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Right in front of Dr. Footstep's house, the angry Hippowdon unleashes a powerful sand twister through the ports of its body, and hurls Dia, Pearl, Lady Berlitz together with Dr. Footstep high up into the skies as they yell at the top of their voices.

Dia: Speaking of Pokemooon~ It is a twiiister~ Yikes, this twister created by Hippowdon is so fierce!
Dr. Footstep: The twister is throwing Mister Footstep off his doorstep~
Pearl: It is not the time for Manzai verseeees!!! Waaaaa!!!

A moment later, Pearl and Dr. Footstep crash onto the ground, and Pearl grunts that he wasn't expecting to be blown away like that. Massaging his lower back while Chimlord pops out to support him, he looks around and finds that they are on the shore of some vast waters. He wonders if they are by the seaside, but soon realizes that it is just a huge lake that has clouds of fog shrouding its surface.

Pearl exclaims at the marvellous scene in front of him, and says it seems so very dreamy. However, when he turns around to ask for Dia's opinion, he realizes that the boy is not with them. On further looking, Lady Berlitz is apparently missing as well, and Dr. Footstep remarks that they have probably been separated in the twister since he sees no other footprints around.

Without warning, Pearl yanks the chubby man up by his suspenders, and hollers that they must search for the other two before night falls. He grunts with an annoyed tone that Dr. Footstep should take responsibility for their current situation, since it was him who angered the Hippowdon to start with, and begins to dash off while dragging the man along.

On the opposite shore, Roo and Empoleon pop out from their Pokeballs, and help Dia and Lady Berlitz up. The Lady comments that they seem to have landed on the coastline of a lake, and Dia agrees that it appears so. The two look around, and Lady Berlitz sees that Pearl and Dr. Footstep are nowhere to be found. Dia believes that they must have landed on a separate spot, and the Lady says they will most likely find them by tracing along the shoreline.

As the two young trainers slowly scale the edges of the lake, Dia remarks that the lake has reminded him of something that happened a long time ago. Lady Berlitz wonders if it is a childhood memory, and Dia nods, explaining that there is also a vast lake known as Lake Verity near Twinleaf Town, the place where he and Pearl grew up.

The incident happened when they were four years old, and they were still attending nursery school at that time. One day, the nursery school held a special function, and invited the famous Manzai performers, the Blue Sky Clefairy & Jigglypuff Masters, hailing from Johto. That was when he and Pearl were first exposed to Manzai, and they quickly fell in love with it...

Master Clefairy: In the region of Johto, isn't there a lake called the Lake of Rage in Mahogany Town?
Master Jigglypuff: Yes there is~
Master Clefairy: There are rumours that the lake has a red Gyarados, and thus I went there for a capture.
Master Jigglypuff: Wow, that is such a remarkable feat. How did it go?
Master Clefairy: (flips out a Magikarp) I could not find a red Gyarados, but I managed to catch a red Magikarp!
Master Jigglypuff: Splendid!!
(A moment of silence)
Master Jigglypuff: (frowns) Hm... but Magikarps are supposed to be red~ You are so silly~

Little Dia and Pearl laugh so hard at the performance that they had tears running down their faces by the end of the show. On their way home, while Dia is busy eating a cream bun, Pearl talks about the red Gyarados found in Johto's lake mentioned in the Manzai earlier, and wonders if Dia wants to meet it. Dia zealously nods, and Pearl grins that they should check out Lake Verity near their home in that case, since he has a feeling that there will also be such a Gyarados in that lake.

With that, the two little ones head for Lake Verity on their own, but the sun soon sets, and Dia has unfortunately got separated from Pearl in the darkness. Surrounded by unfriendly wild Pokemon lurking in the trees and bushes, Dia tries to hold back his fear, and walks along the shoreline alone, believing that he will find Pearl that way sooner or later.

Suddenly, a light appears right above the central island of the lake, and Dia sees the silhouette of a creature within it that has two long tails. The creature gently smiles at him, but just as quickly as it appears, the light vanishes in the blink of an eye. Afterwards, Dia gradually loses the strength to go down, and collapses on the shoreline. Fortunately, Pearl's father has come looking for the two little ones, and eventually finds both of them...

Dia tells Lady Berlitz that lakes have always made him think of that mysterious light since then, but he never figured out what it really was. The Lady says it was indeed an extraordinary incident, and wonders if Dia has told Pearl about it. Dia says he hasn't, because he can't even be sure if he simply dreamt it all. The Lady then gets curious as to why he is telling her if that is the case, and the question causes Dia to pause. The fact is, he has no idea why either, but the words just came out.

Meanwhile, Pearl is getting increasingly annoyed when Dr. Footstep pauses to check on yet another set of footprints on the ground. The boy fumes that their most important task right now is to find Dia and the Lady, but Dr. Footstep hushes him, and says the footprints belong to Staravia. While Staravia itself isn't a very rare Pokemon, the rare Staraptors are known to inhabit the same area, and there is a big chance that he will find one if he locates the Staravias. Pearl hopes that he isn't suggesting they go footprint tracking now, and Dr. Footstep cries that it might help them find a Staraptor, but Pearl stands his ground, and firmly declines.

In that instant, a Staraptor flies out from a tree nearby, and Dr. Footstep exclaims that he has found it. Wasting no time, he spreads out a long white cloth, which he calls his special sticky sheet, and frantically waves to the predator Pokemon who is about to hover away. Pearl mocks that Dr. Footstep seems too hopeful to get a wild Pokemon to comply, but then the Staraptor really turns around, and begins to edge close to them, much to Dr. Footstep's excitement and Pearl's shock.

