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At the eastern exit of the Oreburgh Gate, Dia, Pearl and Lady Berlitz step out of the dark tunnel, and finally arrive at the city of Oreburgh. Pearl puts on a contented smile as he takes in a deep breath of fresh air, while Dia is once again keeping his mouth busy with a handful of crepes. Lady Berlitz pulls out the Town Map within a guidebook which she obtained at Jubilife City earlier, and reads that Oreburgh is a coalmine urban that constantly buzzes with the energy of nature.
As the group makes it past the platform stairs that lead to the city center, they soon catch sight of large trucks and excavators, all circling around in organized manners between giant factory buildings. Mine workers adeptly control the heavy vehicles to ferry unearthed materials between stations, and powerful cranes lift the coal piles high up onto the transport belts that interconnect the buildings' rooftops.
Pearl exclaims at the grandness of the city's infrastructure, and says the whole system seems really efficient in getting coal. Dia mishears the phrase 'getting coal' as 'getting a cold', and starts coughing and sneezing. Pearl agrees with a sarcastic tone that it is really important to look after one's health, and without warning rams his foot angrily into Dia's face.
Lady Berlitz continues to flip through her guidebook, and starts explaining that coal is a material excavated from underground that serves as an important energy source. In the past, plants and vegetations are sometimes washed away by rainstorms and flooding rivers, causing them to sink beneath the earth's surface. The combination of earthquakes and fissures further bury them underground, and after being heated by the hot lava that runs in the earth's core for millions of years, these dead plants will slowly turn into coal. In short, ancient plants that have been burnt into charcoal form the coal they see today.
Dia immediately gets starry-eyed and marvels at the Lady's knowledge. Pearl, on the other hand, secretly thinks to himself that their tour guide isn't a bad one after all. Lady Berlitz adds that Oreburgh's coalmines extend all the way down below the ocean, and Dia finds it hard to believe that the ground beneath his feet are actually made of plants that are charred by lava. Pearl remarks that it would perhaps explain why the entire city feels so hot, and Chimlord mischievously hops onto a nearby tank which cover seems to be loosely fit.
However, in the next instant, a gush of hot air rushes out from the tank cover's opening, causing everyone to choke on their breath. Pearl wonders what has happened, and Lady Berlitz explains that the tank is actually one of the vents connected to the underground, which intermittently releases the steam generated in the coalmining process.
Dia notices that the city's heat has caused the leaf on Roo's head to wilt, and quickly feeds it some water to replenish its moisture. He sees that Piplup is still coughing from being choked by the hot air earlier as well, and offers his water bottle and crepe to it. Yet, the little penguin puts on an arrogant look, and simply turns its head away. Pearl displays Piplup's information on his Pokedex to show Dia, and states that it is a very proud species, which hates to accept food or drinks from people. Then, making sure that his voice is loud enough for Lady Berlitz to hear, he adds that the little brat's attitude is just like its trainer.
Lady Berlitz pays no heed to Pearl's comment however, and picks up Piplup into her arms. She announces that it is starting to get late, and says they must find a hotel to check-in for the night. She turns around to point a finger at the boys, and orders them to look for one that has a good ambience. Pearl instantly gets furious at the gesture, and fails to understand why they should be the ones to do it. Lady Berlitz states that the route to Mt. Coronet will be a long and winding one, and they must look for places to rest during the nights. Pearl hollers that she isn't answering his question, and starts yelling at her at the top of his voice.
Suddenly, a bulldozer that has gone out of control comes charging towards the Lady and Pearl from behind, and Dia immediately shouts out in horror. In that split second, Piplup sends out a Bubble attack from its mouth, and manages to halt the bulldozer in its tracks right before it crashes into them. Dia runs over with a worried look to check on his companions, and Lady Berlitz puts on a look of astonishment as she voices her gratitude to Piplup, clearly startled at what it has done.
The trio soon hears the booming voice of a man scolding his Yellow for attempting control of the heavy machine on its own again, and turns around to see an angry middle-aged coal miner grabbing his Psyduck by the hairs on its head. The coal miner quickly apologizes to the group for causing them so much panic, and Pearl wonders what Yellow means. The coal miner explains that it is the nickname of his stupid Psyduck, and once again apologizes for its mischief, hoping that there is something he could do to make up for it.
