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Morning has arrived in Nuvema Town. As the sun rays slowly dry up the ground from the rain of the previous night, the little town slowly comes to life and two Pidoves leisurely take a perch on the wooden fence just outside the Science Lab of Prof. Aurea Juniper. On the lane leading to the lab's front door, a postman, accompanied by his Herdier, pushes a cart towards the direction of the mailbox, and comments that while the weather is starting to turn warm, the early morning and late evening hours are still chilly, especially if there is rain.

The man opens up Aurea's mailbox to find a parcel wrapped in ribbons inside, and believes that it is the package that he is meant to pick up and deliver. He digs out the order form in his pocket to double-check on the recipient's address, and is about to turn and go when a young boy suddenly lurks up on him from behind and pats him on the shoulder, eerily muttering the word 'parcel'.

The postman instantly freaks out at his unexpected intruder, and flings his arms around, smacking the boy off his feet. The boy lets out a yelp as he crashes into a puddle of water on the ground, and the postman sees that his intruder is a teenager wearing a red cap, black pants and blue jersey. Next to him stands a Braviary, and underneath him lies a Munna, currently squashed by his weight from the fall.

Recovering from his shock, the postman hollers that the parcel is not to be handled lightly, as it is an important delivery from Prof. Juniper to a kid named Black. The boy grunts that he is the person the postman is looking for, and in an attempt to prove himself, drags the man off towards south without another word. They swiftly arrive in front of another house, Black's own, and the postman sees that it is indeed the address on his order form. Black then calls out to his aunt who is hanging up the laundry on the rooftop, and the woman responds by calling out Black's name. The boy believes that he has given enough evidence to the postman to make his point, and without warning, yanks him back towards the front door of Prof. Juniper's Science Lab again.

There, the postman gets Black to sign his name on the recipient's form, and continues to sweatdrop as he makes the weirdest delivery ever in his life. As Black holds the parcel in hand, one that he has been waiting for so long, he breaks out into a maniacal cheer and starts jumping up and down in joy.

The postman only then notices that Black is drenched from head to toe, and wonders if he has been waiting there in the rain since last night. The boy confirms his suspicion with a big grin, and remarks that he is so excited that he could not sleep. After all, he has been looking forward to this day for 9 whole years. Black's hysterical behavior becomes too much for the postman to bear, and the man quickly turns to leave, thinking that he will be putting himself in danger by staying one second longer.

The boy takes a seat on the floor as he starts to unwrap the parcel, and his two Pokemon, Munna, nicknamed Musha, and Braviary, nicknamed Brav, watch intently as they wait to see what new companion they are going to gain, a companion, as Black put it, who will accompany them to win the Pokemon League.

Flipping the box open, Black sees the three starters, Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott, staring up at him from inside their Pokeballs, each with their names labeled on top. He gasps that they all look wonderful, and recalls that he is supposed to select one out of the three. Attached to the lid of the box are three Pokedexes, high-tech electronic devices that could record and display a Pokemon's data, and Black trembles with exhilaration as his picks one up, ecstatic about the idea of finally going on a journey with it.

Black's trembling from joy soon turns into a real shiver as the morning cold air creeps under his jersey, and with a tingle in his nose, he lets out a big sneeze, causing him to drop the box and inadvertently pop out the three Pokemon from their Pokeballs. Slightly startled, the critters sit in a circle on the ground, each with a blank look on their face as they turn their gaze left and right.

However, as soon as Tepig and Snivy lay eyes on each other, the two let out a snicker and promptly spin their heads towards the opposite direction. Oshawott watches on with a helpless expression, and Black wonders why there seems to be a tension between the fire and grass starters.

Tepig steals a glance at Snivy with the corner of its eye, and with a devilish grin, slaps the rounded tip of its tail on the puddle of water between them. This splashes rain water towards Snivy, and the grass snake hurriedly mops itself clean with an annoyed look. It then gets into a fury and smacks its leafy tail hard on Tepig.

Before long, the two are battling it out again, and while Oshawott attempts to pacify them, Black, on the other hand, seems excited to see a showdown between the starters. The boy remarks that fighting is an innate quality of Pokemon, and says it is cool how they can always translate their emotions into action. He cheers for Snivy and Tepig to keep up their tension, but the one who ultimately suffers turns out to be Oshawott, who is trying to hold down its companions but keeps getting whacked on its face by their tails.

