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At the Desert Ruins of route 111, Maxie, Courtney and Hank wait patiently as Tabitha returns. The big man enters the dimly lit room with a grunt, and tells the Team Magma leader that Mt. Chimney has officially become a dead volcano. Maxie wonders if the scanner is ready yet, but Hank says he is still trying to get the machine to work. Courtney puffs that she is fed up with waiting, and requests to go out on her own to search for the orb their team is searching for. Maxie tells her to do as she wishes, but motions her to exchange lighter records with the other two FireHeads before she leaves. Courtney, Hank and Tabitha pull off their own memory fire lighter from their hoods, and spark up a combined fire. The three high-tech little machines immediately mix and record the events stored in each of them, and Courtney proceeds to take off on her Swellow. Maxie throws off his cape, and remarks that he should probably go work on his part as well.
Meanwhile, at Verdanturf Town, Ruby is taking part in the normal rank cute contest after travelling all the way from the Weather Institute in Gabby and Ty's car. The announcer states that it is time for the second stage of judging, and Ruby gracefully orders a growl from Coco, who is wearing a velvet shawl over its back. The audience go dreamy-eyed listening to the beautiful cry, and Coco's appeal bar instantly shoots up to a maximum. Together with the high number of votes received during the first stage of judging, the announcer declares Coco the winner, and Ruby happily waves thank you to the audience. The contest house artist adds a final touch to his sketch of the Delcatty, and walks through the cheering crowd to hang it next to the one he did for Nana, which won gloriously at the cool contest earlier. The people exclaim at Ruby's consecutive victory, and wonder if the boy will claim the champion title in the three other contest categories as well.
During the wait for the next set of contest to come on, Ruby quickly finishes the sweater he's making for Zuzu, and puts in on the Marshtomp, saying it will definitely cause a sensation among the audience later. Ruby grunts in pain as his back still hurts from the fight and fall with his father a while ago, but instantly lights up again when takes out the new contest pass he just applied to have a look. After roaming across the land for more than a month since he ran away from home, he's finally made his first step in his dream to conquer all Pokémon contests in Hoenn. He retrieves Zuzu and places it next to Nana, Coco, then pulls out the pokeballs of his two newest team members: Mimi, the Feebas who will be responsible for the beauty contests, and Popo, the Castform who will be responsible for the smart contests.
Ruby starts taking photos of his Pokémon when Gabby and Ty come up with the camera rolling, and joyfully request an interview with him. Ruby tells them to give him a moment, and hurriedly pulls out a mirror to tidy up his looks. Gabby sweatdrops at the boy's insistence on appearing glamorous, then tells Ty to reload the camera and proceeds to ask about Ruby's reason for rushing himself through all five contests within a day. Feeling well-groomed and confident, Ruby proudly makes his first debut on TV and starts to say that his team possesses the finest qualities, but he suddenly remembers that people have actually seen him already from the footage of the Slateport shipyard's hidden camera.
A sense of embarrassment courses through Ruby's mind, and he quickly crouches down to hide under the table while Gabby wonders what is going on. Just then, the announcement comes on and tells all participants of the beauty contest to enter the hall. Ruby apologizes to Gabby and Ty and immediately turns around to dash in with his Pokémon. Watching Ruby scramble to his feet, Ty is still uncertain if it is a good idea to give Mr. Stone's Castform to the boy. He remarks that they should be scouting for information on the submarine vessel incident instead of waiting around in contest houses, but says her instincts as a journalist gives her a feeling that they will learn something important from Ruby. She tells Ty not to worry too much, and decides to go in and watch Ruby competing.
Inside the contest hall, the beauty contest's second stage of judging is about to begin and the announcer has decided to once again introduce how contests work in Hoenn to the audience. He explains that there exist four different ranks of contests, namely the normal, super, hyper and master ranks. Each rank is made up of five categories: cool, beauty, cute, smart and tough. After claiming victory at the normal rank there in Verdanturf, trainers and their Pokémon can proceed to take part in higher rank contests in other cities. Gabby and Ty listen with surprise, and realize that Ruby will have a total of 20 contests to conquer.
The announcer continues to say that while the first stage of judging is decided by the audience's number of votes based on the Pokémon's appearance alone, the Pokémon will try to appeal with their special moves during the second stage of judging. He commences the move-based appeal section of the contest, and the audience starts gossiping about Ruby's weird choice for a beauty contests. The boy has picked his Feebas, Mimi, for the contest, and due to its apparently ugliness, it received the least number of votes in the first stage of judging and will thus be last one to appeal with its move.
Ruby looks over at the Altaria, Medicharm and Camerupt he's competing against, and thinks to himself that the one thing he has learnt from fighting his father at the Weather Institute is to startle. Winning the beauty contest with an elegant and charming Pokémon cannot really reflect a trainer's skills, but if one prevails with a Pokémon that is not fundamentally beautiful at all, it's most certainly going to cause a startling sensation. Altaria, Medicharm and Camerupt finish unleashing their appeals, and Ruby puts on a confident grin as he orders a water pulse from Mimi. The Feebas immediately creates a swirl of water currents in the tank, and gracefully flips its tail and fins as it rides on the splashing waves. The audience exclaim in shock at the Feebas's elegance, and applauses begin to thunder across the hall. Looking up proudly at the cheering crowd, Ruby suddenly gasps in surprise as he spots a familiar face...
Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us
217: VS. Medicham!
Ruby Wins the Cool & Cute Contests
Ruby takes part in the Beauty Contest