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In the region of Sinnoh, there is a vast jungle on its western side known as the Eterna Forest. Its densely packed trees block out all sunlight and form a natural maze within the woods, generating an ominous ambience that steers most visitors away from it. This day, Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz happen to be making their way through this eerie forest, and someone in the entourage is already bothered by the long and tedious paths.

Pearl grunts that every road looks equally dark and dull, and says there is certainly no way to tell the time of the day from the brightness in the woods. Dia attempts to give a response while chewing on a huge loaf of bread, and ends up making his words barely audible. Pearl decides to keep himself entertained by bringing up several new topics to talk about, but Dia never stops stuffing food into his mouth during the whole time, and merely replies with a mumble each time, eventually causing the other boy to explode in a fury. Pearl snatches Dia's loaf to snap it into half, and hollers that he will be fined 1 million dollars if he takes another bite, but Dia still has bread in his mouth, and his response comes out as yet another mumble.

Behind them, Lady Berlitz tells them to be quiet with a nonchalant tone, and suggests the two use the time to revise their planned route towards Mt. Coronet instead of causing a fuss. The group then halts to take a short break, and Pearl grumbles with an annoyed look as he opens up the Town Map which Lady Berlitz hands him.

Tracing his finger on the map, he sees that they have started out from Jubilife, and made it past Oreburgh and Floarama. Currently, they are on their way to city of Eterna which is situated right next to Mt. Coronet. However, to reach the Eterna City, passing through the vast Eterna Forest seems to be the only feasible means.

Pearl sulks in dismay that the Town Map does not display the internal paths within the forest, which means they will have to keep searching their way through the giant maze. Just then, Dia lets out a giggle from behind, and Pearl turns around to see the boy laughing to a comic book which he is reading. Not only that, but Dia has spread out a cloth on the floor and piled his bread loafs on top, while Beh and Roo are taking a snooze next to him, almost as if they are having a picnic.

Pearl yells at the top of his voice, and demands to know why Dia is reading comics. Dia says the guidebook has written that time will feel endless in the Eterna Forest, and he is simply making the best use of their break to take a rest. He adds that his book isn't a comic, but an encyclopedia of all the secrets of Proteinman Omega.

Lady Berlitz gets baffled by the name, and Pearl explains with an annoyed look that it is a robot animation which Dia is crazy about. He remarks that Dia is a genuine hardcore television fan, and Dia giggles that he truly finds the robots extraordinarily cool, and says he has not missed a single episode even though they are on a journey.

Suddenly, Pearl remembers what Dia just said about a guidebook describing time as being endless in the Eterna Forest, and wonders what guidebook he meant. Dia reaches into his bagpack to pull out a book titled 'Walking in Sinnoh', the same one which Lady Berlitz used to read up on Oreburgh's coalmines, and turns to the page on the Eterna Forest. Pearl reads that it indeed says it will not be possible to pass through the forest in one day, but his attention is quickly drawn to another remark, and he exclaims that there are no accommodation facilities of any kind within the entire area.

Behind him, Lady Berlitz repeats his last words with a confused look, and Pearl is immediately struck with horror. He walks up to Dia with a calm face, and puts his hands on his shoulders as he addresses him as Diamond, his usual way of being serious. He then explodes into a fury in the very next second, and yells that Dia should have told him of such an important fact earlier. With that, he yanks the boy off his feet and together dashes into the woods ahead, leaving a confused Lady Berlitz behind who is told is wait where she is.

Once the Lady is out of sight, Dia wants to know what is wrong, and tries hard to catch up with Pearl who is still storming forward. Pearl tells him to think back on their journey so far, and reminds him that the girl is someone who needs to stay in lavish suite rooms of top-class hotels every night. If she knows that she will have to camp out in the wild, she will definitely get hysterical and break into a brawl.

Pearl grabs his head in agony, and says the hicking sounds of a girl's brawling is something he is least capable of tolerating. He grieves that he will surely have to keep himself away until she stops crying, and starts running around aimlessly with his eyes closed. Unfortunately, he soon bumps into a wall, which Dia is a split second too late to warn him about, and the two boys look up to find themselves at the gates of a huge manor.

