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Evening has arrived in Unova. In his shared dormitory room with Hugh at the Aspertia Trainer's School, Leo sits on his bed with his Deino, and wonders how he should ask his question. Across the room, Hugh is sprawled sideways on his bed, and absent-mindedly fiddles with the memory card that dropped out from the locket he picked up earlier. Leo finally decides to speak, and wants to know if Hugh has a poor relationship with his younger sister. Hugh frowns and wonders what made him ask, and Leo recalls how Hugh became furious when the girl mentioned his sister that afternoon. Coupled with the fact that Hugh's home is actually in Aspertia but he still chooses to stay in the dormitory, it seems that there must be something wrong between Hugh and his folks.

Hugh scoffs that there is absolutely nothing wrong, and asks where Lack-two is instead. Leo replies that he is back to his own room, and mentions how Lack-two likes to spend evenings on his own. The fact is, Lack-two has his own single room, and Hugh thinks it must be nice. Leo giggles and wonders if Hugh implies that he is pesky and wishes to kick him out, but Hugh snickers that he is not being jealous of Lack-two and tells Leo not to put words into his mouth.

Hugh then turns his attention to the memory card, and wonders to whom it belongs. He reckons that the girl who lost it must be distressed, and decides to pop it into his laptop to see if he could figure out who the owner is. He randomly accesses a folder to open a document, but bolts with shock as soon as he sees a list of trainer names tagged with Pokemon species and dates, titled 'Liberation List'. On the first row, 'Hugh and sister' is written next to 'Purrloin', which is also marked with a date that Hugh would never forget, a date on which a life changing event took place…

The time goes back to five years ago…

Inside a two-storey building, young Hugh exclaims at the three Pokeballs presented to him by his grandfather, which include a Pidove, a Tynamo and a Purrloin, and cannot believe that they are all meant for him. His grandfather, an Artist, grins and hopes that the boy will enjoy their companion.

Hugh decides to pick one of them as a gift to his younger sister's birthday the next day, and thinks she will like the Purrloin since her favourite color is purple. He proceeds to send out the Pokemon from its Pokeball, just as his grandfather warns him to be particularly careful about the Purrloin. However, it is already too late, and the old man hears a scream behind him. He turns around to see Purrloin scratching at Hugh's face, and even snatching his bagpack away. He points out that Purrloin loves to steal people's items for fun, and wonders if Hugh really wants it. Hugh, enraged by the purple kitten's behavior, prepares to change his mind about it, but then sees the Pokemon toying with his bagpack in a playful manner. He eventually concedes that it is really cute, and takes his bagpack back, which causes his grandfather to laugh.

However, Purrloin then jumps on Hugh's head and uses it as a stepping stone to leap outside the window, and Hugh angrily chases after it. He spots it entering a nearby building, and recognizes it as the Trainer's School, which is also the Aspertia Gym. He hopes that the Gymleader will be not crossed at their intrusion, and voices out his apology as he pushes its front door open to get inside.

To his surprise, the room is completely empty apart from Purrloin, and his grandfather, who has come after him, explains that the Gym is currently vacant. Hugh is shocked to hear that, and his grandfather explains that their city is a relatively far off place that not many people visit, which is why they really need a new Gymleader to liven things up. In fact, he hopes that it will be something young and energetic. With that, the old man walks over to retrieve Purrloin, and hands it back to Hugh, hoping that he will raise it well.

The next day, a birthday party is thrown for Hugh's little sister at their house. The guests join their voices to sing a birthday song, and the girl thanks everyone for their blessings as she blows out the candles on the cake. The Announcer her family has hired for her states that it is time for presents, and everyone proceeds to get their gifts ready. The girl, however, is concerned that her brother still hasn't arrived, and looks around the room, wondering where he is.

Hiding behind a wall, Hugh holds Purrloin in his arms, and sighs that he has failed to get it back into its Pokeball after all, which is why he could only strap a ribbon around its body. He worries whether the Pokemon would get along with his sister, and in that instant, the girl spots him and calls out for him. Hugh bolts in astonishment, and knows that he cannot hide anymore. He braces himself to wish his sister a happy birthday, and holds out Purrloin to her. The girl realizes that it is her gift, and breaks into a big smile. Then, to Hugh's surprise, the Purrloin takes an instant liking to his sister, and leaps into her arms to cuddle her. The girl thanks her brother for the wonderful present, and Hugh is relieved that everything turned out fine at the end.