Staraptor: (flies closer)
Dr. Footstep: Here, here~ Over here, over here~
Staraptor: (flies closer)
Dr. Footstep: Yes, yes~ Over here, over here~
Staraptor: (swoops in and picks Dr. Footstep off the ground by his suspenders)
Pearl, Chatlord: What!?

Startled, Pearl quickly calls Chimlord to the rescue, and the Infernape throws its arms around the chubby man to pull him downwards. Pearl runs over to give help, but their combined weight seems barely able to counter the big bird's upward force. The boy flips out his Pokedex to check on Staraptor, and reads that it has very strong muscles in its wings and legs.

Dr. Footstep wonders where Pearl obtained such a handy device, but then he spots that the footprints of each species is also displayed on their respective pages, and lets out a big exclamation. He frantically shakes Pearl and tells him to show him all the other footprints, but the boy hollers that it is not the time for that.

The small struggle causes Pearl and Chimlord to ease up on their pulling, and Staraptor grabs the chance to take off into the skies, dragging everyone along with the powerful momentum. Chimlord fastens its tail around Pearl's waist while securing its arms onto Dr. Footstep, and the chubby man wastes no time in flipping out a white cardboard, and pressing it against Staraptor's claws to obtain its footprints.

Pearl: Yikes, not again~!!! We are having a bad day of aerial tragedies~!
Dr. Footstep: Hehe, don't say that now! From this position, I can grab as many footprints as U wish from this bird, and don't have to worry about them being blurred!
Pearl: I can't butt-in from this position!!

Pearl then remembers what Dr. Footstep said about being able to read a Pokemon's emotions from its footprints, and asks what exactly does this Staraptor has in mind now. Dr. Footstep holds out his cardboard to study closely the footprint he has just obtained, and states that the bird is very much enjoying itself, and has plans to toss them off somewhere. Hearing that, Pearl cringes in horror, just when Staraptor turns its head around to shoot him a grin, before suddenly changing directions to dive downwards.

Pearl: (frantic) Don't fool around now, Staraptor!! Keep your cool!! Chatlord! Have a word with this bird and tell it not to toss us!
Dr. Footstep: I can't butt-in from this position!
Pearl: I wasn't trying to act dopey!!!

Paying little heed to the little Chatot who is trying to persuade it, Staraptor keeps gliding downwards, and Pearl cries out that they will plunge into the waters soon. Spotting a small island at the center of the lake ahead, he could only hope that they bird is kind enough to land them on safe grounds.

Back on Dia and Lady Berlitz's side, they suddenly hear voices and begin to look around. However, the one direction they have missed is upwards, where Pearl and Dr. Footstep are being hauled across the skies right above them by the Staraptor. Dia states that he seems to have heard Pearl, and the Lady believes that they must be getting closer to each other if that is the case.

In that instant, something slams on the ground behind them, and they spin around to find themselves face to face with two male Scientists wearing white coats, standing next to a malicious looking Drapion and Kricketune. The taller of the two men remarks that Lake Valor is currently off limits to outsiders, and the shorter one barks that they should have read the signs at the entrance.

Dia finally knows the name of the lake, and grins to Lady Berlitz that they are at Lake Valor, but the Lady puts on a serious look, and keeps her stare on the mysterious Scientists. The short Scientist continues to utter that the only possible route to enter the lake has already been heavily guarded by them, and he finds it humiliating that someone has managed to get past them.

With that, he grabs Lady Berlitz by the wrist, and demands them to come along for a thorough investigation. The Lady puts on a frown, and angrily smacks the Scientist's hand away from her. The short Scientist grunts that it is not wise to defy them, but the Lady declares that she and Dia stumbled upon the place accidentally after being blown off Route 213 by a twister, and there is no need for investigations.

The tall Scientist giggles at her words, and says it is up to them to decide whether to investigate or not. The Lady firmly states that they are simply searching of their separated companions and have no other purpose at the place. They shall leave once they get back with their companions, which is why she hopes they won't stall their time. However, one thing she must voice out is that, the lake is of nobody's possession, and she demands to know who it is that forbids other people's entry.

The Scientists remain silent for a moment, before announcing that the one who passed down the orders is boss Cyrus, the representative of the Space Energy Development Company. While Drapion and Kricketune start to take up combative postures, the two men remark that boss Cyrus has said that no one is to enter the lake's proximity, and ask if Dia and Lady Berlitz are having a problem with that.

Noticing the obvious hostility from the Scientists and their Pokemon, Dia shields himself in front of Lady Berlitz, and tells her to stand back...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. In the first Manzai verse at the beginning of the chapter, Dr. Footstep says 'Futomaki ga tatsumaki ni tachimachi makikomaremashita', which means 'Dr. Footstep is suddenly caught up by a twister'. The pun is on 'Futomaki' (Dr. Footstep), 'tatsumaki' (twister) and 'makikomare' (caught up), all having phonetically similar sounds.
  2. The original meaning of the Manzai joke between the Blue Sky Clefairy & Jigglypuff Masters has been kept.
  3. In the Manzai joke between Dr. Footstep and Pearl when they were hoisted up by Staraptor, Dr. Footstep said 'Ashiato petapeta torihoudai! Tori Pokemon dakeni', which means 'It is only bird Pokemon that I can freely obtain their footprints this way'. The pun is on the word 'tori', which means both 'bird' and 'obtain'. Later, Pearl told Chatlord to persuade Staraptor, to 'Torinashitekure', which means 'Don't have this thought'. The 'tori' here means 'have'.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

362: VS Drapion & Kricketune I

Volume 32