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Drifting away from dreamland, Black gradually regains consciousness, and is greeted with an intense rumbling under his feet upon waking. The boy bolts up to a standing position, frightful of what is going on, and soon sees a train passing by on the tracks right beneath him. He wonders where he is, and voice comes on to explain that they are on top of the Tubeline Bridge, a cylinder-shaped bridge which has trails for the subway in its hollow. The voice reveals himself to be Brycen, who is accompanied by a Doctor holding a stethoscope.

Black breaks into a rage as soon as he sees the Icirrus Gymleader, and calls him a traitor, but Brycen tosses him a mask which was left behind by the Team Plasma Grunt who disguised as him, and Black soon remembers what he saw just before he lost consciousness, how he was attacked, how the Brycen he was with revealed himself to be a Team Plasma Grunt, and how Ghetsis appeared at the end.

Brycen states that Black has already passed out when he arrived at Lenora's hidden underground chamber, but from the looks of things, he could guess what happened. Black feels upset that he fell for the trap of Team Plasma, but is more concerned that the Dark Stone has been snatched away by Ghetsis.

Brycen remarks that all the other Gymleaders at the scene have also been captured, and sighs that although they had a good plan of consolidating their forces and luring the enemy out to launch a full-fledged attack, they miscalculated the enemy's strength and things spiraled downhill from there. Black grinds his fists in anguish and despair at what has happened, and declares that he shall help to get the Gymleaders back.

In that instant, the boy gets pulled back by something on his ankle, and he turns around to see that Cryogonal has fastened him with an ice chain. He demands to know what is going on, and Brycen calmly says the situation is simple, that Cryogonal has trapped him and he must find a way to escape. Black hollers that Brycen should quit doing unnecessary things, but the Icirrus Gymleader states that he is serious, and Black's special training shall begin that instant.

Black puts on a look of confusion upon hearing Brycen's words, and Brycen challenges Black if he knows where Team Plasma's headquarters, their so-called castle, lies. He also questions if he has the confidence to defeat the powerful legendary Pokemon who easily took down all the Gymleaders, and points out that if Black cannot even free himself from Cryogonal's ice chains, he has no chance of standing up against Team Plasma. To counter Team Plasma, he must equip himself with a force that could counter them.

Black accepts the quest, and reaches for his Pokeball to send out Nite, who has just evolved into an Emboar. He orders it to melt the ice chains around his ankle, and the giant boar proceeds to blow out a Flamethrower. However, the flames char at Black's ankle at the same time, and the boy cries out in pain, telling the Emboar to stop immediately. Black then realizes that he hasn't given a new nickname to Nite, and flips out his Pokedex to read that it is now an Emboar. He decides to call it Bo, and Brycen comments that it is a good name. He says it makes him think of the warrior kings, and hopes that Bo will indeed become one.

The Icirrus Gymleader wants Black to send out his Munna, Galvantula and Tirtouga as well, and reveals that he has other plans for them. He calls forward his own three Vanillishes, and says they will be the ones training Black's other Pokemon. The masked man states that in order to redeem one's mistakes, he must realize his own inadequacies and polish them. He adds that during intense training, it is inevitable that Black and his Pokemon will become injured, which is why he has brought them a Doctor to ease their worry. With that, Brycen leaves Black to the Doctor, who starts treating his burnt ankle, and walks into the western gate.

Inside the gate, Brycen finds Drayden sitting on a bench, and asks the Opelucid Gymleader if he is concerned whether his ways of training the boy are correct. Drayden states that he is simply a bit unsure, and says if the Light Stone really rolled towards the boy, there is a chance that it has made its choice.

Brycen takes out the ancient artifact, which he hides in his long sleeve, and knows that Drayden is talking about the hero issue. Indeed, the Light Stone is no ordinary rock, because just as the Dark Stone is Zekrom itself, the Light Stone is Reshiram itself. It is alive with a mind on its own, and is known to make its own choice of human to be with. The fact that it may have already made the decision on Black makes it necessary for them to make preparations.

Brycen states that Black has agreed to take up the training, and he personally has expectations because the boy is a trainer who has already obtained six Gym Badges, which was the reason he brought him to where they are. However, he really doubts if Black is ready to accept the mission of restoring Reshiram from the Light Stone.

He turns to Drayden, and remarks that as the Gymleader of Opelucid City, he is an expert in dragon types. When Clay unearthed the Dark Stone, the man actually found the Light Stone along with it. However, due to the advice of Lenora, in view of what is said in the myth, they placed all their focus on the discovery of the Dark Stone. The truth was, when the Dark stone was transferred to the Nacrene Museum, the Light Stone was also moved in secretly, and Lenora has subsequently sought Drayden's expertise in the investigation and research of the two ancient artifacts.

