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At the Battle Arcade, Dahlia clasps her hands together as she recalls something important, and remembers that the Distortion World has actually been a topic that cropped up during a conversation she had not too long ago with one of her comrades, also a Frontier Brain. Her words spark hope once again in Platinum, and before the girl could ask about the details, the Arcade Star offers to let them speak to each other directly.

Leading Platinum into her resting room which is a restricted area for staff members, Dahlia turns on the visual-phone communication device, and makes a call to her colleague. Soon, a young man wearing a shirt and tie with green hair and a pointed headband appears on the monitor screen, and Dahlia merrily says her greetings.

However, to Platinum's astonishment, the guy takes a spin and gets into a funny posture before giving a response to Dahlia, and when he does so, he states that he could hear her at 93%, but then tells her not to be concerned about his numbers. As he speaks, his hands continue to move in odd gestures, while a funny sound occasionally buzzes around him.

Platinum has a hard time believing that this is the comrade who talked about the Distortion World with Dahlia, and the Arcade Star introduces him as Thorton to Platinum, stating that he is in charge of the Battle Factory. The man turns his head mechanically to steal a glance at Platinum, wondering who she is, but decides that he shouldn't be concerned about it, and shows Dahlia his newly completed data-analyzing machine, capable of both probing and analyzing, which happens to be the source of the buzzing noise.

Dahlia brushes off the topic and says she has something else to ask him, but as just she is about to elaborate, the monitor gets a signal interference, and the screen starts to jump and blur while the audio output begins to make broken sounds. Apparently, the same thing is happening on Thorton's side, and the man wonders what is interrupting their connection. He states that he can only hear Dahlia at 40% now, and Platinum sees two more people, a man with blonde hair and a woman with purple hair wearing sunglasses, appearing behind Thorton. They question if Thorton's self-made device is causing all these interference, but the man fervently defends his own invention, and in that instant, everything goes blank.

Platinum and Dahlia stare at their own reflection on the screen, and see that their connection is lost. Platinum wants to know who the two people are, and Dahlia explains that they are also Frontier Brains, the woman being Argenta of the Battle Hall, and the man Palmer of the Battle Tower. The Arcade Star finds it weird that they are showing up at the Battle Factory as everyone should be stationed at their own facility at this hour, but decides that she doesn't want to be bothered by it.

She feels sorry that Platinum didn't really get the chance to ask what she wanted from Thorton, but the girl assures her that it is alright, as she shall make her challenge at the Factory, and win the chance to speak to the man directly. Impressed by Platinum high spirits, Dahlia wishes her good luck in her endeavors, and Platinum thanks the Arcade Star for everything.

A while later, back at the reception area of the Battle Arcade, Platinum tells her Pokemon that she shall head to the Battle Factory next. Mecha Starly believes that it is to obtain information from Thorton as soon as possible, but Platinum states that a more important reason why she chose the Factory is that it is a facility where challengers could not use their own Pokemon and must battle with rental ones. It has been almost five hours since Looker headed to Stark Mountain, and she has not heard anything from him so far. She fears that something bad might have happened and she wishes she could go to join him in his task, but when the man left, he has strongly requested that she continue with her facility challenges even if he fails to return, and she feels obliged to comply with what the international police officer asked of her.

Mecha Starly still doesn't understand what it has to do with her picking the Battle Factory, and Platinum explains that since she will be using rental Pokemon in the challenge, her own team may go on behalf of her to find and assist Looker. Walking up to the Pokemon Storage System corner, Platinum accesses Bebe's PC, and selects the option to withdraw Pokemon. Earlier, she has been contacted about the completion of cure for the three Pokemon she received from various Gymleaders, and retrieves the Great Balls of Pachirisu, Froslass and Cherrim, given to her by Volkner, Candice and Gardenia respectively.

She calls out the three to gather them alongside Empoleon, Rapidash and Lopunny, and says it is time for them to shine. She hopes that they will work well with one another, and head off to Stark Mountain in place of her to lend their strength to Looker. The six Pokemon give her reassuring grins, and begin to hurry north towards the volcanic mountain.

After watching her team depart, Platinum makes her way to the Battle Factory, and quickly registers herself for challenge. She goes past the reception ladies, and soon finds herself on a transfer belt, activated the moment she steps on its lanes. When the belt arrives outside the glass windows of a battle arena, it pauses to give her a preview inside, and she witnesses the battle of a Youngster who uses a Gabite, Finneon, and Wormadam in Sandy Cloak form. The boy faints a Gloom with Finneon, then faces a Forretress with Wormadam, before finally sweeping the ground with Gabite, earning him victory over his opponent. When he gets his trade option at the end of the round, he decides to exchange Wormadam for Forretress, and proceeds to go on to his next match.

The transfer belt moves again, and Platinum soon sees monitor screens around which welcomes her and explains how the facility works. Exactly as she has learnt, challengers may only use rental Pokemon to fight, and must get used to battling without their own party. Indeed, it is not something easy to do, and Platinum finds it fateful that she was already given a taste of what it's like at the Battle Arcade.

Before long, the transfer belt ends at the preparation room, and Platinum makes the selection to take part in the level 50 single battle challenge. She is given the option to pick three out of six rental Pokemon, and after a moment of thought, chooses a Grimer, Qwilfish and Loudred. The girl enters the battle arena as her name is announced, and finds herself up against a School Kid as her first opponent. She sends out Qwilfish as her pioneer while the School Kid calls forward a Kakuna, and a heated battle quickly ensues. Qwilfish easily overwhelms its foe, and the School Kid switches in a Gastly. Platinum swaps Loudred out in response, and manages to gain the upperhand once again.

On a floor above the arena, Palmer stops to watch the battle through a glass window, and realizes that the girl is the challenger who has defeated both Darach and Dahlia, and is making her next attempt at Thorton. Ahead of him, Argenta feels annoyed that the Tower Tycoon is getting distracted again, and says it is not the time to watch casual matches as they still need to investigate upon why the communication devices are not working. Palmer tells her to calm down, and steals one final glance at Platinum before walking off with the Hall Matron.

Down at the battle arena, Platinum continues her challenge, and is determined to emerge victorious, not only for the sake of Looker, but also for the sake of her Pokemon who have gone off to Stark Mountain…

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

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

426: VS Kakuna

Volume 39