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Having just won the Fallarbor Contest, May is still hyper and excited over her new ribbon. Ash, however, wants to finally head to Lavaridge Town and get the next badge. So they start heading through the woods, and suddenly, they hear a banging of drums in the distance, so they decide to go check it out. It seems to be coming from a small house atop some stone steps, so they follow it, and end up in a place full of tents, and finally find the stage full of people who seem to be cheering, and the drummer. A boy on stage seems to recognize them, and runs offstage to greet them.
Then Ash recognizes this guy as Kazuchi, the kid they met at the lighthouse on the way to Mauville, who Ash gave tips on how to train his Plusle and Minun before he set off on his journey. Ash then asks how Plusle & Minun are doing, so he calls them, and they seem happy as usual and start to playfully chase Pikachu around. Ash then asks what he's doing in a cheering uniform, and who this big guy is, and he explains that while he was walking on his training journey, he was training with Plusle & Minun. He was practicing their Electric attacks, and eventually he got to the trick of Helping Hand, i.e. having them battle close together, which created a HUGE Thunder attack, and it got the attention of that cheering squad. They came up to him, impressed by Plusle & Minun, and Sekido, the leader, asked him to join and here he is!
Meanwhile, Team Rocket are spying on them, and as usual, planning to swipe Pikachu, and going on and on about the latest scheme, and eventually agree on doing something with this cheering squad
Suddenly, Ash and co realize Brock has disappeared. May then sighs and points to the stage, where Brock is trying to impress the cheerleaders with his moves. Max then runs and drags him off, and Kazuchi decides to show them a little behind the scenes of this whole cheerleading squad.
Now, Team Rocket are inside a nearby tent, disguised, and arguing and haggling with Sekido. They come up with all sorts of bargains to let them join, and promise a lot of money and eventually, Sekido decides to let them in.
Kazuchi brings out one of the cheerleader girls, and asks her permission to introduce Ash and co to this. Although Brock freaks her out, she agrees. Then, Kazuchi repeats how they want strong Pokemon to be in this, to they decide to introduce Ash to Sekido, and have a test battle. As they approach, Kazuchi and the girl explain to Sekido who Ash is, and how he and Brock want to try out a test battle with someone. Disguised Team Rocket then notice this, and run up and volunteer. They ask their names, and James almost says his real name, but Jessie stops on his foot, and then says he's Kojino. The girl decides to have him battle Brock first.
James sends out Cacnea, who glomps him, nearly giving him away, but James manages to get him off before they notice. Brock uses Forretress. Cacnea starts with a Pin Missile, but Forretress uses Rapid Spin to ward them off, and then Tackle, knocking down Cacnea. Then, to everyone's surprise, Sekido slips on a mouth-cover, and the cheerleaders start dancing.
Then, while in distraction, it's shown there's a small microphone on the side of Sekido's neck, and he whispers into it “Helping Hand”, while no one notices and a spark comes flying from the drum, alerting Cacnea! Max, surprised, wonders where that came from, and assumes he just got lucky. Cacnea then gets up from the spark, hits Forretress hard with Needle Arm, and uses a Sandstorm to distract it and make it even harder to get up. Another Pin Missile from Cacnea has Forretress try to fend it off with a Rapid Spin, but it's too tired, and faints. This battle goes to James, or “Kojino”. Max, however, feels that there was something suspicious about that spark
Now it's Ash's turn. He and Pikachu are up against Jessie, or “Musamusa”. As she and James quickly go over their plan, Max sneaks behind Sekido's tent to check some stuff out
Pikachu VS Seviper. Jessie quickly thinks over the plan, while Seviper smothers Pikachu, James is gonna come in with the huge robot, and snatch Pikachu as she is distracted in her thoughts, Pikachu Thunderbolts Seviper, then uses a Quick Attack and an Iron Tail to hurt it more. Seviper seems to have fainted but Jessie is giving some sort of signal to Sekido, as he puts the mouth protector on, and the cheerleaders start dancing
Meanwhile, Max is hiding behind Sekido's tent, dressed in his uniform, aware of the small microphone and headphones attached and while the drummers and dancers are doing their jig, Max hears Sekido whisper “Aromatherapy”. Max immediately suspects something, and thinks about what Aromatherapy could possibly have anything to do with this. Then Max listens, and hears the small whisper of something about Vileplume and Roselia, and next thing they know, a scent of Aromatherapy blows out of the drum then Max realizes they must be hiding there!
The Aromatherapy hits the paralyzed and almost fainted Seviper, having it get up and ready to battle as good as before. Once again, Sekido then yells something to distract them, and then mutters under his breath “Helping Hand”. Like before, Max could hear it, and he suspects they may be using Plusle and Minun, but then, coming from inside the drum, he hears him whisper to Shroomish and Makuhita, and realizes that they get Helping Hand as well! As expected, a blue spark flies from the drum, and hits Seviper, making it even stronger. Seviper then damages Pikachu a lot with Poison Tail, but he returns with a Thunderbolt, damaging Seviper a bit more.
Sekido then mutters a command of Aromatherapy, and the green mist heals Seviper. Pikachu tries a Thunderbolt again, but Sekido has another Aromatherapy heal Seviper. This goes on for a little while, faster and faster, Pikachu shocks Seviper, Sekido secretly heals it with Helping Hand or Aromatherapy Pikachu then suddenly gets tired out a bit, just as Max sneaks up from behind the bleachers where Sekido and his gang are. Finally, a Helping Hand from Sekido makes Seviper stronger, who uses a Poison Tail, damaging Pikachu hard. Then, Seviper uses a Wrap, and Sekido is about to secretly end off with another Helping Hand for Seviper, but as soon as he commands it, and the cheerleaders start drumming Max sneaks up, and knocks the drum over, and the other one, knocking them both down and as the smoke clears, out of the drums roll Roselia, Vileplume, Makuhita, and Shroomish!
Max, angry, tells them off for cheating, and reveals the truth about Makuhita and Shroomish's Helping Hand and Vileplume and Roselia's Aromatherapy. May, Kazuchi, Brock, Ash, and the cheerleaders look very angry at Sekido for being a fraud, as Sekido is scared and speechless. He has nothing to say, and before he can get an apology out, he dashes away.
Before getting down to business, Ash and Jessie (or Musamusa) have a battle to finish. Seviper's got Pikachu wrapped, and as Pikachu keeps trying to shock his way out, Seviper uses Haze, making it hard for Ash to concentrate. After a little bit, Pikachu finally lets out a Thunder attack, freeing himself and fainting Seviper.
Jessie then takes off her costume and reveals who she is, as James comes in the balloon, and as usual, they use the arm to grab a very tired Pikachu. Kazuchi then sends Plusle and Minun to work together and use Helping Hand on Pikachu, who then manages to Thunder his way out. Just then, a storm starts, and the lightning hits them, blasting them off!
They thank them and say their goodbyes, and for the time being, Kazuchi decides that he's gonna stay with them and train Plusle and Minun, and replace Sekido. Ash and co then continue their journey to Lavaridge Town!
Thanks To Spinazak For Writing this for us
328: Cheer Pressure!
328: Plusle & Minun! Road Assitance!
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