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Evening has arrived in Sinnoh. Outside the Fuego Ironworks, the wild pack of Luxios and Shinxes cuddle against each other as they slumber underneath the shelter of a big tree. Right next to the factory's entrance, Pearl sets up a fire, and sits in a circle with Chimlord, Chatlord and Raylord. The chilly night breeze brings a shiver down his spine, and he can see from the skies that snow could start falling anytime now.

Pearl states that the winter seasons have apparently come, and wonders how his three companions are doing. He notices that while Chimlord is capable of keeping itself warm with its flames, Chatlord and Raylord are shivering like himself. Pearl sighs that he has little to fight against the cold as well, and starts to fiddle with his sleeves, slowly extending them. Turns out, they have been folded up all this time, and both Chimlord and Raylord sweatdrop and tumble over at how easily their trainer switches from his summer to winter attire.

Pearl grins in content that a simple stretch of the sleeves has made him warmer, and Chatlord repeatedly chatters the word 'warmer'. Pearl decides that it is time to carefully go over Team Galactic's order forms at the ironworks, and see if they can pick up any hints from the components they requested. However, before he could finish a page, he starts to doze off, and eventually gets annoyed that the warmth is making him sleepy, and decides to fold his sleeves back up again, causing his three Pokemon to sweatdrop once more.

Just then, Mr. Fuego appears at the entrance and calls out to them, wondering if they really prefer to stay outside. For the past few days, the factory has been in full operation non-stop, and it is currently short of energy to run the lights and heaters, but he still thinks it will be cozier indoors and invites them in. Pearl thanks the old gentleman for his offer, and says the outdoors will be good enough for them. Mr. Fuego then tells Pearl to simply yell out if he is in need of anything, and retreats back into the factory.

Flipping through the order forms, Pearl starts to work out the whole picture by tracing back to the very beginning, the G symbol. The first time they encountered such a sign was back at Veilstone City, where they were caught up in a battle against a team of oddly dressed people. Back then, they didn't know the organization was named Team Galactic. All they knew was, they were after the Lady, and he and Dia have made a promise to protect her.

Afterwards, at Celestic Town, the G symbol appeared again on the attire of a man, who exuded a terribly menacing atmosphere just by standing there. Dia has questioned the man if he is the boss of the organization, and although the man did not give a reply, judging from the powerful Pokemon and skills he possessed, as well as the confidence he displayed, it is beyond doubt that he belongs to the top tier in the organization.

The man has claimed to be in search of a force that can create an ideal world where all pointless competitions will be put to an end, and Pearl remembers him introducing himself as Cyrus. In fact, on careful thought, Pearl is certain that he has heard of the name from Dia and the Lady before, and Chatlord keeps chattering the phrase 'has heard'. Digging deeper into his memory, Pearl finally recalls that when they accidentally entered Lake Acuity with Dr. Footstep, the two Scientists Dia and the Lady encountered have stated that their orders were passed down by boss Cyrus, the representative of the Space Energy Development Company, which is exactly the name of the organization showed on the order forms. Clearly, Team Galactic is in disguise under the name 'Space Energy Development Company' when they face the world.

Finally, at Canalave, the Lady's father became the victim of a ransom, and the culprit has revealed to him that he came from Team Galactic, an organization aiming to create a universe. Thinking back, Cyrus has also mentioned about the existence of things on a grander scale, something as grand as the universe itself.

It seems to Pearl that everything about Team Galactic is related to the keyword 'universe', including the term 'space' in their disguise name, which essentially means the same thing. He fails to figure out what they mean by creating a universe, and is even more confused when he tries to relate it to their current scheme, which is to bomb the lakes and dry them up.

Pearl concludes that the first question they need to figure out is the relationship between the two, and moves on to his next query, which has something to do with the order forms. He raises his voice to call for Mr. Fuego, and the old gentleman arrives with such promptness that the boy couldn't help but sweatdrop. Pearl flips through the pile of order forms, and finds it odd that only one copy of each component is requested. Mr. Fuego confirms that it is the case, and Pearl feels a little stunned as it implies that only one Galactic Bomb is made.