Pearl states in surprise that the guidebook did not mention about the existence of such a building, and suddenly notices two cloaked men standing at the front door. However, when he tries to call out to them, the cloaked men simply vanish into thin air, causing both boys to freak out immediately.

In that instant, Lady Berlitz arrives on her Ponyta, and says she has finally found them. She exclaims at the sight of the classically styled manor, and believes that Dia and Pearl were simply trying to give her a surprise by fooling her that there are no accommodation facilities in the forest. She puts on a knowing grin, and says they shall stay the night in the manor in that case. Dia and Pearl bolt in horror at her remark, but find themselves out of words to explain their real situation.

A while later, the trio have settled into the enormous manor which is known as the Old Chateau.

Pearl: Speaking of Pokemooon!
Dia: Speaking of Pokemooon~
Pearl: Speaking of Pokemon, it is extremely fun to trade!
Dia: To trade~
Pearl: Let's try to do that too!
Dia: Very well. So, here I give you a Munchlax. (hands over Beh's Pokeball)
Pearl: All right, what do you want for it?
Dia: (makes a scary face) YOOOU!!!
Pearl: (freaks) Yikes that's scary!!

Pearl: You can't do that! You must trade a Pokemon for a Pokemon.
Dia: Oh, is that so~
Pearl: (hands over Chatlord's Pokeball) Please take good care of Chatot.
Dia: (hands over Beh's Pokeball) Please take good care of Munchlax.
Pearl: (freaks) That is why it's scaaary!!

Dia and Pearl look across the dining room, and see that Beh, Roo, Chatlord and Chimlord have all fallen sleep on the long table, which is covered with a clean white cloth with several lit candle stands on top. Pearl remarks that while the manor appears rather ordinary inside, he still thinks it is shrouded in an eerie atmosphere. Dia agrees, and says when he checked out the place with Beh and Roo earlier, they discovered that there are many rooms, one with a television even, but no one seems to be living there at all.

Pearl recalls the two mysterious cloaked men who disappeared at the front door during their arrival, and hopes that it was just an illusion. Dia then heads into the kitchen to start boiling water in a kettle, and Pearl wonders what he is doing. Dia explains that the Lady has requested some tea and snacks at 8pm, and Pearl sweatdrops that the girl certainly knows how to live an elegant life.

Suddenly, the two boys sense a presence behind them and quickly spin around, but there is nothing but an empty room, and both Dia and Pearl begin to tremble with apprehension. Pearl claims that he has been feeling uneasy as well when they were practicing Manzai, and Dia agrees that it almost felt as if someone was watching them. In that instant, both boys get the same sensation again and rapidly turn their heads, but just like before, there is hardly anything abnormal.

Dia finishes fixing the tea and snack, and places them on a tray. He decides to bring it over to Lady Berlitz even though there is still some time before 8, and Pearl apparently shares his sentiment. He crosses his arms to shake off the chill in his body, and suggests getting things over with and retreating back to their beds as soon as possible.

However, when Dia and Pearl enter the living room, they see a cluster of Gastlys floating near the ceiling, and immediately cry out in terror. The next thing they know, they are both zapped by an invisible force, and Dia exclaims that the Gastlys are attacking. However, Pearl realizes that it isn't the case, and points toward a globe of energy amongst the ghost Pokemon.

As the globe draws nearer, Dia feels the air around them heating up, and Pearl states that it is most probably made of plasma. He takes out his Pokedex to point towards the being, but to his surprise, the device fails to recognize it. Pearl wonders if it is a real spirit after all, and quickly sends Chatlord to deliver a Fury Attack. However, the plasma sphere adeptly moves out of the way, and not even Chimlord's subsequent Ember manages to strike it.

Pearl grunts that the thing is moving too fast for their Pokemon's attacks to land, but says they must try their best to trap it before it heads to where Lady Berlitz is. He wonders where it has gone now, and Dia soon finds it on the chandelier. Chimlord unleashes another Ember, but the plasma sphere escapes once again before the lamp gets shattered. It then beams into the kitchen to enter the microwave oven, and successively moves through the refrigerator followed by the washing machine.