At that time, the overall agreement of the Gymleaders was to leave it to Drayden to figure out how to handle the two artifacts, and how to restore the legendary dragons from them. However, Brycen confesses that he was not exactly supportive of this. To his knowledge, both Zekrom and Reshiram turned into stones on their own will, petrifying and sealing themselves for some reason. He always felt that, if they attempt to break this seal after all these years, they would be doing the exact same thing as Team Plasma, disturbing dormant things that are supposed to be left alone.

In response to Brycen's accusation, Drayden retorts that in their current situation, where they have no means to counter Team Plasma and Zekrom, it is clearly not alright to let things happen naturally. The Opelucid Gymleader's challenging tone raises an eyebrow from Brycen, and the two men start staring down at each other, with hostility clearly building up between them.

In that instant, Iris peeks into the room with her Fraxure, and notices the unfriendly atmosphere in the air. She quickly rushes out to greet both Brycen and Drayden with a happy face, and clap them both on the back, grinning that the clap has made them friends again. Drayden puts on a smile upon seeing Iris, and introduces her to Brycen, stating that she is currently training under him to become an expert in dragon types. He explains that he has brought her along because he thinks her strength and ability is probably similar to that of Black, and may help him in his training.

Brycen says he has no objections to that, and turns to leave. Drayden wonders where he is heading, and Brycen says the one place he truly wants to go is the headquarters of Team Plasma which they call their castle, where the other Gymleaders currently are.

Back on the Tubeline Bridge, Black tells Bo that the ice chain is wielded by Cryogonal, and by defeating it, they will be able to break the chain. He orders a Flamethrower from Bo, but just as it is ready to fire the attack, a subway train passes by beneath them, shaking the entire bridge and throwing them off their feet. Bo's flames end up charring Black instead, and the boy yelps out in pain. He grunts that the train came at the most critical moment, and orders Bo to repeat the attack.

Bo breathes out a blast of fire from its snout, which hits Cryogonal directly. However, the snowflake-like Pokemon vanishes, and Black reads from the Pokedex that Cryogonal has turned into steam from the heat of Bo's flames and become invisible. Black and Bo look around to see where Cryogonal has gone, and after a while, it crystallizes in front of them again. Oddly, it doesn't attack and simply wears a mocking face. Bo gets ticked off and attempts to deliver another Flamethrower, but Black says it is not a smart strategy to attack it with fire.

Unfortunately, Bo attacks anyway, and Cryogonal once again turns into vapor. Black feels troubled by Bo's competitiveness, and recalls its refusal to lose as Tep, its recklessness as Nite. He knows that with an evolution, its non-compromising nature will simply get stronger, and tries the best he can to convince the Emboar that it is no use burning the opponent.

Just then, Cryogonal materializes behind Bo, and Bo swings its left arm backwards to strike with a Hammer Arm, hitting it but without vaporizing it this time. Black realizes with a start that fighting moves do not cause Cryogonal to disappear, and remembers what Brycen said about Bo becoming a warrior king. He believes that this is what Brycen wants him to learn from this challenge, and tells Bo to forget about fire moves and focus on fighting ones.

Black orders another Hammer Arm, and Bo throws a powerful punch to Cryogonal. However, to Black's shock, Bo's fist becomes frozen, and Cryogonal retaliates by knocking Bo back with a blast of crystallized shards. Black gasps that Cryogonal is finally attacking now that they have learnt to use fighting moves, but also remembers at the same time that beating Cryogonal isn't really the purpose of their current quest.

He stops Bo, and says it is the ice chain that they should try to break. He wants Bo to aim its punches on the chain around his ankle, but says it will need to control its power carefully so as not to crush his foot as well. On top of that, with passing trains below, their standing ground is shaky, and it adds to the challenge since there's no telling when a train will come by. However, Black believes that in order to become a warrior king, Bo needs to polish its battle style and take its first step. He voices his trust in Bo's power, since they have battled alongside each other for so long, and now, he is willing to trust its control as well, and has faith that it will succeed. Giving Bo an assuring look, he hopes that Bo will trust his judgment as well, and tells it not to worry too much as there is a Doctor standing by should they fail.

With that, Bo readies itself, and decides to take a leap of faith as it hops up into the air with its arm raised. In that instant, two subway trains happen to pass by at the same time, shaking the entire Tubeline Bridge. Yet, Bo stays focused, and delivers a well controlled punch directly on the chain around Black's ankle. With a crack, the ice chain shatters, and Black raises his intact foot, grinning to Bo that they have made it…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

498: VS Cryogonal

Volume 48