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At the Sky Pillar, while Salamence and Latios continue their fight, Ruby keeps Zinnia immobilized on the ground, and requests to know about the crisis that is about to befall their planet. Zinnia is both amused and surprised to learn of his intention, and wonders how Ruby knows of such a thing. Ruby snaps that he asked the question first, and Zinnia giggles that he should really improve on his manners instead of barging into people's places and making demands. The woman relents that it actually makes her troubled that she is getting intruders at this stage, and thinks Ruby leaves her with little choice.

At that moment, Salamence aims a blast at Ruby instead of Latios, and knocks the boy off Zinnia. The woman climbs back onto her feet, and gets into a combative stance as she calls for a formal match. With a roar, something sparkles on the garment that entangles her right leg, and in a flash of rainbow light, Salamence transforms into Mega Salamence, its wings melding into a single crescent shape while its limbs regress to make its body more streamlined.

Ruby realizes with a start that Zinnia also carries a Keystone in her leg garment, and Zinnia explains that it is her Mega Anklet. She licks her lips as she tells Ruby to show her his full strength, and Ruby promptly orders Latios to lunge forward. However, Mega Salamence fends off the tackle with its armored abdomen, and causes Latios to hurt itself in the impact instead. Latios grunts that Salamence's defense has drastically increased with its Mega Evolution, and Ruby believes that they should do the same. Raising his left hand, Ruby calls for the light of his keystone to intertwine with that of the Latiosite, and places two fingers over his Mega Bracelet. In a flash of rainbow light, Latios glows radiantly and Mega Evolves. Mega Latios asks Ruby with a sweatdrop if the fancy words are really necessary, but Ruby is happy with his speech and thinks it makes things cooler.

Zinnia warns Ruby to be prepared, and gets Mega Salamence to unleash a Hyper Voice. The powerful attack shocks the entire room and shakes Mega Latios to its core. Fortunately, the psychic dragon has taken on a defensive stance, and manages to stand its ground, which greatly impresses Zinnia. Ruby acknowledges that Salamence's ability changes from Intimidate to Aerialate upon Mega Evolution, and knows this turns all normal type attack to flying type. He believes that Zinnia must thought the combination of this ability and Mega Salamence's flying type could make Hyper Voice powerful enough to knock out its opponent, but the fact is, Latios would not be dumb enough to take the full hit without guard.

The two dragons continue to lock themselves in a close up combat, but Mega Latios is apparently more agile and dodges most of its opponent's moves. Ruby watches as Mega Salamence gets irritated, and snickers that he would not be only attacking from the right again. With that, Mega Latios targets from the left to deliver a powerful Luster Purge, and manages to floor Mega Salamence. Ruby towers over the fallen dragon, and states that he wouldn't simply chase it away this time. Hearing Ruby's words, Zinnia comes to realization of what he means, and breaks out in laughter as she marvels at the revelation. 9 years ago, Zinnia was trying to free the dragon lord from the Pokemon Association's research building. During her attempt, her Salamence accidentally battled a young boy, and it would appear that this boy was no other than Ruby.

Thinking back on the incident, Zinnia slowly puts the whole picture together, and decides to accept Ruby as a worthy trainer. She looks over her shoulder, and rationalizes that the yellow Pokeblocks he dropped was in no way by accident either. She could see that Ruby must have somehow recognized her daughter Aster's relaxed nature, and made him lure it with its favourite sour flavoured Pokeblocks. Ruby confirms her query by showing her his Pokeblock Case, and Zinnia, after a moment of thought, agrees to reveal to Ruby the crisis that shall befall the planet and what she plans to do about it, since she thinks Ruby would not be making any stupid choices.

Meanwhile, at the Slateport Contest Hall, Lisia marvels at Ruby's intelligence, and thinks he is really a genius in Contests. She squeals that he makes the best Pokeblocks, and has the ability to understand a Pokemon's favourite flavour with just one look. She dances around in circles with her Altaria, Ali, and believes that she should call this title of this story 'The Taste of Victory, The Miracle Pokeblock Maker'. Sitting at the table in the same room next to his Machoke, Chaz wears a bored look on his face as he listens to Lisia talk about Ruby for the umpteenth time since the TV show ended the day before. His lack of response makes Lisia query if he has been paying attention at all, and Chaz sighs that it's about time Lisia gives it a rest. Lisia wagers that Chaz is just jealous, but Chaz quickly denies it with a frown. Lisia then resumes her fan-girl mode, and tells Chaz that Ruby's talent is not limited to Pokeblocks. She drags Chaz to the other side of the room, and shows him 5 Pikachus, each dressed up differently with different names: Pikachu Rock Star, who wears a red and black rock star jacket with feathers on its eyebrows; Pikachu Belle, who wears a lady-like blue hat and dress; Pikachu Pop Star, who wears a cute pink dress and bow; Pikachu Ph. D., who wears a lab cab and heavy glasses; and Pikachu Libre, who wears wrestler tights with a mask on its face.

Lisia explains that they are a new project thought up by Ruby, who discussed it with the world-class Contest Promoter, Bern Watts, half a year ago and eventually made it a reality. She marvels with starry eyes at the cuteness of the 5 Pikachus, but Chaz thinks he's heard enough about Ruby and tells his Machoke, Macherie, that they should probably just leave. However, Lisia immediately stops him and cries that she isn't finished yet. She reveals that there is actually something that worries her, and says she overheard a conversation between Ruby, a Hoenn TV reporter and her cameraman the day before after the shooting was over.