Pearl sweatdrops that the man has chosen such a straightforward and dull nickname for a Pokemon, while Dia counts that the man has managed to say 'no' four times and 'sorry' six times in his short speech just now. For Lady Berlitz, the thing that caught her attention was the man's offer to do something in return for their scare, and without hesitation, she speaks out her desire to visit the coalmines, causing Dia and Pearl to jump in surprise.
The truth is, when the hot steam from the underground vent rushed at Lady Berlitz earlier, it gave her a surge of exhilaration that she has never experienced before. All her life, she has obtained most of her knowledge from books, and while she is proud of it, it is nowhere near learning through actual hands-on experience. Now that she has the chance to enter real coalmines and touch real coal with her own hands, she could hardly contain her excitement. She begins to visualize herself doing the actual digging, and starts swinging her arms about to mimic the motion.
However, she soon senses Pearl's bewildered gaze, and promptly regains her composure.
Pearl: (stares) Were you practicing digging just...
The coal miner remarks that their person-in-charge, Roark, is currently absent, and worries that he cannot fulfill her request. But then on a second thought, he believes that showing her around shouldn't be such a hard task, and thinks he would be able to do it. Yet, he soon remembers that it is actually a rest day at the coalmine, and worries that it wouldn't be the best day for a tour. But on a second thought again, he thinks Lady Berlitz wouldn't mind, and the girl quickly agrees that she wishes to begin the visit right away.
Black lines start to appear on Pearl's face as he hears the coal miner correct himself with every other sentence. He turns around with a look of disdain, and sneers that he would prefer to go search for a hotel instead, since the prospect of entering the mines doesn't appeal much to him. His remark causes Lady Berlitz to bolt in shock, and she wonders if he means she could go alone. Pearl brushes her off by wishing her a good visit, and starts to walk away while Dia hurries after him, still with crepes in his hands. Once Lady Berlitz is out of sight, Pearl snickers that since the girl has a taste for luxurious hotels anyway, he will make the best out of it.
Pearl: Great! We shall find a deluxe suite and practice Manzai there!
However, little does Pearl realize that Lady Berlitz regards his words as permission from a professional bodyguard, and is mistaking his meaning that there will be no danger at all within the coalmines. The coal worker reminds Lady Berlitz to watch for her own steps once they are inside, and beckons her to follow. Feeling her excitement surge once again, the girl wastes no time and promptly trails after the man.
A while later, at Hotel Great Oreburgh, Pearl and Dia have indeed found themselves a deluxe suite to practice their Manzai verses.
Pearl: Speaking of Pokemooon!!
Pearl: There sure are many evolutions, eh? Machop into Machoke, Psyduck into Golduck.
Turning around, Pearl and Dia see that Beh, Roo and Chimlord have fallen asleep on the big soft bed, much to their despair. Pearl encourages Dia that they just need more practice and suggests another go, but Dia says it feels lonely without an audience, now that their Pokemon are taking their afternoon nap. He also wonders if it is really all right that they pick such a fine hotel to stay at, but Pearl snaps that it is part of the tour guide's job to control their budget, and she herself bestowed the task to find hotels upon them.
Dia argues that they may end up getting the Lady into trouble if that is the case, but Pearl seems less than concerned, and says it was the girl's own idea to get a hotel with a good ambience after all. While on the thought of Lady Berlitz, Dia remembers what a trouble magnet she is, and recalls the attacks from the Starlys, the Bidoofs, and most recently the Luxio. He worries that something might go wrong again this time, but Pearl assures him that it will be fine.
Placing his hands on Dia's shoulders, Pearl addresses him as Diamond, his act of being serious, and reminds him that she is accompanied by a Pokemon. He states that the proud little Piplup was able to stop a giant bulldozer with a single Bubble attack, showing how strong it is, probably even stronger than both of their teams combined. Dia agrees that they have indeed contributed close to nothing in terms of power defence for the Lady so far, and Pearl grins that it is why they have no reason to be worried.
Just then, Pearl's Chatot, Chatlord, flies in from the window, and chatters that the Oreburgh coalmine is located at the city's southern side. From its intonation, Dia believes that it picked up the line from the coal miner they encountered earlier, and suddenly realizes that Pearl has in fact sent Chatlord to spy on the Lady just in case danger surfaces. Pearl quickly denies it with a horrified look, and blabbers that he has simply asked Chatlord to collect information on coalmines since he is working on a new verse pertaining to them.
