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Stunned by the revelation of Ruby's relation to Norman, Wally asks why is it that Ruby has to hide from his own father. Ruby says he has his own reasons, and Wally decides to show himself since he was the one who asked for the gymleader's help afterall. The frail youngster is about to come out when a wild Breloom hops out from another bush and charges towards Norman. It lashes out a claw to attack, but the gymleader orders an aerial ace from his Vigoroth and knocks out the mushroom Pokémon in one hit. Norman slowly walks up to the fainted Breloom, remarks about its characteristic agile footwork and stetchy arms, then proudly praises his Vigoroth's invinsibility.

Norman turns around to call out for Wally, and the young lad immediately bolts up from the bushes. Wally apologizes for hiding, but says he is thankful that Norman has come to help him. The gymleader, however, responds by coldly stating he will not be helping the boy with any capture, because the boy has fooled him into agreeing by keeping his own health issues a secret. Wally gets disheartened and starts to plead with Norman, but the man firmly stands his ground and says even healthy people find wild Pokémons difficult to handle, let alone fragile and weak ones like him. The gymleader adds that he has consulted the boy's parents, and learnt that they will be taking him to a far-off town for therapy the next day.

Norman is about to turn and walk away when he senses the presence of another being. He releases his Slaking and orders it to probe the nearby region with a swagger. The gorilla-like Pokémon lets out a deafening roar that smashes the bushes nearby, and Norman walks up to inspect the area, pointing out that anyone hiding there should be confused by the attack. Without much discovery, the gymleader decides to drop the matter and leave.

Underneath the thick roots of a giant tree, Ruby lets out a sigh and slowly climbs out with Coco. Thanks to his Skitty's safeguard, the boy has evaded the confusing effect of swagger. Ruby makes sure that his father is out of sight and slowly re-emerges from the bushes, but then immediately gasps in shock as he sees Wally fainted on the ground.

Later that night, back at Wally's house in Petalburg City, the parents of the frail young boy thank Ruby for taking their son back, and explain that the boy has always been weak ever since he was little. They mention about their early departure the next morning to seek ailment from another town, and invite Ruby to stay the night, which Ruby gladly accepts. After they leave the room, Wally slowly wakes up and apologizes to Ruby for causing him so much trouble. He sighs about how his parents are too overprotective of him, and now that Norman has refused to help him with capturing, he will never get to train Pokémons of his own. Ruby silently listnes to the fragile boy in front of him, and realizes they both share the same kind of family pressure when it comes to deciding the course of their lives. He walks over to the window and starts explaining to Wally how Norman expected him to follow his steps and that it was the reason he ran away from home.

Ruby turns around to face Wally, and says with an encouraging smile that young people should find their own ways if it feels right. He tells Wally to get dressed and says he should fulfill his dream that night. The frail boy puts on a confused look, but Ruby pulls out Ruru's Pokéball and explains that he will lend him his Ralts to help with his first capture. Wally immediately lightens up and prepares to leave, but Ruby pulls him to a halt and lays down the one and most important condition: keep Ruru clean at all times...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




186: VS. Breloom!


Volume 15


Ruby gives his Ralts to Wally