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Having beaten the gymleader Gardenia, Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz are ready to leave Eterna City and resume on their journey towards the far-off Mt. Coronet. That morning, they received three free foldable bicycles from the bizarre Owner of the Rad Rickshaw's Cycle Shop they met the day before, who attributed his rescue to the trio and insisted that they receive his gifts.

Right now, the three young trainers and their recently evolved Pokemon which they received at the beginning of the journey, Monferno, Prinplup and Grotle, are standing at the gates above Route 206, right in front of Sinnoh's famous Cycling Road.

Dia marvels once again at the cool foldable bicycles, and Pearl remarks with a big grin that the items will certainly make their travelling quicker and easier. Barely able to contain their excitement, the boys hurriedly climb on their bicycles as soon as they step through the northern gate of the Cycling Road, and begin to speed away. However, Dia soon notices that Lady Berlitz is seriously lagging behind, and turns around just in time to see the girl crash and fall off her bike.

Pearl quickly heads back to help the Lady up, and is for the first time hit by the realization that cycling is apparently not a natural ability of everyone.

Pearl: (sweatdrops) Are you trying to tell me that you can't ride a bicycle?
Lady Berlitz: (calm) No, I rode a bicycle.
Pearl: But you can't ride it.
Lady Berlitz: No, I did ride it.
Pearl (explodes with fury) YOU CANNOT RIDE A BIIICYCLE!! WE NEED A SPECIAL TRAINING NOOOW!!

Dia, Chimlord, Prinplup and Grotle jump back fright at Pearl's deafening holler, but Lady Berlitz simply covers her ears with her hands, and maintains a neutral facial expression.

Meanwhile, Prof. Rowan and Sir Berlitz are about to arrive at Canalave, the western port city where the current academic conference is going to take place. The two ride on a small rubber boat which is propelled by a Floatzel, which is apparently a unique means of transport along the waterways in the city. They soon dock at the central pier, and Rowan sees that many other Floatzels are busy securing the rubber boats, and helping to direct the passengers.

Sir Berlitz remarks that the conference this time will last for two whole weeks due to the large number of presenters and research topics, and Rowan says it is an invaluable chance for Pokemon scholars and professionals across the nation to exchange their ideas, which will be a great opportunity to learn. The professor looks around and soon sees the tall building of the Canalave Library, which will be the conference's venue, and Sir Berlitz grins that its grand hall on the ground floor must already be packed with people.

As the two man head towards their destination, someone else is talking loud on his Pokegear just across canal on the other side of the pier. A purple haired man who wears a brown and tattered cape walks next to his Shieldon, and laughs as Roark tells him from the other end of the phone about his recent defeat to a prized challenger. The scruffy middle-aged man believes that Roark is simply still too raw in his skills, and says he shall fair better next time. He then decides to continue on their discussion which they had at Eterna, and soon disappears into the direction opposite of the Canalave Library.

Back on the Cycling Road, the trio is standing right at the top of the slope, ready to start their special training. Pearl explains that it will be easier to learn without the supporting wheels, and wonders if it will be all right with Lady Berlitz. The Lady nods and states that the book has told her pedalling and balancing must first be practiced individually, which is why one must let go of the pedals at the beginning.

Pearl sweatdrops that the girl is indeed full of knowledge, and Lady Berlitz proceeds to push herself forward on the bicycle. However, things are obviously easier said than done, and the Lady instantly crashes while Prinplup, Pearl and Dia crunch their faces in unison, almost as if they can feel her pain.

Pearl: (tries to comfort) Try not to rush it. Get your balance by...
Lady Berlitz: I'm not rushing it. (crashes)
Pearl: (tries to comfort) This road is slightly sloping downwards, and your feet may feel wobbly as you ride... Don't be afraid.
Lady Berlitz: I'm not afraid. (crashes)
Pearl: (tries to comfort) You're just learning, so it's normal that you crash. Don't cry even if it hurts.
Lady Berlitz: It does not hurt, and I'm not crying. (crashes)

Down below on Route 206, a Stunky gets woken up by Lady Berlitz's crashing sounds, and pokes its head up with an annoyed look from the rocks. Back on the Cycling Road, Pearl frowns as Lady Berlitz once again crashes, and comments that she will learn something from each fall. He soon notices that the Lady is sitting on the floor to check on herself, and wonders what is wrong. A tear twinkles in Lady Berlitz's eyes, and she states that she has scratched her elbows and knees. Dia nearly chokes on his croquette, and lets out an exclamation when he sees how red they've become, but Pearl barks that a bit of pain and abrasion cannot be avoided, and if one is unable to tolerate them, she will never be able to ride a bicycle.

Pearl's words strike hard on Lady Berlitz, and she forces her tears away as she struggles to stand up. She bitterly remarks that she shall practice on her own, and beckons Prinplup to come along. Dia takes another bite of his croquette and starts to get worried as the girl heads off by herself, but Pearl remains firm and says there is no other way.

Pearl: (annoyed) Right! Right! We shall do a Manzai verse on bicycles now!
Dia: What~!! (startled)
Pearl: Come on, let me butt-in! Act dopey now! (towers over Dia)
Dia: Whaaa~~~~~ (jumps back)
Pearl: Here, dump your food! (throws away Dia's croquettes)
Dia: Whaa~~~~~ (tries to save his food)

Pearl: Speaking of Pokemooon!
Dia: Speaking of Pokemooon~
Pearl: We can ride a Bicycle on our jooourney~
Dia: On our jooourney~
Pearl: The Bicycle we received this time allows us to change between four gears. First gear, second gear, third gear and fourth gear.
Dia: Oh, you and I have four ears altogether as well! First ear, second ear, third ear, fourth ear...
Pearl: (smacks Dia on the face) I said 'gear', stupid!!

