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'It will be enjoyable to battle that Monferno.'

At Hotel Great Veilstone, Pearl sits back into the chair on the balcony as he recalls what the Veilstone Gymleader Maylene said to them last night before departing. Next to him, Dia draws up a mask of Maylene on a piece of a cardboard like they did with Roark and Gardenia, and proceeds to cut it out with a pair of scissors.

Pearl remarks that it is actually not surprising for the young gymleader to regard them as challengers, since Chimlord did almost hit her with an attack, and many would perceive that as a kind of taunt. He walks onto the balcony to look down at Lady Berlitz who is getting ready to train with Prinplup and Chimlord, and sees that the girl actually seems quite hyped up about it.

The thing is, despite being an expert in fighting types and apparently a formidable opponent, Maylene is actually younger than the three of them. Pearl stretches himself out, and states that they must train even harder in order to win the third Gym Badge from her. Dia finishes up the Maylene mask, and agrees with a big grin.

Down on the ground outside, Lady Berlitz hears the beeping sound of her Pokedex, and turns around to see the boys running up to her. The three each wears a determined look as they bring their fists together, and Pearl officially commences their special training. He states that since Chimlord is designated to take part, they shall build their practice session around it. Maylene has been seen with two Pokemon, and there is a big chance that a tag battle is on the table, meaning Chimlord will need a tag partner to train along with. He believes that Chatlord will work best with Chimlord given their previous collaborations, and adds that its flying type will have an advantage on Maylene's expert fighting type.

Lady Berlitz nods in agreement, and Pearl tells Dia to get ready to play as a fake Maylene. Dia gives Beh a Meditite mask to wear as they get into combative stances, and the Lady wastes no time in commanding a Flame Wheel from Chimlord. The direct contact attack easily knocks Beh off its feet, and Pearl hollers that the Lady should grab the chance to follow up with a second attack. He also wants Dia to move quicker since Maylene is a very fast opponent, as seen last night by the very few and quick steps that she and her Pokemon took to reach their balcony from the thin tree they struck.

Dia flips out his Pokedex, and reads that the Riolu she has with her is even capable of cresting three mountains and crossing two canyons in one night. Lady Berlitz comments that the Zoom Lens will certainly be helpful is dealing accurate hits on fast moving opponents, but wonders if it is still of any use since Maylene already knows of its existence. Pearl agrees that the gymleader will certainly come up with her own ways to counter it, and after a moment of thought, states that the most important thing the Lady must thus learn from these training sessions is to grow personally instead of focusing on Pokemon and item usage.

Lady Berlitz accepts his advice, and the trio proceeds to practice their combination moves, with Chimlord and Chatlord teaming up against Roo and Prinplup, who is wearing a Riolu mask. Chatlord begins chattering a series of words to confuse its opponents, and Chimlord quickly swipes in for a Mach Punch, dealing direct damage on Prinplup. Pearl tells the Lady to get familiarized with each Pokemon's attacks in the Pokedex, and says it will help her plan her combos more effectively.

At noon, with everyone covered in sweat, Pearl calls for a break, and compliments Lady Berlitz for her hard work. He states that since the gym challenge will take place that night, it is important that the Lady takes time to rest her body before it. Lady Berlitz nods, and watches as the two boys head off to practice their Manzai. The truth is, there is something else she has in mind.

A while later, at the Veilstone Game Corner, Lady Berlitz sneaks up on the glass window with Prinplup, and peaks in from the outside. However, someone suddenly greets her enthusiastically from behind, and she turns around to find a man wearing flippers and patched up clothes grinning at her. The man laughs that she must have come for the slot machines as well, and wonders why she isn't going inside. The Lady explains with an embarrassed tone that her companion has forbidden her to enter the Game Corner again, and even made a pact with her and enforced it by locking up all her money in the safe at the hotel, which is why she is fine enough to simply watch.

The man laughs that it will be of no problem as they shall team up on the slots, and begins dragging Lady Berlitz in with him. The Lady protests that she really shouldn't because she has an important event that evening, but the man tells her not to worry too much, and fervently pulls her into the Game Corner.

