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In Lenora's chamber at the Nacrene Gym, Patrat lets out a cry as it is hit by Brav's Air Slash, and faints on the ground. Black feels elated that he has successfully knocked out one of Lenora's Pokemon, and gets ready to face her remaining Pokemon, the powerful Stoutland, once again.

Black tells Brav to stay cautious, especially since its body is already partially frozen from the previous assaults. He wants it to avoid close-up combats and keep a safe distance from Stoutland. Meanwhile, Black thinks hard and tries to come up with a strategy to deal with Stoutland. So far, the giant dog has used Roar, Ice Fang and Take Down. As each Pokemon can use four attacks in a battle, he wonders what other attack it knows.

Lenora notices Black's frustrated look, and grins that he must be brainstorming again. She remarks that she likes young ones who use their heads, and wants to know if he has worked out anything. Black rationalizes that if Stoutland still hasn't used its fourth attack, it must be some kind of ace move or last resort. At that moment, he realizes with a start what it must be, but it is already too late. Lenora orders a Last Resort, and Stoutland slams itself heavily onto Brav, fainting it with the attack.

Black recalls that Last Resort is an extremely powerful attack, but it can only be used if the three other attacks of a Pokemon have already been executed at least once. Lenora giggles that Black has managed to figure it out, but it doesn't mean he could do anything about it, which is a pity. She declares that it is time to sum up their fight, and urges Black to send out his remaining Pokemon. Calling forward Musha, Black orders Hypnosis, but the move unfortunately misses. Then, to his dismay, the dreameater Pokemon consecutively fails to land the sleep-inducing attack in its subsequent attempts, and he grunts that it is certainly difficult to aim a move with only 60% accuracy.

Hearing Black's words, Lenora tells him that accuracy is sometimes not the only problem. At that moment, something beeps next to Lenora, and she sees that the alarm on one of her glass display boxes has been triggered by Musha misfired attacks. She puts on an embarrassed grin, and hopes that Black could try not to destroy her display boxes, because they contain some very important bones and fossils that she keeps.

The Nacrene Gymleader picks up a bone from the glass box, and says she is very fond of bones and fossils. If she should give a reason why, it is because they are the 'roots' of living things. This bone she holds coexisted with the flesh on the body. It was then buried in the soil with the flesh, where the flesh disappeared but the bone remained. Throughout the years, it has carried with it different ages and emotions, which to her, is very precious. The same can be said for Pokemon. Take her Stoutland as an example, it has been with her since it was a Lillipup, and carried with it many traits that it has built up through the years.

Lenora remarks that she initially thought Black respects the idea of 'roots' like she does, but he disappointed her when he blamed his missed hit on low accuracy alone, because of that is what he really thinks, there will be nothing in store waiting for him in the road ahead.

Black ponders on Lenora's words, and tries to figure out what 'roots' have to do with things. Suddenly, he gets a thought. Stoutland was rooted from a Herdier, and before that, a Lillipup. Flipping out his Pokedex, he reads that the long hair on a Lillipup's face acts like an amazing radar to detect subtle changes in the surroundings, and realizes that this trait must have remained with Stoutland, which makes it capable of detecting Musha's attacks and evading them in a timely manner. This means it would be pointless to keep trying the same attack, hoping that accuracy will kick in and land the move.

Lenora is glad that Black finally worked it out, and orders a Take Down from Stoutland, which sends Musha flying backwards. Black crouches down to check on Musha, and after a brief thought, thanks Lenora for teaching him a great lesson. He states that he will not resort to small gimmicks like Hypnosis from now on, and decides to battle with his true strength. With that, he orders a Zen Headbutt from Musha, which Lenora retaliates with another Take Down from Stoutland. The two Pokemon smash their heads against one another, and both bounce back from the powerful collision, eventually falling to the ground together and fainting at the same time.

Black gasps that it is a double knock-out, but Lenora is already reaching for a Basic Badge. She grins that by receiving this badge, it is a proof of his victory over her, and hands it over to the boy. Black wonders if he really deserves it since both Pokemon were knocked out at the same time, but Lenora shows him the playback of their battle, and Stoutland crashed a split second before Musha, which means Black indeed won the fight.

