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High up in the skies, Zinnia states that only the Draconids are meant to take on the giant asteroid, and orders Salamence to knock Ruby and Sapphire off from their dragon lord. Salamence instantly charges forward, and the two Hoenn Dex Holders send out their Gardevoir and Gallade, Rara and Kirry, to fight. However, Salamence hits them hard with its blood-red wings as it flies through, and causes the pair to wince in pain. Zinnia cries that their target is not the Pokemon but the two trainers, and Ruby suddenly senses the presence of another Pokemon behind them. Zinnia commands a Dragon Pulse from Salamence, and Ruby quickly asks Rara to set up a Misty Terrain. To his shock, another attack strikes from another direction simultaneously, and floors both Rara and Kirry with an explosion.

Ruby and Sapphire quickly check on the two, and Zinnia states that Misty Terrain cannot half the damage of Boomburst. Ruby turns around, and sees that the other Pokemon which he sensed was a Noivern. He wonders when it appeared and how Zinnia issued commands to it, and the young woman reminds him that she is fighting as two on her side. At that moment, Sapphire catches a glimpse of a silhouette on top of Noivern, but finds it disappear into thin air as she tries to focus. Rubbing her eyes, she wonders if she is hallucinating, and Rayquaza suddenly begins to act strange and chase after Noivern. As if it has expected it, Noivern turns around to fly even higher, and Ruby fails to understand why Rayquaza is on its trail. Sapphire gestures to Ruby to explain what she saw, and Ruby is astonished to learn that she felt the presence of someone on Noivern. Zinnia overhears his words, and is amused that Sapphire managed to sense it as well. She states that even when people pass on, their thoughts linger, especially to those they have bonded with, which is exactly what the dragon lord felt. Ruby realizes with a start that Zinnia is talking about Aster, and the Noivern apparently belonged to her.

As Rayquaza ascends vertically after Noivern, the bat dragon suddenly u-turns to take a sky-dive and the green serpent follows suit. The motion throws Ruby off his feet however, and he struggles to cling onto the body of Rayquaza. Grabbing the chance, Zinnia gets Salamence to unleash a burst of flames on the boy, and blasts him off into the air as the flames sear at his body. Sapphire cries out in horror at the scene, and inadvertently regains her voice as she calls out his name in desperation. Ruby begins to free fall from height, but feels glad that Sapphire can talk again. Sapphire quickly retrieves Rara and Kirry, and with a determined look, hops off Rayquaza, after which she manages to catch Ruby by his hand.

Meanwhile, Rayquaza continues to follow Noivern, who returns to Zinnia and guides the dragon lord to her side. Pleased that all intruders are gone now, Zinnia kneels before Rayquaza on her Salamence, and states that she has been searching for it ever since she freed it from the Pokemon Association's research building. Wishing for its return, she has worked to awaken Kyogre and Groudon 4 years ago, although the incident ended up with Rayquaza being exploited by people not worthy of bonding with it, which led to it departing in rage at that time. She introduces herself as the new Lorekeeper, successor to Aster, and pleads the dragon lord to bond with her. However, before she could finish her sentence, Rayquaza flicks its tail and jabs her in the abdomen, causing the young woman to cough out a mouthful of blood. Shocked and surprised, Zinnia shows Rayquaza the 5 Keystones she has gathered for it, and once again pleads it to bond with her in order to save the planet. Yet, Rayquaza lets out a blast from its mouth, and knocks an astonished Zinnia off from the skies, sending her tumbling into the oceans below.

A while later, Emerald searches the area with Latias and is relieved to find both Ruby and Sapphire safe and sound on Troppy. Emerald flies over to meet them and recalls his horror when he saw them falling off Rayquaza, and Ruby explains that they were saved thanks to Troppy. He wants to know where Rayquaza is, and Emerald reveals that it is circling the skies above Sootopolis. The blonde boy contemplates on using his E-shooter to calm the rampaging dragon, but Ruby thinks it would be hard to pinpoint a hometown of the legendary Pokemon. Indeed, Emerald was intending to try the soil from the Draconids' Village, but on a deeper thought thinks it probably wouldn't work. Ruby wishes that they have the Mega Bracelets with them, and Sapphire asks what happened to Zinnia. Emerald explains that she fell into the sea after Rayquaza brutally rejected her, and Latias states that her brother Latios has just rescued the young woman and brought her to Sootopolis, where she thinks they ought to be going as well.