From Cynthia's Grandma, they have learnt that there are three major lakes in Sinnoh, Lake Acuity, Lake Verity and Lake Valor, each being the home to one of the three Pokemon governing knowledge, emotions and willpower respectively. The Galactic Bomb was made to explode and dry up the lakes, in order to capture these three legendary Pokemon of Sinnoh, Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf. Now, the number of targetted lakes is three, and the number of legendary Pokemon under pursuit is also three. It is therefore extremely odd that the number of bombs is not three, and Pearl finds his mind all juggled up when he tries to understand the reason, although he is sure that they are only one step away from the truth.

Pearl is trying to figure out what Team Galactic has in mind when he is distracted by the noise of metals crashing against the ground. He turns around and sees that Mr. Fuego has accidentally spilt over a box of products, and the old gentleman apologizes for startling him but this particular batch of components have been severely delayed in dispatch due to the whole drama and he has to hurry.

Helping Mr. Fuego gather up the scattered components, Pearl notices that most of them are bolts and nuts, and Mr. Fuego explains that they are ordered by the Cycle Shop at Eterna City. He hopes that the shop owner Rad Rickshaw will not be too upset about it, and something suddenly flashes across Pearl's mind upon hearing about the Cycle Shop.

Back then, the three of them were given free Bicycles after the Cycle Shop owner mistook them as his rescuers. He could remember the man saying that he was held captive in a place called the Galactic Eterna Building, and instantly bolts with shock and realization that they have already come across Team Galactic's name back at Eterna.

Pearl tells Chimlord to carry him up to the rooftop, and with its agile moves, the fire ape takes its trainer to the chimney of the Fuego Ironworks in no time. Pearl flips out his pair of binoculars to focus on the Eterna building which has spikes sticking out from its side walls, and after zooming in a few times, spots its name, 'Galactic Eterna Building', near its entrance. Pearl gasps that it is the eerie building after all, and recalls seeing helicopters take off from its roof the day before. The boy starts to wonder why Team Galactic has held the Cycle Shop owner captive in the first place, and decides that he must meet Rad Rickshaw personally to find out more.

A few moments later, Mr. Fuego has finished clearing up the scattered components with the help of Chatlord and Raylord. He grins that he can finally send off the package, but Pearl suddenly grabs the parcel from him, and states that he will deliver it personally.

With that, he tells everyone to get ready to head for Rad Rickshaw's Cycle Shop at Eterna, and climbs on the back of Raylord. Wearing a determined look, Pearl resumes his journey northwards, and begins to speed off on Raylord while Mr. Fuego and the wild pack of Shinxes and Luxios wave them goodbye.

A while later, as the night deepens, Pearl and his companions finally make it to the city of Eterna. Pearl notices that while the weather remains chilly, the clouds have cleared and they now have moonlight to guide their way.

Wandering across the streets, they soon spot Rad Rickshaw's Cycle Shop, but Pearl starts to wonder if it would be too intrusive to pay a visit at such a late hour. However, it would be too late to wait until dawn as they really have not much time left, and they have only two days to spare before the said date of the Galactic Bomb's detonation arrives.

Standing in front of the metal gate, Pearl lifts his arm and gets ready to knock, but in that instant, he senses two presence behind him, and turns around to see two silhouettes hovering high up in the skies. On a closer look, he recognizes them as the fairy Pokemon, Clefairy, and the two have raised their hands towards the sky, clearly getting ready to strike.

Left with no choice but to assume that they are sent by his enemies, Pearl orders Chatlord to use Chatter and Raylord to unleash a Discharge. The two attacks land accurately on the Clefairies, but to Pearl's surprise, they didn't score critical hits. He realizes that the two pink fairies must be using Lucky Chant when they raised their hands to the sky earlier, and tells himself to stay composed. He flips out his Pokedex to read that the wings of Clefairies can collect moonlight and allow them to stay air-borne, and tells Chimlord to stay alert as cute-looking foes are not always as weak as they appear.

Pearl decides that it will be a good time to put to use all the harsh training they have given themselves in the past four days since leaving Canalave, and orders a Flare Blitz from Chimlord. However, before the fire ape manages to launch the attack, a man rushes in on a Bicycle and cries for them to stop, requesting to know what kind of mischief his Clefairies have done.

