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At the Battle Dome, Aroma Lady Rose orders her Vileplume forward and commands a Giga Drain. However, before the rafflesia Pokemon's attack could hit, Emerald has Dusclops charge forward for a Fire Punch. The ghost Pokemon rams its blazing fist hard onto the body of Vileplume, and sends it flying towards the ceiling before crashing down onto the stage, fainting from the super effective move. With that, the announcer declares Emerald the winner of the fifth match of the first tournament set, and Aroma Lady Rose's name dims on the monitor screen.

Scott hovers down on his flying saucer to meet Emerald on his way back to the resting station, and congratulates him for making to the top 8. Emerald responds by doing the victory gesture, and wears a wide smirk on his face. Scott then voices his surprise in Dusclops knowing Fire Punch, and wonders when it learnt the attack.

Emerald puts on a grin, and reveals that he has exchanged for the move just that morning with the battle points he has earned from the previous four facilities. Since the Battle Dome displays the battle cards of the opponents before the tournament actually begins, it makes it much more convenient for him to prepare his Pokemon. He adds that the Aroma Lady whom he just fought was described to be the dark horse of the day, and Scott is impressed that Emerald is adept in utilizing tactics, which the theme of the Battle Dome.

Scott states that the only key to conquer the Dome is to use tactics wisely, and Emerald thanks him for the advice. The boy then checks on his next opponent, and sees that it is a male Pokemon ranger named Dominic, who according to the trainer description has a team of Pokemon with top class strength. He wonders which two of the three Pokemon the Pokemon ranger will use, and after a moment of thought, makes his own pick of two members on his team. Soon, the announcer calls upon Emerald and Dominic for their match, and Emerald quickly sends out his Dusclops while Dominic calls forward his Breloom.

Meanwhile, in the events hall of the luxurious liner S.S. Tidal, a roomful of people have gathered for the wedding ceremony of Wanda and Roger. Five Whismurs line up behind Wanda to help lift the tail of her long white dress, while two Loudreds stand on the side as the bridesmaid and bridesman for the couple. The priest asks if Roger will take Wanda as his wife, vowing to love her for the rest of his life, and the big man blushes as he says 'I do'.

As the two proceed to exchange their wedding rings, Sapphire stands on the balcony above next to Winona, and exclaims at how romantic it is to have a wedding ceremony on a ship. She compliments on the beauty of the bride, and feels thankful to be able to witness the event. Winona remarks that Wanda and Roger have both helped them a lot during the Kyogre and Groudon incident by directing and looking after all the refugees at New Mauville, which is why as a gymleader, she has come to pay her respects and give her best wishes to them.

Sapphire then puts on a mischievous grin, and wonders if Winona plans to have a similar ceremony on her own wedding. The Fortree Gymleader looks away in embarrassment, and says Sapphire is talking nonsense again. She steals a glance at Wallace who is standing next to Ruby among the crowd beneath them, and utters that their relationship have ended already anyway.

Sapphire recalls hearing about how Wallace gave up his Champion title to become a gymleader in order to stay close to Winona, and says she finds it greatly romantic as well. Winona gently nods, and sighs that it is unfortunately a burden to her at the same time. Having a man who is stronger than her always by her side, predicting and watching over her every move can sometimes be quite suffocating, especially since she took up the Fortree Gymleader position, and started having occasional dangerous missions.

But Sapphire still seems optimistic about it, and says after the whole Kyogre and Groudon incident, Winona must have thought about giving it a second chance, and find a way to make things right this time. Her pesky questions soon causes Winona to blush with major embarrassment, and the Fortree Gymleader retaliates by asking how Sapphire is doing herself with her own love life.

The remark stops Sapphire dead in her tracks, and the girl swallows hard as she looks down at Ruby from the balcony. She stutters that their relationship is totally not working, and Winona wonders why. Sapphire begins fuming with rage, and says no matter what she does, Ruby seems to be avoiding the matter. It is almost like the boy is suffering from amnesia, and couldn't even recall how exactly they solved the Kyogre and Groudon catastrophe. She thrashes her arms around in frustration, and complains to Winona that she cannot believe Ruby is forgetting everything, her confessions, his own confession, just everything they have said within the voids of time.

The Fortree Gymleader tries her best to calm her student, and starts to regret bringing up the matter. A sweatdrop appears on her forehead, and she comforts Sapphire that they are the children of the future, and they still have plenty of time to set things right.

Just then, Wallace and Ruby come upstairs to join them as the ceremony draws to an end, and Ruby wonders what nonsense Sapphire is talking about again. Sapphire snaps that she is not talking nonsense, but Ruby nonchalantly snickers that whenever she goes on and on in a conversation, it is a sign that she is. The comment makes Sapphire fume even more, and she yells that it is just his own presumption. The boy wants to know what constructive things they have discussed in that case, and Sapphire hollers that it is none of his business.

Before the quarrel could get any worse, Wallace steps in to stop them, and says he and Winona will proceed to attend the wedding banquet. He wonders if it is time Ruby and Sapphire head off for their current mission, and the two young trainers quickly remember what they are there for. Ruby announces that they shall take part in the Battle Dome tournament as requested by Prof. Birch, and try to find the boy they are intended to meet, the third Pokedex Holder who has come to the Battle Frontier on his own some time earlier.