At that time, the reporter, Gabby, asked Ruby if he would keep walking down the Contest path, and Ruby cryptically said he would liked to. Gabby questioned if he was implying something, and Ruby said his dream was to pursue Contests where he can seek the Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, Coolness and Toughness of Pokemon. However, there was apparently some kind of situation which has come to deter that, and Ruby remarked that the shooting was possibly his last time taking part in Contest-related activities. Before Gabby could clarify anything else, Ruby hopped off the shore onto a giant Wailord named Lorry, and headed off for the Southern Island.

Lisia sighs that Ruby's words made her extremely worried, and she wonders what he really meant. Chaz, on the other hand, believes that Ruby must have simply found something more interesting than Contests in other regions, and plans to shift his attention to it. Lisia protests that it is impossible, and walks over to the wardrobe to show Chaz two specially designed clothes for trainers during Contests, a female one based on Pikachu Pop Star's style, and a male one that is based on that of Pikachu Rock Star. She explains that Ruby designed the clothes because Pokemon Contest Live is a show and he felt that trainers should dress up as well, which could make the show more fun and fuel the audience's excitement. She recalls Ruby saying himself that he looked forward to witnessing such a scene, which is why it is impossible for someone as dedicated to Contests as him to just leave and abandon everything. As she speaks with heightened emotions, Lisia grabs Chaz by the collar, nearly choking him, and Chaz quickly states that he never said Ruby would abandon Contests. At that moment, the telephone rings, and Lisia picks up to find her uncle calling. She immediately begins to complain that Chaz is bullying her, while Chaz pants to catch his breath and wonders whom it is that really got bullied.

Back at the Sky Pillar, Zinnia and Ruby stand beneath a ceiling that has crumbled and gaze upon the evening skies. Zinnia points towards a shining star in the distance, and says to make things simple, the 'crisis' is a giant asteroid that is aiming straight for their planet, which is expected to land somewhere near Sootopolis. She reveals that they have only 10 days before the asteroid strikes, but technically a bit less than 10 since night has already fallen during their heated battle. Given the size of this asteroid, which can only be described as 'supersized', unless it changes course, it will destroy the entire Hoenn and turn the planet into ashes upon impact. Even if they are lucky and it doesn't hit Hoenn directly, it is still very likely going to make the Earth a dead planet that is not inhabitable by humans or Pokemon.

Zinnia states that the crisis has been known to her people for a very long time, and their clan has prophesized that such a threat would come from space way above the skies since 1000 years ago. For that, the method to protect their planet has been passed down by generations of Successors, and right now, she is the only one who can fulfill such a task. Ruby wants to know if that means she is the authentic Successor, and Zinnia grins that she is. The woman remarks that she has no time to waste since the threat must be dealt with as soon as possible, which is why she really cannot afford to have people interfere with her work, especially ones who barely understand what is going on and only know how to rely on science and fancy machines.

Ruby wonders what she means, and Zinnia snickers that in frank and simple words, she is referring to Devon Corporation, the company that is dominating the Hoenn Region, which is also her enemy. Ruby suddenly breaks into a giggle upon hearing it, and Zinnia wants to know what is so funny. Ruby grins that he should state it frank and simple as well, and reveals that the Mega Bracelet he wears was actually given to him by her enemy's heir. Zinnia immediately narrows her eyes, and questions with a taunting tone if Ruby means he is on Devon's side. Ruby puts on his most innocent smile, and says nothing remains certain indefinitely. He then bows to thank Zinnia for sharing the information with him, and Zinnia says there is no such need. In fact, she herself has wanted to meet and thank Ruby for a long time, and Ruby is confused as to what she means. Zinnia explains that their dragon lord wouldn't have managed to escape from the research building if he had not battled her Salamence 9 years ago, and the answer causes Ruby's mind to bolt with realization.

Zinnia's Whismur, Aster, calls out to Zinnia at that moment, and Zinnia agrees that it is time to go. She climbs on board Salamence, and once again expresses her gratitude to Ruby for what happened 9 years ago. She then goes airborne, and as Ruby watches as the woman fly away, he touches the scar on his forehead and tries to digest all the information he has just heard.

Back on the S.S. Tidal which is sailing towards Dewford Town, Joseph Stone looks through a pair of binoculars, and monitors the progress of the Dex Holders on the island. He sees that Sapphire and Emerald have succeeded in Mega Evolving Blaziken and Sceptile, and knows that the only left to do is for the Pokemon to master unleashing the ultimate attacks in their Mega state. Initially, he has planned to await Ruby's arrival before moving onto the next stage of their plan. However, they really have no time to waste, and he decides to proceed anyway.

The man calls out to Mr. Briney to tell him to dock the ship at Dewford, and the old sailor wants to know if they are not going to wait for Ruby. Joseph admits with a nod and says they will have to make do with just Sapphire and Emerald for now. With that, he wears a look of uncertainty, and hesitantly takes out a device known as the Dimensional Shifter from his pocket, which is meant to be filled with the entirety of Mega Blaziken and Mega Sceptile's forces…

Countdown to the asteroid's impact: 9 days!

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



003: VS Mega Salamence!

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