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Along the western shoreline of Sinnoh is a solitary island known as Iron Island. To get there, one must take the regular liner, S.S. Sinnoh, from the harbour of Canalave City. In the past, the area used to be a prosperous ore mine, and work has been done to make it into an artificial island. Now that the mine has dried up and no longer serves its purpose, it has been opened to ordinary trainers and gymleaders as a training ground for Pokemon battles.

Dia waves and thanks Eldritch as he gets off board the S.S. Sinnoh with Beh, Roo and Pooh, and joins Riley and Lucario on Iron Island. Riley states that the Canalave Gymleader, Byron, often comes to train as well, and begins to lead the way into the island. He tells Dia that it will be the venue of his special training, and they soon stop on a flat piece of outdoors ground.

Commencing their session, the blue-suited guy calls forward Lucario, and Dia wonders what he should do. Riley tells him to unleash all three of his Pokemon on him, and says the step of his training is to battle him and his Lucario in a 1 versus 3 match.

Dia gets a little doubtful, but decides to follow Riley's orders anyway, and commands a Rollout from Beh, Razor Leaf from Roo, and Iron Tail from Pooh. Before the three attacks strike, Lucario takes a leap to evade, and delivers a Close Combat on Roo. It slams its powerful fist onto the shell of Torterra, but the continent Pokemon manages to stand its ground and propels its foe upwards.

Taking a somersault in mid-air, Lucario follows up with a barrage of Aura Spheres, and the attacks begin to shower down on Dia's three Pokemon. Beh and Pooh quickly take shelter under the big tree on Roo's back, and as soon as Lucario lands, Dia orders a Wood Hammer from Roo. The Torterra takes a small jump before swinging its heavy tree onto Lucario, and Beh and Pooh work to exaggerate the effect by pressing their weight downwards. Lucario struggles to support the heavy burden on its shoulders, and just when it seems like it is losing the fight, another shower of Aura Spheres tumbles down from the sky and scores direct hits on Roo, Beh and Pooh, knocking all out them out.

Dia gasps in astonishment and wonders what has happened, and Riley states that Lucario has won the fight. It turns out that right before Lucario descended from its leap earlier, it has fired off a barrage of Aura Spheres towards the sky. By closely calculating the time it takes for the attack to return, it has lured Dia's Pokemon to attack, and allowed the falling Aura Spheres to strike them at their most vulnerable position.

While Dia heals his Pokemon with Berries, Riley states that Dia lost because he was too optimistic about Roo's powerful attack. Nevertheless, he has showed himself to be good trainer. Most notably, his team excels in defense. When Lucario delivered its Close Combat, Torterra barely moved, and both Munchlax and Shieldon are also Pokemon with excellent guarding skills. Despite their slow movements, his three Pokemon will be a sturdy team to behold, especially after Munchlax evolves into a Snorlax and Shieldon into a Bastiodon.

Another strength his Pokemon have is their team work. When the Aura Spheres showered down, Munchlax and Shieldon hid themselves under Torterra's big tree, showing their wit in terms of defensive tactics. When Torterra unleashed its Wood Hammer, the already weighty continent Pokemon was supplemented by the two smaller but equally weighty Munchlax and Shieldon, causing the power of the attack to increase by many folds.

On the other hand, Dia must tackle his weakness in speed seriously, because slow attacks will have trouble landing on the foe, just like how Dia's three Pokemon failed to hit Lucario with their moves despite being the ones to attack first. Putting Dia's strengths and weaknesses into consideration, Riley states that he has decided to pick Course A for Dia, and beckons the boy to follow, who is baffled as to what Course A means. Walking up a flight of stairs, they soon come to a cave opening, and the two slowly make their way in.

Upon entry, Dia instantly exclaims at the sight of the huge cavern, and Riley explains that there are a total of three lower ground floors. Pointing towards a flight of stairs to their right, Riley says it will take Dia to the first lower ground floor, and if he keeps moving, he will soon find other staircases to eventually lead him to the lowest floor. This route is what he meant by Course A, and Dia should return to where they currently are to complete the cycle. In the second part of their training, Dia will be required to go through Course A for five more cycles.

Dia feels himself getting dizzy from all the numbers and directions, and Riley states that he will accompany Dia in his first cycle, but he shall go on his own starting from the second. Through handling the assortment of wild Pokemon he will encounter on the way, Riley wants Dia to spot his own weaknesses from the battles, and figure out a strategy to correct them. He warns that the wild creatures can come from front, back, left, right, and just about any direction, and Dia voices his understanding as he takes a nervous gulp.

Dia and Riley proceed to start their first cycle, and walk down to the first lower ground floor. Suddenly, a Steelix charges out from its hiding place towards them, and Dia hurriedly orders Pooh to defend. The little Shieldon slams its tough face against that of the steel serpent's, and manages to block it from advancing. Riley silently observes, and is impressed that the boy has stopped its foe timely despite his slow speed.

Steelix next resorts to attacking with its tail, and Dia bolts with a start as he calls Beh forward, who uses both of its hands to halt the heavy tail's thrashing motions. Dia then prepares to get Roo to attack, and Riley sees that he is using Shieldon and Munchlax to stump its foe while Torterra looks for an opportunity to strike.

The blue-suited man gazes onto the ground to ponder for a moment, and suddenly wants to know the exact date. Dia wonders what he means, and Riley explains that he wishes to know when the organization known as Team Galactic is going to ambush legendary emotion Pokemon who sleeps at Lake Verity, one of Sinnoh's three symbolic great lakes. He says he is aware of the fact that Dia is training for the sake of stopping this evil business and protecting the legendary Pokemon, and Dia, with an anxious tone, replies that he has heard that it will be the coming Saturday.

Riley considers the time that it will take to travel from Iron Island to Lake Verity, and states that Dia only has three days left. Given the limited time, Dia must work as hard as he could...

(Original Japanese Jokes)
There are no jokes or Manzai in this chapter.

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



379: VS Lucario I


Volume 34