At the Hoenn third devision of the Pokemon Science Lab, Crys brings in a tray of tea, and sets it on the table between Prof. Oak and Prof. Birch. Birch remarks that Ruby and Sapphire should have arrived at the Battle Frontier by now, and Oak thanks him for sending two such fine young trainers there to give assistance. Birch recedes that he shouldn't really take credit for it, and says it was Oak who told him that Pokedex Holders usually have many fateful chances to battle along each other and solve crisis. Oak and Crys both grin at that comment, and agree that it is eerily true.

Birch then puts on a serious look, and decides to talk about Treecko, and Oak wonders if something is wrong with it. Birch explains that it is the grass Pokemon he specifically researched about a while back, along with the fire type Torchic and the water type Mudkip. Around that time, he received the set of three new Pokedexes from Prof. Oak, and decided to pair them up with his three Pokemon. The first Pokedex was given to his daughter, who also got Torchic. The second Pokedex and Mudkip ended up with Norman's son, but the third Pokedex and Treecko were left untaken for quite some time.

Prof. Oak states that Birch shouldn't be worrying about it anymore since he has already found his third Pokedex Holder. Birch nods in agreement, and recalls that it was through Oak that he learnt of the young trainer Emerald, whom he decided to bestow upon the third copy of the high-tech device.

Back then, Birch planned to give Treecko to Emerald as well, hoping that it would catch up with the growth development of Torchic and Mudkip. However, on the day Birch was supposed to meet Emerald, Hoenn was in the midst of the catastrophe started by the legendary titans Kyogre and Groudon. The heavy downpours and floods created by Kyogre happened to have caught Birch unprepared out in the fields, and washed his bagpack away which contained both the third Pokedex and Treecko.

Fortunately, a kind and gentle boy named Wally picked up his bagpack, and eventually returned the Pokedex to him. Yet, Treecko didn't make it home. It so happens that Wally ended up helping Norman awaken the third legendary titan Rayquaza at the Sky Pillar, and it was the grass Pokemon who used bullet seed to free Rayquaza from its ozone shelter. During that moment, however, the powerful explosion of energy sent it flying off the tower.

In his letter to Birch, Wally explained that he has tried searching for it afterwards, but couldn't find it anywhere he looked. He also added that Treecko has evolved into Grovyle during their training at the Sky Pillar, and hoped that the Pokemon is strong enough to look after itself in the wild.

Birch tells Oak that he has informed Emerald about all this, but the young boy didn't mind about not having a starter at all, because he actually doesn't carry around his own Pokemon. Despite that, Birch admits that he is still a bit worried about Grovyle, and wonders how well it is surviving as a wild Pokemon now.

Back at the Battle Dome, an Ursaring delivers a Brick Break onto Emerald's Sudowoodo, and the fake tree Pokemon struggles to stand firm. Emerald orders a Counter, and Sudowoodo quickly thrusts its arm against the face of Ursaring, fainting the giant bear with the retaliatory move. The announcer declares Emerald the champion of the fourth tournament set, and calls for a 15-minute break before the next round. Emerald lets out a sigh of relief, and hurries out of the stadium to take a rest.

Meanwhile, Ruby and Sapphire have set foot on the Battle Frontier, and are on their way to the Battle Dome. Talking with old Mr. Briney on the Pokegear, Ruby learns that S.S. Tidal has already left the Frontier's seaport, and shall return in 3 days' time. The boy hopes Briney will look after Wallace and Winona for him, and praises him as Captain of Honour before hanging up the call.

Ruby then wonders how they are going to identify Emerald, and asks if she has seen his face. Sapphire replies that she hasn't, but says her father has told her that they could find him by the resonance sound of the Pokedex, which is given off by the device when three Pokedexes of the same generation are held by their rightful owners within a close proximity.

Just as both trainers reach into their bagpacks for the Pokedexes, they discover that the devices are starting to beep. Ruby grins that Emerald must already be at the Battle Dome, but Sapphire states that from the direction of the signal, the boy doesn't seem to be inside the facility right now.

The two follow where the beeping sound gets increasingly stronger, and suddenly sees a rainbow as they turn around the corner. Ruby and Sapphire gasp at the beauty of the seven coloured bridge, but as soon as they look up, they both spasm with horror to realize that the rainbow is created from a young boy with crescent shaped hair relieving his bladder high up on the balcony of the Battle Dome. Next to the boy, a Sceptile sweatdrops as it lets out a sigh.

The boy, being no other than Emerald himself, soon hears the beeping sound as well, and wonders what it is. While trying to determine where the sound comes from, he moves around and inadvertently directs his stream right over Ruby and Sapphire, who scream out in terror and tell the boy not to aim at them.

A moment later, down near the entrance of the Battle Dome, a traumatized Ruby and mentally exhausted Sapphire tap on the button on their Pokedexes to stop the resonance sound, while Sceptile does the same to Emerald's with a peck from its mouth. Emerald exclaims in surprise that it was the Pokedex that was beeping, and thanks Sceptile, wondering how it knew of the way to stop it.

The boy then diverts his gaze to the two strangers in front of him, and demands to know who they are and what they want. However, Ruby is still freaking out about his clothes getting soiled, and wants Sapphire to see for sure that his backside is clean. Sapphire snaps that it is not the time to be pesky about such stuff, and tells him to behave himself.

Emerald feels disheartened that he is being ignored, and reiterates his question again in a dejected tone. Ruby then surprises Emerald by calling his name, and explains that they are there to meet him, Hoenn's third Pokedex Holder. Emerald puts on a small frown upon hearing that, but Ruby and Sapphire remain enthusiastic, and proceed to introduce themselves...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

320: VS Vileplume II

Volume 28