Finally, as Tepig once again thrusts its tail into Oshawott's face, the little sea otter could take no more, and goes into its reckless mode. It peels off the scalchop from its belly, and delivers a Razor Shell on Tepig, sending it flying and crashing against the patch of grass next to the Research Lab. It then turns its attention to Snivy, and continues to slap it with its scalchop.

Tepig struggles to get back on its feet, and suddenly puts on a dejected look. It steals one last glance at Black and the two other starters, and without warning, dashes off into the woods. Black jumps in astonishment at its unexpected behavior, and quickly gives chase.

A while later, when Aurea Juniper returns to her Research Lab, her jaw drops in utter shock as she stares at the mess that is at her front door. Not only is the wooden door severely scratched with one of its glass panels shattered, the outer walls also have their paint chipped off with Oshawott lying battered at the doorstep and Snivy stuck inside her mailbox which metallic pole has been bent out of shape. On the wet and muddy floor, two of the Pokedexes lay soaked next to the parcel that is supposed to contain everything.

The young woman demands to know what has happened, and turns to the two young ones behind her: Cheren, a black-haired nerdy looking boy with glasses, and Bianca, a blonde cheerful girl who wears a green cap. Cheren puts on a frown and says he is about to ask the same thing, and remarks that he has been waiting for the arrival of the three Pokemon meant for Bianca, Black and himself from Prof. Juniper, but for some reason, the package never came.

Aurea explains that she had business to tend to in the morning and thus asked for delivery service to collect the parcel from her lab and take it to Black's home. However, from the look of things, it seems that Black must have stood guard at the lab and taken the package from the delivery man directly, and opened it on the spot. Aurea picks up the two soaked Pokedexes from the ground, one red and one pink, and takes another look at Snivy and Oshawott, who are both dirtied from head to toe. She feels a surge of rage inside her, and yells that she needs to know immediately where Black, Tepig and the other remaining Pokedex have gone.

Before Cheren could give his answer, Bianca suddenly stops him, and hands Snivy over to him, stating that it is now his. She then picks up Oshawott to claim as her own, and Cheren doesn't understand why she gets to pick the owner of each starter, even though he knows well that she is flighty and has her own way of doing things. Bianca grins that Snivy gives off a vibe that reminds her of Cheren, and since Tepig is obviously with Black and the professor said each of them gets to have one starter, she figures that Oshawott suits her best.

Cheren and Snivy share a look with each other as they sweatdrop, and Aurea is annoyed that Bianca is still sidetracking when the most important issue now is to find Black and Tepig. She sends out Minccino to sweep the area clean with its tail, but then spots a few footprints which appear to belong to Tepig. Cheren observes that they seem to trail off towards the woods, and the three decide to follow its track.

Soon, they hear a fuss ahead, and rush forward to see Black standing on a big tree with Tepig crouching on the end of a branch, facing the other direction. Around them, Black's Braviary hovers in circles while his Munna stays afloat with its psychic powers. Bianca and Cheren exclaim that Black is in a very dangerous pose, but Jupiter puts her finger to her mouth to silence the two as she keeps her attention on the boy and Tepig.

On the tree, Black tells Tepig that he knows it feels dejected and ran away because it appeared inferior after beating defeated by its two companions. He notices that Tepig is having a cold, and believes it must think that it would not have lost if it was at its full health. The boy then takes a sneeze himself, and says he too, is suffering from a cold. He tells Tepig that he has decided to choose it as his partner because he feels connected to it, and the statement causes the fire piglet to widen its eyes in pleasant surprise. It turns to take a look at Black as tears start to well up in its eyes, and the boy formally introduces himself to the little Pokemon.

Tepig merrily spins around to make its way to Black, but a blast of leaf suddenly ambushes it from nowhere, and nearly knocks it off its feet. Black gasps that something is attacking them, and looks around to try to find the culprit, but to no avail. Bianca cries that the situation is critical and Cheren agrees that it is hard to evade when the attacks come so swiftly and they have no idea where the attacker is. However, Prof. Juniper seems hardly concerned and says it is an opportunity.

