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Morning has once again arrived in Sinnoh. Outside the front door of the Battle Tower, the Tower Tycoon Palmer greets his companions, and says they will be expecting a huge amount of visiting Pokemon trainers today as usual. He hopes that everyone will not hold back and give their best like they always do, so as to live up to the name of a Frontier Brain.

Palmer then concludes his morning briefing, and dispatches the three other present Frontier Brains back to their own facilities, Dahlia the Arcade Star to the Battle Arcade, Thorton the Factory Head to the Battle Factory, and Argenta the Hall Matron to the Battle Hall.

Suddenly, a silhouette crops up behind Palmer and fires off a weapon towards him, but the Tower Tycoon instantly detects that it is a Bonemerang, and grins that his guest has finally come. The man turns around to catch the hurling bone club with ease, and breaks into a smile of content as he greets his old friend Riley. Leaning against the Battle Tower's front door with his Lucario, the aura-user remarks that the Frontier is certainly booming at its one-month opening, and commends that without a doubt, it is on par with the facilities of another region he has visited in the past. Palmer thanks his pal for the compliment, and says Riley achieved something rather remarkable as well, having traced down his target to the place where the anomaly happened.

The aura-user's smile instantly fades from his face as he recalls his close encounter with the Team Galactic agent at the Spear Pillar, whom he had a brief but unrewarding battle against, and remembers how he failed to stop the tall purple-haired woman from escaping on her Starmie. In fact, not only this woman who exuded tremendous evil aura, but also the other three Team Galactic Commanders managed to flee the scene after recollecting themselves.

Riley holds up the broken speaker-camera intercom device, and remarks that he could no longer detect any aura from the machine, which leaves him as good as clueless on how to trace his foe. Perhaps if he could get the machine repaired and working again, he would be able to get something out of it. Palmer gets an idea after hearing Riley's thought, and after pondering for a moment, believes that he might just know the one machine freak who could fix it. Riley instantly beams with pleasant surprise, and Palmer tells him to for wait for a moment as it is probably time to open the gates.

With that, the Tower Tycoon makes a call to his front-door staff, passing down orders to start the day, and the reception ladies standing at the Frontier's entrance proceed to pull back the doors, letting in the huge crowd of trainers from all over the nation, each of them anxious to make their mark at this edge-cutting battleground.

Among them are Platinum and Looker, who have just partnered up as allies to assist each other on their separate missions at the Battle Zone. To their left, a Poke Kid and Tube Boy wonder where they should challenge, and a Ninja Boy says they have tried the Factory and ought to attempt something else today. To their right, a Sr. decides to give it a go at the Tower, but the Jr. immediately freaks out about it.

Suddenly, a robotic Starly, which serves as the escort to newcomers at the Battle Frontier, spots Platinum and Looker, and flies over to them, its memory chip letting it know that it is their first visit to the place. Speaking with a mechanical tone that somewhat annoys Looker, it wants to know which facility the duo plans to challenge, and offers to explain the rules and regulations of each one to them.

However, Platinum politely rejects its kindness, and explains that she is already thoroughly familiar with every single facility's system and rules. Looker bolts in surprise at the claim, and Platinum grins that this Battle Frontier boasts a total of 5 different facilities, and each challenger aspires to conquer all of them.

Flipping out a Rule Book to the Frontier, Platinum begins to recite and brief Looker on each facility. First, there is the Battle Factory, where one must use rental Pokemon to fight instead of their own. Next is the Battle Arcade, where a roulette will be played before each battle, its results leading to an effect on the challenger's Pokemon, the opponents' or even the battle field. The third is the Battle Castle, where one can borrow items or Berries as they go along, or probe the stats and information of their upcoming opponents. Fourth one is the Battle Hall, where one can designate the opponent's type and have one on one battles with them.

Last but not least, there is the Battle Tower, which requires little explanation as it is simply a facility where challengers go through a series of full-blown Pokemon battles in order to climb to its top. The Battle Tower also exists in the region of Johto and Hoenn, and is probably the most renowned facility of all.

Looker's jaw drops in amusement as he listens to Platinum's speech. He knew right from the beginning that he would be working with a wealthy scholar girl, but he is nevertheless thrown by the utter intelligence that she displays, and could hardly hide his admiration. He shoos off the annoying Mecha-Starly, stating that a knowledgeable challenger will not need its escort. Platinum grins that knowledge is only just knowledge after all, and say it is important to combine knowledge and experience, which is why she is determined to challenge and conquer each and every facility.

Hearing that, the international police officer lets out a deafening roar of heart-felt reverence, and causes Platinum and Lopunny to jump back. He hollers that she made her statement with such grace and elegance that it totally reflected her status as a true lady, but Platinum simply grins and tells Looker not to make a big deal out of it. Looker starts to address Platinum as 'the Lady', but just as he does so, another female voice comes from behind and asks if he is calling her.

