, it starts to fall back and Courtney smirks with arrogance. However, to her surprise, Cradily all of a sudden plants its faltering body firm on the ground again, and whips Ninetale off with its tentacles.

Courtney gasps in disbelief that her opponent has miraculously recovered its strength, and it is Roxanne’s turn to grin. The Rustboro gymleader remarks that fortunately, the floor of the motel is made of layers of mattresses and not concrete or marble, otherwise her tactic wouldn’t have worked. Courtney demands to know what she is talking about, and orders her Ninetales to blast Cradily’s standing ground with flames. Burning away the bamboo mattresses, she sees roots coming out from the base of Cradily’s body reaching deep into the soil underneath, and realizes that it has used ingrain to constantly replenish its energy.

Roxanne states that she is simply turning an unfavourable condition to her advantage by using strategies and knowledge, and brags that it is her battling style. Just then, a rumble comes from behind the sliding doors on their side, and Roxanne is taken by surprise that someone is still in the motel. Before she can act, Courtney sends out a liquid from her wrist band which instantly corrodes the door, and reveals three men who have yet to evacuate from the city. A man with glasses trembles with fear as he claims to be the programmer who came to Hoenn for vacation, while a fat man, the graphic artist, blames himself for taking a nap at the wrong time, and the one with spiky hair, the game designer, calls Hoenn the land of nightmares for being in such a havoc.

Roxanne hurriedly leaps to her feet and attempts to save them, but Courtney is a split second quicker than her, and aims her wrist band at the three men. She smirks that the corrosive liquid she fired off earlier was a mixture of a Weepinbell’s acid and the juices from the Qualot and Hondew berries, and threatens to kill the men if Roxanne makes another move. Left with no choice, Roxanne stands still and watches helplessly as Ninetales delivers a powerful blow to knocks out Nosepass. With the effect of block nullified, Groudon begins its advance again outside, and resumes sabotaging the land.

While Groudon and Kyogre continue to cast their weather effects across the entire Hoenn region, a mighty showdown is about to happen at the Seafloor Cavern. Holding the legendary Red and Blue Orbs in their hands, Maxie and Archie grin with devilish yet disoriented expressions on their faces and swear to kill any intruders. Ruby and Sapphire stand close to their Pokémon, and wear determined looks as they prepare to fight. Another drop of water drips down from the cave’s ceiling onto a small puddle, and the four instantly call their Pokémon forward.

While Zuzu takes on Maxie’s Camerupt, and Chaka struggles to bring down Archie’s Walrein, the rest of Ruby and Sapphire’s party charge towards the two team leaders, but are swiftly knocked back by the powers of the jewels. Ruby orders Nana to raise its attack by howl, and Sapphire commands a facade from Phadodo. All the evil deeds Team Magma and Team Aqua have committed in the past then flash across the minds of young trainers, and the two vow to retrieve the orbs by all means.

As the battle continues, Sapphire notices that something seems weird about Archie and Maxie, and Ruby agrees that while the two men are fighting alongside each other, they are essentially oblivious to each other’s existence, and appear to be occupied in their own worlds. He quickly comes up with a strategy, and wants Sapphire to act as his support to distract their opponents. The girl wonders what he is talking about, and Ruby reminds her of the time on the abandoned ship, and says teamwork is critical in 2 on 2 combats.

Understanding their plan, Sapphire orders Chaka forward, and has it circle around Camerupt and Walrein rapidly with its agile footwork. With their attention focused on the Blaziken, Zuzu unleashes a muddy water and knocks both Pokémon back simultaneously. Ruby and Sapphire rejoice over their success as Camerupt and Walrein struggle to free themselves from the sticky mud, but Archie and Maxie get ticked off, and quickly command attacks that are capable of hitting from a distance. Creating a swirl of cold air, Walrein throws Tororo, Phadodo and Ronono back with Sheer Cold, while Camerupt blasts Nana, Coco and Popo with overheat.

Ruby and Sapphire hurry over to tend to their Pokémon, and Archie and Maxie once again call them fools for interfering in their teams’ work. The two leaders smirk that by coming to challenge them at the Seafloor Cavern, the two young trainers are choosing a road of no return, but Ruby grins that he has already planned for the possibility of never returning when he decided to take up the mission.

The boy then orders Popo to tackle and crush the ice stalactites formed by Walrein’s Sheer Cold earlier, and shards of ice begin falling onto Archie and Maxie. Sapphire realizes that the little Castform is technically creating a hail, and watches in amazement as it transforms into its snow-cloud form.

Without a single sign of hesitation, Ruby orders a weatherball, and Popo casts the powerful attack directly onto the two team leaders, causing even Sapphire to gap her mouth wide in shock at Ruby’s brutality. Ruby gives her a wink, and grins that his only concern is to achieve their goal. As the smoke slowly clears, he walks over to pick the orbs up from the hands of the two battered men. However, the jewels seem glued onto their holders permanently, and suddenly start to glow with a mysteriously light.

On the Pokémon Association giant airship Ba.Goon, the Mt. Pyre old couples’ Chimechos are feeling unsettled, and the psychic old couple gasp in horror as they get the vision that the evil men who stole the Red and Blue Orbs are becoming one with the two ancient titans.

Back at the Seafloor Cavern, Ruby and Sapphire watch with disbelief as the Red Orb slowly dissolves into the palm of Maxie while the Blue Orb melts into that of Archie. Groudon and Kyogre’s symbols materialize on the back of the team leaders’ hands, and the two men begin to grin with pointed teeth as their minds start to get taken over by the land and sea titans...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




248: VS. Kyogre & Groudon X!


Volume 20