Cheren doesn't understand what she implies, and the young woman states that today is the day that she bestows upon the Pokedexes and the three starters to Cheren, Bianca and Black, marking the beginning of their journey to collect the Pokedex data for her. Truth is, she knows very little about Black, and she only chose him as her third candidate due to Cheren's high recommendation. What happened back at her front door frankly made her upset and even caused her to reconsider her decision. However, if Black manages to handle the current situation on his own, he will prove himself to be a trainer whom she recognizes. Cheren grins in understanding, and says they will soon witness Black's special gimmick in that case, which makes Aurea raise her eyebrow in confusion.

Back on the tree, Black grits his teeth in frustration as he tries to figure out what kind of Pokemon is attacking them and where it could be. He smacks his own head and tries to clear his mind, but finds that he is unable to think straight. He gestures to Musha, and Cheren states that it is finally happening.

To Aurea's shock, Munna clamps its mouth on Black's head, and starts a munching motion. The young professor wants to know what it is doing, and Cheren explains that Black's head is constantly filled with dreams to win the Pokemon League. The excess of such dreams makes it impossible for him to think of anything else, which is why whenever Black needs to use his analytical mind, he gets his Munna to eat his dreams and turn his mind blank. In a blanked mind that is essentially pure white, crucial facts will darken and surface as black spots, allowing Black to know exactly what he is dealing with.

As Black's vision turns into a field of hexagonal spots, everything around him becomes white. His attention is then drawn towards a bush of leaves that is behind him, which slowly congregates into black spots to outline the silhouette of a creature. Black hollers that it is the one responsible for ambushing Tepig, and proceeds to pull Musha off his head. He could see that all the trees branches around him are flourishing with leaves, with the exception of the one which Tepig is standing on, which is barren and completely stripped. He rationalizes that leaves must be of importance to whoever is attacking, and says this abnormal distribution of leaf growth indicates the exact location of the culprit.

With that, Black gets Brav to deliver a gust of wind towards the leaf bush behind him, and a Sewaddle instantly leaps out from it. The Pokedex in Black's pocket beeps in response, and the boy takes it out to see that it is displaying information about the sewing Pokemon, showing that this creature creates clothes for itself by using leaves. Obviously, the tree branch which Tepig is standing on is the territory of this Sewaddle where it utilizes the leaves for cloth-making, and it is now angry at the fire piglet for intruding its zone.

Sewaddle delivers another blast of Razor Leaf at Tepig, and cracks the twig where it is standing. Black exclaims in horror, but Tepig propels itself into the air before the twig breaks off, and leaps upwards from branch to branch until it is right above Sewaddle, and delivers an Ember, which manages to faint the leafy bug in one hit.

Bianca marvels at the skills of Tepig, and Oshawott cheers for its companion. Cheren is also awestruck by its quick reflex and agile movements, but Snivy, on the other hand, makes a face and turns its head away with a snicker.

Tepig lands safely in front of Black, and the boy wants to know if it agrees to have him as its trainer. The fire piglet nods its head as it wiggles with joy, and Black states that now that it has become his partner, it should learn to join them in their daily practice. The boy trots over to a nearly cliff with Brav and Musha, and proceeds to take a deep breath.

Cheren hurriedly plugs his ears with his fingers, and Aurea wants to know what he is doing. Yet, she discovers soon enough, as in the next instant, Black suddenly yells at the top of his voice with a deafening tone that startles both Aurea and Tepig.

Black: ROAAARRR!!! I WILL CONQUER THE POKEMON LEAGUEEEEE!!! SURELY SURELY SURELY SURELY CONQUER ITTTT!!! CHAMPION!! ELITE FOUR!! WAIT FOR ME!!!

While Prof. Juniper is still recovering from her shock, Black has already gotten ready to set off, and climbs onto Brav with Musha and Tepig. The Braviary goes airborne in a single smooth motion, and Aurea could only watch next to Bianca and Cheren as it disappears from sight. She sighs that things felt a little bumpy, but technically it still went as planned. She remarks that Cheren and Bianca should embark on their journey as well, but the two young trainers soon discover that their Pokedexes are out of order.

Aurea gasps in shock as she checks that both devices indeed fail to initiate, and realizes that they must have been damaged during the fuss in front of her lab earlier. It suddenly dawns on her that Black's Pokedex is the only one that is currently working, but it is clearly too late to do anything about it now, as Black has already gone off and disappeared from sight on his Braviary…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



462: VS Sewaddle


Volume 43