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At the Battle Castle, the Castle Valet Darach stands on the balcony and gazes over towards the Battle Factory. He suddenly hears the voice of Lady Caitlin from behind, and turns to see that she has come to join him under the escort of Gallade. The young woman wonders what he is thinking about, and says it is rare that his mind is occupied somewhere outside the castle.

Darach apologizes for his distraction, and explains that the challenger he lost against earlier, Platinum, is said to be challenging Thorton at the Battle Factory right now. The girl has apparently defeated Dahlia as well, and he finds it rather unremarkable. Caitlin clearly hears the cheering of the crowd coming all the way from the Factory, and believes that it must be a breathtaking match. She grins that she can understand Darach's eagerness to know how the battle turns out, and the Castle Valet blushes in embarrassment.

Caitlin recalls Platinum's battle with Darach, and states that the girl has a certain charisma about her, not only from her battle skills, but also from a determination that seems to originate from some kind of realization and burden that she carries on her back. To be frank, when she saw the way Platinum went through her Castle challenge, it made her miss the Pokemon battles that she has stayed away from for so long. Indeed, her desire to battle feels ignited, even now.

As Lady Caitlin's mind dwell on the thought of rekindling Pokemon battles, she keeps muttering her desire to fight and her eyes gradually turn blank. All of a sudden, her hair begins to grow like tentacles, and her facial expression becomes hysterical as she voices out her desperation for a battle. Both Darach and Gallade bolt in horror, and frantically try to calm her down. Darach cries that it is time for some afternoon tea, and wants to know what flavor of scones the Lady would prefer. Upon hearing the word 'afternoon tea', Caitlin snaps back into sanity again in the blink of the eye, and grins that she would like a Bluk Berry scone.

Darach kneels to receive the order, and feels thankful that he managed to control the situation. The fact is, although he has been told that he himself also turns into another person when he battles, Lady Caitlin is the one who should be really looked out for in this aspect, as there is something about her that is unknown to everyone else. Just then, the intercom signal buzzes, and Darach sees that he has received an email from Palmer, which is something rather rare.

Back at the Battle Factory, standing next to Tyranitar, Thorton admits to have underestimated Platinum, and is honestly taken aback by her strategy in using Miracle Eye to make a normally null-effect move hit. He states that he must stay really cautious from now on, but points out that his side is also pulling off a tactic that the opponent may not be wary of.

As soon as he says that, Platinum watches a gale of sand whip at Kadabra's body, and exclaims that it is receiving damage. She finds it unusual as Tyranitar hasn't pulled off a single attack yet, but quickly sees the Sandstorm brewing on the field, recalls with a bolt that Tyranitar possesses the ability Sand Stream. The Factory Head grins upon Platinum's correct guess, and both Mecha Starly and the Game Corner Manager remember that this ability summons a Sandstorm weather condition to shroud the battle arena as long as Tyranitar is on the field.

Thorton remarks that the winds of sand chip away one's health little by little, often without notice, and it is in fact a contributing reason why Platinum's first Pokemon, Loudred, fainted so early in the match. Platinum puts on a troubled look as she holds up the Pokeball of Qwilfish, but Thorton mocks her for having the thought of switching. He snickers that both of her Pokemon are susceptible to damage from Sandstorm, and teases that she must be knowledge-deficient not to be aware of that.

The Game Corner Manager analyzes that with Loudred down, Platinum only has 2 rental Pokemon left, and even if she manages to faint one of Thorton's Pokemon, she will still have a 2 on 2 battle to deal with. Mecha Starly wants to know if Platinum plans for a switch, and the girl, after a brief moment of thought, finally decides against it, and orders a Focus Punch from Kadabra instead. The psi Pokemon lunges forward to deliver a powerful thump onto the body of Tyranitar, and the super effective move manages to take out its opponent in one hit, earning a cheer from the Manager and Mecha Starly.

Thorton gets a little upset that Tyranitar has been overpowered, and pulls out his data-analyzing machine again to circle around Platinum. Starting at 87%, he gradually gets more and more confident in reading Platinum, and eventually boasts to be 100% certain that there are altogether 13 attack patterns suitable for dealing with the girl. He logically picks the best out of them, and sends Ledian out onto the battlefield again.

The five star Pokemon begins flittering around its opponent, and Platinum, knowing that bug types have an advantage over psychic Pokemon, swaps Kadabra out and switches in Qwilfish. Commanding a Rollout, she has the little puff fish ram its spiky body hard on Ledian, but as soon as the move hits, Ledian retreats into its Pokeball, and Thorton calls forward his third Pokemon, Ursaring, instead.

