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Struggling to free himself from the intertwined tentacles of Archie's Tentacruel, Ruby realizes that the giant jellyfish was responsible was yanking Courtney into the Cave of Origin before, and glares at the two evil men in disgust. Maxie snickers that Ruby guessed it right again, and Archie remarks with a wicked grin that the Team Magma girl was just rewarded with her rightful punishment.

Down where Sootopolis used to be, Wallace clutches tight to Steven in his arms, and remembers that Sapphire is still locked up in his air-car. As he looks up to his hovering vehicle, he suddenly notices bolts of electric sparks coursing out from it, and wonders what is going on. He motions to Steven's Metagross, and the psychic steel Pokémon swiftly lifts them up towards the air-car.

Wallace sees that Plusle and Minun are reponsible for sending off the electric currents, and asks Sapphire what has happened. The girl replies that she has no idea either since both ancient titans have retreated, but it seems that the two little Pokémon are getting more and more unnerved by the minute, almost suggesting as if there are still opponents to be fought on the ascended ground of Sootopolis.

Wallace knows that Pokémon have heightened senses compared with humans, and starts to get worried since Ruby is still up there. He tells Sapphire that they shall head over for a look immediately, and orders Metagross to advance while remotely controlling his air-car with his Pokegear to follow suit.

However, just as they are about to get near, they slam against an invisible barrier and get knocked backwards. Sapphire tumbles into the backseat of the air-car, and wonders what caused the resistance.

Wallace only then realizes that Sootopolis shouldn't be in suspension anymore with both Groudon and Kyogre gone, and this signifies that the energy released from their clash has remained around the city to keep it afloat. Apparently, this unsteady energy has interacted with the ozone released by Rayquaza, and formed itself into a powerful barrier around the ascended ground.

Wallace thinks hard to come up with a way to get in, and Sapphire suddenly notices that the electric bolts fired off by Plusle and Minun have succeeded in cracking a small hole in the barrier. She compliments the two Pokémon for their work, and grins that their hard training on Mirage Island finally pays off. She states that while Plusle and Minun have always been able to create sparks from their hands when they are cheering, Juan's special training has obviously allowed them to turn the trait into a useful attack.

Sapphire then requests that Wallace open up the top of the air-car so that Plusle and Minun may fire their currents directly, and Wallace quickly does so via his Pokegear. The two cheering Pokémon instantly begin targetting the small hole they have already created, and keep sending bolt after bolt of electricity into it.

Unfortunately, their powers are still limited, and the hole barely enlarges by a few millimeters. Wallace rationalizes that the task is too much for Plusle and Minun, and knows the process will take a while, which might be too late by the time they manage to get in.

Sapphire thumps her fist in frustration onto the rim of the air-car's front window, and wants to know why everything seems to be stopping her from getting into Sootopolis, getting to where Ruby is. She cries in a desperately tone that she really needs to get to him as soon as possible, and suddenly hears a voice from behind which offers to help her generate more powerful electric energy. She quickly turns around with Plusle and Minun, and spots a familiar robot which she has met before.

Back on the ascended ground, Ruby gets completely entangled by Tentacruel, and is slammed against a rock, causing him to drop the Red and Blue Orbs he was holding. Archie and Maxie walk over to pick up the mystic jewels, and Ruby demands to know what their evil plans are.

The two men smirk that they are just doing what they've always tried to, only that they will not allow any intruders this time. Maxie states that back when they were heading towards the Seafloor Cavern, the two of them made a once in a life time pact to collaborate. But as they were left stranded inside the Cave of Origin after the orbs were knocked out of them, they realized that they should have continued their collaboration all along, working together to vanquish all intruders, until all trainers, all gymleaders, the Elite 4, the Pokemon Association, the legendary Pokémon, as well as all their inept underlings were eliminated. Then, they would have all the time and space to settle their rivalry at the ultimate height of the world, on top of the mighty ancient titans.

Ruby gasps in disbelief that the two men are still obsessed with their schemes to control Kyogre and Groudon, but is caught with surprise and horror when Maxie's Houndoom begins to spit out a ball of fire at the collapsed body of his father, Norman.

The Team Magma leader laughs that the intruder who brought Rayquaza to the battle deserves to have his body burnt to ashes, and Ruby screams in terror as he watches the devil dog bath his father in burning flames. However, Tentacruel slowly wraps one of its tentacles around Ruby's mouth, and soon drowns out the boy's hysteric screams as well.

Outside the ascended ground's protective barrier, Sapphire gasps at the familiar robot hovering in front of her, and recognizes it as the giant power generator of the underground city of New Mauville. A small lid opens up around the middle part of the one-eyed robot opens, and the Trick Master pops out to greet Sapphire cheerfully.

Sapphire wonders what brings the Trick Master there, and the funny man hollers that he will not be left behind and Wattson and the others are fighting so hard for the sake of Hoenn. He explains that he has modified the original power generator, given it wings, and took off from New Mauville to see if he could be of any help. But it seems that all the drama is over by the time he arrives, and he just happens to see Sapphire and Wallace having trouble breaking into the barrier surrounding the ascended ground of Sootopolis.

Listening to the Trick Master's words, Sapphire suddenly breaks into a brawl, and the Trick Master wonders if he has come at a bad time, which Sapphire quickly shakes her head to while continuing to cry. Wallace comforts Sapphire and says it is not the time for being emotional now, and the girl wipes off her tears, before saying that she remembers the power generator works by an alternate recharge and release mode.

The Trick Master nods that her memory is correct, and flips out two conducting wires for Plusle and Minun to hold. The two cheering Pokémon begin sending their electricity into the power generator, and the giant robot quickly amplifies the power a few hundred folds, before hurling it out again as a blinding bolt of energy against Sootopolis's barrier.

The impact creates a giant hole big enough for passing through, and Sapphire and Wallace quickly make their way in. The scene before their eyes stuns them cold. Standing amid the rubbles of the city, Archie and Maxie giggle maniacally as they hold the Blue and Red Orbs in their hands. Underneath them, Courtney's arm emerges under a pile of fallen cement. Across the floor, Norman's collapsed body burns in flames while Ruby is nearly strangled to death by the tentacles of a Tentacruel.

Wallace steals a look at Steven in his arms, and finally understands why his companion returned and bestowed upon him the Champion position. Carefully placing Steven onto the ground, Wallace pulls on the Champion's cape, and hollers that it is time for justice.

Archie and Maxie demand to know who he is, but Wallace spreads his cape wide, and states that those who see the cape have no place to ask for names, as those who see the cape do not deserve to know names…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




265: The Last Great Battle VI!


Volume 22