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The incredible battle between the two rivals continues, with Ash having three Pokémon left, while Paul only has two. As Gliscor charges towards Drapion, ready to attack with X-Scissor, Drapion manages to knock it down on the ground using Pin Missile. Paul quickly orders Drapion to use Cross Poison, however Ash tells Gliscor to use Fire Fang. Gliscor swiftly dodges the Cross Poison attack, delivering a powerful Fire Fang attack, which after engulfing Drapion in flames, results in it being unable to continue. As everyone cheers for Ash and Gliscor, the Ground and Flying Type Pokémon seems pretty tired, however Dawn seems to be determined that Ash will win. Before Ash can recall Gliscor, Paul sends out his last Pokémon, Electrivire.

Despite being tired, Gliscor wants to continue. Paul tells Electrivire to use Thunder on the field, so the Electric Type Pokémon inserts its two tails in the ground and sends a jolt of electricity underground. This results in a number of ground pieces being projected up in the sky, and then having descended, hitting Gliscor. Barry comments that this move was very similar to Infernape using Flare Blitz earlier. Ash tells Gliscor to use Giga Impact, however Electrivire manages to block it with its hands, and after an explosion Gliscor is found trapped, with Electrivire's tails preventing it from moving. Despite Ash desperately telling it to free itself, Gliscor appears to be completely immobilised. Moreover, using Brick Break, Electrivire knocks Gliscor out, leaving Ash with just two Pokémon.

Ash chooses Pikachu to battle Electrivire next. Nonetheless, Brock mentions that any Electric Type moves Pikachu uses against Electrivire will activate its ability, Motor Drive, which will significantly boost its speed. Electrivire attempts another Thunder attack on the field, however this time Pikachu is able to dodge the ground pieces whilst using Quick Attack and strike a powerful hit. However Electrivire manages to grab Pikachu with its tails in mid-air, too. Ash orders Pikachu to use Iron Tail, but before it can do so, Electrivire knocks it on the ground. In the meantime however, Pikachu manages to free itself. Paul orders Electrivire to use Brick Break, while Ash tells Pikachu to use Quick Attack. The two Pokémon collide with each other. Next, Ash tells Pikachu to use Volt Tackle, which surprises both Barry and Reggie, who is watching the battle on his TV. Not only does Pikachu suffer recoil from the Volt Tackle, but with Electrivire's ability activated, Paul commands the speedy Electrivire to attack using ThunderPunch. At the last minute, Ash tells Pikachu to counter it with Iron Tail. The two moves seem to be equally strong, however Paul informs Ash that he remembers of a similar situation during their first battle, when Elekid and Pikachu battled. He then orders Electrivire to use Brick Break, which it uses with its left hand, sending Pikachu flying. Pikachu faints and is unable to continue, leaving each trainer with one last Pokémon. As Dawn, Brock, Barry and Team Rocket cheer for Ash and Infernape, the only one of Ash's Pokemon able to continue, Ash congratulates Pikachu for its hard work.

Ash announces to Paul that he is the one who will win, and sends out Infernape. Paul commands Electrivire to use ThunderPunch, which Infernape counters with Mach Punch, creating an explosion. Ash orders Infernape to use Flamethrower; however Electrivire first blocks it using Protect and subsequently attacks with Thunder. Ash tells Infernape to use Dig, which results in avoiding the Thunder. Infernape then delivers a powerful hit to Electrivire from underground, knocking the Electric Type Pokémon back. However, Electrivire still seems to be having enough energy, as Infernape takes damage from being poisoned earlier. Infernape uses Flamethrower next, which Electrivire blocks using Brick Break. The battle rages on, with both Pokémon landing various successful hits, using ThunderPunch and Mach Punch. Infernape attempts another Flamethrower, only for it to be blocked yet again by Protect.

As Infernape attempts another Mach Punch, Electrivire dodges it, grabbing Infernape's right hand, and directly delivering a Thunder. The prolonged Thunder attack leaves Infernape in a terrible state, and Electrivire drops the Fire Type Pokémon on the ground. As the battle judge is about to declare Infernape unable to battle, Electrivire seems to be urging Infernape to get up, so that they can continue their battle. Suddenly, Infernape opens its eyes wide open, stands up, and having been encouraged by Ash to show Paul its strength, has its ability, Blaze, activated. A massive amount of fire energy is shot up in the sky, as Team Rocket continues to cheer for Infernape. Reggie realises that this was Ash's wish; for Blaze to be activated. Ash orders Infernape to use Flamethrower, with Paul telling Electrivire to be careful as Infernape has powered up. Electrivire tries to counter Flamethrower with Thunder; however it is no match for Infernape, which delivers a powerful Mach Punch to it. The two trainers order their Pokémon to finish things up with a last move, with Electrivire using ThunderPunch and Infernape Flare Blitz. The two Pokémon collide, creating a tornado of fire and electric energy, which engulfs and damages both. As the smoke clears, Infernape and Electrivire are standing opposite each other, both seemingly ready to continue. After a few silent moments, Electrivire drops to the ground, fainting, and earning Ash's victory over Paul.

Everyone appears to be thrilled and exhilarated that Ash has won, as Ash congratulates Infernape for a job well done. Even Paul thanks Electrivire for its good battle. Paul then approaches Ash, telling Infernape that it has become strong, as it almost collapses from exhaustion. Meanwhile, Ash's next opponent in the semi-finals is revealed to be Tobias, the Darkrai trainer. At the same time, Reggie informs the rest of Paul's Pokémon that their trainer has lost his battle, but that battle has made him stronger. Afterwards, Dawn, Brock and Barry appear to be looking for Ash, as the Champion Cynthia, appears before them. Cynthia explains that despite the fact that Paul lost, bonds have formed between the two rivals, who are now friends.

Ash is then seen to be running after Paul. Once he finds him, Paul tells him that Infernape has grown powerful. He then says that he is heading to the Battle Frontier, hopefully to challenge Brandon. The two wish good luck to each other, with Ash telling Paul that they will battle again in the future. Now Ash sets his eyes on his next battle; against the very powerful and intimidating Darkrai, and its trainer, Tobias…

Thanks to Slowking for writing this for us

656: Battling a Thaw in Relations

656: Rival Battle Conclusion! Ash VS Paul!



Pikachu Torterra Infernape Staraptor Buizel Gliscor
Ursaring Elekid Ninjask Aggron Torterra Gastrodon Honchkrow Drapion Weavile Electivire Froslass
Swalot Staraptor

Ash defeats Paul in the Sinnoh League semi-final
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