Pearl notices that the being seems to travel only between electrical appliances, and orders yet another Ember from Chimlord. But just like before, the plasma sphere dashes away before it gets hit, and enters the air-conditioner this time. Pearl knows it will be hard to handle the creature unless they know of its moving pattern, and wonders if Dia has any suggestions. However, he receives no response, and turns around in horror to discover that the boy has vanished.

Pearl scans through the entire floor to look for Dia, but fails to catch sight of him and decides to check on the second floor. Rushing up the stairs, he keeps calling out Dia's name, but the boy remains nowhere to be found. Soon, the windows and furniture of the Old Chateau begin to shake and tremble from the buzzing energy generated by the increasing number of Gastlys that are gathering in the place.

Pearl holds his head with a painful look as the vibration courses through his head, and cries that a paranormal phenomenon seems to be taking place. He grunts that the plasma being must be attracting or calling upon all the ghost Pokemon somehow, and quickly dashes across the corridor, knowing that he must find Dia and get the Lady as soon as possible and leave the manor together.

Yet, in the next instant, the vibrations and shakings suddenly come to a halt, and Pearl notices that all the Gastlys have also disappeared. He looks around in the once again silent corridor with a confused expression, and literally jumps to his feet in terror when the door next to him creaks open without warning. But then, he immediately spots Dia in the room, who beckons to him excitedly and looks as if he is cheering for an accomplishment he just made.

Pearl makes his way over, and is genuinely surprised when he sees the plasma sphere inside the screen of the television. He can tell from its quiet behaviour that it has been tamed, and wonders if Dia managed to deal damage on it. Dia happily nods, and says he knew the creature would return to the television as its last stop, which if he guesses right, is the electrical appliance where it normally resides.

Pearl fails to understand how Dia came to that rationalization, and Dia grins that he got the hint from the two cloaked men who vanished in front of them that afternoon. He explains that those two are actually villains from the show 'Ironman Sigma' which is broadcasted before 'Proteinman Omega', and says the plasma being has obviously been creating illusions of television characters. Having known that its illusion content is based on television material, it was just natural to guess that it will return to the television eventually. Dia shrugs that the rest of the job was relatively easy, which he had Beh and Roo hide behind the TV, and sneak up to ambush the creature when it returned.

Pearl puts on a big grin and slaps on Dia's back to compliment on his good work, remarking that his television craze has proved to be useful after all. At that moment, Lady Berlitz appears at the doorway with Piplup, and wants to know what the fuss was all about. She says it is already past 8, and wonders why her tea is still not ready. Dia quickly goes back downstairs to serve the tea and tasty Old Gateau which he has prepared, and tells the Lady to help herself. However, he jokes that Pearl seems impatient, and shouldn't be eating the gateau in the chateau, causing Pearl to frown with annoyance while making Lady Berlitz crack a small giggle.

Pearl: Hm!? (turns and glares) Did you laugh just now?
Lady Berlitz: (nonchalant expression) I did not laugh.
Pearl: No, you did! You definitely laughed!!
Lady Berlitz: I did not laugh.

The next morning, Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz wake to a new day feeling fresh and recharged, and depart from the Old Chateau to resume their journey. Pearl realizes that they still have yet to verify whether the plasma sphere is really a spirit, but decides that it doesn't really matter since everyone has stayed safe and unharmed at the end.

Back in the room with the television, the silhouette of the plasma sphere flashes on and off on the screen, and slowly takes form of a bulb-like creature that has hands shaped like thunderbolts. What exactly is this being after all? Perhaps there will come one day when the group shall revisit this eerie manor, and solve the mystery of it...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. The original meaning of the entire Manzai verse which plays on Pokemon trading has been kept in this chapter.
  2. When Dia makes a joke on the Old Gateau, he says 'Pearl ha sekkachi dakara kono Youkan youkande tabenayo', which means 'Pearl is impatient, and thus shouldn't be eating this gateau in the chateau'. The term 'Youkan' can mean both gateau and chateau in Japanese.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

345: VS Rotom

Volume 30