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As heated battles continue to unfold at the Pokemon League, speculations on the final outcome of the Tournament are zealously thrown around among the excited crowd. Meanwhile, a Pokemon is keeping itself busy at the Pledge Grove, a little forest along the western coast of Unova which is situated in the northern brink of Flocessy Town. The Pokemon, a blue little pony with red flowing mane, mentally prepares itself for its upcoming test, and knows that it needs a little more practice to successfully master the attack. It hopes to achieve that before its three mentors arrive, and once again focuses its energy on its horn, ready to unleash another strike on a boulder in front of it, an odd looking rock which has three slash marks on top of it, crossing paths in the centre and forming the shape of a six-pointed star.

Elsewhere, on a mountainous path, the legendary Sacred Swords Pokemon, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion, are dashing across the land and making their way towards the Pledge Grove. Speaking though telepathy, Terrakion jokes that they should hurry up as their disciple must be getting desperate, and Virizion responds with a giggle. Terrakion states that they could have been quicker if it wasn't for the unexpected drama at the Mistralton Cave, where the three of them agreed to meet up, and feels slightly bemused at what happened. Virizion pauses for a moment, and decides to ask what Terrakion thinks about the human boy they met there. Terrakion is glad that Virizion asked, and grins that the kid certainly had guts, not only staying behind on his own in the burning cave to deal with the flames with his 'elderly' Carracosta, but also standing up against them to ask for the return of Heatmor and the Patrats, despite his apparent fear towards them.

Virizion believes that it may be developing a little trust in the human boy, and Terrakion feels the same way. In fact, since their awakening, the three of them have travelled across the land and encountered a number of humans. Amongst them, those who call themselves the Gymleaders seem to share a tight bond with their Pokemon, something which it didn't expect to see.

Virizion wonders what Cobalion's opinion is, and the blue goat states that what Virizion and Terrakion said has its merits, which is why they are rendering assistance to humans. However, it doesn't mean that they have to cooperate with them. After all, it is impossible to forget the terrible things they did to Pokemon in the past, not only physical but also the emotional trauma. Cobalion believes that wars were waged and clashes occurred because of the selfish desires of humans, and with such a trait in their nature, they could hardly be deemed as 'good'. It fears that having too much trust in humans would end up making Pokemon the victims once more, and has thus chosen not to over-involve in their business.

At that moment, Cobalion senses something, and quickly forms a sword on top of its head which glows with a blue hue. It swings it sideways to deliver a slash towards a boulder to their right, and forces three masked men who have been hiding there to show themselves. The three are no other than the Shadow Triad of Team Plasma, and the trio apparently recognize the legendary creatures, addressing them as Terrakion, the cavern Pokemon; Cobalion, the iron will Pokemon; and Virizion, the grassland Pokemon.

The Pansage-masked man recalls that the four-legged creatures are said to weave the Sacred Sword, and the Panpour-masked man states that they are not in the recruiting list of Master Ghetsis. However, the Pansage-masked man believes that they would be a great addition to Team Plasma's ensemble, and points out that capturing them would eliminate potential opposing forces to their organization.

Terrakion gets ticked off by the words of the Shadow Triad, and relents that there exist more humans who seek to exploit their powers after all. The Shadow Triad dash forward to begin their capture attempt, and both Terrakion and Virizion send their swords out from the top of their heads, the former glowing in an orange hue and the latter in a green hue. The two get ready to fight and are determined to unleash justice with their swords on these arrogant humans, but Cobalion stops them, and tells them to stand back. The blue goat proceeds to use Metal Burst instead, and immediately creates a blinding explosion to send the humans tumbling backwards.

When the smoke clears, the Shadow Triad discovers that Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion are nowhere to be seen, and wonders where they have gone. The Pansage-masked man ponders for a moment, and suggests they simply let them be, since they are on a mission and still have somewhere important to go. His two comrades agree without protest, and the trio resumes their journey towards the southern border of Unova.

High up on a cliff, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion watch as the Shadow Triad disappear from sight, and both Virizion and Terrakion want to know why Cobalion stopped them from unleashing their swords on them. Cobalion states that its heart spoke, and it realized that such humans who wish to exploit them as tools are not worthy opponents to use their swords on. Since the three of them have more important things to do, it decided not to waste time, and wishes to keep moving instead.

A while later, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion finally arrive at the Pledge Grove, and the little pony beams upon seeing its mentors, grinning that it has been waiting for them. The three Pokemon address the pony as Keldeo, their disciple who follows their hearts, and apologize for keeping it waiting. Terrakion states that in order for Keldeo to stand among them, it must equip itself with the 'sword', and this will be its final test. Virizion wants to know if it has been practicing the things that they taught it, and Keldeo nods in response. It then closes its eyes, and remembers how it was instructed to firm its stance on the ground while focusing all its powers on its forehead with a clear heart. Soon after it does that, a sword forms from the horn on its forehead, and glows with a yellow hue, which impresses both Terrakion and Virizion. Keldeo tells itself that it is one step away from being the companion of its mentors, and gets ready to swing the sword against the boulder with slash marks. However, just before the sword makes contact, it sways and begins to dissolve. Keldeo trips on itself at that moment, and crashes onto the floor.

