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It was about one year ago…

In a large castle where sunlight doesn't reach, Ghetsis announces to his followers that the coronation shall begin. Holding up a golden crown in his hand, he states that whoever wears this will be the owner of their castle, as well as the King who shall lead Team Plasma. He adds that the coronation will mark their first step towards their great cause, and gets ready to welcome their King-to-be to his throne.

The crowd in the room clears a path between them, and a young man with long green hair wearing a long white robe, accompanied by two young women, one with long pink flowing hair named Anthea, the other with blonde bundled hair named Concordia, slowly makes his way towards Ghetsis. As he approaches, six men dressed in different coloured long robes, who together with Ghetsis are known as the Seven Sages, acknowledge the young man as N, the son of Harmonia, and kneel down one by one.

Ghetsis places the crown onto N's head, completing the coronation, and presents to his followers the King of Team Plasma, who shall guide them through their great cause in Pokemon liberation…

At the outskirts of Accumula Town, N snap out from his flashback as Black yanks his wrist free from his grasp. Black demands to know who N is, and why he is accusing the Pokeball and Pokedex for making Pokemon miserable. N remains calm in his words, and remarks that the Pokedex is a device invented to collect data on Pokemon. To capture Pokemon and trap them in Pokeballs simply for the sake of completing the Dex can be described as nothing but cruel. Black finds himself at a loss of words upon N's accusation, and clutches the Pokedex tight in his hand. Behind him, White takes shelter with Gigi next to the brick wall, and realizes that the high-tech machine Black uses is called the Pokedex.

N states that as a trainer himself, he always questions whether capturing Pokemon brings them happiness. To him, trapping them in Pokeballs makes one no longer able to hear the voices of Pokemon. Formally introducing his name to Black, N urges the boy to hear the voice of his Pokemon, Pokemon which he has trapped in Pokeballs and made them unable to speak. With that, he calls forward Purrloin, who delivers another Night Slash at Musha to send it tumbling backwards.

Black grunts that if by 'hearing the voice of his Pokemon', N means 'let's battle', he should just have simply said he wishes to battle. Roaring with rage, Black orders a Hidden Power from Musha, who immediately sends off a pulse of energy to knock Purrloin off its feet. Black hollers that as a trainer who is aspiring to conquer the Pokemon League, he is more than welcome to take on battles, but N should stop bad-mouthing the Pokedex and Pokeball.

Black gets Musha to unleash another Psychic, but the attack merely bounces off Purrloin and does no damage to it due to the type inefficacy, and the purple cat somersaults against the wall before charging towards Musha to strike it onto the ground. Black feels frustrated at his current situation, and tells White that she should get ready to fight as well if the situation calls for it. White bolts with horror at Black's words, and frantically refuses, saying that it is not possible. Her reaction ticks off Black, who doesn't understand her reluctance, and says he currently has no Pokemon on his team that could comfortably take on his enemy. Just in case he loses, she will be required to step up if the enemy continues to advance. He is simply telling her to protect herself with her own Pokemon because he may not be able to look out for her.

White continues to protest, but in that instant, Purrloin sneaks up behind the brick wall and ambushes Gigi. White cries out in terror and quickly picks Gigi up into her arms, scolding Purrloin for attacking an actress in such a cruel manner. Tep leaps before White to shield Gigi, and Black is further irritated that White isn't defending herself by ordering attacks from her Pokemon. White breaks into tears, and tells Black that she could not do it, because she has never had a Pokemon battle before, not even once.

Black's face goes blank with shock at the revelation, and he wonders what about the Sandile, Woobat and Lilipup which she owned. White cries that those are all just actors and actresses of her agency, and that includes Gigi. She cries that her dream is to raise the best Pokemon artist ever, but she has no intention of becoming a Pokemon trainer herself.

White's confession causes Black's brain to short-circuit, as he could not comprehend her logic. At that moment, N's voice appears next to Black again, and the young man commands an Echoed Voice. Tympole instantly sends off two powerful pulses of sound wave, and sends Tep flying against the brick wall.

Black hurriedly checks on his Pokedex to read that Tympole attacks by vibrating its cheeks to create high-pitched sounds, and N sighs that Black is relying on the Pokedex again. The young man remarks that instead of learning about the opponent's Pokemon from electronic data, one should try to listen to Pokemon's voices with their own ears. He has heard the voice of Tympole. He has also heard the voice of Black's Pokemon. That is why he knows what attack to use at any moment to have the maximum effect. He did not have to look through data. He simply listened to the voices of Pokemon.

