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On the luxurious liner S.S. Sinnoh which is currently docked at Iron Island, Riley, Lucario, Eldritch and his crew have all gathered on the deck and are watching intently as the Egg begins to crack. In a flash of light, a baby Riolu makes it entry to the world, and everyone rejoices at its birth. Eldritch snivels that new births always remind him of the day that his son was born, and gets a nostalgic feeling as he recalls the sweet memories.

Then, taking a look at the two Cue Balls who are now tied up against a pole on the ship, Eldritch feels a surge of rage as he thinks of how these bastards nearly trampled this miraculous little life. He yells at the top of his voice, and demands to know who the mastermind behind their actions is, and what exactly the intentions of their ambush are.

Riley sighs that it will be a waste of time to ask actually, since he has tried many times already. The Cue Balls beg for everyone's trust, and cry that they really did it solely for the sake of money. They were promised tens of millions of dollars for causing a rampage on Iron Island, but they really have no idea about the true identity of the mysterious man who made them the offer.

Eldritch can see that the two burly guys are being sincere, and finds it odd that someone just decided to make trouble randomly. Riley agrees that he couldn't think of a good reason for anyone to attack this dried up iron mountain. However, as the hero who saved the day said, it is good enough that they have captured the foes and protected the Egg.

Eldritch realizes that Riley is referring to Dia, and wonders where the boy is, since he and his crew have come to pick him up from the island and back to Canalave. Riley motions towards the open area of Iron Island, and Eldritch sees that the boy is having fun with his three Pokemon and a wild Steelix.

Eldritch grins that Dia seems to have made friends with the Steelix, and wants to know if it is the same Steelix that he is thinking. Riley nods that it is no other than the boss of this iron mountain, and says it is feeling grateful after knowing that Dia has helped them ward off the invading enemies, which is why it is opening up its heart to the boy. Riley remarks that although Dia didn't exactly complete his training according to the original agenda, the fact that he has passed with flying colours is indisputable.

Riley gets back on the island and calls out to Dia, and compliments him for his hard work in the past four days. Not only has he and his team furthered strengthened their sturdy defense, but they have also equipped themselves with an extremely speedy attack. Having defeated the burly guys who intervened, even though the graduation test was altered at the end, Dia can nevertheless proudly claim his heroic accomplishment on Iron Island.

Dia voices his gratitude to Riley, but says he actually doesn't regard it as something too great. Riley wonders why, and Dia states that he was actually the target of the foe, making it logical for him to fight against them. Riley bolts with shock to hear Dia call himself the foe's target, and fails to understand why the Cue Balls would be after him.

The blue-suited man is about to ask how Dia came to the conclusion when he senses something. He quickly holds up his hand to feel for auras while Lucario and Riolu do the same with the appendages at the back of their heads. Almost immediately, Riley detects that something is spying on them high up in the skies, and Dia proceeds to climb on top of Steelix's head while ordering his Dia-special-mach-one-and-only Razor Leaf from Roo. The Torterra fires off the extremely speedy modified attack, and instantly knocks a hovering machine down from the skies.

Lucario picks Riolu up into its arms to evade the falling machine as it crashes to the ground, and Riley is impressed at Roo's accuracy in targeting a moving object in the air. He then picks up the machine, and sees that it is an intercom device that has a speaker and remote control camera. Dia remarks that he has seen the device before, which was used by the evil people to monitor battles from a distance. He believes that they are spying on him this time, and Riley wonders if it is what he meant by being the foe's target, which Dia replies with a nod.

Letting out a sigh, Riley realizes that as Byron expected, Dia's ability to see through things is higher than they thought. Moreover, the nature and schemes of the enemy whom Dia is going to challenge is on a much greater scale than he thought.

Just then, Dia gets wobbly with his feet, and begins to tumble off Steelix's head, much to everyone's bewilderment. The boy rolls down the long body of Steelix and off its tail, and crashes into a little cottage through its front door. Eldritch sweatdrops that it is the house where Byron stays during his training, and Riley hurriedly rushes in with the Pokemon to check on the boy.

Riley: Dia, are you alright?
Dia: Yes~ (gets into his One-Shot Gag pose) I'm perfectly okeeay~

Riley wonders what Dia is doing, and Dia sees that his One-Shot Gag has failed to crack the young man up. He then looks around to see that he has stumbled upon the house Byron told him about, and immediately spots the item on top of the television. When Byron sent him on board S.S. Sinnoh to train, he has warned him of the harshness he is going to face, and also told him of something that he has left atop the television at his alternate home, which he is free to take once he has obtained the passing certificate from his tutor. Dia remembers the Canalave Gymleader said the item will be useful while held by Shieldon, and happily hands Pooh the shiny little box, which Riley recognizes as a Metal Coat.

On top of the television, Dia also spots a photo frame, and sees that it contains a photo of Byron and Roark, the parent and child. He turns to take a look at Lucario with Riolu on its shoulder, also a parent and child, and begins to think of Pearl and his father, Platinum and Sir Berlitz, and lastly, himself and his own mother. Feeling moved by these many parent and child combinations, Pearl pats himself on the face, and is determined to safeguard them all. To do that, he must safeguard the future of Sinnoh.

Dia leaves Byron's house to return outdoors, and requests a little lift from Steelix again, who gladly agrees. The steel serpent straightens up its long body after Dia climbs on its head, and Dia tries to look for Lake Verity while he gazes out to the open seas. Riley wonders if he managed to spot it, and Dia grins that he couldn't, but he can see the future path that he must take.

Later, Eldritch announces the departure of S.S. Sinnoh, and together with Dia, bids adieu to Riley. Riley thanks Eldritch for taking care of Dia, and tells Dia that he will pray for his success in protecting Mesprit at Lake Verity. He adds that he likes the riceballs that Dia made very much, and looks forward to eating them again. Dia voices his gratitude to Riley, and Riolu happily waves goodbye to its rescuer.

As S.S. Sinnoh slowly gets out of sight, Riley turns his attention back to the broken intercom device that he is holding. According to Dia, this little machine belongs to the person who employed the two Cue Balls to ambush Iron Island. While people and Pokemon give off their unique aura, items emanate their own aura as well, and from this broken device, he can sense a pulse of malice, literally a dark pulse. Trying to envision the face of the culprit, Riley sees the silhouette of a cloaked man with turquoise green hair, who has the lower part of his face covered with a mask...

Meanwhile, on S.S. Sinnoh, Dia announces that lunch is ready, and the crew soon exclaim one by one at the boy's wonderful cooking. However, Eldritch begins to fume with fury, and hollers that their stored food which is supposed to be good for ten days has been eaten up in one single day...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. Dia's One-shot Gag again involves him placing one Pokeball on each eye, standing on one foot while the other is bent backwards, and his hands touching at the base of the palms in front of his chest with his fingers opened up to the sides. His line during this pose is again 'Nantomo arimashien', which means 'I'm perfectly okay' with an extended ending tone.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

382: VS Vespiquen & Mothim II

Volume 34