Pearl instantly recognizes the man as Rad Rickshaw, the owner of the Cycle Shop, and Rad also bolts in recognition that Pearl is one of the three young trainers who rescued him before. Pearl puts on a big grin, and reveals that he has actually come to visit him, bringing along the parcel of goods Rad ordered from Mr. Fuego.

Rad thanks Pearl for the delivery, and the boy wants to know if the Clefairies are really owned by Rad, which the man nods in embarrassment. He tells the two fairies, nicknamed Clefairan and Clefairin, not to panic, as Pearl is definitely not an enemy, and retrieves them into their Pokeballs. Rad apologizes for the fuss, and explains that he has become more wary ever since the terrible event. Pearl wonders if he meant the captivation, and Rad admits that it gave him quite a scare. The truth is, his Clefairies were also the odd organization's target back then, and Pearl is curious to know why.

Rad remarks that he isn't entirely sure either, but it has something to do with their connection to the moon and the stars. Clefairy itself is said to be a Pokemon that arrived from the moon, and its pre-evolution, Cleffa, is categorized as the star shape Pokemon. Rad is under the impression that his capturers were collecting everything related to space, and Pearl bolts that it has boiled down to the keyword, 'universe', once again.

Rad recalls how he was forced to reveal various information pertaining to Eterna, but with his Clefairies safe and having evaded capture by staying hidden in the Cycle Shop's attic, he kept his dignity and his capturers didn't succeed in making him talk too much. Just then, a helicopter flies by, and Rad states that there have been quite a few of those since the day before.

Pearl notices that Clefairan and Clefairin have begun to tremble with fear upon hearing the helicopter's noise, and after a moment of hesitation, drags Rad to the side alley, saying that he has important things to tell him. Pearl formally introduces himself to the Cycle Shop owner, and explains that he is currently on a quest to Lake Acuity to stop the evil schemes of Team Galactic, the same organization that held Rad captive previously.

The boy begins to reveal all he knows about the evil team, and Rad puts on a frown when he hears that part about creating a universe. The man remarks that he honestly couldn't imagine what it means or how it could be done, but it sounds like Team Galactic is planning something appalling nevertheless. He wonders if the helicopters are from the Galactic Eterna Building, and Pearl responds with a nod, purporting that they are getting prepared for the Galactic Bomb's detonation.

According to Mr. Fuego, the bomb's components were to be sent to the Galactic Veilstone Building in Veilstone City, which means the bomb is being constructed there. He has reasons to believe that the Eterna Building, on the other hand, is responsible for fine-tuning the scheme, and the helicopters have been dispatched to assess the location of bombing beforehand, and arrange the transfer of staff and resources.

Rad thinks Pearl's assumption makes sense, and bangs his fist on his knee as he comes to a decision. He wants to know if Pearl wishes to arrive at Lake Acuity as soon as possible, and the boy nods in reply. Rad beckons Pearl to follow him, and after entering his shop, pulls out tandem bike from the garage which he calls the Ultimate Bicycle.

Rad states that with two people cycling, it can double up or even triple up a bike's usual speed. Pearl bolts in surprise at what the Cycle Shop owner is suggesting, and Rad admits that he is planning on coming with him. He points out that Pearl has only two days left, and in order to get to Lake Acuity, he must get past Mt. Coronet, Celestic, and Routes 210, 215 and 214. While he has no doubt that Pearl's strong-legged Luxray can also take him there in time, he believes that it will be beneficial to arrive earlier so that they can spare time to come up with battling strategies.

After a short moment of thought, Pearl agrees to Rad's plan, and the two begin paddling on the bike, heading towards Eterna's eastern gates. Just before they leave the city, Pearl spots the giant bronze statue they saw before, which depicts a winged creature with a long tail and a columnar crest on its head, and starts to query what it is again.

And so, listening to the advice of the quirky Cycle Shop Owner, Pearl has resumed his journey with the man on a tandem bike. Meanwhile, from the helicopter port on the rooftop of the Galactic Eterna Building, three air-shuttles go air-borne, and slowly head towards the Galactic Veilstone Building, where the completed Galactic Bomb awaits...

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

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



389: VS Clefairy


Volume 35