N states that because of this difference between them, Black will not be able to beat him. The young man orders Gurdurr and Pidove forward, who quickly engage in a close-up combat with Brav while Musha and Tep continue to take on Purrloin and Tympole respectively. N observes the struggle between the Pokemon, and sighs that Black's Munna, Braviary and Tepig are all suffering. They are suffering because they could not speak and be heard by their trainer. Tears start to well up in N's eyes, and the young man finds it sad that humans do not listen to their Pokemon's wishes and simply use them for their own desires. Speaking in a heart-wrenching tone, he remarks that there is only misery for Pokemon when they stay together with humans.

Hearing that, Black could hold back no more, and tells N to shut up. He demands to know what N saw from his Pokemon that made him think they feel miserable being with him. He hollers that everyone on his team is working hard towards the dream of conquering the Pokemon League, and they all feel connected with the same ambition. He calls out to Tep, Brav and Musha, who all respond by giving him a reassuring look.

Black then absent-mindedly calls out to Galvantula as well, but to his surprise, the electric spider also raises its foreleg in acknowledgement. Black wonders if it would like to become their companion, too, and Galvantula snuggles up to him, giving him an affirming nod. Black proudly grabs Galvantula's foreleg, and tells N to see for himself that there are also Pokemon who yearn for a trainer.

Going back to the matter of the Pokedex, Black states that people love Pokemon, which is why they use the machine to know more about them. In fact, it was this desire of humans to know more about Pokemon that inspired the development of the high-tech device. He himself received the Pokedex from an extraordinary professor and set out on a journey for its sake. For that, he cannot feel any more honored.

Black adds that he could not hear a Pokemon's voice like N does, which is why the Dex and the Pokeball are essential for him to connect with Pokemon and know about them. Filled with a resolution to show N what he means, Black tells Tep to demonstrate its determination, a proof of their strong mutual connection. With that, Black orders Tep forward, and the little Tepig starts charging towards Tympole. Tympole unleashes a Water Gun which hits Tep right in the face. However, Tep holds on, and manages to leap up and away from the jet of water, causing N to widen his eyes in shock. Tep then slams itself into Tympole, and knocks it back towards N, who tumbles backwards holding the fainted little tadpole in its arms.

While N sits against the wall next to Musha in silence, Black hurries up to check on Tep, who got bounced off itself from the collision. After a moment of thought, N speaks again, and says he has heard the voice of Black's Tepig. He finds it surprising that there are Pokemon who would say such things, and decides that it is enough for today. Gesturing to Gurdurr, Purrloin and Pidove, he thanks them for putting up a good fight, and says it is time to retreat.

The young man stands up to leave the scene with his Pokemon, and Black tries to halt him. N remarks that he has seen yet another unsolved equation again, and continues to walk off, leaving Black and White behind with baffled looks on their faces. Black finds it odd that N does not retrieve his Pokemon into Pokeballs even when they have fainted, and at that moment remembers that his team must have been battered from the vigorous fight. He quickly tends to Musha, Brav, Tep, as well as Galvantula, and thanks them for their hard work. He digs out Potions and Oran Berries from his pocket to help them regain their health, and then retrieves them into their Pokeballs where they could have a good rest.

White wants to know if Black finds N's words strikingly similar to what Team Plasma said, and wonders if they could be the same gang. Black ponders for a moment, and says he couldn't really tell. White worries that it will be disastrous if it is true, for the organization doesn't only preach but also has powerful people like that to back it up. However, Black tells White not to fret, and says when N fell and landed next to Musha, Musha ate some of N's dreams. After Musha eats someone dreams, one could see a faint vision of that dream through the smoke coming out from its nose. Just now, from the smoke, he saw a young N sleeping peacefully with a Darmanitan, Zorua and two Woobats, feeling comfortable and content in that little world of his. Having seen that image, Black believes that although N is someone who apparently sees the world differently, he is certainly not a bad person.

Elsewhere, N slowly returns to his castle with the few Pokemon who just battled alongside with him…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

468: VS Tympole

Volume 44