Back at the hotel room, Beh and Roo are enjoying their afternoon tea on the balcony while Dia and Pearl practice their Manzai.

Pearl: Speaking of Pokemon!
Dia: Speaking of Pokemooon~
Pearl: There are places to have fun in this city!
Dia: That's right, one of them is the famous Game Corner, where one can play roulette, cards and many other games. Of course, on top of all, there is the slot machine, which the Lady is surprisingly good at.
Pearl: (annoyed) It may be true, but we've made a pact that she will not go there again!
Dia: (rolls up sleeves and puts on menacing look) Yo, why you stoppin' her from playin' the slot, you rot? You her protector or somethin', you lil' tot?
Pearl: (smacks Dia on the head) Why are you suddenly speaking with a gangster's tone?

Dia: If you manage to get all three 7s, you are really great.
Pearl: Indeed. That is the famous Triple Seven.
Dia: (flabbergasted look) You will be rewarded with 100 coins!
Pearl: (grins) That is such a big feat!
Dia: (takes out a piece of cake) We are going to have a big feast?
Pearl: (smacks Dia on the face) I forbid any kind of dopey acts related to food from now on!!

Pearl stretches himself out with a grin as he rejoices over their improving pace, and Dia starts eating his cake, wondering where the Lady has gone to. As soon as he says that, they see the girl returning with Prinplup from afar, and Dia notices that she seems to be rather exhausted and even needs Prinplup to support her. Pearl believes that she must have continued training on her own all this time, and compliments her for her diligence.

That evening, at the agreed time of challenge, Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz arrive at the Veilstone Gym, and are welcomed by the dragon-like statue, who once again addresses them as the children of the future. The statue apparently remembers the three from their previous gym challenges, and Dia greets it cheerfully. The statue proceeds to let Lady Berlitz write down her preferred mode of battle on a challenge card, and the girl picks the switch-in combat with two Pokemon.

Recalling their experience in the past, Pearl beckons Dia to wait outside with him before they get kicked out again, but to their surprise, the statue allows them to stay, and says it is Maylene's intention. It admits that it has no idea why since the girl did not explain, but the rules of no assistance and no food still stand. The statue draws their attention to the many walls in the room, and says in order to reach Maylene, they must slide the walls back and forth to clear a straight path.

Dia proceeds to push their first wall ahead to its right, but Pearl soon sees that it only leads them to a dead-end, indicating they have most likely moved it in the wrong direction. Dia decides to try again, and Pearl notices that Lady Berlitz is a bit low in energy. He shakes her by the shoulders and tells her to liven up, since it is her challenge after all. The Lady struggles to stay more alert, and Pearl says while he understands that she has been exhausted by their training, the real thing lies in the upcoming match and she can't afford to lose her ground now.

Dia finally manages to slide the door towards the correct direction, but instantly finds himself face to face with a Blackbelt next to a Machoke. Pearl cries out that he almost forgot there are also other trainers to defeat before they reach Maylene, and quickly calls Lady Berlitz into battle while Dia runs away from the Blackbelt along with Roo. Lady Berlitz sends out Chatlord, and quickly orders an Aerial Ace to take down the Machoke.

And so the trio continues to navigate through the gym, moving walls to clear their path, beating three other Blackbelts and their Machokes along the way, and gradually gets closer to where Maylene awaits. As Roo pushes aside the final wall, the Veilstone Gymleader honours them in a cross-legged seated position, and congratulates them for their effort.

Dia groans that it was certainly not an easy task, and Pearl notices that Lady Berlitz is even more tired now. He wonders to himself if she will be able to stand up to the challenge in such a condition, and believes that her exhaustion only started to show following their break after their training session.

Maylene then proceeds to begin their match, and both Meditite and Riolu instantly straighten up from the floor. Lady Berlitz sees that her prediction of Maylene using the same team members she took with her the night before turns out to be true after all, and takes another good look at her opponents, Riolu, the pure fighting type, and Meditite, the fighting and psychic type. The Lady decides to follow her planned strategy, and reaches into her pocket for the Pokedex. However, to her horror, the device is nowhere to be found, and she immediately cries out in disbelief, her voice incidentally drowning out the statue's speech pertaining to the gymleader and challenger's names and background.