Meanwhile, in a castle where sunlight doesn't reach, a man named Ghetsis assembles six other Sages in front of him, and states that liberating all Pokemon from humans will be the future they create for Unova. The Sages echo Ghetsis's belief one by one, and agree that the human desire is endless, and it is not alright to turn Pokemon into objects in order to fulfill this desire. One Sage sighs that Pokemon are not aware of this evil aspect of humans, and have been ripped of their freedom to live as nothing but tools. Ghetsis agrees that everyone should be made aware of this, and in order for this grand statement to reach out to all, Team Plasma needs a King who will lead them and establish their presence in the region.

One Sage understands his point, but wonders where they will find such a King. Ghetsis displays a video on screen which is a live recording of a playroom, featuring a young teenager with long green hair. The boy sits on a skating ramp and silently plays with a cube in his hand, and Ghetsis states that his name is N, who is a youngster that could understand the hearts of Pokemon. He points to the two young ladies accompanying him, one in long pink flowing hair and another with blonde bundled hair, and says they are Anthea and Concordia, the goddesses of love and peace who have brought him up to be an innocent soul.

Ghetsis remarks that he boy will be fit to be King in three years' time, and when that time arrives, Team Plasma will rise to liberate Pokemon from humans and start a brighter page in the world's history. For that to happen, they must make thorough preparation, and build up a powerful force as their backup.

Ghetsis gestures to a Sage with dark blue robe, named Bronius, and bestows upon him the task to spread the ideas and beliefs of Team Plasma to the public. He then turns to Gorm, one in dark olive robe, and says their liberation cannot be fulfilled without the help of a legendary dragon, which is why he has to collect all the information and dragon-related materials in Unova. He walks up to Ryoku next, a Sage in dark grey robe, and gives him the task to find a being that is said to resemble the sun somewhere in the desert of Unova's central region, and protect it from humans. For Giallo, a Sage in deep red robe, Ghetsis wants him to search for the three Pokemon of wind, thunder and land, and recruit them as Team Plasma's battling forces. For Rood, a Sage in brown robe, Ghetsis states that for the sake of Pokemon, they cannot afford to lose their battle, which is why he should seek out the mirage Pokemon who brings about victory. Finally, he turns to Zinzolin, a Sage in purple robe, but before he could give his orders, the Sage protests that he has already looked up on some information on the dragons, and doesn't understand why Gorm gets the task.

Ghetsis simply grins that he will be the one to make the decisions, and Zinzolin knows that he is in no position to challenge the man's authority. The six Sages then excuse themselves, and Ghetsis remarks that they still have plenty of time, and thus wants everyone to plan carefully for their tasks, so that the liberation of Pokemon can be fulfilled successfully and smoothly. Three identical-looking young men wearing white wigs and different-coloured masks kneel before Ghetsis, and the man, after acknowledging their ghostly presence, passes on their assigned missions to them as well.

Back at Hugh's house, Hugh tells his sister that she has to keep patting Purrloin's head to make it like her, but when he tries to show her how, Purrloin blocks off his hand with a cocky grin. Hugh gets ticked off immediately, and his sister giggles that she is already doing it as he said. She gently fondles the fur on Purrloin's head, and the purple kitten puts on a content look as it snuggles into her arms. Hugh gasps that it has really developed a liking to her, and confesses that he was actually worried when he got it from their grandfather. He believes that it should be alright now, and his sister wonders what he is talking about. Hugh grins that he means Purrloin is ready for Pokemon battling, and decides to give it some practice right away. His sister states that she is fine with just hanging out with Purrloin, but Hugh tells her not to be shy and says battling is what Pokemon do. He then drags the girl by the arm, and tells her to retrieve Purrloin into its Pokeball as he takes her out of the house.

A while later, the two arrive at the lookout platform to the north, and find themselves trembling from the cold wind. Hugh takes a big sneeze, and believes that the place is too wide and open. He decides to change their location to Route 19, and dashes off in high spirits as his sister struggles to follow. Soon, they make it the route which is warmer from the surrounding foliage, and Hugh sends out his Trapinch while his sister calls out Purrloin. The two Pokemon begin to wrestle at each other, and in that instant, a voice comments in disbelief that young children are also having Pokemon battles. Another voice states in frustration that they don't even know Pokemon is about, and Hugh turn around to see a man and woman, both dressed in medieval-knight-like uniforms, commanding a Deino and a female Frillish.

