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At the Aspertia Trainer's School, Cheren reiterates the different effects of battle items, including the X Defense, X Speed, X Attack, X Sp. Def and X. Sp. Attack, and hopes that everyone would remember them well. He then concludes the morning class, and tells his students to gather on the ground floor for Berry class that afternoon. Everyone cheers for the lunch break, and some girls plan to visit the café just beneath the Lookout.

Remaining in his seat, Lack-two looks around and observes that everything seems no different from usual. Teachings are as usual, and classes end as usual. He wonders if it means that no one at school is aware of what happened in the urban side of the city last night. The fact is, he feels slightly troubled by the machine called the Pokedex he received yesterday. He assumes that he will be asked to fill the device up and report on his progress regularly, and believes it will turn into a tedious and annoying chore sooner or later. On the other hand, after his battle with Genesect last night, he realizes that it is necessary to number up his team, and working on the Pokedex may help him find powerful new team members with partner up with Dewott.

At that moment, Lack-two sees that Whi-two is about to leave the classroom and return to her room for lunch, and thinks that there is no better common ground than the Pokedex to try getting close to the girl. He quickly walks up to Whi-two to greet her with a cheerful tone, and asks if she would like to collect data for the Dex together. Whi-two fails to handle Lack-two as usual, and stutters in an attempt to decline. Her Foongus wears an angry look as it glares at Lack-two, but its size apparently fails to cause much menace. Lack-two says he has found a great place to find wild Pokemon, and hopes to go there with Whi-two. Before the girl could say anything meaningful to reject his invitation, she finds herself dragged out of the school campus and even exiting the city borders of Aspertia.

A while later, Lack-two and Whi-two arrive at the Pledge Grove, which is a small forest situated north of Floccesy Town. Whi-two sees that they are quite far away from the School, and wants to know if there are really many wild Pokemon there. Lack-two doesn't give a response, however, and appears to be lost in thought. On further prompting, Lack-two snaps out of his trance and apologizes, stating that he was simply contemplating on how to become good friends with Whi-two. He grins that Whi-two must be having trouble fitting in being a transfer student, and says it if she sticks around with him, he could help her blend in with the rest of the class more easily. Whi-two starts to protest that she isn't having a problem, but Lack-two simply goes on to say that they could spend their time together filling the Pokedex.

Lack-two edges closer and closer to Whi-two and attempts to pat her on the shoulder, but before he makes contact, Foongus hops onto his hand and angrily puffs out a dust of spores. Lack-two instinctively somersaults backwards to evade the attack, and Whi-two is bewildered by the boy's adeptness. Lack-two apologizes for her pushiness and jokes that it has apparently angered her bodyguard. Secretly, he is taken aback by Foongus's protectiveness, and as he recalls its unexpected strength during the class battle yesterday, he makes a note to himself that he must keep an eye on it.

Just then, Lack-two notices the shadow of something moving near a boulder ahead, and tells Whi-two that her bodyguard's Sweet Scent must have attracted a wild Pokemon. He urges her to take out the Pokedex quickly, but Whi-two remains reluctant. The girl apologizes to N over and over again in her mind, and is on the verge of crying as she holds up the device with the tip of her fingers. Lack-two assures her that she won't get electrocuted by the machine, and Whi-two cries that it isn't her concern.

At that moment, a blue pony with red mane and a horn on its forehead steps out from the long grass, and Lack-two momentarily wears a serious expression before returning to his cheerful tone. He instructs Whi-two to detect it with the Pokedex, and the name 'Keldeo' shows up on the device's list of 'Seen Pokemon'. Lack-two pauses for a moment, and mutters that they seem to have by chance come across an extremely rare species. Suddenly, the wild pony attacks without warning, and forms a sword glowing with yellow hue from its horn before swinging it forward. The powerful slash immediately cuts down the tree next to Whi-two and Lack-two, and throws the two young trainers off their feet along with Foongus. The propelling force is so strong that they are thrown off the cliff behind them, and Lack-two manages to halt their fall by grabbing onto a vine that is hanging off the cliff with one hand while catching Whi-two in his other. Foongus, on the other hand, has unfortunately crashed to the ground below, but luckily the height is only minimal.