Platinum and Looker spin around, and find themselves face to face with a young woman with long brown hair and a pink dress. Looker realizes that there must be some misunderstanding and walks up to explain that he was actually talking to Lady Platinum. However, the moment he steps into a certain proximity around the young woman, a Gallade materializes out of nowhere without warning and delivers a slash towards him.

Looker immediately ducks backwards with his well-trained agility, but only manages to evade the deadly attack marginally. Platinum exclaims with surprise, and Looker cries that it is certainly a bolt from the blue. The international police officer barely has time to wonder what is going on though, as the Gallade follows up with another barrage of slashes, each of them getting harder and harder to dodge. Finally, it makes contact with Looker, and slices his clothes into pieces, leaving him with just a vest and his underwear on.

Looker gasps in total shock at the intensity of the attacks, and knows that it is the powerful Psycho Cut. He remarks that Gallade is able to manifest its blade-sharp determination into reality with its sword-like elbows, and could see from its positioning that it is trying to protect the young woman.

Platinum then bows in apology to Gallade, and explains that Looker meant no harm to the young woman at all and it was just an unfortunate misinterpretation. She tells Looker to apologize, and the officer, feeling slightly insulted, does so albeit unwillingly, simply because he doesn't want to cause more trouble. The young woman, on the other hand, barely acknowledges the gesture, and simply turns around to leave with Gallade.

Platinum and Looker soon see that the young woman is heading towards the Battle Castle, and are surprised to see how she is welcomed in with bows of respect from the receptionists. Relating this to the extremely powerful Gallade she possesses, Looker believes that she must be the person of the highest tier at the Battle Castle, in other words the Frontier Brain of the facility. The police officer starts to ponder on the eerie feeling exuded by the young woman, and is quite certain that she knows of something. With that, he announces that they should challenge the Battle Castle first, and drags Platinum along, who is startled by his sudden actions and suggests he get some clothes back on first.

A few moments later, Platinum and Looker are lining up outside the Battle Castle, and while the girl patiently waits for her turn, the police officer is a bit annoyed by the long queue. The comforting thing to know is, the line moves relatively fast, and they soon see another bunch of dejected trainers walking out from the battle room with their fainted Pokemon, among them are the Poke Kid, Tube Boy and Ninja Boy they saw earlier.

Platinum says it seems that most challengers fail to get past the first or second battle, and Looker agrees that the opponents should be getting increasingly difficult to beat. Platinum reads from the Rule Book that the Castle's Frontier Brain will be fought at the 21st battle, and causes Looker to roar in disbelief the way that he usually does.

Before long, it is Platinum's turn, and a young man in suits who has dyed part of his hair gold welcomes her in. Upon the commencement of her first round of 3-Pokemon single battle, Platinum sends out Empoleon as her pioneer, who manages to beat a Porygon-Z after a slight struggle. Rapidash is up next against a Glaceon, who gains the upper hand with its type advantage. Finally, the third match is between Lopunny and a Mantyke, and the rabbit Pokemon tactfully emerges victorious.

As Platinum takes out all three Pokemon of her opponent, the suited young man declares her the winner, and compliments on the battle. As he turns to look up, he remarks that the interesting match should lighten up the mood of Lady Caitlin, and Looker, following his gaze, soon sees the brown-haired young woman they met earlier sitting on a throne next to the Gallade. The police officer makes sure that he memorizes her name, and proceeds to ask if the suited guy is her butler. The young man nods and introduces himself as Darach, and says he is responsible for conducting and judging the challenges, which Looker will see in time.

Platinum takes a look at her team of three, and sees that although the battle wasn't particularly intense, they have nevertheless been worn out to certain extent. She believes that she should do some healing with the help of Berries, and confirms from her Rule Book that challengers can rent hold items for their team for a certain charge.

The young girl takes out her purse which has enough cash to cause Looker's eyes to ball out, and is just about to reach for the bank notes when Darach stops her, and states that one does not need real money to rent the items. Instead, within the Battle Castle, the currency used is the Castle Point.

Platinum puts on a confused look upon hearing the term, and Darach proceeds to explain that Castle Points are needed for everything in the facility: 1CP for seeing the opponents' Pokemon, 2CP for renting Berries or items, 10CP for restoring HP, and so on. In short, the challenger must know how to wisely 'manage' the CP at hand in order to advance at the Battle Castle.

Platinum repeats the term 'manage' as if she's hearing it for the first time, and an ominous feeling instantly creeps down Looker's spine. He remembers how Platinum simply signed a name and bought a luxurious Villa, and starts to worry if a wealthy girl like her knows what it means to manage one's assets. It seems that they are having a bit of crisis there...

(Original Japanese Jokes)
There are no jokes or Manzai in this chapter.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

418: VS Porygon-Z

Volume 38