Then, as if annoyed by his own explanation, Pearl suddenly hollers that he should perhaps check out the mines in person, and tells Chatlord to lead the way as he yanks Chimlord off the bed, dragging it along with him.
Meanwhile, at the Oreburgh coalmines, the coal miner is explaining to Lady Berlitz that the huge piles of unearthed materials lying around are called mineral hills. Interestingly, they are known as petroleum hills in the Hoenn region, and the Lady exclaims that they are truly amazing. The coal miner wonders if his tour is informative enough for her, and Lady Berlitz assures him that she is enjoying it very much.
As they continue to walk around the place, the Lady suddenly notices a cave ahead, and wonders what lies inside. The coal miner is about to explain about it, but at that moment notices that Yellow has once again started the engine on another bulldozer. The heavy machine starts to speed away, and the coal miner hurriedly gives chase while wearing an angry look on his face.
A pleasant melody soon resounds from the direction of the cave, attracting Lady Berlitz, and the girl decides to check it out on her own. However, once she steps through the entrance, she finds herself face to face with a whole swarm of Kricketots and Kricketunes, all pumped up and in combat positions. Without warning, the bug Pokemon start charging towards her, and she lets out a terrified scream. Piplup quickly blocks itself in front of its trainer, and with a determined look, throws itself against its foes.
A while later, Pearl arrives at the coalmines, and by following Chatlord's lead, soon makes it to the cave where Lady Berlitz is. To his shock, Piplup alone is defending the girl against a whole room of Kricketots and Kricketunes. He is about to send Chatlord and Chimlord forward to help when he realizes that most of the bug Pokemon have already been knocked out, while Piplup is still left standing. But then the little penguin topples over as well, and collapses onto the ground.
Pearl is awe-struck that Piplup has managed to take on so many Pokemon all by itself, claiming what can already be called as a beautiful victory. However, the little Pokemon is clearly upset that it wasn't able to defeat all its foes, and is blaming itself for it. Pearl sees for the first time that Piplup has in fact been bothered about not being able to show its strength in their journey all this time, and is thus taking every chance it can to demonstrate its power.
Lady Berlitz agrees that while she has made an effort to observe Piplup's growth since the beginning of the journey, she has actually neglected its innate calling for action. She kneels down next to the battered little penguin and tries to carry it into her arms, but the proud Pokemon refuses to be helped, and pushes her hand away.
Just then, the coal miner returns with his mischievous Psyduck, and is surprised that Lady Berlitz has battled the Pokemon in the cave. He explains that it was Roark who decided to make the coalmines not only a place for excavation, but also for Pokemon training, and thus the existence of the special cave. Pearl rationalizes that the Kricketots and Kricketunes must have been yearning to fight when Lady Berlitz accidentally barged in, and thus mistook her and Piplup as their training opponents.
Obviously, it would be almost impossible for one to defeat all the aggressive crickets within the cave, but it still doesn't change the fact that Piplup's pride has been hurt because of it. Lady Berlitz puts on a sad look, and wonders if there is any way she could help it regain its confidence. The coal miner suggests they challenge the Pokemon Gym in that case, but the Lady seems baffled by it.
The coal miner explains that Pokemon Gyms are official facilities which aim to raise trainers across the land. Each gym is run by a Gymleader who accepts challenges from aspiring trainers, to judge their potential and acknowledge their true skills. If Piplup manages to get its strength recognized by a Gymleader, it will certainly reclaim its pride. Pearl and Lady Berlitz immediately beam with hope at the suggestion, and the Lady wants to know what Piplup thinks. The little Pokemon quickly hops back on its feet, and clutches its fist with a determined look, showing its desire to pursue the option.
Lady Berlitz is glad that they have something new to look forward to, and says it is time to return to the hotel. She wonders what accommodation the boys have picked for the night, and Pearl, after much hesitation, stutters that they have selected Hotel Great Oreburgh's super celebrity suite room. The Lady exclaims with shock, but instead of complaining about its sky-high price, she feels slightly upset that she will have to stay at yet another ordinary and cheap hotel, much to Pearl's astonishment.
Meanwhile, an announcement at the coalmines calls for all the workers to gather at the entrance, for their person-in-charge, Roark, has returned. At the same time, Dia, Beh and Roo are still running around in the city, trying to find where Pearl and Lady Berlitz have gone...
(Original Japanese Jokes)
341: VS Kricketot