Pearl wants to know what is wrong, and Lady Berlitz frets that her Pokedex is gone, the very important Dex that is used for collecting Pokemon data in order to aid research work. Pearl tries to calm her down, and says the match has already started, and that she will be able to do it even without the Pokedex as long as she stays centered. Dia states that she might have dropped it somewhere, and wonders if she has any place in mind which she wants him to check out, since she apparently still has it during their training session. Dia's inquiry instantly makes Lady Berlitz think of the Game Corner, and she begins to stutter with her words.

On the other end of the room, Maylene demands to know what the whole fuss is about, and tells the challenger to take her position as soon as possible. Lady Berlitz sheepishly whispers to Dia that she might have left it at the Game Corner, and Dia quickly speeds off with Roo and Beh to find it before Pearl could hear what they are saying.

The Veilstone Gymleader starts to get impatient with their drama, and says nothing shall stray her from her style of battling. She warns Lady Berlitz to get ready for a serious battle, and sends Riolu forward to attack. Pearl tells Lady Berlitz to stay focused now, and the girl promptly calls forward Chimlord.

The two Pokemon soon engage in a close-up combat, neither really gaining the upper-hand as they exchange punches and kicks that fail to really get past their foe's dodging. Chimlord lunges itself forward to deliver a Fury Swipes, but Riolu adeptly jumps out of the way, and barely gets hit. Soon, Lady Berlitz sees that Pearl's Monferno is starting to lag in its motions, while Riolu remains as agile. She decides to change strategies and tells Chimlord to pull away from Riolu to gain distance, but Maylene grins that it won't be easy.

With that, she orders a Force Palm from Riolu, and the emanation Pokemon sends out a circular blast that hits Chimlord right in the chest, causing it to tumble back onto the ground. Riolu then dives in with another punch, and Lady Berlitz hurriedly calls for a quick defense. Chimlord holds up both hands and manages to stop Riolu's punch, but Maylene suggests observing closer if the defense was truly successful. The Lady gasps in surprise when she sees the painful look on Chimlord's face, and watches as a spiral of energy flows out of its body and into Riolu's hand.

Behind her, Pearl bolts with realization that Riolu has delivered a Drain Punch, an attack which absorbs the foe's strength and empties their health points. Lady Berlitz quickly retrieves the Chimlord to switch in Chatlord, and orders the Chatot to use Chatter. Chatlord babbles out a series of words at high speed to Riolu, and causes the fighting Pokemon to hold its ears in agony.

Maylene remarks that it is a move she has never seen before, and is amused that sound waves are able to deal such damage. The Pokeball in her hand begins to wiggle, and the Veilstone Gymleader sees that Riolu is calling out for help from Meditite by the aura emanating from its body. She quickly switches out Riolu to call forward Meditite, who swiftly throws out a shimmering blast from its fists, bouncing against the ceiling to the wall, and finally ramming into Chatlord, slamming it onto the ground.

Pearl exclaims that it is Bullet Punch, an attack which always strikes first, but is shocked at the great amount of damage it managed to deal. Meditite follows up with a Psycho Cut, which collides with Chatlord straight on, and Lady Berlitz cries that it is a critical hit.

Meditite and Maylene then both stand in the yogic tree-pose, and the Veilstone Gymleader states that her Meditite only eats one berry per day, allowing it to stay in an empty-stomach state during which it will be easier to tap into the endless potential power and speed of yoga. She, being the trainer, also shares the same eating habit, and thus connects to her Pokemon in both heart and soul.

Pearl sees that Lady Berlitz seems slightly phased by her opponent's intimidating presence, and hopes that she will be able to stay centered as she still has the type advantage despite the huge amount of damage received. The Lady thinks hard to come up with a strategy, then orders Chatlord to counter with Mirror Move, directing a Psycho Cut back at Meditite. The Chatot keeps delivering the same move over and over again, and soon manages to faint the yoga Pokemon.

