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At the Battle Dome, the fifth set of tournament is now down to its four semi-finalists, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and the Dome Ace Tucker. With Dusclops and Ruru knocked out, the semi-final battle between Emerald and Ruby ensues as Sceptile and Mimi engage in a close up combat. The audience roars with excitement with each move the Pokemon make, and the announcer comments that it is an incredibly heated fight.

Standing on the side of the stage, Sapphire marvels at the great battling skills both trainers are demonstrating, and is grateful that Ruby, who often hides his abilities previously, is giving his best in the challenge as well. The girl then feels a hand on her shoulder, and turns around to find Tucker smiling at her. The Dome Ace remarks that they should waste no time and begin their own semi-final match in the adjacent stadium, and Sapphire promptly nods in agreement.

Hopping on stage in a crouched position, Sapphire sends out her Aggron, Ronono, while Tucker calls forward his signature Pokemon Salamence. Half of the stadium's giant TV screens switch from broadcasting Emerald and Ruby's battle to that between Tucker and Sapphire, and the two order their Pokemon to charge forward, commencing yet another fierce combat.

Back on Emerald and Ruby's side, Emerald is frustrated that Ruby's Milotic seems much harder to defeat than he expected. Although Sceptile has already paralyzed it with a Body Slam, followed by a series of Leaf Blade which most scored direct hits, they seem to do minimal damage, and his foe stands strong. The boy rationalizes that he must change his strategy, and decides to switch to physical attacks instead.

With that, Emerald orders a Focus Punch from Sceptile, and the green lizard rams its fist hard onto the body of Mimi. However, the strike also fails to deal the amount of damage Emerald anticipated, and the boy frowns in annoyance.

On the other hand, Ruby remains calm and cheerful, and picks up his microphone to give his introductory speech of Mimi. He states that while Mimi has shown itself to be a tough Pokemon since the time it was a Feebas, its new ability upon evolution into a Milotic, Marvel Scale, further raised its endurance.

Hearing that, Emerald bolts with a start, and quickly checks on his PokeNavi. Indeed, Marvel Scale is a unique ability to Milotic that raises its defense when it is inflicted with a status condition, making it an even better defensive Pokemon than it already is. However, Emerald decides that he will not change his battle strategy, and orders Sceptile to keep charging forward and attack.

High up on his flying saucer, Scott notices that Emerald seems to be losing his usual poise. It isn't hard to understand though, since trainers only use 2 out of 3 Pokemon at the Battle Dome, and now that both Ruby and Emerald have had one Pokemon knocked out, this current combat will determine who could proceed to the final match.

While Sceptile continues to deliver a series of focus punches and Leaf Blade, Mimi simply wiggles out of the way or fends off the blows, never attempting a single attack itself. Ruby glides along gracefully with Mimi, and the nonchalant expression on his face soon ticks off Emerald. Emerald demands to know what makes Ruby so confident, and Ruby simply grins that he has faith in Mimi.

Ruby's answer causes Emerald to retch and clutches his own throat in agony, and the boy hollers that the one thing he hates most is when someone tries to bluff about the nonsense theories of trainer-Pokemon trust. Ruby giggles that such words are indeed sappy, but they are certainly not bad things either, especially in the case of Mimi.

He recalls how he thought he would never see Mimi again when it ran off, and now that they are finally reunited, words alone can't express how thankful he is. The boy snuggles his face into Mimi's lovingly, and says he believes that those who are meant to be companions, regardless of how many times they are separated, will eventually find themselves back together again.

Emerald spasms weakly on the floor with a deformed face after hearing Ruby's words, and begs him to stop before he dies from the mental torture. Scott watches the two young trainers with a confused look from above, and wonders what in the world in going on with them.

However, Ruby still has more to say. Gesturing towards Emerald and Sceptile, he comments that they appear to be very good companions as well, and muses that they must be brought together by fate. This statement pushes Emerald over the edge, and the young boy grits his teeth in fury. He demands to know if Ruby really thinks such stupid theories will bring him good luck in a battle, and orders Sceptile to make the final blow. Commanding Sceptile to swoop in right under Mimi, Emerald has it deliver an upward Leaf Blade to knock it out.

However, in that split second before Sceptile's strike makes contact, Ruby's eyes narrow, and Emerald gasps with shock as Mimi lets out a powerful Blizzard, freezing Sceptile on the spot. Putting on a serious expression, Scott comments that Emerald's tactics is a clever one. However, it also caused Sceptile to pose itself at the most vulnerable position, and thus easily fell victim to the foe's attack. Now that it has been inflicted with the frozen status, breaking out from it will not be an easy task.