Mecha Starly and the Manager watch in surprise as the giant bear charges towards Qwilfish with an extraordinary swiftness, and both gasp that they have never seen such a quick Ursaring before. Platinum bolts with realization at what might have happened, and Thorton confirms her query by stating that Ledian has indeed used Agility, and passed down its heightened speed to Ursaring with Baton Pass.

Ursaring bangs its fists on the ground to unleash an Earthquake, and the powerful move causes the floor to crack and sandwich Qwilfish in between, fainting it. Platinum retrieves Qwilfish with a troubled look, and Thorton teases that one can knock out its foes without receiving any damage in return simply by gaining the advantage of speed.

The Factory Head then switches in Ledian once more, but as soon as the ladybug enters the battlefield, it turns into a shade of deep purple and faints. Thorton realizes that it must have inflicted with the poison status when it came into contact with Qwilfish earlier, and thinks the damage it received from Rollout and the previous assaults from Loudred probably put it at a very low health to start with.

Platinum calls forward last remaining Pokemon, Kadabra, and Thorton seems slightly taken aback that he is also down to Ursaring only. As the two Pokemon begin to lash out at each other, exchanging a series of physical punches, Thorton flips out his data-analyzing machine again and points it towards Kadabra. In its fight against Tyranitar, the psi Pokemon has already revealed three of its attacks to be Psycho Cut, Miracle Eye and Focus Punch. Thorton wonders what its last move could be, and closes one eye to focus on its opponent's actions intently.

Mecha Starly and the Manager exclaim that the battle has taken a twist so utterly unexpected, and have their full attention drawn to the arena. Finally, the two opposing Pokemon charge up their strength, and go for the fatal blow on each other, Kadabra delivering a punch on Ursaring's abdomen while Ursaring throwing a thump on Kadabra's face. The whole room instantly turns silent, and after a while, Kadabra's spoon slowly falls from its hand.

Thorton immediately rejoices that he has won the battle, but a voice suddenly comes on and begs to differ. The Factory Head turns around to see Palmer and Argenta standing behind him, and the blonde man states that he believes victory goes to the challenger.

Thorton starts to protest with a temper and asks for an explanation, and Palmer remarks that while the speed and strength of punches are crucial in a close-up combat, the type of punch being delivered also plays a huge role. One loses a Pokemon battle when all health points are lost, and on the other hand, the side which has health points remaining, no matter how minimal, wins. He wonders if it ever crossed Thorton's mind that his opponent's punch might be intended to absorb instead of strike, and the words hit Thorton like a lightning bolt. He realizes right away that there exists such an attack known as Drain Punch, but things seem already too late. At that moment, Ursaring's body trembles as it loses its ground, and the giant bear crashes onto the floor with a loud thud.

Mecha Starly and the Manager cheer that the situation has turned around completely, and Thorton begins to go frantic, jumping around and yelling, banging his fists on the ground and refusing to admit that he has been defeated. His eccentric behaviour causes Platinum to widen her eyes in awe, and the Factory Head brawls that the combination of his machine's data analysis and his rich bank of knowledge is a guaranteed 100% winning strategy, which makes it impossible for him to lose.

His childish whine earns him a brutal smack on the face from Argenta, and the purple-haired woman scolds him that there is a difference between having the knowledge and turning them into practical use. Thorton protests again, and says that too, is impossible, and Argenta decides that it is pointless to talk to him. She spins around to ask Platinum instead, and wonders if the girl is familiar with the physiological traits of Kadabra. Platinum nods with a wide grin, and states that the species is capable of emitting special alpha waves to ruin precision devices, something which she first experienced personally just now by partnering up with the rental Pokemon. Thorton tries to snicker that he knows the fact well, but his data-analyzing machine suddenly explodes with a boom, and Palmer couldn't help but laugh out loud.

The blonde man pats Thorton on the head and tells him to save himself from further embarrassment, and urges him to grant the Commemorative Print to his challenger. Turning his attention to Platinum, he remarks that while Pokemon are capable of ruining machines, there are also machines that can ruin Pokemon. Platinum is baffled as to what he means, and the man explains that since a few hours ago, their communication devices have gone haywire. After a bit of investigation, they have come to the conclusion that it is due to signals emitted by machines that forcefully control Pokemon, and the source of the signals apparently orginates from Stark Mountain.

Palmer knows that Platinum has been challenging the Frontier to obtain information from the Brains, and this time, they wish to learn something from her. However, before that, he would like to show a little manner, and introduces himself as the Tower Tycoon. He addresses Platinum by her full name, and thanks her for looking out for his son, which seems to spark something in Platinum's mind.

Argenta also reveals her name and title, the Hall Matron, to Platinum, and beckons to the girl, telling her to look out of the window…

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

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

428: VS Ledian

Volume 39