Maylene retrieves Meditite into its Pokeball, and Riolu returns to the battlefield. It swiftly delivers a Vacuum Wave upon its entry, and the attack instantly faints Chatlord. Lady Berlitz calls Chimlord forward once again, and the two Pokemon resume their vigorous closed-up combat as before.

The Veilstone Gymleader states that she has no idea why she is feeling this powerful emotion within her, but the one thing she knows is that she shall not lose to Lady Berlitz. She recalls the sneak peek of their extravagant hotel room last night, and admits that she is slightly envious, the Lady's beautiful clothes, her well groomed hair and nails, the Pokemon hold items, and on top of all, the full table of luxurious food. However, she is convinced that a trainer with a full stomach cannot emerge victorious, and hollers that her strongest weapon is her hunger.

With that, Riolu rams its fist onto the ground, and cracks up a roomful of flying rocks and boulders, causing Chimlord and Lady Berlitz to evade and jump back in shock. Pearl exclaims that the emanation Pokemon has torn the battlefield apart with Rock Smash, and worries that its great speed coupled with the countless flying boulders will make it not only difficult to track down, but almost impossible to strike. Putting on a frustrated look, Lady Berlitz thinks hard to come out with a plan.

Meanwhile, at the Veilstone Game Corner, Dia walks up to the Manager with his Pokedex in hand, and wonders if the man has seen a similar device in red. The Manager nonchalantly claims that he has as he continues to wipe the dust off his slot machines, and Dia instantly beams with joy.

Back at the Veilstone Gym, the dragon-like statue receives an incoming call, and sends out a cordless telephone to Pearl via an extendible wire from its stand, telling the boy that someone is calling him from outside. Pearl is baffled as to who it could be, and picks up to find Dia on the other end, who cheerfully informs him that he has found the Lady's Pokedex. He explains that it has been picked up by the Manager and is currently at the lost and found warehouse, and Pearl gets confused as to where he is. Dia giggles that it is the Game Corner, and Pearl's face immediately darkens upon hearing that.

Trying to hold back his rage, Pearl states to Lady Berlitz that Dia has just called, and said he found her Pokedex at the Game Corner. The Lady freezes in her motions at the words, and Pearl reminds her of their pact about not going to the place again. He finds it hard to believe that she would go play slots before something as important as a gym challenge, and starts to understand why she is so tired. He grits his teeth in anger, and says while he and Dia are working hard and serious to help her win, she is apparently spending time to have fun instead.

Without turning around to face Pearl, Lady Berlitz firmly says that she did not go there to have fun. Pearl begins to fume that she is being unreasonable as there is no other purpose at the Game Corner, but then the statue whacks him on the head with the extendible wire, and says it doesn't want to remind it every time that any conversation that would interfere with the battle's result is strictly prohibited.

Being totally indifferent to the feud between Pearl and Lady Berlitz, Maylene hollers that it is time to finish things off. She states that the Lady will certainly not emerge victorious, and in no way will she lose to a wealthy one like her. She mocks that the Lady is free to use the Zoom Lens as she wishes, and she is dying to see if it will really make a difference in their battle.

However, upon hearing these words, to everyone's surprise, Lady Berlitz orders Chimlord to drop the Zoom Lens instead. She closes her eyes and says in order to land an attack on the fast moving Riolu amid a roomful of flying boulders, one must see through the motions of the boulders, see through the motions of the elusive Riolu moving amongst them, and find the weakest point of Riolu's guard where a critical hit is guaranteed to connect the miraculous straight line.

The Lady declares that she is the same as Maylene, in the sense that she hopes to win battles not with the aid of items, but with her personal strength and skills as a Pokemon trainer which she has worked so hard to attain. With a determined look, she says she shall find that miraculous straight line on her own.