Virizion and Terrakion laugh that Keldeo has been too absorbed in its own thoughts and let down its guard in the last split second, which is why its sword vanished. Yet, Terrakion is confident that Keldeo is very close to success, and decides to help it make that final step. Virizion agrees that Keldeo already has all that it needs, and points out that Terrakion has taught it strength and charging skills, itself has taught it agility and sharpness, and their leader, Cobalion, has taught it how to toughen its heart, so as not to flinch against any opponent, no matter how strong they are. Keldeo states that it is ready to give it another go, and Terrakion grins that the ceremony itself is as important as getting strong. Virizion believes that they should review some of the basic stuff, and together with Terrakion, start a combat with Keldeo to polish up its skills.

Cobalion stands to watch from the side, but its mind drifts off to the Shadow Triad, who mentioned about going somewhere important just before they left. Cobalion grunts that these foolish people must be scheming something again, and finds its mind unsettled as it thinks of what they could be planning.

Meanwhile, on an island on Route 17, a loud bang goes off at the P2 Laboratory, which is the only building that is erected there. Inside, an insect-like creature stands in the middle of a confined room, and fires off a blast from the metallic cannon on its back. The attack explodes against the tough walls of the room which is designed to absorb energy, and the Shadow Triad, who is monitoring the creature's training through a glass window from above, believes that the outcome is quite satisfactory. The three men are certain that once this project is complete, Team Plasma's fighting force will become so strong that they need not fear anyone in this world.

The trio turns to a TV screen in the room which is broadcasting the Pokemon League, and sees that the Tournament is reaching its final stages. The camera focuses on Drayden, who is a central figure in the event, and the masked men find it amusing that the Opelucid Gymleader is trying to use the League as bait to lure Team Plasma out. The three apparently welcome the idea, however, and hope that these short-sighted fools will prep themselves well before they fulfill their wish in having Team Plasma attack the League.

The Shadow Triad then proceeds to leave the P2 Laboratory, but as soon as they go outside, they sense three presences who are spying on them. Without warning, a blast of flames, a jet of water, and a whipping vine are unleashed towards them, and the Triad quickly sends out Larvesta, Basculin and Lilligant to block the elemental attacks of their respective types. Three silhouettes emerge from behind the rocks, and the masked men wonder if they are the three legendary Pokemon they encountered earlier, but the silhouettes reveal themselves to be humans, who command a Pansage, Panpour and Pansear.

The three introduce themselves as Cilan, Cress and Chili, and state that they are the triplet Gymleaders responsible for looking after the Striaton Gym. Chili believes the Shadow Triad should already know this, but to his dismay, the masked men remark that they have no idea who they are, and Chili collapses before breaking into a fury. He angrily commands Pansear to attack, and his brothers follow suit with Pansage and Panpour. However, just as Pansear spits out a blast of fire towards Lilligant, Basculin cuts in and stops the attack. Panpour unleashes a stream of water from its tail onto Larvesta, but Lilligant gets into the way and fends off the move. Similarly, Pansage tries to land a Vine Whip on Basculin, but Larvesta steps in, and scorches it with its flames instead.

The Shadow Triad points out that all the Gymleaders should have gathered at the Nacrene Museum during their showdown earlier, but unless they have poor memory, they don't recall seeing the triplets. They mock that the triplets' strengths are probably dispensable, too weak to be worthy participants in the battle, and honestly don't find it surprising since they need three people to secure one Gym. The Striaton brothers feel frustrated that they fail to gain an upperhand in their current combat, and struggle to keep their cool as their opponents continue to taunt them.

Back at the Pledge Grove, Keldeo focuses its mind, and slowly forms a sword from the horn on its forehead once more. As soon as the yellow-glowing sword develops a sharp edge, the little pony swings it towards the boulder, and carves an additional horizontal slash mark against the existing ones, turning the six-pointed star pattern into an eight-pointed one. Alas, Keldeo has succeeded. It lets out a sigh of relief as it wears a big grin on its face, and both Virizion and Terrakion are overjoyed that their teachings have finally paid off. Cobalion stands before Keldeo to congratulate its great work, and says it has now equipped itself with the 'sword'.

The blue goat then beckons everyone to go, and Virizion wonders where they are heading to. Cobalion explains that they shall chase after the three humans they just encountered, and Terrakion wants to know why, since Cobalion said they are not worthy opponents. Cobalion states that while the fact remain true, to ignore the evil deeds of such humans is equivalent to neglecting the welfare of Pokemon, which is a sin it is not ready to commit.

Keldeo watches its three mentors getting ready to leave, and asks what it should do. Cobalion remarks that since it has equipped itself with the Sacred Sword, it is naturally expected to come with them. In fact, it thinks this will be a good chance for Keldeo to see what foolish beings humans are. With that, the four legendary Sacred Swords depart from the Pledge Grove, and begin dashing towards Route 17 where the P2 Laboratory is…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



515: VS Keldeo


Volume 50