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Charging forward together with Emerald on Raikou, the Salon Maiden Anabel states her title, and challenges Guile to a fight as the supervisor of all Frontier Brains. Nearby, Todd watches everything in awe with Sudowoodo and Dusclops, and gasps that Anabel is finally making her move as well.

Without another word, Anabel orders a Thundershock, and a delicate bolt of electricity instantly shoots out from Raikou's spiked tail to surround the armoured man. Anabel remarks that while Thundershock is relatively weak among all electric attacks, moves with low power intensities as such allow better control and accuracy.

Gradually, the electric current around Guile forms itself into a spiral of circles, and sends off sparks every time Guile's armour makes contact with it. Anabel explains that she is essentially creating an electric barrier to imprison their foe, and says it will give them an advantage in the battle. With that, the purple manes on Raikou's back start to extend and span out towards the ceiling of the cave, and Todd exclaims that a giant thundercloud is taking form.

Anabel puts on a grin, and says there are many occasions where weather-dependent moves cannot be pulled off because of the unsuitable environmental conditions. The attack thunder is a good example since it must be initiated by thunderclouds in the open skies. However, the case is different with Raikou, for it carries around its own thunderclouds, and can elicit the move even in indoor areas.

Without warning, a powerful bolt of electricity crashes down from Raikou's thunderclouds and strikes on the ground just in front of Guile. Guile narrowly evades the hit, and is astonished at the power intensity of the attack. He wonders what kind of Pokémon Anabel's electric beast is, and Anabel smirks that she is surprised Guile doesn't recognize the legendary thunder Pokémon Raikou, which she encountered in Johto.

Crouching behind some giant boulders for shelter, Todd is amazed at Anabel's overwhelming upper hand over the armoured man, and couldn't understand how she can be so skillful. A confident and cocky look appears on Anabel's face, and she states that there are no reasons behind being powerful. Powerful trainers earn their names simply because they are powerful and possess the important virtue people call the ability.

With Guile immobilized within Raikou's electric barrier, Anabel motions Emerald to do his part. The boy merrily hops off Raikou, and quickly sends out Chanpeon and Cupeon to go after Jirachi. Todd recognizes the two as the same Hitmonchan and Cubone Emerald used in his Battle Pyramid challenge, and Emerald states that they are the original party members of a capture specialist, making them highly trained Pokémon in carrying out capture tasks.

Emerald wants Jirachi trapped but not hurt, and Chanpeon begins by delivering a series of Mach Punch from every direction. The punches barely touch Jirachi, but manage to confuse and corner it against a rocky wall. Cupeon then holds up a chain of Thickbones, and Todd sees that the bones have been linked together to form a nunchuck. With a swift spin, Cupeon tosses the device towards the unsuspecting Jirachi to coil around its tiny body, and successfully immobilizes it in midair.

Todd cheers that Emerald has done it, and grins that Jirachi is indeed trapped without getting hurt. Emerald then stomps on his right platform shoe to access the various Pokeballs stored inside, and says while he initially chose the Timer Ball since he expected a battle against a phantom Pokémon to be long and tedious, it appears that any kind of ball would do the trick now. Wanting to make using Jirachi easier after its capture, Emerald decides to use the Luxury Ball this time, which raises a captured Pokémon's loyalty.

Emerald positions the Luxury Ball on the ground before kicking it out like he did with the Timer Ball before, and aims his target at Jirachi's center of life force, which according to Crystal, is the crescent line on its abdomen. Delivering his best kick, the ball hits the target and Jirachi begins getting sucked in while everyone watches on with keen eyes.

Meanwhile, at the entrance of the Battle Arena, the gathered reporters are starting to get impatient from all the waiting Scott makes his apologies while maintaining his cheerful attitude, and assures them that the Frontier Brains and the challenger will soon return. He recalls Greta coming to him personally after the boy's Pyramid challenge, requesting that she take on the boy next, and that the press be notified and brought to the Arena the following day. He wonders why it is taking so long for the Brains and the boy, but then tells himself that he should be patient, because afterall, they are dealing with the phantom Pokémon Jirachi and the great evil who is after it.

Back inside the Artisans Cave, while Emerald watches the Luxury Ball suck in Jirachi, Todd steals a glance at Guile and is thankful that they can prevent this evil man from possessing the phantom Pokémon who could grant all kinds of wishes. However, Emerald soon notices that something is wrong. While Jirachi has been completely engulfed into the ball, the ball seems to have trouble closing completely and a narrow slit remains. Todd bolts with a start that something else might be interfering with it, and Emerald quickly turns around to see that Guile's Surskit is stopping the ball from closing with its Psybeam.

Soon, under the combined effects of the Psybeam and Jirachi's struggling, the Luxury Ball bursts open, and Jirachi speeds out from it. At the same time, Guile lifts his sword to break the electric currents around him, and states that there shall be no one thwarting him anymore.

Anabel grunts in anger and orders Raikou forward, but then realizes that their feet are glued to the ground by some sticky liquid. Todd and Emerald quickly notice that they are immobilized by the same substance as well, and it is only then that they see a liquid continuously dripping off the foot tips of Guile's Surskit. Emerald hollers that the liquid contains honey which Surskit secretes, and that the high-density honey is now working like strong glue.

Lifting his sword up again, the armoured man states that it is time for the cheap garbage to vanish, and delivers a swing to send out a powerful blast of energy towards Anabel, Emerald, Todd and Raikou. Just as the attack is about to hit, Sceptile pops out from Emerald's Pokeball, and together with Sudowoodo and Dusclops, shield themselves in front to take the hit. Emerald is astonished by their action, and Todd gasps that the three Pokémon set free by Emerald are protecting him.

Guile turns around to face Jirachi, who is now shivering in fear from all the drama in the cave, and reaches out his hand for it. But the phantom Pokémon disappears into thin air all of a sudden, and Emerald gasps that it is gone.

Guile grunts in frustration that he was so close in succeeding, and blames it on Emerald and Frontier Brains' interference. But he reasons that he still has 4 days, and tells Emerald and the Brains that they are of no match against him. He states that by the time they meet again, he, Guile Hideout, will be the ruler of all lands. With that, he slams his sword onto the floor to stir up a storm of sand, and vanishes when the air clears.

Later, at the entrance of the Battle Arena, Scott announces to the press that the Frontier Brains and the challenger are finally back. Most of the Frontier Brains are still struggling to keep themselves together after the deadly showdown with the armoured man, but Scott seems oblivious to all of that, and simply remarks that they are late enough and should entertain the grumbling press people by commencing the Arena challenge right away.

However, Anabel stops him in his track, and wishes to clarify something first. She wants to know if Scott has known of everything right from the start, about the phantom Pokémon Jirachi, as well as the armoured man who is after it, Guile Hideout…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

316: VS Surskit II

Volume 27