Pearl, on the other hand, doesn't think it is possible, but Lady Berlitz assures him that she can definitely do it. With that, she holds up her thumb in front of herself, and Pearl recognizes it as the reeling hand-sign at the slots. Focusing her gaze ahead, the Lady treats the flying boulders and Riolu as the three reels on the slot machine, and one by one locks down each movement as if she is attempting the Triple 7. When she finally sees the miraculous straight line, she orders Chimlord forward to deliver a Mach Punch, and the attack lands straight on Riolu's chest, causing it to tumble under the boulders and everyone else to gasp in surprise.

The statue announces that Riolu can no longer battle, and declares Lady Berlitz the winner of the match. Pearl is left speechless at what the Lady has just done, and admits that he would certainly not have been able to track down such a rapidly moving foe. Maylene also recovers from her shock, and bows to the Lady in recognition of her being a serious and skillful trainer. Lady Berlitz thanks her, and the Veilstone Gymleader grins that it has been a long time since she lost. She says the Lady has set a perfect example, and she has now learnt that being hungry and full makes no difference to the outcome of a battle.

It dawns on Pearl that the Lady went to the Game Corner not to have fun, but to train her own focus from the rapid reeling of the slot machines, and begins to regret about not trusting her. He voices his apology, and Lady Berlitz responds with a gentle smile.

Just then, the back door of the gym opens, and the man in flippers and patched-up clothes whom Lady Berlitz met at the Game Corner appears. He laughs that the young girl indeed kept her promise in not touching the slots despite the constant temptation he gives her, and simply watched him play alongside her Pokemon. Pearl sweatdrops and wonders who the man is, and Maylene puts on a frustrated look, addressing the man as her father, much to Pearl and Lady Berlitz's shock.

The man grins that he has finally come home, and starts to bluff how he deliberately hangs out at the Game Corner day and night to set a bad example for Maylene, so she could become independent under adversity, and grow into a strong gymleader. Knowing her own father too well, Maylene simply keeps silent, and orders a Force Palm from Riolu, knocking him off his feet. Pearl and the dragon-like statue then watch with sweatdrops running down their faces as Maylene, Riolu and the four Blackbelts continue to smack the man around in the gym.

Lady Berlitz proceeds to pin the Cobble Badge on her scarf, as Pearl uses the phone to contact Dia about the good news.

Pearl: Hey, Dia! Ms Lady has beaten Maylene!!
Dia: Yay, we did it~ Ms Maylene was quite a powerful opponent this time, eh?
Pearl: She was quite powerful.
Dia: But the Lady managed to win, and I bet Riolu is now really blue~
Pearl: I'm hanging up!!

At the Game Corner's lost and found warehouse, Dia wanders across the many shelved racks with Beh and Roo, and sees that people do lose a lot of things around the place. The Manager has given them directions of where to find the red Pokedex before returning to the Game Corner to dust his slot machines, and Dia soon spots it on the top shelf of one of the racks. He grins that the Lady can stop worrying now, and tries to reach up for the Dex. However, he is clearly not tall enough, and decides to stand on Roo to gain more height.

Yet, just as Dia is about to touch the Pokedex, someone else grabs it away a split second before he does...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. In the first half of the Manzai dialogue that talks about Lady Berlitz playing the slots, Pearl says he has made a pact to forbid her from playing again, and Dia says 'Surotteeto nani kai? Anta kanojyou no hogosha date eno kai!?', which means 'What is wrong here? Are you her protector or something!?' in a gangster's tone. The pun is on the word 'surotto' (slot) and 'surotte', a term often used in gangster language.
  2. In the second half of the verse, Dia states that if one gets the Triple 7 at the slots, 100 coins will be rewarded, and Pearl says 'Nante keiki no iihanashida!', which means 'It is a very prosperous thought!'. Dia then says 'Nante kehki ga oishinda!', which means 'It is a very delicious cake!'. The pun is on the word 'keiki' (prosperous), which sounds the same as 'kehki' (cake).
  3. In the conversation between Pearl and Dia at the end of the chapter, Pearl informs Dia of the Lady's victory, and Dia says 'Mattaku ano Riolu yarioruwa', which means 'That Riolu is completely broken and torn'. The pun is on Riolu's name, which is a part of the term 'yarioru' (broken and torn).

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

357: VS Meditite & Riolu II

Volume 32