Emerald calls out desperately to Sceptile, but the green lizard's body is completely held immobile by the ice. Sceptile strains his eyes to squint over at Emerald, who is looking at it with a helpless look, and remembers what Ruby just said about those who are meant to be companions will eventually end up together again no matter how many times they are separated. Suddenly, the forgotten memories of its own past begin flooding back in its mind...

When it was still a Treecko, it used to be one of the study Pokemon of Prof. Birch. With both of its old companions, Torchic and Mudkip, gone off on journeys alongside young trainers who have selected them, it has longed to experience the same.

Alas, the day it awaited came. On this one stormy day, Prof. Birch took it out to meet a young boy who would become its trainer and the third Hoenn Pokedex Holder. The professor showed it the boy's photo and registry on the Pokedex, and Treecko learnt that his name is Emerald. According to Prof. Oak, the renowned Pokemon professor from Pallet Town in Kanto, Emerald is a slightly eccentric young man, but nevertheless, he shall become Treecko's destined partner.

Unfortunately, before Emerald showed up at the meeting place, a powerful flood washed in to carry Treecko away together with Prof. Birch's backpack. Yet, with a twist of fate, it was saved by another young boy named Wally near the southern city of Pacifidlog , and was nursed to full health by the boy's Roselia. Later, it rendered help to Wally at the Sky Pillar during his quest to reach the top floor, and battled various wild Pokemon, eventually accumulating enough experience to evolve into a Grovyle.

When Wally finally learnt that his mission at the Sky Pillar was to awaken the Rayquaza, it was Grovyle's Bullet Seed that broke the sky titan's ozone cloud to bring it out of slumber. However, Rayquaza's rampage following its awakening not only destroyed the top floors of the Sky Pillar, but also knocked Grovyle off the building and into the stormy seas.

Some time later, Grovyle got washed ashore an island, and evolved into a Sceptile upon regaining consciousness. Yet, as soon as it adapted to its new body, it got ambushed by the armoured man Guile Hideout. The armoured man deemed Sceptile a useful Pokemon to ward off the pesky press people at the Battle Frontier, who would pose as obstacles in his quest to get Jirachi.

And thus, Sceptile was smuggled into the Battle Factory as a rental Pokemon, and caused major havoc when Guile Hideout provoked it with a poison sting in the middle of Emerald's battle with Noland. Incidentally, Emerald has the skills to tell a Pokemon's birthplace, and possesses gimmicks to calm rampaging Pokemon with the soil from their hometown.

For Sceptile, Emerald recognized it as a Littleroot Town inhabitant, and quickly soothed its aggressiveness with his soil gun. The boy also knew that Sceptile wasn't one of the rental Pokemon, and therefore stole it away from the Factory, keeping it as a temporary team member...

Having fully regained its memories which were lost due to the series of shocking events, Sceptile puts on a determined look, and surprises everyone by breaking free from the ice, and charging towards Mimi to deliver its deadly Leaf Blade. The unexpected strike knocks Mimi's HP down to 0, and the announcer declares Emerald the winner of the match.

Scott has a hard time believing in what he just witnessed, and Emerald happily runs up to compliment Sceptile. Ruby walks over to the two with a gentle smile, and states that his guess was correct after all, that Sceptile is indeed the very same Treecko Emerald was supposed to receive from Prof. Birch. He isn't sure whether all of this is just a coincidence, but at least he is grateful that the grass starter has found its originally planned trainer.

Ruby then pats Sceptile on the face, and says now that it has regained its memories, it should remember their encounter at Sapphire's secret base in the woods of Route 101. As soon as Ruby mentions it, Sceptile has a quick flashback of the day, and clearly remembers what Ruby said about Mudkip being superior to the 'green one'. The derogative term greatly ticked off the grass Pokemon at that time, and Sceptile now sees the perfect chance to seek revenge. Without warning, it rams its fist into Ruby and sends him flying across the room. It then begins chasing him around, while Ruby has no idea at all what he has done.

Emerald couldn't care less about the drama between Ruby and Sceptile, and soon sees Sapphire returning from the adjacent stadium with a depressed look. The girl sulks that she has been completely overpowered, and admits that the Frontier Brains are truly powerful trainers. Emerald realizes that it means the finalists of the tournament have been determined, and knows he will soon be up for the final match.

While the announcer calls for a 5 minute break before the battle between Emerald and Dome Ace Tucker, the armoured man Guile Hideout stands ominously near one of the broadcast speakers with an evil twinkle in his eye...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

322: VS Sceptile

Volume 28