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On Route 23, Gold and Crys are hurrying on their way towards the Indigo Plateau on Typhlo and Megapon, who have now evolved into Typhlosion and Meganium. Gold grunts that he is starting to get hungry from the prolonged travelling, and reaches into his bag for some grilled potatoes he bought in Cianwood. He tosses one to Crys and tells her not to be shy, but Crys gets upset and complains that she doesn’t favour cold food. Without a word, Gold has Typhlo power up the flames around its neck to char Crys’s potato, which freaks both Crys and Megapon. Crys munches on her burnt food while still being annoyed, and Gold laughs that the potato is as dark as Crys’s facial expression. Ticked off, Crys throws the potato back at Gold, and begins lecturing him on courtesy towards girls. Gold gets a headache from her nagging, and tells Typhlo to speed up.

The two soon arrive at the Indigo Plateau, and are surprised to see the huge crowd queueing up near the entrance. Not wanting to wait, Gold flips out his scooter after retrieving Typhlo, and rudely cuts through the line. Crys angrily chases after him, but gets stopped by a guard who demands to know if she is an acquaintance of the boy. Crys quickly apologizes for his behaviour, but becomes upset and annoyed when she’s told that she has to pay the entrance fee for Gold as well. Suddenly, the scream of a middle-aged woman echoes through the room, and Crys wonders what trouble Gold has got himself into again.

It turns out that a worker who’s responsible for guarding the Pokéballs of the registered entry Pokémon have accidentally opened three which contained Yanmas, and the three dragonfly Pokémon are now causing a havoc at the reception. A middle-aged woman has had her baby snatched away by one of the Yanmas, and is getting frantic as she watches her child being carried around the room up in the air. While the guards hurry to locate the trainer of the Yanmas, Gold steps up and brags that he will take care of things.

Placing a Pokéball on the floor, Gold strikes it with his billiard cue, and the ball starts bouncing between the walls to circle in the Yanmas. A guard protests that it will hurt the infant, but Gold tells him to back off and ensures him of the child’s safety. As the ball continues to bounce about, the three Yanmas soon get dizzy from watching it. The one which is holding the baby suddenly loses its grip on it, and the middle-aged woman lets out a terrified scream. To everyone’s surprise, Gold’s bouncing Pokéball opens up to release his Sudowoodo, Sudro, and the fake tree Pokémon catches the falling child just in time.

As Sudro hands the infant back to its thankful mother, Gold takes out his Pokédex and smirks that Yanmas’ big eyes enable them to have a 360 degree vision. He made use of this characteristic of the specie to overwhelm them with rapid movements, and thus succeeded in confusing them. But before he could finish, Crys’s hand reaches out to tug him away by the ear. The girl hollers that while it is good of him to help others, it isn’t the time to show off, and says they have more important things to do.

Just then, Crys receives a call from Prof. Oak via her Pokégear, and she informs the professor that they have already arrived at the Indigo Plateau and entered the stadium. Oak requests to talk to Gold and reiterate their mission again, but Gold refuses to speak and says he already knows why they are there. With determined look on their faces, Gold and Crys get themselves ready, and begin to search for traces of the enemy among the 16 gymleaders in the stadium.

Inside, the crowd watches in amazement as the stadium battling stage splits into two to reveal a railway in between. Then, to everyone’s astonishment, a side gate opens, and the long-awaited magnet train which has been under development for quite some time speeds into the room. The crowd roars in excitement, and Mary reveals that the Pokémon League Tournament has also been set as the event for the completed Magnet Train System to commence its operation. While the train normally travels between Kanto and Johto, it is making a special stop at the Indigo Plateau that day as part of the tournament’s opening ceremony.

The Chairman then tells the crowd to welcome their Kanto and Johto warriors as the doors of the train bolt open to let the 16 gymleaders alight. Sending out their Pokémon, the gymleaders greet the exhilirated audience in different ways, and Mary begins to do a brief introduction on each of them. She mentions that fact that all gymleaders are all powerful battlers appointed by the Pokémon Association, and says while few trainers across the land manage to rival their skills, it will be interesting to see a match between the gymleaders themselves.

On Johto’s side, first comes the police officer of Violet City, Falkner, who specializes in flying Pokémon; followed by Bugsy of the Azalea Gym, a ruins investigator; the dynamic pretty girl Whitney of Goldenrod, who has established her fame in the entertainment business; the Ecruteak gymleader Morty, who posseses the special distant vision ability; Jasmine of Olivine, a mysterious gymleader whom not much to known about except for her strong iron defenses; Chuck, the highly experienced fighter of Cianwood; Clair, a powerful descendant of the dragon clan who hails from the dragon city of Blackthorn; and last but not least, old man Pryce of Mahogany, who’s appointed as Johto’s captain by the Chairman of the Pokémon Association.

On Kanto’s side, Misty is the first to be introduced as mischievous mermaid of Cerulean; followed by Brock of Pewter City, the boy of rock who’s tougher than iron; the burning flame of Cinnabr, Blaine, a renown scientist of Pokémon ecology; Vermillion’s Lt. Surge, the electrifying marine who sails on ships; Sabrina, the beautiful psychic lady of Saffron; Janine of Fuchsia, the good-willed ninja girl of darkness; Green, the rookie gymleader of Viridian, who is also the first runner up in the previous Pokémon League Tournament; and finally, the elegant captain of Kanto, Erika, who teaches at the Celadon University.

A total of eight matches will take place between the Kanto and Johto gymleaders, and victories or defeats on either side will be signified by circles or crosses respectively on the giant display screen, with triangles being a draw. With the battle between the two side’s captains set as the eighth and last match, all the other gymleaders will pick their opponents randomly by matching apricorn colours. Two covered boxes each containing the seven different coloured apricorns are carried onto the stage, and everyone apart from Erika and Pryce are told to dig their hands in to pick one out, randomly assigning themselves to each other as opponents by getting the same colour.

Clair pulls out a red one, and turns around to see Blaine holding the same coloured apricorn as hers. By a twist of fate, Lt. Surge and Morty find themselves face to face again by getting the yellow apricorn together. With the white apricorn in hand, Green looks over to Chuck who has picked the same colour, and they both share a moment of silence. Brock and Jasmine are assigned to each other through the blue apricorns, while Whitney shoots a hostile glare at Misty after being paired up. Falkner and Janine give each other a courteous greeting as opponents, but Sabrina simply turns away when Bugsy who has chosen the same coloured apricorn as hers extends out his hand.

Afterwards, the computer randomly generates the order of the first seven matches, and the names of all gymleaders are displayed on the screen. The Kanto and Johto sides then line up themselves and stand facing their opponents as the Chairman officially inaugurates the exhibition match. As the gymleaders retreat to take a seat on each side of the battling stage, the Chairman looks up to the audience and knows that Prof. Oak’s chosen trainers must be somewhere in the stadium. He wishes them luck and prays that they will succeed in discovering the true identity of the enemy, which is in fact the real reason behind the whole ceremony and the unprecedented call to congregate all gymleaders.

High up in the audience stand, Gold and Crys take a close look at each of the gymleaders, and know that the enemy they search is among these 16 people…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

154: VS. Yanma!

Volume 12