The man notes that Hugh owns a rare Trapinch, and calls him really naughty. Hugh demands to know that the two want, and the woman states that what they are doing is causing a lot of suffering to their Pokemon, which is why they have come to liberate them for their sake. Hugh's sister curls up behind him in terror, and Hugh retorts that both Trapinch and Purrloin are very much attached to them and are in no way suffering. The woman sighs that he still doesn't get it, and he man agrees that they have no choice but to take action.

Hugh tells his sister to run immediately, but the two adults command their Deino and Frillish forward to block their way. Hugh gets infuriated, and orders both Trapinch and Purrloin to attack. Purrloin delivers a Scratch to knock back Frillish, and also strikes at the woman, snatching something away from her. Hugh sees that it is some kind of membership card, and reads that they are from Team Plasma.

The two Plasma Grunts are annoyed that the boy is giving them so much trouble, and tell Deino and Frillish not to hold back. Frillish entangles Purrloin with its tentacles, and Deino chomps on the purple kitten's left foot, hoisting it up into the air before slamming it down against the ground. Hugh's sister watches the scene with horror and tears in her eyes, and lets out a cry as she tries to retrieve Purrloin. However, the female Grunt cuts in to snatch the Pokeball away just as Purrloin returns inside, and grins that Team Plasma will liberate the Purrloin for her.

Hugh demands her to return the Purrloin to his sister, and angrily charges towards her. However, Deino rams its head hard into the boy's belly, and knocks the air out of his lungs. He instantly tumbles onto the ground, and his sister lets out a deafening scream at his fall. The two Plasma Grunts rejoice that they have liberated their first Pokemon, and quickly depart, eager to report their success to the Seven Sages.

Meanwhile, Hugh lies motionless on the floor, and his sister couldn't stop crying as she tries to shake him awake. Hugh wears a blank look on his face, and blames himself for not listening to his sister's wish to simply be with Purrloin. He thinks to himself that if he hadn't insisted on taking her out for a Pokemon battle, Purrloin would not have been taken away. Yet, on a deeper thought, he corrects himself, and believes that if he had been stronger, he would not have lost to the enemy and Purrloin would not have been taken away.

As the strength slowly returns to his body, Hugh climbs back onto his knees, and grips the floor with a determined look on his face. He hollers that he will never forget what happened there today, and shall never forgive the people who did this to him and his sister. He declares that his name is Hugh, Hugh of Aspertia City, and wants Team Plasma to remember that well…

And so, three years later, Team Plasma eventually put to action their plan to liberate Pokemon, and even threatened the existence of the Pokemon League…

Hugh's hand trembles with rage and disbelief as he gazes at the list on his computer screen. As memories flood back, he has little doubt that what he has accessed is the list of Pokemon Team Plasma snatched from trainers under the name of 'liberation'. Leo sees the drastic change of expression on Hugh's face and gets worried. He wonders if something is wrong and tries to comfort Hugh, but is barked at and told off by the purple-haired boy. Hugh then composes himself again, and mutters that he is fine.

However, the truth is, he is far from fine. He now knows that Team Plasma's Pokemon liberation began with his sister's Purrloin 5 years ago, and information from this memory card has gapped the time lapse and fully reminded him of everything that happened that day. It is clear that the owner of this memory card is a Team Plasma member, which implies that one of the girls in class is. Hugh tightens his fist in anger, and vows to uncover the identity of his girl.

Meanwhile, the dark scientist Colress trots along merrily, and wants to know how the new Team Plasma uniform looks. A male and female Grunt walk up to show him the new black-coloured attire paired with face masks that they are wearing, and Colress marvels that it is both sharp and sturdy at the same time. He remarks that it is a great design that not only embodies ideals but allows smooth physical movement and emanates stoicism.

Colress mentions about his commanding of Genesect in battle the day before, and recalls having experimented with the Colress Machine, which has so far showed promising results. The only thing was, since the opponents were International Police Officers, he ended up grandly unveiling their secret actions. Fortunately, the timing is about right and their frigate has already been completed. Colress wants to know what his good comrade thinks, and Ghetsis, who is cloaked in shadows and hiding from the light, voices out his approval. Colress thanks him and announces that it is time for Neo Team Plasma to declare war on Unova. However, before that, someone should tell Zinzolin to come back and show his face…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

531: VS Frillish

Volume 52