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Listening to Emerald's tale, Sapphire gasps that Emerald has personally met Oak to get the Pokedex, and Ruby is shocked that the boy received the device even earlier than the two of them. However, Emerald reveals that in reality, he did not manage to obtain the Pokedex at the end...

When Oak told Emerald to tell him his name again, the radio station's Director and DJ Mary were surprised, for it meant Oak has known of the kid already beforehand. Indeed, Oak knew of Emerald, and spoke out his name, even knowing that he came from the Pokemon Academy. For a moment, Emerald was overjoyed that the professor knew him, and believed he would not turn down his request for the Pokedex. However, Oak lifted the Pokedex away before Emerald could reach it, and joked that he has lost his chance for not telling his name in time, causing Emerald to start stuttering and fidgetting.

The truth was, Oak has heard about Emerald when Earl updated him on the recent happenings of the Pokemon Academy. Earl spoke of this young boy who wore a green jewel on his forehead, and had very little interaction with the people around him. Oak knew Emerald must be the kid Earl talked about when he saw him, but also knew that he was only 8 years old, and it was too young for one to receive a Pokedex. On top of all, what concerned Oak was, Emerald lied in his words.

Oak's remark caused Emerald to bolt in surprise, and the professor took out the director's writing board again, which wrote of Emerald's wish to start his own adventure with Pokemon. That sentence gave off the impression that Emerald was looking forward to spend his future days with Pokemon, but unfortunately, that contradicted with what Oak heard from Earl, that Emerald never touched Pokemon and always turned away from them at the academy.

Emerald tried to find an excuse for that, but Oak turned away, and said when Emerald should take time to consider that, and perhaps came back to him when he was 10 or 11 years old. The professor has always believed that each person had his or her unique talent and way of life to relate to Pokemon, and 10 different people would have 10 different ways of such relationship. He hoped that Emerald would find his own way, and while he would not give him the Pokedex now, he agreed to let him register his name on it for now, although it would be temporary.

And so Emerald registered his name of a Pokedex of Prof. Oak without receiving it, but he had trouble figuring out his own way, his unique talent, his way of life, and his own relationship with Pokemon. There was only one person he could talk to, and he naturally went to the Trick Master, who came to Johto to see him.

After hearing the boy's story, the Trick Master knew that despite all the things Prof. Oak has said, the one question he truly asked was, what Pokemon meant to Emerald. Emerald agreed that he got the same impression, and apologized to the Trick Master, whom he still addressed as the shoe store man, for having him come all the way to Johto just for their talk. The Trick Master told him not to worry, and revealed that the real reason he came was to give him his goods. With that, he opened up a suitcase, and Emerald gasped in shock when he saw the magic hand extensors and platform shoes with water skaters, exactly the way he has designed them.

Emerald couldn't believe that the Trick Master really created them for him, and spotted a gun with a figure of himself in the center. The Trick Master explained that it was the only gadget not in Emerald's drawings, but an original design of himself. He recalled their first encounter along the riverside in Mauville, and how Emerald managed to tell the birthplace of a Pokemon simply by looking at it, which in fact, was the answer to Emerald's question, the one unique talent that he alone possessed.

The thing was, being able to tell a Pokemon's birthplace was great, but that could only score points in a quiz show. In order to turn this talent into a skill, one must use it for the sake of someone to provide help to something in some way, and then it would become useful. Emerald immediately thought of Crystal upon hearing the Trick Master's words, and he began to understand what the man meant.

The Trick Master told Emerald to imagine a rampaging Pokemon who has lost its mind standing in front of them, and wondered what Emerald would do. The boy pondered on the thought for a moment, and remarked that any living being would experience a nostalgic and calm feeling when they returned to their birthplace or where they were brought up. The Trick Master agreed with a roar, and exclaimed that it was exactly why he has created the gun, which served to shoot out bullets of soil from a Pokemon's birthplace. When these bullets managed to surround a Pokemon and form a seal, the warm scent of home would calm and harmonize its mind.

Emerald finally realized that his unique skill allowed him to release Pokemon from their agony, and tears started to well up his eyes as he thought of everything the Trick Master has done for him. The man told him not to think too much about it, and laughed that in honesty, the soil gun was not entirely his original idea, but was inspired by an item he saw in a faraway land where he went in search for new tricks many years ago. The Trick Master then helped Emerald put on his new gadgets, the new arms, new legs, waxed his hair to make it stand up, and fashioned him exactly into the new image that Emerald envisioned of himself at the Mauville riverside.

Afterwards, Emerald began a harsh training on his own. He practiced working with his magic hand extensors and walking in his platform shoes; he travelled across lands to observe Pokemon and improve his ability in recognizing birthplaces; he experimented his gun shooting on rampaging Pokemon over and over again to learn the techniques to trap them in a seal; and on top of all, he practiced to improve his battling skills. He did all of these with diligence and perseverance, so that when he stood in front of Prof. Oak again, he could proudly show him who he was.

Two years later, Emerald completed his training and returned to Prof. Oak to receive his Pokedex. However, Oak has sent the Pokedex he registered along with two others to a scholar in Hoenn, Prof. Birch, and apologized that it might take some time before the Dex is sent back to him. Emerald decided that he would personally go to Hoenn to receive his Dex in that case, and he made an appointment to meet Prof. Birch on 24th August. Unfortunately, Hoenn was caught up in the catastrophe caused by Kyogre and Groudon, and as Emerald skidded across the flooded Twinleaf Town on his water skaters, he was a split second too late to reach Birch, and could only watch helplessly as the man got washed away with the Pokedex by the tidal waves.

It wasn't until the crisis was over that Emerald finally received his Pokedex from Birch on 31st May, the same day he turned 11. He learnt about the Battle Frontier's completion around that time, and yearned for a challenge. Incidentally, Jirachi's day of awakening coincided with the opening date of the Frontier, which would also be the place where the mirage Pokemon was expected to appear. Emerald was thus sent off to the Frontier by Oak and Crystal, and Crystal personally made him a new outfit, stitching the number 10 on the back, signifying that he is also a proud Pokedex Holder, the 10th Pokedex Holder...

However, Emerald believes that he has reached his limit, as he was unable to get Jirachi to open its third eye. The boy puts on a sad look as he once again thinks of his failure to connect with the mirage Pokemon, but Sapphire tells him not to despair, and says she feels happy and honoured that Emerald has decided to share his past with them. Suddenly, the three metal rings around their wrists give off an intense glow, and Ruby wonders if they have finally evoked the key. Zuzu, Chaka and Sceptile's bodies respond with a similar glow, and the bracelets instantly come off.

At that moment, something crashes against the invisible room from above, and Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald look up in horror to see Gold and Crys being knocked down by the sea monster...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

332: The Final Battle V

Volume 29