Trembling with excitement, Black exclaims with joy and starts to jump up and down. Lenora grins that if she guessed it right, Black should have already expected to win the moment he used Zen Headbutt. While it appeared that Black was gambling his luck on delivering that attack, he has actually figured out his chance of winning at that point. Black is a bit taken aback by what Lenora says, and the Nacrene Gymleader goes on to explain that Take Down is a move which hurts the user. The fact that Stoutland has used multiple Take Downs on both Braviary and Munna caused it health to drop significantly, and that was the real reason Black chose to use Zen Headbutt as the finishing attack.|

Black sheepishly admits that it is true, but he honestly still felt insecure when both Pokemon were knocked out, because Lenora and Stoutland were smart enough to spot these small details, which actually made his calculations not much different from a gamble. Black's answer causes Lenora to laugh wholeheartedly, and she proceeds to escort to young man back upstairs.

As they approach the entrance, Lenora sees that the museum has closed, and Hawes explains that night has already fallen. Black spots White waiting for him, and sees the smile on the girl's face. Without warning, White grabs Black by the hands, and grins that she is extremely elated. Black gets embarrassed and says she doesn't have to be so happy for his victory, but before he could finish, White swings him around eagerly and tells him that her idea has been used by the organizing committee who is working to create a new entertainment event with Pokemon for Nimbasa City.

White exclaims that they will call the event Pokemon Musical, which is a performance show held at its designated theatre house that allows participation from the visitors. She reveals that the Mayor of Nimbasa has asked her to produce and direct the whole project, and requested her to go to Nimbasa as soon as possible. She envisions Pokemon dancing on stage to the music, perhaps wearing special clothing sets or holding small props, and believes that she would get more inspiration by visiting the numerous artistic stores in Nacrene.

As White gets lost in her dream, which essentially drowns out all her other thoughts, Musha gets instantly attracted and tries to chomp on her, but Black quickly stops it. White then announces that they would visit all the shops the next day and head straight to Nimbasa afterwards. With that, she runs out from the museum, and Black hurriedly follows, telling her to wait for him.

Lenora laughs at the sight of the energetic young trainers, and says it would certainly be great to be young and be full of dreams again. At that moment, her phone rings, and she wonders who would be calling at such an hour. She picks up to find that it is her fellow Gymleader, Clay, and wants to know if something is wrong. Clay reveals that his has discovered a never-seen-before stone in the Desert Resort mine today, one which his Excadrill excavated from a very ancient layer, and Lenora is instantly intrigued.

Clay states that it is the first time after being called the 'King of Mines' for 28 years that he has no idea what he has dug up, but one thing he can be sure of is that, the stone holds a tremendous amount of energy. Indeed, as Clay tries to touch the surface of the black-coloured stone, which has a V-shaped pattern that is in a slightly lighter shade, it gives off jolts and sparkles, almost as if it is charged with electricity.

Clay remarks that he has thus contacted Lenora, which is an expert on ancient artifacts. He hopes that she could take it to her museum for investigation, and perhaps keep it with her afterwards. Truth be told, he feels uneasy having the stone at his place. Lenora promptly agrees to Clay's request, and says she shall head off to his place right away. Clay thanks the museum director, and continues to keep watch on the mysterious stone with his three Pokemon, Excadrill, Krokorok and Palpitoad.

Up in the air-vent on the ceiling, a tiny camera shaped like a Roggenrola spies on the ancient artifact in the room. It transmits its recordings to a TV screen on a truck which is parked on the cliff edge, where the three nearly identical-looking masked young men from Team Plasma sit and watch. The three recognize the artifact as the legendary Dark Stone, and the guy with a Pansage-shaped mask wonders if they should go and fetch it. The one with a Panpour-shaped mask says it would be too risky since there will be two Gymleaders involved, and the one with a Pansear-shaped mask agrees that it is good enough that they know the whereabouts of the stone.

The three men feel excited that they are another step closer to claim the 'ideals' of Unova, the black dragon Zekrom…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

474: VS Stoutland

Volume 45