Whi-two gets a little frantic and tries to reach for Foongus, and Lack-two has to struggle to keep her steady while slowly gliding down the vine. He eventually reaches the bottom, but by then Whi-two has already passed out. Lack-two places her gently against the rocks, and the girl mutters the name 'Foongy' as her mind drifts back to a time when she was still 10 years old...

The time was 2 years ago at N's Castle…

Young Whi-two exclaims at the large number of liberated Pokemon arriving at the Castle that day, and her mother reminds not to blindly touch them without purpose. Whi-two complies, but suddenly notices a Pokeball amongst the Pokemon. She frowns that Pokeballs are wrong, and recalls what Lord N said about them being evil items that take away a Pokemon's freedom. She tiptoes over to carefully pick the Pokeball away without disturbing the other Pokemon too much, but to her surprise, the 'Pokeball' turns out to be a mushroom-like Pokemon. She squeals in astonishment as she hurls off the creature, and causes it to crash onto the ground.

While her mother and some other Grunts sigh at her silly response, the Sage Rood laughs and tells the girl that it is a Pokemon called Foongus. Whi-two is startled that she has brutally thrown one of Lord N's friends, and quickly picks it up to apologize to it. She asks Rood what to do, and Rood says she should simply let it be with the other Pokemon and take care of them. Whi-two grins that she will, and pats the Foongus while calling it Foongy. Her use of nicknames concerns Rood however, and the Sage says she mustn't give nicknames to the Pokemon since they are all meant to be released to the wild on the day N becomes the hero and fulfills the ideals of Team Plasma. He explains that it will make it difficult to part with the Pokemon if one gives them nicknames, and Whi-two nods in acceptance…

It appears that Whi-two didn't really take Rood's advice and still secretly calls her Foongus Foongy, since she keeps muttering the name while she is passed out. Lack-two overhears the nickname and uses it to call out to Foongus, who lays injured on the ground but keeps a hostile look on its face. Lack-two tells it to calm down and stop using Sweet Scent before it draws other danger close to Whi-two. He picks it up onto his shoulder, and hopes that it will stay docile while he takes them back to the School.

Later, Lack-two arrives at the front gate of the Trainer's School with Whi-two in his arms, and startles the other students who have already begun their Berry class. Mayu pauses in her digging while Yuuko freezes upon seeing the way Lack-two carries Whi-two like a prince would to a princess. Yuki simple faints, and everyone soon swarms around them. Cheren wears a worried look on his face and asks what has happened, and Lack-two replies that they have been attacked by a wild Pokemon while trying to collect data for the Pokedex. The girls exclaim that Lack-two's injured all over and his hands are bleeding, and one even cries out in fear that Lack-two mustn't die.

Lack-two assures everyone that he is alright, and plans to take Whi-two to the medical room first. The girls in class all volunteer to come along and help, and during the fuss, Whi-two slowly regains consciousness. The girl looks up in a dreamy state, and sees an up-close of Lack-two's wounded face, which reminds her of the time when her Lord N got similar scratches while trying to befriend the legendary black dragon. The unexpected thought immediately causes Whi-two to snap out of her trance and bolt to her feet, and she frantically jumps off Lack-two's arms. She hollers that she can walk on her own, and without another word speeds off towards the medical room by herself.

That evening, back in his room, Lack-two sits across Dewott and wonders what it thinks of the Pokemon Keldeo they encountered earlier that day. It is clear that the sword it wields is extremely powerful, but there is something else about it. Dewott points to its eyes, and Lack-two agrees that there is apparently a hint of frailty in its eyes, which implies that it is shouldering some kind of burden. Lack-two then asks about Whi-two, and Dewott gestures towards its Pokeball. Indeed, Lack-two has observed as well that the girl never seems to retrieve its Foongus into a Pokeball, not even once since the day she arrived at school.

Lack-two steals a look at their school calendar, and reads that there will be a community visit next week, followed by a choral competition and cultural festival later. He decides that he should make good use of these events to hopefully shorten the space between Whi-two and himself…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



529: VS Foongus


Volume 52