Pearl: When you change gears, you can alter the speed of your Bicycle.
Dia: Is thaaat so~
Pearl: In fourth gear, we can even shoot ourselves up those slopes of running sand in one go.
Dia: What! (hollers) Why would you want to do something as dangerous as shooting yourself!!
Pearl: (collapses)

Dia and Pearl notice that Chimlord and Roo are not really paying attention to their performance but are looking towards Lady Berlitz's direction with a worried look instead. Dia remarks that even their Pokemon are concerned, and sees that the girl is sweating with anxiety and begging Prinplup never to let go as the blue penguin uses its hands to steady her bicycle from behind. However, Pearl grunts that having someone assist you takes away the very challenge of cycling, and fails to see how she will ever learn her balance.

At that moment, the Stunky on Route 206 has climbed onto the Cycling Road, and after shooting a glare at the three young trainers, turns around to shoot out a fluid from its behind. Instantly, a terrible stench fills the entire area, and everyone rolls their eyes back as they get dizzy from the powerful smell. Lady Berlitz cringes as she holds her nose with her fingers, but soon gets overwhelmed, and without warning loses consciousness on her bicycle.

Dia and Pearl bolt in horror when they see the bike start wheeling down the steep slope with its user fainted, and quickly jump to their feet. Pearl grabs his own bicycle while yelling that he shall give chase, and tells Dia to stay behind and find out the reason behind the bad stench. Pearl beckons Chimlord and Prinplup to both come along, and the two Pokemon hurriedly hop onto the back of the bike as the boy begins pedalling forward as fast as he could.

Pearl looks ahead and sees the big opening at the center of the Cycling Road's lower part which is for tourists' viewing of the deep valley below, and knows that if he doesn't stop the Lady in time, she will crash against the short walls that surround it and falls right through. However, given his current pace, he will never catch up with the Lady before she crashes. Pearl tells Chimlord to provide extra propelling force with the flames on its tail, and the Monferno immediately intensifies the ember on its tail to explode it backwards, causing the bicycle to jet forward like a rocket.

Unfortunately, even with the added boost, Pearl is still slightly lagging behind Lady Berlitz, and wishes the road would extend longer. He suddenly realizes that it is indeed possible, and tells Prinplup to create an ice path ahead, something that it should be able to do it now that it has evolved. The blue penguin recovers from its initial shock at the suggestion, and puts on a determined look as it fire an Ice Beam out from its beak to aim forward.

The attack lands at where the short wall surrounding the central opening is, and carves out a passageway that angles all the way up towards the sky, essentially forming an ice slope to extend the upper part of the Cycling Road. Lady Berlitz's bicycle courses along it, and eventually comes to a halt when it is almost in a vertical position. The Lady regains consciousness at that moment, and subsequently begins to scream when her bike starts to wheel backwards on the ice path. Fortunately, Prinplup catches her in time, and Pearl wipes off a sweat a relief, saying that the scare has just shortened his life by several years.

Pearl compliments on Prinplup's good work, and Dia soon arrives on his bicycle with their other Pokemon. The boy and Roo are breathing through their mouths with nose-plugs in their nostrils, and Pearl sees that the Grotle is carrying a Stunky on its back. Dia takes out his Pokedex and explains that he has finally found the reason of the intense stink. It turns out that the Stunky has been disturbed by the sound of Lady Berlitz's cycling, and thus sprayed out the noxious fluid in revenge. He picks up the Stunky and grins that the Pokedex claims the stench will linger for 24 hours, and Pearl instantly hollers that he should have sent it away immediately in that case.

Just then, Lady Berlitz dashes through them on her bike, causing Prinplup to rejoice and the two boys to gawk in shock, Dia sniffing out his nose-plugs even. It seems that the Lady has finally learnt her balance, and everyone quickly cheers for her success. Lady Berlitz beams with joy and disbelief, and announces that she is really riding a bicycle. She pedals around excitedly and starts speeding down the slope on the Cycling Road's lower part, but soon discovers that she will need help from Dia and Pearl again.

Keeping a calm face and using her most sincere tone, she thanks the boys for teaching her how to ride, and hopes that they will teach her how to stop it now. Pearl yells that she must use the brakes, but the Lady in turns asks what they are, and Dia cries that the Stunky has just scratched him. All the while, Chatlord chatters and repeats that 'the Lady can ride'.

At the southern gate of the Cycling Road, a man with blue spikey hair steps out into the open air, and silently looks up at the road signs in front of him, the one ahead pointing towards Oreburgh City, and the left one towards Mt. Coronet...

(Original Japanese Jokes)

  1. In the first half of the Manzai dialogue that plays on the Bicycle, Pearl says their current bike can change gears on 'Itsu-soku' (gear 1), 'Ni-soku' (gear 2), 'San-soku' (gear 3) and 'Yon-soku' (gear 4), but Dia chimes in and says under their shoes, they also have 'Itsu-soku' (one sock), 'Ni-soku' (2 socks), 'San-soku' (3 socks) and 'Yon-soku' (4 socks). 'Soku' means both gear/speed and sock in Japanese.
  2. In the second half, Pearl says 'Yonsoku ni sureba nagareru suna no saka mo hitoikide noborerun desuyone', which means 'With gear 4, we can easily speed through those slops with running sand'. Dia replies that 'Nanto! Abunai kara sonna ni Speed dasuna!', which means 'What! You should not ride at that speed since it is dangerous!'. The 'pun' is on 'Suna' (sand), which also appears in Dia's last word 'Dasuna' (don't ride).

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



348: VS Stunky


Volume 31