The three Hoenn Dex Holders slowly descend into Sootopolis City, and find Zinnia unconscious on the ground next to Latios, who informs them that the Draconid did not suffer from fatal injuries. As they gather around, Steven and Joseph Stone arrive at the scene and are pleasantly surprised to see the three young trainers together. At that moment, Zinnia comes around, and overhears Joseph Stone's name being mentioned just as the Devon President becomes aware of her presence. Steven wears a worried look, but Joseph pats him on the shoulder and approaches Zinnia, stating that he has been hoping to meet her. Turning her head away, Zinnia scorns that Joseph Stone must feel exhilarated to see her in her state right now, and offers to let him ridicule or interrogate her as he wishes. However, Joseph says that is not his intention, and states that he is there to apologize to her and the Draconids.

Zinnia widens her eyes in shock and couldn't believe what she is hearing, but Joseph assures her that their act of capturing Rayquaza and experimenting on it was in no way intended to offend or belittle the Draconids' lore. In fact, it was because they believed in their lore that they hoped to find a way to fully control Rayquaza's powers. Unfortunately, they were too zealous and reckless, and didn't spend time as they should have to seek the trust and help from the Draconids. Instead, they pushed on with brutal force in their capture, which resulted in the irreversible mistake they made at the Embedded Tower. Afterwards, they also failed to handle Rayquaza properly, and when Zinnia attacked the research building and freed Rayquaza, they used it as an excuse to completely abandon its research and turn their attention to the Dimensional Shifter. With all that said, he hopes Zinnia believes him that everything they did was purely to save the planet and they have simply chosen the path they deemed best. He realizes that their actions have inadvertently disrespected and trampled the Draconids, and for that he wishes to ask for her understanding and forgiveness.

The Devon President drops to his knees and bows sincerely to Zinnia, but the young woman gives no response and simply fingers the Mega Anklet on her left leg, the one that once belonged to Aster. She then breaks her silence, and asks what Aster thinks of the man's apology, which she didn't find apologetic at all. Joseph Stone's face whitens with shock at her answer, and Zinnia points out that he isn't really apologizing but simply asking for forgiveness to lessen his own guilt. She states that every word that came out of his mouth was tinged with arrogance, and believes that he must think they can achieve everything the Draconids can and control any legendary Pokemon with their science. A good example is their work on the Dimensional Shifter. They created the technology to warp away the giant asteroid, but didn't give any thought on where the asteroid would wind up. They didn't think of the possibility that the asteroid may end up threatening and destroying another life-bearing planet just like theirs. In short, it is just the same as what they did at the Embedded Tower. They are so sure of their choices and content with simply keeping what they deemed important safe, even though other people and other things may get hurt or destroyed. To say the least, they obviously lack imagination.

Zinnia has tears welling up in her eyes as Joseph Stone falls silent at her accusations, all of which are unfortunately true. The young Draconid states that their village lost all hope when they lost Aster, and everyone believed that the planet was doomed to destruction. However, she refused to sit back and accept their fate, which was why she decided to do whatever it takes to save the planet, even though she knew she could never match up to Aster's abilities. When she stepped up to take the role of the next Lorekeeper, those in the village who deemed her unqualified strongly opposed and thwarted her. Thinking back, perhaps they were right to do so.

Ruby and Sapphire are at a loss of words at Zinnia's speech, but Emerald steps forward and says it is irresponsible of Joseph Stone and Zinnia to give up just like that, after their actions have gotten so many people involved and caused such a big mess to the Hoenn region as well as other people's lives. He believes that there must still be something they can do, and both Joseph and Zinnia look at the boy with astonished looks…

Countdown to the asteroid's impact: 2 days!

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

019: VS Noivern